'Game of Thrones' Battle of Winterfell Drove Fans Apart. Was It Relieve vs Disappointment
The third episode of Season Eight promised to be one of the most intense in not only ‘Game of Thrones’ but television history. It definitely delivered with a horribly dark Battle of Winterfell where some important characters perished, but the Night King was finally defeated. However, not every fan was alright with the fact that there were so many survivors. Let’s find out why!
NOT MANY IMPORTANT DEATHS
Before April 28, 2019, every ‘Game of Thrones’ fan was sure that most characters would die in the Battle of Winterfell. After all, overcoming an army of undead soldiers was never going to be easy. Furthermore, there were thousands more of them than living people, and most of the living were not trained soldiers. However, the plan was to draw out the Night King.
It was the only way they could hope to defeat the army because the leader of the undead can just bring bodies back, including those that died in that battle. His numbers barely dwindled. His magic keeps them standing. But, the episode started with an expected situation. After Melissandre lit up the Dothraki arakhs, we thought they would have a fighting chance, but when they marched toward the dead, each light went out quickly.
It was an eerily quiet moment for the rest of the living as the Dothraki have always been known as ruthless fighters. A while later, the dead came closer to the Winterfell castle and fought against the Unsullied and the soldiers gathered from the North with Brienne at the lead. The episode was the perfect representation of “the night is dark and full of terrors”.
It was very hard to see, and most of us thought that many of our favorite characters died several times, but actually most of them survived. It was incredibly surprising since we had been expecting a great number of deaths because Episode Two was so peaceful. Fans were bracing themselves for the worst such as another Stark death.
Even the dragons were in danger, but both Rhaegal and Drogon made it despite the trouble. Jon’s direwolf is alive as well. There is still no word on how many soldiers or Unsullied survived, but the important people that perished were Jorah Mormont, Edd, and Theon Greyjoy. They had been part of the show for several years.
However, fan-favorite Lyanna Mormont died facing an undead giant and killing him in the process. Meanwhile, Beric Dondarrion was lost after he sacrificed himself to save Arya. Aside from the Night King, the rest of the main characters survived the grueling battle that lasted all night. Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, and Tormund were expected to die but managed.
Ser Davos once commented that he had been in many battles without any combat training and survived, which made fans think that he would not be so lucky this time. Meanwhile, Samwell Tarly was awfully scared throughout the entire episode and on the verge of dying every time he was shown, but he survived as well.
NOT THE NORM
Unlike most television shows, ‘Game of Thrones’ has never been afraid of killing main characters. The death of Ned Stark changed the landscape of TV series forever, and the others that have been lost along the way are more proof. Therefore, it was extremely shocking that they kept a lot of people alive. However, they have also kept important characters alive in other tricky circumstances.
Jon Snow was even killed and brought back. The problem is that the Night King was the deadliest creature in Westeros – even scarier than the dragons. Everyone expected a bigger death toll, especially from the remaining Starks who, according to many theories, might be related to the White Walkers in the first place.
Additionally, the show was not afraid to kill other Starks after Ned’s beheading. Catelyn, Rob, his wife, and their unborn child were brutally murdered in the Red Wedding. The youngest Stark, Rickon, was killed right before the Battle of the Bastards. Only Arya, Sansa, Bran, and Jon remain, and Bran acted as bait for the Night King. So, things looked back for the pack.
Aside from complaining about how dark the episode was, some fans said that they were unhappy with the lack of deaths in this episode. It is ironic because everyone should be happy that beloved characters are not gone. However, they believe that the show has lost something by having a bunch of survivors.
Some acknowledged that the episode was rough, but it was not what they thought it would be.
One of the main characteristics of the series was its difference from every other story that safeguarded their main people. This battle was the hardest of their lives, and everyone thought it would be a blood bath. It was, of course, but the casualties were not important to the story. Theon’s death was heroic, and the culmination of an incredible storyline, but people were not satisfied anyway. Some fans thought,
“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."
For many people, it meant that the show was not the same, especially because George R.R. Martin has not written the rest of the novels. Some fans online said, “Game of Thrones has gone soft.” Another person said, "Too scared to kill off major characters."
Luckily, there are others who decided to look on the bright side because, for the first time in the series’ history, we didn’t lose that many people. Some characters had been on the show since Season One, and that increased their chances of getting killed, and the heartbreak would have been more intense because everyone loves them by now.
However, some reminded people about the major casualties like Lyanna and Jorah, whose deaths mean the end of House Mormont. Additionally, Melisandre also perished, although she was not killed by a wight or a walker. One user explained,
"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."
'Game of Thrones' has never bent to public opinion, and that is one of the best things about it.
The show may actually be building for a big death toll as there is still the war against Cersei Lannister, who just got the Golden Company of Essos to join her cause. Let us know what you thought about the lack of deaths at the Battle of Winterfell. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who had mixed reactions about Episode Three too. See you next time!