Tag Archives: The Battle of Winterfell

Game of Thrones S8 E4: The Last of the Starks

*Note: I will try to avoid spoilers but it would probably be safest to read this review after you’ve seen the episode

I feel conflicted after watching “The Last of the Starks.” On the one hand, last night’s episode featured some MAJOR happenings, including two shocking moments that I was not emotionally prepared for after everything that happened in episode 3. But on the other hand, I think I was expecting more action to occur, though to be fair I was pretty spoiled by The Battle of Winterfell.

In a lot of ways, this episode felt like “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” in that a lot of the episode felt like set up for the final battle between Daenerys/Jon and Cersei. The difference is, I feel like episode 2 did it better. That isn’t to say that this episode was bad, it just didn’t leave me going “OMG” at the end like the previous three episodes. Instead, I actually felt disappointed that the episode was already over (minor spoiler: I was expecting a little more dragon action at the end based on what happened). One thing is for sure: this was an episode of farewells, in more ways than one.

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Assuming the rest of the series goes the way I think it will, I think this was the episode that established once and for all that Cersei is doomed. There was a key scene towards the end where I could see that last shred of Cersei’s humanity in her face. Despite everything she’s done, there IS one piece of Cersei that isn’t a monster, and I thought it was a nice touch for the show to bring that out. Unfortunately, that part of Cersei is also the smallest piece and it’s not going to save her now, not after this episode. Pieces are in motion now that I am almost positive will lead to her death one way or another.

My one big complaint in this episode is Sansa and her actions throughout the episode. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I do not understand why Sansa is acting the way she is. I’ve always been Team Stark and Team Dany since season one, but after this episode, I have a sinking feeling I’m going to need to choose between them (and I don’t know if that’s a choice I can make). Also: I understand that Sansa was trained by no less than Littlefinger in how to play the game of thrones, but I couldn’t believe she didn’t keep quiet on THAT little detail after promising to never tell a soul.

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This episode really brought home to me the expression that’s been going around about the end of Game of Thrones: “If you think this story has a happy ending, then you haven’t been paying attention.” Nowhere was this more true than in “The Last of the Starks.” Many of the happy endings fans have fantasized about were teased, only to be ripped away. How I feel about this episode in the future will greatly depend on how the last two episodes play out. This will either be seen as a good episode, or a missed opportunity. I sincerely hope it’s the former, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see.

What did you think about “The Last of the Starks”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: The Battle of Winterfell (GoT S8 E3)

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

Film/TV Reviews

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Game of Thrones S8 E3: The Battle of Winterfell

*okay technically this episode is titled “The Long Night” but to me it will always be The Battle of Winterfell, so there you go. Also, I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum but it might be best to just read this after you see the episode.

Now I know I don’t typically review television episodes on my blog, but after last night, I HAVE to talk about the Battle of Winterfell, the episode the entire series has been building towards since the pilot (when we first saw the White Walkers). No matter what happened, this was going to be one of THE major climaxes in the overall story. For a long time I thought this battle would be the final climax, and it very well could be in the book version of the story. However, the show writers clearly felt differently as this episode arrived with three more still to come.

First I want to make it clear that I absolutely loved this episode. It’s not perfect, I too thought there were a few scenes where the lighting was a bit…off…which made it difficult to see here and there, but in all fairness the battle took place at night, so it’s supposed to be dark.

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Now I need to talk about the Army of the Dead and how much they terrified me. It might have seemed obvious to most, but it took me almost five whole seasons to realize that Game of Thrones has a zombie apocalypse as a major plot point. That the wights are zombies is made abundantly clear in this episode. The way the dead move and clamber to get over walls and obstacles at times reminded me of scenes straight out of World War Z (admittedly not as extreme but based on similar principles).

And then there was THAT scene in the Winterfell library. I think that will go down as the most terrifying scene in the entire series, even more than THAT scene at the end of “Hardhome.” Part of what makes the library scene so scary is the silence (minus the sounds of the wights). In this scene, silence means survival for a certain character, and for almost the entire scene I hardly dared to breathe. I both love and hate this kind of scene because on the hand, it draws me in so that I feel the character’s terror. But on the other hand, a scene like that is perfect for a jump scare, and I hate those the most.

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I knew going in that I was not emotionally prepared for the death toll this episode would bring and I was right. As we all predicted, we had to say goodbye to more than a few characters, some that I expected, and others that had me screaming at my television because I didn’t want them to go. That being said, from what I could tell by the end of the episode, more of my favorite characters actually made it through alive than I initially thought. This is likely because there’s still  at least one major battle to go before the series ends for good.

Now you might be wondering how I feel about THAT moment at the end of the episode (if you’ve seen it you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about). Of all the ways I thought that character arc would end, I never imagined THAT character would be the one to end it. I always assumed, and I think many others did as well, that it would be Dany or Jon, or a combination of the two, that would strike the final blow. And again, that may be true in the book version of these events, we simply don’t know yet. The show has left out several plot elements that are likely vital to the book’s endgame. That being said, in hindsight, it seems obvious now that THIS scene was predicted all the way back in season 3, which means perhaps the show writers know something about the books that we don’t.

In the end, I found the Battle of Winterfell to be very satisfying, an emotional ride to be sure, but one that ended in just the right way. It’s hard to believe there are only three episodes to go before the story ends, but as I go think about this. If they put the Battle of Winterfell HERE, in the middle of the season, in the name of the Old Gods and the New what on earth is still to come?

Once you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought about the Battle of Winterfell in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (GoT S8 E2)

My Thoughts On: The Last of the Starks (GoT S8 E4)

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂