TV Review: Game of Thrones Season Eight Episode Three – “The Long Night”

“It’s The Most Heroic Thing We Can Do Now. It’s Time To Look Truth In The Face…”

Ah, here we are at last. With just under two house of interesting, melancholic and foreboding buildup to kick off the show’s final season, Game of Thrones took the plunge into epicness this week as we were finally treated to the long awaited battle between the living and the dead, between the survivors of wars aplenty and those already fallen, between the Night King and Lord Snow, all against the backdrop of the chilly and incredibly dark siege of Winterfell. With two preceding chapters which in early hindsight can already be classed as bottle episodes, “The Long Night” took no time in boasting the financial support HBO has poured into its’ flagship show’s final farewell, with an eighty minute episode which managed to transcend the realm of television and bring spectacle to the small screen in ways that left both my jaw dropped and my head fuzzy as I sat through an extended battle sequence that was indeed filled with glorious technical achievements and beautiful designs, but one which too seemed to fall slightly short of being a full blown masterpiece. With pretty much the entirety of the show building up to such a grandiose set piece, “The Long Night” was always going to be an episode which would certainly be divisive in a way which the most popular franchises and stories always are, and whilst certain narrative decisions did indeed seem particularly jarring and anti-climactic, there is no doubting the sheer effort and sense of scale which the episode evoked, one which although failed on first watch to hit the lofty heights of “The Battle of the Bastards”, is still up there with the more impressive episodes of the series thus far.

With an opening one-shot camera movement which follows different characters as they prepare for the oncoming battle, the technical proficiency of the episode is clear from the offset, and whilst particular, non high definition televisions may have to be offset for brightness control due to the almost David Fincher influence level of darkness, the brooding, nightmarish cinematography does ultimately fit the tone of the episode rather well, suitably matching the almost survival horror aesthetic of the episode which at times, does feel like Game of Thrones meets World War Z. With Avengers: Endgame proving how on the big screen, years of backstory can indeed equal worthy payoff, the similar superhero style team-up of leading characters is a rather epic sight to behold as you witness numerous characters the show has taken its’ time to mould and care for be faced with the biggest threat yet. With the promise of death, lots of death, one of the main detractors of the episode is that whilst particular important characters do ultimately meet a sticky end, not one really felt incredibly impactful or indeed surprising, with the likes of Jorah and Theon in particular seemingly falling to their death for no other reason than to complete their own particular arc of redemption, and in a similar vein to “The Watchers on the Wall”, “The Long Night” felt like an episode which although everyone knew was coming, still didn’t exactly hit the emotional heights the storytelling on the show is renowned for. Whilst “The Long Night” does have minor flaws, for an eighty minute spectacle, I was completely hooked, with my eyes never leaving the screen as I observed gorgeous dragon battles, the dead falling from the sky like leaves and come the end of it, a certain female winning the day for the good guys, a positive outcome which on a show like Game of Thrones, is actually quite rare to see.

Overall Episode Score: 9/10

Posted on 30/04/2019, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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