Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 reactions and surprises

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Photo Credit: HBO

Surprises of the week

1. Melisandre makes her grand entrance.
I figured the Red Woman would show up at some point in the final season of Game of Thrones, and it turns out she showed up just in time. She was instrumental in many aspects that led the Night King’s defeat, especially inspiring Arya not to give up. “What do we say to the god of death? Not today!” Yes, we heard Syrio Forel utter those words in the first season, and she repeated them to Arya when she needed to hear them most.

2. So many characters survived.
We’ll get to those who are no longer with us soon. But I am stunned at how many actually survived. All I kept thinking was, how are they still standing? Brienne, Jaime, Podrick, Tormund (is he a cat or something?!), the Hound, they had literally been swinging their swords for hours. But somehow, they all survived. Even Davos, who doesn’t know how to fight. Where the hell was he even hiding? I’m sure not all of them will survive the last three episodes.

3. Jon and Daenerys MIA most of the time.
When I say “MIA,” I mean that they were sort of non-significant to this battle. They flew around most of the time looking for the Night King and nearly got Drogon and Rhaegal killed. (Why didn’t Dany fly away sooner when the wights started climbing onto Drogon?) But it seems as though this just wasn’t their moment. This wasn’t their battle. Their real battle will be with Cersei, maybe even each other.

4. Theon, the warrior.
Though most people wouldn’t think of Little Theon as much of a battle guy, he killed an awful lot of wights. In fact, he was the last of his men standing while they protected Bran. When they cut to an aerial shot of the Godswood at Winterfell, and there he was surrounded by dead wights, I was shocked. Maybe it was being finally forgiven by the Starks and the drive to do right by them, but he found something within himself to protect Bran so well.

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That’s right. Arya Stark of Winterfell defeated the Night King. She saved all of humanity. All of her training, starting with Jon giving her Needle and telling her to “stick ‘em with the pointy end” (in which she told Sansa to do with the dagger), to her journey with the Hound, to her training as a faceless man had let her to this moment. This was her very first battle! Sure, she had killed lots of people on and off her list. But she was really kicking as with her custom-made weapon until she was being chased around her home by wights. And like I said earlier, her re-meeting Melisandre was significant because she reminded her who she was. That darkness she saw in her back in Season 3, it was what Arya needed to transition her back from a scared girl to a lethal, ruthless, killing machine who would do anything to save her family. When she jumped on the back of the Night King, and he grabbed her by the throat, I thought to myself, “I’m not ready to lose Arya.” How could I doubt her? With the drop of her dagger and into the belly of the Night King, he shattered into a million ice pieces, and all the dead fell for the final time.

I am officially naming my first daughter after Arya Stark.