Warning: This post contains spoilers for Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, obviously.
This week's episode of GOT brought the long-awaited Battle of Winterfell, with the Night King's army arriving to wreak havoc on the North before Arya Stark saved the day and stabbed the Night King, leaving the villain to shatter and his army to fall.
Before the victory, though, came a whole lot of death, with a few major characters succumbing to the hordes of wights attempting to invade Winterfell.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, some of the actors who portrayed the fallen characters opened up about their reactions to their characters' deaths, with the common consensus being that they felt things wrapped up in very satisfying fashion.
Ian Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, shared that he thinks the show "nailed" his character's exit, which happened as Jorah was protecting Daenerys from the wights.
"[My reaction was] just that the guys nailed it," Glen said. "I think really throughout all the episodes, just wonderful writing. It's such a hard thing to pull off, I think the expectations are so high and I just think they managed all the story lines incredibly well. It's full of the Thrones mix of the unexpected and dramatic and massive set pieces and extraordinary things beyond our ken, and it's kind of more of the same but bigger and better."
Richard Dormer's Beric died while acting as a human shield to enable Arya and The Hound to run to safety, fulfilling the purpose the Lord of Light had brought him back to serve.
"I had goosebumps," Dormer said. "Goosebumps on goosebumps."
One of the episode's surprises came from Carice Van Houten's Melisandre, who showed up before the battle kicked off to light up the Dothraki army's swords. She later helped light the trenches in front of Winterfell and gave Arya the hint and encouragement she needed to kill the Night King, ultimately proving herself instrumental in the battle.
Almost immediately after appearing on screen, Melisandre had told Davos that she wouldn't make it through the night, and she was right — after the battle, she took off her necklace, walked out into the snow and collapsed.
"I was really happy and pleased," Van Houten said of her character's goodbye.
The episode wrapped up a major story arc with the Night King's death, something many had theorized would come at the hands of Jon Snow. Instead, it was Arya who delivered the killing blow, something actress Maisie Williams told Entertainment Weekly she was worried fans wouldn't be on board with.
"It was so unbelievably exciting," she said. "But I immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. The hardest thing is in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, 'Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.' You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?'"
Ultimately, Williams realized that Arya's scene with Melisandre, during which she's reminded of Melisandre's prophecy that Arya will one day kill people with blue eyes, helped her come around to the idea.
"When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realized the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past 6 seasons — 4 if you think about it since [Arya] got to the House of Black and White,” she said. “It all comes down to this one very moment. It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does. So then I was like, 'F—k you Jon, I get it.'"0comments
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
Photo Credit: HBO