Game of Thrones fans finally got to see the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell, and, as promised, it was the most intense episode of the entire series. As challenging as it was to watch, the episode was far tougher to make—it featured the longest battle in film and television history, and took the show 11 weeks of grueling night shoots to complete. Members of the cast described it as one of the most difficult experiences they had over the course of Thrones's eight seasons.
"Nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is," Arya Stark actor Maisie Williams told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s night after night, and again and again, and it just doesn’t stop. You can’t get sick, and you have to look out for yourself because there’s so much to do that nobody else can do… there are moments you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry."
If creating this episode was brutal for cast and crew, watching it was brutal for the rest us. The tension remained intensely high from the pre-battle moments at the beginning of the episode, through Arya's wight-dodging journey through Winterfell. Along the way, Game of Thronesdropped characters like flies, from supporting figures like Dolorous Edd and little lady Lyanna Mormont, who died sticking a dragonglass blade to an undead giant, to major players like poor, tortured Theon Greyjoy. Here's the body count.
Lord Commander Dolorous Edd's watch ended early in the episode, when he was stabbed by a wight after saving his fellow Night's Watchman, Samwell Tarly.
Lady Mormont may not have been the most major character to die during the Battle of Winterfell, but she had one of the most heroic deaths of all: She charged straight at a wight giant, and when he picked her up, she stabbed him in the eye. Lyanna hit the ground hard alongside the corpse of the giant she took down, and her death was later confirmed when the Night King had her rise as a wight.
Lord Beric, who'd died and been resurrected six times thanks to his very good pal Thoros of Myr, ran out of lives last season when Thoros died beyond the wall. He met his final death this episode, after being stabbed by multiple wights while saving Arya and the Hound.
Few Thrones characters have had as fascinating an arc as Theon Greyjoy, who began the show as a faithless brat and was tortured into creeping servility by Ramsay Bolton, only to be redeemed and fight alongside the Stark family. During the Battle of Winterfell he fought off dozens of wights in the godswood to protect Bran, who thanked Theon and called him a "good man." Then Theon charged at the Night King, who stabbed him to death.
The Night King
The Battle of Winterfell ended with the death of Game of Thrones's Big Bad, the Night King. While the King reached for his sword in order to kill Bran, Arya jumped at him from behind. He spun around and grabbed her by the throat, and Arya stabbed him in the stomach with Littlefinger's Valyrian steel dagger. His demise triggered the deaths of all the wights and white walkers, finishing the battle.
Ser Jorah Mormont
The tragic arc of Jorah Mormont concluded in the closing moments of the Battle of Winterfell. After Dany fell from Drogon during the fight, Jorah jumped in to defend the queen that he's desperately in love with. He took a blade to the chest, and as the White Walker army was defeated, Dany and Drogon mourned his death. For anyone who wasn't certain of his fate, the show's creators confirmed his death in the making of the episode segment.
Well, at least she knew she'd die from the beginning. Melisandre's last prophecy came true, when, after using the power of the Lord of Light to help the Army of the Living, she walked into the battlefield, removed her magic necklace and died.
From: Esquire US