THE LONG NIGHT, The Battle Of Winterfell, Defies Every Expectation Of Greatness

The Battle Of Winterfell, Defies Every Expectation Of Greatness
Left Reeling, Dizzy, All my Expectations shattered.
We will need to watch this episode two times over to figure things.
This was one of the best episodes not only of HBO’s fantasy drama but of any television show ever. 
game of thrones night king
Not even sure where to begin. Shattered, like my expectations, the Night King was turned into a thousand pieces of ice. by Ahor Ahai. That prophesied hero’s name was always the letter “A” after all (and the number of letters in the name)
Arya Stark = Azor Ahai.
She may have never added the Night King’s name to her kill list, but in the end, when Melissandre asks “What do we tell the god of death?” 
“Not today,” Arya says.
“The night is always darkest before the dawn.”
Before we move on, let’s talk a bit about the battle itself, it was dark and heavy. The episode begins with the anticipation of a war where everyone is trying to hide the fear of death. With Melissandre coming in and touching up the weapons of the Dothraki fills us with hope. She lights the Dothraki’s swords aflame, we felt this is going to be awesome, but its the Game of Thrones and they are fighting the dead. The might of the fire bearing Dothraki ended in just 5 SECONDS, and they are forced to retreat, Dany realises it and comes in with her dragons.
Through the episode, we find all strategies of the living failing and the dead decimating everything in their way, only the bait for Night King works. The two Dragons feel worthless against the Night King’s Wight Dragon. There are amazing shots of the fight between the dragons. In the battle of the living and the dead its truly the dance of Ice and Fire, with a Snow Storm, the Lit Winterfell fire pits & the dragon fires ( both blue and red).
Each character battles death some die heroically while others survive. 
The Survivors
Tyrion survived, and even had a nice moment with Sansa down in the crypts.
Daenerys survived. She and Jon Snow both failed more than they succeeded, and I’m happy about that. And I’m happy both survived. She was brave and loyal and fierce and even displayed true sadness when Jorah fell and revived my hopes with the good still in her.
Everyone beside the Fire in the previous episode Survived, as Tyrion had “prophesied”.
Jaime and Brienne both save one another in the midst of all that bloodshed and horror, more than once. Both survive. Davos survived because when all others in Westeros have fallen, Davos will remain standing.  Podrick survived, to sing more. Tormund survived, because there is a god, and his name is R’hllor.
Gendry survived because the Girl needs to be Kissed again.
Samwell survived. There were moments I wondered if he was being killed. 
Varys survived, down in the crypts where so many others perished. 
The Hound survived, despite his terror of fire. He and Beric helped save Arya. He had to survive so that he could face his brother, the Mountain.
The Fallen Heros of the Episode: 
The deaths here were almost all poetic.
Jorah Mormont, saving his queen one last time.
Lyanna Mormont in her own words  “We are not a large house, but we are a proud one. And every man from Bear Island fights with the strength of ten mainlanders.”
Theon Grey joy, in yet another redemptive moment of true heroism against the Night King himself.
Melisandre, who we never know did things for good or for the bad.. but was definitely a hero in this Episode. She bought in hope and helps Arya realise her purpose. 
Beric, fulfilling his destiny.
Dolorous Ed, who saved Sam, god bless him. 
A bunch of people in the crypts, almost the Dothraki, so many brave fighters and survivors.
The Night King and his F*cking Army, killed by the best Assassin. (come on he is a hero in his smile after he defies the dragon fire )
About the episode :
The episode tied together seven and a half seasons of story and lore, bringing Littlefinger’s dagger back to the forefront of the story as the fatal blade that ended the most existential threat to all the Seven Kingdoms and to humankind itself, and it finally revealed who Azor Ahai was—neither Jon nor Dany, but Arya all along.
David and Daniel did an amazing job. They managed to kill off many great characters without ending it in a huge bummer that we’re left deflated. Rather, we finish the episode elated, pumped, flooded with adrenaline. 
With the stunning finale, the revelation of who exactly Arya is and what her purpose was all this time, and the purpose of those around her.  Beric, Brienne and Jaime and Bran and Jon and all the rest. She was the one who, in the end brought down the greatest Night King.
Breaking the last bit as it happened : 
 As Theon breathed his last and the Night King walked slowly toward Bran, who sat there so calm and so confident and so unperturbed.
The Night King reaches for his blade, but Bran doesn’t mind. He’s calm. He’s ready. His trap is sprung. Then there she is . . . Arya . . . Azor Ahai, the princess that was promised, leaping through the dark. The Night King turns, grabs her by the throat, she drops the dagger from the left-hand catches it in her right hand and plunges it into the Night King. And just like Bran hoped, when he falls so does his army. Just when all seems lost, when the odds become impossible and the dead keep rising and rising and the night is dark: the army of the dead, falls.
No one saw Arya as the perfect assassin who would, in the end, kill our epic fantasy villain. 
Both Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen were, in the end, sidelined in a way. Their dragon-riding, fire antics did very little in stopping the dead.
The Real Battle is for the Iron Throne.
 Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire, in one sense, it’s a Fantasy filled with magic and villains, of legend and magical swords. In another sense, it’s a story about knights and kings and peasants, petty betrayals.
And now Cersei will come back to the forefront. She and Qyburn and zombie-Mountain and the Golden Company and Euron Greyjoy. Not terrifying enough yet smarter enough.
The Long Night and the death of the Night King were never supposed to be the climax. We have three episodes left, and there is a lot to come. 



What to watch when you don’t have tickets to Avengers Endgame and the Game of Thrones Episode is Far away…

In Anticipation for the Battle of Winterfell
Something to engage over the weekend… 
AVENGERS : The Endgame… Did not manage the tickets? Thanos was right to snap his fingers I guess  ??  😉 
Not team Thanos still? 
Well, You can keep supporting your Avengers’ Stark (Tony Stark). 
Here is a list of what to watch when you don’t have tickets to Avengers and the Game of Thrones Episode is Far away… 
1.  You vs Wild

Netflix’s next stage in interactive TV following Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Gear Grylls leads an adventure series where you get to decide how to keep him safe. Good luck in the wild.
2. Unicorn Store

The show centres around a down-and-out painter who moves back in with her parents and is invited to a shop that will “test her ideas of what it really means to grow up”.  The directorial debut of Brie Larson which also stars Larson and her fellow Captain Marvel actor Samuel L Jackson is now streaming on Netflix.
3. Queer Eye season 3

Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France and Bobby Berk are all back for season three. Did some say .. YAAASSS QUEEEENN!!
4.Homecoming – a film by Beyoncé

Coachella to your television, on Netflix.
Beyoncé’s headlining performance at Coachella in 2018.  
New York Times called it “a gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction”. 
Now, you can watch the show in full, with some behind-the-scenes from the queen herself spliced in for good measure. 
Leaving you with these right now

Sri Lanka: Easter bombings

Sri Lanka: Easter bombings
Just when Sri Lankans thought we had left all this violence behind them after the civil war.
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Sri Lanka was rocked by a series of bombings that killed more than 300 people and injured over 500 people, at churches and big hotels. Most of the victims are believed to be Sri Lankans, but at least 31 foreigners are among the dead too.
Attack Time Line: 
The first reports came in at about 8:45 am local time on Sunday morning. Six simultaneous explosions at luxury hotels and churches holding Easter mass. Three were at churches – in Colombo’s Kochchikade district, Negombo north of the capital, and Batticaloa in the east. The other three blasts rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in Colombo.
Two further explosions were reported later: seventh in Dehiwala in southern Colombo, And the eighth explosion happened near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers.
Hundreds of Sri Lankan families are in mourning. The confirmed international casualties are from the UK, Denmark, Portugal, India, Turkey, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, the US and China. Among the dead are three children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of the Bestseller clothing chain and the largest stakeholder in clothing giant Asos.
The alleged bombers: 
National Thowheed Jamath with some international help being suspected behind the little known Islamic group. The group has no history of large-scale attacks but came to prominence last year when it was blamed for damaging Buddhist statues.
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Sri Lanka’s history and religion:
Buddhism is Sri Lanka’s biggest religious group,  about 70% of the population. Christians form up to 7% of the 21 million population. Sunday’s attacks were the worst ever against Sri Lanka’s small Christian minority. Hindus and Muslims make up around 12% and 10% of the population respectively. The attacks are Sri Lanka’s deadliest act of violence since the end of the country’s 26-year civil war in 2009. The war is thought to have killed between 70,000 and 80,000 people and ended with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, who had fought for independence for the Tamil minority.
This attack sends a message to everyone around the world that how we are not safe in probably the quietest places in the world. Though I believe terror has no religion, this brings up the issue of Islamic terror to the forefront. 
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The teardrop-shaped country of Sri Lanka, for now, symbolizes the pain and sorrow of a bloody Easter Sunday. One day, though, it will symbolize the happiness of an island that has rebuilt and come out that much stronger.

Game of Thrones: “The Things I do for Love.”

“The Things I do for Love.”
Wish Fulfillment, Big And Small
In the fifth-to-last Game of Thrones episode ever, Everyone prepares for war. That now includes Jaime Lannister, somewhat ironically, officially rivals Bran for most pronounced character graph. Few have changed as much as Jaime Lannister, and this episode highlighted that at every opportunity, from his apology to Bran, to his knighting of Brienne of Tarth.
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 2 Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Season 8’s 2nd episode was yet another build-up, anticipation and the promise of something monumental waiting just over the horizon. It’s not just the Battle of Winterfell we have to look forward to: Dany and Jon didn’t get to finish their conversation in the crypt, and that’s arguably even more important. It’s the story behind the story.
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The episode opens with Danaerys confronting Jaime she talks about how he killed her father and is threatening, despite knowing full well that her father was a murderous psychopath who needed to be killed. She doesn’t trust Jaime, and that makes sense given his past. Sansa doesn’t either, but Brienne vouches for him and she relents. Jon thinks they need every man they can get. And Tyrion says he believes him also. Jaime reveals of Cersei’s Plans of no intention of helping them and has a massive army that can wipe them all out once the Night King is dealt with.
Hard-Headed Women in the North
Daenerys takes out her frustration on Tyrion despite having gone along with his plan without question herself. Later Jorah takes her aside in private and speaks for Tyrion. He also urges her to make amends with Sansa though that doesn’t go quite as well as she hoped. When they’re speaking the ice does begin to thaw, but then Sansa brings up the fate of the North, asking Dany what happens when she takes the Iron Throne. Khaleesi inclining towards the madness like his Father does not wish to relieve the North.
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Arya constantly in pure badass mode. She’s so tough, she’s such a great fighter, she can throw daggers with deadly accuracy, she tells Gendry to take off his own bloody pants because . . . it’s better to be tough than romantic or sexy? I’m not quite sure. It feels a little forced. I miss the old Arya. 
Of the three strong women currently moving and shaking things at Winterfell, the favourite is Sansa. She’s smart and practical, stubborn and eloquent. She’s a good ruler and would make an excellent Queen in the North. I also like the young Lady Mormont, who is always putting someone in their place, this time, her cousin Ser Jorah.
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The Dark Night forever.
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This episode also revealed some of the Night King’s motivations, which has been a question since the very first scene of the show’s first episode. Bran tells the White Walkers are heading south so the Night King can kill him. “He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.” Sam concurs with it and says that there would be no history left about anyone and all anyone would know of is the night kings existence.
As we head into the final battle of Winterfell, a plan has taken shape: The non-combatants will cower in the crypts (which might not be so wise if the theory about the Night King resurrecting all the corpses stored down there turns out to be right) while the army of the living holds off the dead long enough for Bran to lure the Night King to the Godswood. 
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Reunions still..Theon is greeted by Sansa rather emotionally as finally, he is fighting for what he is a Stark, by upbringing. Tormund and  Beric Dondarrian arrive at Winterfell with the Nights watch. 
‘One Wish Before Death’
The episode provided plenty of wish fulfilment for longtime Game of Thrones Characters and fans. 
A Girl is Human
Arya actually getting together with Gendry was much anticipated but for me, it was a little eeky. Arya will always be a child for me so maybe I could not accept it. 
Ser Brienne of the Seven Kingdoms
Jamie Knights Brienne, as we found out that a knight can knight another. Sitting around a fire crew of the show’s surviving characters: Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Tormund Giantsbane. Jaime knighting Brienne fulfils their relationship, although in a very different way. Brienne had inhibitions and denies any of such wish she has. but it all comes a full circle with Podrick’s valedictory nod. With characters present in the room make emotions run high.
At this point, Podrick starts singing, Jenny’s Song at the wish of Tyrion. The Song for me is everything about the episode, the dreams & death and it had an eeriness about it.  In the books, all we’ve ever seen of the song is one line: “High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts.” Florence + the Machine performed the song over the episode’s closing credits. 
The song with Pod singing, plays over shots of some of our heroes and the people that matter most to them—Sam/Gilly, Theon/Sansa, Arya/Gendry, Grey Worm/Missande, and, finally, Jon/Daenerys—should make us very worried for our favorites, and for the people who will live to mourn them.
“My name is Aegon Targaryen,”
After Jon did his best the entire episode to avoid Daenerys, she finds him down in the crypts. He’s standing in front of Lady Lyanna Stark, and Dany muses about her brother, Rhaegar, and how she can’t reconcile the good man from the stories with someone who could rape Lyanna. “He didn’t,” Jon tells her. “He loved her.” And the truth comes spilling out. He tells her how Rhaegar and Lyanna were wed in secret, and how after Robert’s rebellion was successful and Rhaegar slain, Lyanna made her brother Ned swear to raise their baby as his own bastard in order to protect him from Robert and the Lannisters.
Daenerys doesn’t believe him. After all, it’s his brother and best friend who came to him with this revelation. The conflict between Jon and Dany–the one caused by her life’s only mission the Iron Throne, should be easy to resolve. Where their conversation ended, I can hear what should have been the next line in my head: “But I don’t want the Iron Throne.” For Jon to respond in any other way would be unlikely; he’s always been reluctant to accept power, and quick to give it up once he gets it. Jon probably does not want the crown despite having the best claim, probably making him a better ruler. 
Leaving that resolution as an open question throughout the upcoming battle was a fantastic narrative choice. Dany has become annoying, lashing out at Tyrion and exhibiting an alarming unwillingness to consider any alternative to her absolute rule. More than one character has expressed concern that Dany is more like her father and if she goes full Mad Queen or does something extreme in the coming battles, Jon might take the throne for Honor!
The Episode ends with the arrival of the whitewalkers outside Winterfell, setting the stage for an epic Battle of Winterfell. The Jenny Song in my head and the cinematography the show makes me feel for the characters. The music sets up the stage for heartbreaks in the next episode. Some dreams will be shattered, some Men will be lost.. Signing off with the song as the episode does… 

“High in the halls of the kings who are gone
Jenny would dance with her ghosts.
The ones she had lost and the ones she had found
And the ones who had loved her the most.
The ones who’d been gone for so very long
She couldn’t remember their names
They spun her around on the damp cold stone
Spun away all her sorrow and pain
And she never wanted to leave
Never wanted to leave.
Never wanted to leave.
Never wanted to leave.
Never wanted to leave.
Never wanted to leave. “

With Winter Came the Reunions!!

Spoilers are here!

The episode 1 of Season 8 premiered on 14th April in the US and 15th April in India.

The episode, named Winter fell, begins with the same old tune but new wooden miniatures where the pieces roll over white & blue from brown, bringing in winter. Elaborate titles in Winterfell castle make way for the upcoming war in the region around the castle.
This leads to the citadel and then kings Landings, where the first time the iron throne takes form.But on to the drama from the season premiere itself.

There were reunions, introductions, dragons, Swords and a little bit of cheese.

The journey to conclusion kicks off with a boy running and making way through the crowd, Arya style from season 1 episode 1, in Winterfell to get a glimpse of the Unsullied and Dothraki entering Winterfell for the first time.
Arya makes way for the boy, as Jon aka Aegon enters with Queen Khaleesi & her 2 dragons by his side.
Renuion of the Starks is hurried through with Bran informing about the wall being broken and Night king riding the dragon.

Flattery doesn’t get you anywhere in the North. Sansa greets Danerys with Ned Stark’s words “Winterfell is yours, your Grace” welcome to King Robert Baratheon back in season one.
Sansa, like all of the other Northern Lords and Lady Mormont, is sceptical of Daenerys and displeased with Jon’s decision to bend the knee and give up his title as King in the North.
The episode makes way clearly to pitch the Stark and Targaryen women against each other, with mistrust on both sides and Dany being smart senses that.

Sansa is probably the new Cersei in Westeros.

Sansa is reunited with Tyrion, they speak about Cersei sending her army to help their cause and she is shocked that he actually believes that his sister would do that.
Perhaps Sansa’s below the belt “I used to think you were the cleverest man alive” comment will make him question himself. Sansa is dead right, we know that as Cersei has absolutely no intention of doing such a thing, Sansa also calls into question whether Jon was swayed by his love of Daenerys in his decision to bend the knee. She has learned a lot from the masters of manipulation and deception, Little finger.

Jorah brings Daenerys to meet Sam, the man who cured him of his greyscale

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During the episode, Daenerys meets Sam and what started out as a lovely first meeting turns bitter when he learns that she executed both his father and brother as they refused to bend the knee to her.
He later questions Jon on whether he would’ve shown them mercy had it been his decision. He also reminds Jon that he gave up his crown to save his people, but would she do the same? Doubtful.
Clearly Bending the knee is not getting Mother of Dragons any respect.

Sweetest reunion of the episode, Arya and Jon hug and compare swords – he is moved to see she still has the Needle, he gave her.

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There is a touching moment between the siblings. Jon asks her to help with Sansa and Daenerys, but Arya has her loyalties with the starks. She reiterates that the Starks loyalties lie with the Starks and Jon is one too. Laying base to make Jon question his sides when the right time comes.
Arya is reunited with key figures from her past with Arya coming face to face with The Hound and Gendry again. She has a special weapon request from Gendry too.

The reunions were really well done; there was warmth, emotion, humour, and Surprise
For me the mother of all reunions was: Bran meets Jaime at the episode’s close, the old friend he had been waiting for. Because it all began with them in season 1 episode 1,
when Jaime pushed Bran from the tower when he had seen something he should have not. Possibly an indication that Bran will see things and we did not read it back then.

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Jon and Daenerys go on a dragon date. It felt a bit cheesy to have a big romantic kiss by a waterfall thrown in the mix. The protective looks from her dragons was also a bit of an odd. It was refreshing to see Jon riding Rhaegar, especially considering his Targaryen bloodline, probably the only thing that the scene established in the minds of the viewer and Tyrion & Varys.

“Never been a Bastard… But the true heir to the Iron Throne”
Words which made me teary-eyed in season 7 are uttered again.. by Sam.
Sam, at the directions of Bran, tells Jon the truth about him being the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and that his real name is Aegon. Jon is left confused, and in true Jon Snow style, he seeks refuge in Ned Stark’s Honor.
The scene focuses on Jon, but I think it could have been better executed.

White Walkers make conquer their first house.
A message from the dead brings us back to the horrors that are coming when Tormund, Beric and co. find the young Lord Umber left for them with body parts of his men placed around him in that familiar shape the Night King has used before.

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Another warning sign ?? and another sword to our fancies. The humour about Tormund’s blue eyes makes the horror later further scary.

Reunions in North but Introductions in the South
King’s Landing Cersei has been busy.
She meets the captain of the Golden Company, an army of sellswords founded by Ser Aegor Rivers, a ‘legitimised bastard’ of King Aegon IV Targaryen, who was brought to her by Euron Greyjoy.
The Lannister Queen is left annoyed by not receiving elephants in return of the gold. Does she think elephants are her reply to Dany’s Dragons?? Errr I don’t think so.

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She gives in to the private meeting request of Euron after her classic Cersei style banter: ” You buy a whore… A queen is earned”. Maybe she is too desperate to win and scared that Euron might turn against her if she did not give in to his demands. The scene ends with her drinking again teary-eyed … Miscarriage, as expected by fan theories, has already happened ??
The Queen has sent Bronn to kill Tyrion, with Qyburn handing him a crossbow to do it with as revenge for killing their father, Tywin with one.Finally maybe Bronn rise to honour than gold.

Theon and his remaining Iron Island brothers sneak aboard the ships and rescue Yara. Yara goes back home, but Theon heads North to Winterfell. Probably the words from Jon from last season have left a lasting impact.

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It was a good episode with a couple of great scenes, but I had hoped that all six episodes to be like the Winds of Winter or Rains of Castermere – Kinds.
The episode establishes the season neatly making way for the greatest battle of Westeros.
Till then I take leave with finally Winter & Warmth in Westeros.

Promo of second episode –