This past week's episode of Game of Thrones depicted the biggest battle the series has ever seen, which resulted in the episode earning the longest run time thus far. The Night King's assault on Winterfell started outside of the gates, with his overwhelming forces slowly making their way inside the stronghold, ultimately culminating near a weirwood tree. As the battle raged on, many characters took shelter in the crypt, seemingly protecting them from the otherworldly forces. In an HBO behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the episode, fans caught a glimpse of both Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister defending themselves against a horrifying threat.
WARNING: Minor spoilers below for Game of Thrones
OMG SO TYRION AND SANSA DID KILL WIGHTS!! We just couldn’t see it pic.twitter.com/aEhhGH7PsU— Rayen (@StarkyRed) April 29, 2019
Earlier in the season, the crypt was considered a place where those who wouldn't fare well in battle could find refuge, despite fans noting that one of the Night King's abilities allowed him to bring the dead back to life. This week's episode saw him get close enough to utilize those skills, unearthing numerous bodies who subsequently attacked those attempting to avoid conflict.
As seen in the footage above, we can see Sansa and Tyrion defensively fight back against the undead. Unfortunately, there's no context or explanation provided to confirm why this sequence wasn't included. One theory for keeping the scene out of the episode is that, with the episode already featuring dueling dragons and countless Wights eradicating the heroic forces, there was already too much emphasis on the combat, so keeping the chaos above ground helped with the pacing of the storyline.
Another possible reason why these scenes weren't shown was to more accurately reflect Sansa and Tyrion's roles in the show. In the show's first season, Sansa was mostly a victim of circumstance, ultimately unwillingly connected with Joffrey, only for her to suffer immense amounts of abuse in subsequent seasons from a number of characters. With the character relatively recently taking back her agency, she has shown the type of leader she has become, despite her lack of skills on the battlefield.
Tyrion, on the other hand, began the series as a character who wanted nothing more than to get drunk and have sex, ultimately accepting more responsibility as seasons went by and using his cunning to ensure victory as Daenerys Targaryen's most trusted advisor. Despite being instructed to stay in the crypt, he had to repress his urges to help on the battlefield, with more capable warriors ultimately proving their abilities while Tyrion was able to sit out the conflict.
Keeping Sansa and Tyrion completely out of the conflict reminded audiences that their minds are far more powerful weapons than their fists.
Stay tuned for new episodes of Game of Thrones on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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