- Warning: Major spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode four, “The Long Night.”
- The Battle of Winterfell took out some major characters, but also left a surprisingly large number alive.
- Many fans are weirdly disappointed and believe it didn’t make sense to allow so many fan favourites to live, especially when it comes to characters who aren’t trained warriors.
- Others are relieved that characters survived when they were previously thought to be doomed.
A surprising number of characters survived the most recent episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” – especially considering many fans were fully prepared to watch their favourite characters die in the bloody, brutal Battle of Winterfell.
me prepping for tomorrow pic.twitter.com/Y3FzZPIXxZ
— meekrö wævē ♎︎ (@jilleeann_) April 27, 2019
The third episode from the final season, titled “The Long Night,” did see a number of major characters killed by the Army of the Dead. Jorah Mormont, Edd, and Theon Greyjoy had been featured on the show since the first season. Lyanna Mormont was a huge fan favourite, and Beric Dondarrion heroically sacrificed himself for Arya.
But every other major character, aside from the Night King himself, emerged from the battle unscathed.
Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, and Tormund were presumed by many fans to be all but doomed. Ser Davos has acknowledged, numerous times, that he’s not much of a fighter. Samwell Tarly nearly died every time he was onscreen.
I keep revisiting this ???? pic.twitter.com/t8DLvCKnNP
— Mysa Mami (@Brieyonce) April 25, 2019
For a popular TV show, it’s not unusual to preserve major characters against odds. But the Night King showdown has been teased as the single most deadly event in the show’s history, literally since the “Game of Thrones” series premiere.
This turn of events was particularly surprising given the show’s history with killing beloved characters, ruthlessly and unsentimentally.
Ned Stark, who was arguably the primary protagonist at the show’s outset, was murdered on the first season. Most of the Starks have subsequently died, all three of Cersei’s children were killed, and some of Westeros’ most powerful families have been wiped out completely.
Many fans are disappointed the show has seemingly ‘lost its nerve’
Okay so… what the fuck is going to happen in the next three episodes? Why the fuck didn’t more people die? WHY ISN’T SAMWELL TARLY DEAD YET??? #GameOfThrones
— Bee ???? (@dxbee) April 29, 2019
“‘Game of Thrones’ biggest claim to fame is its gritty realism and willingness to kill off main characters. The fact that this was an unwinnable battle meant everyone went into it expecting a massacre of characters we love,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“And yet,” they continued, “so few main main characters died. And all the deaths were heroic. There was no just seeing characters cut down in the battle. Their deaths were typical fantasy deaths, and not the ‘realistic/gritty’ stuff people expect.”
And yet. So few main main characters died. And all the deaths were heroic. There was no just seeing characters cut down in the battle. Their deaths were typical fantasy deaths, and not the 'realistic/gritty' stuff people expect from #GoT #gameofthrones 2/?
— Nat J (@natcat5) April 29, 2019
“Game of Thrones has gone soft,” another person wrote. “Too scared to kill off major characters.”
Great episode but a BULLSHIT ending that made NO SENSE and no character of significance was killed off.
Game of Thrones has gone soft.
Game of Thrones has the Walking Dead curse now.
Too scared to kill off major characters.
They just fake kill em.#TalkTheThrones #gameofthrones
— Prince GMO (@PrinceG_MO) April 29, 2019
Others, however, are satisfied with the death toll
Many fans noted that some of the unlucky characters had been around for a long time, which gave their deaths more emotion and gravity.
All the people complaining about the amount of deaths we got in the episode we had 8 major characters die two of them had been around since the pilot so yeah think about that next time before saying nobody died. #GameofThrones #BattleOfWinterfell
— Gianni Rosas (@RosasGianni) April 29, 2019
Others pointed out that six major characters died – including Melisandre, who wasn’t killed but appeared to meet her end – which is quite a lot for just one episode.
“What #GameofThrones has always done so well is subvert expectations,” one person wrote. “Major characters died when you least expected it, so it shouldn’t be surprising that major characters DIDN’T die when you MOST expected it.”
What #GameofThrones has always done so well is subvert expectations. Major characters died when you least expected it, so it shouldn’t be surprising that major characters DIDN’T die when you MOST expected it ????
— Adam Schick (@AdamDSchick) April 29, 2019
There are still three episodes left – plenty of time for more characters to bite the dust.
- Read more:
- Every ‘Game of Thrones’ character who survived the Battle of Winterfell
- ‘Game of Thrones’ left the fate of a few beloved characters ambiguous after Sunday’s massive battle
- HBO’s teaser for the next ‘Game of Thrones’ episode shows the threat our heroes will grapple with after the Battle of Winterfell
- ‘Game of Thrones’ keeps adding fuel to a popular ‘Evil Daenerys’ fan theory, but her path forward is more complicated
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