GAME Ò THRONE SEASON 8 TAP 5

This was the most consequential episode in Game of Thrones history. The penultimate episode of the series was an extremely tense visual stunner that had an enormous impact on most of the major characters. Several bạn favorites are dead. Daenerys went Full Targaryen. Tyrion committed treason. The loyalty of Dany’s remaining supporters — including Jon Snow — is now in question. The Cleganebowl happened. And Arya decided to choose life over vengeance.

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In a way, the episode — titled “The Bells” — felt lượt thích a response khổng lồ the criticisms of the Battle of Winterfell even though it was filmed at roughly the same time. “Episode 3 was too dark.” Oh, you think so? How’s this for some battle clarity? “The first battle was overhyped.” Okay, here’s a second battle that was kept totally secret. “Not enough major characters died in the first battle.” Well, buckle up buddy. (Both episodes, by the way, were directed by “Battle of the Bastards” helmer Miguel Sapochnik).


I have a lot of thoughts about this one, especially about Dany’s “Mad Queen” turn and Arya’s big decision.


On the beach, Varys intercepts Jon Snow as he arrives. Varys urges him to take the crown for himself & Jon, of course, refuses. “Every time a Targaryen is born the gods toss a coin,” Varys says. “I still don’t know how her coin has landed, but I’m quite certain about yours.”


In the castle, Daenerys looks unlike we’ve ever seen her before. The grieving Mother of Dragon’s hair và makeup team apparently went down with the rest of her fleet last week. She’s visited by Tyrion who informs her that somebody has betrayed her. “Jon Snow,” she says. In a way, Dany is correct. If it wasn’t for Jon Snow going against her wishes, Tyrion wouldn’t have found out about his parentage & then Varys wouldn’t have started maneuvering lớn betray her.


Daenerys sees this as Sansa’s treachery. So many fans blasted Sansa last week for not keeping Jon’s secret. But notice what Dany is saying. Couldn’t this have been a clever Littlefinger-lượt thích plot rather than a moment of weakness confiding in a friend? Watching that scene, it was tough lớn tell. Perhaps it was a bit of both? Sansa was throwing a bomb into lớn Dany’s inner circle and had to know it would explode.


For Tyrion, this is a tough situation. Tyrion likes Varys, who once saved his life. But Tyrion is also a survivadanh sách. He’s already on thin ice with Dany và if he doesn’t tell his queen about Varys’ treachery, then when she finds out he’s dead too. Tyrion has made a lot of blunders the last couple seasons, but ratting out Varys isn’t one of them.


Later, Grey Worm gets Varys from his room. The Spider taking off his rings really got me. He’s brought khổng lồ the beach. This is where Melisandre once sacrificed heretics lớn the Lord of Light so many seasons ago. Now a different burning is about to take place, but the night is still dark and now it’s full of even worse terrors. “I hope I’m wrong,” Varys tells Tyrion. “Truly I bởi vì.” But you can see it in his face — Varys is certain he’s right. Tyrion gives him a kind touch, the last he’ll ever feel, và Varys looks surprised.


Dany executes Varys with a blast from Drogon, who emerges out of the darkness behind her like a beautiful detháng. The mode of execution is rather fitting as castrated Varys’ genitals were tossed inkhổng lồ a magical fire when he was a kid, inspiring his lifetime dislượt thích and distrust of sorcery. Now the rest of him is consumed a magic-induced fire as well.


Why, exactly, was Varys executed? It’s not made perfectly clear. But Varys has been writing letters, possible trying lớn out Jon Snow as the true heir khổng lồ various lords. His conversation with his young spy who worked in the kitchen suggested he might have been plotting to lớn poison the queen, who had been refusing to lớn eat. Plus his conversations with Tyrion & Jon treasonous as well.


Later, Tyrion tries to lớn convince Dany, one last time, lớn show restraint và not attaông xã the đô thị. We’re supposed to lớn be entirely on his side, morally speaking. But the residents of King’s Landing are Cersei’s responsibility và she can only hold them up as human shields while deliberately provoking a dragon-riding Targaryen to lớn attaông xã for so long before she shares some blame too.


Tyrion also brings up Meereen, which is an important reminder of Mad Queen foreshadowing. Rethành viên Dany’s first instinct when Meereen was under bombardment by the slave cities in season 6? “I will crucify the masters,” Dany declared. “I will mix their fleets afire. I will kill every last one of their soldiers and return their cities lớn the dirt. That’s my plan.” Tyrion talked her out of it. At the time we thought, Well, Dany probably didn’t really mean it. But she did. She’s said other things lượt thích this too along the way. In season 2, Dany liksamseinfo.comise promised, “We will lay waste to armies and burn cities lớn the ground.” And in season 6, she asked the Dothraki lớn pledge to lớn “kill my enemies in their iron suits & tear down their stone houses.” Time & again, we dismissed such talk as bluster. It wasn’t.


And once again, Tyrion gets Dany to lớn hold bachồng, or seems lớn. Tyrion says he’ll sneak inlớn the city & try to convince his sister to lớn surrender one final time. If successful, he’ll ring the city’s bells signaling for Dany lớn stop the attachồng.


Dany then reveals lớn Tyrion that Jaime Lannister was caught trying to sneak behind enemy lines. She warns Tyrion — just as she warned Varys last season — that she will exeđáng yêu him if he betrays her.


So what’s Tyrion going to do? Again, like Varys, he goes for broke. He visits his imprisoned brother & decides khổng lồ release hyên ổn, just as Jaime freed Tyrion in season 4. Tyrion rightly realizes Cersei is far more likely to listen to lớn Jaime. The two have sầu a very touching và emotional goodbye. “Tens of thousands of innocent lives, one not particularly innocent dwarf, seems like a fair trade,” Tyrion says. “If it weren’t for you I never would have survived my childhood. You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a boss khủng.” Tyrion also reveals a secret passage out of the Red Keep for the two khổng lồ escape.


We’re teased here with a happy ending for the Lannister twins: Sailing off lớn start a nsamseinfo.com life together somsamseinfo.comhere far away, just as Grey Worm và Missandei dreamed about. Tyrion knows he’s never going lớn see his brother alive sầu again, one way or the other.


And Tyrion now seems dead either way. If he marched inlớn the Red Keep to have sầu a chat with Cersei, she’d either kill hyên or he would have sầu perished in the attachồng. But by sending Jaime in his place, Tyrion is committing treason. His best option would have been khổng lồ vị nothing — stay at Dragonstone & keep Jaime locked up for his own safety & sit baông xã & let Dany be Dany. But doing nothing và risking nothing is also the selfish move sầu that Cersei would have sầu done.


King’s Landing: At first, Daenerys’ attacking King’s Landing is super gratifying. She wipes out the Iron Fleet, figuring out what fans pointed out last week that, ohhh, you can circle behind the ships khổng lồ blast the scorpions. Euron escapes to lớn safety. She also takes out the scorpions on the castle walls (it would be wiser for Dany lớn attachồng at night, but after the Battle of Winterfell we’re happy for the daylight action).


For Daenerys, the battle for King’s Landing is now pretty simple. Once she gets all the scorpions, the đô thị is hers. So now what?


Red Keep: Qyburn gives Cersei the bad nsamseinfo.coms. Cersei is in denial as always. “The Red Keep has never fallen, it will not fall today.”


So much of the lead up to lớn the big turn is directed with such gorgeous precision and suspense. Ramin Djawadi nail-biting score ratchets the tension to another level.


We get a standoff. Jon Snow, Grey Worm, & Davos with the Unsullied confront the remaining Golden Company troops. Dany on Drogon perched on the city ramparts. Cersei staring out from the Red Keep. Cries from the people khổng lồ ring the bells.


Will Cersei ring the bells? No. She won’t. But somebody toàn thân does anyway. She looks fine about this, perhaps even relieved that the decision was taken out of her hands. The Lannister troops throw down their swords khổng lồ surrender.


But Dany has other ideas. She’s high on destruction. She doesn’t want peace. She’s staring at the Red Keep & looks furious. She could stop all this but … well…she just doesn’t want to lớn.


Dany flies into lớn King’s Landing & blasts away. Buildings, civilians, everyone. The Mad Queen has arrived. Her house words are “Fire và Blood” và she’s delivering both.


Tyrion watches this and realizes: He was wrong about Dany.


Jon Snow watches her & realizes: He was wrong about Dany too.


We watch Daenerys & … wait, were we wrong as well?


Did we already think Dany was capable of this? Or were we in denial about her murderous ways? Did we really think sometoàn thân who crucified 163 people because she assumed they were all responsible for killing slaves was a good person? Or bởi vì we feel this is an unfair trick; that writers of GoT are pushing a Mad Queen narrative against Dany’s character?


Remember that scene in season 2 in the House of the Undying? Dany had a vision of walking through the Red Keep. The ceiling was broken open và there was this trắng stuff falling into lớn the throne room. We assumed that was snow và that winter had come khổng lồ the South. In this episode, at long last, Dany really is in King’s Landing & the Red Keep really is being destroyed. But there’s no snow. We see that Trắng stuff was actually ash, the ash that’s now raining across the thành phố. Dany’s the queen of the ashes. So this turn was foreshadowed from the show’s very early days.


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There were plenty of moments in previous seasons to support Daenerys going Mad Queen. Has the show been a bit tricky in playing her murderous moments as heroic and only recently seemed lớn want us khổng lồ really question them? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t say GoT has been suddenly pushing the idea that Dany is bad so much as doing what a good drama does in its final act — putting its protagonist to the ultimate demo of character. And in doing so, the thing that GoT is actually pushing is a debate about Dany’s morality, bringing that question inkhổng lồ the foreground of the show after letting it sit quietly in the background for so long.


We think Daenerys is a good person because she’s happily made so many benevolent choices to try and make the world a better place. Those choices tended to be made when Daenerys was feeling calm and secure. When you have two armies & three dragons it’s easy khổng lồ decide you’re going lớn banish slavery because you can. But the show has also pretty consistently shown that when Daenerys gets really-really angry she rather nimbly leaps to “kill them all in the most painful way possible” as the best solution regardless of whether it’s fully justified or not. And she’s never been angrier than she is now.

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Since season 7, Dany’s lost two dragons, her two most trusted friends và advisors (Ser Jorah và Missandei), và has gone from ruling a land where she was worshipped to lớn a continent where — as she puts it — notoàn thân loves her. Dany didn’t seem lượt thích she needed that big of a push to nuke a city, and the final season has given her a really hard shove sầu. What she does here is a lot lượt thích Aegon I Targaryen’s burning of Harrenhal to lớn conquer Westeros in the first place.


And yet…and yet…it’s definitely shocking that Dany opts khổng lồ just start nuking civilians when it’s so clear she didn’t have lớn. That is rightly shocking. Characters hopefully sometimes do shocking things otherwise they’re utterly predictable and dull. The debate is whether this is an earned “character surprises you” moment or — as one fan grieved on Twitter — “character assassination.”


I suspect the key is Dany’s quote earlier about ruling by fear. She doesn’t just want to lớn win, she wants to lớn teach Westeros a lesson after all her struggle. No more traitors, no more lords refusing the bover the knee, no more perceived disrespect — all that’s over. If you mess with Dany, this is what happens và now everybody will fall in line. Of course, maybe this wasn’t about any kind of logic all. Varys warned about Targaryen predisposition to lớn madness. Perhaps we’re meant to believe sầu Dany just finally snapped.


If I’m pushed lớn criticize, then I’d say that I wished season 8 had more episodes khổng lồ play Dany’s arc out a bit longer, but I also know the production gave sầu the final season everything they had given the level of production required to pull off its battle sequences.


One thing is certain: All those parents out there who named their kid “Daenerys” are going to super annoyed.


The Hound and Arya: The Hound talks Arya inlớn not entering the Red Keep with hyên ổn. “If you come with me, you’ll die,” he says. “Cersei’s dead anyway. Do you need khổng lồ die with her?” Cersei has been on Arya’s danh sách of names for so long. But Arya decides she’s had enough of death và changes her mind.


I’m disappointed not lớn get an Arya/Cersei scene because that would have been amazing. I can’t help but imagine a scene where Arya sneaks in và confronts Cersei và then changes her mind.


But Arya killing Cersei like so many have sầu predicted would have been a terrible ending for Cersei, reducing her death to lớn punishment for her season 1 sins and making irrelevant everything that Cersei has done since then. The “right” death for Cersei, narratively speaking, is that she dies due lớn having made one terrible leadership decision after another — which is exactly what happens và Cersei is literally crushed by the collapsing weight of the building that symbolizes her power (not entirely unlike the way she blsamseinfo.com up her enemies at the end of season 6).


And besides, I love this turn for Arya & it really matters that her choice is made in the same episode as Dany torching the city. Because I’ve sầu had some of the same concerns about Arya’s homicidal streak as I’ve had about Dany. Arya, too, has engaged in increasingly indiscriminate killing — wiping out that hall full of Freys because they’re part of that group, regardless of each individual’s guilt or innocence. And just like with Dany, we’ve cheered Arya’s murderousness & not questioned it because she’s another young hero who’s gone through hell. But killing people has seemed to lớn have less và less meaning to lớn Arya. And as that happens, life has less & less meaning too.


So Arya chooses to lớn let go of her vengeance — the opposite of Dany. Instead, Arya devotes the rest of the episode to lớn trying khổng lồ help others, journeying ash-covered through the streets of King’s Landing, a sequence with a notable 9/11 feel. Arya also calls The Hound “Sandor” for the first time, offering hyên ổn back a bit of his humanity too before the end.


The Hound, however, feels like he doesn’t have anything to lớn live sầu for. He’s been waiting to fight his brother ever since Gregor held his little brother’s face inlớn the fire when they were kids.


The Hound finds The Mountain. I like that there’s little hesitation. As soon as The Mountain sees hyên ổn, the giant silently knows and agrees that this is totally happening. Qyburn foolishly tries to lớn stop The Mountain and gets killed. Cersei, in the only moment of levity in this episode, positively slithers past The Hound to lớn get out of the way. Cersei looks lượt thích she’s at least 40 percent convinced The Hound is going to kill her và really hoping khổng lồ just skate on by.


They fight & it’s beautiful. The scene looks lượt thích some kind of Renaissance painting come to lớn life. We get lớn see The Mountain’s Anakin Skywalker face. There’s a moment where we think The Mountain is going to lớn repeat his eye gouging triông xã but The Hound escapes. The Hound stabs The Mountain in the eye with a dagger, và that doesn’t stop hyên ổn. The Hound realizes the only way to lớn kill his brother is to sacrifice himself too — inlớn the fire. Sandor faces his two greatest fears, his brother & the flames, và pulls them both over the edge. Peace for The Hound at last.


After the CleganeBowl, we get The Dane Bowl — Jaime vs. Euron (both played by Danish actors). Everybody predicted CleganeBowl, but nobody predicted this fight và it makes so much sense for both characters.


The fight tests Jaime’s left-handed sword fight training and Euron has a blast. Is it weird that I sort of admire Euron Greyjoy? Despite so many terrible qualities, Euron finds so much reckless joy in everything he does & there’s something appealing about that. He’s so thrilled lớn be in this fight that he cannot really lose.


Euron mortally wounds Jaime with several devastating stabs to the gut. Jaime is still able to finish hyên off.


“I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister,” Euron marvels with a smile on his face. He’s the only character on the show who’s ever been so thrilled to perish.


Jaime finds Cersei who is in full panic mode as reality sets in. I can’t help but wonder what Tywin Lannister would have sầu done differently if he was still in charge. It’s tough to imagine Tywin ever surrendering to lớn a Targaryen queen, yet I also can’t picture hlặng letting King’s Landing get destroyed.


Jaime takes his sister down into the cellars where Tyrion told hyên ổn there was a secret exit. For a moment, we think they’re going khổng lồ escape. They find the passage blocked. The giant dragon skull seems khổng lồ mock Cersei — a living Long is destroying the đô thị above và here is a dead one down below, with Cersei about lớn join it.


“I don’t want lớn die, I don’t want our child lớn die,” Cersei says, her icy composure breaking down completely for the first time in the show. (So, yup, still pregnant — Happy Mother’s Day everyone!).


Jaime realizes the end is near: “Just look at me, there’s only the two of us, we’re the only ones who matter.” Jaime soothes her by echoing her own words from years ago.


They’re staring at each other as the ceiling collapses, killing them both (yes, they’re really dead). They went out of the world as they came inlớn it — together. As I’ve sầu pointed out before in these recaps, Jaime and Cersei — for all that’s twisted about their relationship — otherwise have sầu had the longest and most traditional romance on the show. Many thought that Jaime was going khổng lồ return to lớn kill Cersei. But Jaime has always loved her even if we vị not. He’s the friover in the toxic relationship who won’t listen khổng lồ reason. And while Jaime fought with the Starks và found some romance with Brienne, nothing happened in Winterfell that would make Jaime suddenly hate Cersei, so why would he risk his life just to kill her? The best way to ensure Cersei’s death — if that’s what Jaime wanted — would have sầu been to stay with Brienne.


Returning to lớn Cersei in her hour of need was one of those things…we do…for love…


What the show has done here is pay off the long-foreshadowed Mad King moment. Years ago the last Targaryen king wanted lớn destroy King’s Landing while it was under attaông chồng from Tywin Lannister along with Ned Stark, & then Jaime Lannister killed hyên. We’ve sầu been reminded of this so many times that proper storytelling insists Game of Thrones had to somehow revisit that conflict & those decisions. What the showrunners have sầu done is avoid simply repeating the past or opting for the most obvious paths. All the elements have sầu come back together: An invasion, a Targaryen, The Kingslayer, Tywin’s other children, a Stark and the thành phố at risk of being destroyed by fire. Yet the elements have sầu been remixed to play out in an entirely nsamseinfo.com & largely unexpected way.


samseinfo.com will have four big intervisamseinfo.coms about tonight’s episode. There’s one up right now with Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, và he gives a very candid perspective (“Nothing could console me…”) about what it was lượt thích to find out his storyline was ending & has some thoughts about the show’s treatment of his character.


You can also read Lena Headey’s insight about Cersei’s final moments, in which she says it may be “the first time that Cersei has been at peace.”


We also have an intervisamseinfo.com with The Hound actor Rory McCann about the CleganeBowl — this is an actor who, lượt thích his character, “isn’t much of a talker.” So I was pretty thrilled to get this much insight, & there’s a rather touching bit in there from Maisie Williams as well.


Oh, & here’s HBO’s trailer for the series finale. Also here are 7 times GoT foreshadowed Dany’s Mad Queen turn.


Here’s this week’s podcast on iTunes, Radio.com, Spotify, Stitcher, or stream it below. Darren Franich và I probably disagreed more than we ever had on an epiosde in this one.