The Battle of Winterfell was a highly anticipated event by fans of Game of Thrones, but the defeat of the Night King left a lot to be desired.
The longest continuous battle in TV history was The Battle of Winterfell from Game of Thrones, but things didn’t turn out as most fans expected. The Battle of Winterfell was a lost cause before Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons joined the fight. When the Unsullied and the Dothraki joined the Starks, the odds tilted sharply in favor of the living, but the advantage didn’t have much impact on the outcome.
The alliance between Jon and Daenerys was fragile and looked as if it would collapse even before the dead came, but it held, and the battle was won in the end, although at a high cost. The show never taught viewers much about the White Walkers and The Night King but even based on what had been revealed, some aspects of the battle didn’t add up.
Tormund Beats The Night King To Winterfell
The finale of season 7 of Game of Thrones teased the Night King and his army finally getting past the Wall and marching into Westeros. This was witnessed by Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion who then headed to Winterfell to warn the others.
Tormund is next seen arriving at The Last Hearth and finding the Umbers dead. Yet somehow, they manage to make it to Winterfell a day before the White Walkers adding to the many instances of questionable travel times in Game of Thrones.
What Was Jon Doing?
Despite being one of the show’s many heroes from the beginning, many fans felt Jon Snow got worst on Game of Thrones during its final season. This battle encourages that idea as he is useless for much of the time.
Though he is riding a dragon into the fight, Jon spends a large amount of time simply sitting on the castle wall and looking around. It is as if the show didn’t know what to do with him, so they just had him take a time out.
How Did Sam Survive?
When Samwell Tarly is introduced in Game of Thrones, he admits to being a coward. Over time, he proves he is braver than he knows, but he is still not much of a fighter. He is shown to be completely out of his element in this battle, simply lying on the ground crying the entire time.
While that is a very relatable reaction to being in the middle of a battle against an undead army, it is a little hard to believe that tactic led to his survival. With undead soldiers pouring into the castle, the unarmed and defenseless Sam should not have lasted two minutes before being killed.
Bran As A Target
Even after eight seasons, there is little fans knew about White Walkers going into this battle. But with a large part of the plan relying on Bran as bait, the question is finally asked why the Night King wants Bran so badly and the answer is unsatisfying.
Sam immediately sees the logic that the Night King is conquering Westeros and wants to eliminate the person who knows all of Westeros’ history. But if the Night King was going to just kill everyone and turn them into his mindless horde, he shouldn’t really care about destroying Westeros’ history.
Winterfell’s Weak Defenses
Jon Snow had fought the dead before, and he knew very well how they attacked in waves and how hard it would be to defeat them using a human wall. He is also the person who planned Winterfell’s defenses, which means he would have created the strongest defenses for Winterfell.
However, when the dead descended on Winterfell, the trenches were shallow, while the spiked barriers were too low and weak to stop any dead. Preparing for the battle without preparing the city’s defenses just doesn’t sound like Jon Snow. The City gates also seemed to give away too easily to the walkers considering how hard it was to breach them during The Battle of The Bastards.
Jorah Fending Off An Undead Army
This episode marked the final Game of Thrones episode for many characters, including Jorah Mormont. The brave knight went out exactly as fans would expect – dying while protecting Daenerys from the undead army.
The problem with the heroes fighting a mindless army is that they would not consider tactics or self-preservation. Jorah and Daenerys are on their own and surrounded yet the undead soldiers attack cautiously, one at a time, when they would just rush the two of them and be done in seconds.
The Night King Dying From A Stab Wound
No one seemed to know how to defeat the Night King in the seven seasons of Game of Thrones. The ice-covered man seemed invincible with an awful amount of strength. Dragon glass, Valyrian steel, or fire are needed to kill a walker. The Night King was obviously harder to kill since a whole wave of Drogon’s flames didn’t have any impact on him.
Valyrian steel looked like the weakest of the three tools for killing the dead, and if dragon’s fire didn’t have an effect, it would seem like something far more powerful would be necessary. Dying from a simple stab of Arya’s Valyrian steel dagger oversimplified the whole fuss around the Night King.
Why Didn’t Drogon Kill The Night King?
Daenerys had the Night King cornered, but he simply smiled through Drogon’s flames as if they didn’t mean anything. When Daenerys went beyond the wall to save Jon, her dragons were causing a lot of damage to the Night King’s forces. The idea behind the Night King throwing the spear to kill Viserion was so that the dragons don’t throw their flames at the Night King himself because they would probably kill him.
If a dragon’s flame could melt the Great wall, covered in ice and Dragon Glass, why wouldn’t it kill The Night King? How would the Night King smile through the flames that took down his minions with so much ease? The unresolved questions about Night King makes him one of the worst Game of Thrones character arcs in the end.
The Dothraki’s Deaths
The Dothraki were Berserk but loyal, which is why they were the first to rush into the battle against the White Walkers. Jorah Mormont, Daenerys’ most loyal fighter, led the screamers with their sickle-shaped swords into the first wave, but they got consumed one by one, and only a handful came back defeated. Daenerys also confirmed after the battle that many of her forces had been killed.
However, when Daenerys gave the victory speech to her armies after burning down King’s Landing a few days later, The Dothraki numbers seemed unshaken. So, did the Dothraki have the power to raise their dead? The only other explanation would be that Daenerys kept other Dothrakis hidden somewhere, which wouldn’t be logical either.
The Night King was known for his strange blue eyes, a trait all his followers gained once he raised them from the dead. The strangest miracle the Night King did was raising Viserion from the dead. Viserion’s blue flames seemed to be as strong as Rhaegal’s powerful ones.
The dead dragon also managed to fly despite having weathered wings. After getting injured, with half of his head gone, Viserion continued to throw flames at Jon Snow. Surely, a dead dragon with only half of its mouth left should have some limits.
The Dragons Abandoning The Battle
The Dragons were supposed to improve the odds for the humans in the long battle, but they didn’t deliver the much-needed advantage. The first one to quit was Rhaegal after battling Viserion. He landed and ran off, leaving Jon Snow to save himself with his sword. Drogon stayed a little longer but also flew off after nearly being brought down by a large swarm of walkers.
The dragons were supposed to be loyal and obedient to Daenerys and, by extension Jon Snow. However, their flames didn’t seem to do anything about the number of the dead walkers that just kept coming. When the Night King did his trick of raising all the dead on the battlefield, the dragons were nowhere to be seen. Having two dragons didn’t help the living in any way.
The Giant Walker
Wun Weg Wun was the last giant in the show who helped Jon Snow take down the gates of Winterfell during the Battle of The Bastards. The gates were powerful, and even with the giant’s help, took some time of serious pounding to bring them down. In the battle of Winterfell, the giant walker seemed to have super strength, though.
The giant simply kicked the gate in and started throwing everyone around with this huge log. It is hard to understand how a dead giant would be more powerful than a live one, not to mention, it pulled Lyanna Mormont close to its eyes like it was just waiting for her to stab it.
Bran’s Powers Are Useless
What was the importance of Bran Stark’s white-eyed trance that sent ravens flying after the Night King if it couldn’t save anyone? When Bran met the former Three-Eyed Raven, he had created a secure zone that the night king couldn’t approach until Bran went against his advice and allowed the Night King to touch him. Bran, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be able to protect himself and those around him after becoming the Three-Eyed Raven.
After giving Theon some pep talk about how he was a good man, Bran went into his trance, leaving Theon on his own. He didn’t even lift a finger when the Night King was about to kill him, making it seem like one of the avoidable TV deaths. His gift was then the most useless weapon in the Battle of Winterfell.
Drogon Overwhelmed By The Dead Walkers
Drogon was Daenerys’ favorite dragon, always loyal and seemingly, the leader of the other two. The dragon was also huge and powerful as he managed to stay above the dead walkers as he threw flames at the Night King. Drogon also protected Daenerys from falling when he was injured in the battle of the Gold Road. In the battle of Winterfell, Drogon seemed to make a mistake, though, as he landed in a place swarmed by walkers after saving Jon Snow.
When the walkers started surrounding him, he didn’t throw a single flame, trying to scratch and bite them instead. Whether he was out of breath or just lost his tricks, fans will never know, but somehow, he got overwhelmed by walkers and abandoned Daenerys, and it didn’t make sense.
The Night King’s Generals
The Night King always had this team of minions that looked nearly like him and seemingly strong and smart as compared to the rest of the rugged walkers. The show never explained what purpose they were to serve, but they were always at his side, which should have meant they were important for his survival, or maybe one would be his successor, but no.
In the battle of Winterfell, there were around a dozen White Walker-bodyguards with the Night King. All of them somehow failed to notice as Arya sneaked on the Night King, though. They were all useless when the Night King died as they all crashed as he died. So, if they were that useless, why did The Night King carry them along?