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Everything to know before Game of Thrones episode 3 and The Battle of Winterfell

Plus, where to stream and watch the episode

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Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 - Jon and Dany at the Battle of Winterfell Helen Sloan/HBO

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is finally here and we’re now only four episodes away from finding out how HBO’s epic fantasy series ends. Several questions linger after episodes 1 and 2: Who will sit on the Iron Throne in the end? Will there even be seven kingdoms left to rule over? Can the Night King be stopped? Will someone please tell Ghost that he’s a good boy?

Every week for the remainder of season 8, we’ll dive deep into those remaining questions, recapping the previous episode and digging into what to expect in the next one. We’ll also remind you where Game of Thrones is available to stream, and how to make sure you’re caught up.

[Ed. note: These next two sections contain spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, through episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” If you still need to catch up, scroll down to the last section, or check out our post on how to watch the season premiere.]

Episode 2 recap: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

Game of Thrones S08E02 Brienne knighted HBO

Episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is all about Winterfell’s battle preparations as the armies of Westeros (and various foreign contingents) get ready for an assault by the Night King’s White Walker army. Gendry and the rest of the castle’s smiths mass produce dragonglass weapons and the Unsullied test out some powerful-looking trebuchets. Recognizing that the army of the dead, which far outnumbers the living, follows the Night King’s command and may die when he does, Bran offers himself up as bait. The episode ends with three blasts of a horn, the sign that the Walkers have arrived.

But the episode’s best moments come in the time between when the stage is set and the enemy arrives at the gate. The characters we’ve come to know, love, and root for know they might die soon. All they can do is wait for the battle to start and take advantage of every last moment they have left.

The looming threat of death sparks a renewed humanity in Arya. She seduces Gendry, with whom she’s had a palpable sexual tension, saying “We’re probably going to die soon. I want to know what it’s like before that happens.” Sam, Jon, and Dolorous Edd take some time to reminisce, easing the tension with dark humor. Sam then gifts his family’s ancestral sword (importantly, a Valyrian steel blade) to Jorah, before curling up in bed with Gilly and baby Sam. It’s a tender moment for a family that has the best chance of making it to the end.

One of the most poignant moments in the episode, if not the entire show, comes when Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Tyrion, Podrick, and Davos are enjoying the warmth of a fire, a cup of wine (or horn of fermented milk, in a certain large redhead’s case), and each other’s company. After telling a truly upsetting story and making weird googly eyes at Brienne, Tormund says that, were he a king, he’d knight her. Jaime points out that “any knight can make another knight,” and proves it by asking her to kneel. She arises Ser Brienne, as tears fill her eyes (and ours, too.)

Finally, down in the crypts, Jon reveals his true parentage to Daenerys. Before they can grapple with the consequences of that revelation, the horn blasts. They’ll have to deal with it later. Right now, Winter is coming.

What to expect in episode 3

The Battle of Winterfell, the anticipated faceoff between the living and the dead, will reportedly be not only the biggest fight in the history of the show, but the longest battle sequence ever filmed. The episode 3 preview and promotional images don’t show much actual fighting, but after last week’s loving sendoff, we fully expect the Game of Thrones writers to break out hearts into pieces.

Bluntly, this episode will be a bloodbath. While a few main characters are still wearing enough plot armor to make it through the Battle of Winterfell, episode 2 painted targets on many of our favorite side characters’ backs. Brienne finally became a knight, achieving her series-long quest. That beam of pride on her face was a sure sign that she’s a goner. Missandei and Grey Worm made plans to visit her home, Narth, which is a pretty good indication that at least one of them won’t get a nice beach vacation when this is all over. We’re not holding out much hope for Theon, whose Pete Campbell-esque arc will reach a satisfying/devastating conclusion if he’s killed protecting Brandon Stark, the boy he once held hostage. And the show kept reminding us that the crypts are the safest place in Winterfell, so naturally that doesn’t bode well for the women and children hiding out down there.

Where to watch episode 3

Brienne and the Knights of the Vale at the Battle of Winterfell — Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 Helen Sloan/HBO

Episode 3 will air on HBO and (drop onto streaming services) at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 28. Here’s all the ways to watch Game of Thrones, whether directly from HBO or as a streaming service add-on.


Those who subscribe to HBO through a cable or satellite package can stream Game of Thrones live or on demand via the HBO Go service. The HBO Go app is available on most phones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Check if your device is supported at HBO’s Help Center.

Stream Game of Thrones on HBO Go.


Cord cutters can still watch HBO on the network’s own platform. HBO Now is a stand-alone service, so it doesn’t require a cable subscription or another streaming platform; you stream directly from the HBO Now website or app. A one-week free trial is available — after that, it’s $14.99 per month.

Stream Game of Thrones on HBO Now.


Hulu also offers an HBO add-on for $14.99, which allows live HBO streaming whether or not you subscribe to Hulu’s live TV subscription tier. Subscribing through Hulu, or any other streaming service, also grants access to HBO Now.

Stream Game of Thrones on Hulu.

Amazon Channels

In addition to the TV shows and movies available free to Prime members, Amazon offers add-on premium subscriptions through the Amazon Channels program. The HBO add-on costs $14.99 per month (the same as HBO Now).

Stream Game of Thrones on Amazon Channels.

Playstation Vue

Sony’s own TV subscription service, PlayStation Vue, is another streaming option. HBO is available as an add-on to a multi-channel package or as a stand-alone subscription. It costs $14.99 per month either way. The PlayStation Vue Ultra package, which costs $79.99 per month, includes HBO and Showtime.

Stream Game of Thrones on PlayStation Vue.

DirecTV Now

AT&T’s streaming service is the only subscription that includes HBO at its base level, though at $50 per month, it’s the most expensive plan on the market. Because DirecTV Now operates more like a traditional cable package, subscribers have access to HBO Go, rather than HBO Now.

Stream Game of Thrones on DirecTV Now.

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