Friday, March 31, 2023

Game of Thrones 8×03 Liveblog: The Dark Set

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Hope you held onto whatever needed holding, because it was the BIG BATTLE SPECTACULAR on this season of Game of Thrones. All seven seasons, plus the two weeks it took the army of the dead to book it to Winterfell, has led to this moment. If you liked shaky cam and night-time sets where the action is barely visible, we’re guessing you were in for a treat tonight!

You can see our discussion below in our Disqus thread. Otherwise, here is how Kylie and Julia reacted to the episode.

Our reactions to this episode


I’m honestly shocked. Like…this is what D&D have tried to aim for all these years, right? To shock us as much as possible? I’m just so unprepared for having watched that, that I can’t even decide if it was good or bad. It made me feel things, but what am I feeling?

Also gotta love Jonny cakes, the King-to-be for all of us, standing up and screaming in the face of an undead dragon. Stay Jonny forever.

I was tense for over an hour, and invested in the battle in a way I didn’t think was possible on this show. Yes, a lot of it was silly. Yes, these military logistics were dumb from the start. And yes, I’m not sure I even flinched when Beric got it, because these characters are cardboard. But the way these stakes were done, and the horror of it was really portrayed well, and all the jokes we were making, I was here and paying attention in a way I haven’t done since Season 2.

I think ultimately it’s a disservice to this overall story “adapted” from A Song of Ice and Fire. Cersei is not the final boss, yo. But for us book snobs, I am here for it, and living for 3 episodes of Cheryl memes. For the elephants!

Highlight: I have no idea what to list as the highlight in terms of moments, if that’s what we’re trying to do. I’d list the direction and sound mixing and all, but I’ve seen very competently produced battles on this show before, and felt less than nothing. I don’t know if this was more effective because they aped Lord of the Rings shots (particularly with the Night’s King swooping like the Witch King of Agmar, but I felt these visuals way way more.

I guess the thing that delighted me the most was Bran calling his pack of crows. What did it do? What did it add? I haven’t the foggiest, but it was ultimate drama, and I’m here for that.

Lowlight: I have to pick Lyanna dying. I was so disgusted that we had to watch that, I honestly forgot how to feel about it. I kept thinking, “But why would they do this?”,as if I haven’t been heavily analyzing that exact question, and we didn’t already see something similar with Rickon (or Shireen, or even Olly).

I’m glad she took the giant out, but we did not need to see her body crushed, and the fact that she died before Jorah has that lovely implication that she was a stupid little girl who should have listened to her gross slaver cousin when he told her to hide in the crypts and be safe.


I’m totally flabbergasted and can’t even collect my thoughts right now. I guess I should have know when they named the show “Game of Thrones” that they saw the existential threat to humanity as something to get out of the way so that they can get back to the petty squabbling among rich people for three feature length episodes?

I admit, I was actually shocked. Even I didn’t suspect they would miss the point of A Song of Ice and Fire that much. I’m willing to bet quite a bit of money this hasn’t spoiled any book ending too much.

Highlight: People working on this show who aren’t writing know what they’re doing. My favourite part was the battle between the three dragons over the clouds with the moon in the background. The music sounded like something I would actually listen to.

It was amusing to count all the Star Wars and LotR rip-offs references homages.

Lowlight: Sansa and Tyrion bonding was…weird. That relationship didn’t seem super important to either character, to be honest. So why bring it up here? And have her join his fan club to such a degree. Also not a fan of Lyanna’s death. Though I guess she had a Crowning Moment of Awesome? Maybe? Why did this character exist?

Also, unless someone draws me a detailed chart, with time references, I call bullshit on Arya even being there.

Let us know your own thoughts below!


  • Kylie

    Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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