“The Bells” incinerates previous Game of Thrones viewership records, dethrones season seven’s “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Kings Landing destruction The Bells

“The Bells” wasn’t just a big battle episode. It was the second-to-last episode of the season, which has traditionally been a big one (the so-called “episode nine”, though the term obviously doesn’t apply these last few shortened seasons.) It’s also the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones ever. With those stakes, one would expect the viewership numbers to go through the roof. If they were ever going to, this was the time.

Oh, boy, did they!

As per The Wrap’s report, “The Bells” earned a record-breaking viewership of 12.48 million during HBO’s first airing on the United States. Here’s a pretty chart about it:

Season 8 Ratings Detailed by 805

At 12.5 million viewers, “The Bells” is, as we predicted, the most-watched Game of Thrones episode on its first US broadcast, finally dethroning the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf”, which stood at 12.07 million viewers, followed closely by the other battle episode of season eight, “The Long Night”, at 12.02 million.

By breaking the show’s own viewership record, “The Bells” is now also the most-watched episode of any and all HBO TV shows. If anything could surpass all these records, it’ll have to be the only episode of Game of Thrones left: the series finale this coming Sunday. As momentous as a series finale is, it’s not been advertised to be as eventful or explosive as “The Bells”, which was controversial to boot, so a decrease doesn’t seem unlikely.

Game of Thrones Ratings by Season by 804

Though “The Dragon and the Wolf” held fiercely to its first airing record as long as it possibly could, if we account for all the modern ways we watch TV, such as multiple airings overnight and streaming services, season eight broke the season seven finale’s record from the very beginning: first it was the premiere, “Winterfell”, with 17.4 million viewers; then “The Long Night”, at 17.8 million. So, as one would expect, when accounting for overnight airings on HBO and streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now, “The Bells” also breaks the show’s record, drawing a massive 18.4 million viewers!

134 responses

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    1. Great numbers. I did not doubt that it would have record viewing. I’ve not watched but once which is a record for me.

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    2. I don’t think I’ve seen a show making better numbers the longer it goes. Amazing. Kudos for them.

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    3. Awesome. Wonder if the finale will cross 13 million? Anyone else actually enjoying this season? There’s still nothing like it on TV. Can’t believe it’s ending Sunday night. I’ve seen so much negativity and the imdb ratings for the past 2 episodes are in the 6’s.

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    4. GeekFurious:
      And next week’s will do even better. Why? Because the Internet’s overreaction is not reality.

      That’s a good point. If it does fewer numbers, or similar ones with no surge, I think it’ll have more to do with topping the HBO suscription base, and the fact that a big battle isn’t expected, more than with perceived disappointment with the episode.

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    5. Honest question. I’m in the UK. We can have big popular shows that hit those sort of figures so in a country the size of the USA surely those numbers are really not impressive.
      Can anyone explain?

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    6. The last one should have the biggest viewership numbers, that is if people haven’t bailed due to their reaction to “The Bells”. I think curiosity will win out.

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    7. Jack Bauer 24,

      Yes I am enjoying this season, minor disappointments aside. This episode was my favourite one this season so far. Think I rank it just below TWoW, BotB and Hardhome making it my fourth favourite. Hoping the finale outranks TWoW but even if it doesn’t that’s fine. TWoW is perfect, hard to beat perfect without just copying it in every detail.

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    8. Dyanna:
      Honest question. I’m in the UK. We can have big popular shows that hit those sort of figures so in a country the size of the USA surely those numbers are really not impressive.
      Can anyone explain?

      I’m no expert but I’d assume the UK primary channels like BBC One and ITV have the popular shows, correct? And are they subscription or free? If the latter, then that would probably explain the difference. If I’m a Celebrity or Britain’s Got Talent cost money to view exclusively, those similar numbers would likely drop like a stone, right?

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    9. Dyanna:
      Honest question. I’m in the UK. We can have big popular shows that hit those sort of figures so in a country the size of the USA surely those numbers are really not impressive.
      Can anyone explain?

      A lot of these numbers are hard to explain these days with days with so many platforms and methods of viewing. The 12.48 is the old standard by Nielsen that uses a percentage of monitored Nielsen homes to estimate the number of viewers. Not extremely accurate of course, especially for programs that garner large group and audience viewing such as GoT. Still, for a paid subscription network like HBO the numbers it gets are record setting.

      I’m not sure what shows in the UK you’re referring to but other single event shows in the US do get very large numbers. Just for comparison on GoT the following is an excerpt from an article on the season 8 premiere in the UK:

      In total, 3.39 million viewers watched the new episode over the course of the day, up 20% on the first episode of season seven (which pulled in an overnight audience of 2.83 million) and a new record for Sky; the Game of Thrones series seven finale held the previous title with 3.03 million overnight viewers. The US broadcast broke records for HBO, too, with 17.4m in total digesting the season opener overnight.

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    10. Clob: A lot of these numbers are hard to explain these days with days with so many platforms and methods of viewing.The 12.48 is the old standard by Nielsen that uses a percentage of monitored Nielsen homes to estimate the number of viewers.Not extremely accurate of course, especially for programs that garner large group and audience viewing such as GoT.Still, for a paid subscription network like HBO the numbers it gets are record setting.

      I’m not sure what shows in the UK you’re referring to but other single event shows in the US do get very large numbers.Just for comparison on GoT the following is an excerpt from an article on the season 8 premiere in the UK:

      I was thinking BBC One and ITV, their two most popular channels, are free. So along the same lines, I don’t think they’d get the 10 to 14 million they get for Britain’s Got Talent or whatever, if everyone had to pay to watch it each week. If they’re not free, then it’s a bit harder to explain I imagine.

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    11. The new record held by “The Bells” proves the fight for the Throne was more interesting than the fight against the Knight King.

      David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were right to go #ForTheThrone at the end of the season.

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    12. Jack Bauer 24,

      Personally, I am loving this season and I agree, there has never been anything like it on tv ever (and probably there won’t be anything on this scale for quite a while, in the future) and I don’t quite get all the negativity I see online.

      Kudos to everyone who worked on this amazing show…I bow to each and everyone of them.

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    13. GeekFurious,

      At this point it doesn’t matter what peoples opinions are on the quality of the episodes. These finale episodes were always going to get huge viewership. It is too late for people to stop watching now.

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    14. Some will watch the last episode because they genuinely want to see how it ends, but there will also be plenty of people who watch the last episode to hate watch it too. In that vain, it makes sense that the numbers would go up.

      However, some people may have been so disappointed with Dany’s heel turn that they might not watch.

      I think Luka is right that there is no big battle, so that might draw less viewers too.

      All in all, I think the finale numbers will be higher than episode 5. If you look at previous shows, the very last episode tends to draw more viewers than any other episode in the last season.

      The Sopranos is a good example. I believe 2-3 million more viewers watched the finale than the penultimate episode, even though the penultimate episode had more action and killed off more characters.

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    15. Clob,

      Don’t forget it’s cable not broadcast network. Cable has always lower because you need to pay for it extra above you’re normal subscription for TV.

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    16. TormundsWoman,

      Dont tease. If the title was “The Balls”, then I would be inclined to believe you, but alas, D&D have rushed full speed into finishing this story that they have spared no time to waste on gratuitous full frontal and or full dorsal nudity.

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    17. Jack Bauer 24,

      I have loved this season. I thought the last episode was one of the best (with Wow), if not the best. The shear terror I went through when the bells started ringing. I was literally yelling at my TV, begging Dany not to do it. As well as yelling at Arya to abandon her revenge mission. It was the first time watching that I actually yelled at the TV.

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    18. Personally I think the people who are shouting so loudly about how the episode (and season) is sooooo bad and the show sucks now etc are purely Dany fans who thought she was helping push the feminism/equal rights/girl power agenda and in their head canon she was already on the Iron Throne showing all those “weak” men how to run Westeros “properly”. And now, as that dream has been dashed, they’re understandably pissed.

      As someone who isn’t a Dany fan, I loved her turn to madness – something which I predicted last season would happen eventually if her friends kept dying (which they mostly did).

      That being said, Jamie suddenly running back to Cersei JUST because he loves her was so fucking stupid. They had a great opportunity there in the tent for Tyrion to say something like “Do it because you love her” and Jamie could’ve whipped back “I’m not doing it for her, I’m doing it for my unborn son” or something along those lines. That would’ve made so much more sense. He wants to save his child. Not her. Instead they chose such an underwhelming and unearned way to go. smh.

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    19. Jack Bauer 24: Awesome. Wonder if the finale will cross 13 million? Anyone else actually enjoying this season? There’s still nothing like it on TV. Can’t believe it’s ending Sunday night. I’ve seen so much negativity and the imdb ratings for the past 2 episodes are in the 6’s.

      I know Jack, even with faults and seams there is no show on TV anything like it.
      I am totally entertained.
      I wonder what HBO (or should I say WarnerMedia) thinks about only 6 episodes now?
      WarnerMedia had (has) plenty in its war-chest for 4 or more episodes.

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    20. Michelle:
      The last one should have the biggest viewership numbers, that is if people haven’t bailed due to their reaction to “The Bells”. I think curiosity will win out.

      Agree. Curiosity is powerful and no matter what a person thinks of the series, the season, or the last episode, this next episode has a lot to wrap up (or leave to speculation until the books). I mean, what in the world are they going to do in one long episode? Speculation abounds, but we have to watch it to see. And it is the LAST episode!

      I wonder what the ratings will be for The Last Watch documentary? It will be like a nicotine patch!

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    21. Ser Matt the Sullen,

      I think it’s not just Dany fans, I think it is the fact that the ending doesn’t match people’s head canon.

      The first book came out in 1996, with the last one on 2011. So people have had between 8 and 20 years to dream up their own ending. It’s not just book readers, though. It’s been 2 years since the end of season 7,so viewer’s have had 2 years to come up with their ending. Unfortunately, some people (and I believe it is a small vocal minority) can’t accept the fact that the story doesn’t end the way they want it to.

      Although I wished Jamie had killed Cersei or stayed with Brienne, it make perfect sense that he tried to save her. We all know people who are in terrible and toxic relationships and can’t stop loving their partner.

      The way I look at it is to think of Jamie as a drug addict and Cersei as his drug. As a recovering addict, I can tell you that even knowing how bad they can be for you and how much they destroyed not only my life and the lives of those who loved me, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to give up drugs and get help. Unless it is something you have experienced, it is almost impossible to fathom it. It makes no logical sense.

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    22. Jack Bauer 24:
      Awesome. Wonder if the finale will cross 13 million? Anyone else actually enjoying this season? There’s still nothing like it on TV. Can’t believe it’s ending Sunday night. I’ve seen so much negativity and the imdb ratings for the past 2 episodes are in the 6’s.

      I am very much enjoying this season, I’d go as far as to say last episode aswel as episode 3 are in my top 5, people can hate it if they choose, and they are free to do so, but for me, unless it’s absolutely diabolical, I’m not going to let the rushed aspect of the season or the negativity ruin what is and will always be my favourite tv show.

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    23. JSchmeh:
      Ser Matt the Sullen,

      I think it’s not just Dany fans, I think it is the fact that the ending doesn’t match people’s head canon.

      The first book came out in 1996, with the last one on 2011. So people have had between 8 and 20 years to dream up their own ending. It’s not just book readers, though. It’s been 2 years since the end of season 7,so viewer’s have had 2 years to come up with their ending. Unfortunately, some people (and I believe it is a small vocal minority) can’t accept the fact that the story doesn’t end the way they want it to.

      Although I wished Jamie had killed Cersei or stayed with Brienne, it make perfect sense that he tried to save her. We all know people who are in terrible and toxic relationships and can’t stop loving their partner.

      The way I look at it is to think of Jamie as a drug addict and Cersei as his drug. As a recovering addict, I can tell you that even knowing how bad they can be for you and how much they destroyed not only my life and the lives of those who loved me, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to give up drugs and get help. Unless it is something you have experienced, it is almost impossible to fathom it. It makes no logical sense.

      No, it’s mostly people that want good story telling.

      D&D do not understand what to do with intelligent characters like LittleFinger, Varys, Tyrion. They all have been useless since season 4. A thing that irked me from last episode was the amateurish plotting Varys did. Varys works in the shadows, has others do his bidding. Show-Varys walks up to Jon as soon as he arrives, for all to see. Yes, they don’t have time to do this plot point so they shortened it. To me, however, either do it right or don’t do it at all.

      I’m not even talking about Dany deciding to mow the lawn one day with Drogon. Going back and forth, back and forth.

      At this point, I’m just watching for the LoLs. I’m past being mad since last season.

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    24. Jack Bauer 24,

      Personally, I’m absolutely loving this season! (the online discourse outside of pockets of sanity like this one … not so much). “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, “The Long Night”, and “The Bells” are all-time great episodes for me, even if as was the case with “The Bells”, it also broke my heart.

      I wouldn’t consider the IMDB scores as an objective reference. Not this year. I used to take them into consideration them, but after these past few weeks, I’ve discarded them as worthless. If you look past the numbers and actually read the 1-star reviews people are leaving (which I do NOT recommend), it’s abundantly clear that this season is being subjected to a coordinated bombing campaign similar to what happened to The Last Jedi or Captain Marvel. That’s not to say that some people aren’t legitimately upset, but when you actually read the “reviews”, they read like the work of bots. I no longer trust them.

      I agree that the series finale will top this episode in terms of viewership numbers. The finales almost always do, and so do the episodes following the big “event” episodes. Going off the chart Luka included, the season finale has set season viewership record in five of the previous seven seasons, even when the big penultimate episode was “controversial”, like last year’s “Beyond the Wall” (an episode I still love, BTW). This is the series finale of the biggest show in the world. People are going to want to see how it ends, and most of them aren’t as mad as the dark recesses of the Internet would have you believe. 😉

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    25. JSchmeh: Although I wished Jamie had killed Cersei or stayed with Brienne, it make perfect sense that he tried to save her. We all know people who are in terrible and toxic relationships and can’t stop loving their partner.

      Even disregarding any romantic love Jaime may or may not still have for Cersei she is still his twin sister. It may not have ended exactly how I wanted it to but it felt right they would die together.

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    26. I kind of like reading the more positive opinions here, rather than nearly all of the people who keep telling me I should think it’s awful in other threads. And some other places where nothing but bile is being spat.

      I’m enjoying it too. Is it exactly what I wanted or perfectly executed? No.

      But I’m still loving every second of it.

      For many it seems every episode can only have two rankings. It’s either 1/10 or 10/10. You’d begin to believe there’s no such thing as 2-9.

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    27. I would be very surprised if the finale numbers should fall. Love it or hate it, you’ve got to see how they finish it.

      I have found each episode compelling, entertaining, and also quite perplexing. It’s quite possible to resist considering things in black or white.

      It is also possible to be someone who never really cared for Dany’s character, and still feel like her descent wasn’t given enough time to really be believable.

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    28. Boojam,

      I wonder what HBO (or should I say WarnerMedia) thinks about only 6 episodes now?
      WarnerMedia had (has) plenty in its war-chest for 4 or more episodes.

      I think the problem isn’t simply a budget one (if I’m not mistaken the budget increased every year). The problem is that the episodes became more and more complex with time. Seasons 7 and 8 had a shooting time just as long as any previous seasons. Adding additional episodes to make them each 10 episodes would have meant not just considerably bigger budgets (which are already massive), but also considerably longer shooting times, which would have been a problem with actors and I would assume crews schedules.

      I think too many people have tried to simplify the problem as it being either HBO not wanting to pay enough, or D&D saying they didn’t want to bother with extra episodes, when in reality it was probably a combination of many factors.

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    29. All the cast and crew seem to have put so much hard work into this last season, so it’s good to see such high numbers. This last episode was just visually stunning and you could see the actors all gave it their best, performance wise. They have every reason to proud of themselves.

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    30. Solar,

      Yes. We dont know all the moving parts. Everyone has gotten rich with GoT. Its not as simple as the critics would like to make it out to be.

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    31. This hate is going to far.
      I literally just read an article on a website about all the negative backlash and they are publishing straight out lies. They for instance say how George RR Martin is disappointed in the show and the direction the show has taken. They literally spin his words, about him saying he wishes there were more seasons and that he wanted the books to come out sooner to make it about him not being happy with the show.

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    32. Ser Matt the Sullen:
      Personally I think the people who are shouting so loudly about how the episode (and season) is sooooo bad and the show sucks now etc are purely Dany fans who thought she was helping push the feminism/equal rights/girl power agenda and in their head canon she was already on the Iron Throne showing all those “weak” men how to run Westeros “properly”. And now, as that dream has been dashed, they’re understandably pissed.

      Nope. Not a Dany or Targaryen fan and I’ve disliked most of what’s come across my screen these last 2 eps. I’ve mentioned it before and don’t want to belabor the point. There have just been some major writing flaws this season. Well, for a couple seasons. I loved the Long Night and staunchly defended it but I could not get over the ridiculousness of the writing in eps 4 and 5. I could point to so many instances but here’s just one:

      Euron, as starry-eyed fanboi: I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister (sigh, swoon, die)

      I think that line comes right behind “bad poosay” as one of the worst in the whole series.

      They had 2+ years to get this right and we kind of had every right to expect that they would knock it out of the park. How did not one person who read the scripts catch Gendry Rivers?

      Unfortunately, I don’t expect things to get better this weekend. I am, however, grateful we did get an ending, even if it was this one. I’d rather know and be angry about it than spend forever guessing.

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    33. Laura

      Euron, as starry-eyed fanboi: I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister (sigh, swoon, die)

      I think that line comes right behind “bad poosay” as one of the worst in the whole series.

      Exactly. And it’s not like anybody would even know he did it. Besides, he just admitted Jaimie was a cripple, so why be smelling yourself when you’re dying yourself? Oh well, it is what it is and can’t be changed.

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    34. Laura,

      Euron, as starry-eyed fanboi: I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister (sigh, swoon, die)

      Euron was just Ramsey 2.0 who in turn was Joffrey 2.0

      Evil characters with zero lovable traits and a too high opinion of themselves, and who all thought they were funny or clever when talking, and who loved hearing the sound of their own voice. Unlike Cersei or Tywin who were much more layered, I think the plan was for fans to want to throw something at the tv every time they were on screen.

      They had 2+ years to get this right and we kind of had every right to expect that they would knock it out of the park

      It’s not like they were just sitting on their butts wasting time. Pre-production for season 8 started almost as soon as season 7 finished airing. Filming started not long after (in Oct 2017) and went on for 10 month, and the rest of the time was post-production. For anyone who thinks the season was rushed or that more episodes should have been added, I’d like to ask when do you think it could have happened? If a 2 year hiatus seemed too much how do you think 3 would have felt?

      How did not one person who read the scripts catch Gendry Rivers?

      In the show the only two bastard names that have been explained based on their origin are Snow and Sand. So if they used the wrong one relative to the book all I can say is so what? How does that change anything for the show, considering that a show will never adhere 100% to the source material, and that for anyone who just watches the show, hearing his name was Gendry Rivers would make as much sense as being called Gendry Waters, Flowers, Stone, or any of the other Bastard last names that were never introduced nor explained before in the show.

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    35. Ser Matt the Sullen: As someone who isn’t a Dany fan, I loved her turn to madness – something which I predicted last season would happen eventually if her friends kept dying (which they mostly did).

      Actually, I don’t think she turned to madness, although that seems to be the set up. (I’m just a show watcher, I’ll read the books when Martin finishes, which will be never – heh.)

      But what I’ve seen: what has Dany set out to do? “Break the Wheel.” She tried coming to Westeros and doing as her advisers suggest, but that only lost her her soldiers. Then she tried helping them against an unnatural force (the AotD), which she lost a great more. Still, they were plotting against her and not helping her. Then, when she needed to conquer, they actively acted against her (ie, drawing her into their “Wheel.”)

      So, to break this whole chain, she had to teach Westeros a lesson they would “learn in their bones.” When we do see her decide to attack King’s Landing’s people, she isn’t “mad.” She’s heartbroken at what she has to do, to teach these people a lesson. To “never suffer a tyrant again.”

      She’s making herself the ultimate enemy that their history will never tolerate. She is making them “break the wheel” themselves. For the future, she should be a hero, but they won’t remember her actions as that.

      That is why she cries when she does what she does.

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    36. Direwolf Lvr: Exactly. And it’s not like anybody would even know he did it. Besides, he just admitted Jaimie was a cripple, so why be smelling yourself when you’re dying yourself? Oh well, it is what it is and can’t be changed.

      He stabbed him in both kidneys, he did not know the holdfast would collapse on Jamie’s head, to him, he’s mortally wounded him, that’s enough, and regardless of whether jamie is a cripple, it’s all about reputation, and very few people know jamie can’t fight as well as he once could, so to be known in history as the man who killed the king slayer in his own mind is enough to die a happy man, that and he is batshit crazy….

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    37. Dyanna:
      Honest question. I’m in the UK. We can have big popular shows that hit those sort of figures so in a country the size of the USA surely those numbers are really not impressive.
      Can anyone explain?

      You have to subscribe to HBO 🙂 It’s not free TV like AMC’s The Walking Dead

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    38. Jack Bauer 24,

      Please, don’t confuse negativity with criticism. They are different. Yes, there is a lot of pure negativity, but most of it is actually very concrete criticism, people explaining why specifically they didn’t like and what specifically didn’t work.

      I was trying hard to distill through 10/10 comments to figure out the specifics of what people actually loved so much. More people are very specific about what they dislike and why, than there are people specific about what exactly they love and why.

      Comparing “negativity” with – well – “positivity”, there is as much pure “positivity” where people simply just “love” the episode without being specific, and to me, that’s equally a no-measure of the quality as it’s when people simply “hate” it without being specific.

      I get both the constructive criticists, specifying precisely what they dislike, and I also get people who are there for action, fast-pacing, quick twists and turns, shock, surprise. And both are right.

      Jared,

      Maybe IMDb scores aren’t reliable, but Rotten Tomatoes gives it 49% ratings. Is that also not reliable?

      To me, personally, the direction in which the story is going doesn’t influence whether I like the series or not. It’s not my story, I am here to follow the store if I so choose. I am not disappointed in the “what” part of the story, it’s fine, it’s authors, not mine, to choose what happens.

      What I dislike – and what I realized reading through critical articles and posts most others dislike, too – is that the story lost its coherence, characters lost their depth, and narrative generally suffered tremendously. It’s the “how” part that bothers me.

      In seasons 1-6, the writers were really telling a deep, complex story. Now, they are mostly delivering bullet points. That’s how I feel, and that’s what I dislike.

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    39. Dee Stark,

      Rivers is Riverlands bastard surname. Gendry is not from Riverlands. He is from Crownlands (surname Waters), but through Baratheon line you could say he may be from Stormlands (surname Storm).

      To be most precise, he is more likely to actually be none of those because he is not an acknowledged bastard. He has always been de-facto smallfolk, and smallfolk don’t use those bastard names.

      But this is book stuff, and whoever is complaining about the show being wrong here is simply nitpicking. Show decided to change book things, and why wouldn’t they be able to show how bastard last names work? Nonsense.

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    40. Mediumsizedfolk,

      Thank you for explaining.

      And OMG…. this is the show!! I’ve seen this complaint numerous times and I can’t believe this is what it’s about. Geez. If he said his name was gendry flowers I would have been like “okay”

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    41. Dee Stark:

      If he said his name was gendry flowers I would have been like “okay”

      Maybe he would have stood better chances with Arya.

      Gendry: I am no longer Gendry Flowers. But here’s a flower for you!
      Arya: Awww.

      😝

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    42. BobDole: D&D do not understand what to do with intelligent characters like LittleFinger, Varys, Tyrion.

      Wow, I find it funny how people think they know more than reputed creators of this show.

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    43. Mediumsizedfolk: Maybe IMDb scores aren’t reliable, but Rotten Tomatoes gives it 49% ratings. Is that also not reliable?

      I am sorry but no matter what I don’t think this season warrants such low rated episodes compared to other seasons… and other shows. It is absurd. 47%? NO way. Episode 4 – 57%? WTF??? Prior to this, MOST of the episodes were sitting at over 85%, many of which in the 90s, except for S05episode6 which was in the 50s because reasons (which are also absurd lol).

      There is absolutely no way in hell this makes any sense. these scores are unnaturally low and unwarranted.

      Im so disappointed sometimes this makes me wish that GOT was at the 2 million viewership just to avoid such ridiculous media.

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      The living valiantly endure a seemingly endless assault by the Army of the Dead, but Winterfell’s weary and outnumbered defenders’ chances of survival, let alone victory, grow more dire by the hour as the Night King executes his battle plan to near perfection.
      More

      4
      57%
      The Last of the Starks
      Air date: May 5, 2019
      The survivors at Winterfell mourn the loss of their fallen comrades and celebrate their hard-fought victory, but they’re well aware that another major war looms in the south against Cersei and her new, formidable allies.
      More

      5
      47%
      The Bells
      Air date: May 12, 2019
      Daenerys and Cersei weigh their options as an epic conflict looms at King’s Landing.

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    44. I will eat my shoe if we ever get a show like this again. Not even the prequels.
      And honestly, people don’t deserve this show.

      #ranting

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    45. Dee Stark,

      I don’t get it either. Of course it’s not perfect, but that’s normal with shows/movies of that magnitude. I do think Dany’s storyline will be similar in the books. The only difference is, the books aren’t there yet and probably never will. GRRM is now trying 8 years to finish the next to last book. Who knows how many years he will need to finish the last one. It’s easy to say the books will be better when they probably will never be finished. At least D&D did finish the story. If they would spend 8 years to write each season, the writing would be a lot better, but Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner would be retired by the time they finish it. Don’t think that’s an option. And it wouldn’t be believable either if old Maisie Williams would play young Arya Stark.
      I’m happy the way it is, it’s not perfect, but it’s entertaining. And for me it’s still better then most shows. I’m really looking forward to see the final episode.

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    46. Dee Stark,

      Chilli,

      Don’t get me wrong – it hurts me to see my favorite show get those ratings, but I do understand where they come from. What most of people simply fail to see is that these bad ratings and bad reviews don’t come from people who hate the show; they come from the people who love the show, and then got disappointed.

      How I see it is that a lot of people just got massively disappointed with the narrative. Most of fandom gave the show the benefit of the doubt for a long time, and got over bad (or not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be) narrative because they loved the show.

      When meta-reading through all the “negative” comments, they boil down to the fact that the narrative has lost in its quality substantially. It’s not the story itself that most people are complaining, it’s the how the story is told. The same story can be told in different ways, and the movie and TV history is full of examples where the same story is told in narratively different ways. For me, the most screaming example of this is the movie Heat, which is the same story as L.A. Takedown, both even written and directed by the same guy, just produced differently, with different cast. Heck, we don’t even have to go that far, Game of Thrones pilot is the same story as S01E01, only it sucked so much that it nearly got the entire series cancelled. S01E01 was shot to the same story and it rocked. It’s the narrative, the how the story is told that makes all the difference. Would Memento have had the same flavor if told chronologically?

      That’s, in essence, what people are complaining about.

      Continuity, illogical stuff between episodes, generally illogical decisions, sudden degradation of character depth and complexity, all used simply as plot devices, randomly, excessively, the series didn’t begin that way, the series didn’t progress that way, but it ends that way. This is what people are unhappy with.

      You know, this same story, with the same general strokes, could have been told without cheap plot devices, with characters continuing being deep and complex and intricate as they were in earlier seasons, without plot armor, without inconsistencies between the episodes, with logical strategy used in battles. This is what people are unhappy with.

      And while by Ep. 3 a lot of people started losing it but were still giving it the benefit of the doubt, by Ep. 4 and then Ep. 5 they simply lost it, and that’s what the ratings reflect. A general frustration with the cheap narrative this show has devolved into.

      Yes, I still do enjoy it. Yes, I agree with you Dee Stark when you say that we are unlikely to get a show like this. But no, I don’t agree with you Dee Stark when you say people don’t deserve this show. They do. They only deserved it to keep to the highest standard it itself set and followed through for practically all the time, only to drop it just before reaching the finish line.

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    47. Congrats, GoT. I have no doubt the finale will top this. Why? GoT is talked about everywhere. Lots of the talk is (deservedly) negative, but all that shows people care and almost everybody has interest in GoT.

      Funny thing, just realised this night what would have been enough for me to make Dany’s immediate turn to madness palatable: one quick view of a random arrow flying near Drogon/Dany right as the bells were ringing. Or Daenerys noticing a random dying Dothraki/Unsullied. Or Daenerys noticing someone uncannily resembling Missandei.
      Any of the above would make sense as immediate triggers for Daenerys to snap no matter the already won battle.
      I would still not be happy with one queen after another turning mad/criminal/despicable, but at least the plot would make sense at last.

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    48. Luka Nieto,

      Or maybe simply because it’s the last episode ever? So no matter how bad previous episodes were, people are just curious how the story concludes?

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    49. Rygar:
      I have yet to see this one.Is it worth it?

      I am hearing some mixed reviews.

      My advise would be don’t take it from anyone, look it up for yourself and decide whether you like it or not. Forget “expert” predictions and tin foil theories and just watch it.

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    50. I think people just need to calm down with their negativity.
      I was very negative about the long night when it aired first, I was not kind at all about that episode. Rated it one of the lowest of episodes. I cooled down watched again and to my surprised I liked the episode 10x more. rated now in my top half. Even with a very high rating.

      I can see why people are disappointed, especially for Dany fans. But if you just cool down, you see it make sense. And if not, it’s ok, not everyone like the same thing.

      Inga,

      You stated in the past Dany was one of you’re favorites. And now you say she wasn’t. You change your outspoken opinion just to make a point.

      And calling it mental and emotional rape, just discussing. Do you know what people who get raped get through? And you compare that to a TV show.

      Sorry I’m done with this.

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    51. Dyanna,

      HBO is a subscription TV channel. The kind of shows in the UK that pull close to these kind of viewing numbers (Line of Duty, Bodyguard etc.) are generally always on BBC/ITV, which are available to almost every home in the UK (70+ million people). HBO probably has half the number of subscribers, even though the US has a bigger population. Therefore it is a bit of a false equivalence.

      Also the viewing numbers for these BBC shows would be truer to the total actual figure of viewers (as these are less globally popular). The first HBO viewing numbers are still only a fraction of the viewers who are watching the show around the world via various platforms which do not contribute to this statistic (Amazon / iTunes, Sky, Piracy etc.)

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    52. Mediumsizedfolk,

      I agree with most of your points. However, I think it’s not only anout “how”, but also about “what”. In general people don’t like depressive nihilistic stories, in which doom and gloom turns into even more doom and gloom. People like success stories, and that’s how it should be. Therefore, telling a story people are not inclined to like requires a genious. Moreover, there must be some higer, although uncomortable truth in such story.

      GoT had that promise of a higher, although uncomfortable truth revelation, but “the truth” that has been reveald last episode felt like a collection of nihilistic statements: Dany’s story made a point that anyone can (and is entitled) to snap and burn cities over personal grievancies; Jon’s story made a point that love can’t save the world; Tyrion’s -added that neither can loyalty or friendship; Jaime’s story was all about inability to break an abusive relationship, ect. On top of that, all those point were made very poorly. As a result, instead of the expected higher revelation, we’ve got an unmotivated nihilistic whining that the world is all chaos and nothing but chaos and no-one can do anything about that. And that’s GRRM’s story. D&D take part of the blame, too; but probably, they also got seduced with GRRM’s “great promise”. Basicly, it’s for the better that they decided to get over it ASAP.

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    53. mau,

      Without those guys we wouldn’t have had this show. And if the last season is par with the previous ones is up for debate, I can see people thinking this is the least of them all. But still it’s better then the usual slapstick shows we get shoved through our eyes.

      There’s only hate and no love and praise for their hard work. They work 52 years a week on this show, they gave up their private lives, for what? so some fans who didn’t get what they wanted can scream like toddles against them.

      and isn’t this the same show that killed the whole stark army back in season 3 at a wedding? (I remember the backlash back then funny thing is the ones blaming D&D and GRRM for that is praising that moment now)

      It are children like Dudley from Harry Potter who screamed at his parents that he only got 36 gifts instead of the 37 they got last year.

      And I can already see it happen if the prequel is not par with GoT they are praising this episode, the moment when the GoT universe was good.

      Sorry for venting like this but I need to let go of it if I can enjoy my time here.

      And on topic: Yes D&D could have handled the last couple of seasons better. I think they should have delegate more, they took too much on their own shoulders. But what they delivered is still a peace of art in my opinion. And this episode I judge what I saw in this episode, and not what I saw in previous ones.

      And who knows, maybe they did in fact wrote all those scenes we were missing, and they got cut in filming process because of costs, or cut later because of runtime. I mean Kit though every episode was 90 minutes long. So maybe 10 minutes per episode was cut by HBO itself for reasons, or maybe those scenes didn’t work. Don’t blame D&D before you know the whole truth.

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    54. Inga,

      You really just compared a show not living up to your expectations or going the way you wanted to rape?

      I can’t believe people think that fandoms have become toxic. /s

        Quote  Reply

    55. Mediumsizedfolk:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Please, don’t confuse negativity with criticism. They are different. Yes, there is a lot of pure negativity, but most of it is actually very concrete criticism, people explaining why specifically they didn’t like and what specifically didn’t work.

      Yes, there is a difference, but unfortunately, people are engaging more in ranting and raving than constructive criticism. I mean, in this very comment section, D&D are being compared to rapists. Does that sound like constructive criticism to you? People have always been more critical of this show than any other. If you were as critical of other shows, you would find that none of them would hold up to the scrutiny.

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    56. Inga: Really sorry, can’t blame anyone but myself for getting into this situation of a mental and emotional rape, but that’s no excuse for the rapists.

      You can be as full of praise or critical of “The Bells” or Game of Thrones or anything as you want in this comment section. But the minute you call the episode a “rape” and the showrunners “rapists”, you’re out. I’m not even going to bother explaining why, because it should be pretty fucking obvious.

      I’m not banning you, Inga, but no more horrendous ‘ad hominem’ nonsense like this going forward, or else that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Inga: People like success stories, and that’s how it should be.

      I’m not sure that’s true though. I don’t speak for most people but I like stories that are interesting. There’s tons of nihilistic lit that gets accolades and is widely read. Some famous writers like Lovecraft (which was an influence on Martin btw), Camus, Turgenev, Orwell etc wrote compelling nihilistic stories that are always popping up as favorites in many published lists of “the best or most popular books”. I know there are more books with uplifting messages and stories than nihilistic ones, but the idea “that’s how it should be”, that people should only like the uplifting stories is very weird.

      Don’t take this the wrong way, maybe you meant it differently or maybe not but I just thought that’s weird and if there’s anyone there like me, you are not alone! I like a good nihilistic story too. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me (more than your average Jane that is :P) .

      Or maybe there is and nobody dared to tell me yet (?) Inga look what you’ve done!!! 😛

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    58. Season 3 Dark Wings, Dark Words has a higher score than “The Bells” That was a pretty boring episode I thought.

      Which leads me to my advice, If you think the criticism is unwarranted stop reading other peoples opinions or reviews and just make your own mind up, you’ll be a lot happier. I have decided the only opinion that matters to me.. is mine.

      On another note… do you think they will release a 1-8 4K HDR box set? Imagine The Long Night episode in full 4k and The Battle of Blackwater.. they will look incredible!!

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    59. Luka question non related to a discussion, but the site itself.

      What is most of the time the reason if when you want to post a comment you get the message “page not found”? I can post 1 certain post. I though maybe I can’t reply to that person, was not the case another post to him or her came threw, tried to look at certain symbols but there was none that should trigger it. And there were no words that should have triggered it.

      Or is my comment somehow being stored in the cache of the site and a he sense a duplicate?

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    60. Sacred Lime,

      VFX-heavy battle episodes will look worse than the average episode in 4K, not better. VFX in this show are designed for 1080p, and sometimes, especially in early seasons, the VFX are not even well defined enough for 1K, let alone 4K.

      For the 4K versions to look as good as you imagine would require millions of dollars of investmnt in touching up or outright redoing a lot of the VFX work. That sounds like the kind of thing we may see in, I don’t know, a decade or two, if we’re lucky, but not right away.

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    61. GeekFurious,

      Statistically, a decline is very unlikely, for there has never been one from the penultimate to the last episode of a season. Everybody who made it this far will try to watch live, as will some who usually stream out of convenience but want to celebrate the grand finale. I will be disappointed if it’s not at least 13 mil, wouldn’t be surprised by substantially more.

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    62. Young Dragon:
      D&D are being compared to rapists. Does that sound like constructive criticism to you?

      No – that’s not constructive criticism. But there is a lot of very similar kind of arguments in the defending camp. People tag criticists “haters” without any qualification. Simply dismissing criticism with “haters gonna hate” doesn’t help.

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    63. TormundsWoman,

      The Walking Dead is a very nihilistic story, even more then what GoT did this season. 99% of the world is dead in that world. And there is no cure, and as the makers said, there never will be. The personal stories can end somewhere happy, but the world will remain the world of the dead. And even if in the last season it revolves a cure it means less than 1% is alive. TWD (even if I think the quality is less then GoT) is a very populair show and if I’m correct the second populair show at the moment after GoT. Meaning that nihilistic stories indeed sell very good and people want that.

      And as for GoT I’m happy if the Starks that are alive now, are alive in the end. (I don’t hope one gets killed in the final)

      Sacred Lime,

      I hope it does. But I think you better turn off HDR. HDR will darker pictures to show more contrast. HDR works great for showing bright images but not for Dark. I think the Bells will look great on HDR.

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    64. I don’t understand why people say Dany did a sharp left trun this season. In season 1 she said to her brother that the next time he threatened her would be the last, a phrase she has repeated several times since then in different seasons. From season 2 onward she has been saying she would take what she considered to be hers with fire and blood.

      And boy has she been consistent on both fronts (personal affront and political opposition)! Cross her or oppose and she will fry you, as she did with Mirri Maz Dur, Xaro Xohan Daxos, the guy(s) at the House of the Undying, the masters (twice: as soon as she got to Meereen and when they rebeled against her), the khals, the Tarlys, Varys… In more than one occasion she has confused justice with revenge.

      So when she said she would break the wheel (while seeking the throne of her ancestors which meant pretty much contuinuig with the system), given her background (genes, personal history and predisposition towards violence) there was a very strong possibility that it would not result into a more democratic and equal society, as some people thought.

      Many contend that it is not her fault those around her are traitors, conspirators or poor advisors. But is killing them the only way to deal with them? Maybe with some, but certainly with others a genuine attempt at negotiating could be a smarter move.

      She’s not a stupid character, though. She is a complex one. She is a beautiful, charismatic leader who has done very impressive things. That is why she is so appealing to so many. She freed thousands of slaves, because she knew what it was to be one. This sensibility and determination do right by this group of people do not contradict the fact that she has the makings of a despot and that the signals were there from the very beginning. Many who fell under her spell (Jorah, Barristan Selmy, Tyrion and Jon) tried to control her worst impulses and at different stages of the show gave her “the look” (is she or isn’t she like her father?) Those who didn’t fell under her spell but still recognized her tremendous force (like Davos or Varys) tried to reason with her, to little avail.

      It is not a contradiction to have a savior and a cruel ruler rolled up into one. Drug lords are seen as saints and heroes in their hometowns as they finance schools, hospitals, sponsor sports teams and are patrons of the arts, meanwhile they kill hundreds or thousands who directly or indirectly threaten their businesses. Despotic heads of state channel social investments toward certain groups of society or address these groups’ most important issues and/or fears, all the while corrupting and even dismounting congress, the judiciary and electoral systems, silencing the press and jailing or disappearing dissidents. Sadly, there are many examples of this around the world right now. And some of those heads of state are quite charismatic.

      What this show has done, and continues to do successfully in my opinion, is to face us with our own contradictions: we hail the assassin and the fullfilment of a lifelong revenge arc, though we probably would object to those things in real life; we love the clever schemers who bent the rules and trick everybody and criticize the dumb characters that try to do what’s best for the majority and stick to truth, while in real life we complain about the corruption those schemers bring about; we cheer the liberal use of a weapon of mass destruction because we think it is being used by a hero fighting for the right side and accept there will be some collateral damage… until we are shown what collateral damage really means, and as Tyrion said, joy turn to ashes in our mouths. We try to convince ourselves that our favorite character(s) cannot do dumb, despotic, cowardly things, but they do, they are human, even in GoT’s fantasy world.

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    65. Dee Stark,

      And honestly, people don’t deserve this show.

      Absolutely concur. Unfortunately, somebody has to give money to HBO to entice them to finance these kinds of productions. The basic conundrum of mass culture.

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    66. kevin1989:
      TormundsWoman,

      Sacred Lime,

      I hope it does. But I think you better turn off HDR. HDR will darker pictures to show more contrast. HDR works great for showing bright images but not for Dark. I think the Bells will look great on HDR.

      I’m still loving my dear old plasma TV, ‘George’. We’ve watched Season 8 Episodes on both our new 4k (‘Not George’) and on our plasma. We much prefer the plasma. ‘Not George’ is not nearly as large as ‘George’ but we still prefer the later simply due to darker scenes looking much better. “The Bells” episode was lighter than “The Long Night”; however, the Drogon scene on the beach and the Dragon Crypt scene were still fairly dark in “The Bells” and were much more satisfactory on ‘George’.

      I hope that when the physical media box set is released, we are still able to enjoy those as much as the streaming video we’ve enjoyed on ‘George’.

      (We still have folks that couldn’t attend my watch party coming over to view “The Long Night” and are amazed at how much they missed on their own, newer TVs.)

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    67. Young Dragon,

      I don’t really think it’s hate. I didn’t see much genuine hate. I have seen a lot of disappointment, though.

      And I don’t blame people for being disappointed. There were far too many illogicalities, inconsistencies, plot armor and other cheap plot devices, too many red herrings either intentional or accidental, and people who are not used to it from this show, and who care about the show excelling in that arena simply expressed their frustration as 1/10. That’s not hate.

      If you loved episode 5, you should be able to understand all those 1/10. That’s exactly what Dany did when after all betrayal, after losing everyone she cared about, she loses it and unleashes dracarys all over the population that will never love her – she gave her 1/10 to Westeros 😜

        Quote  Reply

    68. GhostCR,

      Perfectly put. Dany was in the past the image of the person that fights for our injustice without remorse or questioning. She gave us a sense of power that we want. We all have in our lives things that didn’t work out and we see Dany destroying every obstacle in her way. That’s why people like shows like “The punisher”. And even he is not a hero, he is a villain. But we like it non the less because his victims are even worse scum, so he make us feel safer.

      As for her breaking the wheel. You’re right she didn’t mean establish democracy. What she meant was like in real life, dictator ship. She’s going to stop the wheel by breaking every house who rule over the people and put herself in that place as the strong leader who will save them with her firm leadership. And that’s make very clear because she still talked about sitting on the throne herself instead of destroying it.

      And for me I’m happy Dany will not be the Mary sue hero of the story but we got one of the most complex villain of film history. She is not a moustache twirling villain, she is a villain with her own personality, fears desires (outside the power) etc.

      LL of Darkwater,

      We all need a George in our lives.

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    69. To all Dany fans

      If you think there is going to be a happy ending you aren’t paying attention.

      Ramsey Bolton.

      Most of the negativity has been from disgruntled Dany loyalists. Understand being upset but 9/10 times I ask them to be specific about how stupid D&D are and how their writing sucks I get nothing.

      The season has been fine. Ep 4 I loved. Thought it was typical GoT.

      One more to go and then I will be sad.

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    70. Luka Nieto,

      With respect, Luka, but Emilia Clark herself said that she felt “f***ed”. I’m just not comfortable with f*** words, so I used a synonim. Was I wrong? Possibly: as you very well know, English is like my fourth language, and I always struggle with finding correct words.
      However, that doesn’t change how I feel and I feel BAD. Not bittersweet, as promised: just BAD in the worst possible way. Moreover, I suspect that’s exactly the artistic effect the showrunners and GRRM wanted to achieve. And sure, that’s their right to seek whatever effect they want. I just wish, I wouldn’t have watched. So, if you ban me from this site, you’ll probably do me a favor.

      You can ban me for that

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    71. MiaMoon,

      One more [episode] to go and then I will be sad.

      Hi, my name is LL of Darkwater, and I am a Game of Thrones obsessive.

      Seriously, no matter how it ends, it is still ending and I will be heartbroken and devastated when it’s over. Over. By the Old Gods and the New, I do not know what I’ll do when there are no more new episodes.

      I am Not Ready and I will Not Be Okay.

      ( I should get out more; however, I expect after the initial numbness and tears, I’ll spend the next week under the covers, sighing a lot )

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    72. Dee Stark,

      I’ve never read the books so I had the same question you did, but a quick google search tells me that the last name for Bastards from King’s Landing is “Waters”, just as Snow is for the North, Sand is for Dorne, and Rivers is for the Riverlands.

      So not book accurate but entirely inconsequential for the show.

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    73. Inga:
      Luka Nieto,

      With respect, Luka, but Emilia Clark herself said that she felt “f***ed”. I’m just not comfortable with f*** words, so I used a synonim. Was I wrong? Possibly: as you very well know, English is like my fourth language, and I always struggle with finding correct words.
      However, that doesn’t change how I feel and I feel BAD. Not bittersweet, as promised: just BAD in the worst possible way. Moreover, I suspect that’s exactly the artistic effect the showrunners and GRRM wanted to achieve. And sure, that’s their right to seek whatever effect they want. I just wish, I wouldn’t have watched. So, if you ban me from this site, you’ll probably do me a favor.

      You can ban me for that

      A better synonym to use in that context is “make whoopie”. American. My 1st language.

        Quote  Reply

    74. TormundsWoman,

      No, I wanted to make a different point. Success stories are compelling on their own, so they can easily be told by mediocre or even bad storytellers. Cliche success story will hardly have a lasting effect, but it will always find it’s reader/viewer, and mostly those readers/viewers will end up satisfied the result.
      However, making a nihistic or uncomfortable story a compelling demands a talent and it’s risky for the authors. In this case, GRRM had a great strart, and D&D really managed to bring the story to the denouement in a rather satisfactory way. But the denouement or rather the new twist at the point of denouement just didn’t work. It felt forced, contrived, unearned, etc. Had D&D followed a standard trope of heros dying for the greater good or living more or less happily ever after, some part of the fandom would have whined, but in general they would have had a safe landing. But they chose trope subversion, and here we are. I’m angry at them, but I feel sorry for them even more.

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    75. BobDole,

      Thanks. Things have gotten very CGI-y and cheap plot twist-y, so I don’t disagree that there are definitely a ton of incredible visuals and fun surprise moments.

      I disagree with people saying that the disappointment stems from theories proven wrong; I’d say rather that it’s no longer interesting to have a theory and see it proven wrong. In the past the story telling made more sense and was fun to speculate on, whether you ended up being “right or wrong”. Somewhere that’s changed to the fun coming from more of an amusement park ride sort of vibe.

      The show is still a pretty grand endeavor, I’ve invested a fair amount of time in it, so I’ll be watching the last episode…buckle up everyone!

        Quote  Reply

    76. mau,

      I guess your comment refers to my post.

      I praised Mediumsizedfolk’s very reasonable and conciliatory comment in which he very truthfully explains why a big part of the fandom, myself included, has had a negative reaction to episodes 3 and especially 4 and 5 of the current season.

      My praise of Inga’s comment was for the part where she states that both Jon’s and Daenerys’s arcs suffered because the show decided to turn them against each other instead of keeping them together (both as a love couple and a political power couple). I can’t be more precise because i cannot find the comment now. The part about the rape was over the top and my praise wasn’t directed at that part of the comment.

      GhostCR,

      I understand people trying to explain how it was foreshadowed that Daenerys will turn into a mass murderer in the end. I really do. For some of us it was just not enough and not convincing for others it was. But your comment is going far beyond that. It is backtracking the entire Daenerys’s arc and portraying decidedly evil and criminal characters as victims of Daenerys’s early madness:

      1. Viserys – it was universally agreed up untill last episode that he was cruel and sadistic and mad. He abused Daenerys mentally for years. He arranged her marriage to Khal Drogo. And after Daenerys somehow found the way to make this situation (after marital rape) bearable and got pregnant he threatened to carve her child out of her. I mean after that he could be 10 times her brother, he deserved to die.

      2. Daenerys saved Mirri Maz Duur from rape. She couldn’t have known that it was too late or whatever. Mirri Maz Duur then exacted her revenge on an innocent pregnant teenage girl who had nothing to do with the horrors of her husband’s action but tried to stop them. She lead Daenerys to believe she was helping her but instead killed her unborn child in a blood magic ritual. Imo she deserved to die.

      3. The Undying who virtually tried to suck the life out of her and her dragons to make their dark magic more powerful.

      4. The slavers crucified 163 slave children. She crucified 163 slavers. This is not an act of a mad person. The was harsh justice.

      5. She burned the Khals. They threatened to rape her. She is not a fighter. How was she
      to escape them to save her life? She used the only thing at her disposal – fire. It was either her or them.

      6. The Tarlys – They were leaders of the defetead army. She offered them to kneel and join her. They refused. She offered them the Wall. They refused. The only thing left was execution. It was the standard Westerosi procedure for such situations. The fact that they were Sam’s father and brother shouldn’t prevent us to make an objective assessment of the situation.

      7. Varys – He betrayed the Queen he swore his allegience to. Even tried to poison her. The punishment for such an act is death. And that is without going into who Varys was in the early seasons when he was Master of whispers in Robert’s, Joffrey’s, Cersei’s and Tywin’s regimes. He didn’t raise his voice against Ned Stark’s imprisonment and execution.

      I just don’t get how these people can be turned into martyrs who died in Daenerys Targaryen’s bloodthirsty quest for the Iron Throne. That all I was trying to say.

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    77. I’m just surprised how the traditional method of capturing viewers is still breaking records. I can’t think of a single person I know that watches GoT who doesn’t watch it via a streaming device. About half could watch it on the non-streaming HBO channel they have access to but they’re all used to anytime access via the Roku, Firestick, Play Station, etc. and just bring it up there, myself included. And it’s not just those in their 20s and 30s doing this, my parents, wife’s parents, and a few other family members 60+ do this. But the numbers indicate this is not the norm, odd.

      Am going to finale party with many friends and family members. I guess the actual tv sets watching/streaming in real time will be lower from my social locus but no doubt the finale will be more watched than this ep.

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    78. Luke, yes thinking about it.. some of the men on the decks of the ships just about stand up to the scrutiny of streaming and Bluray, so I guess 4K will further highlight the fakeness.

      I will be content with the 1080p Bluray to keep everything looking more gritty and realistic.

      Once all the dust has settled on the whole series.. a rewatch of the series as a whole, with no expectations and full knowledge of what transpires will be the true test of whether Season 8 is amazing or disappointing. I have read so many things that have actually clouded my own judgement that I don’t know anymore. Does that make sense?

      I think it’s been really good, and have thoroughly enjoyed it, then I read the reviews and comments and it points things out that I never even thought of.

      I almost wish I watched the series and the internet didn’t exist. A full rewatch once the bluray is out is needed.

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    79. Inga,

      Yes. You were VERY, VERY wrong. Not ‘possibly’ wrong. Horrendously wrong.

      I do understand English isn’t your native tongue; I get it, but the words you used were extremely strong. Those two words are vastly different, and I would think, after the comment directed to you by the moderator, one might take moment to look up the definition before stating in your response that you might be “possibly” wrong.

      Your opinions are yours – and stating your thoughts and feelings is, of course, what we do here on WotW. I get that you feel BAD (I’m seriously thinking of starting actual withdrawal therapy when the show is over) but I’m also not sure why you would be surprised that you feel so bad after all the warnings about no happy endings.

      Did you not pay attention? Did you ignore so many statements made that in Game of Thrones you should never get attached to any character? Did you not watch The Red Wedding? The Battle of Winterfell?

      GoT has never been a Situation or Romantic Comedy. It hasn’t been a Feel Good Show. It isn’t a Fairy Tale where characters live happily ever after or one in which everyone lives and all the villains are suitably punished. It’s had it’s imperfections in following the books, mistakes in plot lines and continuity – yet it’s never promised to give everyone what they believe they want at the end. Not from GRRM and not from D&D.

      We may have been told it will be bittersweet, and in fact, there have already been a few instances of bittersweet this season: Theon, The Cleganes, Ser Brianne; other story lines have been less so – I’m sure I’m missing a few in this post.

      We have yet to see the Final Episode… There may be horror, victory, bittersweets, ugliness, a collection of conclusions and we may be left with questions yet to be answered. Considering the deaths, betrayals and foreshadowing we’ve already witnessed, the Final Episode will be emotional for everyone. We pretty much all knew we what we bought when we started, unless, of course, we haven’t been paying attention.

      YMMV – just my two cents, which never really bought much.

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    80. MiaMoon:
      To all Dany fans

      If you think there is going to be a happy ending you aren’t paying attention.

      Ramsey Bolton.

      Most of the negativity has been from disgruntled Dany loyalists.Understand being upset but 9/10 times I ask them to be specific about how stupid D&D are and how their writing sucks I get nothing.

      The season has been fine.Ep 4 I loved. Thought it was typical GoT.

      One more to go and then I will be sad.

      I am one to not be happy, I am not a Daenerys loyalist. And here is how exactly the episode could have made Dany’s transition to madness understandable:

      A) When the rings bell: some stray arrow passes near Daenerys and Drogon. That is a trigger, how dare they shoot her?! OR Daenerys notices some dying Dothraki and Unsulied in the streets. Again her people are dying, surrender be damned. The city should have surrendered before the fight began. OR Daenerys notices someone reminding her of Missandei, or even Jorah. That is also enough to send her into berserker mode.

      B) Daenerys and Drogon never pause after the destruction of the scorpions and simply keep mowing down Lannister troops in the main streets (already causing some mayhem, adjacent buildings crumbling). When the bells ring and Lannister troops surrender, Tyrion looks relieved and hopeful, but Daenerys simply doesn’t stop. Why should she? Tyrion failed her time and again (and betrayed her with Jaime), no reason to keep her promise. Those evil Lannisters think that by ringing some bells, she will have mercy on them. No, they don’t deserve it…
      Jon tries in vain to stop ground troops, episode continues unchanged.

      Voila, most of the episode is fixed for me, only gripes remain with overall storylines*, nothing particular to the episode, making “The Bells” a masterpiece.

      *I have gripes with Daenerys actually becoming mad at all, but that is a much wider issue, concerning how most of Season 8 played out. Similar with Jaime and Brienne’s storylines.

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    81. TOIVA,

      Idk, i thought the whole, I will give them fear instead of love thing made her intentions clear. And then staring at the Red Keep and seeing Cerseis smirking face with one eyebrow permanently raised, and terrible wig, just made her flip the fuck out.

      I mean, that eyebrow and wig has made me want to burn innocents since season one. I feel for the girl

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    82. Milutin:

      […]

      I understand people trying to explain how it was foreshadowed that Daenerys will turn into a mass murderer in the end. I really do. For some of us it was just not enough and not convincing for others it was. But your comment is going far beyond that. It is backtracking the entire Daenerys’s arc and portraying decidedly evil and criminal characters as victims of Daenerys’s early madness:

      […]

      4. The slavers crucified 163 slave children. She crucified 163 slavers. This is not an act of a mad person. The was harsh justice.

      […]

      6. The Tarlys – They were leaders of the defetead army. She offered them to kneel and join her. They refused. She offered them the Wall. They refused. The only thing left was execution. It was the standard Westerosi procedure for such situations. The fact that they were Sam’sfather and brother shouldn’t prevent us to make an objective assessment of the situation.

      […]

      I just don’t get how these people can be turned into martyrs who died in Daenerys Targaryen’s bloodthirsty quest for the Iron Throne. That all I was trying to say.

      I’d agree with your post except for the quoted cases.
      Crucifying 163 random slavers is an act of collective punishment. At that scale, it is a crime against humanity. And indeed, that was a strong point for Daenerys having a strong inkling towards gruesome public executions. Definitely not a healthy trait.
      With Tarlys, afaik Daenerys never offered the Wall, prison or any other third option. It was either serving her (if they do it badly, they might still die later) or dying right there. Imprisonment or sending them to the wall would have been the widely best accepted and typical solution in Westeros same as what should have happened with Ned Stark).

      In the end, for me it was very clear that Daenerys has typical Targaryen traits in her at least back in Season 4 or so. Dany becoming mad is not in itself an intrinsic problem for me (as much as I hate it, after Cersei was also a mad queen). It was the way Daenerys was pushed to madness this season that was infuriating. As I see it, Rhaegal and Missandei should never have been lost last episode. Euron never should have been able to set up that ambush. At the same time Daenerys should never have been put into such an antagonising position towards Sansa and eventually Jon as well.
      Dany and Sansa easily had enough reason to find common ground. Despite Daenerys’ inability to negotiate, Sansa, the proclaimed “smartest person” wherever, should have been able to talk reason, instead of provoking a Targaryen queen with dragons.
      Where I am going is that while Dany has crazy tendencies, this season shouldn’t have made them dominant at all. If Daenerys had to become mad for the sake of the narrative, clearly the season should have been going way differently.

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    83. Rygar:
      TOIVA,

      Idk, i thought the whole, I will give them fear instead of love thing made her intentions clear.And then staring at the Red Keep and seeing Cerseis smirking face withone eyebrow permanently raised, and terrible wig, just made her flip the fuck out.

      I mean, that eyebrow and wig has made me want to burn innocents since season one.I feelfor the girl

      You know, Cersei smirking at Dany at that point (which honestly wouldn’t make much sense for Cersei, she’d just lost the city and was gonna get executed, most likely) would be exactly the kind of trigger I needed to see in the episode.
      Afaik that scene is not present there. Daenerys definitely didn’t see Cersei. (Neither do I have a clue where exactly Cersei has been overlooking the mess from.)

        Quote  Reply

    84. TOIVA,

      Oh she definitely spied that bright yellow mop of wiggy hair as clear as Rohan lighting the beacons for Gondor. Point being there is no way anyone could miss it. That shit is so awful.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Heh, I sure didn’t. That said, the beacons for Gondor were bloody hard to spot for me as well during the sunrise portion. Great scene though. Pity we didn’t get something similar with scorpions getting readied and aimed in sequence. They would at least have managed to get one shot off, some of them…

        Quote  Reply

    86. Inga,

      Source about Emilia saying she felt fucked? Because I’m searching the web for 10 minutes now and can’t found one source she ever stated that. So please give the the source and I will believe you.

      Milutin,

      I have to disagree completely, Jon suffered from his relationship with Dany storywise, he became her puppy, her mental punching bag. Now he can finally become important and interesting again.

      And for Dany, her being a villain is 10x more excited instead of her being a Mary Sue.

      To your points:
      1. As stated in the books, and also hinted in the show because she named a dragon (her child) after Viserys, Viserys was kind before, very kind to her, that changed once his quest for the Iron Throne begins. This part I don’t know certain but I though Dany stated in the books that illyrio mopatis was to blame for that that he manipulated Viserys into following it which make sense with Varys stated jon should be king if he wanted it or not. But now back to the point. After that he became the horrible man we saw in season 1. Yes he deserved to die (like Dany does now as a massmurderer). But normal people don’t look interested with awe when her brother gets killed, even when you hate your brother, yes she should have want him dead but normally you look away and cry yourself for the man he was before. She enjoyed the power there she possessed through Drogo. And back to the hating brother wanting dead. Look at Cersei, you can’t deny she really hates Tyrion, blame her for her mothers dead, for her fathers dead, for her children’s dead. Even she couldn’t pull the trigger when she had the chance twice, even a horrible person like Cersei didn’t have the stomach for it.
      2. I do in a next post before I lose the text and my comment becomes too long.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Milutin,

      2. Maybe just like Dany. Mirri Maz Duur also cared about the people she lived with. Yes she saved Mirri Maz Duur. But many of her friends and family got raped before her eyes, murdered, enslaved, beaten. Under the leadership of Khal Drogo with his wife Dany. Tell me was Dany really innocent? When a episode before Khal drogo stated that was exactly what he was going to do, rape, murder making slaves. I seems to recall she smiled at that. So no Dany wasn’t innocent. Her baby was, so I have to say MMD went to far with that and as you stated she deserved to die, but MMD already knew that and was prepared for it, but she hoped for a painless dead. but if fact like Viserys it wasn’t painful and in my eyes not justice. So why can you make excuses for Dany for her revenge and call it justice for 2 people who died, and not call it justice what MMD did with the many rape (children were also raped Dothraki does that, Dany was only 13 in the books so that should give a hint), murdered (probably some were pregnant as well who knows nobody asked) and were made slaves. If what Dany had done was justice, so was what MMD did 10x over.
      3. House of the Undying deserved to die, they were evil and was self-defense of Dany’s part. but what she did to Doreah and Xaro is in fact evil. Instead of Mercy they died maybe a week later, that was not justice but injustice, a clean cut from Jorah’s sword would have been.
      4. No that was not justice as Baristan told her, that that was something her father would have done. Justice is blind and without emotion (look up why that is), meaning that you never go eye for an eye. They deserved the axe not what Dany gave them, that was injustice, and as you saw that scene fueled with anger and emotion, so it could not have been justice. And if you don’t believe that, look up the rules and oath people take when going to practice law and execute justice.
      5. No problem with her killing the Khals or how she does it, self-defense in a sense in my eyes. But there was one moment that I was scared of her in that scene, the look she gave, it was not just a happy relieved look that she was free, it was a look of enjoying her power that she possesses and that she gets to be admired later for it.
      6. Agree with you here half. Only two things which I had with it, or rather 3 were (Which I say now I don’t think was really easy for her there) she should not have killed a naive boy like Dickon, a leader also should know how to read people, she should have seen he was too naive to make that decision. Take him prisoner, make up a word to show power that he will be a pawn for her for when the reach doesn’t behave. Dragon fire was my other problem. And the other was that one moment she talks to them that she will give them freedom, the next she tells them something 180 degrees the other way, bow or die (that’s not freedom). She should have said, bow or be chained in prison and be trialed for warcrimes. but as I said difficult decision that needed to be made in seconds. And easy to be blamed later for.
      7. True that was justice, he did treason after all.

      (And I really think there should have been 3 episodes between the 2 big battles this season instead of just one or even 2 seperated seasons of 5 episodes each, one about the WW treat. One about Cersei and Dany, sort 8a and 8b season seperated by half a year)

        Quote  Reply

    88. Dee Stark,

      I agree, from everyone I have spoken too including myself, they all think this last season has been fantastic. none go on IMDb yet everyone is watching and loving it. tbh I get fed up of articles telling me what I think. When to my experience they are wrong and out of step with the vast majority.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Sacred Lime,

      Make sense, I liked season 5 better on rerun and it flowed better. Same with season 2.

      TOIVA,

      That would be horrible, I’m glad they went with the version we got. Against a way that it was about being attacked or a much deeper way we got:
      – Emotion of being home and everything that comes with it, betrayal of close friends, deads of loyal friends, and not receiving the love but fear of the people which you desperately wanted to get love from (Which is a theme from Dany, the journey to be loved)

      But I think the biggest problem that didn’t work was that all those changes was put in just 2 episodes (with one big block of scenes with her). If after every episode we watched we saw one little change in her behavior we could follow it better. Now we skipped 2 whole weeks where a big part of her change was done. They could have had an episode that ended with Varys being fried.

      TOIVA,

      More episodes right?

      But I have to disagree on one thing, Cersei was not a Mad Queen far from it. She was a ruthless queen (for not finding a better word). Mad would have indicated that there was emotion fueled in her decision making, but with Cersei it was the opposite, it was her lack (putting away) of emotion that made her evil. With Cersei everything was calculated instead of chaos, and one thing I missed in season 7 and 8 is one thing, I really want to call Cersei a dictator, but we didn’t see one scene of her being queen with the people. but for now I call her that a dictator.

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    90. Rygar: That’s what she said.

      Probably not else I would have seen the source where she said that. So please provide it for me and I will believe it. If nobody can’t provide it, it’s likely fake like the claim George stated he hated season 8.

      and ps. A reddit source is not a source if you want to know, I want a legit source of an interview or a interview clip

      Edit: The only thing I remember is her last week stating episode 5 is even better then episode 3.

        Quote  Reply

    91. kevin1989: Probably not else I would have seen the source where she said that. So please provide it for me and I will believe it. If nobody can’t provide it, it’s likely fake like the claim George stated he hated season 8.

      and ps. A reddit source is not a source if you want to know, I want a legit source of an interview or a interview clip

      Edit: The only thing I remember is her last week stating episode 5 is even better then episode 3.

      Sorry….” That’s what she said” – Michael Scott

        Quote  Reply

    92. Rygar: Sorry….” That’s what she said” – Michael Scott

      hahaha sorry didn’t see that one coming, I though you’re were serious. But in fact you were brilliant. XDXDXD

        Quote  Reply

    93. kevin1989,

      Unlike many people asking for more episodes and saying the season is rushed, I’m not quite sure more episodes would work.
      The issue at hand for me is that Daenerys snapped in the last episode before she started cmmiting war crimes. Why did she snap? I mean, if she was set on not sparing the city from the start (which could be sort of understandable after her last Jon and Tyrion scene), why take a breather with Drogon and wait for the bells to ring at all?
      There is just some character beat missing for me in all that.

      Now the second issue: the events happening that did throw Daenerys into madness. Again, I am not convinced more episodes would necessarily help here either. I mean if you argue for adding new scenes that have the tragic effects for Dany in losing her friends, counselors and Rhaegal, than sure, that would require more time. But then again, you have to change all Daenerys’ interactions with other characters anyway, so why not use that time to introduce trauma.

      As for Cersei, alright, here you have a point. Cersei was supposedly aware of what she was doing and that it definitely wasn’t “moral”. That said, she did end up delusional in this episode and she did consume very large quantities of wine. So while calling Cersei “mad” in the “doing crazy things without much thought” sense may be incorrect, she still wasn’t exactly someone I’d see as mentally healthy and in some regard, that also deserves the “mad” moniker in my mind.

        Quote  Reply

    94. TOIVA,

      I commented on some of this in a different WotW thread a little while ago so I won’t rehash it all here, but perhaps the breather with Drogon was Dany waiting for the bells to stay silent; this breather was the signal to Grey Worm that “he’d know.” Bells or not, she was going to go all fire and blood from the get go.

      As you mentioned, perhaps she was indeed set on no mercy for the city. Perhaps it was premeditated and preplanned with Grey Worm. Burn the collar – burn them all. Granted, she took a turn, snapped, if you will; however, maybe she didn’t ‘snap’ during the battle.

      Just a passing thought. Or maybe I’m just overly obsessed with Planetos in general. That’s probably it.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Jack Bauer 24:
      Awesome. Wonder if the finale will cross 13 million? Anyone else actually enjoying this season? There’s still nothing like it on TV. Can’t believe it’s ending Sunday night. I’ve seen so much negativity and the imdb ratings for the past 2 episodes are in the 6’s.

      Yep really enjoying it despite some minor criticisms. Ignore the blatant coordinated IMDb bombing that is taking place, I am even tempted to sign up and give ten star ratings to counter balance.

        Quote  Reply

    96. MiaMoon:
      To all Dany fans

      If you think there is going to be a happy ending you aren’t paying attention.

      Ramsey Bolton.

      Most of the negativity has been from disgruntled Dany loyalists.Understand being upset but 9/10 times I ask them to be specific about how stupid D&D are and how their writing sucks I get nothing.

      The season has been fine.Ep 4 I loved. Thought it was typical GoT.

      One more to go and then I will be sad.

      This is how I see it too, the hate is coming almost exclusively from Dany fans upset at the arc of a character they expected to go differently. It’s sad and spoiling things for the rest of us.

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    97. Mediumsizedfolk: In seasons 1-6, the writers were really telling a deep, complex story. Now, they are mostly delivering bullet points. That’s how I feel, and that’s what I dislike.

      And who is responsible for that? D&D never signed up to be writers. Their mission was to adapt someone else’s story. It’s hardly fair to blame them when the real writer failed to continue with the deep, complex story and left them with only bullet points.

      Something else that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much. Over the course of this story we have lost a host of fascinating characters and the outstanding actors who brought them to life. It can’t be helped because that’s the story, but at this late stage it can never be as rich as it was in earlier days.

        Quote  Reply

    98. LL of Darkwater,

      Yes, I saw that. I guess technically it can make sense.
      Actually, it may just make the most sense out of what we got now. I may make it my headcanon as well.
      Her time of pause wasn’t in fact deciding between “I’ll burn civilians or do what I agreed on” but “Either I burn the city or I change my mind”. And she was pondering how much she was changing her mind because of her advisors in the past. That leads much easier to her war crimes.

      Jon Snowed,

      Please stop being shortsighted same as any hater and throwing guilt at one subset of the show watchers. You don’t need to be a Daenerys follower to have issues with her arc or the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    99. I don’t feel like I am throwing hate to anyone and always try to respect the opinion of others. I have mentioned numerous times the episode is not perfect too.

      It’s just an observation that the hate is coming from one portion of the fan base and largely appears to be due to the final arc.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Very well then, personally I have seen a far more varied spectrum of criticisms, often well argued. That’s why I have become very wary of people mentioning (and that is obviously paraphrasing and being very general, nothing personally against you, Jon Snowed) hate is coming from as typically seen a small subset of “whingey crybabies that are upset because stuff doesn’t go their way”.
      As someone often ending up on an opposing side (while trying to clearly name deficiencies and not giving way to hate), these (and similar) characterizations annoy me greatly.

        Quote  Reply

    101. Milutin,

      I never said Dany’s opponents are martyrs, they are opponents. Some of them were despicable. What the masters did to the children slaves on the road to Meereen is savage. But the fact that she responded in the same fashion was problematic. She could have ordered an enquiry to find the people responsible for that barbaric decision and applied her justice to them, instead of randomly picking masters. It was a political mistake that fueled the rebellion there and everywhere else in the region, which ended up costing lots of lives.

      Neither was I saying that she is mad. What I said is that she had shown despotic tendencies from very early on. In season two she threatened she would do to the city of Yunkai exactly what she did to Kings Landing when they refused to open the doors to her. The scene is in Ozzy Man’s recap video.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Grandmaester Flash: And who is responsible for that?D&D never signed up to be writers.Their mission was to adapt someone else’s story.It’s hardly fair to blame them when the real writer failed to continue with the deep, complex story and left them with only bullet points.

      So you are defending them with their incompetence? I like that angle 😏

      Adapting is writing. The biggest problem is not *what* the story is, but *how* it’s delivered. Utilizing cheap clichés, inexplicable plot armor, lack of continuity between episodes or sometimes even scenes, things like these don’t stem from the lack of source material. If they need source material to tell them that it makes no sense that a large group of ships *cannot* ambush a dragon flying half a mile up, but that if their weapons really are strong enough to kill one with surgical precision and 100% hit rate then the same weapons in the hands of the same people should be able to kill another dragon – a larger one at that – at a much smaller distance. Or use the same weapons a few scenes later to take that dragon when it’s sitting down, also at a much smaller distance.

      Things like that make me feel stupid, because whoever wrote that stuff demands that I put my intelligence and common sense on hold. And I can put it on hold once, maybe twice. But when I am demanded to do that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, time after time after time, one episode after another after another, then it’s a problem.

      And things like this didn’t happen because there was lack of material. They happened because the writers (and D&D *ARE* writers – adapting is writing) wrote it that way, and it could have been written in a much better way.

      These things are the problem with this season, not who kills whom or whether or not this character or other goes mad or less. It’s the narrative that suffers badly, and the narrative is the choice of D&D, not GRRM.

      The only two people to blame here are D&D.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Grandmaester Flash: And who is responsible for that?D&D never signed up to be writers.Their mission was to adapt someone else’s story.It’s hardly fair to blame them when the real writer failed to continue with the deep, complex story and left them with only bullet points.

      On top of my previous comment – D&D wrote – whoops, sorry – adapted – seasons 1-6, too. It was their work back then, too. How come the narrative was so much better and logical back then, how come those characters were consistent and complex and deep back then?

      D&D did masterful work in earlier seasons with the narrative. They did it in all situations, when they were true to source material, or when they were intentionally changing the source story, or when they were completely out of material to write.

      How many deus ex machinas did we have in seasons 1-6? How much plot armor was there in seasons 1-6? How could Sam possibly survive on the front line of the army of the dead attack (unbelievable and illogical) when for example Ser Barristan Selmy got killed by a much smaller group of less scary enemy (believable and logical).

      Etc. etc. etc.

      It’s D&D’s fault, and their own only. It was their choice to dumb down the characters, to reach for cheap plot devices, to replace powerful narrative with special effects and shocking action.

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    104. Go back and watch Blackwater and you will see the plot armour there, same in every big battle no main character ever dies…

        Quote  Reply

    105. Whilst I broadly agree with your point and agree S7-8 have noticeably lacked the GRRM touchwhich was there in the prior seasons. I do challenge you to watch Blackwater and you will see the same things ie Tywin arriving just as the battle was lost, Tyrion surviving when he shouldn’t same in Daznaks pit in season 5 with Drogon. Its been amplified more in S8 because those big moments are happening more frequently.

        Quote  Reply

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