Miserably going to work this Monday, I realized a major flaw in the Stark/Targaryen defence that will lead to fall of Winterfell in S08E03 of Game of Thrones. Before, I get into that, remember, I already told you guys that I love HBO’s Game of Thrones – and dislike G.R.R. Martin, and the idea behind this is to explore a potential flaw in the defender’s logic that could lead to the fall of Winterfell.
A recap to get things straight
Winter came – kinda, the Wall is has an undead-dragon-sized hole in it, people are scared shitless, Cersei is still a bitch, Ghost had 2 seconds of screen time, and the battle for Winterfell is about to begin.
On one side, we have the Night King, one undead dragon, a bunch of White Walkers and hundreds of thousands of mindless undead. They have already ravaged multiple settlements south of the Wall and are within sight of Winterfell.
On the other side, we have the incestuous Warden of the North, Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen, with his favourite auntie Dany, her two dragons and army, the Starks, the Night Watch – a brave horde of dozens, the knights of the Vale, 1½ Lannisters, a direwolf and some dragon-glass.
The Night King is marching towards their position with his army. The good guys are preparing for battle.
This we know: the White Walkers are clever, but the undead army is mostly a brainless mass of bones; their previous strategy was to rush the opponents (the massacre of Hardhome), overwhelm them and have them join the horde.
And in response to that, the good guys are preparing the defence of Winterfell. Ditches have been dug, walls reinforced with dragonglass, army split into divisions. We can divide the whole operation into four parts: the sortie, the defence of Winterfell’s walls, the real counter-attack, and the protection of the non-fighters.
The sortie is there to hold off the dead originally. When they realize its futile, I suppose they will retreat behind the walls. These will be defended by whoever is manning them – those details are unimportant now. The real counter-attack is their plan to lure the Night King with Bran and kill him, in hopes that this will break the spell he holds over the dead and disperse the undead army before the walls fall.
But what is this flaw that I spoke of?
Well, in my opinion it relates to the planned protection of the non-fighters. Namely, they plan to lump them down in the crypts – which are supposedly the safest place for them to be.
But is this the case?
Why Winterfell will fall
What the defenders seem to be overlooking is the fact that the Night King’s deciding asset is not his army, or his White Walkers, or his Dragon. It’s the fact that he can raise the dead. And all the innocent non-fighters are in the crypt – i.e. a place where you keep dead people.
We know that the Night King can raise even very decomposed corpses and skeletons – so, every dead Stark down there is a potential soldier in his army. And the Stark family is seven thousand years old – accounting for a fair number of mindless skeletons to be raised at his leisure. Plus, the non-fighters that will join the Night King’s ranks for suprise attack from within the citadel.
I think that this overlook will be the reason why the defenders will lose Winterfell in s08e03.
Now, as to the range of the Night King’s necromancy, we can only speculate at what distance his power is effective. But, however you look at it, he has a dragon and will be in the near vicinity of the crypts – so, the possibility of an surprise attack that starts in the crypts of Winterfell is undeniable.
Should I be wrong next Sunday, I will publicly admit it – and blame it on the lack of military imagination of the producers of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Anyhow, I think it’s stupid to think that Winterfell will not fall in the next episode – if nothing else because it is only the third episode and it’s unrealistic to expect the defeat of the Enemy this early in the season.
Stefan is a geek and wordsmith extraordinaire with an M.A. in Philosophy and a professional background in business development, marketing and media. He has a cat called Freya that doesn’t like him very much.