In these reviews we will talk about GOT, a well-known abbreviation for the Game of Thrones show. If you are not up to date with the series, we warn you of the possible presence of spoilers.
The Battle for Winterfell is the longest episode in the history of Game of Thrones. It took over eleven weeks to shoot. There are around 750 people on the scene. The total production of the episode cost $ 15 million. This is the longest television battle ever produced and broadcast. And the result is truly painful. This episode is, without a doubt, the ugliest of all GOT.
Have you already read the review of episode number two of GOT? You can find it Thu!
I see but above all I don't see!
Before seeing the episode I had received rumors and complaints of how "dark" the episode was. I didn't understand if it was simply shot with wrong lighting or if there were production problems. I was far too optimistic.
The production and the director have well thought to play the classic effect, a bit of a horror film, of not showing the monster. Specifically, thanks to the Long Night that is brought step by step by the army of strangers, every form of light is absorbed and a black wall advances with every step of the dead. The reason why this idea was adopted after several seasons when strangers appeared is a mystery to me. What effect can it have on a spectator not seeing the enemy in the final battle after seeing him dozens of times? In fact, the spectator sees soldiers fighting the dark and slashing through the night. I don't know if this could be called epic for someone, for me it will never be. Imagine the battle of the Fosso di Helm, where, however, you can only see the side on the walls, no orcs. Beautiful, is not it?
In GOT It is not the length of the episode that counts but how the minutes are used
We are at the third episode and, even in this case, there are dozens of wasted minutes: inconclusive scenes for the purpose of the plot, completely random slow motion, dragons flying in the storm, the Night king watching Bran and Bran watching the Night King. When they announced that this season would have a much higher minutage for each episode, I expected some great insights. I was terribly wrong. The production took advantage of the greater time per episode to make room for the superfluous. A way like any other to say "we don't want to seriously edit an episode".
The thousand problems of script
Game of Thrones could teach scriptwriters how not to deal with their own material. This episode, at the writing level, is the worst thing there could be. A fanfiction of a thirteen year old would contain less foolishness, probably. But let's go in order:
Fior Fior of strategists thrown out the window
The strategy was attended by consummate warriors, general experts and great leaders. The fruit of their work and wisdom has been the battle we have seen. After all, it is common practice to face an enemy in the open field that mainly counts infantry units, without siege weapons or archers, when you have a fortress behind you. Always from the height of their war experience, they have well thought of attacking the light cavalry, which has always been excellent for starting a battle.
"Only a madman would face the Dothraki in the open field"
With all due respect to those who remember that facing a Dothraki charge in the open field should be an announced massacre, cavalry is sheared in the first five seconds of battle. The flaming blessing of R'hllor, the main opponent of the Strangers, against the bad writing, was of no use.
Obviously the same goes for the Immaculate. Do you know all the effort to bring such a large army to Westeros? Remember all the effort in finding ships? All for nothing. Imagine if the army of the dead of Aragorn had been defeated in the Pelennor camps on the first charge.
Run Ghost, run!
Do we want to talk two seconds of the Specter cameos? After appearing for ten seconds in the last episode, we see him in charge in this episode. You will never see him again and, after all, why should a character like him be otherwise? Jon could have left him with Bran. Jon could have left him to guard the crypts. The truth is, Jon doesn't even know Specter still exists.
When R'hllor was there, miracles arrived on time in GOT
This episode marks the great return of Melisandre. The Red Witch probably traveled two meters ahead to the army of the dead, arriving safely in Winterfell just five minutes before the battle. He doesn't say much, because in such a long episode the explanations were not there, but he blesses the swords of the Dothraki. The flames of R'hllor shine in the night ... and they are of no use. The same god, who had shown himself receptive to the first miracle, must have gone to the bathroom at the time of the second. In a scene as predictable as it is poor in ideas, Melisandre manages to light the trenches only when the dead are half a centimeter from his face. However it does not die, which is more unique than rare. Obviously the usefulness of R'hllor, in the most important battle for his religion, ends right there. I'm sorry, gentlemen, but there is no resurrection for you. You must die badly and be resurrected by the only divinity who remembers being able to use the dead.
Put them two fog lights on these dragons!
Now, I admit that I have not renewed my license to ride dragons, mea culpa, but I clearly remember that when the flight is impractical, you can always fight on the ground. From the point of view of air battles, I find that the pinnacle of this episode was the flight fight between Jon and Daenerys. Obviously only Drogon spits fire, because the other dragon has not yet learned to obey Jon's commands. The purpose of the two sweethearts is to kill the Night King, something to which they are tremendously unprepared.
“Ah, are you fireproof? I did not know."
Fire has always been the secret to beating Strangers. Being a symbol of R'hllor, their opponent, it has always represented an economic solution to get rid of them. Dragon fire, capable of dissolving the Barrier, the secret of obsidian and Valyria's swords, apparently cannot kill the Night King. Ah. This wasn't written in the script, but probably the CGI can't beat any other CGI (I know the Night King is a trick, don't worry). Obviously there is no reason why a certain character, outside of those who have Valyrian blood, should be flame retardant.
Azor Ahai who? We have Arya
Remember all the wonderful legend of Goshawk Ahai, the one who had defeated the darkness for the first time? It is a key myth in the cult of R'hllor. Similarly, the myth of the Promised Prince is important, namely the reincarnation of Azor Ahai. The Prince would have awakened the dragons from the stone, would have reforged the sword Lightbringer from the heart of a loved one and would have defeated the darkness. For those who thought that this character was Jon and that for this reason he survived and resurrected ... no problem, it's a common mistake. In reality the darkness is defeated by the Yellow Lightning of Winterfell, Arya Stark, who teleports behind the Night King. After a scream, because nothing makes a silent killer like screaming before the blow, Arya skillfully manages to pierce the mortal enemy. Winterfell has not been saved by a chosen one, by strategy, by dragons or by something sensible and consistent with what has been said so far. Westeros was saved from Arya's teleportation capabilities. Obviously, after the library scene, it goes without saying that the Strangers did not perceive the girl passing before their eyes. They feel the drop of a drop of blood but seeing an assassin is perhaps too much.
What is the meaning of each death in this GOT episode?
Some might say that people died at the end of their journey in this episode. Nothing could be more false and shortsighted. Killing not one but both Mormont was really foolish. Dying one of the two could have given excellent narrative ideas for the other, especially if Lyanna had died and Jorah had returned to being Lord, but the opposite would also have been interesting. Let's not talk about Jorah's Tank skills, compared to which Boromir also pales. How many will have been? 10? 15 shots?
Special mention for Theon, that character who managed to have a long and painful death scene. We had all understood that his death was imminent but a good slow-paced race towards it is always effective. Obviously only the race is in slow motion, the rest happens in a moment.
All the faults of this episode of GOT
Briefly summarizing, the third episode is the worst episode ever. He made us throw R'hllor away only knows how many bets, how many plots, how much blood. I haven't even marked all the inconsistencies and cripples but, really, I don't understand how we can throw so much money away and not do anything good. Usually I try to see series as a "you could have done better, but if nothing else entertains" but the truth is that this episode is only long. Try to watch the bet at doubled speed, you will see that you will not miss anything.