Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 5 “The Bells” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Arya after the battle at King's Landing - with a focus on her face.
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Daenerys gets her war against Cersei, and in the process, she comes off far more dangerous than the Night King and his army ever were.


Network
HBO
Director(s) Miguel Sapochnik
Writer(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Air Date 5/12/2019

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One Last Chance: Tyrion, Varys, Daenerys, Ser Davos, Jamie, Jon

With Varys ready to spread far and wide Jon’s claim for the throne, and it being intercepted by Tyrion, Daenerys has him killed. In fact, she makes sure Tyrion and Jon are there to see so they don’t get any ideas. Thus leading to Tyrion trying to salvage things for clearly Daenerys is losing it and with Jamie captured, he’d rather one of the few people who truly loved him not to die. So, the idea is, with Ser Davos’ help, he’ll smuggle Jamie in, get Cersei to finally surrender, and King’s Landing, never mind the Red Keep, won’t be burned down.

The Massacre At King’s Landing: Daenerys, Cersei, The Hound, Jon, Euron, Jamie

King's Landing after Daenerys burnt it to ashes.

However, as things get locked down, Jamie doesn’t reach Cersei, and thus Daenerys begins her assault. An assault which, just with one dragon, wipes out the iron fleet and all the defense mechanisms Qyburn came up with. Leading you to wonder, how many died because of Daenerys being so sloppy at the Battle of Winterfell? Much less, if Jon still had his dragon, what would he have done as Daenerys decided to raze King’s Landing?

Yeah, the girl finishes what her father threatened to do and razes the whole city, burns the innocent, and that includes sending her soldiers to do so. Mind you, this is after the Lannister army surrenders and rings the bell noting they give up and Cersei’s reign is officially over. Yet, I guess an old fashion execution wasn’t good enough. Like her family was wiped out, so must those who watched or had a hand in it. Leading to her doing multiple swoops of the city while Jamie and Euron fight, The Hound and his older brother, and chaos ensues.

Leaving us with Euron dying to Jamie’s hand, and Cersei dying due to a cave in. That’s right, like the Night King, one of the top villains produced by a fantasy television series has an anti-climatic death. One in which she dies in her brother/ lovers arms wishing she would have surrendered when she had the chance.

The Reign Of The Mad Queen: Daenerys, Arya, Jon, Greyworm

Daenerys deciding, after Cersei's army surrendered, and her reign is over, to destroy King's Landing.

Originally, Arya was going to kill Cersei but was talked out of it. Leaving her to try to figure out how to escape the city and, at one time, she was going to help others try to escape too. However, they clung onto those bound to die, so she decided to worry about herself. Meanwhile, as Daenerys is flying about, the Dothraki are killing innocents, Greyworm and the Unsullied are killing members of the Lannister army, even after they surrendered, and Jon is just stunned by what he sees.

Thus leading him to have his soldiers from the north retreat since he wants no part of this but it takes a while for them to do so. Likely due to getting revenge on a sigil that caused the north years of loss and turmoil. Never mind turning their backs on them when they needed them against the white walkers.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. If John just had made out and gave his aunt some D, would the destruction of King’s landing be avoided?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Just in case you lost track this episode, these people are dead: Cersei and Jamie (due likely to rocks and the floor above crushing their bodies); Qyburn (due to The Mountain throwing him like a rag doll); The Mountain & The Hound (The Hound flings them off a high point and while The Mountain is a zombie, one which took a stab to the head like nothing, he should go splat like his brother); and Varys (due to Tyrion snitching to save his life, and by fire).
  • Still alive: Arya, as well as a fortunate horse; Jon Snow, though with him retreating, and an also alive Grey worm seeing, that’ll spell trouble. Ser Davos and Tyrion, since they never go into King’s Landing, and Daenerys, though she likely has placed a target on her back, just like her daddy.

A Goodbye To The Only Ones Who Really Loved Me

Tyrion recounting how kind Jamie was to him growing up.

Alongside the goodbye Arya and The Hound shared, there was the one Tyrion and Jamie did. One which reminded us how, despite how being foolish and sentimental has recently steered Tyrion wrong, it is because, despite it all, he had hope. Something that he only had because Jamie showed him love when he was on the brink of death, and many wanted him dead. Which, when you think about it, likely explains Tyrion’s sympathy towards Cersei. Though she always hated his guts, that was still his sister, and for him, the victory wouldn’t just be the lives that were saved but maybe getting his sister to thank him, perhaps take back the things she said and love him as Jamie does.

For if there is one thing which seems clear at this point, it’s that Tyrion is really taking note of his mortality and what he may leave the world with and how it sees him. His legacy, basically. Which, yes, may show him as a clever hand to a crazed king, to a mad queen, and someone who played a role in the winning of Blackwater Bay. Yet, for all that, what peace has he brought? What long lasting good has he done? Being on Daenerys’ side was supposed to compensate for the whoring and nothingness which was his life, enabling horrors to save his own neck. But, look at him now. He killed his best friend, he is perhaps on the last living Lannisters, or soon might be, and he has guided a woman who could have been a good queen to the point she places little value on human life and is paranoid.

As noted below, in a much more negative way, he has led history to repeat itself and he is now in his father’s shoes.

The Last Meeting Of The Hound & Arya

The Hound convincing Arya to leave the Red Keep and get out of the city.

It’s hard to say what The Hound was to Arya. A father figure which came soon after her biological father was killed? Perhaps the first friend she really had that saw her for who she is and recognized, while a royal of some kind, she wasn’t a princess? Either way, so far Arya has been the only one to really benefit in the last season, and it is with The Hound sending her away from death, us seeing her looking like the child who lost it all once more, we’re reminded of how few people Arya truly allows herself to be vulnerable around.

Heck, even if you bring Gendry into it, I’d argue there was no sense of love when it came to them having sex or the kiss in the episode which followed. There was but an experience Arya wanted. One which, under the pretense she may die, and perhaps an attraction when things were simpler, she wanted to explore. Yet, with The Hound, and situation at the Red Keep, it appeared Arya realized she didn’t have to keep that face she shows everyone who can’t be trusted. Maybe the face that she wants relied on in some way, if not the persona she wants to eventually be and not simply be a mask she wears. With The Hound, who arguably knows her best at this point, she let her guard down and rather than try to be bold, finish her list, and let that be it, she listened.

Creating one of the few moments in the entire episode which made it seem like closure was the aim and not simple minded fanaticism.

Low Point

How They Killed Cersei

Cersei and Jamie embracing one another as the cave they in collapses on top of them.

*Takes a breath* With Arya defeating the Night King, while I admit how she did it was cool, there is also how pitiful it is a simple move killed the being who striked fear into the world for hundreds of years. All thanks to a dagger and a girl who knew how to use a sleight of hand. At the time, I accepted it, got hyped even, because it was Arya and I love Arya.

However, with Cersei, she needed to die a proper death. Not just because of her killing Missandei, but because of everything she has been part of since season 1. To say she didn’t deserve a violent, satisfying, the kind of death I can’t write on here if I want this post to have ads, is an understatement. So having her die, in Jamie’s arms, due to a cave in? ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS?!

Why did Jamie get such a death deserving of him? How come the Red Wedding, as tragic as it was, was so brilliant and shocking? Hell, the end of Lord Drey was epic. So why is it, with this being the final season, the biggest and baddest are getting deaths which are so anti-climatic?

History Repeating Itself

Then, on top of that, Daenerys has clearly gone mad, and with her wanting to rule with fear, she is not only picking up where her father left off but setting up a similar death for herself. Since, at this point, even though he is loyal, I can see Greyworm killing her for going too far and becoming like the masters she freed him from. Much less, Jon seems like a good option, Tyrion to compensate for what he did, and pretty much the entire scenario Aerys was in, we’re pretty much right back at it.

Making it seem the one who once said she was going to break the wheel, not be a spoke, has just turned the wheel a full 360 degrees and brought us right back to when the Targaryen dynasty was at its end.

So, Daenerys Couldn’t Fight That Smart At The Battle Of Winterfell?

You saw how efficient Daenerys was? All the while with one dragon. Um, she couldn’t have been like that with Winterfell? I’m just saying, while the Night King wasn’t going to surrender, what we saw here was her efficiently killing a massive number of people in a short time and, again, with one dragon.

On The Fence

The Finale

A full shot of Arya after the Battle at King's Landing.

Honestly, I feel like the finale is going to be trash. Based off how the show has been this season, likely someone, probably Jon or Tyrion, are going to kill Daenerys and Jon will, with hesitation, become king. Because, what is the other option right now? Daenerys kills Jon, Tyrion, and reigns as an extension of her father’s rule? Just waiting for her enemies to surround King’s Landing to die fiery deaths?

I mean, we’re coming to, but a few options and none of them sound all that appealing. Even Arya killing Daenerys, just due to her cruelty, doesn’t sound that exciting. So, is there any way to really clean this all up and bring it to a satisfying finish or will we just be left pissed and HBO will hope it won’t affect the prequels?

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 8, Episode 6 “The Iron Throne” [Series Finale]Game of Thrones’ finale isn’t bad, it’s just disappointing. Even when you consider some of the fan service and one devious character.
Director(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Writer(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Air Date 5/19/2019
  • The Death Of A Queen: Daenerys, Jon, Tyrion, Grey Worm
  • The Manipulation Of Fools: Greyworm, Sansa, Arya, Yara, Tyrion, Bran, Samwell, Jon
  • A Dream of Spring: Jon, Arya, Sansa, Brienne, Bronn, Bran, Davos, Tormund, Greyworm, Samwell
Season 8, Episode 5 "The Bells"Daenerys gets her war against Cersei, and in the process, she comes off far more dangerous than the Night King and his army ever were.
Director(s) Miguel Sapochnik
Writer(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Air Date 5/12/2019
  • One Last Chance: Tyrion, Varys, Daenerys, Ser Davos, Jamie, Jon
  • The Massacre At King’s Landing: Daenerys, Cersei, The Hound, Jon, Euron, Jamie
  • The Reign Of The Mad Queen: Daenerys, Arya, Jon, Greyworm
Season 8, Episode 4 “The Last of the Starks”Like many episodes of Game of Thrones, more time is spent on the build than combat. However, after what Cersei did… I just… I want her dead.
Director(s) David Nutter
Writer(s) David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Air Date 5/5/2019
  • What To Do When One Of The Greatest Threats Are Killed?: Gendry, Arya, Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, Bron, Bran, Jamie, Tyrion, Varys, Clegene
  • Prepping For What’s Next: Daenerys, Sansa, Tyrion, Varys, Jon, Tormund, Samwell, Gilly, Euron
  • One Last Chance To Avoid War: Cersei, Missandei, Daenerys, Qyburn, Tyrion, Greyworm
Season 8, Episode 3 “The Long Night”While nearly every major character lives (depending on how you define major), that doesn’t take away from how epic The Battle of Winterfell was.
Director(s) Miguel Sapochnik
Writer(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Air Date 4/28/2019
  • When All Seemed Lost
  • The Boss B****
Season 8, Episode 2 “The Rightful Queen”The reunions continue as Jamie reunited with friends, families, and former foes before the white walkers attack – in the next episode.
Director(s) David Nutter
Writer(s) Bryan Cogman
Air Date 4/21/2019
  • Hello Friends, Family, Those Who’d Want Me Killed: Jamie, Daenerys, Brienne, Sansa, Bran, Jon
  • Trust Is Earned & Easily Lost: Daenerys, Jon, Sansa, Tyrion, Jamie, Bran, Theonn
  • As We Wait: Arya, Gendry, Brienne, Jamie, Lyanna. Jorah, Samwell, Jon, Daenerys, Tormund
Season 8, Episode 1 "Winterfell"A part of the new intro featuring the Iron Throne.

It’s a large reunion episode which seemingly will precede the heartbreak you expect from Game of Thrones.
Director(s) David Nutter
Writer(s) Dave Hill
Air Date 4/14/2019
  • Meanwhile In King’s Landing: Cersei, Yara, Theonn, Euron, Qyburn, Bronn
  • The North Remembers & Distrusts All Outsiders: Sansa, Tyrion, Jon, Daenerys, Arya, Bran, Lyanna
  • The Night King Is Coming, So We Have To Come Together:Jon, Sam, Daenerys, Tormund
Season 4/ Episode 1 “Two Swords”The show returns with many having distrust in each other, with most of it naturally warranted.
Season 4/ Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”With the war for King’s Landing, seemingly, over, all eyes are on the wedding.
Season 4/ Episode 3 “Breaker of Chains”With Joffrey’s death, and many on their way to claim the throne, there becomes a question of whether peace will ever enter Westeros and stay?
Season 4/ Episode 4 “Oathkeeper”As things cool down after Joffrey’s wedding, many are ready to build up to the next big event.
Season 4/ Episode 6 “The Laws of Gods and Men”After two or three somber episodes, we get a taste of what made this show popular, and promises of resurgence.
Season 4/ Episode 7 “Mockingbird”New alliances are formed, others strengthened, but being this is Game of Thrones there is always someone willing, and ready, to backstab.
Season 4/ Episode 8 “The Mountain and the Viper”In another emotionally draining episode, we get quite a performance from many of the actors, as we mark another character’s death.
Season 4/ Episode 9 “The Watchers on the Wall”The Wildlings, and allies, have made it to the wall and for the entire episode we are left wondering who is going to die.
Season 4/ Episode 10 “The Children”Welcome to the end of an era, and the start of something likely less stable.
Season 5/ Episode 1 “The Wars to Come”Game of Thrones makes its return and, as always, while men scramble for position, women look toward the future for their place and power.Director: Michael Slovis
Writer:
 David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Topic 1: It’s All Show And Politics – Cersei, Margaery, and Sansa

Topic 2: The Future Of Our World – Tyrion, Lord Varys & Daenerys

Topic 3: Bend the Knee – Jon Snow & Stannis Baratheon (Featuring Mance Rayder)

Season 5/ Episode 2 “The House of Black and White”The major female characters of the show are featured this episode, and we see their frustrations when it comes to either seeking vengeance, or ruling their empires.Director: Michael Slovis
Writer:
 David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Topic 1: The Rise of Jon Stark – Jon Snow

Topic 2: Vengence and Loyalty – Arya, Brienne, and Ellaria

Topic 3: The Crown Is Heavy, Especially When Women Rule – Cersei & Daenerys

Season 5/ Episode 3 “High Sparrow”The episode contains our first noteworthy death, though with the situation Sansa, Arya and Cersei face, perhaps 3 deaths happen. Though their deaths are not of the physical.
Season 5/ Episode 4 “Sons of Harpy”As some speak of war, and others prep for angered family members, two more possible deaths lead you to question if one character may ever stand a chance to ascend to the Iron Throne.
Season 5/ Episode 5 “Kill the Boy”With Daenerys dealing with the mass rebellion, and the various leaders within the north prepping for the future of the region, it truly seems like everyone is prepping for the worse and beginning negotiations with fate through concessions.
Season 5/ Episode 6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”As Arya progresses, and Sansa and Tyrion regress, Cersei seemingly has all but started a war with House Tyrell.
Season 5/ Episode 7 “The Gift”The things people will do for love is an ongoing theme. Though, as always with Game of Thrones, mentions of love never solely deal with the love of another person. No, love and this show is almost always about power and for many it is the continued pursuit of it, or the longing for the power they once had.
Season 5/ Episode 8 “Hardhome”If most of the season has been building to something, it must have been this episode. For once more Jon Snow brings the action to the series, as he meets up with the free folk on their turf. Though, I should note, it isn’t them he squares off with, but the dreaded White Walkers. Meanwhile, Arya continues to grow under the darkness of the many faced god, Cersei becomes quite humbled by her situation, and Tyrion has many conversations with Daenerys about their future together.
Season 5/ Episode 9 “The Dance of Dragons”When it comes to being saved, often the first ones spoken on are the women and the children. In the world of Game of Thrones however, they usually are last. And while we have seen many a woman suffer rape and other moments in which their autonomy and dignity have been destroyed, it seems to be the children’s turn. Well, with a few exceptions.
Season 5/ Episode 10 “Mother’s Mercy”As the season comes to a close, a few things have become apparent. The first, and most glaring, is that the way woman suffer will always be more graphic and degrading, in comparison to the men; the second being, to invest too much in heroes maybe a waste for, as said in The Dark Knight, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain;” and lastly, while there is always a need to differentiate, or make something your own, arguably the decisions of the Game of Thrones writers surely help push the idea that HBO might be better producing soft-core porn, with a side of gratuitous violence, than anything else really.
Season 6/ Episode 1 “The Red Woman”Game of Thrones returns in all its brutally violent glory with one battle and betrayal after another.
Season 6/ Episode 2 “Home”It is believed that when a plant is dying you must prune off the dead clippings in order to get new life. Well, it seems with a handful of more deaths Game of Thrones is preparing to bring new life to the show. Though, of course, what is death without renewed life?
Season 6/ Episode 3 “Oathbreaker”A few steps forward and a few steps back. Progress in the world of Westeros is a tricky thing. Some use power and unsavory means to push their agendas, others try diplomacy, and yet no matter the strategy there is never a guarantee for you never know how someone may react. Much less, what card, though often times body, they have standing behind a locked door.
Season 6/ Episode 4 “Book of the Stranger”While one could complain about the massive amount of characters killed off more so on whim than with fervor, what else can you do with a show which holds a lot of fat. So with an episode presenting a more tighter, a more focused storyline, perhaps all the past complaints came without vision. Well, if you want to be an optimistic that is.
Season 6/ Episode 5 “The Door”With us reaching the halfway point of the season, comes the beginning of everyone revealing their plans and leaving us wondering who will have their major battle showcased likely between episode 7 and 9. Though while many are planning, one finds themselves retreating.
Season 6/ Episode 6 “Blood of My Blood”After a rather action-packed and traumatic episode, Game of Thrones decides to premiere a rather mundane episode with little in the way of shocks and surprises, even when it comes to Arya and Margaery.
Season 6/ Episode 7 “The Broken Man”With a tease of death, the return of a familiar face, and the buildup to the remaining Starks taking Winterfell back, Cersei and the High Sparrow, and Jamie against the Blackfish, the episode rebounds from the mundane nature of the last one.
Season 6/ Episode 9 “Battle of the Bastards”The Battle of Bastards certainly doesn’t disappoint, but neither does Daenerys’ retaliation against the masters. Overall, just prepare for blood, guts, and gore.Daenerys | Jon Snow | Sansa | Tyrion | Theon | Yara
Season 6/ Episode 8 “No One”With such a long history between many characters, and backstabbing happening as is seen fit, it is sometimes hard to know who is on whose side. Something which gets the slightest bit more complicated as some go, return, and sometimes even say goodbye.Arya | Daenerys | Tyrion | Blackfish | Edmure | The Hound | Cersei
Season 6/ Episode 10 “The Winds of Winter”There is just so much that happens here. Most of which is jaw drop worthy in both beautiful and horrible ways.
Season 1/ Episode 1 "Iron From Ice" (TellTale Games' Game of Thrones)TellTale Games acquires a new property, and it is the ever great Game of Thrones. One which they treat with more vigor than past titles, but seemingly the same amount of respect for its creators by maintaining the tone and expectations.
Season 1/ Episode 2 "The Lost Lords" (TellTale Games' Game of Thrones)“The Lost Lords” continues to deliver an experience which highlights why TellTale Games is deserving of its recognition and why you can only hope your favorite program will one day become a game made by them.
Season 1/ Episode 3 "The Sword in the Darkness" (TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones)The focus of the episode is the Forrester family humbling itself, each character learning when to submit to another’s authority, and not burning any bridges for it may impede the willingness of potential allies.
Season 1/ Episode 4 "Sons of Winter" (TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones)While the show may be a mixed bag, TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones reminds you of how much the series could lead to stiffen necks as you lean toward your screen and with more quick time events than before, perhaps you should expect a cramp in your fingers.
Season 1/ Episode 5 "A Nest of Vipers" (TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones)All has been setup for the finale: Your attempts at politics with Mira; you trying to find some secret grove with Gared; Asher trying to convince newly freed slaves to join him, and those at Ironrath trying to buy time. It isn’t the end of the journey, but it doesn’t seem many decisions are left to be made. Something which becomes increasingly worrisome as the episode ends with one less ally, which may mean more than you might initially realize.
Season 1/ Episode 6 "The Ice Dragon" (TellTale Games’ Game of Thrones)And so the journey ends with either your nobility or your survival. It’s all your decision. Will you be aggressive or political, betray others or face a possible ill fate, and how far will you go for the survival of what Lord Gregor held dear?
Season 7/ Episode 1 “Dragonstone”Game of Thrones remains perhaps the only show which can be more than 3 seasons in and still entertain its audience.
Season 7/ Episode 2 “Stormborn”As everyone tries to gather allies, we are reminded it is not the number of allies but the quality of generals and soldiers that win battles.
Season 7/ Episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice”A long time coming reunion, another unfortunate death, and two of the biggest characters on the show coming face to face. We’re coming toward the end of the series and they are finding ways to up the ante. Leaving this fan to wonder, how epic could the series finale be?
Season 7/ Episode 4 “The Spoils of War”The Stark reunion is nearly complete and with growing closer to Daenerys comes Jon Snow having his first opportunity to influence her decisions. Leading to her making herself known to Jamie personally.
Season 7/ Episode 5 “Eastwatch”A slew of reunions come about and only three lead to smiling faces. The rest lead you to believe someone is going to die.
Season 7/ Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall”All I can say is, considering what happens this episode, I don’t think Daenerys nor Cersei will have time to battle for the Iron Throne. Especially with the Night King now having a trump card.
Season 7/ Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf”While there are no epic battles and only one significant death, the 7th season finale of Game of Thrones finds a way to make things business as usual in some areas and up the ante in others.

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