Game Of Thrones: 10 Things From ‘The Battle Of Winterfell’ Episode That Fans Are Upset About

In House of the Dragon, there will be battles aplenty as the show builds up to the epic Dance of the Dragons, which may result in a colossal fight like some of those seen in Game of Thrones, the biggest of which being the Battle of Winterfell. While it may have been the most important in Westeros' history, though, many fans did not like the execution of "The Long Night".

The third episode of Game of Thrones' widely hated eighth and final season promised to be one of the grandest spectacles put on TV. While it undoubtedly has its flashes of brilliance throughout, there is also so much to frustrate and inspire hate from fans.


10 The Darkness

Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow watch the Battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones

The night that "The Long Night", arguably the most anticipated TV episode of all time, aired, social media went into a frenzy, people were clamoring to Twitter to show their disgust, and seemingly millions adjusted their TV settings, all because of the darkness of the episode.

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People, upon rewatching, do not seem to mind, and it certainly was a creative choice that kind of made sense, but the episode is undoubtedly dark. For as awesome as the effects are, and as terrific as much of the spectacle is, many were seriously annoyed by the darkness.

9 Arya Killing The Night King

Arya Kills Night King Game of Thrones

Arya Stark killing the Night King is still one of the most badass moments in the show's history in terms of a solitary, tense moment from a loved character. Still, many think she was the wrong choice.

The most popular choice before and after the episode for killing the Night King, if he were to die, was Jon Snow, and that still seems to make the most sense narratively. Nevertheless, Arya's killing of him made for arguably the Battle of Winterfell's most impactful death and was perhaps the best moment of the pretty dreadful season in the eyes of many fans.

8 The Nature Of The Deaths

"The Long Night" has multiple character deaths, mostly minor, and the whole idea of death in the episode is the source of multiple complaints from fans, not least of all the heroic and unsurprising nature of the deaths.

Every character dies a heroic death which, while perhaps fleetingly satisfying, is not in the spirit of Game of Thrones so often wonderfully shocking nature. The deaths all had the silver lining of them going out like a hero and saving others, there was no profound sadness born of surprise like there was for Ned or Robb or Jon.

7 Nonsensical Plot Armour

Samwell Tarly in his Night's Watch cloak in Game of Thrones

One of the issues had with the final couple of seasons of Game of Thrones was the pot armor protecting named characters, and it is abundant for all to see in "The Long Night".

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Plot armor can oftentimes be forgiven, but when Samwell Tarly somehow survives swarms of undead warriors when a seasoned Knight like Ser Jorah Mormont falls just seems ridiculous and takes audiences out of proceedings. Ultimately, it robs the impact of the deaths of named characters within the series, which prided itself on no character being "safe" in the early seasons.

6 The Plan & Logic

One thing many fans still cannot figure out is just what the plan was for fighting the undead. There were instructions in place, but everything - similar to the season itself - was a bit chaotic and nonsensical.

The Dothraki ran out first and were quickly disposed of, but then it was announced they still had a good number of forces after the fact, despite not appearing again in the battle. There is then Bran weirdly disappearing. There is also the sheer lack of leadership, as well as stupidity in abundance, with no consideration for the weather, the raising of the dead, the dead in the crypts, or any apparent plan for dealing with the Night King himself.

5 Neat & Tidy

Cersei Lannister Lena Headey Drinking Wine

While the planning and preparation by writers and characters seemed chaotic within the battle, the entire episode kind of wrapped up neatly, void of dramatic tension in the end.

It was an episode and an event in Westeros' history that should have had consequences felt both throughout and after the episode had finished. Instead, it was simply over. No matter what actually happened within the episode, whether it was a masterpiece or not, the sheer lack of impact it ended up having on the season, and on the massively hated finale of the show was damning.

4 One & Done

Jon snow battle of winterfell funeral game of thrones

One of the most significant issues with Game Of Thrones' final seasons was their reduced length. Not only did this doom the show's finale too, at best, mediocrity, but it placed a huge limit on the Battle of Winterfell, which should have stretched over more than one episode.

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The entire buildup to the battle could have happened in extra season 7 episodes or had extra episodes been in season 8, it would have been better paced. Then the battle itself, the greatest battle in the history of the world, a fight for survival against unfathomable odds; not only did it only take place over one episode but one night,

3 The Lack Of Death

Theon accepts his impeding death in Game of Thrones

Many fans complained about the nature of the deaths in the episode, but perhaps more of a prominent complaint is the sheer lack of death.

Whether they be shocking deaths or not, it seems absolutely ludicrous that only three (Theon, Jorah, & Melisandre) properly main characters die in this episode - even if two were well done and incredibly sad deaths. This harkens back to the issue of plot armor but goes beyond that because while it is ridiculous that Sam survived, many characters could have convincingly survived. It is the fact that so many of them did survive that annoys fans, another handful of people could have died (outside of Jon and Daenerys) in this episode, and it may have gotten more love as a result.

2 The Unanswered Night King Questions

The Night King in the third episode of Game of Thrones season eight, Battle of Winterfell

The Night King's death at Arya's hand remains a moment loved by many, and the Night King dying in this episode is not an inherently bad thing. What is bad, though, is the number of unanswered questions surrounding him.

For example, the deal with spirals in relation to the Night King. They were established in the show's opening moments and popped up repeatedly, never to be explained. On top of a bunch of questions like that, though, the big annoyance fans have is not knowing what he actually wanted. The reason why he was attacking humankind and the Long Winter seemed to have never been answerd. The creativity for this potentially extraordinary villain got thrown out the window like Bran in the pilot.

1 Is That It?

Jon Snow standing in the battlefield of Winterfell in Game of Thrones

Many, many loyal fans can appreciate the technical brilliance, the powerful performances, and the spectacle of "The Long Night" and the Battle of Winterfell, but most fans still seem to have come out of it with an overwhelming sense of disappointment.

The whole thing, from a narrative standpoint, felt anticlimactic. There were poignant moments sprinkled in - such as Theon and Jorah's death - as well as some remarkable visuals and action, but it just did not click the way most wanted it to. The reasons for that are an amalgamation of everything fans dislike bout the episode, from the clunky plot armor to the lack of death to the wasted Night King; it all just made the affair seem, in a way, pointless. This is especially true when considering the wasted storylines lying within/surrounding the episode, such as the R + L = J theory, Jaime going back to Cersei, the Mad Queen, and that despised finale overall.

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