Wow. That was a massacre. There’s no sugarcoating it. Just when you think Game of Thrones will zig, it zags. Not enough people were dying? Ok, how about we kill the majority of people in King’s Landing? Will that make you happy? If you had Daenerys winning the Iron Throne in your gambling pools, you are in good shape heading into the final episode. Here’s my review for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5, “The Bells.”
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5: “The Bells“
Burn them all is right, Game of Thrones Twitter.
-Before the massacre at King’s Landing, there were still some loose ends to take care of at Dragonstone. After his discussion with Tyrion, Varys completed his betrayal of Daenerys by writing letters that state Jon Snow is a Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne. As Jon arrives at Dragonstone, Varys is the first one to greet him. After informing Jon that Daenerys has not eaten or seen anyone since witnessing Missandei’s death, Varys gets right to the point. Varys knows that Jon should be King, not Daenerys. If there’s one thing Varys believes in, it’s the realm. All of his loyalty belongs to the crown and for him to choose Jon over Daenerys speaks volumes. Varys knows that Daenerys is going down a slippery slope and she’s moments away from becoming the Mad Queen. Varys said, “They say every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin, and the world holds its breath.” Clearly, Varys was right. Even when Jon refuses to become the King, Varys won’t take no for an answer.
Spreading news of Jon’s lineage to King’s Landing will be his way of forcing Jon to take the throne. Our first shot of Daenerys occurs when Tyrion visits her in the Queen’s chambers. Tyrion mentions that someone betrayed her and without hesitation, Daenerys answers “Jon Snow.” Varys might be the one to take the betrayal to the next level, but she’s not wrong. In fact, Daenerys correctly points out that Sansa told Tyrion about Jon’s lineage with the hope that he would spread it to the right people. Varys is the WORST person you could tell a secret and Sansa knew Tyrion would tell him. Once again, Sansa continues to have the upper-hand over Dany as she remains two moves ahead of her at all times. I’ve said Jon is extremely naive before, but the same can be said for Tyrion. Tyrion continues to believe that Daenerys can take the Iron Throne without killing innocent people because Cersei will surrender. Cersei once blew up and killed a crowd of people that included her daughter-in-law. Do you think she will go down without a fight and just surrender? That’s what I thought.
-Varys fate was sealed in Season 7, Episode 2. Daenerys stated to Varys that if he ever betrayed her, Varys would burn to death. That’s exactly what happened as Drogon burned and killed Varys in front of Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, and Grey Worm. Even when Tyrion said his final goodbye, Varys could only think about the fate of the throne and how Daenerys is the wrong choice. “I hope I’m wrong” were his final words in reference to Daenerys becoming Queen. Varys, you were right. Varys loyalty to the realm is arguably the greatest loyalty that any character has had in the show. RIP Varys.
Heartbreak in Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5
Grey Worm shared a heartbreaking moment with Daenerys over Missandei’s death. When offered Missandei’s last possession, Grey Worm threw it in the fire. That throw signified Grey Worm’s character turn. There is no more love in his heart. Only hate and revenge will fuel him from here on out.
-In the latest chapter of kissing your aunt, Jon once again can’t passionately kiss Daenerys. Sad! When Jon visits Daenerys in her chamber, Daenerys says something noteworthy. In addition, she asks Jon if she has love or fear. Jon states that Daenerys is his queen and he loves her. When she kisses him, Jon backs away because he can’t love his aunt like on an intimate level anymore. So Daenerys responds with “All right then. Let it be fear.” This further illustrates that Daenerys story is a tragedy. Think about her journey to this point. Her parents were killed and she was shipped away at a young age. All she wants to do is come home, but almost all of Westeros hates her family name. On her way to reclaiming the throne, she lost her husband, best friends, allies, and two children. Daenerys has no friends. All she has is a dragon.
-“I never thought that dragons would exist again. No one did. The people who follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that’s different from the shit one they’ve always known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different. You’re just more of the same.” – Jon Snow.
-Once again, Tyrion begs Daenerys to not attack if the bells ring in King’s Landing because it indicates a surrender. Daenerys agrees but leaves Tyrion with these final words: “Next time you fail me will be the last time you fail me.”
-This will be forgotten because of all the drama in King’s Landing, but I particularly enjoyed the conversation between Tyrion and Jamie. No matter what Jamie and Tyrion did, their bond would never be broken. It’s one of the core relationships of the show. Jamie helped Tyrion escape when Tyrion was sentenced to death and Tyrion returned the favor tonight by freeing Jamie and convincing him to save Cersei and flee King’s Landing. In an episode full of violence and death, at least two brothers were able to say their goodbyes.
-The Hound, Arya, and Jamie all made it to King’s Landing. More on that later!
-Now THAT was a true display of power. Drogon destroyed the scorpion weapons, the Iron Fleet, and the Golden Company within minutes. Jon, Grey Worm, and the army breached the walls of King’s Landing with ease. After this destruction, Daenerys is perched up on the outside of King’s Landing on the back of Drogon. She hears the bells, which she knows indicates a surrender. As Varys once said, “Respect is how the young keep us at a distance, so we don’t remind them of an unpleasant truth… Nothing lasts.” The past few episodes were building to a decision that Daenerys would have to make. Would she stay the Breaker of Chains or become the Queen of Ashes? Nothing lasts. Daenerys could only be peaceful for so long before her killer instincts took over. Daenerys starts to twitch and focus on the Red Keep. She remembers that she has lost all of her friends and has no love in her heart anymore. Then, it happened. Daenerys fully became the Mad Queen. In the battle of nature vs. nurture, nature won. Daenerys tried to be different than her father, but she could never escape the hatred. You are who you are and no matter what you try to do, nothing can change that.
-Some insight into Daenery’s choice to burn King’s Landing from the Hollywood Reporter.
-The massacre was on. What started out as a fight between soldiers turned into killing any resident of King’s Landing in sight. Daenerys destroyed buildings and innocent people with Drogon as Grey Worm and the army did their damage on the ground. Men, women, and children were not safe. This was BRUTAL to watch and Jon, Tyrion, Sir Davos, and Arya all realized that Daenerys has gone mad and may not be the best person to rule Westeros.
-Before Jamie could enter King’s Landing, he had to fight with Euron Greyjoy, who survived the destruction of the Iron Fleet. Euron and Jamie fought to the death with both characters suffering severe wounds. Jamie walked away limping while Euron was left to bleed out. Euron’s final words were, “I’m the man who killed Jamie Lannister.” If this is honesty hour, I hated Euron Greyjoy’s character. I never understood his purpose and he always felt like an afterthought to me.
-My favorite scene of the night belonged to the Hound and Arya. The duo finally made it into the Red Keep, but time was ticking as the castle walls were falling left and right. Arya wants to continue on in order to kill Cersei, but the Hound immediately stops her. The Hound knows he is going to die and he doesn’t want that for Arya. All his life, the Hound has wanted revenge. Look where that got him. But Arya can still have a life worth living if she so chooses. She can go live in the North with the rest of her family. Killing Cersei won’t solve her problems. When the Hound looked into Arya’s eyes, for the first time since season 1, she was not a killer, assassin, or warrior. Arya became a Stark again.
Finally, after years of teasing us, the writers came through and gave what us fans wanted, which was the Cleaganebowl. The Hound versus The Mountain in a battle to the death is what everyone wanted. Ever since The Mountain was recreated by Qyburn, we knew he was formed with some sort of magical powers and fantasy elements. The Mountain became a monster who always followed orders. For the first time since his reincarnation, The Mountain showed his human side by disobeying orders. I audibly laughed when The Mountain killed that snake Qyburn. The fight was an awesome moment as the castle began to crumble around them. The Hound couldn’t stab The Mountain to death so he decided to tackle him through a wall and fall to their death in the fire. In the end, The Hound finally got his wish. The Hound sacrificed himself to kill his brother, successfully completing his character arc.
-Speaking of character arcs, I’m furious with how Jamie and Cersei died. Jamie and Cersei found themselves trapped in the Red Keep with nowhere to go. Cersei pleaded how she didn’t want her or her baby to die. However, Jamie calmed Cersei down and assured her that all that mattered was their love for each other. As the Red Keep collapsed in the background, Jamie and Cersei hug each other before their section collapses and kills them. The writers opted to have Jamie die in the arms of the woman he loves.
I am mad.
Jamie and Cersei should not have died as equals. I believed that Jamie should have killed Cersei in order to stop her from burning the city to the ground with wildfire. However, Jamie and Cersei ended up dying together that wasn’t at the hands of a major character. (Drogon was the reason the Red Keep fell, but I’m not counting that as a major character killing another major character.) Cersei was pure evil and became a monster, which cemented her as one of the best television villains of all-time. Jamie started off as a brash, cocky and hateable character, but later went on a redemption story that showcased his compassion and likability. They should not have died as equals. Both went on journeys in the opposite direction and yet they made up in the span of a few minutes and died a painless death. (Yes, Jamie was stabbed a few times so he suffered some pain, but he didn’t have to bleed out any more thanks to instantly dying when the roof collapsed.) Some on Twitter are arguing that Cersei died powerlessly. I’m arguing she got the easy way out. I’m still upset.
-After all of the destruction, Arya was still standing in a desolate King’s Landing. That’s when she saw a white horse and rode out of the city. For those who don’t know, a white horse in mythology symbolizes death. Does this mean Arya will die or is she the one who is bringing death to someone else? Is Arya’s true destiny to kill Daenerys?
It’s hard to believe that there is only one episode left in the entire series. Will Jon kill Dany? Will Arya kill Dany? Can Dany be the last one standing? I have zero clues as to how they will wrap up the show next week. See you then.
What did you think about Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @unafraidshow.