Winter finally came for Winterfell. After two episodes – and most of last season – prepping, the battle between the North and the Night King's army arrived on Game of Thrones. Fans were simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the battle, knowing full well that many of their favorite characters could be on the chopping block. A fair number of people did drop this week – though not as many as a lot of people were guessing – and those weren't even the biggest parts of the episode.
Between deaths, dragon fights, a major character's return, and more, the Battle of Winterfell lived up to what it promised and more.
It looks like all is lost. The Night King stands right in front of Bran, ready to finally take out the Three-Eyed Raven, when Arya leaps into the fray. The Night King grabs her around the neck and it looks like we're going to lose the first Stark since Rickon - until she utilizes a crafty move with her dagger that she showed off when sparring with Brienne last season. She drives her dagger into the Night King with her free hand and, just like that, the battle is over and the dead – including the turned Viserion – explode into ice.
Lyanna Mormont was a fan favorite from the second she appeared on the show. Viewers were worried about her odds during the battle – no matter how bad ass she is, she's still just a kid – and those fears proved warranted. But at least she went out like the Lyanna we knew and loved. Rather than keeling over and dying, she rushes a turned giant, and even as it crushes the life out of her, she manages to stick it through the eye with a dragonglass knife and kill it.
With Jon surrounded by the dead alone in a field, things seem dire until Dany lands and blows them all away. Jon yells that he needs to go for Bran, but before Dany can take back off on Drogon, the beast is covered in wights. In a state of panic, the dragon throws Dany from its back and takes flight. Things seem even worse for Dany alone in the field until Jorah shows up swinging Heartsbane - the sword Sam gave him.
The two fight valiantly, but by the end of the battle, Jorah has too many injuries and dies in Dany's arms, under the wing of a returned Drogon.
Because of the blizzard, Dany can't see Davos's signal to light the trenches that encircle Winterfell. The people within the walls can count their blessings twice that Melisandre showed up because she braves the front lines and manages to set the trenches ablaze them with her magic – holding the wights at bay for a bit longer.