'Game of Thrones' recap: The Battle of Winterfell brings epic war, several deaths

Find out who died, who lived and what's next.

Major spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones."

After two episodes of table-setting, character-bonding and truth-telling, everything came to a head on Sunday night's episode of "Game of Thrones," titled "The Long Night." But title aside, the episode was really about the great Battle of Winterfell between the Army of the Dead and Daenerys Targaryen's great army, led by Jon Snow.

We begin with many shots of solemn faces in the dark. The Dothraki are the first to ride out into the dark and fight. They quickly fall to the unstoppable army, as Daenerys and Jon then take to their respective dragons to literally light the dead up. But the battlefield is soon engulfed by an icy wind, making it hard to see.

As the battle continues, we get our first big casualty: Night's Watch member Eddison Tollett, aka Dolorous Edd.

Later, the Winterfell army retreats as Melisandre walks out to the battlefield, so that she might light the trench with her spells and engulf the dead army in flames. It holds them back for a little while.

But the Night King riding his zombie dragon, instructs his dead wights to sacrifice themselves and jump on the fire to put enough of it out to attack. They then come swarming onto the castle. The Army of the Dead climbs the outer wall and eventually breaches Winterfell. Arya joins the fight, proving she's just as adept at killing ice zombies as she's at crossing names off her list.

As if we didn't have enough to deal with, an undead ice giant enters the fray, swinging a club and greatly injuring Lyanna Mormont, who until then has been commanding part of Winterfell's defenses like a boss. Mortally wounded, she rises charges the giant, who crushes her in its had as it lifts Lyanna to his face. Just as it seems the giant's about to eat her, Lyanna screams and plunges a dragonglass dagger into the giant's eye, and they both fall to the ground, dead.

Meanwhile, a bloodied and exhausted Arya seeks shelter and rest in Winterfell's dark library, which is soon infested with white walkers. She's later rescued by The Hound and Beric, who loses his flaming sword in the melee. Brought back to life many times thanks to the Lord of Light, Beric now is stabbed several times defending Arya and The Hound, and stumbles with them to momentary safety behind a barricaded door before succumbing to his injuries and dying one last time.

Inside the room, Arya receives an unexpected pep talk from Melisandre. "What do we say to the god of death?" she asks. "Not today," Arya replies. And with renewed purpose in her eyes, she suddenly dashes off, her destination unknown. That will come into play later.

Back in the godswood, Theon and his men fend off the attacking wights as Bran keeps warging, while in the air, Jon and Daeny are on the tail of the Night King. We get some cool in-air dragon fighting as Daeny, riding Drogon, is able to knock the Night King off Viserion, while Jon crash lands with Rhaegal. The Mother of Dragons spots the Night King on the ground, orders 'Dracarys" and rains fire upon him, but it doesn't even phase him. Actually we get our first smile from the evil leader.

Jon, now on foot, draws his sword and pursues the Night King. But the Night King raises all of the newly dead soldiers as wights, both outside and inside Winterfell, leaving them to destroy Jon.

Later, it's Daeny who is knocked to the ground, after the dead climb onto her dragon and start stabbing it. He flies off to rid himself of the annoying, yet lethal pests.

At the godswood, Theon manages to kill all the attackers coming after Bran. But when the fighting stops, there stands the Night King, whom it seems is about to make good on his mission to kill the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran returns from warging and, in a rare show of emotion, tells Theon he's a "good man," and thanks him. With his redemption story now complete, Theon charges at the Night King, who then stabs and kills him.

The Night King then slowly approaches the ever-calm Bran, but just as he's about to take his icy sword out of its sheath to deliver the killing blow, Arya Stark leaps out of seeming nowhere behind him, Valyrian steel dagger in hand.

The Night King whirls immediately and grabs her by the throat, holding her suspended before him. But just as that brief moment of despair surfaces, Arya drops the knife from her upraised left hand into her right hand, low and out of sight -- and stabs the Night King him in the torso, his body shattering into pieces.

Inside and around Winterfell, as the stunned defenders watch, every wight immediately collapses into final death, including Viserion, just as it was about to roast Jon Snow in ice-blue dragonfire.

But outside Winterfell, Ser Jorah Mormont -- who'd been stabbed many times defending Daeny -- finally collapses, succumbing to his wounds. A weeping Daenerys cradles his head as he dies.

Melisandre, who earlier in the episode promised Ser Davos that she wouldn't survive the night, makes good on her words. She walks out into the icy, bloody battlefield just as the sun rises. The removes her charmed necklace and becomes what she truly was -- an ancient crone, her flame-red hair turning white. And she falls to the ground, dead.

That leaves seven major character deaths, including the Night King. But Daeny shouldn't rest easy just yet, previews of next week foreshadow the upcoming battle between her army, whats left, and Cersei's. Three episodes remain to see who finally takes the Iron Thrones once and for all.

"Game of Thrones" returns Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.