The Battle of Winterfell has arrived. The April 28 episode of Game of Thrones is the show’s biggest and longest episode to date at 82 minutes. The episode took 55 days to film, so it’s going to be epic in scale. Pretty much every major character will be fighting for their lives against the Night King and his undead army. Jon Snow, Daenerys, Arya, Jaime, Brienne, and more will have a major role in the battle ahead. Not everyone will make it out alive. The battle of the living versus the dead will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before on television. Who will survive? Who will fall? This episode is going to be game-changing.
The episode begins with Sam trembling. He’s terrified about what’s ahead, even though he’s armed with dragonglass. Everyone is assembling for the battle. Tyrion is walking around Winterfell getting ready. Theon is taking Bran to the Winterfell godswood. Arya and Sansa look out at the darkness ahead, awaiting the Night King’s army. They see Rhaegal and Drogon flying overhead. The army of the living is lined up and ready. No one knows what is next. Brienne, Podrick, Jaime, Tormund, The Hound, Gendry, Dolorous, Sam, Jorah, and the rest take their places. Everything is quiet — but only for a moment.
Jon Snow and Daenerys are with the dragons looking out at Winterfell. They’re going to wait until the Night King shows himself before they make their move with their dragons. Suddenly, someone on horseback comes up to Jorah. It’s Melisandre! She’s back, just like she said she would be. She tells Jorah to tell the Dothraki army to lift their swords. She casts a spell and their weapons become flaming weapons. Now that’s how you make an entrance. Davos sees Melisandre and opens the gates for her. She says that there’s no need to execute her because she’ll be dead before dawn. She catches a glimpse of Arya staring down at her. Melisandre is still on Arya’s kill list.
The Dothraki begin to charge ahead to fight. Cannons of fire are catapulted towards the Night King’s army. Suddenly, everything goes silent. The Dothraki weapons are no longer burning. There is nothing but darkness ahead. A few men, including Jorah, come back. “The Night King is coming,” Jon Snow says to Daenerys, who quips, “The dead are already here.” She doesn’t want to see her Dothraki men die like this.
The Night King’s army comes running and they take everyone by surprise. The rest of the army begins to fight but they barely stand a chance. Brienne is pummeled to the ground by wights. Thankfully, Daenerys and Jon Snow come to help with Rhaegal and Drogon. Jon Snow rides towards the White Walkers, but he can barely see anything. Jon Snow and Daenerys are burning any wights they can as quickly as they can. Arya sees what’s happening and tells Sansa to go to the crypts. She gives her a dragonglass dagger. Sansa goes down to the crypts. When Tyrion sees her face, he knows things aren’t going well.
Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Sam, and Podrick continue to fight. Sam nearly dies but is saved by Dolorous, who is then killed by a wight. Brienne and Tormund tell everyone to pull back and Lyanna Mormont opens the gates for them. Greyworm and the other Unsullied continue to fight outside the gates. Jon Snow and Daenerys are still out there, while Theon is with Bran at the godswood. Arya uses her bow and arrow to take out a wight that’s about to catch The Hound.
The Night King’s army is just decimating the army of the living. Greyworm makes the gut-wrenching decision to close the gates. Melisandre is just merely walking around all of the chaos. She walks out in front of everyone and begins chanting a spell. Just in the nick of time, the barrier around Winterfell lights on fire. Melisandre comes through finally!
Tyrion, Varys, and Sansa are waiting in the crypts. Tyrion feels guilty for not fighting. Sansa says that the most heroic thing they can do is sit here. “That’s why we’re down here. None of us can do anything,” Sansa says. Sansa and Tyrion share a light-hearted moment when Sansa says that he was the best of her husbands after Tyrion jokes they should have stayed married. “It wouldn’t work between us,” Sansa says. Why? Because of Daenerys. His divided loyalties would become a problem. Missandei sticks up for Daenerys, saying they’d all be dead if it wasn’t for her.
At the godswood, Theon tries to apologize to Bran for what he did in the past. Bran tells Theon that everything he did brought him to where he is now: home. The dead begin to make a bridge through the barrier, so they can all get through to Winterfell.
Jon Snow spots the Night King riding Viserion in the distance. He’s coming. Meanwhile, the wights continue to make their way up the walls of Winterfell. Gendry, Jaime, Brienne, and the others begin to kill wights as they climb up the walls. Jaime is surrounded by wights and Brienne comes to his aid. They fight side by side in a truly epic moment. The Hound is trying to get it together but is terrified of the fire. Beric tries to encourage him to fight by telling him to look at what Arya is doing. Arya is killing wights left and right with her epic weapon created by Gendry. Davos looks at her with such pride. Suddenly, she’s slammed into a wall by a wight. She manages to escape, thank God. But she’s not at 100 percent anymore.
Lyanna Mormont is tossed to the side by a huge undead giant, but she’s not backing down. She runs right up to the giant. He grabs her and begins to crush her. Before he can kill her, Lyanna proves she’s the greatest by stabbing the undead giant in the eye with her dragonglass dagger. She goes down a hero by taking down the biggest person in the fight. Rest in peace, mighty one. Meanwhile, Jon Snow and Daenerys are trying to fight off the Night King and Viserion, but this is taking them away from helping the others.
Arya hides from multiple wights inside Winterfell. She can’t make a sound or they’ll find her. Unfortunately, they can hear the sound of her blood dripping onto the floor. She throws them off her trail, and just when she thinks she’s safe, they all come busting through the door next to her. She begins to run through the halls of Winterfell trying to escape. Sansa and the others in the crypt can hear the people above dying, but soon everything goes silent.
The Hound and Beric are walking through the halls of Winterfell. When they turn a corner, a wight pushes Arya through a door onto the floor. Beric saves her by throwing his flaming sword straight through the wight. The three of them fight off more wights and Beric sacrifices himself as The Hound carries Arya to safety. Arya and The Hound find a safe room and that’s where Beric spends his final moments. Melisandre is there, too. “The Lord brought him back for a purpose,” Melisandre says to Arya about Beric. Beric’s purpose was to save Arya. She later asks Arya, “What do we say to the God of Death?” Arya knows the answer. “Not today,” she says, before running off.
The Night King begins destroying Winterfell with Viserion. Viserion and Rhaegal begin to fight in the air. In the midst of the chaos, the Night King just lets go of Viserion and falls. Viserion goes down and Jon Snow is thrown off Rhaegal. Theon is fighting off wights in the godswood as he and Bran await the Night King. Daenerys is still riding Drogon and she’s the one who spots the Night King on the ground. “Dracarys,” she says to Drogon, before lighting the Night King on fire. But the Night King is not dead. He’s still standing amidst the flames.
The Night King walks among the ruins and Jon Snow comes up behind him. Jon is running towards him when the Night King begins to raise the Unsullied and the others as part of his undead army, including Lyanna and Dolorous. He leaves Jon Snow to fight off the undead Unsullied. Daenerys comes in with the save with Drogon. The White Walkers begin to make their way to Winterfell. In the crypts, wights begin to attack. Tyrion, Sansa, and the others run for their lives.
Jon Snow knows he has to get to Bran and Daenerys tells him to go. The wights start to attack Drogon and Daenerys falls to the ground as an overwhelmed Drogon flies away. She is surrounded by wights and is about to be taken down when Jorah comes to save her. Jon Snow witnesses the carnage as he walks through Winterfell to get to Bran. Theon is still fighting off wights as Bran does his warging thing.
Tyrion and Sansa are still hiding in the crypts as the wights take over. Sansa takes out her dragonglass dagger. If they die, they’re going to die together. They hold each other’s hands and Tyrion kisses Sansa’s hand before they make a run for it. Everyone is completely overwhelmed by the Night King’s army of the undead. Theon fights off every wight he can before the Night King and the White Walkers show up. Bran comes to and says to Theon, “Theon, you’re a good man. Thank you.” Theon knows what’s about to happen. He has accepted his fate. He runs straight towards the Night King and the White Walkers completely unafraid of death. Theon dies at the hands of the Night King.
Jorah is still defending Daenerys outside Winterfell. He’s been stabbed and beaten down, but he’s not dead yet. He’s going to fight to the end for his Khaleesi. The Night King makes his way towards Bran. They come face-to-face once again. There’s a gust of wind that blows the hair of one of the White Walkers, but it’s not the weather. The Night King starts to grab his sword when Arya comes in for the win. He turns around and grabs her by the throat. She drops Littlefinger’s Valryian steel dagger, but catches it and stabs him right in the heart. The Night King and his army turn to ice and go down one by one, thanks to Arya Stark. ARYA STARK JUST SAVED EVERYONE. When it’s all over, Arya and Bran just stare at each other.
Jorah collapses when the fighting stops. “I’m hurt,” he says to her. Daenerys cries as Jorah takes his last breaths. Drogon comes back by her side and puts his wing around his mother as she holds Jorah’s body. No one has ever loved Daenerys like Jorah has. Melisandre walks out among the dead. She takes off her necklace, revealing her true self to Davos. She takes her final steps out in the distance. If not for Melisandre’s pep talk, Arya wouldn’t have killed the Night King.