Attention: Spoilers ahead
HBO’s Game of Thrones pulls out all the stops in an epic battle at Winterfell with deaths and twists that not even the most avid fan could have predicted. With such an epic battle full of the deaths of main characters, many expected such a scene to occur towards the end of the season, not midway. However, losses were felt on both sides of the battlefield. Read on to see the most notable deaths.
Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), was the first big name to go. He served as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and died saving the life of Samwell Tarly (John Bradley). Second, Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), known as The Lady of Bear Island, fights to the death. Much like a rehash of David and Goliath, Lyanna gets bashed by a giant, but recovers only to charge the giant in full attack mode. However, the giant grabs her and appears to be about to eat her when she stabs it in the eye with her dragonglass dagger. In her act of bravery, she also loses her life.
Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), nicknamed The Lightning Lord, is the third to go, for real this time. Before his death, he continuously tries to snap the Hound (Rory McCann) out of a frozen state of fear. He is able to do so when they see Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) getting driven back by a horde of undead. They set out to save her and in the process, Beric sacrifices himself to block the passageway. As duly noted by Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), “The Lord brought him back for a purpose. Now that purpose has been served.”
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is the fourth life to be claimed among the lead characters. Like the others, he doesn’t go without a fight to protect the life of those he cares about, in this case Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), or The Three-Eyed Raven. Theon goes one step further, facing the Night King, himself. Bran finally comes out of his trance to see Theon alone, and the Night King and his posse approaching. Bran thanks him and with that, Theon charges to his death. This certainly made up for his cowardice on the ship when he couldn’t muster the courage to face Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek).
Fifth, and most surprising of all, is the deal of the Night King. In an unexpected turn of events, Arya Stark appears as a deus ex machina, saving Bran from certain death at the hands of the Night King. In an ironic turn of events, Arya kills the Night King with the very same Valyrian dagger that had once been intended to kill Bran Stark, instead using it to save his life. However, not only does Arya’s epic kill save the life of Bran, it also wipes out the entire undead army, who were under the control of the Night King, saving many from heated battles, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington) at the hands of the undead dragon, as well as the defenseless victims meeting their deaths in the crypt.
As epic as the Night King’s death was, two more still follow. Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) is killed while protecting Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Despite multiple stab wounds, he continued to protect her right up until the collapse of the undead army. Due to both his death and the death of Lyanna, it appears the House Mormont has come to a close.
Finally, the last death goes to the Red Woman, Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), who mysteriously appeared at the beginning of the episode, lighting the soldier’s swords on fire and kindling the trenches, although not without difficulty. She also served to encourage Arya to go after the Night King. After all is said and done, Melisandre wanders outside of Winterfell and collapses into an apparent death after removing her necklace that prevented her from aging. This is the last scene of the episode.
Clearly, the writers of Game of Thrones did their best to avoid cliches and give fans an undead battle chock full of surprises. Now the next stage, the battle for the Iron Throne, begins.