Entertainment / Game of Thrones S8 E3: Cathartic final stretch caps off this all-action episode

The New Indian Express : May 01, 2019, 09:56 AM

Viewers did expect some surprises from Game of Thrones, but I can bet your bottom dollar that the resolutions of Episode 3 are quite unexpected. This makes it all the more tougher to write a review spoiler-free. Episode 3 is that you know what you have signed up for. Over seven seasons, and especially over the last two episodes, the stage has been getting set for the most important battle of the series.

Viewers did expect some surprises from Game of Thrones, but I can bet your bottom dollar that the resolutions of Episode 3 are quite unexpected. This makes it all the more tougher to write a review spoiler-free. Episode 3 is that you know what you have signed up for. Over seven seasons, and especially over the last two episodes, the stage has been getting set for the most important battle of the series.Game of Thrones has excelled at such callbacks all season. Remember the Battle of Blackwater? Cersei, the high Queen, was in the Red Keep alongside all the women and children. At a pivotal moment, she sends word to get Joffrey to her. A mother’s instinct and the Lannisters’ unwritten motto of doing everything for their family. In this season, Sansa is asked by Arya to go down to the crypt. She refuses initially and asks what kind of example she would be setting. A queen’s mark and the Starks’ unwritten motto of doing everything for the welfare of the Northerners.

There is another beautiful parallel in this episode in the form of Beric Dondarrion. A famed knight who had grown weary of the politics of Westeros, Beric has been resurrected multiple times by Thoros of Myr, a follower of the Lord of Light. After the latter’s demise, Beric has been fighting with the knowledge that this time, death would be certain. What happens to him is a callback to a famous, gutwrenching deaths of a fan-favourite character, two seasons ago.

What this episode lacks in finesse, it more than makes up for in style. The trenches dug in the last episode as well as the ominous references to the crypts of Winterfell both come into play. Lyanna Mormont, the firebrand child queen, gets two terrific scenes. As these various smaller moments built up to a crescendo, in the background so too does the music of Ramin Djawadi, as it takes centrestage, just like it did in the opening sequence of the season six finale, which was set alight by the tremendous Light of the Seven track.This episode, the Long Night, is most rewarding with headphones plugged in, on account of all the smaller details that Ramin has put into his work. His final orchestration lasting nearly 13 minutes is mesmerising, and as deaths keep piling on, just as the final blow is about to land, the story, in true Game of Thrones style, takes a terrific twist.

Clocking in at 78 mins, this episode was reportedly shot for 55 nights in the cold reaches. The jury is out on the handling of a few characters, and despite all its pluses, the writing in this episode and the ending does reek of plot armour. The Night King not being affected by dragon fire, Arya doing what she does… It’s safe to say that Game of Thrones has once again opened itself to some wild theories.