Episode three was awesome! The battle at Winterfell is over and there were some surprises for sure. A few main characters are dead and I predicted one of them (Theon), which was pretty obvious, but still. Jorah Mormont and Lyanna Mormont are dead. The old red lady is dead after playing a major role in defending the living. Jon and Daenerys still need to get their shit figured out and after all the commotion it looks like most of the main characters that we care about are still alive, conveniently enough. Kind of miraculous that so many survived.
The Night King is dead and I was genuinely surprised at how it happened although it was pretty obvious once I saw it. She has been training to be an assassin so who better to sneak in and get the kill than Arya? She really kicked ass in this episode and it was interesting to see Jon and Daenerys struggle to make a difference. Daenerys especially fucked up by staying on the ground long enough for the wights to almost kill her dragon. That was stupid and she almost died when she fell off. Good thing Jorah is always there to save her. I think it's kind of annoying and formulaic that they keep saving main characters at the last second. Someone just swoops in to save them. It takes away from one of the reasons why GOT is so good; it's not formulaic. It's probably a decision that comes from the writers of the show and not from George R. R. Martin but whatever. It's still awesome.
In my previous notes, I predicted that the Night King would be alive going into the end of the season, so that was way off. I really appreciate that all the wights are dead for good but it came as a bit of a shock as they have been the "real" threat for so long. Metaphorically, it makes sense though because they represent death and at this point, all the characters have come to terms with death and so now the real threat is from humans, which is always the biggest struggle. Real people with power and the struggle with one's own evil tendencies is an ancient parable and one that is played out in Game of Thrones.
Episode four seems to be a preparation for the war for the throne itself. Cersei has a formidable army and was smart to let the north fight and die without her. Now they are weaker and she has a better chance to win. The north will have to be clever and I think this is where Tyrian will redeem his previous failures in strategy. Jamie will have to confront Cersei at some point and resolve his feelings toward her. He might be put into a situation to be able to kill her, mirroring his betrayal of the Mad King but I don't think he will be able to kill her.
I would think episode five would be the final battle at Kings Landing and if that's the case then episode six could be devoted to wrapping everything up in a nice little bow, which seems a little too nice. I think Arya will make a play for Cersei but it can't work out as she isn't going to kill both the Night King and Cersei. It would be fitting for Daenerys to kill Cersei to take the throne like a true ruler would.
With three more episodes a lot can happen and I think a lot more main characters will die. I bet they will introduce something totally new like a character or a strategic item in the next two episodes that will change things up. This might be someone from one of the neighboring areas coming to fight unexpectedly or the bankers coming to collect a debt or a new undead threat we didn't see coming. After being so wrong about what episode three would look like I assume there will be some great surprises in store.
No one has ever taken King's Landing by force so this will be an opportunity to break that streak. I did guess that only one dragon would survive and I hope it survives to the end, although it doesn't seem likely. It represents the old world and I think the main lesson will be that things change and old ideas are put aside. This is why the red lady died and why so many female characters are taking power. They represent a paradigm shift. Regardless, I'm excited to see the next episodes!