For what should have been a clean sweep, ‘The Long Night’ has divided fans and casual viewers into broadly two factions, ones who believe that the ‘Arya’ twist-packed a solid punch and delivered the goods, and the others who simply considered the episode underwhelming, with most of the major players making it out safely, and the great war for the future of Westeros seemingly over. While I gladly side with the former on this one, I can understand most of the concerns fans had with respect to the culmination of an eight season-long arc.
Moving forward, Episode 4 is the calm that accompanies a storm, both before and after. It is also a “typical” Game of Thrones episode, in that meaning that it was a good departure from the dark and foreboding wars, even as Westeros prepares for another one. There were character confrontations, revelations, and tense moments galore, both in action and in dialogue, along with two intermediate character deaths that have got to have an impact on the side of the good guys: in a nutshell, while Episode 3 gave fans something to talk about, Episode 4 felt like the most GoT like in a long, long time. Not as epic, but definitely not one to be forgotten either.
While the armies at Winterfell recuperate from last night’s battle and reminisce over those they lost, tensions mount high between Daenerys and virtually all of the Starks, especially Sansa who is quite vocally dismissive of Daenerys’ authority, even as celebrations are underway at Winterfell. With the long night over, the fallen cremated, and the drinking and merriment out of the way, Daenerys and her council finally sit down to strategise as she grows increasingly impatient to move upon King’s Landing and taking the throne, something that is not well received by her advisors or trustees, but is backed by Jon following a rather daunting conversation between the two the previous night.
While Daenerys and the Unsullied proceed through the seas with the Dragons, Jon and the remaining army including Northmen march South to rally to her cause. However, It is what Jon does before leaving though that might change the course of what’s to happen, and how. By this time, you know what I am exactly referring to: Jon finally spilling the secret about his true lineage in front of Arya and Sansa, something that is bound to have far-reaching consequences.