Arts & Culture

The Most Heartbreaking and Satisfying Deaths In Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3, Ranked

Spoiler alert! In true Game of Thrones fashion, the Battle of Winterfell saw a handful of emotional deaths that fans will remember.
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The Long Night went down as the Game of Thrones' most ambitious episode yet with the Battle of Winterfell as the most epic and longest battle sequence the show has ever produced. Casualties are inevitable in battles of this magnitude. Here, we break down the painful and most satisfying deaths in Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3:

10. The Dothraki and Unsullied


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During the opening moments of the Battle of Winterfell, the undead army inflicted the first major blow to our heroes when they made quick work of the charging Dothraki army who had the unfortunate role of being the first line of defense. The second line of defense were the Unsullied, who also suffered major casualties. The Free Folk and the rest of the the North's forces also didn't fare well. As much as we want to empathize with each member of these armies, their only purpose was just purely for spectacle. Warm bodies to show the scale (and ensuing loss) of the battle.

9. Viserion

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The Night King killed Viserion last season when he was saving Jon and the rest of the expedition crew from their wight hunt. But the moment he was resurrected as a wight, Viserion became a shadow of its former self. Viserion became an ice dragon of the undead, who was instrumental in bringing down a portion of the wall and paving the way for the invasion of the horde of undead. In the final moments of the The Long Night, Viserion was about to torch Jon Snow with its blue flame when he suddenly shattered into tiny little ice shards when the Night King was defeated and killed by Arya.

8. Tormund Giantsbane

By now, everyone should know that you can't confirm a character's death in Game of Thrones unless you see the dead body or actual death of the character in question. We saw Tormund Giantsbane on the frontlines outside of Winterfell, but we never really got to see him again when the undead army breached the castle's defenses. Let's just hope Tormund wasn't one of the reanimated Free Folk who were briefly shown on screen.

7. Eddison Tollett

Edd has been in the show since the beginning, but alas, he was the first familiar face to get killed by the invading wights. Even though Edd is a secondary (but still important) character in the series, his death is not without purpose, as it happened when he was saving Sam Tarly from the undead horde and he got impaled by one of the ice zombies. Thanks to him, we'll get to see Sam reunite with Gilly and maybe even help reinstate Jon Snow (or should we say Aegon Targaryen) as the rightful heir to the throne.

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6. Melisandre

Melisandre started out evil, realized her evil ways, and eventually came to fight for our heroes. She has come a long way from sacrificing Shireen, Stannis Baratheon's daughter, to the fire in a ritual. In the episode, she gave a fiery, though short-lived, edge to the defending forces. But her greatest contribution was encouraging Arya Stark to fulfill her vision/prophecy for her back in Season 3 when they first met: that she'd "shut many eyes forever," including "blue" ones, which is an obvious reference to a White Walker. Having realized that her purpose has finally been fulfilled, she walked away from Winterfell, removed the enchanted necklace that has kept her alive for centuries, and collapsed to death and dust in the snow. If you ask us, her final acts in the Battle of Winterfell make up for every crime she's done in the past.

6. Beric Dondarion

Ever since Thoros of Myr, his Red Priest, bit the dust last season, viewers knew he will never be brought back from the dead. But Beric Dondarion died a heroic death by saving Arya and Sandor Clegane (The Hound), two characters whom he never really had a good history with, with the latter even killing him in a duel back in Season 3. As Melisandre puts it, there was a reason the Lord of Light brought him back to life six times. The sixth resurrection turned out to be the most crucial as he was destined to save Arya from an untimely death.

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4. Lyanna Mormont

The outspoken young Lady of Bear Island became an instant fan favorite in Season 6 when she stood up to grown men who were twice her size. But in this episode, she stood up and killed an undead giant who's literally 10 times her size by stabbing him in the eye with a dragonglass dagger, as her bones got crushed in the encounter. It's sad and symbolic in a way: the smallest warrior, taking down arguably the largest foe in the battlefield (if you don't count Viserion.) In spite of being told by Ser Jorah Mormont to stay in the crypt, Lyanna chose to don an armor and fight alongside her men. Even though she's just barely a tween, she brought dignity and honor to her small house and the Mormont name.

3. Jorah Mormont

Being the subject of friendzone jokes aside, Jorah Mormont has been one of the show's primary characters since the first season. Before Jorah became one of Daenerys' closest confidants and her most trusted ally, he was originally sent to assassinate her so he could be pardoned by then-King Robert Baratheon from his crime of slave trading.

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But everything changed when he finally got to know the Mother of Dragons. Jorah dedicated his life to Daenerys, helping her take the Iron Throne and hoping she would bring a different and better kind of leadership to Westeros. In the episode, Jorah heroically stood his ground protecting Daenerys, killing dozens of wights in the process. Jorah was the second, and last of the Mormonts to fall in battle, basically rendering the ancient and proud house of Bear Island extinct.

2. Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy finally earned his much-awaited redemption when he died at the hands of the Night King while protecting Bran Stark. All of his past sins toward the Stark family were forgiven. Take it from Bran who said, "Everything you did, brought you where you are now. Where you belong. Home."

Theon's story arc has finally come full circle: He started as a ward to Eddard Stark, and befriended the Stark children only to betray them by capturing Winterfell. At some point he also ended up being captured and tortured by Ramsay Bolton, before he saved Sansa and regained his own confidence and identity with the help of his sister Yara Greyjoy. As David Benioff, one of the showrunners, puts it on HBO's Inside the Episode, "He knows he’s not going to be able to kill the Night King, but I think what’s really heroic about his action is that we’re all going to die, and we know we’re not gonna be able to defeat death in the end, but you know, it’sit’s how you face those final moments, and he chooses to run straight at it, and I think he dies in a way that makes us really proud of him and the journey he’s gone through."

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1. The Night King

The Night King's death was the most satisying and shocking in this episode, if not the entire series. The show took eight seasons to make the Night King, its main antagonist, this formidable ultimate foe, and it was gratifying to see him defeated by someone we didn't expect to deliver the killing blow, Arya Stark. Ironically, the Night King also fell victim to the show's penchant for abruptly killing its characters. Some felt his death was a bit underwhelming, even for Game of Thrones' standards. It didn't quite match the shock value of, say, the Red Wedding or Great Sept of Baelor, but his death will definitely open new storylines. With the Night King gone, Cersei officially becomes the new final villain. Unless some crazy plot twist happens.

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John Patrick Meneses
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