Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 recap: The Dead take Winterfell as heroes fall, and a saviour rises

Rohini Nair

Apr 29, 2019 08:51:47 IST

For a recap of Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2, click here; and here for the review.


The battle has reached Winterfell, and everyone takes their places. Tyrion and the others head to the crypt. Bran and Theon to the godswood. Ser Davos on the ramparts. The Unsullied led by Greyworm on the field, with Brienne, Jaime, Pod, Sam, Gendry, Edd, the Hound, and Tormund by their sides. At the frontlines is the Dothraki khalasar — Daenerys' cavalry, led by Ser Jorah, with Ghost.

A lone figure rides up to the men: it is Melisandre. She asks Jorah to tell the Dothraki to hold up their arakhs; she chants a spell and sets them all aflame. As she enters Winterfell, Davos comes up to her, but she says there will be no need for him to execute her — she'll be dead by dawn. She looks up at the ramparts and stares at Arya.

Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 recap: The Dead take Winterfell as heroes fall, and a saviour rises

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Jon and Daenerys watch the armies from a rise as the Dothraki, Ghost and Ser Jorah charge ahead. Ahead lies a darkness that consumes them all — not much can be made out except for a few shouts and the neighing of horses. Ser Jorah rides back, wounded, as do a few horses. The entire khalasar has been lost.

As masses of the dead rush forward to attack the Unsullied, Daenerys and Jon take to the skies on Drogon and Rhaegal. Daenerys unleashes fire on the wights while Jon rides ahead towards where he sees the White Walkers. But a storm blows in and blinds him.

On the ramparts, seeing the carnage below, Arya tells Sansa she must go into the crypts immediately. She hands her older sister a dragonglass blade. Sansa says she doesn't know how to use it. "Stick 'em with the pointy end," Arya says.

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Meanwhile, on the ground, a pitched battle is going on among the dead and the living. Edd manages to save Sam from being killed, but as he exhorts him to rise from the ground, a wight stabs him through the chest. Edd dies before Sam's eyes.

Jon and Dany are flying blind in the storm.

Brienne calls for the armies to fall back. The Unsullied stand their ground to protect those retreating into the Winterfell walls. Grey Worm gives the signal for the trenches to be lit, and Davos holds out the torches into the air that is the sign for Daenerys to set the trenches on fire with Drogon. But in the storm, the torches are not seen. With the dead pushing in, Grey Worm brings Melisandre under protection of a few Unsullied, to the trenches. She casts spells desperately until her prayers work, and the flames shoot up — holding the wights at bay.

Tyrion chafes at being in the crypt, saying that he and Varys could have helped above ground. Sansa tells him the truth is that they are all useless in a fight—- and that in a moment like this, the most heroic thing to do is to face the truth. Tyrion tells Sansa they should have stayed married; she responds that he was the best among her (intended) husbands, but it wouldn't work between them. When he asks why, she responds: "The dragon queen. Your loyalties would always be divided."

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

In the godswood, Theon seeks to apologise to Bran for what he did before. Bran reassures him: "Everything you've done has brought you where you are now — home." He then wargs into some ravens and sees the Night King appear.

Outside Winterfell, some of the wights fall on a portion of the trenches and bank the flames enough for the other dead to clamber over them.

Flying through the storm, Jon sees the Night King. He pursues him on Rhaegal.

In Winterfell, the dead have overrun the walls. Brienne, Tormund, Jaime, Jorah, Beric, Davos and Gendry fight on. Arya emerges with her dragonglass staff and fights off several wights.

A giant-wight breaks down the gates. More of the dead pour in. Lyanna Mormont, badly hurt when the giant first tossed those guarding the gate aside, rushes at him with her dragonglass dagger. The giant seizes her and lifts her high, crushing her bones. With her dying breath, Lyanna lifts her dagger and stabs the giant through his eye, and he is destroyed.

The Hound is dazed by the fire and the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. Ser Beric exhorts him to fight but the Hound seems not to care, until the former points to Arya, who is pursued by some wights into one of the halls. The Hound follows.

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Arya takes shelter in the Winterfell library, moving from bookshelf to bookshelf as the wights shuffle about the room. She gets out safely, but just then, a horde of wights break in from behind another door. She runs, terrified, through the hallways with the dead behind her.

The Hound and Ser Beric find her just in time. Beric is badly wounded — stabbed repeatedly — by the wights even as he saves her. The Hound takes Arya and Beric away to a hall. There, Ser Beric Dondarrion dies.

Arya and the Hound realise Melisandre is in the room with them. She tells Arya that the Lord of Light kept bringing Ser Beric back for a purpose, and now that purpose has been served. She then reminds Arya of their previous conversation — when The Red Priestess had come to take Gendry away from the Brotherhood without Banners.

Melisandre reminds Arya that she had told her Arya would "close many eyes" — "brown eyes, green eyes, blue eyes". Arya understands Melisandre's meaning. Even as she races away from the room, Melisandre asks her: "What do we say to the God of Death?"

Arya responds as Syrio Forel had taught her to: "Not today".


Rhaegal and Viserion clash in the air. The Night King falls off his dragon to the ground, just as Daenerys moves into position above him, with Drogon. An injured Rhaegal has brought Jon to the ground too. He looks on as Drogon shoots fire at the Night King. And nothing happens. The Night King remains unaffected. As he aims his spear at Drogon, Daenerys flies him away.

Jon charges at the Night King with Longclaw. The Night King merely raises his arms — all around him, the dead rise. Edd is a wight, as is Lyanna Mormont and everyone who fell fighting. Brienne, Jaime, Tormund and the others are aghast. In the crypts, a wight crawls out from the walls. Others crawl out as well and attack those seeking shelter. Tyrion and Sansa hide for a moment behind a crypt, then draw out their dragonglass daggers. He kisses her hand, and then they make a run from the wights.

Daenerys is able to save Jon from the wights and tells him to rush to Bran. Jon gets away but Drogon himself is beset by the dead. They stab at him, all over, and Dany falls off him. Drogon takes to the air to shake them off. The wights in turn attack Daenerys, and she is saved by Jorah, who takes his place by her side. They fight on, but Jorah is badly wounded.

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Still from Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3. Photo credit Helen Sloan/HBO

Jon is fighting off wights in the Winterfell courtyard as Viserion shoots blue flames and destroys the walls.

Theon and the Ironborn have been fighting off the dead bravely in the godswood. One by one, his men die around him. One by one, Theon's arrows are depleted, until he has none left -- and is the last man standing. He is surrounded by the dead and a cold wind rises as the White Walkers, with the Night King at their head, enter the godswood.

Theon looks at Bran, who tells him: "You're a good man. Thank you for everything." Theon charges at the Night King with a spear. The Night King stops his charge, and stabs him. Theon bleeds to death on the snow.

The Night King walks towards Bran. They look into each other's eyes. As the Night King reaches for his sword, there is a whisper of air. He turns to see Arya leaping at him with her Valyrian steel catspaw dagger. He clutches her by the throat and knocks the dagger from her hand. She catches it in the other and stabs him in his stomach. He turns to ice and shatters into fragments. All around him, his army shatters too.

Jon has stepped out to face Viserion and sees the ice dragon crumbling before him.

On the field, Ser Jorah Mormont dies cradled in Daenerys' arms. Drogon flies down beside her and shields them both with his wing.

Melisandre walks out of Winterfell and into the snow. Ser Davos sees her take off her ruby necklace. He sees an old woman fall to the ground and wither away to nothing.

Watch the Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 trailer here:


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Updated Date: Apr 29, 2019 11:32:19 IST

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