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Game of Thrones Semi-Final: Daenerys vs Whitewalkers

***Spoilers*** (obviously)

So the Battle of Winterfell happened last night to see who would get the opportunity to face Cersei’s Army in the Grand Final in a few weeks.

And I must say, this game lived up to the hype.

Melisandre started us off with a Gus Gould inspired pre-game pep talk to the Dothraki, as we saw Theon lead Bran into the coaches box, co-captains Daenerys and Jon Snow look over their team from atop a mountain, and Tyrion looking mighty annoyed that he was relegated to the bench for this one.
A game of 2 halves really as the first half was dominated by the sheer size and strength of the White Walkers. They controlled the play the ball area just like they have all season, and their go forward just wasn’t matched in the opening stanzas between the Dothraki and the Unsullied. Jorah Mormont picking up a nasty shoulder injury in the first set of the game, and he looked to be gone but shrugged off the trainers trying to take him out of the game.
The White Walkers took the early lead as Samwell Tarly was basically a speedbump in defence, costing his team dearly with the death of Edd. Disappointing for Sam as this was the game he really needed to stand up in and silence the critics.
Some miscommunication from Daenerys and Snow saw them take each other out ala Tedesco/Fergo last year, and with the team retreating back to the castle, this looked like it could be boilover for the Walkers.

One positive for the home side in defence, Jamie and Brienne stood up and showed why they are in the mix for the end of season honours this year, as their organisational skills were unmatched throughout the first half.
As it seemed the White Walkers would head into halftime with a massive lead, some unselfish play from Grey Worm saw them assist Melisandre in getting the trench on fire when Daenerys went missing, saving them from a total embarrassment of a half.

Sir Davos led the team discussions at halftime, with Bran clocking off after giving Theon some words as he looks to keep him fresh for the second half. Davos explaining that some 50/50 calls going against the home team, but they can’t let that worry them as they head into the second half.
Tyrion getting edgy on the bench after not seeing any first half action, but his humour was still in tact and his banter kept the other bench players encouraged.

The second half started much like the first, with the Walkers advancing strong and fast and spotting some gaps in the trench fires which allows them to put the pressure on the home team in their own half.

After a strong first half in attack, The Hound starts off slow in the second, looking very unenthusiastic until he is inspired by the little jack rabbit Arya darting out from dummy half time and time again to try and put them back on the front foot.
The Giant comes onto the field and immediately breaks through the castle doors, and as he looks like he’s heading to the tryline to put this game out of reach, Lyanna Mormont literally puts her body on the line and takes out the Giant for good.
Some protest from the opposition as they say it was a little high, and could’ve easily been a penalty, but the ref let them play on. Lyanna is taken off for a HIA.

We see a backfield scuffle between Daenerys/Snow and the Night King. Some back and forth from the 3 before Daenerys looked to have the Night King’s measure, but alas it was not to be today. They separated and continued on the game.

In a great spell in the second half, we see Arya beat a bunch of Walkers through the castle, before sidestepping around a dozen or so in the library before nearly getting overcome again until we see The Hound and Beric come from behind, Beric sacrificing himself for the betterment of the team.

Theon Greyjoy giving a goal line performance that would make any coach proud, sacrificng everything to earn his name back for the Starks. Unfortunately it didn’t seem enough as the Night King came in and took control, and this game looked to be over.
Daenerys on the left side looked to be shot before Jorah came in for the final save and helped seal up the edge in defence.
Jon Snow getting chippy with some words for the huge forwards, baiting them to take a shot at him.
As we approach the end of the game, Melisandre again provides a pep talk, this time to Arya who dashes off with an intercept, beats several of the highly classed White Walkers, looks to be taken by the Night King right before the tryline, but shows off her skills of switching the ball to her right hand and palms him off to score under the posts, to win the game.

Arya praising the whole team when asked about it in the press conference
“Full credit to the team. Without the soldiers working hard in defence, I wouldn’t be in the position I was. We weren’t going to die wondering that’s for sure.”

Daenerys team with the win 18-16, and advance to face Cersei in a few weeks time.

Dally M Points
1 – Grey Worm
Very unselfish play helped keep his team in the game after a dominate first half from the opposition. Very robotic Cooper Cronk style performance
2 -Arya Stark
Did more than what was expected of her in a career defining game. Was heavily favoured to not feature highly in the game, but took the criticism onboard and improved out of sight
3 – Jorah Mormont
Led from the front all day. Carried a shoulder injury throughout an 80 minute performance, and showed the young forwards he could still mix it with them. Dug in deep when the going got tough in that second half, and came through in the clutch moments when the team needed him.

Players to Watch in the GF
Brienne and Jamie – Without them, there wouldn’t be a team playing in a few weeks. Watch them take control and control the team around the park, and stand up when called upon.
Tyrion – Had no effect in today’s game, but whispers are already out that he could play a major role on the field in the Grand Final, as the coach looks to cover the loss of several experienced players
Daenerys and Jon – Had their issues before the match as their off-field incidents were played out in public, and it showed in yesterdays game. They need to put them to the side for now, and focus on the upcoming match, otherwise it could spell defeat

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