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Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
 

Grey Sister

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Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #5: The First Five to Fall
 

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #5

The First Five to Fall

 

Fantasy-Faction Game of Thrones Discussion: Season 8, Episode 3 – “The Long Night”

*Spoilers*

Watch through Season 8, Episode 3 before reading!

Episode three of GoT’s final season made for a long night indeed. In my case, I had to catch up on episode two (which I had missed while away on vacation) as well as watch episode three, which was so exciting I logged into our discussion group as soon as I finished watching. At 1:30 in the morning US Eastern Time, chatter filled the page from other group members who had stayed up into the wee hours to talk about what they’d just seen. What an episode!

The Recap

With everyone lined up, ready to face the undead, Melisandre rides up to start some fires (one very pretty; the other very necessary). Once the dead attack, there’s a lot of screaming and running around in the gloom. Astride Drogon and Rhaegon, Jon and Dany get lost in a fog made by the Night King. While awaiting the Night King in the Godswood, Bran warged into a flock of ravens (lots of discussion about his purpose in this), while we watched Arya flee willy-nilly from the white walkers—the first time we’ve ever seen her really panic in eight seasons.

The episode ended with Sansa and Tyrion hiding from raised Stark corpses in the crypt; Drogon and Rhaegal wounded and absent from the fight, Dany fighting back-to-back with Jorah Mormont against the undead, Jon pinned down by the zombified Viserion (spouting blue ice-flames from the wounds in his neck—cool!), and a heroic but suicidal charge from Theon in the Godswood. After getting a pep talk from Melisandre, Arya saved the day when she snuck up on the Night King and plunged the Catspaw dagger into his gut. The NK exploded, and all the undead became un-undead.

Everyone with whom Tyrion was drinking in episode two (“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”), and whom he sardonically predicted would survive the battle, in fact did: Jamie, Brienne, Podric, Davos, Tormund, and Tyrion himself. Grey Worm, Missandei, Jon, Sansa, Arya, and Daenerys also lived to take the fight to Kings Landing. Among the casualties, the only major character (i.e., one with his own point of view in the books) was Theon Greyjoy, but we also lost Jorah Mormont, Lyanna Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, Dolorous Edd, and Melisandre.

The Discussion

Not everyone in the Fantasy-Faction Discussion Group loved “The Long Night.” Unlike episode two, which received universally rave reviews from the Factioners—reactions to episode three were mixed. I loved everything about the episode, but Jochem Willemstijn spoke for several members when he remarked, “All in all, really disappointed in the episode and maybe one of the worst of the whole series.” Many Factioners hated the way it was filmed (“Too dark!” “Too confusing!” “I can’t tell what’s going on!”), and there was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking of the Battle of Winterfell.

Others defended the filming, plotting, and military tactics, arguing that the darkness and fast cuts perfectly captured the fog of war and created within the viewer a measure of the fear and anxiety felt by the characters on screen, while the strategic choices made by Winterfell’s military commanders were the best they could do when facing an army of undead who can only be stopped by killing their king.

Foretellings: Noteworthy Predictions for Episode Three and Their Outcomes

Several people correctly predicted that the dead would come alive in the crypt and attack those taking refuge there—something I honestly didn’t see coming and then kicked myself afterward for not anticipating (usually I’m pretty good at predicting such narrative surprises). No named character died, however, so all the crypt-casualty predictions didn’t come to pass.

A lot of people expected the Night King to bypass Winterfell and head straight to King’s Landing, wherein reside “a million” (really, that many?) people he can kill and then raise into an undead army. This also didn’t happen, although I have a theory that the person Arya killed in the Godswood might be a commanding general and not the actual Night King, who may yet put in an appearance.

Several people predicted the deaths of such secondary characters as Theon, Brienne, and Jamie, as well as some suggestions that Jon or Dany might not make it through the Long Night. Gem Durbin wins a prize for correctly anticipating that Theon would die defending Bran:

“I think Brienne and Theon will both die. Their story arcs are complete. They’ll die saving one of the Starks. Theon will be saving either Sansa or Bran.”

For Whom the Bell Tolls

We polled the group on whose death hurt the most, and Theon and Lyanna Mormont tied for most-wept-over, with Jorah coming in third. The Night King beat out Melisandre; I guess a lot of people were not sad to see her go. Her death was moving and her role in the battle redemptive, and I might have gotten a bit verklempt as she dropped into the snow.

AM Justice: Lady Mormont was the only one where I cried out, “Oh, no! Not Lady Mormont!”

John Kang: Lyanna Mormont: damn. LOVED her “fight” with the giant. Extra loved her going all blue-eyes.

AM Justice: I also loved how, from a narrative perspective, her killing the giant was a harbinger of Arya killing the NK.

Melissa A Mattes: Yes, when Lyanna killed the Giant, I remarked to my husband that North girls shouldn’t be underestimated.

Cory Ward: Jorah was probably the worst death although I saw it coming.

David Zampa: I was surprised by the survival rate of the battle. ESPECIALLY Brienne and Grey Worm. I thought for sure one or both of them would bite it.

Krista Heiser: Me, too!

Gogs Herriott: I thought Brienne would die protecting Jamie, but still alive for now so still time for her to get with Tormund and make giant monster babies…

Steve Maloney: In terms of major characters, I agree it seemed a little ‘light’, but we have to consider that we need people to care about in the battles to come.

LM Towton: Lyanna’s death—I really thought she was going to survive but what a way to go (her Eowyn moment). [I was] surprised there weren’t more deaths, like Grey Worm/Missandei, Pod and Tormund.

Michael Sliter: I knew Jorah would die. But I was sadder than Dany to see it.

John Kang: Theon’s death was the biggest kick in the gut. His redemption arc was complete, but I kind of hoped he would make it. In all, though, the casualties were minimal—it didn’t come as a surprise, because episodes one and two were making us fall in love with all these characters again, with the expectation that many would die.

Tales from the Crypt

AM Justice: One thing I didn’t see coming, but should have, was the dead in the crypt coming to life and attacking the people taking refuge down there.

Krista Heiser: I thought that was actually pretty likely to happen and was surprised Jon and those who knew he could raise the dead wouldn’t have actually thought of the possibility. I think it would have made more sense had they sent a few fighters down there with dragon glass just in case.

John Kang: Last week, I was thinking what a bad idea it was for non-combatants to hide in the Crypts. Like, YOU STILL KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW: you saw the Night King raise the dead at Hardhome! I was SO hoping we’d have a guest appearance by Zombie Ned Stark.

S.D. Howarth: I was looking forward to Sean Bean breaking tradition and coming back through the crypt. Alas, a bloke at work pointed out being headless was a minor issue to being raised. That leads onto why were the downed not decapitated?

John Kang: S.D. Howarth, couldn’t he have Ichabod Craned it?

Dire Straits

Cory Ward: I wish we knew what the hell was going on with Ghost. Maybe he is just watching over Jon from the shadows if that’s the case he didn’t really help much.

Colby M Zampa: I do really want to know what was up with that REALLY clear, visible shot of Ghost on the front lines prior to the initial charge. They weren’t letting us see much at the beginning, but they made sure we saw him in place. Charge with the doomed Dothraki horde aside, it’s strange to lack confirmation of his status of any kind (I thought we’d have seen him again, even if it was as a wight-wolf). They gave him such prominent placement in the battle for him to just disappear with the Dothraki.

Jaison Foster: Definitely disappointed with the lack of wolf presence in GoT, even just at key points (granted the technical problems for filming). I would have thought they’d play a central role in the later story. Still, there’s time yet for Ghost and Nymeria…

Krista Heiser: I’m having a really hard time with the complete lack of focus on the dire wolves. They are given so much more importance in the books that seeing them treated like an afterthought in the show is beyond frustrating. Here’s hoping George does a better job of handling them in the last couple of books!

Phil McCann found Ghost in the preview for episode four and shared this snapshot with us all.

Downed Flyers

Krista Heiser: I really thought she had lost two dragons.

David Zampa: Rhaegal flew away heavily wounded, last I saw. While he was alive in his last clip, it might only be a matter of time for all we know, or he might be wondering off to lick his wounds, or he might be fine. Who knows, but I assume it’s pretty massively significant given the lack of a definitive resolution with him.

Cory Ward: My first reaction once the Night King died was like holy shit she just lost her whole army and both dragons until I saw Drogon show up.

Cory Ward, John Kang, and ML Spencer all noted that Rhaegal was shown alive in the episode four preview. Ghost was also spotted in the preview. Cory further noted that Rhaegal was shown flying pretty well with Drogon in the preview.

Bran and the NK

Krista Heiser: I was disappointed with Bran in this episode. He seemed a passive observer, nothing more. Yet, he’s got the ability to inhabit the minds and bodies of other creatures. Did he try accessing the mind of the dead dragon? Did he help guide Clegane to Arya when she was so out-numbered? Did he do anything other than watch? I wonder how different this scene will read in the books. Will we get more from Bran’s perspective and feel some of his frustration and worry? I don’t know, but I hope so!

Cory Ward: Bran was more than likely watching the battle from a literal birds eye view. That’s why I think he came back as soon as he saw all the people around him die.

AM Justice: He sent a bunch of ravens somewhere, presumably with messages. The question is, to whom?

Krista Heiser: I thought his ravens were just watching. Did they have messages attached?

Lynn Kempner: I thought he was warged into seeing through the birds. He’s done it often. The birds found the Night King and Bran watched him raise his hand and the dead began to fall onto the burning trench, extinguishing it and opening it for the rest of the undead. My thought is he was watching the Night King the entire time, until he was almost right in front of him.

Petar Karapetrov: I thought Bran might be sending ravens south to warn the other lords and cities or he was looking for the NK in that snowstorm. Hard to tell in that darkness.

Steve Maloney: Looking forward to Bran theories. What were those crows up to? If everything is so pre-ordained, why do anything? They’re pushing a difficult line if everything every character does was just to lead to their final position on the board.

David Zampa: I’m wondering where Bran goes in the story from here. I doubt he’ll care much about the squabbles for the throne now that the NK is vanquished. Will he hang around and help his family, or find a tree somewhere and put down roots, so to speak?

John Kang: I’d love to see if Bran really was the one who drove the Mad King mad, and if he was Bran the Builder. [During the battle,] I think [Bran] led Arya to the Night King—or at least, I wish that’s how they’d done it. Because really, he otherwise had ZERO agency. He might as well have been toking on some Weirwood leaves.

AM Justice: I was wondering if the NK really is vanquished. If he is, there should be no need for a Three Eyed Raven, and Bran should have died also, or he will. Or, the Ice Guy we thought was the NK was just a Night Prince or some other subordinate, and the real NK has yet to appear.

LM Towton: Maybe he’ll become Bran again, and be less weird? Either that or he’s going to blurt out Jon’s real identity in front of everyone and piss Dany off, LOL.

David Zampa: I think in general I feel good about the way the NK arc has resolved. While the NK’s arc has plenty of unresolved details (what is the deal with his spiral symbol, why is Bran such a douche since becoming the Three-Eyed-Raven, what’s the truth behind the religions/magic, red women/priests, etc.), those details encompass eons within the lore of the ASOIAF world. And seeing as HBO now has multiple spinoffs and prequels in the works, I actually find the prospect of those details being explored more thoroughly in future productions to be quite exciting. If the NK arc hadn’t resolved here, it would doubtless take up a LOT of screen time for the remainder of the season.

The Battle of Winterfell: Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Cory Ward: I feel like they actually prepared as best they could for what they faced. I also figured it would be Arya to kill him since a direct assault didn’t seem like it would work her assassin like style would prove difficult for anyone. The Dothraki [charge] got totally shit on and I think it was a needed beginning for the dramatic battle.

Altario Shialt Eck Gorrin: Meeting the dead outside the castle in the middle of the night? Why would anyone leave the safety of the castle? You allow the dead to swarm you. And sending the Dothraki to charge the dead? No dragonglass, no valyrian steel? That was a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t know. It just seemed like bad planning to me.

John Kang: I so agree.

Melissa A Mattes: The castle wasn’t that safe, as we saw the dead swarming inside. The Dothraki would have been useless on the walls, so using them to test the enemy wasn’t the worst strategic decision. I’m sure they thought horseback would give them an advantage, too. Also, it’s obvious they planned their retreat back inside well. It was tactical. The men all knew where they were going, who would guard the retreat, and they had the flame trench ready to go, even if Dany missed her cue to light it.

AM Justice: I’m with you on this. I think they did as well as they could. They knew it was a losing proposition from the beginning and their only chance was to draw the NK into position and kill him.

Greg Thompson: They had two dragons and didn’t use them until the enemy was upon the defenders. The enemy was hiding in the forest, do a flyover and torch the enemy before it even starts! And so far as the preparation, Roman legions did better at the end of every march before setting up tents etc. They could’ve had so much better defense and taken out so many enemy before the battle started, it annoyed me for the first 20 mins. And just because the Dothraki wouldn’t have been great on the walls isn’t good enough reason to send them to their deaths in the dark.

Jaison Foster: It was bad planning even just to take the battle to the north. Why fight the NK in a place already covered in winter? Force the NK to come south as far as possible where hopefully his power will be weakest. Force him to fight near the sea (where his power seems to end—salt vs. ice). Make Cersei face the enemy.

Steve Maloney: Given most films’ battle tactics seem to only involve the word “charge” and hope for the best, there were at least a few stabs at something better here. Perhaps the worst move was that of the Dothraki. Cavalry charge into the unknown would have been unthinkable and wasteful, only Melisandre’s intervention—which wouldn’t have been planned, made for any use at all. It did provide some spectacular footage as they charged, and immediate tension as they flickered out though.

Not sure if everyone could have squeezed into the castle effectively. Regarding the number of deaths, I feel the wiping out of Dothraki and Unsullied is to give us a more even fight later down the line in the South. I’m not convinced there are enough participants left for a full-scale confrontation in the South, but if I were filming it, I’d make it stark and bright, a satisfying cinematic opposite to the one we have just witnessed.

LM Towton: I KNEW Arya’s blade switch that she performed while sparring with Brienne would be used again, I just didn’t expect it there! Also, brown eyes, green eyes, BLUE eyes…. holy crap!

[Regarding how the battle was filmed,] I know people were moaning it was too dark, but we watched it with curtains closed and lights off and it seemed to work. I also think it was deliberate to cause confusion/tension/worry over who was alive or not. There was definitely some Helm’s Deep homage going on. Also, loved Jaime saving Brienne, Brienne saving Jaime, Jaime saving Brienne again—seeing the “Two Swords” fighting side by side in Winterfell where Ice started with Ned, just felt right.

Jochem Willemstijn: I hated how Dany tried to kill the NK with fire. It was already established in season five that white walkers can withstand fire. Jon saw this, but apparently didn’t tell Dany for some reason? Surprised that they won, the NK was defeated way too easily.

Melissa A Mattes: With regard to fire vs Night King, we knew regular fire wouldn’t kill him, but Dragon fire is supposed to be special… No one should be surprised it didn’t work, but I got the feeling their battle plan was mostly “try everything we can think of and hope something works.” So it was maybe worth a shot. My gripe was that she needed to be better prepared for failure. She treats her dragons as if they’re invulnerable and is always caught off guard if they are in danger. After losing one, I thought she’d give more thought to their vulnerabilities….

James Kang: Cinematographically, [the Dothraki charge] was gorgeous, the way their swords lit up, charged, crashed into darkness, and went out. It also set up a sense of dread. But now, I’m going to point out the race trope here: Why is it the nameless People of Color—the Dothraki and Unsullied—are the ones who sacrifice themselves first?

Steve Maloney: I’m not going to dismiss the ‘race trope’ altogether, precious few of the named heroes I agree. However, these guys are the only two surviving armies in the area; most of the nameless wildlings and people of the North were wiped out during the Battle of the Bastards. My personal conclusion regarding the Dothraki: Unforgivable waste of light cavalry. However, when you consider the difficulty of filming the action of cavalry vs infantry, I suspect it may well have been a decision borne primarily of overall budget. As for the Unsullied, they fought the way they are trained, I doubt their suitability for siege warfare. They could do with a little phalanx training from the ancient world mind you…

John Kang: You would think that the Unsullied would have training defending city walls, because most of the Free Cities have walls; and that indeed, they could’ve been trained the basics given their discipline. The Dothraki charge made for a beautiful visual effect, perhaps the best part of all the dark lighting. Not to mention the sense of horror. BUT, foreseeing the larger strategy: the only way they win is by defeating the Night King. Any soldiers you sacrifice will end up fighting against you when he raises them. Plus, even if you manage to win, they won’t be around to fight Cersei. Once again, Jon Snow still knows nothing about tactics and strategy.

Tyrel Starnes: The field battle was an utter disappointment: The cavalry charged blindly into the front of the enemy, far from any support and without sizing up the enemy or using the home-field advantage. They should’ve been used to harass the flanks and kite some of the enemy away or push the enemy closer, a prime target for artillery, archers, and dragon fire. The unsullied put their skirmishers in the rear and not in a phalanx up front. The artillery fired once and was placed in the front (really?!). The dragons could’ve been used to slow the charge…or could’ve been used more in general; or there could’ve been more fire trenches dug, spaced out to provide a series of fortifications/enemy slowing obstacles.

When the dead stopped in front of the fire and began piling on top of the fire to open up a path, no one on the wall fired their bows to slow this process. You’ve got experienced leaders staffing the defense, would they really have made such rookie mistakes? This came off as a lazy method to crush the living defense and move onto a walking-dead style hit and run…run, run! skirmish inside Winterfell. Though it did get better once the field battle was lost, it was poorly done. The dragon fights were awesome, but the lighting sucked and the scenes were too short. The Night King died way too easily, in a fairly cool way, but after spending years developing the mystery of that character, there was almost no payout. And how did Ayra reach them exactly?

Greg Thompson: The first twenty minutes pissed me off; you have long range flying flamethrowers, but don’t use them on the enemy hiding in the flammable trees, wait till the enemy is literally upon your defenders. You have trebuchets, but only start them up as the cavalry charge, and the cavalry charge against an unknown force, in pitch black. Roman legionnaires built better defenses at the end of each day’s march, yet these thousands of defenders couldn’t dig and build a few rows of earthworks, etc.

Petar Karapetrov: They did about as well as could be expected? I mean, the Unsullied are supposed to be the best soldiers in the world, but they got completely swarmed. People need to chill out. If Theon can go all the way from King’s Landing to Winterfell in time for the battle, then Jon can put his artillery up in front. At this point, the series has done plenty of things to ruin our suspension of disbelief, so I think arguing [battle tactics] is pretty moot. What I hated about the battle though was how DARK it was, I couldn’t see half of the time!

Kristy Lee: Tactics were terrible. But that’s what makes a battle.

Pleasant Surprises and Favorite Moments

Jochem Willemstijn: The moment Sansa and Tyrion had together. I wanted more of those character moments.

John Kang: I’m NOT surprised the Army of the Dead lost, nor that a lot of people survived—that was one of my predictions for this episode. I AM surprised the Night King died in this episode, and that Arya was the one to do it—namely, GoT (both book one of ASOIAF and the TV series) start with the Wight Walkers. It feels like it should end that way. As for Arya, I totally thought Jon was the Prince that was Promised, and he would be the one to kill the Night King; however, I LOVE how it was Arya, and how that’s been set up for seven seasons—she is basically an agent of the Lord of Light.

More Foretellings: Predictions and Commentary Regarding Episode Four and Beyond

Monique Quarles: My prediction: Bran will become the new Night King. He’s branded after all! J

LM Towton: I’m wondering with Bronn, I think one of three things could happen (or none): he kills a Lannister brother; he tries to kill a brother but someone gets in the way (Pod or Brienne?) or he turns the crossbow onto someone on Cersei’s side and is killed.

Other predictions: I still think Jaime will kill Cersei (it just feels right) and I think it will come down to because Cersei will try to kill Tyrion and/or Brienne. A friend of mine commented that she would like to see a callback to episode one with Jaime close to Cersei, then he looks to a horrified/injured Brienne and says, “The things I do for love” and kills Cersei. I doubt that’ll happen but I wouldn’t be completely against it.

I [also] worry Cersei will kiss him with ‘The Long Farewell.’ I don’t mind if Arya kills her (but I think considering, two big kills are probably too much) but I don’t like the Arya using Jaime’s face thing, I just think it takes away from his character arc. Still wondering if Dany will be the final villain and we’ll get a second Dance of the Dragons, but maybe not. Also, wondering if Sansa is actually the “younger, more beautiful” queen to de-throne Cersei.

David Zampa: Having three episodes left to conclude all the complex political and hopefully Machiavellian plot points between the characters and the Iron Throne will give them plenty of time to reveal a satisfying, appropriately shocking and intricate outcome, and that’s what really matters, imo. The most important factor in this series to me is that all the characters’ goals and purposes get satisfyingly resolved, because once it ends we’re done with this cast of characters and this era of Westeros.

David Charlton: The showrunners are following GRRM’s brief for the overall conclusion of the story, and as George has openly admitted he was inspired by what Tolkien did with the ending of LotR, I wonder if we had our Mount Doom moment last night, complete with the eucatastrophe of snatching sudden victory from almost certain death, and then the rest of the season is the Scouring of the Shire, only writ large over Seven Kingdoms?

Jochem Willemstijn: GRRM said he was inspired by the ending of LotR because it was bittersweet but has also said that he thinks the good guys vs bad guys is really boring. That’s why his story focused more on morally grey characters with real flaws. If it would come down to a good guys vs bad guys battle in the books, I would be very surprised and disappointed.

David Charlton: Are your thinking that there’s more to the White Walkers than them being bad guys?

Jochem Willemstijn: In the books? 100% yes. There’s a mystical element to them that has been set-up in the books and I just can’t see GRRM going to Hollywood route and going against everything he has set up and betray the themes of his series.

David Charlton: In that case, we may not have seen the last of them. Presumably, this will have something to do with Bran, and his presently-incomprehensible warg-out during the battle?

Jochem Willemstijn: I think we will have seen the most important things of them in the show. Unfortunately they did go the boring good guys vs bad guys way.

David Zampa: Also, I know y’all aren’t as onboard as I am with the Littlefinger theory, but I’d just like to point out that the Night King was killed by a protege of the Faceless Men using Littlefinger’s dagger.

Krista Heiser: I really expected Jon and Dany to be more at odds. In fact, I had predicted she would turn on him and try to lessen the threat to her precious throne.

Michael Sliter: I’m betting that’s how the series ends.

John R. Clark IV: Now that the Great War is over, it remains to be seen what they will about the throne after the last war.

AM Justice: I wonder if someone will find and use Melisandre’s necklace. Also, if the Night King is really dead (which again, I think remains to be seen if the dude Arya killed was *the* NK or just his general), and the weird seasons are related to him, will the seasons shift back into a normal annual pattern?

– – –

And that ends this week’s wrap up! Drop by next Friday to read what the Factioners had to say about episode four, and our predictions for the remainder of the season. You can join our secret Facebook Game of Thrones discussion group here!

Contributors: David Charlton, John R. Clark IV, Gem Durbin, Jaison Foster, Altario Shialt Eck Gorrin, Krista Heiser, Gogs Herriott, S.D. Howarth, John Kang, Petar Karapetrov, Lynn Kempner, Kristy Lee, Steve Maloney, Melissa A Mattes, Phil McCann, Monique Quarles, Michael Sliter, ML Spencer, Tyrel Starnes, Greg Thompson, LM Towton, Cory Ward, Jochem Willemstijn, Colby M Zampa, and David Zampa.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Ângelo says:

    Everytime Brans goes into his visions or wargs into a beast, the Night King detects and persues him.
    Bran was probably attracting the Night King to that place for his demise.

  2. Avatar Daniel Rauch says:

    Before I begin my rag on what I didn’t like let me start positively. I liked the visuals and the adrenaline rush that pumps through your veins as the battle unfolds and the camera work was breathtaking and overall I liked this episode.
    But liked is far from loved…
    The tactics that were deployed should have resulted in every single one of the living being consumed by the undead hoards. Never, ever…ever fight a larger force that doesn’t tire out on the open ground! The castle should have been the primary line of defense not the last, with as many trenches dug around the walls as possible to slow the undead. The cavalry should have been kept in reserve somewhere nearby to run cycle charges against the flanks of the undead while the two dragons supported the lines from above with fire and limiting where the dead were amassing. The trebuchets should have been kept behind the walls where they were safe and could have continued to rain fire upon the undead rather than the one and done tactic that was employed. The pitch, oil or tar should have been kept on the walls for if/when the dead reached them and began to World War Z their way up, to burn them out and slow them down. Every person able to fight should have been atop the walls or in the towers with bows or polearms to repel any invaders and if (just if) they couldn’t have all fit inside the castle, they should have been deployed either behind the trenches to hinder the undead even further when they tried to cross the moats before falling back, or behind the castle in reserve to force the undead to attack the castle or attempt to pass by it and get bombarded by the defenders.
    Also, where were the tactics on the Night King’s part? Winter arrived and the dead don’t freeze, tire or need food so why not attempt to attack Winterfell with a smaller force and a couple of White Walkers as a distraction and skirt around the battle and go south to slaughter all the fools without the Dragon Glass and then come back once the defenders have been weakened with the entire rest of the world under your thrall.
    And according to the show, dragon glass only needs to touch the walkers and the dead to kill them so, A. Why not grind a bunch of it into powder and use the artillery to launch barrels of powder at the enemy and let it float around the battlefield choking and killing them? And B. Why the hell would the Night King who can be unmade by a random piece of obsidian (or valarian steel) walk into the fortress teeming with it?

    • Avatar A.M. Justice says:

      Good points! I also wondered about the LACK of snow on the ground. Conveniently, there appeared to be only an inch or less. Perhaps they cleared it but I thought realistically they should have been fighting in knee or even waist high snow, or a blinding blizzard, with the NK bringing winter upon them.

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