Game of Thrones Round Table: Was the Battle of Winterfell Worth the Wait?

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Well, that was a wild installment!

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 featured the battle between the living and the dead, and there was an unlikely savior thrown into the mix. 

Below, TV Fanatics Christine Orlando, Carissa Pavlica, Becca Newton, and Paul Dailly discuss those big twists. 

Game of Thrones Round Table 660px

Arya defeated the Night King. React!

Christine: Yes! That was awesome. Everyone, including the Night King, has underestimated Arya, but she’s probably one of the smartest, most resilient badasses in the kingdom, and she proved it yet again by dropping that dagger into her right hand and taking him out with ease. 

Carissa: We've always known Arya was destined for great things. Defeating the Night King was cool, but it's nothing compared to the earlier scene of Arya ridding an entire section of the wall of enemies all by her little self. She's a star.

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies!

Becca: This should have been Bran’s moment. It seems like the showrunners couldn’t figure out how to depict Bran defeating the Army of the Dead and needed a character who could do so in a more film-friendly manner. 

The shock and her popularity must have factored into the decision of as well.          

Paul: I loved it! It was a great twist, and one I did not see coming. In hindsight, Arya's journey throughout the eight seasons makes sense. The stars aligned and allowed her to be at Winterfell during the most difficult battle yet. 

Lyanna's Big Moment - Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3

Which death hurt you the most, and why?

Christine: Lady Lyanna Mormont. Once again, everyone doubted her because she was small and female but she's always had the heart of a warrior.

I hated seeing her die but loved that the last act of this tiny, young woman was to destroy the giant that no one else could kill. 

Carissa: Jorah, mostly because of how broken up Dany was. She's suffered a lot through her young life, but losing him might have been the biggest blow.

Becca: Theon’s death hurt the most.  I knew he wasn’t coming out of the godswood alive, but because his redemption (despite his storyline receiving its fair share of mangling) felt earned, I didn’t want him to die.    

Paul: Lyanna. It was a brutal, but honorable way to go. She took the giant down with her. The other deaths were predictable. 

Daenerys In Battle - Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3

Daenerys survived the battle, along with two of her dragons. Much of her army was destroyed. What's next for her?

Christine: Now she’s going to have to rally what’s left of the troops and take on Cercei. Everyone feared the army of the dead, but will they see the need to take on the Lannister army that’s far south if they don’t perceive an immediate threat?

This will be a test of Dany’s leadership as we see who goes to fight and who stays behind. 

Carissa: She's going to have to prove she's worthy of the Iron Throne to those who are also worthy successors. It can't all be about dragons.

Becca: It’s the Iron Throne or bust.  She’ll need to finish her conversation with Jon, decide whether or not to believe he’s a Targaryen, and find out what he will do (or not do) about his claim. 

Even if she does believe Jon is a Targaryen, she’s not going to give up her pursuit of the Iron Throne.      

Paul: Daenerys is in for a rough time. She has her dragons, but not much of an army. Will people start to sour on her now that she's somewhat weaker?

It's possible. Beyond the battle at King's Landing, there's likely going to be some big tests for her. She's been so driven by her desire to take over the Iron Throne. It's bordered on obsession. 

Our Hero - Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3

Now that the war with the undead is won, who do you think will be the one to take out Cersei Lannister?

Christine: That’s a tough one. Cersei is one of those characters I love to hate. Part of me hopes Jamie takes her out after learning she’s trying to pawn off his child as someone else’s, but I doubt he could bring himself to kill her.

If Sansa did the deed it would certainly be satisfying as that woman put her through hell, but at this point, I’m just guessing. 

Carissa: The prophecy says it will be Arya. She can carry the hatred of thousands in her heart and skillfully defeat Cersei without her even knowing.

My prediction is she'll be wearing Jamie's face when she does it so that we can see Jamie kill Cersei as we want so badly, but Arya will do the deed and put an end to the prophecy.

Related: Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 Review: Not Today

Becca: It should be Jaime. I’m certain it will be Jaime in the books, but I’m less certain it will be him on the show. 

Arya was a possibility I considered before this season began airing, and I’m torn on whether her killing the Night King makes it more or less likely she will kill Cersei.

Suicide is another possibility; I could see the showrunners liking the idea of only Cersei could defeat Cersei.      

Paul: I could see Cersei killing herself to avoid giving anyone the satisfaction of saying they killed her. However, Jaime doing the deed would be awesome, but I can't shake the feeling it will be Arya wearing his face. 

A Sansa Smile - Game of Thrones

Sansa and Tyrion survived their stint in the crypt. Did you expect that to happen?

Christine: I would have been upset if they hadn’t survived. I loved the scene with the two of them hiding in the crypt, looking at one another as they listen to people being torn to pieces around them.

These two share an interesting bond, and I hope we get to see more of them together before the series is over. 

Carissa: With Cersei dead (because that's the end game here), I'd like to think the two are destined for reconciliation.

After their recent scenes, they seem more suited to each other than ever, and with that kind of bond, why not make a go of it if those standing in their way are out of the picture? 

Becca: I wasn’t worried about Sansa and Tyrion dying in the crypts. I was expecting characters who weren’t Starks, Targaryens, or Lannisters to be fair game and was surprised when many of those I had marked for death survived.         

Paul: I'm going to be totally honest here: Sansa has shown so much growth over the years, and I would have rioted if she died. That being said, I thought she was going to lose her life. 

She's Back! - Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3

Melisandre returned when everyone needed her the most. What are you taking away from her walking out of Winterfell in her true form and crumpling into a heap?

Christine: She was there for a purpose, and now her purpose was served. I was never sure I believed in her Lord of Light; at times I thought it was just a scam, but her actions during the battle and her death made me a believer in the end. 

Carissa: Agree with Christine here. Her job was done. She lived a long life, and she earned her rest.

Oh, what scene had me screaming at the TV? I'm glad you asked! When Dany didn't take Jon's word to bugger off and all the creeps started attacking Drogon.

That poor dear taking off fighting off his attackers and squealing really worried me!!

Becca:  I agree with Christine and Carissa.  Melisandre’s explanation of Donadarrion’s death is equally applicable to herself.   

Paul: It's a full house here. Melisandre pops up here and there, but this time, there was a huge payoff involved. 

Okay, Game of Thrones Fanatics!

What did you think of the episode?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Game of Thrones online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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