It’s prom night at Winterfell. Man and the dead are finally meeting across that snowy dance floor of the North. Theme: Snowflakes & Fantasy. Understandably, everyone is a bit nervous about this hook-up. There’s a lot of silence and pensive gazing. Until, finally, someone approaches for a first dance. And—oh shit, you nerds!—it’s a girl!
More specifically: it’s Melisandre; the Red Witch; the Lady on Facebook Who Says Not To Vaccinate Your Children Because the Lord of Light Will Protect Them.
Though the troops are already lined up, apparently no one has been telling the Dothraki that their dumb little sickles are definitely not going to kill ice zombies. So Melisandre asks Jorah, “Hey, could you tell them to hold their dumb little sickles up, so I can magi-BiC lighter them?”
And lo, she does her bullshit too, and the Dothraki’s dumb little sickles suddenly burn with the light of a thousand of the one light used to illuminate this entire episode. Offscreen, catty Eyepatch Firesword mutters, “I kind of thought fire weapons were my thing, but alright, you bitch.”
He doesn’t have long to complain, though: it’s time for the battle to begin.
It’s time to send in the utterly expendables.
Thusly, the first charge is led by the Dothraki. Because they don’t have a lead character in the mix anymore. And because apparently Daenerys isn’t worrying about the optics of being an über-Aryan ever-funneling non-whites into these desperate battles. It’s fine. It isn’t troublesome at all.
Anyway, Eyepatch Firesword’s hypothetical worries were for naught.
Led by Jorah, the most woefully pitiable White Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the Dothraki charge in and are immediately slaughtered. Jorah gets back somehow, though, and while he’s silent, you can just see it in his face: “Well, that was fucked. Did you guys just send me out there because you’re sick of me being such a sad loser, always bemoaning how I can’t kiss this woman who’s much younger, more powerful, and more attractive than me? You can be honest. Because it kind of felt like it.”
At the same time, Dany is observing how she just obliterated an entire people and culture. She’s almost wishing she hadn’t spent so long on her intricate wedding-day hair. Maybe she should have set aside some more time for planning this war? So, rightly, she calls an audible. What if, instead of saving the dragons for the final battle, use them now to fuck shit up with their massive deluges of fire? Like how it’s frustrating when the Power Ranger save the Megazord, when it could have just cleared everything out way earlier.
So she does that, with Jon Snow moping along in tow atop his own digital dragon.
Meanwhile, in the most planned but also most poorly planned element of this battle, Bran is wheeled out to under the tree-with-a-face, to be guarded by Theon and roughly a dozen other guys. Already at least a few hundred Dothraki have lost to this army, but sure, these 15 guys should work out.
While appreciative of Theon protecting him, Bran is, as usual, also a proper asshole about the whole situation. In his usual dead tone, he’s like, “Since I’m just in a chair anyway, may as well take a little white-eyed nap,” and he does. You figure he’s going to do something cool with it, but instead he just flies around in the brains of some ravens. This guy is such a turd for birds.
But you know who’s the bigger turd? It’s the Night King. And he’s here now. And he’s using his special tundra power to make it all snowy.
The spell or whatever leaves Dany and Jon Snow tossed around in a white fog, clinging for their lives to their little strips of scales that are clearly stationary in front of a greenscreen. It ends up an even more absurd, tedious dragon ride than the completely absurd, tedious dragon ride a couple episodes ago. Now almost incomprehensible, too!
Anyway, back at Winterfell proper, everyone is having their own nebulous battle in the dark. Sam almost dies, but this other guy instead dies saving him, and Sam clearly appreciates the sacrifice of… shit, he knows his name… definitely a guy from The Wall… you’d know him if you saw him… kinda balding, wears a lot of black?
Well, he appreciates that sacrifice of that guy.
Jaime and Brienne and all your other favorites just kind of swing around fighting zombies, and they’re pretty much all fine. The main exception: that cool little girl who is also a stern leader in the North. She gets squished by a zombie giant, but not before stabbing him in the eyeball to death.
In typical fashion, Arya ends up making short order of all kinds of these idiot zombie-guys, but after a clunk to the head, she takes to hiding in one of Winterfell’s fantastic accommodations. There, she runs into a group of wights who arbitrarily act like normal zombies instead of modern zombies; they’re all lumbering and dragging dead legs instead of sprinting at her, but they’re really good at hearing blood drops. Whatever!
Off at the gates of Winterfell: CLANG CLANG CLANG “FALL BACK” CLANG CLANG *Grey Worm check his phone worriedly* CLANG CLANG. Davos is like, “Well, guess we’d better light up these far better defenses than the human lives we used initially.” So they try to light up this shallow ditch surrounded by a slight but apparently gas-doused barrier. IT WON’T CATCH, THOUGH. Because it’s so very cold, and that’s how flammable chemicals work. But then Melisandre shows up and keeps praying on it happening, until it finally does, because she prayed SO HARD. But, spoiler alert: none of these idiots read Leiningen Versus the Ants in school, so the skeleton men get through.
Arya gets away from her own band of idiots, but she runs into another batch that aren’t so infuriatingly incongruous. Thankfully for her, some saviors arrive, though. It’s the Hound (the man who is literally an ugly dog turned into a man, because there’s nothing in the rules that says he can’t be) and Eyepatch Firesword. Soon into fighting off the undead horde, Eyepatch Firesword loses his invented surname when he heaves his firesword at some wights, so you know then that he’s pretty much fucked. And indeed, he is.
Arya and the Hound (the man sewn together from dog skins and raised by Marmaduke) end up running into Melisandre, who gives Arya a little pep talk. Arya heads off to her contrived destiny.
Night King finally shows up to fight with Dany and Jon Snow—all on their dragons, creating the worst of high fantasy first-world problems. Hey, it’s cool you all have DRAGONS YOU RIDE AS PETS, but can you get back to saving all your dying underlings?
Finally, through reasons scarcely perceptible, some quantity of dragons fight, and Jon Snow and Night King end up on the ground. Dany suddenly has a great idea: just shoot some fucking dragon fire at the Night King. Sadly, it’s clear she has never seen a Terminator film.
Night King walks right out of that fiery blaze, and before Jon Snow can hack up, he casts “raise dead.” Shit. Now all these dead dudes on the battlefield are alive.
ALSO, since this is an AoE spell, now all the dead in the crypts of Winterfell are alive, so everyone hiding down there is fucked too.
Cut to said crypt—where Sansa, Tyrion, et al. are tucked away—and the dead are rising from the grave. Sorry, not rising. Punching through stone from the grave, somehow. But everyone besides a couple old ladies are fine, and this scene was just to set up an uncomfortable continuance of Sansa and Tyrion’s romance, apparently.
Again: whatever! This episode and recap are long enough, and we have to move on.
Jon Snow goes off and cowardly fights the undead dragon like one fights a Dark Souls boss for the first time, solely looking for places to hide and dodge the attacks. But as it turns out, the bait of a lanky boy in a wheelchair worked out. We’ll get to that in a second, though.
First (probably?), let’s deal with how the pathetic older man has been killed defending the woman he definitely calls his “potential gf” when he talks about her online. Sorry, Jorah. See ya in Sad Dad Hell.
Off at the pareidolia tree, beside the handicap spot, Theon has inexplicably managed to kill off the first wave of undead attackers. But now he faces a larger threat: The Edgar Winter Group and their leader: the ol’ Night King, the unspeaking, un-articulated action figure of a man determined to bury his plastic icicle sword into Bran’s already-broken body.
Theon’s plan is to run at him full speed, and who woulda thought, it doesn’t work, so Theon is off to join his peen in being absolutely gone.
Night King approaches Bran, unsheathing his ridiculous dollar-store plastic icicle, potentially to stab the kid in a wheelchair in a scene that will win Night King NO new supporters. WHEN…
Arya leaps out of… wherever. Anyway, Night King grabs her, but she stabs him nonetheless, killing him and all his cronies.
Phew, because otherwise the next three episodes were just going to be Cersei dealing with the same shit!
As the sun rises on this new day no one was sure would come, Melisandre decides to make it about herself by dropping her anti-aging amulet, getting bare-ass naked, walking out into the battlefield, and dramatically dying.
Maybe Eyepatch Firesword was right about that drama queen. What a bitch.