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Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 Breakdown -- The Long Night

Dragons, the dead, and a whole lot of action--the Battle of Winterfell was suitably epic. Join Lucy, Ryan, Dave, and Tamoor as they break down the biggest battle Westeros has ever seen.

After a nine-year wait--or longer, if you've been reading the books since the '90s--Game of Thrones' big fight with the dead reached its climax on Sunday. HBO delivered the show's longest episode ever, clocking in at 82 minutes. As we've seen a few times before, Season 8, Episode 3--"The Long Night"--centered entirely around a single fight--in this case, The Battle of Winterfell, which saw the forces of the Night King take on Jon, Dany, Arya, and company in a fight between the living and the dead. It's proven to be a controversial entry in the series for a number of reasons, as you can read about in our Episode 3 review. In the video above, some of our biggest Game of Thrones fans offer their take on this supersized episode. Spoiler warning for the video above and text below.

If you're looking for more, HBO has released a behind-the-scenes breakdown of how the episode came together, and we've assembled a list of Easter eggs and references you might have missed, either because of the general darkness or because they were extremely deep cuts. However you might feel about The Long Night, it proved to be a major event--it was the most-viewed episode of Game of Thrones ever.

Episode 4 is coming this Sunday, and a preview trailer teases how it will set up the final big battle between the remaining forces in the north and those in King's Landing. We'll surely get more deaths once that goes down, but those in Episode 3 left us feeling cold. Cersei surely won't be satisfied until all of her enemies are dead, and we know she's already dispatched Bronn to deal with her siblings. Whether he sees her wish fulfilled remains to be seen, but one thing that's looking increasingly likely is Cleganebowl. With The Hound and The Mountain both still alive (well, sort of), these final episodes are primed to give us the showdown between the two that we got a small taste of back in Season 1.

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peterhorner1867

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I loved how dark it was. It felt a really authentic atmosphere rather than the night scenes you normally get which are over-lit. When bursts of light did appear - Dragon fire, sword fire, the fire ring around the walls etc - it looked phenomenal

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June-GS

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I'm not getting into the military, strategic or tactical mistakes of the episode simply because that would take far too long. I mean, just as an example: Right at the VERY beginning, they didn't even think to recon the enemy lines using highly-mobile Dothraki scouts (using the dragons to survey could've been too dangerous coz of the Night King's magic javelins) so they could at least ascertain the enemy's frontline composition, which would've prevented them from making that disastrous cavalry charge into that (undead mammoth) anti-cavalry line.

@ryanerikp and @mixedbizness:

Anyway, besides that, I just wanna say a couple of less-serious things: First of all, the correct term is "cavalry" not "calvary" as you kept saying in the entire video (I'm not sure if you did so in earlier episodes). "Cavalry" is the mounted units, while "Calvary" is where Christ was crucified near Jerusalem. It's no big; many of my own friends get that wrong; it's just an FYI for ya.

Secondly, that "knife move" Arya made, as you guys put it, has always been part of advanced hand-to-hand combat training in the military. But in terms of pop-culture, as far as my friends & I can remember, it was first "popularized" in the film The Hunted back in 2003, where Tommy Lee Jones plays a veteran instructor who teaches those knife-combat skills to Benicio Del Toro's assassin character. And that predates the later Resident Evil: Apocalypse Alice scene or the MUCH-later Star Wars Rey scene.

Thirdly, I can't believe none of you guys commented on Ser Davos, not even Tamoor & Dave! I mean, haven't you all written him off as dead just last week? Now don't get me wrong, he is definitely one of my personal favorites, but come on! You say Sam "shouldn't" have survived? But he's still young & strong, he's got a family to protect at all cost AND yes, he's killed a White Walker before. But as for Davos, he's only a knight by name. He's old and has "no combat skills whatsoever", he said so himself! He's basically an old non-combatant adviser who should be down in the crypts right by Tyrion! The fact that he survived that World War Z TSUNAMI of zombies (right behind Arya) is just the first feat! The second feat is while super-tough warriors like Brienne & Tormund & Sandor looked absolutely ravaged AND exhausted, Davos looked like he just came down from the attic from all the stupid spring-cleaning! The third feat is... drumroll... after that Apocalyptic Horror that they all just went through, I can't believe he STILL had the presence of mind to think, "Oh sh--, almost forgot about Mel!", and quickly ran to the gates, with sword ready to attack.

Yes, I know he hates her because of Shireen, but man...

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SirNormanislost

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my biggest niggle (bigger than how dark the episode was) was that they had all that battle experience planning the defense and then opened up with a head on cavalry charge.... it was done for dramatic effect obviously but it just seems retarded

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June-GS

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@SirNormanislost:

To be fair, sir, running down unspeared AND chaotic undead infantry using a full cavalry charge (armed with burning anti-undead weapons) COULD have been a sound tactic. But NOT at that moment, and not at that place. And certainly not BLINDLY like that! As I BRIEFLY mentioned in my comment above, sending out some light Dothraki scouts just to check out enemy unit composition would have made a WORLD of difference. For one thing, they wouldn't have charged an undead-mammoth frontline. I, for one, would've taken them out first with incendiary artillery (the trebuchets & then the catapults when they get too close) and long-range archers. But as you alluded to in your comment, if the battle was too logical, it also wouldn't have been so "dramatic", would it? ;)

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REDShadowG

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This episode had me tense as ****, I won't lie. Arya so badass too.

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June-GS

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@REDShadowG:

Totally agreed, on both points.

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RolloMartins

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Edited By RolloMartins

Since Beric was brought back to save Arya it made me wonder if someone else was too: The Hound. He was left to die by Arya and perhaps he actually did. But he was needed in episode 3 for the assassination of the Night King, so the Lord of Light (or Bran) raised him up once again.

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Xaxa

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stop posting non-gaming content, this is still GAMEspot, no? What does this have to do with games? still when i visit u half of the page is non-gaming related (or sponsored bad games)

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skippert

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@xaxa: Plenty of other sites out there, good luck.

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salty101

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@xaxa: GAMEspot, GAME of thrones.

I don't see the issue here.

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mixedbizness

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mixedbizness  Staff

@salty101: lmaoooo

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NSA_Protocol44

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@salty101: LOL nice one

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mandzilla

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mandzilla  Moderator  Online

That ending was total cheese.

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Edited By gotrekfabian

I too was generally happy with how the Long Night played out despite a few niggles in the filming process (dark viewing and little of the real battle was seen, some plot holes and character inconsistencies). Just like Tam, I was cheering for Arya as though I was at a football match and am glad it was her who took the final blow for the destruction of the walkers. I have felt for a long while that Jaqen H'ghar was grooming her for this role and didn't just want her to be a slave to The House of Black and White. His wry smirk as she told him "A girl is Arya Stark" when she left to head home for Winterfell spoke volumes as far as I was concerned. The Many Faced God would be proud of her for that kill.

Death of the week had to go to Lyanna Mormont for her epic kill in the face of guaranteed death. It was Sass Vs Sasquatch and once again, Lil Queen Sass won (Wunwun?) that one!

It's tough to say what is next to come but I feel that Clegane Bowl is now raising incrementally in the likelihood stakes, Euron Vs Jaime is bound to happen along with Euron slating him for his incest, and the aftermath of the Targaryen reveal is about to flare too. But what of Sansa? Seeing her left at Winterfell suggests either the story in the north is complete but surely there is more of her tale left. She too has beef with Cersei but I find it unlikely that she will end her and I'm still sticking with Jaime (or a deformed foetus born of incest) being the one that kills her.

I enjoy the character Brienne btw but Gwendoline Christie sounding like she's playing Venus Williams on centre court at Wimbledon every time she swings a sword really grates on me now.

Many are saying that they have now given up on GoT but I'm as gripped as ever. Jon ftw!

?❄️?

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Scud12

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Edited By Scud12

so what's the power of dragon glass made weapons and valyrian steel blades when the night king can rise the whites again after having butchered by that weapon? is it just the same as cutting them with the ordinary sword? the night king can bring them back again anyway?

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skippert

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@scud12: Its not like the white walkers were carrying dragon glass or valyrian steel weapons...

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gotrekfabian

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Edited By gotrekfabian

@scud12: As @JSprunk said, if a wight (not white btw) is killed via valyrian steel, dragonglass/obsidian or fire then they are unable to be animated by the Night King. All the corpses which were animated have been killed by something other than those three types of death already mentioned.

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JSprunk

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@scud12: The dead that were raised during the battle were not the same ones slain by dragon glass or valyrian steel. They were the dead killed by the white walkers.

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JSprunk

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The Targeryon sigil is a dragon with white hair and really dark eyebrows.

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