[The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3]
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss explain why fans were deprived of the chance to see certain creatures from George R.R. Martin’s novels make their debut in the Battle of Winterfell. Everything on Game of Thrones from the very beginning of season 1 led up to Sunday night’s epic episode “The Long Night,” which featured a battle scene reputed to be the longest ever shot for a television show or movie.
Indeed, the Battle of Winterfell lived up to expectations in terms of epic scope, as it stretched across nearly the entire 82-minute running time of the episode and featured multiple dramatic fights, rescues and deaths. But in some ways the episode actually defied expectations, especially when it came to the fate of The Night King, who didn’t engage in a final duel with Jon Snow as many hoped but instead fell at the hands of Arya Stark. Social media was sent into a frenzy by the episode’s many twists and turns, as humans, dragons, zombies and even giants all got in on the action.