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Episode 243: The Long Night

Episode 243 for the week of April 28, 2019, in which we review the third episode in the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Notes: Thank you to BBC News for inviting us to an interview before the start of the season – we couldn’t make it due to the long night (i.e. the time difference between North America and Britain), but Bina aptly carried the banner for Vassals of Kingsgrave as noted in the aftershow of this episode.

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Tyler

    I have mixed feelings about The Long Night, especially on 2nd watch.. I agree with the main points identified and the point that the show and books have firmly diverged into separate products.

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  2. Floor Acita

    4h before the next episode airs, my first take anywhere…

    This week was brutal. The difference/contrast between the books and the show, but also the cinematography and writing were stunning and blatently obvious – for everyone to see.

    And yet I want to say/write about the thing that nobody was saying, dancing around, sub-text, but nobody ( I follow ;-) just said it. Internet speech and yet, I follow a handful reviews of that show, 70% book based.

    There is/was a devide between show-only watchers and book readers about the threat of the long night. I saw a lot of the first group complaining that the non-human, seemingly no ideology following, monolithic and “no compromise” white walkers are not as compelling an enemy as f.e. Cersei. While book readers saw the humans(/children?) against the Others as kind of a natural end game. They were devided on how much motive, how much backstory is for the Others, but no doubt the storyline is kind of a backbone…

    And yet… the book reader group gave the more positive reviews last week, the show-only community was thrilled by the action, yet had this stale taste in their mouths… why?

    Because there is no “Song of Ice and Fire” versus “Game of Thrones”, no two separate storylines to wrap-up. Neither the books nor the show established that. The GoT is, was and has always been happening, everywhere in the world. This moment in time though, as apparently from time to time in the history of the known world, things are changing rapidly. Magic is coming back, dragons, wargs, greenseers, children, the Others – Winter is coming! And this situation changes everything, the inherent nihilism of the GoT is pushed aside by “a new” moral compass. Actions not only have consequences, but specific ones, bound to survival. Martin brilliantly strew sand in our eyes at the beginning and end of book one – anyone can die! But this is a story, no, not everyone. If you sacrifice yourself and parts of you to prepare your people / humanity as a whole gof winter, for survival, the final battle, you win, you get a heroes journey or you get redemption fornprevious crimes albeit gor a price.

    If you journey south to fight the GoT, be selfish, power hungry, neglect the small folk, neglect responsibility, neglect preparation for winter, you lose, you get punished, killed, your legacy destroyed. There is a morality and it is such.

    So the unspoken truth about last weeks episode is nihilism won. It’s not about Arya,not necessarily in the hands of a good writer, not about dothraki, not about too many frontline fighters surviving. The issue is the Night King falling at all, the fact that in hindsight, this was a battle like at least some others, the fact that the long night is over, humanity won – even though they were not united!

    Cersei/Euron might lose at the end of the season, sure, to be expected. But they won this round, clearly, they made the “right choice” from a GoT/power perspective. No consequences for her, nor the living for that ruthless act, the most immoral action/calculation of all in this world. No consequence uncomparable to any other major conflict.

    Dany says in the trailer for tonight’s episode “it’s time for the last war”. But I don’t see no ‘last’ war, no breaking of the wheel. I see a world that has dragons, magic, a three-eyed raven, f…ed up seasons, couple more deaths maybe and a conquest, a war between enemies old ones and bew – just another time, another spoke on the ever going wheel that is the GoT.

    When Stefan Sasse says “it all depends on the last three episodes”, when even a guy like TYT’s Cenk Uygur’s (only read book one, years ago) first words after watching the episode were “let’s get it out of the way real quick, George would’ve never have written that” and when Amin talks about “the underlying problem of finishing this storyline first” I believe that is what they all are talking about (correct me if I’m wrong ;-) . But I just had to actually say/write it, because while we might have an “easier” time enjoying the cinematography isolated – we have the books, we separate the two and call this fan fiction – and the show-only group who loves the action, the costumes, everything and doesn’t even understand what (negative impression) given all this glory just hit ‘em, even a TV show is not only cinematography, but also writing.

    And when they mainly adapted, that is what drew most people in, made them fans. But what we saw last week as so often before was not good writing. Azor Ahai, the dragon has three heads, blue winter roses, 3 fires, 3 mounts… all forgotten…

    Unless… my first impression (others call it denial) is vorrect and tgere is a major twist coming that I can’t see, the long night is not over, the Others survived… But if Aziz is correct and the easiest answer is the corect one and the episode stands as it is..? After my over the top benevolent review of episode 2, I go full TheDragonDemands – Benioff is a brilliant con artist! And credit were credit is due, just like Cersei, he f..ed (with) all of us (over) … and won!

    Reply

  3. SanSan fans sucks

    God, SanSan fans so cringy. People complained about Arya and Gendry hooking up,but they have no complaints with a grown ass man like The Hound and a teenager to hook up?

    Reply

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