I’ll admit it, I too thought that Jon Snow not petting Ghost was the worst thing ever, but turns out that heartbreaking scene in the penultimate episode of Game of Throneswas merely creating hope that they would meet again at home (yes, the Night’s Watch has and always been Jon’s one true home).
Now Twitter might not the best thing on the internet (the best thing on the internet is obviously memes about hotdogs), but it does showcase some of the best reactions to Jon meeting, and staying with, our favorite runt of the Dire wolf litter Ghost.
Fair warning, a lot of these Tweets will tug at your heartstrings, and if none of them do then Ghost will eat you.
Image Via mirror.co.uk
I’m kidding! (I’m not kidding).
Before get too emotional, let’s remember about how we all complained that Jon should have pet Ghost goodbye.
Jon and Danny with their animal companions. It almost makes me forget that Danny died as a war criminal.
Speaking about how Danny turned to the dark side (note to self, never trust anyone who says they can solve all your problems), let’s look at how Jon and Danny were different. Daenerys might be Queen of the Unsillied, mother of Dragons, burner of women and children, liberator of women and children, but Jon Snow has the best title of all.
HuffPost reported that the director of the fourth episode, David Nutter thought it was “very powerful” with the way Jon handled the goodbye to his longtime companion. Nutter also mentioned that because the direwolf is CGI, they wanted the scene to be “as simple as possible.”
Joe Bauer, visual effects supervisor, explained the difficulties of bringing the direwolves to life, as real wolves “only behave in certain ways.”
John Bradley, who plays Jon’s best friend, Samwell Tarley, explained the reason for the final interaction to HuffPost: “I think that Jon knows what he’s leaving behind. Jon Snow is a noble man, and he knows all about sacrifice … He knows what he has to keep safe, and he knows he has a responsibility to Ghost and a responsibility to Sam, Gilly and Baby Sam because he knows where they’ll be safe.”
Eloquently said, however, we would still have preferred for Ghost get some love given the hell he went through! I mean my goodness, his ear is gone. This goodbye only raises more questions. Does this mean that we won’t see Ghost again? Is Jon shedding his Stark identity? There’s no choice but to stay tuned.
The latest episode of Game of Thrones was hyped beyond belief. “The Battle for Winterfell” was possibly the most anticipated episode of the season, showcasing the war between the united characters of Westeros (sans Cersei) vs. the White Walkers in what was thought to be a bloodbath of epic proportions, on par with the Red Wedding. But when the episode came roaring onto screens last night, it had some noticeable issues that, in this author’s opinion, prevented it from reaching the heights of true greatness. We’ll delve more deeply into SPOILERS in this review of “The Long Night” but before we do, here’s your chance to turn back now in case you haven’t seen the episode.
So, turn back now! Last warning?
Alright, still here. Then let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t in last night’s epic battle.
The opening moments of the battle start off grinding out the tension. The defenders of Winterfell stand assembled. Grey Worm stands before the gates, standing stalwart with his fellow Unsullied. Jamie Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Tormund Giantsbane, Samwell Tarly, Sandor Clegane, Beric Dondarrion, Jorah Mormont, Davos Seaworth, Ghost, and Lyanna Mormont stand among their ranks. Arya and Sansa Stark stand tall on the walls. Tyrion Lannister and Gilly hide underneath Winterfell in the crypts with the common citizens. The dragons circle overhead. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen finally stand side by side on the highest point of the keep, staring ahead into the darkness beyond. Its so quiet you can hear a pin drop as the tension is ratcheted up beyond belief, as the characters stare off from the sanctuary of Winterfell, unable to see into the darkness beyond, waiting…waiting…for something to happen.
Melisandre arrives presently (nice to see you again!) and although Davos doesn’t trust her, he allows her inside. Melisandre gifts the soldiers of Winterfell with the blessing of the Lord of Light, making their swords alight with flame similar to Beric’s own. The army then charges off to meet the army of the dead and flaming cannonballs are fired off. They strike something ahead, engulfing the battlefield with pockets of light…showcasing a HUGE tide of wights coming out of the darkness. What follows next is one of the episode’s brilliant moments, as the POV switches back to Winterfell, with the sea of torches visible in the distance. One by one, with no sound, the torches go out. The terror at this situation is boldly felt and captures the horror of the White Walkers without them even being seen. A great artistic choice, well done!
Image via Vox
But that’s when the episode takes a sharp left turn towards incomprehensibility. As the wights swarm Winterfell en masse, the defenders rush out to meet them. What should be a great/terrifying action scene is unfortunately marred by one fact: you can’t see what’s happening! Between the very dark lighting, the fast paced editing, and the chaotic style of the melee itself, the action is downright incomprehensible. You can’t see what’s happening onscreen, which is problematic to follow the characters who are in real mortal peril fighting for their lives against the surge of the undead. This is a problem that pervades throughout the entire episode and unfortunately, one that brings it down considerably. Its almost impossible to tell what’s happening onscreen throughout the battle through much of its runtime and considering the sheer scale of the battle itself, this is a huge problem. We want to see what’s happening! We want to see who lives and dies! But whether through design or error, you simply can’t throughout ‘The Long Night’.
Some of these moments were obviously intentional, such as when the Night King arrives and his Walkers conjure an enormous blizzard to blind the dragons as Jon and Daenerys pursue him. This scene captures the frantic pursuit very well, being very hard to see as the dragons race around desperately through the blizzard, getting attacked at points by the Night King atop his zombie dragon and only providing brief moments of relief as the two exit the blizzard. But at other points, you simply can’t tell what’s going on, such as when Grey Worm and the Unsullied defend the gate, Jamie and Brienne fighting desperately on the walls against the endless tide, or when Arya is sneaking around inside Winterfell, trying to avoid lurking wights. The episode is unfortunately undercut by the fact that we can’t see any of it.
You could argue it is a stylistic choice in order to capture the chaotic pace of medieval warfare. However, previous episodes such as “Battle of the Bastards” embrace this as well and they weren’t nearly as visually hard to follow. You can blend the chaotic style of medieval warfare with comprehensible cinematography without an issue, as previously shown, but this episode just couldn’t do it for whatever reason.
Still, this episode was full of cool moments when we could see them. Lyanna Mormont’s death scene was a tearjerking highlight, as she faces down an undead giant that smashes its way through the gates. The monster begins butchering soldiers and slaps the little girl aside. But Lyanna gets right back up and with a scream of a warrior, charges back in towards the towering monster. The giant grabs her and begins crushing her but Lyanna, with her last breath, stabs the beast with a dragon glass dagger, killing the giant at the cost of her own life. RIP, Lyanna, you went out like a boss!
Other great moments included Sansa and Tyrion’s heart-to-heart scenes in the crypts as the battle raged overhead, bringing their relationship closer as they spoke of how they were nearly married, the dragon fight as Jon Snow took on the Night King’s undead mount in a midair duel to the death, and Jon Snow attempting to kill the Night King himself only to be stopped by a wall of zombies that the Night King raises from the corpses of the battlefield. The last stand of Theon Greyjoy was also a great moment of the character, as Theon faced down dozens of wights to defend Bran, getting a solemn thank you from Bran as his former brother told him he was a good man. Theon then ran at the Night King himself, only to be gutted and died. A great ending of the character and another badass exit.
Still, despite what viewers thought would be a bloodbath of an episode, there really weren’t that many ‘big’ deaths. Theon Greyjoy, of course, has been a pivotal part of the show but his importance has waned with time and he was much more of a side character in the lead up to his demise. Lyanna Mormont’s death of course was heartbreaking, but she was never a main cast member, just a member of the supporting cast to whom viewers grew attached (for good reason). Beric Dondarrion also perished but his status as a cast member is quite similar to Lyanna. Melisandre walked her last at the episode’s end but she too had been dwindling in importance and the fact that was the first time she showed up in a long while undermined her death scene, as it appeared she appeared out of the blue simply to die. Arguably the ‘biggest’ death was Jorah Mormont, who died defending Daenerys from endless waves of zombies, but even he wasn’t a main cast member either. Everyone who was on the A-list came away relatively scott-free, without even any serious injuries to show for it. Even characters who arguably should have died— i.e: Sansa and Tyrion trapped in the crypts with the undead, Samwell buried in an avalanche of wights, and Jamie and Brienne overrun by wights— survived. Honestly, it’s a little disappointing that not a single main cast member perished, especially considering Game of Thrones’s reputation of killing anyone, everyone, no matter who they are. Perhaps we overhyped ourselves but still…its disappointing nonetheless.
Of course, the most controversial moment will be the death of the Night King himself. The big guy perished at the hands of Arya, who shanks him with her dagger, causing the Night King to quite suddenly explode, with his entire army of zombies falling apart with his death. It is a sudden, jarring moment, perhaps somewhat anti-climatic, but one that feels more in line with the show’s desire to subvert audience expectations. One hopes we’ll learn a bit more about the White Walkers now that they’re gone, as the Night King and his troops never showed their motivations nor any real personality traits. They were just evil and while that certainly made them threatening, it would be a disappointment if they didn’t have much else going for them.
It seems now Cersei will become the threat for the reminder of the season. We’ll have to wait to see what happens but it be a bit sour to have the supposedly main threat offed and a smaller, more petty threat take his place. Still, we’re sure the showrunners have something up their sleeves.
The Battle for Winterfell proved to be a rather mixed bag. With the lighting issues, lack of character deaths, and the death of the Night King sorted in with a truly epic scale and great moments this one isn’t bad but perhaps fell short of true greatness. We can only hope Cersei proves herself to be just as a threat as the Night King’s forces but we’ll have to see.
Pets are amazing. Often they have just as much personality as actual people and sometimes, they can be more compelling to us than our fellow man, being simplistic yet full of life. To celebrate the lives of our furry friends, here are some of the best pets in literature, from the fantastical to the mundane, always providing key companionship to our favorite heroes throughout their journeys.
5. Ramoth from Dragonriders of Pern
Image Via Syfy.com
Who wouldn’t want a dragon as a pet? No one, that’s who and Ramoth from Dragonriders of Pern personifies this beautifully. Bonding with a lowly kitchen maid, Ramoth reveals herself to be the last queen dragon in the world. Although prone to bad moods and constantly arrogant, Ramoth is loyal to her rider and proves to be a valuable companion throughout the series. Who wouldn’t want to fly across the earth on a dragon’s back? Sign us up!
4. Frightful from My Side of the Mountain
Image Via Fatherly
My Side Of The Mountainis a young adult novel centered on a young boy called Sam who runs away from home and lives in the Catskill Mountains. There, he hatches and raises a young falcon called Frightful, who becomes his ally and companion in the wilderness. Although she doesn’t speak and exhibits realistic falcon behavior, she’s still very lovable, being the only character who Sam really talks to. In fact, she was so beloved she got a whole book to herself, Frightful’s Mountain, which centers on her life in the wild from her point of view.
3. Ghost from A Song of Ice and Fire
Image Via Insider
One of six direwolf pups found by the Stark family, Ghost is something of an outcast among his own kind, with his unusually quiet disposition and white fur marking him as a unique. Fittingly, he is given to Jon Snow and the two form a bond, Ghost often being by his side although the direwolf often goes off on his own, disappearing for long periods of time. The coolest of the direwolves for certain, Ghost is aloof and strange but its clear he loves Jon, in his own way and always comes back to his side.
2. Toto from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Image Via Movie Paws
Toto is an iconic dog, Dorothy Gale’s companion, originating in the first book of the Oz books: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Taken to Oz along with Dorothy, he becomes the constant companion to Dorothy throughout her adventures, providing moral support and her only link to the real world. Toto doesn’t do much but he becomes iconic nonetheless, enduring what Dorothy endures and having a grand ole adventure with his human.
1. Hedwig from Harry Potter
Harry’s companion throughout the first six books, Hedwig is a snowy owl Harry buys and forms a bond with. Hedwig is very proud and haughty, often prone to temper tantrums but always shows her great love for Harry, flying miles to deliver letters for him and even harassing his friends if they aren’t nice to him. Always acting as Harry’s friend when he needs it, Hedwig meets her unfortunate demise at the hands of Voldemort in the final book, representing Harry’s loss of innocence. Yet, he always remembers his owl and we do too. We love you, Hedwig!