In an episode fans expected to be full of dreaded character deaths, a surprising Game of Thrones character took center stage: the Night King himself.
Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 lie ahead!
The Battle of Winterfell was full of heroic skirmishes, raging battles and tragic deaths. Still, to many fans, the star of the show was circling overhead, running the show without ever putting himself in any real danger. As the battle raged on, the camera occasionally cut to the Night King on Viserion's back, holding his hand out to control his army of wights from overhead.
The Night King really does have big brain energy sometimes pic.twitter.com/aYlowsrpW2— Killua (@elziayarg) April 29, 2019
Fans noted the Night King's careful strategy in frantic live-tweets as the episode went on. Many even praised the undead enemy, who seemed to have it all figured out.
"The Night King is running up the score," one fan tweeted.
"NIGHT KING NOT PLAYING," wrote another.
"The Night King really does have big brain energy sometimes," noted a third.
While we knew he had some big advantages, fans were still shocked to see the Night King so in control throughout the battle. The leader of the Armies of the Dead had a solution to everything mankind could throw at him, and even the few weapons they thought they had were virtually useless.
In one triumphant scene, Melisandre used her magic to light the trench of wood and dragonglass spikes around Winterfell on fire, keeping the bulk of the army at bay. Looking down, the Night King simply guided some of his soldiers to fall on the flames, creating a bridge of bodies for the others to cross over. Worst of all, the soldiers he sacrificed rose again later on in the night when the Night King reanimated everyone on the battlefield, including the bodies of his enemies.
Perhaps the greatest insult in all of this decisive victory was the Night King's frozen expression. The icy monarch has never changed his face, and he was not about to start now. Fans noted the unnerving affect of his face as he seemed to be totally in control -- never surprised, scared, or even happy when things went his way.
She hit the Night King with a full clip. And he stood there like," one fan tweeted with a gloating GIF.
"YOU THOUGHT - Night King," added Desus & Mero star Desus Nice.
Even literal dragonfire did not phase the Night King, who walked out of Drogon's fire as unscathed as Daenerys came out of the funeral pyre at the end of Season 1.
What comes next is unclear. Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.