There are both bad news and good news at the end of Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 ‘The Long Night’. Good news, looks like the Dead are gone for good. Bad news, scores still died, although we were all expecting that, weren’t we? Here’s a lowdown on all the major characters who died in this (literal) killer of an episode, in chronological order. Read on!
The Lord Commander of Night’s Watch and one of the greatest wits on the show ever, Edison Tollett died protecting his friend and brother, Samwell. The most fitting way to go for the Black Brother, who stayed a Night’s Watchman till his last breath. We see him get resurrected later in the episode as dead, but he is unlikely to have caused much harm.
Lady Lyanna of House Mormont died exactly as she lived – fierce and fearless. She did not hesitate for a moment to charge at a wight giant several times her size. We could almost hear her bones cracking as the giant crushed her in his fist, but he did not account for the sheer courage of his captive. Lyanna waited for the right moment and took down the giant wight with a perfectly-timed Dragonglass jab in the eye, protecting hundreds with her last blow.
We have been told time and again that there is a reason the Lord of Light brought back Beric Dondarrion from death multiple times. This episode, we finally learnt that reason. Beric died protecting Arya Stark from an oncoming hoard of Dead, leaving her able to do what she was destined to do all along (coming to that in a moment).
He lived for his Khaleesi, and died for her. Jorah Mormont saved an unarmed Daenerys from almost certain death, protected her against a constant stream of dead attackers, and allowed himself to fall only when she was safe. In the earlier seasons, Jorah’s love for Daenerys was possessive, and he looked to undermine her other advisers at every opportunity. From there, he grew into loving her unconditionally and working for what’s best for her even at his own detriment. Jorah’s arc came full circle as a grieving Daenerys held his lifeless body and Drogon bowed his great head.
Given the emotional treatment the character received the last episode, Theon’s death was almost inevitable. He defended Bran in Godswood till the last arrow as one by one all his Ironborn comrades fell. He had taken Winterfell from Bran, and that crime has haunted him ever since. By thanking him in his final moments, Bran freed Theon from that enormous burden of guilt. As he charged at the Night King alone knowing full well what’s coming, Theon was finally in peace.
This was a total surprise and such a delightful one! Arya of House Badass (as Twitter dubbed her after the ep) realised from her conversation with Melisandre that it was she who was meant to end the Night King. That’s why Beric died protecting her (we told you we’re getting there). That’s why Bran gave her the Valyrian Steel Dagger in Season 7.
She came from the back, allowed the Night King to think he has conquered her, and then in a brilliant stealth move changed hands and struck where the Night King was most vulnerable. Remember how the Children of the Forest created Night King, by pushing a Dragonglass shard into his heart? Arya strikes her fatal blow right there, nullifying that ancient magic and reducing the Night King in a heap of brittle ice at the blink of an eye.
Not today, dear God of Death!
Melisandre has made a great many mistakes, some of them unforgivable. But in the Great Battle for Life against Death, she shines the brightest. In a way, she has always known this to be her destiny and tells Davos as much at the beginning of the episode when the Onion Knight seemed intent on executing her. With her duty completed, Melisandre walked into the gathering light, shedding the ruby neckless that held her life force voluntarily. Davos watched astonished as the hundreds of years of her life finally caught up with her, and the once beautiful body of Melisandre crumbled in the winter winds.
For now, let’s rejoice for the living and remember the Fallen. So long, Comrades!