This week you’re getting a special two-for-one “Game of Thrones” breakdown, sort of.

In episode 3 we finally saw the Night King fighting at Winterfell, after about a two-year buildup. A few highlights, in no particular order:

  • Bran is still completely useless and does not deserve the screen time he continues to receive.
  • Danerys made blunder after blunder (ditching Jon when the Dothraki were disintegrated, not meeting up with her other dragon when she was just flying around blindly, forgetting to light the ditch, landing in the middle of a battlefield and just standing there) but she pulls it out with some help from her old pal Jorah, who died from being stabbed a lot.
  • Jon kind of sucks for abandoning Sam to die, but he kind of rules for trying to out-shout a dragon so it’s a wash.
  • It looked like everyone got killed like four times and then just showed up again later.
  • Oh my god little Lady Mormont went out on a high note.
  • R.I.P. Theon, he had a good run considering he was the worst for three seasons. Speaking of Theon, he’s another person who died to protect Bran while Bran just sat there.
  • For people who wanted to be out in the action, Tyrion and Sansa really didn’t make much of an effort to fight anything.
  • And, to wrap it all up, Arya pulled the Michael Jordan mid-air hand switch to stab the Night King in his bad kidney and save the day for everyone she is a killing machine.
  • It seems like Melisandre should have stuck around to bring some people back to life before dying for no reason out in the snow but who knows.

If you haven’t seen it yet you should really watch it, it’s very good and incredibly stressful. And now we’re on to episode 4.

It begins with the funeral for those who died during the Battle of Winterfell last week, and of course every single survivor is bloodied and beat up except Bran, who somehow is turning into a less charming version of Oren from “Parks and Recreation.”

The post-funeral feast, however, brings up a few issues, most importantly of which is there are way too many lovable grumps on this show.

There used to be just Sandor Clegane. Then there was Ser Davos. And the wildlings. And Bronn. And now Tyrion has fully morphed from merry drunk to angry drunk. Even Jaime almost got there, at least until the inane subplot where he sleeps with Brienne and then goes off to fight for Cercei. Now he apparently sucks again.

Point is, shows where the entire cast is just grumpy people with one or two redeeming qualities are supposed to be sitcoms about the Midwest, not something people want to call the best series of all time.

Another major issue going on at Winterfell is Danerys beginning to go full scheming mode, mistrusting everyone and desperately clinging to power — not that anyone can blame her. Her entire life has been built around her right to the Iron Throne and the people surrounding her being douchebags. So she’s got some trust issues. But still, she should perhaps chill with the “Let me speak to your manager” face she has going on and start listening to her advisors a bit more.

Either way, in this case she’s right to be wary because Jon is an idiot and tells his whole family that he’s actually the rightful king. He might be a Targaryen, but he’s been making classic Ned Stark moves this whole season.

Telling the truth even though he knows it could hurt him? So did Ned. Not wanting power? Ned. Heading down to King’s Landing even though he’d rather hang out up north? Yup, Ned. And leaving his giant battle wolf? Literally the dumbest thing, and also something Ned did.

So it’s probably good that Sansa — and Lord Varys — are doing some plots to overthrow Danerys because Jon is sure as heck not about to and somebody has to protect his pretty little face.

But none of this seems like it’s going to matter, because apparently Cercei has some absolute snipers on her team and can just drop dragons out of the sky whenever she wants.

All in all this was a bit of a disappointing episode, what with Missandei being beheaded and Danerys’ army falling apart and all, but we shall see.

There is 160 minutes left in this show. Next week will be a big fight, and it’s really looking like there is no possible satisfying outcome.

What is dead may never die, etc., ect., and honestly how dare they kill Missandei she was an angel.

Noah Ripley is a page designer for The News-Review. Reach him at 541-957-4205 or

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