- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
“Dark wings, dark words.” It’s one of the great quotes from HBO’s Game of Thrones, signaling the dark omens baked into the words that ride on the backs of ravens, sprung from the minds of the sprawling cast: Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and so many others.
Throughout the final season, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Westeros beat reporter Josh Wigler (that’s me!) will round up some of the most important lines of dialogue featured in the past week’s episode of Thrones, offering context and divining clues about the hidden meaning in a weekly column: Dark Words.
In the case of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” narrowing the rich dialogue down to 15 choice quotes was an impossible task — not quite as challenging as conquering the White Walkers, but still, tough! Given the relatively wordless quality of “The Long Night,” one might expect an easier time slimming down the list for director Miguel Sapochnik’s 82-minute epic. Technically, it is easier, but easy outright? Even here, a few key quotes are left behind on the battlefield, not unlike the men and women who fell against the Army of the Dead. All the same, here’s the very best of the best.
1. “Oh, for fuck’s sake. You took your time.”
Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton) is the first main character with spoken dialogue, several minutes after the episode begins. He mutters the vulgarity at Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), shocked to see his friend from the Night’s Watch on the frontlines of the fight. These are not Edd’s final words — those would be “Sam! Get up!” — but they’re closer to Edd’s spirit than his actual last line.
2. “Valar morghulis.”
Far from the first time we’ve heard the iconic Valyrian catchphrase in the series, but first time in a bit — and it marks a great exchange between Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) as the Red Woman comes to Winterfell, bringing some much needed firepower.
3. “There’s no need to execute me, Ser Davos. I’ll be dead before the dawn.”
Melisandre and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) rarely saw eye to eye. Indeed, the last time they saw each other, murder was on the menu. Melisandre’s first words to Davos when she arrives back in Winterfell are not only the last words spoken between them, they also predict Melisandre’s own future — and not for the last time in this episode.
4. “The dead are already here.”
Daenerys and Jon Snow watch from high above and far away as the Dothraki are snuffed out by the Army of the Dead. Jon all but spits out House Nale’s words: “Stick to the plan.” Daenerys, meanwhile, wants vengeance for her people, and reasons that there’s no need to stand idly in wait for the Night King now that his army has fully arrived.
5. “Stick them with the pointy end!”
Yet another callback, one of the many in this episode. Once upon a time, Jon Snow used these words to teach Arya (Maisie Williams) how to use a sword. Here, it’s Arya turning the phrase for Sansa (Sophie Turner), gifting her a dragonglass dagger while instructing her to find safety in the crypts.
6. “If we were up there, we might see something everyone else is missing — something that would make a difference.”
Speaking of the crypts, let’s hang out there for a minute! Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) gets the first word in the subterranean section of the episode, expressing his frustration over not being out on the battlefield. Luckily, he gets his chance in a bit to throw himself into the fight, thanks to the skeletal remains raised by the Night King.
7. “You were the best of them.”
It feels like a lifetime has passed since Tyrion and Sansa were married. In reality, it’s just been a few years. Before then and after, Sansa was alternately betrothed and married to Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Ramsay (Iwan Rheon), utter monsters compared to her Lannister ex. Given the way they interact in “The Long Night,” perhaps Tyrion and Sansa’s time together isn’t quite over yet.
8. “Without the Dragon Queen, there would be no problem at all. We’d all be dead already.”
Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) isn’t thrilled to hear Sansa smack-talking the Mother of Dragons while hiding out in the crypt, and rightfully so, given everything she’s endured on behalf of Daenerys. But the past couple of episodes have forced us to consider who’s right about Dany: Sansa or Missandei?
9. “I’m going to go now.”
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has more poignant words in his first scene with Theon (Alfie Allen), after the Iron Islander expresses regret for the way he acted in the past. Those words: “Everything you did brought you where you are now, where you belong: home.” Very wise indeed, but not as fun or odd as what Bran says before rolling his eyes back into his headand taking off into the sky via a flock of ravens.
10. “Man the walls!”
Not remarkable, except that it’s the final spoken line of dialogue from Lyanna of House Mormont, the Lady of Bear Island, who falls in battle a few minutes later while killing an undead giant. Bella Ramsey, even with only three episodes remaining, you will be sorely missed.
11. “They’re death. You can’t beat death!”
The Hound (Rory McCann) does not like fire. Not exactly a newsflash. So when Sandor Clegane runs away from the fight, nobody’s shocked — but that doesn’t stop the Hound from spouting out some fiery words to describe the stakes of the war against the dead. Little does he know it can all stop right now, if he can shore up the strength to brave the fires and find an old friend.
12. “Tell her that!”
Richard Dormer’s Beric Dondarrion is the man who convinces the Hound to rejoin the fight, once he points out how Arya is fearlessly fending off the death. The question serves as Beric’s final spoken line of dialogue, unless you want to count “go,” “run,” and copious amounts of blood-gurgled screaming. A little dignity for the brutally slain Lightning Lord sounds nice to me.
13. “What do we say to the God of Death?”
Melisandre and Arya first crossed paths in season three. Back then, the Red Woman promised they would meet again someday. Everyone wondered what that reunion would entail — including Arya. Well, wonder no more. Melisandre calls back the famous phrase from one of Arya’s very first mentors in order to help guide the young Stark toward her ultimate destiny: saying a big fat “not today” to the Night King, courtesy of a Valyrian dagger.
Would you believe it? Yet another familiar word — or phrase, really. Daenerys’ command to Drogon has been used to engulf enemies in flames several times in the past. Here, it serves that same purpose, but doesn’t quite live up to the billing. When the fires die down, the Night King still stands, staring up at the Dragon Queen with his frozen menace.
15. “Theon, you’re a good man. Thank you.”
Bran gets the final spoken words of the episode, some shouting from Arya aside. They also serve as the last words Theon Greyjoy ever hears, a moment of absolution for his dark past before rushing off into a guaranteed loss against the Night King. It’s not just the most moving death of the episode, but one of the most moving deaths of the series, full stop.
Bonus: Wordless Moment of the Week
In terms of shocking deaths, nothing comes close to Arya becoming the Night King slayer. It comes near the very end of “The Long Night,” in the thick of a long stretch of wordlessness, with composer Ramin Djawadi’s haunting score pushing the action along. It’s the perfect series of sequences to close out the least talky episode of a very talky series.
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for more final season coverage.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
saturday night live