803 - “The Long Night”

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  • Hey I thought of another Arya topic we can argue about.

    When they have their war council, planning the battles etc., no one says "hey Arya can you take a stab at the NK" and Arya doesn't speak up either. Why? I'm thinking either even she didn't know or think she was that good until the moment called for it, or she figured no one else would believe in her.

    When people say "she didn't finish her training with the Faceless Men" - so what? It doesn't mean she didn't learn anything. That's like saying you know nothing at the end of your junior year and then suddenly senior year you learn everything. That's not how education works. They didn't always use hand-to-hand combat anyway, (I remember poison playing a big role) and it's easier to be stealthy when you look like someone else. She's definitely a trained assassin at this point, even if she doesn't have her piece of paper from Faceless Men U.

    So I'm starting to look at this moment of Arya killing the NK not only as a huge plot moment that wins the war against the undead, but as a private victory for Arya, and paired with her sexual experience last week, kind of a "coming of age" moment for her. I'm reality interested to see how the other characters treat her when they see her next.
    Benmjmullady
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    edited May 2019
    How many people know she's an assassin? They know Sansa chose her as executioner, some of them know she seems to be able to handle weapons like she knows what she's doing, but I know if it's widely known.

    Do people know she killed all the Freys? I would think people would act differently around her if they knew that. 

    But also, your overall question goes back to the poor tactics and strategy displayed. It's not that they didn't ask Arya to kill him. They didn't ask anyone.

    I don't know what page it's on anymore but I wrote up how I'd keep the same general outline to the episode while making tweaks to all the small things.

    As stated last week, Bran is bait. But if that's true... What was the trap that was being sprung!

    They weren't supposed to guard Bran at all costs. They said they were going to lure the Night King to expose him. 

    But expose him to what? 

    My biggest change would have been to have Jorah, Jaime, and Brienne alone or with squads, waiting in perfect ambush spots to try to kill him if dragon fire failed. They each fail and get cut off or surrounded, and Jorah goes to protect Dany. 

    This gives those characters, especially Jaime and Brienne, something to actually do in the episode rather than just be in danger. (Plus make use of the reverence everyone in Westeros has about Valyrian steel.) And when we cut to them surrounded, we're also seeing each of them wasn't able to get the kill despite their best efforts, all the more propping up Arya for accomplishing what they couldn't. 

    Assigning them roles and overlooking Arya would have done what you are saying, but it's diminished when the main characters create a bait plan with zero plan on what to do when the Night King comes to take that bait and Arya saves the day because Mellisandre, who was never part of the planning for any of the battle, tipped her off that she was the one. 
    Schluppbudesigns
  • "If you think they are going to stick the landing in the final three episodes... You haven't been paying attention" 
    Doctor_NickSchlupptelephoneofmadnessAnominalBroRad33majjam0770MFGbbordbudesigns
  • I rewatched the war council scene and it was clear to me that the plan was to draw the NK out and then go after him with the dragons. (Jon says "we" at one point, meaning he and Daenerys) Arya asks Bran if that will work, and he says no one has ever tried it. Definitely someone should have come up with a plan B, but the plan A was clearly to hold off the invading wights until the NK shows up and J and D can get him with the dragons. 

    It's true, very few people, if anyone, know she's an assassin, at least if we go by what's been discussed on screen. But she should know, and Bran knows everything so i assume he knows.
  • edited May 2019


    "Only the penitent man will pass"



    check


    In the northern alphabet Lyanna Mormont starts with an eye.



    check

    "Only in the leap from the lion's head will she prove her worth."
    It's build to hide inside. Tyrion probably brought it as a wedding gift for Sansa. Arya simply leaped down from there.
    Like with Columbus ships the white walker couldn't see it because they have no concept for lions. And we are seeing everything from their perspective in that scene.






    Proportions match, especially if it was a nosedive, so yeah, check

    Prophecy confirmed, it all checks out.
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    edited May 2019
    Oh right, (thanks for rewatching that, that's what I remembered but wasn't sure) the plan is "clear" now. I can just imagine it now the off camera detail planning. 

    "Okay, we're going to roast the Night King with the dragons, but only when he's on the ground standing still and staring up in defiance. We'll never take a shot at breathing fire in the air, despite wights being vulnerable to fire and just maybe undead Viserion is too. That might be too easy, so we're going with claws only even he uses fire at us. So only when the Night King is on the ground, and only if he's outside the castle.

    "Because if he makes it inside we have no plan.

    "We do have a plan for some defenses inside the courtyard though because of course the wights will make it that far. But rememeber to tell the Night King to stay outside. He is not invited and we have no plan if he makes it inside. Theon is only supposed to handle the few wights we expect to get through to the Godswood. If the Night King doesn't listen and comes in anyway, we don't even have an escape route for Theon to take Bran down, so we can't swoop overhead and breath fire down on him if the Night King makes it all the way to the Godswood because we'd kill Bran too.

    "Sound good to everyone? No? One last question?

    "What about when I used my Valyrian steel sword to kill a white walker before? Why even ask that? We have dragons! 

    "Okay, let's go out there, do our best and have some fun."
    telephoneofmadness
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited May 2019
    At this point it doesn't seem worth fighting over the minutiae of the episode.  Seems like most people have acknowledged the episode is fairly cheesy in places, with various justifications.  One camp feels like it breaks the episode and it really doesn't bother the other camp, therefore there seems little chance of one side convincing the other on these issues. 
    telephoneofmadnessBenDeemjmulladyJTKIIImajjam0770rkcrawfken hale
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    I'm not sure what people expected Bran to be doing during this. They lean pretty heavy on the idea that things have to fall a certain way and Bran knows how it has to be. I don't know how to square that with Bran not knowing the future, but maybe he knows *some* future? Between giving Arya the knife she uses and the line to Theon that everything brought you to where you are today, it seems clear he has an idea how this is going to play out.

    If I had to guess, I'd assume he was checking on Cersei's activities, but if we don't get a shot of those crows spying next week or him mentioning what Cersei's up to, then that'll be kind of a waste. It's weird that he'd warg at all then, unless it's literally just a means to segue between the Godswood and the Night King above. 

    It's weird to watch that sequence between Bran and the Night King on second watch because it feels like they're staring at each other forever, as does the glance the Night King gives the knife when it drops. On first watch I was at the edge of my seat. Kudos to them for slowing at least that one bit down.
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    Prior to the episode airing there was so much publicity around the longest battle, the months of filming and exhausted actors, and the amazing work of the director (I am not going to try and spell his name.) I can’t help but wonder how ALL those involved in making the episodes feel about all the negative feedback? I know the double D’s want out but maybe they didn’t realize their writing was shite? Do they blame what didn’t work on someone else?
  • walktheskywalkthesky New York
    Anominal said:
    Underwood said:
    Not entirely sure if this has been discussed yet, but I'll definitely have to pay close attention on my next re-watch.




    I rewatched it. To me it still looks like he's just yelling, "GAAAAAH!!", but it does sound maybe like Go, and there are definitely two more "Go. Go." sounds after it cuts away. Like maybe it was added after the fact but also possibly planned from the start.

    This makes me hate it all the more. It could have been fantastic.

    Make it clear the goal is dragon fire and/or Valyrian steel. Dany and Jon on point, Jaime, Brienne, Jorah in strategic positions. Battle starts and gets screwed up, but we get to the point where Jon and Dany both see the dragonfire doesn't work. So Valyrian steel it is. Jon makes his attempt like in the show and fails, but it's okay, we have the other three ready to make their moves.

    At various points we see Jaime, Brienne, and Jorah finding opportunities to try to make the kill and they all fail, giving a lot more meaning to get getting isolated and surrounded. We see the Night King enter through the archway past the undead dragon, and cut to inside the Godswood and him appearing there making it clear that's the same archway, and the path to getting to the Night King. Giving a clear sense of space for the audience to know what the goal is. Jon makes his couple attempts to get by and it's not working which I guess is on screen but I didn't get that while watching. And then make it clear he actually sees something off screen, then decides to try to distract the dragon because he can't get by. We could be thinking it could be any of the planned two/three, but afterwards we'll remember Arya showed him her dagger when they compared weapons (Did they? Or did she only show needle?). We cut back more to still surrounded Jaime, Brienne, and Jorah (who at some point has stopped trying for the Night King and decided to guard Dany instead.) Then we get the Arya kill.

    Give actual stories to the characters on screen. Plot and not just character moments. Clear goals and dilemmas. Clear plans, and clear plans failing. And then the win. I would have loved that.

    This gives characters like Jaime more motivation throughout the episode besides, fight, fight, save Brienne, fight, fight, get saved by Brienne, fight, fight. And Brienne vice versa. Possibly gives Dany more reason to land Drogon. Gives a different context for Jorah if he realizes he can't get to the Night King because there are just too many wights, but he can at least protect Dany. (Also gives more weight to Sam giving Jorah his sword, by making him a key part of the plan.) Gives plot reasons to keep cutting back to some of the named characters. And helps the audience understand the flow of the battle better.

    Geez, u hated it? Man... I don’t know what to say...
  • walktheskywalkthesky New York
    Read an interesting take on the battle plan comparing it to chess.  Dothraki are the pawns, etc, etc.
  • Read an interesting take on the battle plan comparing it to chess.  Dothraki are the pawns, etc, etc.
    The "sacrifice all pawns and gain nothing" gambit.
    majjam0770All the ChickensAnominalCapeGabeBloodyTacorustywright4budesignsken hale
  • CeciliaM said:
    I rewatched the war council scene and it was clear to me that the plan was to draw the NK out and then go after him with the dragons. (Jon says "we" at one point, meaning he and Daenerys) Arya asks Bran if that will work, and he says no one has ever tried it. Definitely someone should have come up with a plan B, but the plan A was clearly to hold off the invading wights until the NK shows up and J and D can get him with the dragons. 

    It's true, very few people, if anyone, know she's an assassin, at least if we go by what's been discussed on screen. But she should know, and Bran knows everything so i assume he knows.
    To me the war council scene is where everything goes wrong and made my expectations for the battle low. Bran just brings that up the day before the battle?  Why haven’t they been using bran to ask him all ab

  • CeciliaM said:
    I rewatched the war council scene and it was clear to me that the plan was to draw the NK out and then go after him with the dragons. (Jon says "we" at one point, meaning he and Daenerys) Arya asks Bran if that will work, and he says no one has ever tried it. Definitely someone should have come up with a plan B, but the plan A was clearly to hold off the invading wights until the NK shows up and J and D can get him with the dragons. 

    It's true, very few people, if anyone, know she's an assassin, at least if we go by what's been discussed on screen. But she should know, and Bran knows everything so i assume he knows.
    To me the war council scene is where everything goes wrong and made my expectations for the battle low. Bran just brings that up the day before the battle?  Why haven’t they been using bran to ask him all ab
    Sorry hit post accidentally - About wights and white walkers. Strengths and weaknesses and have more stuff figured out. But I don’t hate the episode. It’s what I expect now. 
    Anominal
  • All the ChickensAll the Chickens Birmingham, AL
    edited May 2019
    Prior to the episode airing there was so much publicity around the longest battle, the months of filming and exhausted actors, and the amazing work of the director (I am not going to try and spell his name.) I can’t help but wonder how ALL those involved in making the episodes feel about all the negative feedback? I know the double D’s want out but maybe they didn’t realize their writing was shite? Do they blame what didn’t work on someone else?
    I think people are wrong when they theorize that D&D are mailing this in. There are plenty of ways to mail it in, but spending nearly 2 years of extremely hard work to write, film and produce 6 episodes is not one of them. Plus, just the way those two talk about the episodes and the characters, they seem to really care still (I'm not a psychologist, but I play one on the internet).
    I mean, they were on set during all of these grueling daily/nightly shoots that lasted far longer than what anyone would ever do for a much longer season of TV. They even directed the finale episode themselves.

    I think that there is a difference between them being demoralized by the fact that the last 3 or so seasons they are no longer able to adapt book material, and them just throwing shit on a wall and calling it a day.

    I also think that even if everything went right with the books being finished, we would still have the problem of people who signed up for a particular type of show being disappointed now that they are in the endgame and also nothing ever really lives up to these expectations of wrapping everything up nicely.
    SanguinePenguinAnominalMarciKate23rkcrawf
  • I’m amazed how people are obsessing with how she ran up to the night king.  ?????? It would be like if people had issue in S1E1 with how Ned got down to the crypts so fast. “We just saw him in a line with his family greeting King Robert. How in the hell did he make it down to the crypts so fast the next scene. I wanna see how he walked down those stairs”
    SanguinePenguintelephoneofmadnessTeresa from ConcordMarciwalktheskyKate23CeciliaMOliviaDrkcrawfthepastryarchyand 1 other.
  • Yeah, considering the amount of jetpacking that goes on in this show generally, I can't be bothered to care about how fast Arya was running. But I guess, as was mentioned in the podcast, people are dying by "a thousand cuts" of sloppy editing mistakes.
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    I was just thinking of saying that. It's more like the jetpacking complaints of recent seasons. Arya did kill Littlefinger in Winterfell. So it's a clear possibility. I guess it really does all make sense. 
    gguenot
  • Really good episode. I keep hearing feedback on how useless Bran was just sitting under the tree.  Bran's role as the three-eye raven is to record the history of man. That is why he warged into the ravens to observe the battle. 
    gguenotSanguinePenguinKate23CeciliaMrkcrawf
  • chrisk said:
    I'm not sure what people expected Bran to be doing during this. They lean pretty heavy on the idea that things have to fall a certain way and Bran knows how it has to be. I don't know how to square that with Bran not knowing the future, but maybe he knows *some* future? Between giving Arya the knife she uses and the line to Theon that everything brought you to where you are today, it seems clear he has an idea how this is going to play out.

    If I had to guess, I'd assume he was checking on Cersei's activities, but if we don't get a shot of those crows spying next week or him mentioning what Cersei's up to, then that'll be kind of a waste. It's weird that he'd warg at all then, unless it's literally just a means to segue between the Godswood and the Night King above. 

    It's weird to watch that sequence between Bran and the Night King on second watch because it feels like they're staring at each other forever, as does the glance the Night King gives the knife when it drops. On first watch I was at the edge of my seat. Kudos to them for slowing at least that one bit down.
    I'm also not sure what he could be doing that would be useful or add anything to the situation.  Warging to check out what the WWs are doing and then...what?  Telling Theon?  It's not like there is any way to relay that information to Jon or anyone else.  He probably warged to see where the NK was so he could be prepared for when he's about to show up in the godswood just so he knows when shit's about to go down.
  • All the ChickensAll the Chickens Birmingham, AL
    I've drawn up this super detailed diagram that will surely resolve all of this bickering over how Arya snuck up on the NK.



    MurderbeartelephoneofmadnesscdriveTeresa from Concordtom_gSanguinePenguinDummychriskFreddyMarciand 9 others.
  • I saw some complaints about how dumb it was that Drogon and Dany just "sat there" and how it was only done to put her in the position for Jorah's death.  But I think it holds together:

    -it's war!  She's shocked at what's going down around her, just rescued Jon from a bunch of wights.  She's overwhelmed and not going to make perfect decisions.  Probably including that Drogon wouldn't be susceptible to the wights.  She may be thinking that dragons could withstand that no problem...but.. 

    -Drogon was just in an aerial combat with Viserion.  He's possibly hurt, exhausted, or even just out of breath.  Dragons don't understand what wights are or that they could be harmful so it's not like he's going to be in a rush to get away.  And given his size, he might not have even noticed the first few wights and he didn't notice until he was nearly overwhelmed.

    -finally, I've seen people say that that was done "just" so Dany could fall off and be on the field with Jorah.  Well, yeah... how else is she going to end up on the battle field.  She has no training with swords or weapons so she's only going to be on the field by accident.  There's so much questioning how Arya ended up in the godswood even though we didn't see it...yet there are complaints that we saw a series of events that "only" happened so Dany could be on the field.  Which way do you want it?
    Kate23Graffin_Dirtybloodrkcrawf
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    Man I hope we get a moment where Danny is giving Arya her due next episode. Maybe she gets a cool prophecy nickname too, like Day-Bringer,  The Dawn, or whatever (okay those names aren't great but something cool lol)
  • gguenot said:
    I’m amazed how people are obsessing with how she ran up to the night king.  ?????? It would be like if people had issue in S1E1 with how Ned got down to the crypts so fast. “We just saw him in a line with his family greeting King Robert. How in the hell did he make it down to the crypts so fast the next scene. I wanna see how he walked down those stairs”
    We’re talking about killing off the main villain of a show. I think we’d like that spelled out a little more than a less meaningful season 1 episode 1 scene. That’s just me though. 
    telephoneofmadnessBloodyTacoken hale
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    edited May 2019
    Yes, but also it's not just that it's a meaningless scene. In the language of cinema, there are some cuts that are clearly meant to be understood that there was some passage of time in between them, and there are some cuts that are understood to be immediate follow-ups.

    As for the Drogon/Dany thing. It's a similar issue but in reverse. It's not the complaint that Dany is on the field at all. (In terms of Drogon taking too long to fly away) It's that if you cut the time in half of how long it took for Drogon to be swarmed before he finally decided to take off, it feels more like a more natural reaction. It's the execution of the idea and not the idea itself. The presentation of it and not it's point or purpose in the narrative. 

    Counterpoint: What do we really know of dragons and how sensitive their skin is, how thick their hide is and how much the stabbings bothered him, and how much he didn't want to leave Dany. 

    That particular scene doesn't bother me as much. But at the same time I can see why it would bother other people and understand. 
    telephoneofmadness
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited May 2019
    I've drawn up this super detailed diagram that will surely resolve all of this bickering over how Arya snuck up on the NK.

    So because that looks like a toilet bowl, it makes a lot of sense now.  If Winterfell is actually a giant toilet then they have to have had a bidet installed that could blast Arya through the air quickly to the Night King.  See adjusted diagram:


    AnominaltelephoneofmadnessAll the ChickensMurderbeartom_gTeresa from ConcordDummyBloodyTacoSchluppMarciand 4 others.
  • This was also mentioned in the podcast, so "dry pie", but it looked to me like Dany was being hit by Viserion's dragonfire during the dogfight with the Night King. Also, Viserion's dragonfire was able to explode the Wall, and Winterfell's external wall, but Jon was able to hide from the dragonfire behind a wall and a pile of rubble? Confusing.
    mjmulladyrustywright4
  • All the ChickensAll the Chickens Birmingham, AL
    cdrive said:
    I've drawn up this super detailed diagram that will surely resolve all of this bickering over how Arya snuck up on the NK.

    So because that looks like a toilet bowl, it makes a lot of sense now.  If Winterfell is actually a giant toilet then they have to have had a bidet installed that could blast Arya through the air quickly to the Night King.  See adjusted diagram:

    It also explains the spiral symbol. He is in the center of the bowl while it's flushing. The turd that was promised.
    cdriveMurderbearBloodyTacoSchluppCeciliaMrkcrawf
  • AnominalAnominal San Francisco Bay Area
    Gives a different meaning to the Long Night the Night King, and finally being the place where Winterfell. 
  • All the ChickensAll the Chickens Birmingham, AL
    edited May 2019
    There were actually a couple of podcasters who really enjoyed the episode but didn't care for the music at the end. Say what you want about the Night King-Arya toilet bowl theory, but damn, that musical number at the end was some of Ramin Djawadi's best work, right up there with "Light of the Seven"

    It was excellent at setting the tone of how hopeless and sad everything was, while slowly building tension in the notes. You know something big was about to happen, bad or good, but you didn't know what, and that is spelled out in the song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1frgt0D_f4
    UnderwoodKate23mjmulladyawookiee
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