Game of Thrones finally delivered on its promise that winter was coming in Season 8’s third episode, “The Long Night.” It was the battle fans had anticipated since the start of the show: Westeros vs. the Night King and his Army of the Dead. The Battle of Winterfell took 55 nights to film and spanned almost an entire episode, making it the longest battle sequence ever seen on television.

In narrative, however, the Long Night only lasted from dusk until dawn. It swiftly came to a close when Arya Stark flung herself at the Night King and stabbed him with a Valyrian steel dagger, ending his life and wiping out of his army.

Suffice it to say that such a large scale battle ending within the hour proved to be a little disappointing, especially considering how big a threat the Night King had been hyped up to be. That said, The Winds of Winter — the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series — might expand upon the Long Winter and what it really entails for the people of Westeros, beyond a singular battle.


Game of Thrones established that the Long Night occurred thousands of years prior to the events of the show. According to the stories Old Nan relayed to young Bran Stark, the Long Night lasted an entire generation. Following their initial defeat, the White Walkers became nothing more than a myth, passed down by word of mouth for thousands of years.