Power Ranking The Major Plot Lines In The Battle Of Winterfell On ‘Game Of Thrones’
Each week I will set out with a foolishness and a sense of purpose that would make Jon Snow proud by power ranking all of the plot lines in the most recent episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’
Well, that was exhausting.
That entire episode was all battle, all the time. There wasn’t a little bit of Cersei at the beginning or anything else. There wasn’t even a “previously on” before the credits. It was just a battle.
The. Whole. Damn. Thing.
With that being said, here’s our song of the week.
Onto the rankings!
Wait!!! Once again, things were all over the place in this effin’ monster truck of an episode, and to be honest, my mind is scattered right now. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GO TO WORK AFTER THIS? Tell your bosses that this week is canceled. If they watch Game of Thrones, they’ll understand.
I’m going to try and break this up the best I can. Please bear with me. I just watched the craziest hour-and-a-half of television I’ve ever seen. My heart is “Patriots in the Super Bowl “levels of racing right now.
Again, we should all call out from work this week. We’d be useless anyway.
6. The North Remembers Everything Except For The Fact That You Know The North Remembers
The best Sansa moment of the night was when she told Tyrion that of all of her husbands, he was the best one.
For those with short memories, all I’ll say is that is possibly the lowest of bars imaginable.
But man, Sansa entering the Crypts without barely saying a word was a pretty chilling moment.
Next up, Sansa will have to get back to the business of being the Lady of Winterfell, which means dealing with thousands of dead bodies that need to be picked up—not to mention the body of a zombie dragon—while everyone else revels in their victory.
I’m sure that will go over well.
5. Oh Thank God, Tormund Is Still Alive
It was a relatively quiet night for Tormund but he made it out alive. That’s enough for me.
4. Keeping Up With The Lannisters
Jaime held his own. He also didn’t die. It looked like he might at some point but Brienne swooped in to save him. If you had that in the office pool, congratulations.
Tyrion’s night was slightly more interesting, if only because he was being kind of lame. Dude, I get it. Being sidelined sucks. But you know what sucks more? Complaining about it.
No one wants to hear that shit. God, we’ve all been there: stuck with someone who never shuts up about how they shouldn’t be there, how they should be somewhere else and could be somewhere else if not for the shitty fact that they’re stuck there.
To make matters worse, Tyrion was drinking all the time and numerous studies have shown that pity +complaining x booze= the absolute worst person to be around (with the lone exception being The Hound in a battle that involves fire).
Oh, that reminds me.
Perhaps someone should have warned The Hound that fire would be a huge part of the battle. It would have been nice seeing as homeboy has a crippling fear of fire. At the same time, my dude, get over it. You’re what, 40-something now? Your incident with fire happened when you were a kid. Let it go. When I was three I put a nail through my hand. It sucked. But hey, I got over it. It’s basically the same exact thing.
Yes, Tyrion killed it at the Battle of the Blackwater, but dude, that was like, so long ago and really, who cares? There are dead people crawling out of crypts. Yes, dead people crawling out of crypts.
Who could have seen that coming? It was at the top of my rankings when it came to what was going to happen during the episode:
5. A bit player dies first (RIP Edd)
4. Dragon Fight!!!
3. Brienne saves Jaime (or vice versa, both count)
2. Jorah saves Daenerys
1. The dead in the Crypt are brought back by the Night King
But yeah, go ahead and keep telling me how safe that place is.
These people are terrible at plans.
3. The Bran Abides
This terrible plan also involved, or more specifically, centered around using Bran as bait. In addition, the plan called for Theon and his handful of Iron Born to protect him and he brought like, maybe ten dudes with him.
The plan was not a great plan. If it weren’t for Arya going rogue, the plan would have been a total dumpster fire.
Again, t’was not a great plan.
But here’s what I keep coming back to.
Early on, Theon apologizes to Bran for forcing him from Winterfell back in the day and Bran says that it’s cool and everything happens for a reason. Then Bran just peaces out. Now, initially, he seems to warg into a raven and that makes sense. But that raven trip seemed short-lived because we don’t see the ravens again after making eye contact with the Night King.
Yet for nearly the entire time Bran is acting as bait, he’s Bran-tripping.
So, what was he doing?
Granted it could be nothing and I guess that’d be fine. But, you know, it’s nagging at me. It really is.
2. Stop Dragon My Heart Around
For almost the entire episode, Daenerys and Jon rode their dragons, which is smart. They’re dragons. The only one who wasn’t cool with the whole thing was Ghost. Ghost was sent to the front lines with Jorah and the Dothraki and we saw him charging, but that was it.
An aside: If you’re thinking it was bush league to let the Dothraki charge into the darkness, you have to remember that’s what those guys do. They charge. The Dothraki are open-field fighters whereas the Unsullied are trained to defend. It’s an x’s and o’s thing.
Anyway, Ghost might be dead guys.
We didn’t see Ghost die, though. If you don’t see them die, did they really die?
Ghost might not be dead guys.
Either way, Ghost is definitely feeling a little neglected these days. I’ve been there Ghost. I’m here if you need me, provided you aren’t dead, which I don’t think you are but I’m also not sure.
There were good dragon-related moments, like the dragons roasting Wights and dragons fighting each other. There were also bad dragon-related moments, like when Daenerys attempted to roast the Night King only to find out that homey don’t play that.
There was also the weird part where Jon and Dany were above the clouds and, I’m sorry, but when that happened the only thing I could think about was Tim Burton’s Batman and the time when the Batwing flew up and posed for pics in front of the moon.
We did get the dragon fight we were hoping for, but to be honest, it was a little hard to follow, as dragon fights can sometimes be. There’s the wings and the spinning and the fire—some orange and some blue—and you know, every time they show someone riding one of the damn things it looks kind of silly.
After the hard to follow—but totally dope that it happened—dragon fight, Jon ends up on the ground and Daenerys unsuccessfully tries to kill the Night King. For those keeping track: no, the Night King cannot be killed by dragon fire. He brushed it off like my daughter brushes off bopping her head on the table mid-sugar rush.
Jon chases him down to right outside Winterfell’s walls, and guys, we’re about to have it: Jon versus Night King, one-on-one, just the two of them fighting it out for the right to go on and face Cersei in the championship.
You would think Jon would have the upper hand whereas we’ve never actually seen the Night King fight. He could be good. Hard to say. He’s unproven in such a setting as far as we know. Mel Kiper could not be reached for comment but Todd McShay has always liked his motor and durability.
Let’s do this!
Oh wait. The Night King is a punk and because he’s a punk, he opts instead to raise up all the dead—both his dead and the recently dead—surrounding not just Jon, but EVERYONE, and well, now everything looks really dire for the home team.
But come on Night King. You’re supposed to be the Big Baddy. Don’t hide behind your goons. Fight your own fights. I thought that was a trash move on his part.
Once again Jon finds himself in a rough spot. We’ve seen this before—several times actually—and maybe this is the one time he doesn’t get bailed out and doesn’t make it out alive.
Daenerys saves him and Jon rushes to the Godswood to save Bran. Jon, I know things aren’t ideal from a boyfriend/girlfriend standpoint with you and Daenerys right now, but that’s mainly because y’all just found out you’re related. So either way, you definitely should have waited until she got off the ground before running away because there’s still a shitload of Wights around and well, now Daenerys is in a Jon Snow-like rough spot.
I was waiting for that.
Jorah heard what must be dragon for “oh shit” and came running, saved Daenerys, and then died. Jorah died. It was very sad. I’m still waiting on an official injury report but early indications are that Jorah is the biggest character to die. There’s Jorah, then Theon, then Little Lady Mormont, then Beric, and finally our man Edd.
Weren’t more people supposed to die? I thought so. That’s what the Internet told me and that thing is almost always right.
Well, at least Jon got to Bran and saved the day, right?
1. Arya! Things Make Sooo Much Sense Now.
Arya spent a lot of this series training. So much time training. She trained while on the road with The Hound and she trained over in Braavos. She trained when she returned to Winterfell. She trained hours before the battle started, with a few minutes set aside for her boy Gendry and his hammer.
Truth be told, there were definitely a few times when you may have found yourself wondering that perhaps it was all a bit much. What was the point of all of this? Why was the show making Arya this super duper killing machine? There had to be some long term reason, right?
Well, I am so glad you asked because apparently there most definitely was.
But first, let’s track Arya through the Battle of Winterfell. At the start, she’s watching from atop the wall with Sansa and essentially sees what we see, which is to say, nothing good if you have a heartbeat. Melisandre randomly emerged, lit the Dothraki’s swords on fire, which looked amazing, but that was short-lived. Things went south quick after that.
Melisandre comes back again, this time to light the trench. Great. Quick question though: where has she been for like, almost an entire season? She’s been MIA since appearing at Dragonstone when Daenerys first arrived at the start of season seven. Of course, we knew she was going to come back, seeing as how her last words were that she had to die in Westeros. I guess we’ll never know.
Then, when the Wights start climbing up the walls and manage to get over them, Arya starts spinning that Gendry Special of hers around like an effin’ boss. Or more precisely, like a super duper killing machine.
Davos had the same expression on his face that I have when my dog goes after tennis balls: just sheer amazement. Arya gives it her all, even inspiring The Hound to quit his bitching about fire. before having to beat feet out of there. Before she knows it, she’s found herself right in the middle of the horror portion of the evening’s broadcast.
There’s a narrow escape or two, quite a bit of running, a lot of panting and finally a last-second rescue by The Hound and Beric that soon results in Beric’s death.
No. Beric’s sacrifice.
My dude with the sweet flaming sword gave his life so The Hound and Arya could get away. You could for a second not think too much of it until Melisandre again shows up and says that The Lord of Light brought Beric back that last time for a reason and that reason was to save Arya, to which I then wrote in my notes “Is Arya the chosen one?”
Arya and The Red Woman reminisce some about the last time they met (it wasn’t under the best of circumstances) and poof, Arya peaces out after Melisandre asks her what do we say to death.
NOT TODAY, MOTHAFUCKA!!!
So much stuff happens after that—including a dragon fight—that you could be excused for forgetting about Arya. The Night King and his dudes saunter into the Godswood, take out Theon and he’s just about to take out Bran when—good God that’s Arya’s music!
She comes flying in from off the top rope and pulls the same sneaky dagger move she pulled on Brienne last season when they were training.
Game of Thrones: where literally everything that happens happens for a reason.
See you next week.