News

Game of Thrones’ Penultimate Episode: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Dragon Queen Scorned

Ring “The Bells”! The latest news from Westeros: a dragon dies, and a tyrant is born.

by | May 12, 2019 | Comments

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

After hanging in for over seven seasons of Game of Thrones — about 72 hours of TV — fans’ beloved Mother of Dragons just devolved into a crazy bitch literally within sight of the Iron Throne. In “The Bells,” the second to last episode of the series that aired Sunday, Emilia Clarke’s celebrated heroine nosedived from “Mother of Dragons” to “Fascist Dictator of Fire & Blood.”

What? She couldn’t handle the pressure? She couldn’t be trusted to make the right decision in the heat of the moment? She let emotion triumph over reason? She’s become her father?

Is there a single woman in the Seven Kingdoms who’s smart, powerful, and can get things done without killing people? (R.I.P., Margaery Tyrell.)

Here are the top moments from Episode 5: "The Bells" 49%.


1. Dracarys, Varys

Varys in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Varys dies in this strange land by dragonfire. Tyrion betrays Varys’ betrayal of Daenerys, telling her that the secret is out and Varys is Team Aegon. And starting now, and repeatedly throughout the episode, we think, Jon could’ve stopped all this madness by sleeping with her again. We weren’t alone:

 


2. Drogon and on and on…

Drogon destroys King's Landing season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

Drogon destroys the Iron Fleet, then the scorpions lining the walls overlooking Blackwater Bay, then the gates of King’s Landing and the Golden Company along with them, and more scorpions.

Daenerys pauses to catch her breath — she must’ve lost her voice saying “dracarys” that much.

The city takes a hair too long to ring the bells of surrender, while Dany stews in her vengeance perched atop the city walls.

Drogon next sets the streets aflame along with terrified innocent bystanders, and then begins destroying the Red Keep, which is beautiful and terrible to see. Dragonfire also sets off pockets of wildfire still hidden in the bowels of the city, sending green plumes up in the inferno that was once King’s Landing.

In the thick of the carnage, we have to say goodbye to Harry Strickland (dispatched care of Grey Worm’s revenge). We hardly knew ye!

Jon realizes the madness Daenerys’ fury has wrought. She promised him fear, and she did not disappoint.



3. Tyrion Says Farewell

Tyrion signs his own death warrant by letting Jaime go. At least the act gives us this touching moment between the two brothers.

“If it weren’t for you, I never would have survived our childhood,” Tyrion says. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had.”

They’re crying, we’re crying, you’re crying …


4. The Man Who Killed Jaime Lannister

Euron in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

In a moment so fleeting in its treatment of a major showdown that it argues (again) for at least one more episode in this too-brief final season, Euron miraculously swaggers out of Blackwater Bay at the same time Jaime arrives at the spot to sneak into the Red Keep through the exit that Tyrion told him about.

Euron tells Jaime that he will be a legend if he kills a second king. Jaime: “You’re no king.” Euron has the title of king of the Iron Islands, so to a certain segment, he qualifies. Plus, he had sex with Cersei, so that makes him king of her boudoir – a petty king, by the tone of this absurd conversation.

Naturally, stabbing ensues.

“I got you,” Euron calls after Jaime, and with his dying breath: “I am the man who killed Jaime Lannister.”


5. Cleganebowl

The Hound versus the Mountain in Cleganebowl in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

“You come with me, you die here,” The Hound says to Arya when they get inside the Red Keep, shooing her off. Uncharacteristically, Arya agrees, notably calling after “Sandor” to say thanks and then departs.

Sandor meets his brother on the Red Keep stairwell. Cersei: “Stay with me!” Mountain eyes her. Qyburn: “Obey!” The Mountain throws Qyburn down the steps with such force that he instantly dies. (Qyburn was a brittle man.) Thus, the monster killed his maker.

Cersei exits quickly and Cleganebowl is on!

“Yeah, that’s you. That’s what you’ve always been,” Sandor says to Gregor after knocking his helmet off, then runs his sword through his Frankensteined brother, who removes the blade and comes at his bro.

Much sword-swinging later – and a tumble down some stairs, slamming against walls, gouging of eyeballs, stabbing in the face – and The Hound realizes that skewering The Mountain just won’t end him, so he body-slams Gregor right through the wall into the fiery hellscape below.

We’ve joked about Qyburn playing Doctor Frankenstein with Gregor as his monster, but the monster’s final words from Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 horror novel seem more fitting for Sandor than for Gregor:

“I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.”


6. “I Want Our Baby to Live”

Cersei and Jaime in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Meanwhile, back in the map room, Jaime finds hysterical Cersei. We thought it was Arya sneaking up on Cersei or even wearing Jaime’s face, but no, it was a real moment between the twins.

“I want our baby to live,” she cries as they find themselves trapped by the walls collapsing in around them.

He calms her and embraces her: “Nothing else matters.” (Cue: Metallica.)

The Red Keep becomes Jaime and Cersei’s crypt – supposedly. We’ll believe it when we see their crushed skulls.


7. A Faceless Man Meets Her Match: Gravity

Arya in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

While Cleganebowl reaches its conclusion, Arya’s busy trying to save the city – or, at least, dodge the falling debris that may mean the end of her and the random people she’s tasked by the script with saving. (Unnecessary.) Finally, she wakes to an orgy of death save for one bright life standing before her.

“The Bells,” apparently, traded the kingdom for a horse.

What was your favorite moment of the episode? Tell us in the comments!

Game of Thrones season 8 finale airs Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. on HBO.



Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Cartoon Network jamie lee curtis Countdown NBC talk show ESPN miniseries festivals Pirates Rocky FOX Spectrum Originals true crime Box Office war Logo vampires crossover zombie binge CBS Polls and Games discovery Rock technology DC Comics Netflix Drama A&E Comedy Central zombies RT History Red Carpet Sony Pictures game show 2015 based on movie TLC SundanceTV TCM Comics on TV serial killer unscripted Superheroes Sundance Now Opinion TNT TCA 2017 Nat Geo Oscars 2017 doctor who DGA WGN APB Ghostbusters historical drama ABC Family CNN Toys Crackle IFC Films comiccon 2018 crime drama space Walt Disney Pictures GLAAD toy story romance OWN Certified Fresh MCU BET crime YA witnail Video Games Heroines HBO Tarantino Extras Martial Arts Pop what to watch The Arrangement Amazon Prime adaptation RT21 award winner Freeform docudrama cats Star Trek Fantasy YouTube Premium strong female leads X-Men Spike natural history Warner Bros. political drama E3 Star Wars BBC Emmys Action Rom-Com Masterpiece ITV period drama El Rey Hulu travel TV Land cooking Disney Channel harry potter 2016 2019 VICE Western Pride Month GIFs SDCC San Diego Comic-Con TBS thriller aliens CBS All Access Paramount Network Sundance FX Christmas Film Festival nature Fall TV Showtime Lucasfilm Adult Swim dragons diversity Superheroe Premiere Dates USA Valentine's Day science fiction Teen green book Bravo Amazon Mary poppins elevated horror richard e. Grant Comedy Calendar Vudu 007 Reality Competition Spring TV PaleyFest Awards comic Summer Tomatazos medical drama Shondaland disaster boxoffice singing competition golden globes Schedule MTV Winners spinoff TV Columbia Pictures psycho teaser Best and Worst Interview Mindy Kaling Esquire Ellie Kemper Election politics Lifetime Nominations Year in Review dc Trophy Talk justice league Rocketman dramedy supernatural New York Comic Con streaming Starz Comic Book Cosplay Musicals adventure theme song Lionsgate American Society of Cinematographers cinemax sitcom Sci-Fi Women's History Month Marathons blaxploitation Holidays FXX Captain marvel DirecTV VH1 Country spy thriller psychological thriller anthology Musical Mary Tyler Moore ABC ratings Set visit GoT BBC America National Geographic Mystery casting Fox News USA Network Mary Poppins Returns Epix History Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt IFC Universal DC Universe LGBTQ 21st Century Fox Nickelodeon Shudder Anna Paquin Character Guide Kids & Family crime thriller 24 frames E! Elton John Pixar transformers Tumblr Creative Arts Emmys TruTV YouTube Red Trivia CMT Britbox Quiz facebook Disney Mudbound CW Seed President dceu Cannes Grammys Syfy Apple cults SXSW Food Network Horror PBS First Look robots Acorn TV biography DC streaming service Biopics sequel Chernobyl finale Photos Thanksgiving Dark Horse Comics See It Skip It Chilling Adventures of Sabrina mutant mockumentary animated Sneak Peek 45 Podcast MSNBC Music Paramount Black Mirror Reality anime hist NYCC sports 20th Century Fox TIFF Brie Larson composers Animation Song of Ice and Fire Super Bowl Stephen King Trailer spider-man Watching Series Winter TV Ovation social media Writers Guild of America The CW Marvel Pet Sematary police drama The Witch cops Awards Tour zero dark thirty television TCA AMC Infographic