This week, one major Game of Thrones character death completely changed fans' expectations for the remaining episodes.
Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 lie ahead!
Game of Thrones took out some of our favorite characters this weekend, and it was a lot to deal with all at once. The only saving grace was that our heroes didn't die in vain, as the Night King himself was killed, taking his entire White Walker army with him. Now, however, it is not clear what will drive the show for the remaining episodes.
The Night King made his way into the Godswood on Sunday's new episode, going after Bran. The undead monarch cut his way through the Ironborn, including Theon Greyjoy, and nearly got to the Three-Eyed Raven as well. At the last second, Arya Stark took him down with a slick dagger move we first saw last season in her sparring match with Brienne of Tarth.
This is a huge win for the forces of mankind, who took out over 100,000 enemies in one fell swoop. However, they are left battered and weakened, and they still have to deal with Cersei Lannister and her forces to the south. The reigning queen has 20,000 fresh troopos from the Golden Company, and she is prepared to deal with whatever enemy comes south to face her.
This changes everything for the season ahead, and totally eschews what fans were expecting. Many expected the actual game of thrones to fall by the wayside this year as humanity fought for survival. Instead, the survivors must night compete for lands and titles after quite literally staring death in the face.
On the plus side, this implies that we will see a return to form for the show before it all ends. The question of who will sit on the Iron Throne is suddenly an important one again, and fans will get to root for their favorite. Still, how can the survivors from Winterfell pick up and battle in a petty war between men after dealing with a true existential threat?
Unfortunately, we will have to wait a long, painful week to find out more. Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.