Game Of Thrones Episode 3: 22 Easter Eggs & References You Might Have Missed In "The Long Night"
Game of Thrones Season 8 spoilers ahead!
There's plenty to say about Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3, "The Long Night." You might be wondering why this huge battle's deaths were disappointing, what Melisandre said to Arya back in Season 3, and just what the battle tactics this episode actually were. For a deep dive into each episode of Season 8, check out GameSpot of Thrones with Westeros superfans Lucy, Ryan, Tamoor, and Dave each week as we count down the final six episodes of Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones Season 8 is halfway done, and we're still just scratching the surface of everything the show needs to wrap up. As of Episode 3, "The Long Night," the fight with the dead is over. Even if you think it wrapped up a little--or a lot--too easily, that still leaves the fight with Cersei Lannister and the Golden Company, and this battle is likely to be messier.
For now, we're looking at "The Long Night" and picking out as many Easter eggs, references to the books, and callbacks to earlier seasons as we can find. You can check those out below.
If you're interested in what comes next for the show, HBO has released an Episode 4 teaser trailer and photos of what's to come. As you might expect, they don't reveal any major events, but it does give us some sense of where things are going--and they confirmed what happened Ghost and Rhaegal, both of which were conspicuously absent from the late stages of Episode 3.
We might also finally, at long last, get the Cleganebowl that fans have been clamoring for since the two brothers went at it in Season 1. It might even continue a storyline involving the Lord of Light that seemed like it might have ended with Melisandre and Beric.
When you're done here, check out some of our other Game of Thrones Season 8 coverage:
- Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 "The Long Night" Review
- Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3: What Happened To Ghost?
- 5 New Game of Thrones Season 8 Theories From Episode 3, "The Long Night"
- Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3: What Happened to Jon's Dragon Rhaegal?
- Game Of Thrones Season 8: Every Character Still Alive In The Final Season (Updated)
1. The Battle Begins
Throughout Season 8, the board tiles in the opening credits sequence have been flipping over and turning blue to mark the White Walkers' progress as they marched south. This episode, the blue tiles reached Winterfell. Wonder what this sequence will look like next week?
2. Alys Karstark Cameo
The sometimes there, sometimes not head of House Karstark was glimpsed briefly in this episode walking with Theon and Bran. Presumably she survived the battle, since we didn't see her death, but it feels just as likely that we'll never see her again.
3. Ghost: Still There, Technically
After briefly glimpsing Ghost in last week's episode, this show featured an even more substantial (but still not nearly enough) shot of Jon's direwolf. He charged into battle alongside the Dothraki, and then was never seen again. Is Jon's increasing estrangement from his wolf a symbolic expression of his transformation from a Stark into a Targaryen? Actually, it seems more likely that the show's creators just don't care about Ghost and would rather spend their CG budget on flashy dragon fights.
4. The Final Fire Swords
Melisandre reappeared in this episode to commit a few final acts of magic, including lighting the Dothraki's swords on fire (not that it made any difference). With her and Beric's deaths, we may have just seen the last of Game of Thrones' flaming swords, which have been a part of the show for a long time, whether in Beric and Thoros's hands or Stannis's. Then again, maybe Sandor will turn to R'hllor's magic to finally kill his brother, The Mountain, in the long-awaited Cleganebowl.
5. Call And Response
We got a nice moment between Melisandre and Grey Worm--two foreigners from distant lands--in their exchange of the ritual words "Valar Morghulis/Valar Dohaeris." These phrases were first referenced between Arya and Jaqen many seasons ago, and they translate to "All men must die/All men must serve."
6. To Execute Or Not To Execute
The last time Davos saw Melisandre, he promised to kill her if she ever returned to the North. Despite that, the Onion Knight seems conflicted when confronted with the choice. Luckily, Mel assures him that he won't have to follow through, and sure enough, she finally allows herself to die from old age by dawn.
7. Stick 'Em With The Pointy End
This sage advice, given by Arya to Sansa before the latter took shelter in the crypt, has been referenced many times. It was first uttered by Jon Snow to Arya when he gave her the sword Needle in the show's second episode.
8. Get Those Dragons Some Leg Warmers
The Night King's assault on Winterfell is so effective in part because the chilly weather he brings with him weakens Jon and Dany's dragons. This was established back in Season 8, Episode 1, when Dany remarks that her dragons aren't faring well in the northern climate. There's also some information in George R.R. Martin's books about this--in the recently released Westeros history tome Fire and Blood, the author recounts a story about Queen Alysanne Targaryen, whose dragon Silverwing refused to even pass beyond the Wall.
9. Arya To The Rescue
Arya didn't just kill the Night King this episode. She may have needed Sandor's help eventually, but at one point, she also saved the Hound. The Stark assassin has really come a long way from plotting to kill everyone who ever wronged her, Sandor included.
10. Davos The Airport Ramp Agent
Not that he could have realized it at the time, but as Davos stood before Winterfell waving those torches in the air, he genuinely looked like a ramp agent at the airport waving at taxiing planes. I wonder if that moment was supposed to be funny.
11. The Collapsing Bridge
The mechanism used to collapse the bridge over Winterfell's flaming spike moat was first introduced in the previous episode. They used it exactly as intended; although in reality, it proved to be a minor speed bump to the army of the dead.
Grey Worm's rallying cry is actually just that: "Dovoghedhi" is Astapori Valyrian for "Unsullied."
Image: HBO/Helen Sloan
13. Arya's First Battle
It was easy to forget while Arya was kicking butt in this episode, but in a very real way this was her first battle. It was also the first--and most likely only--time we got to see her use that badass spear-thing Gendry made for her. Too bad it didn't last longer.
Image: HBO/Helen Sloan
14. Beric's Purpose
There's been much speculation, both on the show and off it, about Beric Dondarrion's purpose. The Lord of Light must have brought him back to life over and over again for a reason, right? In "The Long Night," that purpose was revealed: He was there to save Arya so she could kill the Night King. Allegedly, at least. Either way, that's probably the best answer we'll ever get.
Image: HBO/Helend Sloan
15. Arya And Mel
"I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes--eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again." Melisandre delivered this prophecy to Arya back in Season 3, and literally nobody predicted that it would be the most important foreshadowing in the entire show. Who even remembered this before last night?
Image: HBO/Helen Sloan
16. Remember Syrio?
The line "What do we say to the god of death? Not today," is a callback to Season 1, when Arya's swordplay instructor, Syrio Forel, taught Arya that mantra in King's Landing.
17. The Crypts Come Alive
There was a lot of foreshadowing about the Winterfell crypts, leading up to and during Season 8. That all culminated when the corpses interred down in these tunnels busted out and started murdering people. Not that it mattered much, since no main characters died and no recognizable Starks returned.
18. Actually That Is Teela (Update)
Update: OK, Teela actually was in the crypts this episode. We were looking at the wrong little girl. Look, there were a lot of characters down there. It happens.
The little girl Davos encountered in Episode 2, whose name is apparently Teela (according to HBO's closed captions), was spotted again hiding in the crypts with Varys. Or was she? We thought so, until we looked more closely at the image above. Yeah, that's not the same little girl. Cool.
19. Edd's One Wish
Good old Dolorous Edd's famous quote, "Last man left, burn the rest of us--because when I die, I don’t want to come back," bit him in the behind when his worst fear came true. Luckily for him, it didn't last long, thanks to a little deus ex machina named Arya.
20. Arya's Knife Trick
The knife trick Arya used to trick the Night King is the same one she used while sparring with Brienne in Season 7. Apparently it's equally easy to gank an 8,000-year-old demon and Brienne-of-f***ing-Tarth.
21. The Stab To End All Stabs
The exact location Arya stuck her pointy end in at the episode's conclusion may be significant. HBO's after-episode featurette revealed that she was meant to stab the Night King in the same location as the Children of the Forest when they created the White Walkers. That can be interpreted multiple ways: Maybe she had to stab him in the heart, or maybe that event thousands of years earlier actually took place at the future location of Winterfell's Godswood. If it's the former, it also ties in with something the Hound taught Arya a long time ago: how to slip a knife in between your victim's ribs to get at their heart, which is easier than stabbing them right in the chest.
Then again, with how Valyrian Steel works, she probably could have knicked him on a finger and gotten the same result.
22. Remember When Melisandre Died Of Old Age
Just in case you forgot, Melisandre is actually extremely old--possibly hundreds of years. When she took off her enchanted necklace at the very end of the episode, she apparently dropped dead of simple old age. Nice knowing you, I guess.
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