The Night King raises literal hell in episode 3. - Image: HBO

This past Sunday, April 28 marked a monumental moment for fans of the legendary HBO series Game of Thrones.

To avoid unnecessarily angering any slowpoke Game of Thrones viewers, here is your official spoiler alert: the following article contains information regarding Season 8 Episode 3 “The Long Night.” Do not read on if you haven’t seen it yet!

“The Long Night,” directed by Miguel Sapochnik, was a battle episode of truly epic proportions. Many longtime fans of the show correctly predicted that Episode 3 would center around a battle as Miguel Sapochnik also oversaw “Battle of the Bastards” and “Hardhome,” two other battle episodes.

Much like “Battle of the Bastards,” the so-called “Battle of Winterfell” that comprises Episode 3 is breathtaking in its expanse. The episode starts from the point of view of Samwell as he and every man, woman, and child prepare themselves for the highly anticipated attack of the White Walkers.

For 10 heart-pounding minutes, the camera pans from beloved character to beloved character – it feels like they could all be on the brink of death. With the Dothraki, Unsullied, wildlings, and people of Winterfell all fighting on behalf of the living, this was everything that the Starks and Daenerys, let alone the patient fans, have worked and waited for. It was a battle for life over death, light over darkness, and good over evil in true Manichaeistic fashion.

Grace Coulthurst, a sophomore GoT fan, summed up the anticipation and payoff of the battle perfectly.

“I swear, this episode of Game of Thrones nearly gave me a heart attack! I mean, over an hour of consecutive battle scenes is a lot to handle,” Coulthurst said. “Overall, though, I felt like this was probably one of the best episodes the show has released. It really kept the audience captivated and ended in a way no one was expecting.”

Truly no one could expect the ending of “The Long Night.” Just as it seemed inevitable that the dead would overrun Winterfell and their powerful Night King would kill Bran Stark, an unexpected hero emerged and struck the Night King “with the pointy end” to conclude the battle.

After the very long night ended, dawn emerged, and the seemingly never-ending story arc of the living versus the dead came to a close.

Arya used the pointy end. – Image: HBO

Some felt dissatisfied with the way the battle ended.

Andrew Biss, a junior GoT fan and curator of Rowan Triad’s Season 8 character Deathpool, expressed his thoughts. He said that the slaying of the Night King felt “rushed and somewhat anticlimactic…Bran did not seem to play as big of a part in the downfall of the Night King as the rumors were leading us to believe.”

However, he’s still a huge fan, and agrees with Coulthurst’s sentiments.

“This has got to be the best episode that has ever aired on TV. I was consistently on the edge of my chair for the whole hour, and even when it ended it still took a while for it to process in my mind,” Biss said. He still eagerly awaits the remaining 3 episodes, as does Coulthurst.

“It’s amazing seeing the show finally come together,” Coulthurst said.

Tune in next Sunday for Season 8 Episode 4, in which Cersei Lannister reenters the picture.

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