Can Jon Snow and his army defeat the Night King? Who will die in the Battle of Winterfell? And what will happen in the crypts if the dead begin to rise? Join us for our weekly blow-by-blow account as it all happens...
We came here to live blog Game of Thrones and drink milk – and tonight, thanks to Tormund, we’re running a little low on the latter.
Join RadioTimes.com as we follow along with Thrones season eight’s third episode, ramping up to the Battle of Winterfell from midnight until the action – and our heart rates – properly kick off at 2am BST on Sky Atlantic. And bring tissues – this one’s going to be emotional.
04.50am: I feel like there’s a lot more I could talk about with this episode but for now, I think we should call it a (long) night.
Overall, I’m impressed, surprised and a little discombobulated by the whole thing, and can only imagine next week’s episode will be a rather sedate live blog by comparison, with considerably better jokes. Well, more jokes anyway.
We’re halfway through this final season now, and who knows where the story will end up now the Big Bad ended up shattered into Kingsicles? Personally, I can’t wait to find out.
I’ve been Huw Fullerton, this has been quite an intense night, and as ever you’ve been terrific readers. Until next time, my watch has ended.
04.45am: This is slightly true but hey, Theon wanted the catharsis.
I’m crying Bran knew Arya was coming to save his ass but let Theon die anyways sksksksksk
04.27am: It has been pointed out to me that Ghost can be seen at around 19 seconds in the episode four trailer, so he survived! Tormund appears to be there too and YOHN ROYCE (long may he reign). Gilly is there also.
So not that many deaths at all, really.
04.24am: Sad to see the end of House Mormont this week. Here they stood, indeed.
My predictions weren’t bad – I got everyone who died, but had a few extras as well. Props to Grey Worm for surviving, and Tormund! Good lads.
04.19am: You know what? I was so stressed I barely used any of my funny memes.
Here’s one that would have been great in the crypt scenes.
And if Missandei had Missan-died? Whoo boy.
Sadly, now they will just languish here, unloved. Sorry. Same with the 20 other RIPs I didn’t get to use. Maybe next week!
04.12am: What’s that – you want more behind-the-scenes goss?
Well, here’s this week’s “Inside the Episode” which does give you a bit more about how the story came together.
04.09am: Maisie Williams has been speaking to EW about her surprise Night King assassination (not something you say every day), and apparently even she had her doubts about it.
“I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it,” she said.
“The hardest thing is in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.’ You gotta make it cool.
“And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’”
04.05am: Man, the whole marketing campaign for this series was based around the threat of the Night King, winter coming, all that…and it’s dealt with halfway through, bringing us back to the TITULAR Game of Thrones.
Unless the Night King isn’t dead, somehow? I’m not sure whether that would be more or less satisfying.
04.03am: Thought: can’t believe we never got wight versions of established characters! That seems odd.
Also, did Ghost die in the Dothraki charge? Or did he just peace out?
04.00am: Hey guys, remember you have work tomorrow! Get some sleep!
People who did a better job than Daenerys tonight: -Sansa -Melisandre -The Night King -Sleepytime nap boy “I’m ‘warging’“ Bran -The wind -The White Walker who ran after the book that Arya threw in the library
03.49am: Fun fact – some people are suggesting that Arya taking down the Night King was foreshadowed given her status as a sister of Aegon Targaryen. Remember her chats with Tywin back in season 2? Well…
“It wasn’t just Aegon riding his dragon. It was Rhaenys and Visenya too. Rhaenys rode Meraxes. Visenya rode Vhagar. Visenya Targaryen was a great warrior. She had a Valyrian steel sword she called Dark Sister.”
Arya is Jon’s own dark sister with a Valyrian steel weapon…it kind of works!
03.48am: Forgot to say – obviously we should count Melisandre among the dead as well. I didn’t make an image for her but hey, RIP Mels. Cool trick with the Dothraki arakhs, even if it was pointless.
03.45am: Ooh, next time trailer is here and it confirms Gendry is alive – you can see him in the background and probably see him kissing Arya too.
Bigger message – the episode shows our heroes deciding to take the fight to Cersei in the so-called Last War, after rebuilding Winterfell a bit. After two episodes away, Cersei is back!
Lord knows how many troops they have left, but hey. Might make it more of a fair fight anyway.
03.42am: Feel like I’ll need to watch that episode again but overall I think I…liked it?
Truly epic, very scary at times and kind of horrifying, even if the end was a bit of an anti-climax.
I do enjoy the circularity of the dagger that was supposed to kill Bran saving his life, though.
03.38am: So who died?
As far as I can tell (having missed a bit of the episode) we lost Jorah, Edd, Theon, Beric, Lyanna and…was that it? Aside from the thousands of Dothraki, Unsullied etc.
Didn’t see Tormund or Podrick much but maybe they made it?
03.35am: In some ways, this makes a lot of sense you know – for years the White Walkers were this background threat that no-one took seriously beside the real drama. Now, they were positioned as the main threat – but they’re not! Still pulling the rug out from under us.
Not sure how I feel about it dramatically, as tbh Cersei isn’t as good a dramatic driver as the existential threat posed by the White Walkers…but hey. I applaud bold dramatic choices.
03.33am: Ok, that was something. The whole Army of the Dead is gone, three episodes before the end? That is ballsy. What are they going to do for the rest of the series now? Just fight Cersei?
I mean, in hindsight, Cersei’s plan to let them get mostly killed off was genius. Also Lord Glover’s decision to hang back.
03.31am: Melisandre walks out into the snow, takes off her necklace and dies of old age.
And that’s how it ends!
03.30am: Jorah’s still dying…will he get in a last Khaleesi pleassseee?
Aww, Drogon has come to look after her.
That’s another real season one death right there.
03.28am: Oh damn! Arya just did her flippy dagger trick and took out the Night King! All with the Valyrian steel dagger that started it all, and that Bran gave her.
Well…that’s a surprise.
03.26am: IN typical seasons 1-7 fashion, the Night King is taking ages to get to his chosen destination.
Meanwhile, Jon is dodging dragonfire and Jorah is having a Dramatic Death.
03.22am: “Theon…you’re a good man. Thank you.”
With Bran’s words his character arc is…complete.
Charges at the Night King, who just stabs him easily. This is tragic.
That’s a proper season one character death there.
Oh maybe I spoke too soon…oh no he is dead. Is Gendry still alive somewhere?
03.22am: NK and his goons are headed to Bran while everyone else struggles…Jorah is mostly down…this is a bloodbath.
Theon last man standing in the godswood.
03.20am: Even Daenerys is doing some fighting! Sad music plays, Viserion wrecks stuff, we see Varys sheltering children…it’s a lot!
How do they get out of this?
03.19am: Quite a lot of dothraki wights now.
Now in the crypts people are being torn apart while Tyrion and Sansa hide behind a gravestone.
Time to stick them with the pointy end, Sansa.
03.17am: Oh hey it’s Jorah, just in time to save Daenerys before he nobly dies in a few minutes!
Meanwhile in the courtyard the main characters’ plot armour is holding and they’re doing good solo work, while Jon fights his way through to Bran.
Theon saved Bran with a bow once in season one, I recall.
03.15am: OK I’m back and I feel like I missed an epic fight scene but hey. Crypts are being overrun, and so is the Godswood – Jon overrun by the nasty Night King’s new recruits, but Daenerys saves him.
Sorry for the gap in service there!
Currently Drogon appears to be being overrun by wights and now she’s fallen off. Drogon is escaping with a lot of unwanted passengers.
03.12am: I feel like this is the most casual we’ve ever seen the Night King…just strollin’ up to Winterfell.
Now he’s facing off with Jon and doing his “all rise” trick – Jon has to try and reach him first.”
Ha OK, my NOWTV box has just crashed, so…that’s an issue.
03.08am: I’m sorry I ever doubted you ad breaks. I need the moments of rest…
Also, forgot to commemorate this poor fella.
How will the show survive without him?
On a related note – has anyone seen Pod lately? In all this chaos it’s eminently possible I missed his death scene.
03.05am: OK somehow the NK came off Viserion…but I’m guessing dragonflame won’t do much to him, considering he walked through it once in season seven.
NK is like “MMM, toasty” and tries his olympic javelin act again.
Drogon escapes – and J0n goes after the NK.
03.03am: Dragon dogfight! I feel like Jon has forgotten he’s fighting an UNDEAD dragon. Just poke it with some dragonglass!
Anyway Daenerys saves Jon and Rhaegal. So far the Night King it doing a much better job of dragon-ing. Jon has had this dragon all of five minutes and he’s already dented it.
03.02am: What do we say to the God of Death?
Er, maybe try Theon first.
Man, the Ironborn have had a chilled out time so far.
02.59am: Beric saves Arya but gets stabbed….a lot. Looks like someone just ran out of lives…but he’s still running.
Jeez, he is not an easy man to kill. Meanwhile the great hall is littered with bodies.
Oh, he died.
According to Melisandre, his purpose was to save Arya – that’s why the Lord of Light kept bringing him back.
Wait, does she think Arya will kill the Night King? Really?
02.58am: Sansa, get them out of the crypts – there’s a way out! Bran knew one back in the day!
Now also the Hound and Beric are sneaking about. Who designed Winterfell with so many spooky corridors?
02.56am: This is too scary. At least the silent bit is over now though. Crypts aren’t looking so safe now eh?
Is Arya leading the wights right to the adorable children?
02.55am: I DON’T LIKE THIS. It’s also a lot like a bit in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man film?
02.54am: OK she’s being hunted in the library like that velociraptor scene in Jurassic Park and is it FREAKING ME OUT.
02.52am: We’re back, and a rather bedraggled Arya is living that horror movie life in the (oddly quiet) back corridors of Winterfell.
Nice to know they kept the fire going!
02.50am: We’re on an ad break here in the UK, but apparently fans abroad have overwhelmed the HBO Go app and crashed it, so it could be worse.
02.47am: So far, one dead dragons tops two living ones. But we are still seeing a three- way aerial dragon battle! This is insane! Writing this is also making following the battle super hard, so I will definitely have to watch this again tomorrow.
02.46am: Hound still doesn’t want to fight – giant did crush Lyanna, despite my puns, but she killed him on the way down.
(yes I made these for everyone just in case)
02.45am: Did Lyanna just get smushed by a zombie giant? Oh no she’s alive! Her death would be…
02.43am: No offence to Sam but people having to keep saving him is getting them killed.
The Hound, meanwhile, is struggling with all the fire, while Arya obeys zombie rules and decapitates a lot of wights.
02.41am: Zombie wall fight. Lucky they did all that dragonglass prep eh? They’d feel like right silly billies if they were still using steel.
02.40am: The Night King is here! Oh lawd he coming!
I remember when this show had fewer dragon battles, what a world that was.
02.38am: The Night King is hanging out on his dragon at a distant point – now he’s telling his zombies to put out the fire with their own bodies which – I feel like if he’d just let them keep running they would have just done that anyway? Remember when they all threw themselves off a cliff at Hardhome?
02.36am: Bran is still weird. Theon is trying to make amends.
“Everything you did brought you where you are now. Where you belong. Home.”
Bran wargs it off into Various Crows.
02.35am: Sansa, Tyrion and Varys are downstairs stressing that they can’t help. Tyrion is…putting moves on Sansa? Weird flex but OK.
Sansa still dissing Daenerys. Time and a place!
02.34am: BTW, nice to see Ned Stark’s sword united again to protect Winterfell – welcome back Ice!
02.32am: Melisandre is doing some Lord of Light spells, and the Unsullied and other soldiers outside the gates are still coming through…come on Mels!
She did it! Also now Jon and Dany can see better.
02.30am: Arya saves the Hound with a fire arrow, which seems appropriate. Everyone who’s getting in is getting in now. Except now he has to abandon all his men to hold back the onslaught by lighting the trench.
But the fog is so bad the dragonriders can’t see, or anyone else, so they’re not being lit…
Melisandre can help, maybe?
02.28am: They’re still letting people through this gate, and the Unsullied are still getting shredded (and not in their usual muscly way. Bless them.
02.27am: Kind of breaks my heart to see all the Unsullied die loyally, so far from home, in the snows.
02.26am: Ha, Jon and Dany flew into each other in a moment of unintentional comedy. This is why you need air traffic control.
Tormund and Brienne say fall back. Lil’ Lyanna is opening the gate to let in the survivors, and I’m sure this won’t backfire.
Getting serious Hardhome flashbacks here lads.
02.25am: In another record-breaking feat, Sky appear to have created the longest ad break in history.
02.23am: This show is going to give me nightmares, my gosh.
Americans will be slightly ahead of us now with these ad breaks, which is annoying, but hey – I did want my toilet breaks.
02.21am: OK ad break.. I can breathe…my goodness.
I may be missing bits here from typing but so far the battle has gone POORLY. They’ve lost the cavalry, the army of the dead has swamped the infantry and somehow taken Jon out, and also made it snow (which is handy warcraft).
Dany is still in the field but so far I’m giving this one to the Night King…
Poor Edd. I’m sure he won’t be the last of the night.
02.19am: My reaction to the battle so far…
Edd saves Sam among many other tense battle scenes.
Now Edd is dead! Lucky I prepared these…
02.18am: Jon has been…vanished by a big cloud?
Arya gives Sansa a knife, tells her to “stick them with the pointy end.”
MEANWHILE Theon and friends are just having a steam in the Godswood.
02.16am: Live scenes from Black Friday in the US as the wights overwhelm the goodies, then the two dragons ride out to try and help a bit.
So much for all that siegecraft. Cool to see Jon riding his own dragon like a proper Targ.
02.15am: Jorah survived anyway! Presumably Ghost. Daenerys wants to take her dragon out, Jon not so keen but hey.
Sorry this is so hard to make jokes about! I’m tense!
02.14am: Well there goes most of Daenerys’ army. Back comes one riderless horse and a few Dothraki.
02.12am: Er not much to add except that this is a truly epic battle so far…huge flaming charge? Ghost fighting alongside? I’m in. But it seems like all the Dothraki died anyway, so, that sucks.
02.11am: Davos lets Mel in but he’s not happy…understandably.
“There’s no need to execute me Ser Davos. I’ll be dead before the dawn.”
02.10am: Gendry is now like…did I make all those Dothraki dragonglass weapons for nothing???
02.08am: They were expecting the Night King but it’s…Melisandre!
She tells the Dothraki to lift their swords. For reasons? Oh is she gonna flame them all? I think she is!!!
THAT’S SO AWESOME! Beric must feel a bit emasculated.
02.07am: Jon and Dany waiting around like they’re in a Christmas ad.
02.05am: Looks like Jon and Dany are taking the dragons nearby. Everyone else just hanging out, you know, just standing around ominously with their pals.
Helpfully, all the main characters are standing close together.
“Oh for fuck’s sake – took your time.” Edd has the first line of the night.
And GHOST! Ghost is on the field with most of the army.
02.04am: Looks like Alys Karstark is hanging out with the Ironborn and Bran for…some reason.
So far this is all very atmospheric and as I predicted HAS NO DIALOGUE WHICH MAKES MY JOB VERY HARD.
02.03am: Sam looks nervous as we enter the ThroneZone! Aka the TV show, Game of Thrones.
“Get down to the crypts!”
“On second thoughts, let’s not go to the crypts…it is a silly place.”
02.02am: Looks like they added more defences outside Winterfell in the opening credits.
02.01am: I am so excited! Here comes the theme tune!
01.59am: In previous blogs, big battle episodes have been difficult to blog because there’s a lot of zero-dialogue, action heavy scenes that I can’t both type and watch.
So you know, sorry if I miss the bit where Sam and Gilly clothesline a White Walker. I’ll try my best.
01.58am: Low odds prediction – at some point tonight the Night King dabs.
Can you tell I’m a bit tired this week?
01.56am: Less than five minutes….LIGHT THE BEACONNNSSSS
01.52am: One advantage Thrones has (in the UK anyway) over Avengers: Endgame – there are ad breaks for toilet stops! My bladder is already thanking you, Sky Atlantic.
01.50am: Only 10 minutessssss oh dear. All bets are open on who will die first, feel free to tweet me @huwiemcchewie or @radiotimes with your suggestions (and any other messages that you’d like to see featured on the blog).
…still very true! This series has been super difficult to make out because of the atmospheric lighting, and I imagine this week will be the worst yet as it’s set all at night.
It’s not too bad for me as I’m watching late with no ambient light (and decent brightness settings on my TV) but when I’ve tried to rewatch bits of this series in the day? Fugeddaboutit.
01.43am: Oh and in case you’re wondering, I’m not just tricked out with special socks this weekend…
Instead here you see me arming myself against the terrible emotions coming to swamp me tonight. Come at me, feelings!!!!
Regular readers will notice the return of my cheap old Jon Snow cloak (which isn’t even that well related to the show since season five), my sword and other assorted junk. Just like old times!
01.37am: Here’s something that has struck me a lot this week – a lot of the press for this series revolved around explaining what would happen in the series’ first three episodes, with very little indication of what comes after this.
Even the trailer seems to have only used footage from episodes 1-3, all the interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff have foregrounded this battle as a big deal and overall we know nothing about the back half of this series.
It’s a great bit of publicity wrangling, and I am excited to not know anything about the rest of the series. For once, it’s all a bit of a surprise…
01.33am: Even Jessica Chastain is getting in on the action!
This little angel is the protector of the Crypt. Who thinks it’s a good idea to hide women & children near dead bodies when fighting The Night King?! He literally raises the dead. Tonight’s going to be rough on me #BattleOfWinterfellpic.twitter.com/GvhGPYxehP
01.13am: OK, I’ll stop teasing – like everyone else I have been trying my best to predict who’ll die in this week’s episode.
My top 9 – Podrick, Ghost, Edd, Tormund, Lyanna Mormont, Grey Worm, Theon, Beric and maybe Brienne.
I’ve written about this in more depth here but basically I’ve picked some of these characters based on their centrality or lack thereof – Edd, Tormund, Lyanna and Pod are fan-favourites but not important to the story, so their deaths would hit hard while simultaneously streamlining the cast a bit as we hit the home stretch.
Ghost’s in there because direwolves are expensive and they love killing them, Grey Worm’s there because he started talking about his retirement plans last week (though it could be Missandei instead of him) and Beric sort of feels like he’s been waiting for death for a while? In the books, he died quite a while ago by breathing his borrowed life into another character so maybe that’s how he’ll go here. Maybe he’ll save the Hound.
And Brienne, well, she just had a big moment and an entire episode named after her that also featured a defining character moment. I hope she survives, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t.
So there are my predictions, just in time to make me look like a big mug when Hot Pie returns for his big emotional send-off. Don’t read this back unless I was right please.
01:01am: Previously on Game of Thrones:
“You know where is really safe? The crypts! Nowhere safer. When you think crypts, you think safety, oh boy yes, nothing ominous about the friendly old crypts!!!”
(oh yeah, turns out Lupita Nyong’o is a big Thrones fan – who knew?
00.56am: Fun fact! They’re re-showing last week’s episode on Sky Atlantic now, and I just spotted that the opening credits added trenches outside Winterfell. Very cute. Will have to watch the opening credits VERY carefully this time around.
00.53am: Look, I’ll stop beating around the bush – we all know why we’re here. There’s one looming question hanging over this episode and all the dialogue around it, and it behooves me to just address the elephant (sorry Cersei) in the room.
Yes, I am wearing more Thrones-themed socks!
This week I’ve gone for House Baratheon just because Gendry MIGHT die this week, and then I really would struggle to justify wearing them again. Also, I’ve already worn the Stark ones! And I don’t have a Night King pair…
Wait, that is what you all come to the blog for right? The sock content?
00.47: Already, I’m feeling a bit stressed about Ghost. Did they reintroduce him last week to just kill him off tonight?
Based on what happened to Summer and the other direwolves, I’m not counting it out…
00.41am: All the way up to the series’ release, this week’s episode has been touted as the BIG moment of season eight – and while that does make us suspicious that they’re just trying to hide what’s coming later in the final three episodes, from what we’ve seen so far it certainly does seem like this is going to be a night of TV you won’t want to miss. Shame this one wasn’t on the bank holiday, really.
How do you know there is an afterwards? #GameofThrones begins in 3 hours.
Oh, and HBO have implied this episode is so good it will LITERALLY kill us so you know – watch at your own risk and all.
00.35am: Tonight’s episode, at around 82 minutes (minus ads, which we have if you’re watching on Sky Atlantic in the UK) is I believe Thrones’ longest episode, and is set to be the longest continuous battle scene ever committed to film.
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik (who previously did Hardhome and the Battle of the Bastards, if you’re thirsty), this week’s (still untitled) episode will see what happens when a great big zombified hammer meets a fleshy, scared character actor anvil – aka when the army of the dead attack our favourite heroes in Winterfell.
Apparently filming the Battle of Winterfell involved:
11 weeks of night shoots
750 cast and crew
40,000 steps a day on the crew pedometers
And…one unconscious cast member who fainted during shooting.
Sounds like a horrible experience! Can’t wait.
00.28am: Of course, soon, we’ll look back at our happy memories of episode two with terrible, emotional hindsight – because tonight, the Big One is coming.
This is the Battle of Winterfell (consensus is of, not for, OK lads) – and no-one is safe.
Well, except Jon and Dany, realistically. Or Tyrion, or Jaime, or probably Sansa and Arya. But PRETTY MUCH anyone else.
00.24am: Oh, before all that though, one last thing from episode two – I have genuinely had Pod’s song stuck in my head all week, like I’m sure many of you have too, but with a twist.
You see, MY brain keeps combining the lyrics with the Lonely Goatherd song from the Sound of Music, so this:
High in the halls of the kings who are gone Jenny would dance with her ghosts The ones she had lost and the ones she had found And the ones who had loved her the most
THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED FROM MY LIFE!!!
00.19am: Er, I think that’s everything? Jaime and Brienne chatted some more and there was a very awkward war council where Jon didn’t really lay out everyone’s battle plans very well, but otherwise that was mostly it.
And yet, despite the relative lack of action (and elephant, still) it was probably one of my favourite episodes in years! Here’s hoping tonight’s offering can match it for quality. We already know it’ll beat it for spectacle, after all…
00.16am: Oh, and we finally found out what Pod did to those girls – showed them his pipes! Or, well, sang to them, with the plucky squire singing a rousing tune of “Jenny of Oldstones” set over a montage of cast members.
Just imagine what he could do with his own Podcast (sorry, sorry, am trying to delete).
00.14am: So, what were the highlights of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms? Well, it was an episode full of good old-fashioned CHATTING, with all our old pals catching up, cracking wise and generally passing time before they get acquainted with Big Blue and his Spooky Skeletons.
More specifically we got to see Tyrion, Davos, Brienne, Pod, Tormund and Jaime enact their own version of The Breakfast Club (we’d call it the Midnight Club but I think Riverdale crossovers are a step too far, even for me), bonding round the fireside about cheery topics like Tormund’s giant booby adventure.
Later, Brienne completed her character arc to be knighted by Jaime, bringing a tear to our eyes, a smile to our faces and a gnawing worry in our stomachs that presumably, now she’s up for elimination (death).
Elsewhere Arya was trying out Gendry’s hammer, the Hound and Beric just sort of…swore and talked about religion a bit, Jon reunited with his Night’s Watch brothers (and Ghost!) and later told Dany he loved her like a sister. No, wait, auntie! That’s much better.
00.01am: Good evening, and welcome to our own Long Night as Game of Thrones debuts its longest and (potentially) bloodiest episode yet, in a series that’s not exactly known for peril-free, zip-quick storytelling anyway.
My name’s Huw Fullerton, and I’ll be your guide for tonight’s Battle of Winterfell as Jon Snow, Daenerys and their allies band together against the Night King and his army.
The heroes have dragons, Unsullied, Dothraki, Northmen, Knights of the Vale, the Free Folk and a one-handed man from the Westerlands.
The Night King? One blue-eyed wight dragon, Craster’s kids, zombie giants and around a hundred thousand undead footsoldiers with a pretty poor grasp of personal hygiene, all looking to swamp Winterfell and delete Bran’s hard drive.
Who will win? By around 3.30am BST we should know the answer – but until then, let’s take a look back to last week to remind us just how the Brotherhood Without Bedtimes geared up for the fight of their lives.