This post contains plot details from “The Long Night,” the third episode of the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game Of Thrones. If you haven’t watched yet, proceed at your own risk.
Last week, Tormund Giantsbane was crowned the supreme eater of Westeros. The week before, it was Our Lady Of Meal Planning And Also The North, Sansa Stark. This week, who is the champion of feasting in the shadowy halls of Winterfell?
A champion is no one.
Only one living person actually consumed anything other than blood or bile this week, as they were too busy fighting for their lives. Some of the survivors, frankly, may never eat again—you’d have some digestive problems too, if you had to watch skeletons shamble up a pile of dead bodies to try to kill you. Yet we’ll continue to make this work, because it is fun for us.
One major caveat: Odds are, the person who ate best in Westeros this week never appeared on screen, because it seems—for now, at least—that Cersei’s whole “hey, let’s just let that giant army take care of the dead people and then neither of them will be a problem for us” strategy actually paid off. And they have food at King’s Landing. So, probable winner, disqualified for never showing her smug, drunk face. (Love you, Lena Headey.)
Here are the winners, losers, and winner-losers of this week’s Game Of Scones And Meats And Stews And Wines.
Winner: Tyrion Lannister, consumer of potent potables
Tyrion had two giant wineskins with him in the crypt, and thus dodged a hangover by continuing to drink. It also makes him the only onscreen character not currently deceased who eats or drinks anything at all in these 82 minutes.
Yes, plenty of people, mostly redshirts, eat it, as is the eternal it, but no one has time for anything from Davos Soupworth (who lives to cook again! Hurrah!). So, good job, Tyrion.
+50 for actually consuming a product meant to be consumed by living humans, +10 for preparedness, +10 for excellent reason to drink, -30 for headache from stress and/or tannins
Loser: Samwell Tarly, lunch forever lost
The Watch’s wight-killing, book-stealing smartypants has been mostly terrified from the moment he appeared on screen way back in season one, so that he’s scared sick in this episode is no mistake. Hey, I would be, too! There are dead people walking around trying to chomp and tear him to death with their poky bone-fingers! That’s not why he’s here, though. He’s here because he sees (and hears) this.
No idea when Sam is going to be able to eat anything again, much less meat of any kind, but it won’t be soon.
-50 for understandable pure disgust and horror, -25 for inability to compartmentalize, will award more points if he eats a snack next week
Winner: The dead, well-fed
It was a good week to be a reanimated corpse in Winterfell. While we are bummed that no one had to fight a wight version of a loved one—seriously, no shot of Lyanna Mormont once again staring down the dude rulers of Westeros, now with ice eyes?—the dead still reigned supreme for nearly all of this episode. Of all the munching zombies walking the grounds, there were a few clear winners. First and foremost: those treated to the unique dining experience pictured above, which allowed them to chow down on a fucking dragon while it drunkenly careened through the air, trying to shake them off.
Let’s not forget the rulers of Winterfell, who after a very long period of fasting got to go apeshit on a convenient buffet of women and children:
(Squints, adjusts brightness, gives up.) Is that you, Brandon the Shipwright?
+200 for bountiful buffet, -180 for exploding into shards of ice and/or collapsing down dead-again, +10 for squeezing in last meal
Losers/Winner: Everyone in a GoT death pool
Did you have one of the four characters pictured above pinned as a sure-thing for death? If so, you probably did at least reasonably well in your Thrones death pool. That’s particularly true if you picked the Night King, who was ostensibly the Big Bad in this series about how petty squabbling for the throne distracted all the humans from the real threat to existence and who is now off the board with three episodes to go, making the real big bad Cersei and the Golden Company, we guess?
Anyway, congrats... unless you also picked Grey Worm, Ser Brienne, Ser Davos, Ser Jaime, The Hound, Gilly, Little Sam, Sansa, Pod, Tormund, Missandei, or any of the many other people without a ton of plot armor, in which case you probably washed out. And come on, you totally picked Grey Worm. Who didn’t pick Grey Worm? He was planning for the future, and that’s a guaranteed death sentence, narratively speaking.
If anyone out there picked both the Night King and Lyanna Mormont + zombie giant, let us know in the comments, because we’d like to talk to you about some investment opportunities.
+1,000 to anyone who picked NK + Lyanna + zombie giant killed by Lyanna, +0 to everyone else
Loser: Sansa Stark, too twitterpated to eat?
One of the best moments in “The Long Night” comes when, the dead of Winterfell having awoken in their tombs, the once-married (by force) Sansa and Tyrion find themselves hiding behind the same plinth, some 40 minutes after bantering wittily about how they’re pretty much useless in this situation and whether or not they should have stayed married. The early doom-flirting was fun, but this later moment is great, as they silently vow to die together, looking the truth in the face and trying to protect the innocent. It’s a knockout scene from Sophie Turner and Peter Dinklage, and oh yes, it sure seems pretty fucking romantic to us.
If the two smartest people in Winterfell fall in love after being treated like shit and abused by many for most of their lives, we will be extremely satisfied.
-10 for too many love butterflies to eat a single morsel, we hope(!)
Winner: Arya Stark, drinking of the keg of glory any minute now
In the second to last chapter of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Harry, having just defeated Voldemort, wants nothing more than to go up to his four-poster bed in Gryffindor Tower and have a bit of a lie-down. While there, he hopes, Kreacher the house-elf might be persuaded to bring him a sandwich.
A girl deserves a sandwich.
+1,000 for not needing a prophecy, and instead just sticking him with the pointy end
Results (Episode 3)
Sam: -75, may be updated next week
The Dead: +30
People in death pools who predicted Lyanna would die killing a zombie giant and that the Night King would bite it: +1,000, if they exist
All others in death pools: +0
Sansa: -10, please oh please
Arya: +1,000, for reasons best explained by Sophie Turner: