6:45am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Final Season, Episode 3: What to Expect
The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones is finally at hand. Every week before a new episode, The Hollywood Reporter's resident Westeros expert Josh Wigler will offer up a guide to the must-see moments of the coming installment. What should you expect from the latest adventure of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and anyone else who is still lucky enough to be alive? Who will die this week? What monstrous twists have creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss cooked up as Thrones rushes toward the end of the line? Chew on those questions and more in the story ahead.
Season 8, Episode 3: "The Long Night"
Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss
Airdate: April 28, 2019
Runtime: 82 minutes
Number in series: 70 out of 73
Where we left off: Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) rolled into Winterfell, and with help from Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), the powers that be are convinced to let him stay. In return, Jaime pays Brienne a great kindness: anointing her as a knight of the Seven Kingdoms, in one of the series' single happiest scenes. Elsewhere in Winterfell, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) escalate their friendship, sleeping with one another as battle against the White Walkers looms. The Night King and his forces arrive at the outskirts of Winterfell as the episode draws to a close, paving the way for the biggest battle in the history of Thrones.
What we expect to see: The biggest battle in the history of Thrones, of course! Anything less will be a massive letdown. Look at that runtime: 82 minutes on the clock, the longest of the season. It kickstarts the extended episodes for the remainder of the run, with each of the next four installments hitting right around that same general mark. Springing from the eye of "Hardhome" and "Battle of the Bastards" helmer Miguel Sapochnik, it's time to prepare for a barrage of blood: Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) are among some of the many series regulars we're getting ready to lose in the climactic confrontation.
What we won't see: The deaths of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen or Tyrion Lannister — nor will we see the ends for Jaime and Cersei (Lena Headey), either. Heroes and villains are bound to fall in the episode ahead, but it's still only the midpoint of the final season; way too soon to lose someone from the big five. A child of Winterfell, however? A very likely bet, with our money on Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who plans to use himself as bait to lure out the Night King — a big mistake in the making.
What we're hoping to see: The return of Melisandre (Carice van Houten), alongside an army of red priests and priestesses. For years, she hyped up the war between the Lord of Light and the Great Other. If it's not going to happen now, when? A true clash between ice and fire doesn't mean White Walkers and dragons only. There's room for the Red Woman and her friends at the big battle as well. Beyond that specific hope, the thing we most want: total surprise. Everyone expects the White Walkers to win the day, and for our heroes to die in large quantities… giving Thrones a great opportunity to completely flip the script and allowing our heroes to score a huge, unlikely victory midway into the final season. Keep hope alive, until there's none left to spare!
Catch up on the past week of THR's Thrones coverage:
• Recap: "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" Sets the Stage for All-Out War
• Podcast: "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," Explained
• Interview: Isaac Hempstead Wright ("Bran Stark")
• Interview: Kristofer Hivju ("Tormund Giantsbane")
• Interview: Bryan Cogman (Writer, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms")
• Deep Dive: Game of Thrones Creators Explain That Surprising Sex Scene
• Deep Dive: What's Next For Brienne of Tarth?
• Deep Dive: How Florence + The Machine's Song Teases the Iron Throne End Game
• Deep Dive: Who Will Die in Episode 3?
• Deep Dive: How Jon Snow Will Lose the War For Winterfell
• Deep Dive: How Jon Snow Could Win the War For Winterfell
• Deep Dive: The Night King's Purpose Stands Revealed
• Deep Dive: 15 Key Quotes From "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
• Deep Dive: Josh Wigler and Dan Fienberg Look Toward Episode 3
• Trailer: War Comes to Winterfell
• Photos: Seven Hells Break Loose in New Look at Episode 3
• Forecast: Game of Thrones and Avengers to Deliver a Deadly Pop Culture Weekend
• News: Game of Thrones Final Season's Second Episode Leaks Early Online
• News: Game of Thrones Ratings Slip for Episode 2, Still Huge
• News: Social Climbers Charts - Game of Thrones Holds Top Scripted Lead
• News: Andrew Garfield, James Corden Audition for Game of Thrones
• Running Times for the Final Season
• Complete Guide to the Final Season
• George R.R. Martin on the Final Season
• Season 8, Episode 1: Everything to Know Ahead of "Winterfell"
• Season 8, Episode 2: Everything to Know Ahead of "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
Read all of THR's Final Path series, featuring character-by-character predictions:
1. Jon Snow
2. Daenerys Targaryen
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Cersei Lannister
5. Jaime Lannister
6. Sansa Stark
7. Arya Stark
8. Bran Stark
9. Samwell Tarly
10. Theon Greyjoy
11. The Hound
12. Brienne of Tarth
15. Davos Seaworth
16. Jorah Mormont
18. Tormund Giantsbane
19. Beric Dondarrion
20. The Dragons
21. The Night King
22. Across the World of Ice and Fire
23. Final Predictions
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for continuing coverage all season long.