Who's alive and who's dead after Game of Thrones' Battle of Winterfell
MAJOR SPOILERS for season 8, episode 3 of Game of Thrones follow.
Game of Thrones viewers have now squinted through the most anticipated and massive battle in the show’s history, and made it out the other side. The same, of course, could not be said for everyone who fought in the battle. The body count for this episode was high — it included, like, all the Dothraki and countless soldiers — but not nearly as high among the main characters as some fans were expecting going in. Read on for a breakdown of who made it through “The Long Night” — and whose watches are now ended.
The Night King: Easily the biggest kill of the episode was the Night King’s death (if you can call the demise of a magical ice zombie a death) at Arya Stark’s hands. The Army of the Dead’s mysterious leader will, it seems, remain mysterious, as he shattered into a million pieces, taking all the wights and White Walkers with him, including the undead dragon Viserion. That smile, though, will live on in internet meme-dom forever.
Theon Greyjoy: Theon died a noble death attempting to keep Bran from the Night King’s icy clutches, and even received forgiveness for his previous heinous acts. “You’re a good man,” Bran told him, coming out of his warg state just in time to provide some emotional catharsis.
Ser Jorah Mormont: Another character who got to redeem himself for his past mistakes, Ser Jorah went down defending his queen and true love, Daenerys, from an onslaught of wights.
Lyanna Mormont: True to form, the steely fan favorite provided one of the episode’s most badass moments, taking out a giant wight even as it crushed her in its hand. (You can check out our exit interview with Lyanna actress Bella Ramsey.)
Beric Dondarrion: The oft-resurrected flaming-sword-wielder went down for good this time, having served the Lord of Light’s purpose: He fended off a force of wights, keeping Arya alive and allowing her to eventually take out the Night King.
Dolorous Edd: And then there were none. Good ol’ Edd was the last remaining member of the Night’s Watch, and he died in the process of saving his former Watch brother Sam.
Melisandre: Like Beric, the Red Woman fulfilled her purpose in the Lord of Light’s eyes. Turning up at Winterfell’s gates just before the battle began, Melisandre offered some fiery magic (and good old-fashioned moral support) to aid the living, and stuck around long enough to see them prevail. She then took off the magical necklace that preserved her youthful appearance, walked out into the snow, and vanished, fulfilling her own prediction that she would die in Westeros.
A whole lotta Dothraki and Unsullied: The forces Daenerys spent six seasons assembling were decimated by the Army of the Dead. The Dothraki led the charge into the jaws of death and were gobbled up immediately, and the Unsullied suffered heavy losses on the front lines of the battle. The show’s next episode will presumably deal with the consequences of this — defeating Cersei’s Golden Company and taking King’s Landing will surely be a tricky business with such reduced numbers.
Pretty much everyone else: Game of Thrones‘ bloody history led many viewers to believe the upper echelon of characters might be decimated in the battle. But alas, that was not the case. Jon Snow, Daenerys, all the Starks, Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Grey Worm, Missandei, Ser Davos, Podrick, the Hound, Sam, Gilly, Varys, Tormund, and Gendry all lived to see another episode, in spite of close calls for several of them. (Brienne in particular looked like she was going down multiple times, but somehow kept on fighting.) There’s going to be a lot of threads to wrap up in the next three installments.
Rhaegal and Drogon: Despite taking some nasty damage during the battle, both of Dany’s remaining dragons made it out alive, which should prove helpful in the next battle to come.
Ghost: We didn’t see Jon Snow’s direwolf die, and we just know that’s a gut-punch Game of Thrones wouldn’t deny us. Plus, some eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that Ghost seems to appear in the episode 4 preview.
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.