Unsullied Recap Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5: The Bells

Pilou Asbaek Euron Greyjoy

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show-only here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting any mentions/references to the books in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. No spoilers, at all! This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

The biggest can of fucking worms ever opened has just been opened (no pun intended). A Man brings you a recap of it.

If we’re being honest, that was probably not what you were hoping for. But now, it is what it is. You can choose to accept the story as it was told or you can choose to deny it and pass it off as bad writing, or fan fiction, or whatever else makes you feel better.

But we got what we got. And regardless of whether or not you agree, you have to admit that this episode was terrifying, and horrid, and surreal, and something that will make you reflect for a long time. In that sense, “The Bells” was monumental.

Ok… before we dive (behind that building over there because if we don’t, we gone die) in, let’s start with something we can all agree on: the ending of this truly remarkable TV series has been rushed. I don’t deal in absolutes because there are very few absolutes in this world, but I feel incredibly confident in this statement.

Having said that, I don’t lay blame at the feet of anyone. None of us are privy to every step that was taken in this journey and exactly why we are where we are (only one episode to go in what clearly could have been ten). I only know the shoes I have walked in. And to assume that I can pretend to even come close to comprehending the kind of sacrifice by so many that have made this incredible show what it is would be both conceited and pretentious, neither of which are glowing character traits.

We’ll have years to discuss the “what ifs” and “whys” and if this outcome is what the creator had in mind. But for now, we have the facts in front of us as they were presented to us. And that is what we will discuss here.

The Lead-In

People sometimes agree to disagree on whether or not to even watch the lead-in for the episode. But this one gave away a lot as it relates to the mindset of Dany and the voices regarding Targaryen heritage: flipping the coin, waking the dragon etc.  Not a good sign.

Jon Snow Varys The Bells

The Spider Writes a Letter

Varys is shown writing about the true heir to the throne (Ned anyone?) when approached by a little girl (the last of his little birds as it turns out) who reports that Dany won’t eat. Tyrion then observes Jon arriving to the greeting of Varys who explains his concerns to Jon about Dany. Again, Jon stands by his queen, and in voicing his opinion and his feelings Varys seals his own fate. Not a smooth move, Spider. He knew better. But it’s also fair to say that he felt he had to act quickly to try to avoid the upcoming slaughter, of which he felt certain was going to happen. And he was right.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Disheveled Dany

Tyrion approaches Dany about the treason and Dany correctly traces back where the information about Jon originated. At this point we knew someone would be punished, but it could have potentially been anyone of those named, including Jon. For a moment, it appeared it was going to be Tyrion. But it was not…

Tyrion Varys execution The Bells

Death #1

Varys is retrieved from his quarters by Worm and is taken to Dany, Jon and Tyrion on the beach. Tyrion tells the truth about who told Dany and Varys proclaims that he hopes he is wrong. He wasn’t.

The Spider gets charbroiled and Jon gives Dany an obvious look of concern. Yes, his act was treasonous, but Varys’ entire concern was over the safety and the welfare of the innocent people of King’s Landing.  If that is wrong, then burn me too.  I can no longer defend Dany.

Afterwards, Dany and Worm remember Missandei and Worm throws her collar into the fire. Jon enters and Dany dismisses Worm who appears to be standing to guard her against anyone who enters. Even Jon. She trusts no one.

Jon Snow Daenerys The Bells

Jon again proclaims that he doesn’t want the throne. Dany states that Sansa betrayed Jon’s trust and that Sansa killed Varys as much as she did. She also says that now Sansa knows what happens when people know the truth about Jon. This is called character development. And it is far from the first sign of where it all would end up.  Jon is understandably confused about his feelings. And then Dany flat out says it… “Let it be fear.”

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Tyrion again pleads for the people of Kings Landing. Dany essentially says that mercy is their strength and that mercy is for future generations to never again be controlled by a tyrant. My translation: sacrifice the innocent people currently in KL. Tyrion makes a last-ditch effort to save them all by getting Dany to agree to calling off the attack if the bells ring and the gates open, signaling a surrender. She agrees. Or at least we thought she did.

As a parting gift, Dany lets Tyrion know that she captured Jaime as he attempted to get back to Cersei. And we all knew what Tyrion would do then.

I’ll be honest… at this point I was still doubting whether or not Dany would do the deed and held onto the hope that she would realize the repercussions of laying waste to the Keep and the lives of thousands of innocent people. But that admittedly was denial on my part. All of the signs were there and have been present for a while now. But still, a man was hopeful.

Ground Zero

Tyrion and Jon and company arrive on the shores of KL with Davos waiting. Tyrion asks Davos for a favor.

Tyrion proceeds to find Jaime and set him free (we won’t talk about the ease in which this takes place).  The Brothers Lannister have their final moment together with Tyrion ultimately wanting Jaime to be happy and for he and Cersei to escape. I don’t know what made Tyrion think that Cersei would just leave so easily, but considering what she was up against, the baby, and the fact that Jaime came back for her, maybe it was a possibility (Ozzette didn’t think so). Regardless, Jaime escapes and the brothers share their final embrace. (Oz very sad)

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Scorpion City

But it wouldn’t matter how many they had. Euron and the boys ready the scorpions as the troops line the walls and Golden Company prepared for battle outside the gates.

Arya and the hooded Hound would make it into the Keep, but Jaime would not and is forced to seek another way to get to Cersei.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

Drogon’s Revenge

The scorpions were fired as fast as they could be reloaded, but it was a useless effort. At first, Drogon and Dany’s attack seemed focused only on the weapons to be used against them with pinpoint accuracy, sparing the lives of the innocent people within the Keep and the City. Drogon was worth his weight in gold. The Golden Company wasn’t worth a gold dragon.

Kit Harington Jacob Anderson Liam Cunningham The Bells

Within minutes, Cersei’s defenses were decimated, the gates were breached and the taking of KL seemed well in hand with minimum civilian loss of life. Observing from the tower, Cersei finally seemed concerned yet not enough to leave even on the advice of Qyburn.

Jon and his forces come face to face with Lannister soldiers in the streets of KL. Realizing their imminent defeat, the soldiers drop their swords and concede. The shouts of “ring the bell” can be heard numerous times and then finally commences. It should have been over. But it wasn’t over.

Daenerys angry KIng's Landing The Bells

Madness Personified

Book reader or not, purist or not, casual fan or genuine fanatic, what happened next will likely be discussed ad nauseam for years to come.

Dany allows herself to do what most of us hoped she would not do (but threatened to do on numerous occasions). She burned the city down.

Complete and utter chaos ensues with the Northerners and the Unsullied continue to fight the Lannister army while the innocent people run for their lives. Women and children are slaughtered and burned. Tyrion looks on in disbelief. Jon seems unable to comprehend what is happening.

Jaime Lannister dying The Bells

Jaime and Euron would meet along the shore in what certainly going to be the end of one of them. Meanwhile, Dany and Drogon take aim at the Red Keep and Qyburn finally convinces Cersei to leave. Euron stabs Jaime in what looks like would be a fatal wound and then gets him again. But Jaime gets the final jab although Euron credited himself for killing Jaime. I kept waiting for one of them to bring up the baby.

Arya and the Hound enter the Keep and Sandor convinces Arya to leave or she will die. She thanks him and they part ways.

Cleganebowl The Bells

Finally…. CleganeBowl

We’ve been waiting on the Game of Cleganes for years and we finally get it as the world crashes around them. The Hound confronts Cersei and company as they flee the crumbling building. Sandor takes out the other Queensguard and the Mountain takes out Qyburn’s head. Cersei is allowed to leave as the brothers are only concerned about their unfinished business.

The battle of the brothers is brutal as the Hound gets in shot after shot yet the Mountain is unfazed. The sword through the chest isn’t enough as the Mountain pulls it out to the background of the smoky sunlight in some of the best imagery of the episode.

As the Hound took the beating of his life, Arya fought for hers in the streets of KL while witnessing first-hand the agony and terror of Dany’s attack. The Mountain begins to gouge out the eyes of the Hound (a la Red Viper), when Sandor stabs the him in the head. As the Mountain steps back and begins to remove it, Sandor realizes the only way to kill him is take them both out into the fire below. And he does. I loved you, Hound. I hope you are enjoying a bucket of chicken in the afterlife.

Cersei Jaime Lannister The Bells

Born Together. Die Together.

Jaime finds Cersei in the map room and the two lovers try to find their way out to safety. They make it to the bottom of the Keep but all of the exits are blocked. Jaime reminds Cersei that nothing else matters, only them. The Keep falls in on top of them and Jaime and Cersei die in each other’s arms.

Kings Landing destruction The Bells

Escape

Jon sees Davos in the melee and realizes he needs to get all of his forces out if any of them are to survive. Arya regains consciousness and again tries to outmaneuver the fire and falling buildings. She finds the recurring mother and daughter and tells them they have to keep moving or they will die. But the mother gets injured and when the daughter runs back for her, they are both burned to death by the unrelenting Dany and Drogon.

Arya Stark bleeding The Bells

Arya would regain consciousness again to find the mother and daughter burned in the street and would randomly find a white horse (which I hope will be at least somewhat explained in the final episode) and rides off to safety (assuming she’s not already dead and this was some sort of vision from Planetos heaven).

Damn.  Damn. Damn.

kl burning

Episode 805 Personal Awards

Favorite Action Sequence: How do you pick one? Regardless of the underlying issues, the episode was filled with horrifying visuals, incredible CGI, and some spectacular imagery.

Favorite Quotes:

“I still don’t know how her coin has landed, but I’m quite certain about yours.” -Varys

“She trusted you to spread secrets that could destroy your own queen. And you did not let her down.” -Dany

“It doesn’t matter now.” -Dany

“I hope I deserve this. Truly I do.  I hope I’m wrong.” -Varys

“I don’t have love here. I only have fear.” -Dany

“The next time you fail me will be the last time you fail me.” -Dany

“I’m not going to like this favor, am I?” -Davos

“You’re the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster.” -Tyrion

“You fought well for a cripple.” -Euron (always the smartass)

“Nothing else matters. Only us.” -Jaime’s attempt to comfort Cersei

Tyrion Lannister shocked The Bells

The “Ow, That Shit Hurts Award” goes to:  Jaime’s wounds, Euron’s sword in the chest, everything The Mountain did to the Hound, Tyrion’s shock, the Golden Company’s pride, Varys’ death, Qyburn’s head, and Dany’s tragic life experiences coupled with her genetic disposition.

Overall Thoughts: As a show-viewer only, I’ve got lots of questions but probably not even a fraction of what book readers have. I would speculate that it is much easier for viewers-only to take and accept the show as-is. But if you are reading this, that means that even if you have not read the books you are deeply invested in it. We will have plenty of time to dissect in the coming weeks. I hope you stick around for it.

That said, I think this was one of the best episodes ever, as tragic as it was. I personally had very little doubt in my mind that Dany was capable of such horrific acts, but I still didn’t think she would. And the fact that she had the opportunity not to while being able to achieve her goal only adds fuel to the fandom fire. If you are not caught up in the toxicity, I highly recommend staying out of it. It’s as ugly as the KL right now.

Next Week: The Grand Finale. Arya going after Dany after seeing the devastation first-hand? Jon vs. Grey Worm?

We are civil here. So civil your way through the comments and let’s discuss. Can you believe we only have one more?? What will we do when it’s all over? We’ll discuss that later this week.

Until the end of the end next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite an Unsullied to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm.  –Oz

Follow Oz on Twitter. 

**SPOILER NOTE: The Management of this fine site would like to remind you that spoilers (book or leak) are not allowed in Unsullied posts.  This includes spoilers covered by code or otherwise.  Personally, I appreciate feedback from Sullied and Unsullied alike, so long as they do not include any type of hinting or conversation related to the written verse.  However, spoiler coded comments do tend to lead to further Sullied conversation and for that reason, we ask that you please refrain from posting any SPOILERY content whatsoever in Unsullied posts. Thank you for the coop. -Oz

210 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Sandor Clegane, Prince of Poultry. You got your sweet revenge and I could not be happier for you. Goodnight sweet Prince.

      Wherever you are, I hope you have all the chickens in all the rooms.

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    2. It was a spectacular episode. That being said, I HATED that Jaime died comforting Cersei, never knowing how many times she betrayed HIM!

      I’m still crying over the Hound dying in the fire, but at least his adopted daughter called him by his real name and thanked him.

      Dany and Grey Worm gotta die.

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    3. Roberta Baratheon:

      I’m still crying over the Hound dying in the fire, but at least his adopted daughter called him by his real name and thanked him.
      ***

      This clip of Sandor & Arya was my favorite part of the episode. Especially from 0:58 – end

      Arya & Sandor S8e5 Last scene

      0:58 – 1:34

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    4. Welp. I guess we’re not getting any more dragons lol.

      Overall, the ep was very underwhelming. I hate that Jackass Sparrow got one over on Jamie. I hate that Cersei got off so incredibly easy. She deserves a slow, ruthless death.

      Daenerys, my mom, went a little overboard. But that was to be expected.

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    5. I agree with you Oz, also thought it was one of the best episodes. And yes, very tragic.

      Tyrions first advice to Dany was to stay in Meereen where she could do the most good. She should’ve listened.

      Great recap as always!

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    6. Clegane!

      It was a whirlwind that I will have to rewatch just to see everything that is happening. From the beginning I worried about Dany. You can’t fight your genes and up to this episode I think she did a damn good job trying, but she lost, LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

      I was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago which explains some of my “crazy” times. But it isn’t as thought Dany has the option to see her therapist when she suffers great loss, as I did.

      Anyway, I have to agree that this episode gave, I think, most of us what we expected and some things we didn’t. (I’ve read the books but LOVE to read what you write Oz).

      I totally agree with everything that Oz had to say about the episode, except I was a bit miffed with Jamie going out the way he did, but honestly, if you think about it then it isn’t surprising. “The things you do for love.”

      Now we can all worry about the fallout. Who will survive the last episode? Jon, Davos, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa even? I worry that we won’t like it at all and I also worry that the ending has to be what I would find bittersweet indeed.:(

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    7. Roberta Baratheon:
      It was a spectacular episode.That being said, I HATED that Jaime died comforting Cersei, never knowing how many times she betrayed HIM!

      I’m still crying over the Hound dying in the fire, but at least his adopted daughter called him by his real name and thanked him.

      Dany and Grey Worm gotta die.

      At the time she had an assassin contract on him and their brother.
      Jaime is generous to both Cersei and Tyrion – but this was a lot.

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    8. Loved this, Oz! I agree with pretty much everything! It was one of the greatest episodes of GoT! It did what GoT has done and is supposed to do….not what is expected. I too worried whether they would take Dany down that path, so when it happened all we can do is take what is given. And what a mad, mad ride it was! The cinematography and CGI and visuals were so stunning!😱 So many feels, especially Jaime and Tyrion good-byes!😭😭This was the first episode that is sat there with my mouth to the floor and speechless since The Rains of Castamere! So we have to accept this episode and Dany’s arc for what it is now! I didn’t want Dany to go that path, I am sad as a Dany fan. I hope the last episode ever has some redeeming qualities that will leave us grieving what is still to me the Best Show that we have loved for so many years. I still LOVE this show and will be so sad when it is gone!😩😔

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    9. Does this series that lasted 8 years have a love story – a good love story with a warm end? And what are the elements that are positive?

      There are some elements of storytelling that help people face difficulties in their lives. A story over ten years must have some parts that help you to feel better about the world, better about ourselves in the world and our ability to cope. A good love story does that.

      I think GOT owes me something more.

      As for leadership: Even if Jon who is a good guy gets the leadership – how do we feel about him at the moment?
      Sansa may also be there – but she is a bit cold.

      The episode had great performances however!

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    10. Mango: Does this series that lasted 8 years have a love story – a good love story with a warm end?

      Sam and Gilly?

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    11. Why exactly did this season have to be 6 episodes? I’m sure HBO would gladly have been up for extending this as long as possible. Things are just so rushed to the detriment of the show. That would make up for SOME of the bad writing.

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    12. I for sure thought that mother and daughter team was Jaqen and a new waif. I thought Arya was gonna get it! Another let down 😩 It’s the norm lol

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    13. There seems a difference:
      Dany’s dad Aerys II was Bug F**king nuts!
      Dany is only berserkergang.
      I see a distinction with a difference.

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    14. Overall, I actually thought the episode was terrific. I commented to my wife a couple of times during the episode that it’s one of the best they’ve done.

      However, it would’ve made more sense if Dany was losing the battle and decided that she had no other choice, but to burn KL to the ground in order to get her victory. However, she already won and then just decided to go nuts afterward. It didn’t feel very organic or true to her character. It just felt forced for the sake of a “gotcha” moment. She also didn’t even go straight for the Red Keep, which would’ve been easy. Instead, she takes the scenic route, burning innocent people in the process for no reason. Sorry. It felt really forced to me. i know others feel differently and that’s fine.

      Look I get that the show has teased Dany doing bad things, but nothing on a scale like this. Things went from A to Z in the last couple of episodes. Just wasn’t very convincing to me. When I go back and watch previous seasons, I’m going to have a hard time marrying Essos Dany with Westeros Dany. They’re like two completely different people. Just my opinion. Everyone else is entitled to theirs.

      I’m also having a hard time with the Unsullied and Dothraki going full crazy too. We’ve been warned about the Dothraki, but this came out of left field for the Unsullied. Just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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    15. Mr Derp,

      I was not surprised by Daenerys behaviour – for me it there all along. (The same may be said for Jaime in many respects.)

      I had hoped that Jon, Tyrion or Varys or Arya could have done something (I do not know what!) to stop the killing. Or avert it at some point. She burnt Varys just like that. Jon was just passive!

      I ended the story feeling dislike for nearly all the characters in the story. It was just bleak. A lot of death.

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    16. Visually it was a stunning episode.

      I’m glad that I read this site b/c watching it last night I didn’t realize Varys was trying to poison Dany’s food.

      Who did he send ravens to I wonder? Yara? The rando new Dorne prince?

      I had a few minor issues. A) Where did this junior-varsity group of Dothraki come from? I thought 99% died up north.

      B) Jaime got shanked with a 12″ dagger, not ONCE but TWICE and still shrugged it off (TIS BUT A SCRATCH!!! 🤣) and went on to find Cersei.

      C) Arya didn’t burn? I’m starting to think the Lord of Light reaaallllly likes her.

      Anywho, Dany didn’t go MAD, she made a choice to embrace Vengence. Seems that is much easier when you’re riding a Nuke that never runs out of Fire.

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    17. Crap writing and character development. Just crap. How does the same woman who insisted on stopping to see each of the children crucified by the masters on the way into Meereen before Ser Barristan Selmy could have the troops bury them….burn women and children alive in Kings Landing? Tyrion’s parts have been horrible, he comes across lacking and begging. Although I was on team Dany and enjoyed the Arya-gets-the-Night-King – I get it. No Darth Maul – Obi Wan show down between Jon and the NK. No epic battle with any of the generals even. Cersei dies with people feeling sorry for her. Dany didn’t need a counselor or a long lesson from Littlefinger to know what Sansa was up to. They could have done SO MUCH MORE with the brains their characters had. Lying, scheming, figuring things out – how to turn the Golden Company against Cersei would have been 10x preferable to seeing them do …nothing! The greatest mercenary army in the world and all they do is burn. Drogon was invincible – although bigger than his 2 brothers who fell down like a common pigeon shot out of the sky. Nope. I agree with the one poster on another site that said let’s just end it with the Winds of Winter episode. I concede the Loot Train and the Queens Justice – to get this terrible season out of my head. So disappointed in Brienne sobbing over Jamie leaving or even her virginity coming up at all. Who cares! Way to take Cersei – under valued by her father – Dany – good turned bad – Brienne – strong turn weak – Sansa – abused to smart – to selfish. Totally tanked every woman but Aryan and House Martel. Very very unhappy and no more GOT merchandise for me.

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    18. Thanks for the recap, Oz!

      That said, I think this was one of the best episodes ever, as tragic as it was. I personally had very little doubt in my mind that Dany was capable of such horrific acts, but I still didn’t think she would. And the fact that she had the opportunity not to while being able to achieve her goal only adds fuel to the fandom fire.

      I agree with this completely, and think this is the crux of the story. I think that there had to be glimpses of her ruthlessness, but that they couldn’t be so heavy handed that it tipped the scales, so to speak. Dany had to remain a “hero” and on the ‘good guy’ list, in order for this episode to be the gut punch that it was. We had to all go in believing that she was capable of doing what she did, while also, ultimately believing that she wouldn’t. It’s crazy hard to stomach, which I think is likely exactly what GRRm wanted.

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    19. I thought this episode was brilliant. I figured Dany was going to go mad, but not like that. Shocking, and brutal, and tragic. This episode is right there with Hardhome and B.O.T.B.

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    20. One of the main things I wondered was how the hell were there so many Dothraki & Unsullied left after the Battle of Winterfell? They should have been attacking with a skeleton crew (pun intended) but literally seemed to have equal numbers to the Golden Company who then disintegrated straight away.

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    21. “And may there always be peace in your realm.” –Oz
      There is no peace anymore in any game of thrones related realm

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    22. Jon Snow should’ve told Daenerys “You are my Queen and you are too important to fight in this Battle… I will conquer Kings Landing for You My Queen” Then some Dothraki enter the room to protect Daenerys from any invaders. Daenerys stays at Dragonstone.

      Jon flys Drogon and destroys all the Battlements – the Iron Fleet – The Golden Company and Lannister soldiers etc…. The Bells Ring, The battle is over … Jon picks up Greyworm and other Unsullied on Drogron and rides to the open space within the Red Keep – Drogon blast the gate open..,, More Unsullied arrive. Jon tells Drogon to go pick up Daenerys and then Jon storms the Red Keep and captures it…

      The Hound and Arya find Cersei and the Mountain… Clegane bowl… Arya saves the Hounds life and kills the Mountain… Cersei and Jaime are put in a cell and then Daenerys arrives on Drogon on top the Red Keep as Queen of the 7 Kingdoms…. end episode…

      Daenerys is Queen – Kings Landing is still mostly whole… Cersei is condemned to Death…

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    23. Very much enjoyed the episode. Read a lot of comments on various sites about Dany’s sudden change but I think it’s been a long time coming. I am a bit sad about how there seems to be a lot of hate for season 8 out there and I don’t mean comments on here but I guess when a show is as high profile as this it will always get its detractors. Personally I’ve enjoyed the ride.

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    24. A bunch of people asked if the white horse at the end is Strickland’s horse, and yes, it is. The horse has a distinctive pink nose with a grey spot on the right side of its lip. You can briefly see its nose properly when Arya walks towards it.

      …. But Strickland’s horse apparently died earlier? So maybe this Lord of Light theory has weight. Or… maybe the budget didn’t extend to two horses.

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    25. Looking at this episode by itself . . . It was the best 80 minutes of TV ever produced. The cinematography was unworldly good. The actors did their characters proud. And, I was thoroughly entertained.

      As part of the whole, I think the entire season was rushed. It seemed like D&D wanted to just get it done. But, even with the extra developmental time, I am not sure if we would’ve accepted Dany’s decent into madness.

      Emilia Clarke is an incredible actress. She WAS Dany thru the entire story. When she was on screen, I only thought of Dany, not Emilia. BUT, I am, like I believe many others to be, enraptured by Emilia the person. Emilia took us along her journey with the show and made us laugh and made us, the audience, feel like part of her circle of friends. What, I am trying to say is that I think a lot of us infused Emilia’s kindness into Dany way more than we should’ve.

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    26. A note — it is NOT “easier for viewers-only to take and accept the show as-is”. It’s markedly shifting from nuanced writing, foreshadowing and intelligent pacing into something instead written with the subtlety of a sledgehammer that telegraphs plot points, and rushes through character arcs and plot exposition…severely undermining both. After years of investment, I’m left feeling I don’t care what happens to these characters because I don’t recognise them. They may as well have all perished in episode 3.

      Their approach to Daenerys is also very disappointing and unclear, as evidenced on your own recap. What’s at play here? Grief, trauma, genetic disposition, an autocratic (revolutionary) bent, or a cruel and ruthless side becoming manifest? They’re all serious, provoking legitimate conversations about mental health, systems of government, xenophobia, megalomania… But they’ve not adequately explored or paid off any, or all the little things they tried to set up. And the breaking point for her is hearing bells?! Seriously?! If this wasn’t one episode from the end, I’d have dropped this show with a quickness. It’s a soap opera with a CGI budget.

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    27. I think I figured it out. Dany started her character changover after she went home to Dragonstone. Maybe the “dragon glass” that it sits on is toxic and leads to madness. Just like the Mad King…. Maybe the glass formed from a future nuclear war that opened the space/time continuum. Then again, I think it would have been even better had Thor dropped in bash a few heads in… Ok, I too felt that this episode was rushed a little Cheers….

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    28. I think so far this season, the plot points have made sense to me overall, but they’re rushed and lack the storytelling foundations for them to feel earned. It’s like they’re ticking off the boxes and after seasons where they spent several episodes building toward a single twist or plot point, all the beats feels super rushed.

      For example, after YEARS of building her into a complex and interesting player of the game, they’ve basically thrown Sansa’s character onto the trash heap because they ran out of time to actually show her applying her skills and because they can’t write female characters to save their lives, they depicted her suspicion and concern as cattiness and bitchiness.

      With Dany, yes, the signs have been there all along that she lacked the support to take the throne and was going to have to go Mad Queen in order to “win” – ever since season one when she talked about the masses coming out to cheer and celebrate her return to Westeros, I knew she’d be in for a big reality check when she actually arrived – but again, instead of giving themselves time to show better indicators of her inevitable madness they decided “well, she’s a girl, and therefore emotional, so let’s fast track and make Sansa mean to her and kill her BFF so she’ll lose her shit”. I mean, they even had time in this last episode to show more to support her snap, but failed: they could have shown her finding out that Tyrion let Jaime go, and shown her seeing Jon in the streets commanding his men to stop fighting and fall back – two things that would have convinced her she had no one left and if she wanted to win, she’d have to take matters into her own hands. But nope. I feel they hollowed out her character this season, taking out all the empathy and humanity. I’d feel her madness would be easier to swallow if, for example, rather than being arrogant and entitled once she landed in Westeros, we’d seen more of the charming and caring side from earlier seasons. Even if it isn’t genuine, we’ve seen that she can at least convincingly pretend to care. If the Westerosi had rejected her despite her best efforts to fit in and be accepted, I’d be more empathetic to her snapping the way she did. She didn’t even TRY to win hearts or minds.

      On a completely different note, I actually really liked how Jaime and Cersei’s story ended. Totally not what I expected, but it was tragic and sweet and I give them props for making me feel sad and sorry for two characters who totally don’t deserve it. I don’t know if the idea was to amplify Dany’s tyrant status by making the tyrant she deposed look a lot more human by comparison, but that’s the impression I got. I know a lot of folks wanted to see Cersei humiliated and more publicly defeated, but that already happened with her walk of shame, and seeing her so vulnerable knowing she was going to die worked a lot better for me. Capturing and executing her would have seen her dying in defiance, whereas this way, she fully realised and comprehended her defeat.

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    29. Someone mentioned PTSD above. Excellent point. She’d lost all her dear ones, including Jon’s requitted love and rightful claim to the throne. All that loss and pain…and as she fought in a battle for her life…..[admit it, she was at risk against all those scorpions!]…..when the bells tolled, she couldn’t bring the panic and trauma back down. That’s PTSD and you cannot reason with it. Doesn’t mean you are mad, just broken.

      And for the person who felt we were owed a love story because we watched for 10 years? I felt we got quite a few payoffs on that….father/daughter love; brotherly love; realm love; self-love… and the Starks awakening their priorities so they could perhaps find real love.

      In the present carnage, Dany is seen as villian, but were a story to continue, decades later it would be Cersei who would be known as the cause of everything that happened to tear down KL. Especially if Dany lived to rebuild. And even if not, no one is going to think Cersei was better than a vicious, incestuous, conniving usurper. Only a Targaryen rules that city.

      Possibly Jon will bring healing if he can stand to be in the hateful, conniving, ungrateful south. But let’s face it, humanity isn’t worth saving. They prove it every opportunity they get. Go north, Jon…. as far as you can.

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    30. Now that the title of the episode is called “The Bells”, I am imagining a re-editing of this episode with “Hells Bells” by AC/DC playing as the score during the burning of KL.

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    31. ixora:
      A note — it is NOT “easier for viewers-only to take and accept the show as-is”. It’s markedly shifting from nuanced writing, foreshadowing and intelligent pacing into something instead written with the subtlety of a sledgehammer that telegraphs plot points, and rushes through character arcs and plot exposition…severely undermining both. After years of investment, I’m left feeling I don’t care what happens to these characters because I don’t recognise them. They may as well have all perished in episode 3.

      Their approach to Daenerys is also very disappointing and unclear, as evidenced on your own recap. What’s at play here? Grief, trauma, genetic disposition, an autocratic (revolutionary) bent, or a cruel and ruthless side becoming manifest? They’re all serious, provoking legitimate conversations about mental health, systems of government, xenophobia, megalomania… But they’ve not adequately explored or paid off any, or all the little things they tried to set up. And the breaking point for her is hearing bells?! Seriously?! If this wasn’t one episode from the end, I’d have dropped this show with a quickness. It’s a soap opera with a CGI budget.

      Correct view.

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    32. Thanks Oz — a great recap, one of the best you have done from my perpI agsective.

      wilshade,

      I agree with you that his is one of the best things TV has ever done. The cut back and forth between the Hound and Arya was amazing, and the tension was great.

      And I agree with you that Emilia did a wonderful job on this episode.

      While I was yelling at the TV for her to stop, and just go on to the Red Keep and destroy it (which would have been the beginning of breaking the wheel), on thinking about it, I have come to terms with the story.

      My interpretation on reflection is that as she heard the bells and looked at the mostly intact Lannister forces and people in the city, something broke inside her. She has lost virtually everything — Missandie, Jorah, two of her “children”, her love in Jon Snow, the love of her subjects, etc. In her mind, she simply has nothing left to lose (although she is wrong about that). In her trauma and rage and in the heat of battle, she simply cannot stand for all of them to go on living on their lives without feeling the pain that she is feeling. And of course, if she is going to have to rule by fear, she might as always make them fear her for the rest of her reign by searing it into the very streets of the City.

      I am not defending Daenerys here — no way should she be destroying these innocent lives, even if she sees them somehow as complicit in Cersei’s reign. It was a horrible set of atrocities that changed my feelings towards her character forever. Merely trying to get at why the Bells, a moment of victory, triggered this response.

      Adn let’s not forget about what an amazing job Maise Williams did. She has had some great scenes and a lot of screentime!

      David

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    33. Thanks Oz. Your reviews are always fun to read. However, did the Arya/Sandor goodbye not give you some of the feels? You barely touched on it. Just wondering. 🙂

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    34. ixora,

      As Sue said in the other recap thread…

      “It’s awesome to watch, if you just sit back and don’t think too much about it all.”

      This will be the lasting legacy of season 7 and 8, IMO.

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    35. Emily,

      The horse will mean nothing. Just like the NK, Lord of Light, GodsOT7, RHollor, Red priestesses, Prince that was promised, Bran’s warging and time travel, etc. all mean nothing. Just fodder to fill time.

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    36. Raenarys,

      Grey Worm went on a killing spree, too. After the Lannister soldiers dropped their weapons and surrendered, Grey Worm attacked them.

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    37. We’ve all been angsty and wanted to “burn it down” at some point in our life. Now, calling Dany angsty is an understatement. I legit wanted her to burn it down going in to the episode. I fully expected it.
      What I did not expect (gotta love the show subverting expectations) is that the Lannister army would throw down their arms and surrender the city. That was amazing. That was when She should have stopped. But She be mad. She should have just flew to the keep and roasted Cersei, end scene. But then it wouldn’t be Thrones.

      “That said, I think this was one of the best episodes ever, as tragic as it was.”
      This was my takeaway too. People will nitpick and sh*tpost all week, or forever, but I thought it was an insanely entertaining episode.

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    38. What is this all about in the end when Danny cannot bear kids anyway? She just needs to rule 30-40 years. I don’t get it. She must be mad. Maybe Jon will get kids and they follow onto the throne. Maybe his kids are not afraid to rule. Hey wait, he is or was already king in the north, so why not just have Winterfell as capital.

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    39. All around just plain to see the descent from what was a great show with good potential become dismal after bad writing, plots, rushed productions etc. Another example of how things go wrong. Hope for a remake.

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    40. Oz, thank you for the recap and comments. I agree with what you wrote. This was a monumental visual creation and episode. It will take to process all of what we experienced. And, the episode is as it is. The creative team of GOT has put this creation out there and we can respond however we want. But this is it, their creation. One of the wonderful things about art is that it sparks discussion about all kinds of things and that can lead to other people creating better art. But the creation of this particular piece of art is essentially finished. I say that knowing that at some point in the future HBO might come out with extended versions …but for now, what we have is what we have. i look forward to reading the comments about this monumental episode.

      On a different topic….
      About Dany’s slide into whatever you want to call her current state of mind, I think her statements about Sansa are reflecting what she feels or realizes about herself. Twice she has said something like – because of the things done to her, she is not the person you think she is (the sister you remember). I think she is speaking just as much about herself as she is about Sansa. The key difference is Sansa appears to manage her experiences in a more constructive way and without the flip-of-a-coin impact of inbreeding.

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    41. Master Oz has put many of my thoughts in words… better than I could I suppose…

      What will I do when it‘s all over…? Dunno… recover??? I will try to…

      But… how can one bring this to a bittersweet ending… after this apocalypse?

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    42. I liked the touch of having Varys burn the letter that would tell the truth about Jon. Last time someone sent a letter telling of a true heir it didn’t end so well for the realm and Varys remembers this. I hope that was intentional and if it wasn’t I’m just going pretend it was.

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    43. Rizzo T,

      When Varys was talking with his little bird from the kitchen and she said the queen won’t eat I thought how low have we gone. No one helped Dany because she couldn’t be reached and no longer trusted anyone from Westeros.

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    44. Jack Bauer 24:
      Was Varys able to even send any ravens out before he was caught?

      Not sure, but Sophie chose to keep a scroll as her one souvenir from the show, so I think Varys must’ve gotten something out there. Hard to say for sure though. I think he burned the second letter, but not the first one we saw him writing.

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    45. Sansa is starting to turn into Littlefinger.

      Cleganebowl was awesome

      I love the smell of burning Lannisters in the morning

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    46. I was waiting for Cersei to light up part of King’s Landing in Wildfire as a last resort, expecting the first line of defences to go down and be breached. Although I admit I read part of the [fake] season 8 leak which had Jon dying on one of the dragons in the dragon pit after being engulfed by wildfire. :O

      We still got Wildfire although I suspect it was something that had been placed during Aerys’s time and was in no way planned by Cersei.

      Poor Ser Davos though, he must be going through hell seeing the thing that took his son and nearly his own life at the Blackwater.

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    47. Say what you want about the episode, but that’s not fan fiction. If it was, then Jaime and Brienne would still be together, Arya kills Cersei, Jon keeps his mouth shut, Sandor survives Cleganebowl and Dany wouldn’t have gone to the dark side.

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    48. This has been building for a while, but each time ‘clues’ or ‘hints’ were made, people just called it bad writing and dismiss it as wrong, because they don’t want to accept that their favorites are capable of making bad/wrong decisions, and that aspect is also a part of their character… we just make excuses to absolve of their worst flaws because they are likable. For a while now people have been making the same complaints (me too :)) that characters were acting OOC – and sometimes they are, but sometimes it is true, we just don’t want to see it. We don’t like our favorites being judged too dumb, or rash, or emotional, or ineffective, or weak, etc… but we usually dismiss it as the writers not knowing what they are doing or the writing is bad… instead of seeing it for what it really is…

      We want to be challenged, but not too much, we want to be surprised, but not too much, want safe and predictable, but then call it boring and lazy, we want our characters to get what they ‘deserve’ but life isn’t really about everyone getting what they deserve or earned. Sometimes people are just who they are, whether we can see it or not.

      oh, and calling it now… little Martha (I think that was her name) the little kitchen maid and Varys’ little bird will kill/try to kill Daney and her men using poison or something in the food… that scene was very interesting. Talking about Daney not eating, and her being afraid she was being watched… and him telling her “With great risk, comes great reward” he has groomed her to do something, we know he can get his little birds to kill – this was his final act to try and save the realm.

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    49. I read a comment on another site that said Dany going “mad” would have worked better if her dragon died this episode instead of last week. I have to agree with that. It would have also avoided the plothole with Dany “forgetting” and not seeing Euron’s fleet last week. They would have had to find another way of getting Missandei kidnapped though.

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    50. Anyone else wondering where Bronn is? I do not believe we have seen the last of him, he needs to protect Tyrion to get his castle.
      Also Arya, a girl is not ready to walk off into the sunset this soon, I suspect a new name is on the list.

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    51. Emily,

      The horse was very meaningful, Strickland’s horse – with it’s lingering shot so we’d notice it – is def the one who comes for Arya.

      The little girl who was burned alive with her mother had a white horse toy she carried around, and Arya finds it burned in her hand.

      I’m not sure how it played into Shireen’s death but it seemed to be a parallel. Only death can pay for life? The girl’s death paid for the horse’s life? Sort of a sick twist on Drogo’s horse being sacrificed. I dunno.

      Arya seems to be dead several times, yet they keep showing her regaining consciousness. And Davos has already wondered if the Lord of Light has abandoned them. He hasn’t, apparently.

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    52. There should have been no doubt in anyone’s mind that Dany was going to burn KL to the ground. Remember her dream/vision/prophecy when the blue lip guy stole her baby Dragons? She walked through a burned out throne room with snow gently falling.

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    53. Mango: At the time she had an assassin contract on him and their brother.
      Jaime is generous to both Cersei and Tyrion – but this was a lot.

      Jamie always knew who and what she was and loved her anyway… that is who he is, his entire life has been consumed by Cersei, his twin, best friend, and lover. She was the stronger more dominate personality, he was the weaker personality and could never truly break from her even after witnessing years and years of her abuse and/or betrayals. He gave up a lot personally just to stay by her side, and never minded because it was for her.

      He tried and failed, like an addict – he couldn’t break from her. You can’t always choose whom you love or make the ‘right’ decision, sometimes we are knowingly self-destructive. Jamie’s main character flaw was tragically a weakness of character, it has been the entire time.

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    54. Colin Armfield,

      the crossbow will come in handy, for certain!

      viki,

      Well. Arya knows she could infiltrate Dany’s household by posing as a servant, but since she already used that one to cross Walder Frey off her list, would she risk it again?

      The little girl, Martha, came with them from Winterfell. I’m curious if one of the cut scenes from the crypt include how she and Varys met or more about her?

      Or did Varys entrust to her the task of continuing to try and poison Dany, via the stones in his rings? Or is that too “Purple Wedding”?

      Regardless I think there is more to come from the little girl.

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    55. Funny how there are so fewer superfans out in the past couple weeks defending the show….. After Ep 3 they were out in droves…. now not so much.

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    56. Mr Derp:
      I’m also having a hard time with the Unsullied and Dothraki going full crazy too.We’ve been warned about the Dothraki, but this came out of left field for the Unsullied.Just left a bad taste in my mouth.

      Why? the Dothroki are a warmongering culture, they fight and kill at weddings! It is who they are from page one! When they agreed to join Dany, they agreed to follow and obey her commands to stop the excesses (rape, murder, slaving), but it was still within them, they were just restraining themselves.

      The Unsullied are a brainwashed emotionless fighting machine, they spent years being groomed to kill their pets, not react to pain, obey any order without hesitation or question regardless of how heinous – their final act to becoming an unsullied is to kill a baby in its mothers arms! Of course they had it in them.

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    57. viki,

      True for both posts. We knew these events were coming, but we were in denial. Then, it finally happened, and we’re all shocked anyway.

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    58. firstone:
      Jon Snow should’ve told Daenerys “You are my Queen and you are too important to fight in this Battle… I will conquer Kings Landing for You My Queen” Then some Dothraki enter the room to protect Daenerys from any invaders. Daenerys stays at Dragonstone.

      Jon flys Drogon and destroys all the Battlements – the Iron Fleet – The Golden Company and Lannister soldiers etc…. The Bells Ring, The battle is over … Jon picks up Greyworm and other Unsullied on Drogron and rides to the open space within the Red Keep – Drogon blast the gate open..,, More Unsullied arrive. Jon tells Drogon to go pick up Daenerys and then Jon storms the Red Keep and captures it…

      The Hound and Arya find Cersei and the Mountain… Clegane bowl… Arya saves the Hounds life and kills the Mountain… Cersei and Jaime are put in a cell and then Daenerys arrives on Drogon on top the Red Keep as Queen of the 7 Kingdoms…. end episode…

      Daenerys is Queen – Kings Landing is still mostly whole… Cersei is condemned to Death…

      This can be the Disney animated version.

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    59. viki: Why? the Dothroki are a warmongering culture, they fight and kill at weddings! It is who they are from page one! When they agreed to join Dany, they agreed to follow and obey her commands to stop the excesses (rape, murder, slaving),but it was still within them, they were just restraining themselves.

      The Unsullied are a brainwashed emotionless fighting machine, they spent years being groomed to kill their pets, not react to pain, obey any order without hesitation or question regardless of how heinous – their final act to becoming an unsullied is to kill a baby in its mothers arms! Of course they had it in them.

      The Unsullied are not brainwashed. They chose to follow Dany. There have been several mentions in past seasons that the Unsullied follow Dany out of choice, not blind loyalty or because they are brainwashed. They didn’t have to follow Dany in this instance, but still chose to do so.

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    60. I have to say, i found all the deaths of the main characters rather boring. Jamie and Cersei was boring, or could have been done better at least,. But the Hound and the Mountain was atrociously bad deaths

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    61. I could write ad nauseam about the ways in which I think they’ve butchered Daenerys’ character (and I started to, but then I thought I’d try and keep things concise and ~somewhat positive), except I don’t think that’s the right word to describe it. I remember reading an article from Variety a few years ago, where D&D said that while nothing was set in stone, they were looking at a final thirteen episodes to finish the story. The components that would make Daenerys a ‘Mad Queen’ are there, but with the short amount of time they’ve decided they need to conclude this saga, it feels rushed and this episode bears the brunt of it. I’m trying to reserve judgement until next week though, because ‘The Bells’ was very much action-orientated, with the shocking twist of what she did, I expect (or hope?) that EP6 will provide commentary, speak on the themes that Ixora mentioned above, if they are indeed at play, especially because once the bells toll and we see Daenerys’ shift, we never go back to seeing through her POV.

      Varys’ betrayal was somewhat (not really) shocking. Not the fact that he did, but just how quick he was to turn on her, to the point of trying to poison her? For someone who has survived this long playing The Game, his plan leaves (or left?) a lot to be desired.

      I’m torn on whether Cersei got the ending she deserved. I like the rollercoaster she went through this episode, from being confident + hopeful in her victory to the eventual realisation that she’s lost. I thought she would have had Jaime kill them both before the Red Keep collapsed though, to go out on her own terms, just like she planned to with Tommen, when she thought Stannis had won.

      Whatever grievances I have with writing aside, by the production team’s admission in The Game Revealed, this episode was challenging, but all of that work definitely paid off. In particular, I thought the set recreation of Dubrovnik for King’s Landing was sublime.

      I like that, from the start, morality is thrown out of the window. I knew I liked the shot of the camera panning up the back of Captain Strickland, looking out on the invading army, and it’s probably because, as Miguel explains, it’s designed to mirror the BotB shot of Jon looking out on the Bolton Army. I see what they mean now, when they said (and I’m paraphrasing) that 3/4/5 were a story in themselves: “If Episode 3 was the final battle between Good and Evil, Episode 5 is What Have We Become?”

      What will we do once it’s all over? Wait until the following week for ‘The Last Watch’ documentary, of course! 😄

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    62. Paul W:
      Very much enjoyed the episode. Read a lot of comments on various sites about Dany’s sudden change but I think it’s been a long time coming. I am a bit sad about how there seems to be a lot of hate for season 8 out there and I don’t mean comments on here but I guess when a show is as high profile as this it will always get its detractors. Personally I’ve enjoyed the ride.

      I feel the same, it has been a great season for me… it feels closer to form to me, wish it was longer so we could have more, but I’m actually surprised we are getting what we are – I felt for sure they would go for a more crowd pleasing ending, a little bit of bitter, but mostly giving mass audience what they want. I think it is because of its mainstream popularity that many people are upset… they either just don’t know what kind of story GRRM started out to write, or are willfully blaming years of bad writing as an excuse to not truly see these characters for what they were being written as. GRRM never wrote these books to have Dany or Jon be the heroic ‘winners’ at the end… and that will be hard for their fans to take, because they are the BIG red herrings being setup to be just that. I still think they are great characters, but seriously flawed – as are most of the characters in this series, but the two of them specifically have the most power to waste/abuse.

      This started out as a niche show that was going to challenge our preconceived notions, and it did, but then it got really popular with mainstream/casual viewers who took a lot of what was on screen as a hero’s journey / redemption arc that everyone could cheer for… but that was not what GRRM was setting out to do, at least not for all the characters. Characters on the show were adapted to be ‘better’ more ‘heroic’ versions so this also confused / frustrated viewers whenever a character makes a mistake or seems ooc, they are assuming normal rules apply. And sometimes it is bad writing, not going to deny that happens on this show, but that can’t be the excuse every time we don’t like how a character is depicted – sometimes it is what it is, we just don’t always want to accept it.

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    63. Mr Derp: The Unsullied are not brainwashed.They chose to follow Dany.There have been several mentions in past seasons that the Unsullied follow Dany out of choice, not blind loyalty or because they are brainwashed.They didn’t have to follow Dany in this instance, but still chose to do so.

      Yes, they are their training brainwashed them to follow and obey… that is what makes them good soldiers. I know they choose to follow (but they were so lacking of desire, that I don’t really see them making any other choice), but that doesn’t erase a decade of conditioning. They were raised to lack emotion, deny their own emotions, have no wants or desires, even given freedom, they really weren’t equipped to make any other choice… they are not ‘normal’ people who can really decide for themselves – they were raised with group mentality, to follow a leader, and obey without hesitation. Perhaps a few were able to ‘break’ from their conditioning over time, but not all.

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    64. viki,

      Greyworm, the only Unsullied who has a voice on the show, is clearly not brainwashed or obeying orders simply because he doesn’t know any better. He was recently talking to Missandei about leaving Dany after she wins.

      The others don’t have a voice, so we can’t really ascertain what their motivations are.

      I get that Greyworm went nuts because Missandei died, but so many people in this show have lost a loved one and didn’t resort to mass murder.

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    65. Mr Derp: Not sure, but Sophie chose to keep a scroll as her one souvenir from the show, so I think Varys must’ve gotten something out there.Hard to say for sure though.I think he burned the second letter, but not the first one we saw him writing.

      hmm, the only scroll i remember her reading was the one about lord glover… and that isn’t really personal or momentous enough… there must be another in the final episode – maybe from Jon or Tyrion, saying she was right? or Cersei is dead? LOL

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    66. I knew this would be the outcome for Daenerys, though I’m still holding out hope.
      For a character, who through so many obstacles, has prevailed and never really let her bad intentions out, to see her turn full heel, is a bit saddening.
      My hope going into the series finale, we will get the House of the Undying vision, where she is walking through the Throne Room, covered in ashes. I know we will, but in that same scene, I hope we get the moment where she realizes the devastation she’s done, the innocents she’s burnt, and realizes that she cannot come back from it. She has become what she fought so hard to not be.
      That to me, would feel more characteristic for her.
      When Drogon burns the sheperd’s child in Mereen, her knee jerk reaction right away is to chain up Viserion and Rhaegal, even though it breaks her.
      I’m hoping we will still get one more moment from Dany, where her true self is able to shine through. I don’t mean in terms of redemption, whatever happens from now she can not be redeemed.

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    67. viki,

      You’re probably correct that the scroll Sophie kept is one that confirms Cersei is dead, lol. I can see Sansa wanting to keep that one.

      I can envision a scene where Sansa is singing “ding dong, the witch is dead” only to be interrupted with news from Maester Wolken that Dany turned KL into a dumpster fire.

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    68. As I feared, they did butcher half the characters for absolutely no reason other than to push the plot forward. Tyrion, Jaime, Daenerys, Sansa, partly even Jon…
      It could have been salvaged this episode with an unexpected turn of events. Instead it went the worst possible way (I mean, the worst I could imagine at the time, I’m sure in time far worse ways can be thought up, no doubt).
      Jaime get stabbed repetedly (and somehow manages to wander all around the Red keep anyway) and still tries to save Cersei. She dies just like that, no remorse, no lashing out, nothing. And he is fine with it.
      Daenerys has a perfect way out of the massacre, willingly doesn’t take it. It is entirely writers’ fault that Daenerys has not one good reason for the pillaging. We are clearly shown no more threats exist. Scorpions went out far too easily (most weren’t even turned the right way minutes after Daenerys first attacked the ships). Lannister troops surrendered.

      For some reason, characters and events can only be black or white lately, no space for nuance or interpretation. Meryn Trant had to be shown a complete non human before Arya butchered him. Sansa and Daenerys are again only shown one specific way, over and over again. People aren’t that one note, and characters used not to be either most of the previous seasons.

      What it all comes down to, what the show seems to be saying is that bad people cannot change, they can try, but they will revert to their bad selves, no matter what.
      That is not a bittersweet freaking ending. That is a terrible message, D&D!

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    69. I have enjoyed the series so far. Sometime I wonder if everyone is watching the same show. It is rushed; this or that should be earned; they should go into more explaining. What is there that needs developing some more?

      All of a sudden we hate the show because this or that person did not die the way we want? It was the best possible outcome for the cleganebowl as the undead refuse to die so you had to take him out the best way you could and that’s what the Hound did; Jaime knowing what was about to happen had to leave Brienne. After having 3 children with Cersie, expecting another and loving her for so long did anyone in their right mind think that Jaime would be comfortable in and out of bed with Brienne living the quiet life in Winterfell knowing all what is to go down; or all of a sudden how comes Drogon can now evade the scorpions (better preparation and planning and hindsight of what can be expected this time around. To me she was enjoying a fly in with her drogons and forgot for a minute she was entering the battleground)

      Sometimes we still dont want to believe our enemies will play dirty because we are too nice and think they will play fair.

      As for Danny being the ‘Mad Queen’ I think it is the constant use of the word ‘mad’ that is making people mad. Maybe they wanted to see her burning more cities, common people, getting angrier each episode to understand why she burned KL. I dont need that and the series did not need that. The threats were always there but she had good Advisors to guide her somehow away from them. Remember Jon at Drogonstone telling her not to burn KL.

      She is not a people person although she has tried. She is now in a situation where this is it. She has lost people she cared about and who most importantly cared about her. She lost two of her drogons. She went to the North to fight for people who have not fully appreciated what she has done for them. She falls hard for someone who is now no longer interested in an intimate relationship with her and on top of that has a more senior claim to the throne. She cannot bring herself to uderstand he grew up as a Stark with Stark values. She senses and knows his family is not with her and want her gone. People betraying her left right and centre even if it is being done in everyone’s best intetests.
      She is constantly being told to wait – wait for this and wait for that- before starting the fight while her enemies rebuild and rearm. It’s all there to see. She is not ‘mad’ to me. Just frustrated and now a very bitter woman. She is now on the threshold of victory. To me I think she just look down at them and says ‘these bastards, I will show them who is now the ruler of the Seven Kingdom. I will drive fear throughout the land’ so I am obeyed. Did she not say as much to Jon-‘let it be fear then’. She was also told to be a Dragon by Oleana Tyrell and essentially making decisions in her best interests.

      We need to understand that her behaviour is not strange in the grand scheme of things compare to past and present day leadership struggles. It always nice to talk about caring for people, providing for people in so many ways to get power but carry out genocide on the same people you say you care about to achieve that throne. We see it a lot in african countries – the constant civil wars in their quest to gain power at all costs. (I am a black woman by the way should anyone over analyse the mention about Africa).

      I am a middle age woman who has never read the books. If I want them I may have to import them myself. But I love, love, love the show.

      We need to stop over analysing things too much and just enjoy the ride.

      By the way it is looking like a Arya, Sansa & Jon v Danerys (remember Arya saying to Jon -dont forget we are family- when he was complaining about Sansa).

      I am wary about Grey Worm’s attitude to Jon- when he went almost in Jon’s face to remove his army blocks from the strategy table in epi 4. His look when Jon was trying to block his men from fighting the surrendered Lannisters. He also stood to bar Jon from speakng to Daenerys. It seems Grey Worms has to die for Jon to survive. Grey Worm is now filled with vengeance- he did say he will cut down her all her enemies.

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    70. Mr Derp:
      viki,

      Greyworm, the only Unsullied who has a voice on the show, is clearly not brainwashed or obeying orders simply because he doesn’t know any better.He was recently talking to Missandei about leaving Dany after she wins.

      The others don’t have a voice, so we can’t really ascertain what their motivations are.

      When has he not obeyed an order or challenged any of Dany’s orders? He is loyal and does what he is told. It is nice that he saw a future beyond Dany’s war, but as her commander he followed her lead. He cares about Missandei, but i doubt he care about much else, especially now.

      He quickly reverted to form after he lost Missandei – I’m sure he didn’t spare any enemy in his path. I feel like you are misinterpreting what i’m saying, perhaps I haven’t worded it correctly. I’m talking about how the unsullied are able to kill ‘anything’ without hesitation, women, children, innocents… it is part of their conditioning to becoming an unsullied… they might not always do so, or follow dany’s order not to, but once she decided to ‘burn them all’, the Dothroki and unsullied and some of Jon army too just let loose and started to kill everyone and anyone… no exceptions – this wasn’t out of character.

      It really isn’t to us to ascertain the others, that is why we refer to them collectively as the unsullied… I’m sure any that found some autonomy left of their own free will to pursue something else, the ones that stayed, stayed because they know or want nothing else.

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    71. viki: Jamie always knew who and what she was and loved her anyway… that is who he is, his entire life has been consumed by Cersei, his twin, best friend, and lover.She was the stronger more dominate personality, he was the weaker personality and could never truly break from her even after witnessing years and years of her abuse and/or betrayals. He gave up a lot personally just to stay by her side, and never minded because it was for her.

      He tried and failed, like an addict – he couldn’t break from her. You can’t always choose whom you love or make the ‘right’ decision, sometimes we are knowingly self-destructive.Jamie’s main character flaw was tragically a weakness of character, it has been the entire time.

      Yes, I know this is the story they are telling.

      It stretches belief for this kind of gritty series, however. (I do not much believe it in real life either, for men in particular.) Think about the characters we have met in GOT, they are all fairly hardscrabble.

      Is it s weakness of character or doing too much for the people he loves? Maybe both. He also loved Tyrion who is not different from Cersei by much.

      I also preferred if Brienne was not involved. I will be even more annoyed if they make her pregnant next week. Ughh!

      The truth is that there was an opportunity to tell a different story with a more uplifting outcome. Perhaps people overcoming obstacles becoming a better version of themselves is the way I would have taken it. I do not think this has happened to any GOT character really.

      But this is not my story and I find the arc interesting anyway.

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    72. viki,

      Greyworm clearly didn’t have a problem with anything that Dany did previously, otherwise I think he would’ve spoken up. We’re getting into hypotheticals now though, which can be interpreted and manipulated however you want. It doesn’t further advance the conversation.

      In general, the show has made it clear that the Unsullied are following Dany because they chose to do so. There has never been any scene or implication that they are simply following her because they are robots or aren’t thinking for themselves.

      After killing the masters in Astapor, Dany specifically asked them if they would follow her as free men and they all unanimously agreed. It was their choice. They didn’t have to be robots anymore, or do anything that they personally weren’t ok with, even if they were previously.

      However, all of a sudden, they blindly killed scores of innocents in last night’s episode, which to me, completely contradicts what we’ve seen from them previously. You are of course free to disagree.

      Agree to disagree 🙂

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    73. ShameShameShame:
      Colin Armfield,

      the crossbow will come in handy, for certain!

      viki,

      Well.Arya knows she could infiltrate Dany’s household by posing as a servant, but since she already used that one to cross Walder Frey off her list, would she risk it again?

      The little girl, Martha, came with them from Winterfell.I’m curious if one of the cut scenes from the crypt include how she and Varys met or more about her?

      Or did Varys entrust to her the task of continuing to try and poison Dany, via the stones in his rings?Or is that too “Purple Wedding”?

      Regardless I think there is more to come from the little girl.

      I think giving her a name too is an indicator, she was with Varys in the crypts they were holding hands 🙂 it just seems that with her army, dragon and victory – there would be need to be something that would take out a few of them and shake Dany up more… i don’t know, just giving her a name and the very pointed conversation spoke volumes of foreshadowing to me.

      since there is already a servant in ‘play’ having Arya do that also would be redundant… I’m looking forward to how Jon, Tyrion and Arya act afterwards, and how Dany reacts to them afterwards… I don’t really have any theories, I just know it won’t be pretty 🙂

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    74. That said, I think this was one of the best episodes ever, as tragic as it was.

      Thank you, Oz… for this line. I so appreciate it. And I also need to inform you all that it’s possibly my time to say goodbye to WotW. I very much love the show… and this episode was nothing less but art for me, pulling my emotional strings very hard, keeping me absolutely thrilled all way through, shaking me up to the core… and a strong reaction like that is the reason why I want to remain behind 4 walls and a roof before the finale to make sure I experience it in just as powerful way.

      Sadly in these past weeks, coming here was not what I hoped… usually ended with me being frustrated and this is not how I wanted to spend final chapters of this journey. So this is it. I liked being part of this fandom, especially in those months before S6 and during S6…. and I appreciate that I found it as it truly amplified my GoT love even more. But everything comes to an end.

      So thank you Oz and everybody else who kept this thread (and other threads) a nice and pleasant place. Special mention to Dee as well… for being this happy fan all the time. It’s time for Lord Parramandas to say goodbye… to write the final chapter of this journey alone with only a flickering candle nearby. GoT was a journey to remember and I’m sure I’ll embark on it many more times in future, fondly remembering everything, including members from this page. So overall, take care everybody!

      With best regards from Lord Parramandas, keeper of the lore and master of the tome (inside his own, now already abandoned manor only). My identity may cease to exist, but the writings in my tome never will.

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    75. Mr Derp:
      viki,
      In general, the show has made it clear that the Unsullied are following Dany because they chose to do so. There has never been any scene or implication that they are simply following her because they are robots or aren’t thinking for themselves.

      After killing the masters in Astapor, Dany specifically asked them if they would follow her as free men and they all unanimously agreed.It was their choice.They didn’t have to be robots anymore, or do anything that they personally weren’t ok with, even if they were previously.

      However, all of a sudden, they blindly killed scores of innocents in last night’s episode, which to me, completely contradicts what we’ve seen from them previously.You are of course free to disagree.

      Agree to disagree 🙂

      Never said they were robots, wrong era 🙂 or that they didn’t choose, just that their choices were limited given their conditioning and lack of time really process their new normal. And ‘unanimously’ does sort of support my group think mentality that they have 🙂

      I don’t think it contradicts their nature at all, again it is how they were trained to kill anything, even the things they love (puppy) or innocents (baby in mother’s arms)

      Sure, Agree to Disagree. ’nuff on this topic

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    76. Mango: Yes, I know this is the story they are telling.

      It stretches belief for this kind of gritty series, however. (I do not much believe it in real life either, for men in particular.) Think about the characters we have met in GOT, they are all fairly hardscrabble.

      Is it s weakness of character or doing too much for the people he loves? Maybe both. He also loved Tyrion who is not different from Cersei by much.

      I also preferred if Brienne was not involved. I will be even more annoyed if they make her pregnant next week. Ughh!

      The truth is that there was an opportunity to tell a different story with a more uplifting outcome.Perhaps people overcoming obstacles becoming a better version of themselves is the way I would have taken it. I do not think this has happened to any GOT character really.

      But thisis not my story and I find the arc interesting anyway.

      You must not watch a lot of true crime shows, lots and lots of people doing stupid thing that defy logic and/or sense 🙂 and not all of them are ‘stupid’ people, just weak

      It could be a combination of both, but all the characters to some extent love people, so i don’t consider it a trait that distinguishes them, informs, but not narrows it to the core issue. He loved Tyrion, but not enough to stop the abuse from Cersei and Tywin, he just tried to make up for it by being nicer and showing he did care. It is his weakness that prevents him from being able to standup to those whom he doesn’t want to disappoint or confront openly, even when he tries he quickly backs down. I think perhaps he is also less cutting and/or smart(?) than Cersei and Tywin, he just finds it hard to find an argument that they would even listen to – they talk/argue circles around him, so he just doesn’t bother anymore. It is a tragic flaw, but I don’t think it destroys his character, like you said it is still interesting.

      I’m kinda with you with Brienne… I don’t know if that was fan service or we are supposed to believe that would eventually happen… I don’t know, I know they have mad respect for each other, but I never saw Jamie reciprocating any love that Brienne might feel… besides I think she deserves better – he is damaged goods. I’m with you on the baby, although it might be nice for her, I guess… I don’t know, lol we will see

      I think GOT still has characters that have overcome obstacles to become better versions of themselves… Theon and Jorah just to name two, just cause they died it doesn’t count? You could make arguments for others too, like Sansa or Arya. I would have to think on it more.

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    77. Emily: No, I’m placing my bets on “didn’t have the budget for two horses.”

      Lord of Light is protecting her still… her work isn’t done.

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    78. Rizzo T,

      I agree and I want to add:
      Euron was hit by the fire, swam around for like 2 hours and then fought jaime without any scratches or scars from earlier.

      I always 100% defended the show but I’m not sure about this episode.
      Butaybe that’s also how they wanted us to feel… Uneasy and insecure about everything.

      I agree that it feels rushed. I also think it’s showing that the underlying, brilliant storytelling of George R. R. Martin is missing.

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    79. viki: You must not watch a lot of true crime shows, lots and lots of people doing stupid thing that defy logic and/or sense and not all of them are ‘stupid’ people, just weak

      It could be a combination of both, but all the characters to some extent love people, so i don’t consider it a trait that distinguishes them, informs, but not narrows it to the core issue. He loved Tyrion, but not enough to stop the abuse from Cersei and Tywin, he just tried to make up for it by being nicer and showing he did care. It is his weakness that prevents him from being able to standup to those whom he doesn’t want to disappoint or confront openly, even when he tries he quickly backs down. I think perhaps he is also less cutting and/or smart(?) than Cersei and Tywin, he just finds it hard to find an argument that they would even listen to – they talk/argue circles around him, so he just doesn’t bother anymore. It is a tragic flaw, but I don’t think it destroys his character, like you said it is still interesting.

      I’m kinda with you with Brienne… I don’t know if that was fan service or we are supposed to believe that would eventually happen… I don’t know, I know they have mad respect for each other, but I never saw Jamie reciprocating any love that Brienne might feel… besides I think she deserves better – he is damaged goods.I’m with you on the baby, although it might be nice for her, I guess… I don’t know, lol we will see

      I think GOT still has characters that have overcome obstacles to become better versions of themselves… Theon and Jorah just to name two, just cause they died it doesn’t count? You could make arguments for others too, like Sansa or Arya. I would have to think on it more.

      I do not think he backs down quickly at all – He was the only one of the children to regularly challenge Tywin.

      He did what he wanted re Cersei quite often – he protected Sansa and Tyrion etc. Look at the discussion around the trial.

      He left to go north to fight despite Cersei’s hissy fit.

      You are right that he generally does not insists on may things within his family. This is for me a very big brother kind of behaviour. He was the center of his family.

      Outside his family he would attack you as needed.

      I am not sure what you mean by “damaged goods” – people have second and third marriages and find happiness after failed loves all the time. Plus Brienne is also a very unconventional female. And I think in the GOT, he looked at Brienne with constant attraction/adoration.

      Jorah, maybe – He died hanging about a woman who did not want him. Begging her and her lovers all the time. Uggh. I found it slavish. I wanted him to live and find something to do in the North after the war.

      Theon – He made a bad mistake, was sorry and then was able to make up for it. So he got back to the Theon that he was when he lived with Ned.

      Sansa and Arya grew up and became adults. It is hard to see their change because they just grew up. Easier to see become better as an adult already.

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    80. Greywind: Why exactly did this season have to be 6 episodes?

      Because otherwise people would have been complaining about how crappy the show is for 4 more weeks..

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    81. viki,

      I do not watch a lot of TV. In the last 2 years, I have only watched My Brilliant friend and GOT.

      I see a lot of theatre and cinema. So I do not see a lot of long-form serial drama.

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    82. Denean A Franz,


      Denean A Franz:
      Crap writing and character development. Just crap. How does the same woman who insisted on stopping to see each of the children crucified by the masters on the way into Meereen before Ser Barristan Selmy could have the troops bury them….burn women and children alive in Kings Landing?Tyrion’s parts have been horrible, he comes across lacking and begging. Although I was on team Dany and enjoyed the Arya-gets-the-Night-King – I get it. No Darth Maul – Obi Wan show down between Jon and the NK. No epic battle with any of the generals even. Cersei dies with people feeling sorry for her. Dany didn’t need a counselor or a long lesson from Littlefinger to know what Sansa was up to. They could have done SO MUCH MORE with the brains their characters had. Lying, scheming, figuring things out – how to turn the Golden Company against Cersei would have been 10x preferable to seeing them do …nothing! The greatest mercenary army in the world and all they do is burn. Drogon was invincible – although bigger than his 2 brothers who fell down like a common pigeon shot out of the sky. Nope. I agree with the one poster on another site that said let’s just end it with the Winds of Winter episode. I concede the Loot Train and the Queens Justice – to get this terrible season out of my head. So disappointed in Brienne sobbing over Jamie leaving or even her virginity coming up at all. Who cares! Way to take Cersei – under valued by her father – Dany – good turned bad – Brienne – strong turn weak – Sansa – abused to smart – to selfish. Totally tanked every woman but Aryan and House Martel. Very very unhappy and no more GOT merchandise for me.

      Preach!
      I agree with every word you write, for it sure is the truth, Brother Pastor!

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    83. great recap Ozzy.

      Lord Parramandas,
      Hey Parramandas, I see you liked the episode as much as I did.

      For me one of the few that deserve a big fat 10 from me. (later I try to give my whole top 72 in another article)

      I already see people nitpicking on the smallest thing because their beloved Dany went this route. So they need to find things like: Qyburns toe-nail suddenly seems shorter the second scene, where did he get the time to do that? bad storytelling.

      King in the North East,

      hahahahahaha so true, as long as their overreached theories didn’t come true the story is bad. I called it overreached because most of the time those theories didn’t even make sense at all.

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    84. I disagree completely that this season is rushed. It’s certainly faster paced than previous seasons, but that’s not the same thing. Anyway, I absolutely loved this episode! The foreshadowing for Dany’s turn to the dark side has been ongoing since season 2.

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    85. Lord Parramandas,

      I agree that this site is becoming more and more toxic with each episode, so I understand why you want to leave. Still, you were one of my favorite posters and I’m sad to see you go.

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    86. Mr Derp,

      😈😈😈

      I loved the episode despite it was so heart breaking to watch Dany make that horrible choice to give in her lower instincts. But the seeds were planted from early on and it wasn’t a surprise even if I hoped with all my heart that she would not give in to her destructive side.

      And one of the most tragic figures in this was Tyrion who like us, hoped to the last second that the woman he put all his faith into would live up to the expectations. And how broken he must be after that feeling that he is as responsible about what happened. And Jon the other tragic figure who stood in absolute shock refusing to believe what’s happening.with Dany and the troops. War is a such horrible thing no matter which side you are on, turning men into monsters.

      I could go on about this for hours and days and I probably will! But for now just to say, WOW the acting from everyone was beyond excellent! Emilia and Kit – their expressions, their delivery of the scenes was amazing- and Peter, Nicolaj, Lena, Maisie, Rory; truly moving performances by all, they put their heart and souls in this and were just unbelievable.

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    87. Young Dragon:
      I disagree completely that this season is rushed. It’s certainly faster paced than previous seasons, but that’s not the same thing. Anyway, I absolutely loved this episode! The foreshadowing for Dany’s turn to the dark side has been ongoing since season 2.

      Agree. Every character is in one of two places (basically) the whole season. There is no cutting between multiple locations like in seasons past because of it. I think that makes the story seem more rushed than it really is.

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    88. SiriuslyStarkTarg,

      IMO, there should have been more at stake for her decision. Daenerys should have been forced into a position where her only other course of action was to take innocent lives. It doesn’t make sense to just choose to completely slaughter thousands of innocent people for no reason.

      I know, I know. This is where I’m going to be told that Dany going out of her way to slaughter innocent civilians for no reason has been foreshadowed since season 1. The problem is that it really hasn’t. Not to the extent that we saw last night. Dany has shown that she has tyrannical-adjacent tendencies, but never once showed any sign that she’s capable of mass murder of innocent people. What was the point of killing all these people? Why would this be her course of action? If the answer is: “she’s gone mad” then that’s not enough for me. It seems to be enough for some people though, so it is what it is.

      Other than that, I really did enjoy the episode and thought it was one of the best they’ve done.

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    89. Oh and the defeat of KL was too damn easy. They spent all the time on character interplay and emotion and nothing on battle. It was like that in The Long Nite also. The battle made no sense and was too short in favor of lovey dovey bullshit.

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    90. There seems to be two common complaints this season.

      1 – “bad writing ”
      2 – “rushed”

      I think these are really just code for, the story is not going how I expected or wanted it to go and there are only a few episodes left (now just one) so the end is rapidly approaching.

      I’ll grant that there are a few logic flaws, but that has been the case in every season. It’s television, sometimes they have to move things along in ways that seem less than completely logical.

      I really liked this episode. I really liked each episode of season 8. I have a few complaints, sure, like SANSA hasn’t jumped off a bridge yet. The NK/Bran storyline fizzled a little this season too. But all in all I think the show is stronger than ever. Certainly everyone will agree that this season is crushing the cinematography and the music.

      Also, the Cleganebowl scene was epic. A fight with the castle coming down around them. A dragon flying overhead. Great scene.

      Speaking of which, I enjoyed watching Cersei watch her army, then her city, then her castle go up in flames. And the walls were literally tumbling down around her until she was utterly crushed. Taken as a whole from the beginning of the battle, I was satisfied with Cersei’s death.

      **insert miscellaneous Sansa-hate**

      I’m hoping the finale will be great. I’m excited to read your review next week Oz. I’ll be sad the show is over, but it may be time to end it.

      Ps – **insert more miscellaneous Sansa-hate**

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    91. Mr Derp,

      If they went that route, it deflect the purpose. The purpose was that dany killing innocent even when she had the choice not too. That was the whole purpose. Else she wouldn’t become the mad queen.

      And it was shown in the past. The reason she hold back then was that others kept her at bay. Advising her. And another thing she had people loving her. She doesn’t have a single one now. At the place that is her home. She expected love at home. The thing she longed for for so long. But she found fear. Not welcome. Hated. And all she worked for for years was for nothing. Misandei jorah etc died for nothing.

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    92. Ten Bears,

      Arya’s face at 1:00 and 1:06.. I just can’t. Absolutely fantastic acting by Maisie. It’s so beautiful seeing her go from determined assassin then to vulnerable young girl as she chooses life.

      Also, I really need a high quality print of that photo of Arya standing amidst the ash and fire similar to the one I have of Arya and Brienne sparring. It’s gorgeous!

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    93. Johnny Utah,

      For some reason they no longer ride horses. They’re on foot with the shields if you look close enough in both 803 and now 805. But for whatever reason they took away their most noticeable and defining trait….being mounted knights. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know.

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    94. Kevin1989,

      I get that the purpose was to turn her into the mad queen. My point is that it wasn’t convincing to me.

      She has a tendency to treat her enemies and those who don’t bend the knee to her harshly, but that’s a far, far cry from just murdering innocent people for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

      I’ve made my peace that it happened. I just don’t agree with the way it was done.

      I think we have one more surprise coming in the last episode. I just hope it feels right and doesn’t come off as a shock for the sake of a shock.

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    95. wilshade:
      Emilia Clarke is an incredible actress. She WAS Dany thru the entire story. When she was on screen, I only thought of Dany, not Emilia.BUT, I am, like I believe many others to be, enraptured by Emilia the person. Emilia took us along her journey with the show and made us laugh and made us, the audience, feel like part of her circle of friends.What, I am trying to say is that I think a lot of us infused Emilia’s kindness into Dany way more than we should’ve.

      Agreed! Emilia brought her A-game and then some this season, and in particular this episode. I would not mind one bit if she takes home the Emmy for best actress this year. Then Maisie can take it home for best supporting actress (hey, I’m greedy). 🙂

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    96. Oz❤️❤️
      I am in Seoul for work and have not been able to be involved with this episode, pre discussion and post discussion which makes me so sad because it’s the second last episode of the season and I want to partake. I just don’t have time right now and the time difference keeps me out of the loop

      I have read some of the comments and warms my heart to see that I am not alone in my love for this episode, despite my heartbreak for Dany, who has always been a favourite of mine, I think mostly due to Emilia Clarke as someone said above.

      I am also heart broken to see all the negativity that is being directed towards this season and this episode as well. I am so so sad that the fandom is doing this to our Game of Thrones. I’m so disappointed as well. No matter how much you don’t like the episode I do not believe a show Of such a calibre deserves some of the things that are being said or directed to it. This show, and especially some of the episodes this season are true masterpieces. Artistic masterpieces.

      Anyway I’m not going to bother, all I will say is 10/10 for this. ❤️❤️

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    97. Mango:

      Is it s weakness of character or doing too much for the people he loves? Maybe both. He also loved Tyrion who is not different from Cersei by much.

      Tyrion is not different from Cersei? Curious what he has done to deserve such a defamation of his character. He’s about as different as you can get.

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    98. What I wanted:
      -to have, for once, a female hero + woman with power who does not correspond to the Evil Queen trope. We already had an Evil Queen in this show.
      – Jaime to complete his redemption arc instead of relapsing.
      – to avoid having the dark skinned outlanders pictured as murdering invaders.
      – and if it was for me to choose, the NK would be treated more respectfully as an ancient, universal threat.

      But I have got to say, this was a great episode and I loved it. So, I’m good.

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    99. Dee Stark,

      Thank you for this, Dee! As ever, you remain a bright light in this fandom. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts, and grateful for your positivity!

        Quote  Reply

    100. Kevin1989,

      Yes, it was important that she had the choice not to act like she did and she made that choice anyway, that’s the crux of her arc.
      And the problem is that she’s not Mad Queen – that’s what’s so tragic and heartbreaking about her choice. Were she Mad, that choice would have no dramatic value, because a mad person is mad and it’s natural to do mad things.

      It’s that fact that she gives in into that spiral of negative feelings, feeling alone in a hostile place, accusing Jon for treason, accusing Tyrion, when both of them loved her and believed in her – and they were probably the last of those who trully supported her and her claim, even if it wasn’t the best claim (see Aegon).
      It was foreshadowed plenty of times in previous seasons, that it was easy for her to snap, and Jorah, Missandei, even Tyrion stopped her from making destructive choices in the past.
      Now that Jorah’s gone, and Missandei’s gone, Jon can’t return her love in the way she wants and he can’t influence her or temper her and Westerosi people fear her; the loss and rejection work as a trigger.
      She sees the Red Keep, the symbol of everything her family created and she fought for, she sees KL as the symbol of the Westeros that doesn’t want her there and disssapointed her,and she prefers to be Queen of ashes, than not being a Queen at all. She turns off her good sense and gives in to her dark emotional side, which is capable of horrible things (like in anyone of us) – and we knew that dark side was there and it was a matter of time and circumstance until she would have to choose whether she’ll use her power for good or harm.

      Heartbreakingly, she chose the latter. If it weren’t her own choice it wouldn’t mean anything in her character or the plot: she freely chose that dark road and there are consequences for a ruler who chooses that road, because a ruler’s choices affect millions of lives;

      The hero is not the guy who’s good through and through, but the guy who chooses to to do good every single day- the action that serves the greater good, that is right by external criteria and not what his own personal dictates of ego tell him to do – and he does that when he’s free to choose, and not because something makes him act in a specific way. And a vilain is the guy who chooses to do evil, despite the fact he’s free to choose to do good. Free will. Both a hero can become the villain and a vilain the hero, depending on what they choose to do.

      Again, even if it hurt to see her go to the dark side, it didn’t suprise me and it was a natural development.

      Now I wonder about the consequences. Tyrion and Jon lived the horror, and probably will have a change of heart. It was heartbreaking for us to see Dany make that choice, it must hell for of them who believed and supported her so much until now.

      I wonder if Varys managed to get any messages through before dying. If others know about Jon, things will become even more complicated!
      Btw both Tyrion saying goodbye to Jaimie and to Varys were some of the most emotional moments in the series. And Jon’s face when he sees Dany and troops go out of control, feeling helpless and shocked and he kills one of his soldiers to save that woman…Arya trying to survive and etc I was tear eyed in most of the episode… it was emotionally wrecking!

      Despite the minor ups and downs, this episode was a 9.8 to 10/10 for me. I just hope there’s some sweet in final episode, as everything foreshadowed now seem plainly bitter! I worry about them all!

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    101. Branflakes,

      Very good points. The shortened seasons have affected the storytelling somewhat, the feel is different from earlier seasons.

      I pretty much agree about Jaime’s and Cersei’s end.
      They were literally in a dead end and it all literally came crashing down over their heads in the end.

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    102. Flora Linden:
      Say what you want about the episode, but that’s not fan fiction. If it was, then Jaime and Brienne would still be together, Arya kills Cersei, Jon keeps his mouth shut, Sandor survives Cleganebowl and Dany wouldn’t have gone to the dark side.

      I know! 😀

      I don’t hate the show because all my fan fics weren’t confirmed and validated. I take this as the story D&D are telling us, not a confirmation of a story we want to tell D&D (there are too many versions of that, anyway, lol), and it is a magnificent story. Sure, there are some head scratchers and leaps of logic, but overall, most of their choices make sense in hindsight – and we haven’t even seen the final episode yet!

      And I can enjoy my own happy fan fictions, separate from enjoying what we actually saw. Like, S8E6 starts with Jaime waking up beside Brienne in Winterfell. “Phew, I just had a really bad dream! I went back to KL and all hell broke loose.” 😀

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    103. viki:
      This has been building for a while, but each time ‘clues’ or ‘hints’ were made, people just called it bad writing and dismiss it as wrong, because they don’t want to accept that their favorites are capable of making bad/wrong decisions, and that aspect is also a part of their character… we just make excuses to absolve of their worst flaws because they are likable. For a while now people have been making the same complaints (me too :)) that characters were acting OOC – and sometimes they are, but sometimes it is true, we just don’t want to see it.We don’t like our favorites being judged too dumb, or rash, or emotional, or ineffective, or weak, etc… but we usually dismiss it as the writers not knowing what they are doing or the writing is bad… instead of seeing it for what it really is…

      We want to be challenged, but not too much, we want to be surprised, but not too much, want safe and predictable, but then call it boring and lazy, we want our characters to get what they ‘deserve’ but life isn’t really about everyone getting what they deserve or earned.Sometimes people are just who they are, whether we can see it or not.

      Very wise words, and I’m as guilty of whitewashing a favourite in my mind as the next person. 😀 But when you get over the initial hurt of having been wrong/not validated in your wishes, you begin to see that it was there all along and makes sense in the end.

      That is not to say that there haven’t been problems in the writing, even in the early seasons, and especially S7 and S8. GoT isn’t perfect. But it still is, for me, one of the best TV shows I’ve ever experienced.

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    104. Raenarys:
      Welp. I guess we’re not getting any more dragons lol.

      Overall, the ep was very underwhelming. I hate that Jackass Sparrow got one over on Jamie. I hate that Cersei got off so incredibly easy. She deserves a slow, ruthless death.

      Daenerys,my mom, went a little overboard. But that was to be expected.

      Cersei didn’t get off easy. When she blew up the Sept, Margaery knew something was coming and was powerless to stop it. She was vaporized in seconds. Cersei knew it was coming and was powerless to stop it but had to watch her world crumble around her much much longer.

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    105. viki: Jamie always knew who and what she was and loved her anyway… that is who he is, his entire life has been consumed by Cersei, his twin, best friend, and lover.She was the stronger more dominate personality, he was the weaker personality and could never truly break from her even after witnessing years and years of her abuse and/or betrayals. He gave up a lot personally just to stay by her side, and never minded because it was for her.

      He tried and failed, like an addict – he couldn’t break from her. You can’t always choose whom you love or make the ‘right’ decision, sometimes we are knowingly self-destructive.Jamie’s main character flaw was tragically a weakness of character, it has been the entire time.

      Quite a good assessment of Jaime. I agree with much of what you said. Maybe the show faltered a bit here and there showing this to us but it was all there.

      I’d add a word or two about Brienne. He came to respect and admire her, and yes, there were hints of a romatic/sexual aspect, even from him. She was his dream of a better self. He tried – staying all loved up with Brienne in WF for a couple of weeks (long enough for Dany & co. to ride to White Harbour, sail to Dragonstone, get ambushed and Missandei captured, plus a raven to fly to WF) but in the end he realised the dream wasn’t real. His cruel parting speech to Brienne was so full of self-loathing, self-hate. But he could not just sit by while Cersei (and their unborn child) was in grave danger. Forget the incest angle but this is his sister, his twin. She’s family. The Starks are hailed for their love of family, loyalty to family. The social order, the feudal system Westeros apparently has, is built on family loyalty. Why should it be any different for the Lannisters? Because Tywin and Cersei were horrible people? Seven hells, we even see this family loyalty in Tyrion, in his desperate attempts to find a way to reconcile the two competing queens.

      Would we really have liked Jaime more if he’d just gone “I’ve got a new love now. Fuck family loyalty, fuck Cersei and fuck our unborn child”? Because that’s not a very nice place to be either.

      Yes, it’s shitty on Brienne, she deserved better than Jaime leaving her in such a cruel way. But was a guy with so much baggage really what’s best for Brienne? Even if she loved him (remember Jaime, S3, to Brienne: “We don’t get to choose whom we love.”)? Maybe Brienne is us, a lot of the fandom, willing to see the good in Jaime and glossing over the bad. Jaime was telling her, and us, not to forget the bad. And Jaime thought it’d make it easier for Brienne to get over him if he was deliberately cruel to her in their last parting (and they both knew it was the last parting) and really drive home the point he is not as good as Brienne (and us) think.

      Uh-oh, meant to add a “couple of words” about Brienne but ended up writing a mini-essay, haha! I’m not someone who’s succint and down to the point. I have all these contradictory ideas and have trouble formulating them.

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    106. Mango,

      I feel Varys did? – he was trying to assassinate Danny – and she clearly knew! Hence killing him first. After a few rewatching that scene it is now clear – hence the 2nd ring everyone was asking about – maybe it held poison!?
      When Ned Stark declared poison was a “woman’s weapon”, Pycelle responds: “Yes, women, cravens — and eunuchs.”

      So, before his execution, was he trying to have Dany killed?

      Here’s the exchange between Varys and the young girl:

      Varys: “Nothing?”

      Girl: “She won’t eat.”

      Varys: “We’ll try again at supper.”

      Girl: “I think they’re watching me.”

      Varys: “Who?”

      Girl: “Her soldiers.”

      Varys: “Of course they are. That’s their job. What have I told you, Martha?”

      Girl: “The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.”

      Varys: “Go on. They’ll be missing you in the kitchen.”

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    107. The first four episodes of the season meshed perfectly together, with callbacks to previous seasons and laying the groundwork for the conclusion. Classic GoT, loved them.

      While the visuals, action and acting are great, “The Bells” episode feels like something from an alternate adaptation of GoT. I understand the story (especially regarding Dany and Jaime) does make sense thematically, but the way it was presented felt like it was off in its own universe. Maybe it was done on purpose, I don’t know.

      Maybe while trying to avoid a cliché ending, D&D went overboard in the other direction. Non-cliché stuff to keep us guessing, but it doesn’t have enough ties or context to the previous episodes. A rogue episode off on its own.

      Shock and adrenaline made this exciting to watch the first time. On rewatch, I didn’t like it so much.

      “The Bells” is the first GoT episode to leave me with a sad, empty feeling. Maybe that was the point. I just hope the finale doesn’t make me feel my emotional investment in this show is irrelevant.

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    108. Mr Derp,

      I think the deal with the Dothraki and Unsullied is that they take their lead from Dany. After Dany went on her rampage after the bells had rung for surrender, the Dothraki saw it as a signal to continue killing, rape and pillage. Seven hells, even the Northmen thought so, though Jon tried to stop them.

      As to the Unsullied, Dany is their supreme commander (President, if you like). Grey Worm is their general on the ground. Grey Worm took Dany’s actions after the bells to mean continue the sacking of the city – he also had very personal motivations (see: Missandei). Once the Unsullied saw their commander signal the continued fighting, they followed. They’re extremely disciplined soldiers.

      When Dany freed the Unsullied in S3 and gave them a choice, they were brainwashed war automatons. Their free will had been taken from them during the training (that only 1 in 5 boys survive) and the choice to follow Dany enmasse was just a continuation of them following their (slave)master. At the time, they didn’t know anything else. (BTW, did Dany ever pay the Unsullied? Or were they like a feudal levy, pledging allegiance and loyalty for protection?)

      Later on we see some Unsullied making more independent choices (the guy that went with the prostitute to be comforted by lullabys, and it’s implied he wasn’t the only one) and Grey Worm is of course the prime example of a brainwashed automaton becoming a real person with real hopes and desires. There might be others, we don’t know, the show hasn’t shown it.

      But they seem fiercy loyal to Dany, and most of all, they’re very disciplined soldiers (see: Battle of Winterfell) and follow their general’s orders. And their general, Grey Worm, gave the order to continue fighting after the bells because a) he took his lead from Dany; and b) personal motivations of vengeance.

      So to my mind, the Dothraki are explained by taking their lead from Dany and their general culture, the Unsullied are explained by Dany’s lead and Grey Worm’s lead on the ground and their military discipline, and the Northmen by what Ser Jorah said in one of the early season: “There’s a beast in every man. Put a sword in his hand and it stirs.” (OMG, now I’m hearing Iain Glen’s incomparable voice saying it!) Remember when the Northmen were implied to have committed war atrocities back in S3? The Northmen are not some good, cuddly, righteous dudes. Jon was horrified witnessing their deeds, unable to stop them though he is a bit of a good, cuddly, righteous dude.

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    109. Mr Derp,

      That’s why they called it blind rage, it’s something that you normally wont do, and most of the time people hate afterwards what they did in blind rage. I can see Dany hating herself next episode.

      Sou,

      You still have Sansa. Even when people somehow dislike Sansa. I think she can keep peace. She can control her emotions which is important for a queen or king. Even when angry she can think clearly. And at the same time she cares for the people, which she has showed multiple times this season, Theon, Sandor, the people itself by not wanting to abandon them when the NK attacked.

      I think Sansa being the rightful queen was not expected in season 1 but now I think she will be the right choice.

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    110. Flora Linden,

      My first watch left me feeling drained and WTF, not sure how I felt about the episode (sure, great cinematography, great acting, great FX and CGI etc.), but my second watch brought the point home, made me love it. I could understand almost all that went down. It made sense.

      Most casual watchers only watch once, so of course they’re left a bit reeling, WTF? The extreme hate reaction going on around the interwebs is a combination of nerds not getting what they wanted and casual watchers not understanding what they got because it wasn’t spoon-fed to them.

      I think GoT is a victim of its own success. It started out as a niche show (2M viewers or so on first US TV watch), then got hugely popular (12M viewers on first US TV watch), and a lot of the more recent casual watchers don’t understand what type of a story they’re watching. It’s maybe a failure in D&D’s storytelling to not make it clear to them. Or it might be a failure on the part of the watchers to understand the story. Hence the “hate”.

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    111. talvikorppi,

      It brings up an interesting question. Should the Dothraki and Unsullied be considered just as guilty as Dany for committing war crimes, or do they get off the hook because they are following their leader? I was about to say “following orders”, but they were never really given a specific order to sack the city were they?

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    112. Sou: to have, for once, a female hero + woman with power who does not correspond to the Evil Queen trope.

      Arya
      Sansa
      Yara
      Brienne
      Margaery
      Olenna
      Catelyn
      Lyanna

      Yeah, show runners! Give us one! Eight is far too many.

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    113. kevin1989,

      Thank you, glad you agree.

      I disagree on the point about Sansa. I don’t think that Sansa would be a good Queen: she doesn’t have an open mind, and she doesn’t accept anything other than what she knows and she’s bad at doing politics and diplomacy when she is challenged. For example, before the battle of Winderfell she was incredibly short-sighted: there’s a million undead coming to get them but she was wrapped up in her problem of who rules the North, while the North would be no more.
      A wise ruler knows when he needs allies and takes a step back when needed.

      I still think that Jon/Aegon is the best possible for the throne- if there is one by the end – though I am afraid about what happens to him next ep.😢
      If I had to choose anyone else to rule, I would choose Tyrion. He’s compassionate, he cares about the common folk, he’s open-minded, he’s inclusive to others, even if they are different; he can form alliances when needed all like Jon, only he’s a much better politician.
      If Jon can’t be King, I’d definitely vote for Tyrion.

      The best would be Jon as King, Tyrion as Hand. They could do so much good work working as a team. A girl can dream!

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    114. Emily,

      I noticed the nose on HS’s horse too but hadn’t yet had a good enough look at the horse at the end.

      Different horse character, same horse actor 😉

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    115. Haven’t read the comments yet but really looking forward to see how many unsullied watchers found Danys actions a surprise given the negativity coming from her avid fans.

      My take I liked the episode overall but it’s not immune from minor criticism either.

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    116. Mr Derp,

      That’s a good question.
      The Dothraki OK, we knew how they were, and they were their usual selves. But the Unsullied are supposed to be in control. I think that Grey Worm was hurting and was angry and wanted someone to pay for what happened to Missandei, so he took what Dany did as an indirect ‘order’ to wreck havoc too – and he was in command of Dany’s ground forces. But even Jon’s soldiers went out of control.

      I think they wanted to show us how war turns men into monsters, and trully it does. People who you thought were normal and OK, can do horrific things in a war. And we have sadly enough examples in real history to back that up.

      Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions’ , as Primo Levi, a holocaust survivor, said.

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    117. Mr Derp,

      Just as guilty. As you states Dany didn’t gave that order. The dothraki and the northerners saw it as an opportunity to sack the city, rape the woman etc. And for the unsullied they don’t have those urges. They followed Grey worm. I’m still puzzled myself if they all should be blamed or that only grey worm who made the choice to start murdering again even when they were unarmed.

      Start to think again about season 1, where they were plotting Dany’s murder. It seems grand maester Pycelle was right after all.

      SiriuslyStarkTarg,

      Wasn’t it Dany who started that conversation with Sansa? I think what Sansa did was thinking about her people. Without Sansa the whole north would have left last season back to their homes.

      What Sansa did there was not underestimate Dany, and she saw Dany for who she was. Which is in fact important as a leader. Tyrion and Jon both underestimated Dany.

      But I think we can agree at this moment all 3 are better at ruling than Dany at the moment.

      Mr Derp,

      Sounds great, and you’re right of course.

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    118. talvikorppi,

      Interesting, our reactions were the opposite. Don’t worry, no hate here, just mixed feelings. 😉

      On one hand, I respect D&D for telling the story they want to tell and adapting Martin’s ending closely; on the other, I’m not liking the direction this conclusion is going.

      IMO, some of Martin’s ending suits the books more than the TV series. Reading Dany’s psychological struggle as she turns to the dark side is gripping in a novel, but actually seeing TV Dany having a meltdown like in the episode, burning everything, is just too nihilistic, even if viewers understand the story and know she’s capable of it. And it taints previous episodes – who wants to bother with her “journey” from S1 to now anymore in rewatches? For me, that’s the empty feeling.

      I think D&D’s faithfulness to Martin’s ending might not be a good idea for ending the TV show. Dany could make a conscious choice to not be like her father, and if in Martin’s ending she is supposed to die, have a TV scenario where she sacrifices herself to save KL or Jon or something similar. That’s TV drama viewers might like more.

      And you’re right – GoT just became so popular it’s near impossible to end it and make everyone happy. I do think now S8 should have had more episodes to wrap up better pacing wise.

      My opinion on Jaime and Brienne – D&D should have kept them together on the show. Nikolaj’s and Gwen’s chemistry is a true discovery in the series, and to me J & B not ending up together is such a lost opportunity. Martin’s ending and Cersei be damned. 🙂

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    119. Johnny Utah: Agree.Every character is in one of two places (basically) the whole season. There is no cutting between multiple locations like in seasons past because of it. I think that makes the story seem more rushed than it really is.

      Exactly. In seasons of old we’d see a character interact/say/do something =set up, and then in their next scene see it play out. But we had multiple scenes in between because there were multiple storylines, so it gave us time to digest, and also gave an impression of time having passed. Now we only had two (WF/AotD and KL), after Ep3 really only ONE storyline, KL.

      I know you just **hate Sansa**, 😀 and it’s your prerogative, but it’s silly to blame Sansa giving away Jon’s secret “five minutes later”, like many watchers do. The show actually showed us a night (the Bronn scene)* before Sansa told Tyrion. So it’s the next day at the earliest. Yeah, sure, quite soon. But she didn’t go from that Godswood scene straight to Tyrion. It only seemed so because there were so few scenes between the two.

      That’s the problem of the show now having only two storylines, after seasons of several storylines. Other storyline scenes that can come between scenes of a specific storyline are no longer there. So now the stories feel rushed compared to earlier seasons. The whole “feel” of the show is different, and a lot of fans react to that.

      But it’s not necessarily a failure on D&D’s part, it’s how GRRM constructed his story, first to expand… and then try to contract, focus. I think that is mostly a failure on GRRM part, and D&D – who thought they’d have the whole book series delivered before they got into the final seasons of the show – are the fall guys here.

      No, not all their “creative decisions” have been brilliant, or even good, but they’re trying to make the best of some bullet points. And while I have my gripes, they’ve mostly done a pretty good job. They don’t deserve the nerd hate and the casual watcher hate they’re now getting. Mostly from people who don’t understand the story they’re being told.

      I grant they have not told the story as well as it could’ve. Their style of writing is to skip key character moments, suspenseful scenes, for that surprise GOTCHA moment (See: Arya, NK).

      Lots of people have complained that we didn’t see Sansa’s and Arya’s reaction to Jon’s news. It could be just another example of D&D’s writing for a surprise (See: the WF storyline in S7). Arya the assassin killing the Queen.

      But that didn’t work out. Arya “killing the queen”, a line she’s flat out said a couple of times in the show. And who’s the queen she’d now want to take out? The tyrant who burned down KL after surrender. Dany is now a threat to her family: to Sansa, who let the secret out of the bag, and to Jon, a direct threat to what Dany wants, plus spurning her romantic advances. All the Starks, even Jon, are now on Dany’s “to burn” list.

      *) Bronn scene. It’s become my pet peeve, watchers complaining about how could Bronn even get into Winterfell. A typical exchange:

      Someone: The show is shit because how did Bronn even get into Winterfell!?
      Me: The scene took place in an inn in Wintertown, outside the castle.
      Someone: *screeching* But they should’ve shown it to us!! They didn’t, and we hate the show now!!!
      Me: They did show it to us. Establishing shot of a building, with WF castle in the background.
      Someone: *screeching* But… but [have I been a bit dumb here? No, I’ll just go on.] We didn’t see an inn, and it’s unbelieavable that Bronn got into the castle so easily! So there! I hate the show for these plot holes, so there!!!

      Ho hum.

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    120. It just occurred to me, would Drogon’s death end Dany’s chances of winning? His death would remove her primary strength and devastate her. I know, killing Drogon would not be an easy task -I’m just thinking about ways to stop Dany other than Jon plunging his sword into her (which would devastate him).

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    121. Raenarys,

      Really? It is not like Aerys was the first “mad” Targaryen. There were others, one drank wildfire in hopes of becoming a dragon for gods sake! They are inbred and madness runs in their family, Aerys, Viserys and Daenerys had the gene. Rhaella and Rhaegar likely didn’t. Coin flip indeed. And Aerys didn’t exhibit madness all his life, he became paranoid and then lost his sanity. Daenerys always exhibited a proclivity towards cruelty for people whom she believed were deserving of it and then slowly but surely grew irrational, allowing her worst instincts to take hold of her. Is Daenerys complete insane? I don’t think so but she will never allow herself to go back now. “If I look back, I am lost.” She is lost regardless.

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    122. King in the North East,

      Neither one holds power like Cersei or Daenerys do. Noone is “Queen”. And they are secondary characters. Sansa is the closest thing (a primary character, as of late, and a woman with some power) but although she has always been a favourite of mine, she has been overshadowed by her male half brother/cousin and she was written as pretty devious and cattish this season and the last (I still love her though).
      But, as I said, although I wished some things were different, I liked where this episode went. And since this is not my show, obviously, I was happy with an excellent execution of that script.

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    123. One question I got for the good old people here after reading some reviews: Did nobody catch the (for me) obvious foreshadowing of Arya on her way to kill Daenerys? Because I keep seeing mentions of Jon having a tough job of deposing the now mad queen and no sign of Arya anywhere. Kinda don’t get it.

      King in the North East: Arya
      Sansa
      Yara
      Brienne
      Margaery
      Olenna
      Catelyn
      Lyanna

      Yeah, show runners! Give us one! Eight is far too many.

      Well, both Lyannas are dead, Catelyn’s dead, Olenna and Margaery are dead. Arya is more of a genderless token assassin character than a woman (although she may become one yet, after the recent experiences with Gendry and Sandor). Sansa as a chracater has had so many issues and for some weird reason is still not able to use diplomacy to her advantage (constantly manages to piss off everybody she deals with).
      Brienne got thrown down below the bus, so to speak, to advance Jaime’s character, wait for it, to revert back to the old Jaime. Oh for fuck’s sake…

      Margaery was by far the strongest, smartest character. Despite all that she was not allowed by the writers to survive in spite of being ahead of the curve (if you haven’t guessed, I’m still mad at D&D for destroying the Tyrrels, by far the best rulers from all across Westeros).
      Brienne was a strong female character until she was made a slab of meat for Jaime to use and throw away. Thanks D&D.

      Yeah, there were hints of Daenerys going mad for years, that’s precisely why I hoped that they will subvert expectations (do one of those vaunted twists) and make Daenerys overcome those urges, eventually. Sadly once more, hope turned to disappointment, same as with Jaime.

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    124. TOIVA: Did nobody catch the (for me) obvious foreshadowing of Arya on her way to kill Daenerys?

      What obvious foreshadowing are you referring to?

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    125. Mr Derp:
      talvikorppi,

      It brings up an interesting question.Should the Dothraki and Unsullied be considered just as guilty as Dany for committing war crimes, or do they get off the hook because they are following their leader?I was about to say “following orders”, but they were never really given a specific order to sack the city were they?

      No, not a specific order, but the they see their supreme commander burning the city, continuing hostilities after surrender (the bells), so for them it was a sign to go on. The Dothraki might’ve just followed their cultural rape and pillage ethos, the disciplined Unsullied followed their general Grey Worm, who actually has personal beef. Jon saw his nothmen continue hostilities, even though he tried to stop them.

      It’s a mess, a tragedy, but it all is clearly set out, “explained,” if you like, if you have watched previous seasons with a smidgeon of thought.

      As to the war crimes thing. WW II is probably what you and most of the ordinary Joes are referring to? Is it not important to get the top guys, the really evil guys, and have some sympathy for the little underlings who did their stuff because they were in fear of their life? Like Cersei’s little underlings, and now Dany’s.

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    126. I haven’t been to this site in a long time in order to avoid spoilers (last time a single comment spoiled season 7 for me.) But now that we’re almost done I thought I would chime in.

      This show has given us the Red Wedding and Shireen’s burning, it surprises me people are furious it had one more twist before the series ends. I can see why people want more episodes & slower pacing, but to be honest I felt the series has always hinted at the possibility of Dany ending up this way. We never wanted her to but with all she’s lost this past season it was bound to happen.

      Jaime’s arc is tricky, I would have loved for him to have killed Cersei, but his isn’t a clear redemption arc like Sandor’s. It went up and down and ended on a note many people hated but it was sadly a realistic one. Cleganbowl was amazing! I loved the horse scene with Arya at the end and wonder if she’ll head back to Winterfell to warn everyone or try to go straight for Dany.

      I have a few criticisms about every season, even this one, but I didn’t think any were enough to lose sleep about. Personally I would have loved more episodes but who here wouldn’t? I think they’ve done great with the time and material (or lack of, from going beyond the books) that they had to work with. I thought this was a really good episode, even season overall.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pull a Ghost and disappear for a while 🙂

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    127. Mr Derp,

      For me there is quite a bit of foreshadowing, and also story points that make sense for Arya to be the one to have to kill Dany.

      The big foreshadowing at the end of last episode was of her riding off on a pale mare, the horse that carries Death. i.e. Death is riding for Dany, and Arya can be considered the avatar of Death.

      Other than that, there’s also her “I’m going to kill the Queen” line in 7×02 (sitting with the Lannister soldiers) as well as the green eyes prophecy (although I recently bought that prophecy wouldn’t come up again, but..).

      There are also several reasons why this makes sense story and character-wise.
      – Again, Arya as the bringer of Death
      – Dany could very likely wall herself off and be very difficult to get to because she will distrust just about anyone around her now, which is a perfect opportunity for Arya to use her FM skills one last, crucial time
      – Dany doesn’t know that Arya is in KL and she may not really be on her radar the way Jon, Tyrion and Sansa are (who all actively betrayed her)

      Having said that, I admit it is likely that Jon could do it as well, and would make perfect sense if he did. But.. I’m still leaning on the side of Arya doing it.

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    128. talvikorppi: It’s a mess, a tragedy, but it all is clearly set out, “explained,” if you like, if you have watched previous seasons with a smidgeon of thought.

      I’m not sure what you are trying to say with this. Was this meant to be as condescending as it sounds?

      talvikorppi: As to the war crimes thing. WW II is probably what you and most of the ordinary Joes are referring to?

      WWII is a good example, yes, but this discussion isn’t limited to that. It’s a debate that really goes back to the beginning of time. Are soldiers held responsible for following orders that are morally questionable, or should the leader be the only one to be punished?

      I’m also not sure who Joe is, but it’s not me. I don’t know what you mean by that. As far as I know, I’m the only one posing this question currently, but I could be wrong.

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    129. Enharmony1625: For me there is quite a bit of foreshadowing, and also story points that make sense for Arya to be the one to have to kill Dany.

      The big foreshadowing at the end of last episode was of her riding off on a pale mare, the horse that carries Death. i.e. Death is riding for Dany, and Arya can be considered the avatar of Death.

      Eh, I found that scene could be interpreted in a number of ways, yours being one of them. I actually linked the white horse more with the girl that was holding the toy horse that Arya was trying to save.

      Enharmony1625: Other than that, there’s also her “I’m going to kill the Queen” line in 7×02 (sitting with the Lannister soldiers) as well as the green eyes prophecy (although I recently bought that prophecy wouldn’t come up again, but..).

      I thought eyes remark was really more about the NK than anything else. She’s killed countless Freys. Surely at least one of the people she’s killed has green eyes and brown eyes. You could be right, but I think we’ve already seen the foreshadowing of that line come to fruition.

      Arya also said she was going to kill the Hound once, but she didn’t, so I don’t know if you can take the “I’m going to kill the queen” quote literally, but again, who knows.

      I also think her talk with Sandor about seeking revenge needs to have some meaning to it now. I’d find it strange if she took Sandor’s words to heart, but then continued on a path of revenge. We’ll see.

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    130. Gfx:
      This show has given us the Red Wedding and Shireen’s burning, it surprises me people are furious it had one more twist before the series ends. I can see why people want more episodes & slower pacing, but to be honest I felt the series has always hinted at the possibility of Dany ending up this way. We never wanted her to but with all she’s lost this past season it was bound to happen.

      I think people’s raw emotions play a lot into why they feel the Dany twist was too sudden, or didn’t have enough build-up, etc. The Dany-gone-mad theory has been around as long as I’ve been a fan of the show & books, so it’s certainly not out of left field.

      The reason it actually worked for me is because it all happened relatively quickly. There are many hints throughout her story that she could turn like this, but it’s the piling up of all these losses and betrayals that makes her snap. If it happened more gradually, she would have had more time to deal with them and process them. Having said that, I would not have minded one scene in an earlier season (5 or 6 maybe) that had her do something a bit drastic, then had a season or two for that to calm down only to just blow up now in season 8.

      Dany’s chief character flaw is her ego, and it takes a huge beating in season 8, and it proves too much for her, and she comes to the resolution that if she is to rule, it will have to be by fear. It really is devastating, and I definitely have sympathy for Dany fans who wanted her to stay on the path of goodness and being a saviour.

      Hopefully in time (after the initial shock and disappointment fades), it will be more appreciated as a tragic turn for her character.

      Gfx:
      Jaime’s arc is tricky, I would have loved for him to have killed Cersei, but his isn’t a clear redemption arc like Sandor’s. It went up and down and ended on a note many people hated but it was sadly a realistic one.

      Something that I thought about in regards to Jaime’s arc is that in the books he’s not a main character, whereas the show has elevated him as such. In that way, his non-redemption arc as a supporting character in the books might work a little better than in the show where he’s been far more prominent than in the books. Maybe we aren’t willing to accept that kind of an arc for a main character? I’m not sure.. it’s just a thought I had.

      While I do wish he had killed Cersei, I am coming to appreciate the way it played out, and the irony of the Red Keep burying Cersei and him together. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted either of them to go out, but I’m actually okay with it. I think it works.

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    131. Mr Derp,

      I agree, all good points for why Arya may not be the one to kill Dany, except that it would not be for revenge. I don’t see it as a regression in that sense. It would be justice. It would be necessary. It comes down to deposing a tyrant, similar to killing the NK was not about revenge but about saving humankind.

      It also completely and fully brings Arya’s training full circle. She used her stealth skills for the NK, and she may need to use a face to get to Dany. So these skills she learned initially for the purposes of revenge end up being used for a much greater good. There’s something quite interesting in that.

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    132. Enharmony1625,

      Indeed. She may very well be the one to kill Dany, but I personally hope it’s Jon, if anyone.

      Arya’s had a lot of the major kills already. I think it’s time to give Jon something to do now other than be a passive bystander to everything. It’s kind of been frustrating to me how little Jon has had to do this season.

      Besides, Jon and Dany are Ice and Fire. Their stories mirror each other, sort of similar to Cersei and Jaime. I think Jon and Dany’s fates are intertwined more so than Dany and Arya.

      I’m currently wondering though how anyone will kill Dany without facing the wrath of Drogon too. That could get tricky.

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    133. Mr Derp,

      Drogon could be another reason why Arya has to do it. With her FM skills, perhaps she’s able to get to Dany before Drogon notices. If Dany’s dead though, does Drogon turn into an uncontrollable nuke, or does he just fly off? If you think about it, we’ve only seen Drogon attack on Dany’s order, or otherwise to eat. Or perhaps Drogon will have to die first (somehow..).

      I also agree that Jon kind of needs something big this season to do, so.. well, you’ve made me doubt Arya as Dany’s killer a lot more now. 🙂 Less than a week until we find out..

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    134. Enharmony1625,

      It’s the last week to speculate on the possibilities of the outcome without knowing for sure 🙁

      Can you imagine if Arya killed Drogon and somehow managed to take his/her face? Now that would be something…

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    135. Mr Derp,

      Wouldn’t that be something.
      Arya(drogon): Hello my queen!
      Dany: Drogon, you can talk? Why didn’t you say anything before?

      Too think off it what makes Dany even less Sane even before was her plan. She destroyed Cersei’s army. Cersei has lost no matter what. The kingsguard throw away their swords.

      If she had given herself just a couple of hours, she could have fly outside the city walls. Let Jon and Grey worm imprison the remaining soldiers until Cersei is taken care off. Once they are in taken care off, let your soldiers secure the red keep. Then Dany with a couple of bodyguards without Drogon could have spoken to the people. I think she would have gotten the love she desired so bad.

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    136. kevin1989,

      Honestly, I think Dany could’ve just flown straight to the Red Keep from the beginning and just nuked the area where Cersei, Qyburn, and The Mountain were staying. Cut the head off the snake, if you will.

      Cersei’s army would’ve stopped fighting after that. Game over. Dany wins with minimal casualties.

      I guess that wouldn’t have been juicy enough though.

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    137. Mr Derp,

      I’m sorry if you felt I was being condescending.

      The point I was trying to make – badly, it seems – is that at what level of command the “Nuremberg defence”, i.e. “just following orders” stops working. At what level it doesn’t matter because you were drafted against your will? Does that excuse committing war crimes like rape? Jon was horrified at seeing what his northmen did after Dany declared it a free for all by breaking her (or her advisors’ or allies’ word) and going all fire and blood after surrender.

      Clearly Grey Worm is complicit in Dany’s war crimes. We know he had a personal motivation to go full on veangace, and we know the Unsullied are extremely disciplined soldiers who’d follow their general. So I’d argue that Grey Worm is a war criminal but his troops may not be. They’ve been brainwashed and conditioned all their life to follow orders, it’s a hard habit to break.

      We were shown Grey Worm break away from the automaton mindset, gain humanity and dreams and loves. We were shown another Unsullied, implied several, to seek very human closeness. But we also saw the Unsullied being fiercy loyal to Dany, very disciplined soldiers. So of course they’d follow their general’s orders to continue the carnage when Dany did.

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    138. Enharmony1625,

      Well said! In the beginning there were so many things I wanted to happen in a specific way (like the Night King being the final battle) but the way everything has played out was so well done that I still enjoyed it all, including Jaime and Cersei’s ending. I’ve only started reading the books so it’ll be interesting to read Jaime as a supporting character.

      Those are really good points you made about Dany too. How fast it happened definitely played a role. I also think it helps answer the question so many have as to, “Why couldn’t she have just torched the scorpions in the previous episode?” I think she was hesitant to fight recklessly and put her life on the line so easily because she still had her advisors to look out for and possibly still had Jon’s love. After this episode she felt she truly lost it all and fought without caring if she died at that point. At least that was the impression I got.

      I feel bad for Dany fans too. I’ve always enjoyed both her and Jon’s storylines. I’m curious to see if they give her any remorse in the next episode.

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    139. talvikorppi,

      I assume you weren’t trying to be condescending, but the way you worded your statement made it sound like you were treating me like an idiot, which I didn’t appreciate.

      Anyway, it’s a really interesting debate that has no real answer. That’s part of the reason why I brought it up. I find it to be a very thought-provoking topic about personal responsibility vs. the group mentality, as well as blind loyalty.

      The movie “A Few Good Men” does a great job with this topic.

      I think it all depends on the established rules in Westeros at the time. I’m not really sure what the rules are in that world, so I can only go off of our current code for war crimes, which, to me, says that anyone who killed those who either surrendered or were civilian non-combatants should be considered war criminals. I’m sure the rules in Westeros are different than ours, but that’s all I have to go on.

      If Dany dies, then Greyworm should be treated as a war criminal and put to death. Same goes for any Dothraki, Unsullied, and Northman who killed those who surrendered or were civilians. I don’t like the idea that war is hell, so therefore we should excuse the actions of everyone, regardless of how horrible they are. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions.

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    140. Mr Derp: TOI

      Well, Arya looking up at the raging Dany on Drogon and changing back from a girl running for her life to a determined killer by her facial gestures. For Arya it is clear who is responsible for the carnage.

      And Drogon would still no doubt accept Jon if A) Jon wasn’t the one to kill Dany; B) Drogon outlives Dany.

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    141. Enharmony1625:
      Mr Derp,

      I agree, all good points for why Arya may not be the one to kill Dany, except that it would not be for revenge. I don’t see it as a regression in that sense. It would be justice. It would be necessary. It comes down to deposing a tyrant, similar to killing the NK was not about revenge but about saving humankind.

      It also completely and fully brings Arya’s training full circle. She used her stealth skills for the NK, and she may need to use a face to get to Dany. So these skills she learned initially for the purposes of revenge end up being used for a much greater good. There’s something quite interesting in that.

      Excactly.

      Arya’s “list” and her seeking the FM training were about personal revenge. Arya has no personal beef with Dany, apart from a general dislike of her.

      Arya turned away from personal revenge, guided by her surrogate father Sandor, but then she saw, experienced very viscerally first-hand what Dany did to KL. Arya may now have rebooted her list, not for personal revenge but for the common good (as she sees it), and there’s only one name on that list. Death rides a pale horse…

      Dany’s next dracarys targets are Tyrion, Jon, Sansa, Arya herself, Bran, Sam and even Gilly (everybody keeps forgetting her! She was the one who dug out the reference about Prince Raggar’s ann-nulment!). Even Davos as one of the advisors loyal to Jon. Is that most of the named character left? Most of the characters we care about? Most of the “good guys”? Jon, Sansa and Bran are her family, her pack. Dany is a serious threat to them.

      I don’t know if the finale will go down this way but it certainly has been set up. I even wont mind “super-Arya” if it rids us of this tyrant in the making. But I’m open to a couple more surprises in the grand finale.

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    142. Mr Derp,

      It was not my intention to treat you like an idot, I worded my comment badly if it came across that way. In fact, I find you one of the more intelligent commenters here and always enjoy your input.

      Yes, and “just following orders” is a thorny moral dilemma. I appreciate your thoughts on this, and I don’t have the answers. That’s why it is a dilemma. That’s why we were shown a Northman (and we have been conditioned to think of the Northmen as loyal to our favourites, the Starks = “good” throughout the run of the show) trying to rape a woman, and Jon’s reaction.

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    143. Mr Derp,

      Or that, but that’s not the fault of D&D writing because the writing was good, they understood who Dany was, the Dany I always saw since the death of Viserys.

      It’s more about the character of Dany who she is.

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    144. Enharmony1625:

      Something that I thought about in regards to Jaime’s arc is that in the books

      This is the unsullied, i.e. non-book-reader thread. No book references, please.

      I’ve made an heroic effort, biting my tongue. 😀

      And I’m sure you didn’t mean your book-references in any malicious way, just forgot. I sometimes – actually quite often – do. But let’s try to preserve our unsullied.

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    145. talvikorppi: Excactly.
      Dany’s next dracarys targets are Tyrion, Jon, Sansa, Arya herself, Bran, Sam and even Gilly (everybody keeps forgetting her! She was the one who dug out the reference about Prince Raggar’s ann-nulment!). Even Davos as one of the advisors loyal to Jon. Is that most of the named character left? Most of the characters we care about? Most of the “good guys”? Jon, Sansa and Bran are her family, her pack. Dany is a serious threat to them.

      Can I just point out how weird and almost surreal it is to be talking about Dany being a serious threat to pretty much everyone left on the show?

      talvikorppi,

      Oops! Thanks for the reminder. I didn’t consider that this is an unsullied thread at all. Apologies!

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    146. Guess it’s time to add my two golden lions to the pot….

      I agree that this season is feeling rushed and is missing the level of world building detail we love, but there wasn’t any skimping on the big moments and they even bought us a latte after the first bit battle!

      The other emerging opinion is the decent of our favorite dragon queen into shit house rat crazy. To those folks I ask, what have you been watching all these 8 seasons? Cersei Lannister fast tracked to psycho bitch extraordinaire from the pilot. It was ‘boo/hiss’ every time Cersei did a scene. Daenerys on the other hand, was a far more sympathetic character. When we first meet her, she’s a lovely, victimized person tugging on our hearts, whom we watch grow into a powerful woman over the course of the series. BUT! Sometime between the death of Khal Drogo and her warlock encounter in Qarth, Dany begins to slowly bank towards the unraveling which resulted in the BBQ at KL. Her crazy has been growing steadily thru every adversity she’s faced and if you watch carefully, escalating the closer she comes to her goal of the Iron Throne . Much like Tyrion, we believed Daenerys to be a better person then she is. Does she have a good excuse for snapping? Yeah, too many to list. (PTSD, bad genetics AND dragons = don’t piss her off!) Like Tyrion, I was disappointed in Dany’s actions. Unlike Tyrion, I was fully expecting the KL BBQ – classic Daenerys versus everyone. The unknown is does she rise from the ashes one more time. Part of me hopes she does.

      In other news, gonna miss Varys. He was a great character and. has become the public face of “good example of the no good deed goes unpunished”. RIP Uncle Fester. As for the Hound – we all probably knew that, somehow, Clegane Bowl would end in a bonfire.

      I will NOT miss Euron. He SHOULD have downed, but ok, I’m good with him being gutted like a trout. BTW – did anyone see how far he had to swim in leather pants? Arrrrrgh, them Krackens be some Olympic quality swimmers. Sorry Jamie was smushed, but that must be the Westerosi cure for stupid.

      And Cersei. Cersei, Cersei. At first, her death was disappointing and anticlimactic until I realized (justified?) it was much like Dorothy dropping a farm house on the Wicked Witch of the East. Only this time, Dany and Drogon dropped a castle on the wicked witch of Westeros.

      This episode also break new ground – it was the first time in 8 seasons of GOT Aejon Stargaryen did a SMART thing – retreat! A man’s got to know his limitations so go home to the north, and start a microbrewery with Thormund. Be a the pet parent Ghost deserves.

      Peace Out! Happy Finale Watcher brothers and sisters.

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    147. talvikorppi: Quite a good assessment of Jaime. I agree with much of what you said. Maybe the show faltered a bit here and there showing this to us but it was all there.

      I’d add a word or two about Brienne. He came to respect and admire her, and yes, there were hints of a romatic/sexual aspect, even from him. She was his dream of a better self. He tried – staying all loved up with Brienne in WF for a couple of weeks (long enough for Dany & co. to ride to White Harbour, sail to Dragonstone, get ambushed and Missandei captured, plus a raven to fly to WF) but in the end he realised the dream wasn’t real. His cruel parting speech to Brienne was so full of self-loathing, self-hate. But he could not just sit by while Cersei (and their unborn child) was in grave danger. Forget the incest angle but this is his sister, his twin. She’s family. The Starks are hailed for their love of family, loyalty to family. The social order, the feudal system Westeros apparently has, is built on family loyalty. Why should it be any different for the Lannisters? Because Tywin and Cersei were horrible people? Seven hells, we even see this family loyalty in Tyrion, in his desperate attempts to find a way to reconcile the two competing queens.

      Would we really have liked Jaime more if he’d just gone “I’ve got a new love now. Fuck family loyalty, fuck Cersei and fuck our unborn child”? Because that’s not a very nice place to be either.

      Yes, it’s shitty on Brienne, she deserved better than Jaime leaving her in such a cruel way. But was a guy with so much baggage really what’s best for Brienne? Even if she loved him (remember Jaime, S3, to Brienne: “We don’t get to choose whom we love.”)? Maybe Brienne is us, a lot of the fandom, willing to see the good in Jaime and glossing over the bad. Jaime was telling her, and us, not to forget the bad. And Jaime thought it’d make it easier for Brienne to get over him if he was deliberately cruel to her in their last parting (and they both knew it was the last parting) and really drive home the point he is not as good as Brienne (and us) think.

      Uh-oh, meant to add a “couple of words” about Brienne but ended up writing a mini-essay, haha! I’m not someone who’s succint and down to the point. I have all these contradictory ideas and have trouble formulating them.

      You did a great job here, and thank you. You made me see that –

      Jaime loved others, mostly his family, almost too much, but sadly couldn’t love himself.

      I still blame Tywin for being such a cold, unfeeling bastard, and also Cersei for the way she treated him. She used him, never said a nice word to him of any substance, but called him stupid and was always quick to blame him.

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    148. Yup I agree. The layered storytelling and nuances are gone and it just comes down to bare-bones simplicity. I have seen some brilliant and intricate theories by fans here and on Reddit on how this season would go. Some of them should have written this last season. Much has been said about the great cinematography etc. But GOT was based on books and storytelling was at the heart of it. And sadly this suffered tremendously this season. I would have rather have seen a shorter Battle of Winterfell and devoted more time to proper storytelling.

      Ryan:
      Emily,

      The horse will mean nothing. Just like the NK, Lord of Light, GodsOT7, RHollor, Red priestesses, Prince that was promised, Bran’s warging and time travel, etc. all mean nothing.Just fodder to fill time.

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    149. Valyrian Steel,

      Sadly, D&D are in a hurry to just finish, and it showed in “The Bells”. Scenes and plot stuff were just thrown out there. The episode seemed to have no connection to the previous four eps, which fit together well. I’m afraid they’ll rush through the finale the same way. What a disappointing way to end an epic tale.

      Dany and Jaime really deserved better story treatment.

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    150. talvikorppi,

      I’ve tried to avoid thinking about that but you are absolutely right all the starks and anyone else who knows about Jon like Tyrion- including Jon-are now targets for her as they are a threat to her claim.

      She already feels that they betrayed her so it won’t be long until she goes after them. I hope she doesn’t manage to kill anyone else and somehow, someone stops her. It is tragic, but she chose the dark side and there’s no coming back from that now… Even if she regrets what she did, she walked a line that no one can forget nor accept. That’s the problem, she can’t escape the consequences of her choice, it can’t be undone; she’ ll need to pay the price in one way or another. Even if she kills everyone, and sits on the throne she’d be more unhappy than ever and sink more and more in her negative feelings, resentment and anger and grow smaller and smaller and paranoid.

      I could see Arya killing Dany if she had to protect someone she loves,Iike Jon for instance. But go on another suiside mission… I don’t think so, as after what Sandor told her she made a choice to live.

      Ugh. Where is the sweet? It’s all foreshadowed so bitter! Last episode will sting. I will refrain from my direct thought ‘keep Jon safe at all cost!’ and mentally prepare myself for all outcomes! 😕😥😢

      PS :
      KEEP JON SAFE AT ALL COST! 😁

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    151. Tom:
      Worst episode ever.

      Far from flawless but miles better than the widely acknowledged weakest episodes that are uuu and the dance of dragons. I wouldn’t out this anywhere near the weakest episodes but neither would I say its the best.

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    152. Elizabeth:
      Clegane!

      It was a whirlwind that I will have to rewatch just to see everything that is happening.From the beginning I worried about Dany.You can’t fight your genes and up to this episode I think she did a damn good job trying, but she lost, LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

      I was diagnosed with PTSD two years ago which explains some of my “crazy” times.But it isn’t as thought Dany has the option to see her therapist when she suffers great loss, as I did.

      Anyway, I have to agree that this episode gave, I think, most of us what we expected and some things we didn’t.(I’ve read the books but LOVE to read what you write Oz).

      I totally agree with everything that Oz had to say about the episode, except I was a bit miffed with Jamie going out the way he did, but honestly, if you think about it then it isn’t surprising.“The things you do for love.”

      Now we can all worry about the fallout.Who will survive the last episode?Jon, Davos, Tyrion, Arya, Sansa even?I worry that we won’t like it at all and I also worry that the ending has to be what I would find bittersweet indeed.:(

      I fear Dany is going to want to roast Tyrion and Sansa next, can Jon/Arya take her out beforehand?

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    153. Raenarys:
      Roberta Baratheon,

      Wait why does GreyWorm have to die? What’d I miss?

      He slaughtered innocent soldiers and led an army that killed kids and raped women. At one point it looked like he may attack Jon too, he needs a horrible death next week, hopefully Arya sticks him with the pointy end.

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    154. Paul W:
      Very much enjoyed the episode. Read a lot of comments on various sites about Dany’s sudden change but I think it’s been a long time coming. I am a bit sad about how there seems to be a lot of hate for season 8 out there and I don’t mean comments on here but I guess when a show is as high profile as this it will always get its detractors. Personally I’ve enjoyed the ride.

      Exactly how I feel. I have even stopped following a few people I’ve always liked due to their overly negative takes on S8. The sad thing most criticism seemingly stems from the fact the ending isn’t working out how they expected. The greatest noise is from the Dany stans but I am pleased the noise from the last episode has quickly died away more or less when compared to the long night. It feels more like that after the initial shock people have reacted and recognised that the build up was there since early seasons.

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    155. I have just about stopped muttering and talking to myself, so I can come back on here and be somewhat rational – rationality is at a high premium these days. I’m patting myself on the back for being so calm, so quickly. pffft pfft stupid little bitch, why the fuck did you have to go completely off the deep end??? Zig-zagging that dragon across the entire city turning people to coal. Were you THAT jealous of Sansa?? Sorry, guess I’m not quite there yet, working on it.

      Just a few things, let’s see:

      There must already be ballads in-the-making about Arya, the news of her deeds at Winterfell has obviously already gotten through Westeros. Unlike the two assholes at Winterfell, the guard at the KL camp didn’t hesitate for one second at the name. “Arya Stark, yeah, cool.” That’s pretty sturdy plot armor. I don’t think crazy Dragon Lady will be messing with her. Her sister and brothers, however, I’m not so sure.

      Hope Jon thought to send a company of soldiers back to Winterfell, Dany will be after Sansa and Bran. Which sucks, unless Bran has already seen all this going down and decides to not just sit it out. I hope we get a little something more of the magic aspect of Winterfell and Children of the Forest and the Three-eyed Raven.

      I am the last person I ever thought would be into magic and spells and fire-breathing dragons. Damned show sucked me into being interested in how that stuff would play out, and it’s kind of been a sputtering dud. I loved the visions and the idea that Bran could envision events of the past and future. I don’t know, I guess there has been quite a bit of the supernatural – but GRRM gave us such a vast supply of possibilities entwined within the stories, I was hoping for more of it. I also think I’m terrified that this ending is going to be all bitter and no sweet, and if I was expecting sweet I hadn’t been paying enough attention. To paraphrase poor Varys, I hope I’m wrong.

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    156. Fun fact, one very little scene would make Daenerys’ criminal choice to destroy King’s Landing make sense for me (came to me last night).

      If Daenerys caught a glimpse of some of her loyal soldiers dying at the moment she was steaming and the bells were ringing. If Daenerys caught a glimpse of someone looking like Missandei. Or if some random arrow flew by Daenerys and Drogon at that time.

      All and any of that would be enough to break the fragile balance of Dany’s mind at that point and despite the battle being won, she would snap and do no matter what just to annihilate all who may or may not have hurt her.

      Now that doesn’t fix my dislike of Daenerys turning mad (and all the events that pushed her to it this season, very artificially), but the plot makes linear sense at least.
      Sadly for Jaime and Brienne, I got nothing…

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    157. Ryan:
      Funny how there are so fewer superfans out in the past couple weeks defending the show….. After Ep 3 they were out in droves…. now not so much.

      I disagree I have seen way less criticism and more support from super fans for this episode than I did for the Long Night. brndenBFish loved it and gave it 9/10 as an example and he’s been very critical in the past like giving the long night an absurdly low 5/10.

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    158. This show still captivates me everytime I watch it like no other. I accept season 8 for what it is but a 10 episode season was probably needed to tie up so many loose ends. Is Dany going to fly to Winterfell and try to take out Sansa? I think Greyworm has it in for Jon with that look he gave Jon when the battle continued after the bells rung, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arya and Greyworm having it out. If Dany is “removed” what is going to happen with the Dothraki and the Unsullied? Did Bran warg himself into the white horse at the end to carry Arya off? So many things to tie up in 1 episode. I’m going to listen the Books (Audio Books) again and re watch the whole series for the 3rd time when all this is over.

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    159. In retrospect, I think The Bells is quite a great episode in a vacuum. It works great if you don’t think about what preceded it.
      Compared with it, The Long Night still has intrinsic issues, not the least being the difficulty to see anything, the very weird defensive plans for Winterfell and the absurdly low casualty count.

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    160. Now I wonder when the “Bells” script was written.

      This feels like a student assigned a five paragraph essay by the English teacher as homework. He takes time to write four good paragraphs at home. Then he waits until 5 minutes before the essay is due in class to write the fifth paragraph, scribbling down a few sentences off the top his head.

      Maybe D&D delayed work on this script because they wanted more input from Martin. He either wasn’t much help, or his version of events might have been even worse than what we saw in the episode.

      So after four cohesive scripts that may have been completed much earlier, D&D threw this together at the last minute. They knew some viewers wouldn’t like the ending (heck, maybe D&D didn’t like it privately themselves).

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    161. Well, the way I see it, Jon had the love of the common folk, at least in the North, and since his claim is better than hers, she felt she had no choice but to burn KL. It was mentioned several times that if love wasn’t to be her way in, then it would be fear. How else to inspire fear than to burn an entire city and it’s occupants? This way, all other citizens of the realm would follow or be in fear of her (and Drogon) coming to their town for a repeat. NOT that I’m condoning what she did, I was shocked, but completely unsurprised, based on the losses she’d suffered and the disdain she’d been treated to, not to mention the betrayals, both large and small. Her goal is right there, in sight, and she knew that it would never truly be hers, not like it could be Jon’s. IMO

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    162. Funnily enough, I just came up with a second way to make Dany’s turn to madness feel sensible, as an alternative to my previous one:
      TOIVA,

      Simply put, instead of Daenerys only focusing on the scorpions and then setting down with Drogon on one of the bastions (I think, or tower), she would help the ground troops by strafing the main streets with Lannister soldiers (which obviously already comes with collateral damage). And when the soldiers gave up and the rings bell, Daenerys simply wouldn’t stop. Why should she? She started getting rid of those silly enemies that thought they could oppose her and live. Now they think some bells will make her spare their lives?! Tyrion looks in horror as the city becomes a ruin, Jon tries in vain to stop the troops. Grey worm sees Dany not stopping, keeps on fighting with Unsullied (Dothraki don’t care about any bells, anyway). We’re back to how the episode goes.

      The difference to the episode here is that burning Lannister soldiers in the streets is definitely justified in Daenerys’ eyes, the collateral damage is also still justifiable. Better than a long guerilla fight throughout the whole city.
      But the point is, once you start, it’s bloody hard to stop. And why exactly should Daenerys stop? Isn’t it her right to do as she pleases? Tyrion, one to keep deceiving her (and betraying her again by releasing Jaime), has no right telling her what to do when the city rings bell.

      Anybody got thoughts about any of that. It would effectively fix the episode for me. Making it one of the top ones in the 8 seasons.

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    163. Just like the long Night I enjoyed the episode even more on rewatch. For me it’s an 8/10 episode (one up from my original scoring) and on a par with BotB and Blackwater. Yes the episode has flaws but most of the hate seemingly is coming because people are upset that Dany broke bad.

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    164. ncsujuri,

      Turns out the numbers didn’t really matter. The Golden Company was staked out in front of the gates like a sacrificial goat. But Drogon eliminated any barriers they might have hidden behind anyway. So you take whatever numbers of Unsullied and Dothraki into the streets and then burn the streets. It didn’t matter who survived. But yeah where did they all dip to after that initial charge? Did they peace out as the dead walked right by them?

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    165. Jon Snowed,

      He hated TLN because Jon Snow wasn’t the hero who killed the NK, the theory he embraced and pushed as practically canon for all these years.

      It’s the same for all the rest of the fandom who were so fixated on the importance of RLJ because Jon and Dany are destined to be together, incest be damned, because they’re the saviors of the world.

      The hatred is finding out their long-held beliefs were wrong, and this isn’t a fairy tale about a hidden King. So now there’s a petition to remake the season, I hear Disney has already hired some animators and they’re auditioning voice actors.

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    166. It was a great episode and I’m so hyped to see how it all ends.

      People should stop complaining, just not to annoy others who like the show.

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    167. Yeah that only sums up why I think people are largely complaining I.e because it’s subverting what we expected to happen so much. I also had mixed feelings at first that it wasn’t Jon but Arya is my second favourite character so easier for me to accept I guess.

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