What did you think of the fifth episode of Season 08, “The Bells”? Leave your feedback here and let us know! We’ll share your thoughts and discuss your reactions in our next episode!
You can also send us written or audio comments via email!
What did you think of the fifth episode of Season 08, “The Bells”? Leave your feedback here and let us know! We’ll share your thoughts and discuss your reactions in our next episode!
You can also send us written or audio comments via email!
For whom the bell tolls
I loved this episode. Its exactly what I can see GRRM writing – subverting the expectations of the reader or audience. Dramatic but ignominious deaths for Cersei and Jamie, Sandor redirecting Arya’s path then saving the world from Undead Gregor, and Jon discovering ‘you know nothing Jon Snow’ is still true.
Danerys is the Khaleesi and she will always revert to that Dothraki ruthlessness. The ‘if in doubt destroy it’ approach to solving problems. It seems to me that she’s decided that ‘break the wheel’ means to destroy the wheel and rebuild her own world where everyone does exactly what she wants. No doubt Danerys will be wanting to burn Winterfell to the ground with Sansa in it.
I thought it was interesting that Arya, associate of the God of Death, received a white horse. She could name it Binky* but I won’t be surprised if she calls it Sandor (yes, I know it has to be a horse from one of the many stables in town, but I like to think that either the Gods sent it or Bran warged it).
* The horse belonging to Death in Terry Pratchett’s Disc World
The show needed more time
The episode was beautiful, in the sense of directing, acting, cinematography, so I don’t want to take away from everyone who worked on it. Gratuitous shots of Drogon just raging has been on my wishlist for a while, to be honest. All in all, it was an adventure that was told as wonderfully as it could’ve been.
My biggest complaint is the pacing. If they wanted to take the mad queen approach it should have had more buildup, not a quick switch (that everyone feared was coming right after episode 4). I would have liked to see Dany’s descent into darkness. We know she has been ruthless in the past, but it always had an underlying reason that was somewhat justified. I just would have liked to see the conflict and dread within her story be fleshed out a bit more. It didn’t have a shock effect for me the way it played out, I assumed with only 2 episodes left that this was the route they would take, unfortunately. If we had seen her mull over her choices and deal with her grief and still not have a clear resolution, the turn would have been a better payoff to me.
We should have had a longer season 7 and season 8. I won’t comment the usual “blame the writers” but the story and believability and immersion has suffered this season because it has all been rushed. It’s still the most complex and epic show in television, in my opinion, but the characters (and the audience) have needlessly struggled because of the show runners wish to end the series.
With only the finale left now, it’s a bit heartbreaking realizing that this is all it is. I rewatched the entire series before the launch of this last season, and while it always had been in my mind that maybe Dany would go off the deep end, it wasn’t set up properly.
As for specific scenes, Arya and the Hound had a nice sendoff. I wasn’t as hyped for clegane bowl like some fans, it seemed worthless at this point in the story. The apocalyptic scenes were fan service for what it was, I suppose. Seeing the Red Keep get obliterated by dragon fire was a highlight for me… again, I can see why Dany would want it destroyed, I just wish they would have given us her actual reasons instead of us assuming a lot or just expressing “mAd QuEen! Omg!” The Jaime and Euron fight was not necessary and took time away from the actual story. While I had never really given too much thought to how the Lannister twins would meet their ends, their demise seemed to be wrapped up with a nice bow and I think it should’ve been… something more, I guess is all I can really say. Sad to see Varys go the way he did. Sad to assume that Tyrion will meet a similar fate in the finale. Sad to see that Jon didn’t do too much and is now going to be reduced to a Queenslayer. I’m giving the episode a second rewatch today and I’m sure I’ll be just as impressed with the scenes and the action and the special effects, but as far as feeling satisfied… don’t think I’ll get that. Like I said, we needed more episodes to thicken the plot. It’s a shame it has been rushed. Just my 2 cents.
It was always going to end like this
I understand some of the backlash for this ep., but I think a lot of it is misplaced. These character arcs were foreshadowed a long, long time ago. The disconnect comes from the shortened season and its compressed narrative.
a horrible season
it was horrible, it feels like I watched the last 7 seasons for nothing, Jaimie and Daenerys’ arcs were destroyed.
Jaimie cares for innocent people and Daenerys would have never done what she did, this is just a bad excuse for the writers to kill her
This left me feeling empty and unsatisfied and lost
I gave this episode a 50 out of 100. This episode for me was a hot mess. Now, I understand Martin has pointed out these are grey characters with different sides of their persona’s coming out based on the circumstances at hand, which is what gives them their richness and complexity. Part of this I feel resides in knowing or having an understanding of how the characters are feeling up to that point where their change in behavior unfolds.
That being said I don’t feel I have been shown enough things that could cause Dany halfway through the episode to snap and suddenly decide to go out on a blood thirsty rampage of innocents while making her way towards Cersei.
Fine, she feels alone because Missendei is dead or because Jon broke off his romantic involvements to her. He did reswear his oath of loyalty to her. What is the logic behind destroying everyone in King’s Landing? People will fear her now. Who is going to believe she’s the breaker of chains? Who will believe this is the same person who liberated all the Slaves in Slavers Bay? Or nail 163 Slave masters to crosses as they had done to child slaves? Or more recently named a bastard to be the Lord of Storm’s End?
Drogon won this weeks Game of Thrones.
Cleghane Bowl finally realized; two brothers who’s mutual hatred for one another was created and ended by fire.
Sort of Good:
Cersei and Jaime die in each other’s arms.
Jaime’s redemption arc has proven to be a sharp change in direction for me. It wasn’t like Cersei was losing at the time he decided to go back to her and defend her. She was winning; having just killed Rhaegal and decimating Dany’s fleet. Was it love for his unborn child too? Unclear… Dany’s destroying everyone in King’s Landing; including innocent men, women and children. Unexplainable, shocking and horrific. That left me feeling empty. I didn’t feel anything; like yeah they got what they deserved or that she’s a righteous bad ass.
I felt confused and lost by her choice half through the episode.
There was nothing satisfying for me about Euron’s death at the hands of Jaime. He didn’t have enough substance to care about him.
* Will Tyrion be discovered as the freer of Jaime Lannister? Will he then be executed for betraying Dany?
* Will Jon take out Dany? I hope so given the fact they have baked in Dany’s madness resulting in the death of thousands of innocents. If he doesn’t then his whole character arc revolving around protected the realm from evil doesn’t play out.
* Will Arya take out Dany? I suppose if someone is willing to put up a large enough bounty more than one Faceless person will show up to do the job.
Lack of reaction series wide from the common people in Westeros
I feel the need to clarify something that has happened again and again with this show and that is the lack of seeing *reactions* of Commoners to Nobility making decisions on their behalf in Westeros. This was done really well in Essos; not Westeros.
Before the battle in S8E5, Tyrion and Dany walk through her plan of leveling King’s Landing. Since at that point Varys has been executed, we are left with Tyrion representing the common man:
‘The people who live there, they’re not your enemies. They’re innocents, like the ones you liberated in Meereen…They’re afraid. Anyone who resists Cersei will see his family butchered. You can’t expect them to be heroes. They’re hostages. They are…In a tyrant’s grip. Whose fault is that? Mine? What does it matter whose fault it is? Thousands of children will die if the city burns. Thousands of children will die if the city burns.’
We did get reactions of commoners in Essos:
* The liberated slaves showed their adoration to Dany for freeing them from the Slave Masters; ‘Nissa Nissa!’
* Missendei was a slave who made it a point to mention she serves Dany because she was the ‘Breaker of Chains’.
We didn’t really get reactions of commoners in Westeros:
All we have really is the spokeperson for the Commoners, Varys. We never actually see the commoners reactions to any of the Nobility’s reactions except:
* The Northern nobility cheering Dany and Arya for defeating the Night King and Armies of the Undead. The toasted Dany before anyone.
* Joffrey nearly dying and pelted by manure as he walked the streets of King’s Landing in S2E6 and the commoners attacked calling him illegitimate.
Did we ever see the commoners reactions to (?):
* Cersei burning the High Sparrow and Queen Margaery in the Sept of Balor?
* Cersei taking over after Tommen committed suicide? (All we hear is that the people despise her all the way in Season 8.
I needed to be shown some commoners and their reactions to all these plot points to truly show what the people of King’s Landing felt.
All I saw was the destruction of innocents which left me feeling this is horrible and the loss left me feeling empty. I didn’t feel Dany’s actions were justified, whereas most of Dany’s war actions put the people she liberated standing behind her. I don’t think eliminating them entirely is the same thing. Dany more than anything has stated she wants to liberate people from Tyranny and all she has done is create more of this and Jon warned her about this ‘more of the same’.
Seeing commoner reactions throughout all 8 seasons would also reinforce the statement about manipulating the common man by Nobility and how they are in most cases victims of their decisions.
The victimization of commoners has always been there (Hardhomme, attacks by Wildlings, attack of the Riverlands and the North after the Red Wedding), however their voice and reactions have not.
Victimization is an action being done upon them; hearing their reactions to it matters to the story because that puts the main characters actions into better perspective.
Knowing the common people truly hated Dany and they wanted her gone for Westeros would do a better job of isolating Dany than Her just stating she feels alone. That just isn’t enough for me.
I felt they rushed to get to that beat in the story without anything that led me through her thought process so I know if she is truly mad or is being tactical with severity because she can’t see any other way.
I’m not mentioning the stupid Euron scene
A more obvious case of ‘let’s blow the budget’ you’ll never find. Nothing in 8 series suggests Dany would execute such a cruel strategy as genocide. Sure, people snap under stress or during periods of grief, but strafing an innocent city for an hour? No.
Having said that, parts of this episode were good. Varys, at least, stayed true to character, costing him his life as a result.
Fireside chats with the Lannister boys are always good and we’ve been spoiled this series.
I’ve never been one for Cleganebowl, but I thought it was done well. The Hound getting one final classic line as he vents his frustration that his already dead brother won’t die.
I’m glad Cersei went out like that, pathetic and pretty much alone rather than humiliated and tortured. A mere footnote in the country’s history.
And Arya. Think about this; she’s had a list of people she wants to kill since she was about 10. 10 years old. Since then, Jaqen H’Ghar, Sansa, Bran, probably Jon and Brienne have all known about this. Yet it takes Sandor Clegane, a man who was once on said list, to have the sense and find the words to get her to see sense. A brilliant scene and the main reason my rating isn’t in the toilet
I forgot to mention The Golden Company. The Dorne plot line feels overused compared to these chumps. And Howland Reed, Lyanna Stark etc etc
Taking a second bite at feedback here.
I am finding it surprising that anyone isn’t seeing this as Danerys’ direction. Danerys’ relationships have all ended badly and it was only the influence of Jorah that got her back on stable ground after each crash.
She has always been cruel from quietly cheering on her brother’s death, to locking two people in a vault to suffocate, to crucifying the slavers and their families.
She was a bad ruler in Mereen, only feeding her people when others pointed out that they were starving. And she didn’t think about feeding her people in Westeros to the point that she destroyed a food train rather than capturing the precious food.
She knows how to command and demand but not how to lead. I’m not at all surprised to see her become her true self when she doesn’t get her way.
Something for the final episode. Last season the Maesters at Old Town were discussing a prophecy and making fun of the prophet because “Aegon Targaryen didn’t hold back the sea’. Is that important perhaps?
I NEED THERAPY AFTER THE BELLS!
“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention!” I keep reminding myself of this Ramsey quote because I am in need of major therapy after this episode. Not expecting a happy ending; I was expecting carnage, but had just hoped that the loss of innocent lives would have been collateral damage from war, not mass murder. I have heard that GRRM was planning on Dany taking the “Mad” route, but I was not ready. She was just kissing Jon by the waterfall just a few months ago. I felt physically sick after this episode. Perhaps that’s what they were going for.
Yes, Dany had burned people, mostly deserving, and yes, she was isolated, suffered tons of loss in a short period of time, as well as the betrayals, but…she had so much good in her. When she was sitting with Drogon with Red Keep in sight & had clearly won, I was hoping she would just go after Ceresi, or at the very least, stop herself after the first blaze on the people below.
I believe Dany & Jon’s storyline is a true tragedy; the most tragic one of GOT. As Jon rejected her due to his own conflicts, we just knew it wasn’t going to go well.
Watching reactions of Jon, Davos, & Tyrion’s on the ground was so effective. I was with them. Jon loves this woman who is committing murder by the tens or hundreds of thousands. I must say, Emilia showing that rage & sadness taking over her was outstanding.
I loved the Hound sternly taking charge with Arya & helping her see to fight for life & not death. Only he could be successful. And when she called him Sandor & thanked him… was a great scene. He wasn’t able to do the same for himself but at least he showed that he really learned to care about someone else.
I know many people are critical of “Clegane Bowl” but the way it was filmed (maybe a bit too long) was very cool; seeing Drogon flying above in the open sky & that the chaos doesn’t seem to phase them. I appreciated the Hound being the one to push them through the weakened wall & fall into the fire. It was also very satisfying to see the Mountain just throw Cyburn into the rocks, followed by Cersei quietly making her way down the stairs. “Excuse me, I’ll get out of your way, boys!”
I was initially conflicted about seeing Cersei portrayed with sympathy since she helped create this mess. Cersei was a monster from the very first episode and that monster grew & grew while Dany went from possessing some level of innocence in the first episode to being portrayed as a murdering monster in the end. Again, so tragic. Talk about a combo of nature vs nurture. Jon’s secret surely did a lot of damage. I would like to know the purpose of Aegon Targaryen. I do believe it will have to be Jon/Aegon that kills Dany. It will be more meaningful than Arya since he loves her and they share the same blood. Perhaps, this has been his “destiny” all along.
Watching Arya navigate her way through the streets and seeing all the women, children, and powerless was also compelling. Just imagine present day Syria, for example. Instead of dragon fire, we have bombs!
Folks are negatively commenting about Jamie’s arc and I thought it was fitting for him to return to KL to die with Cersei. Arcs don’t necessarily move forward without any turns. He did redeem himself in many ways but he cannot forget his whole being. Speaking of Jamie, the scene with Tyrion & Jamie was heartwarming. Really loved it. Tyrion showed how brave he can be, not just with Jamie but telling Dany about Varys. He had to tell her.
Varys: Dany did warn him; he committed treason & was trying to kill his Queen. Don’t forget, in the first episode, Ned beheaded a man for leaving the Night’s Watch!
Despite me being traumatized by Dany’s massacre on the innocent, the visual aspects & sound/music were epic. The acting was great. It really showed how horrific war is & that good men can become monsters in such chaos. It was good to show Jon & Davos trying to protect the people.
I have always despised Cersei but for some reason, I cannot despise Dany, yet. I feel sad for her. Perhaps, I will after the finale.
I know we keep saying this, but I wish there was more time to tell the story of last two seasons. Under the restraints of time, I can’t knock the show runners. They have put a lot of effort into this show & this is their show!
Lastly, kudos to Emilia, Kit, Lena, NCW, Rory, Liam, Jacob, Maise & the men & women behind the scenes!
Lynne – “I would like to know the purpose of Aegon Targaryen. I do believe it will have to be Jon/Aegon that kills Dany”
Aegon/Jon could turn Drogon to him. Without Drogon, Danerys is just another ordinary person craving power.
I can imagine her losing Drogon, discovering she’s lost her power and being put on trial. Perhaps being locked away in the wizards tower where she saw her vision, or being executed. Or being sent to whats left of the wall, like Maester Aemon
If Jon kills her to save her from herself, save the Realm and save Sansa, what about the loyal Unsullied & Drothraki? Can they accept a new leader? Word certainly has gotten out from Varys’ notes so how will the other leaders handle the new information & the murderous rampage by Dany?
Will Tyrion & Davos pay for their release of Jamie? Just for the record, a little RIP for Dany, Breaker of Chains- her character died the moment she took off with Drogon toward the Red Keep. I will not recover from this!!
People mentioned to me he was trying to poison Dany and I never picked up on that; only that she wouldn’t touch her food. I am not sure why I didn’t.
4 stars - Dany loves the kids
To start, the episode was beautifully shot. The cinematography was amazing. Awards will be given for this. It was almost perfect, almost.
1. Dany. I see the progression to make her the mad queen, but is she? This feels rushed. I can’t believe that she would burn innocent people like that. Or maybe, she would start to and stop. I’m not upset at her character arc, its more of a rushed storyline and that shows she can’t handle female emotions. That she is not level-headed like Jon snow (who by the way could’ve diffused the situation). For goodness sakes Jon sucks! Worst boyfriend/nephew ever.
Cersei – the villains through the whole series that we are supposed to care about in the end. She killed innocents?
Varys- i mean, it was treason. All the Starks killed someone for treason.
Jaime – so ridiculous. He did want to die in the arms of the one he loved, but come on. Then we really didnt need him to sleep with Brienne.
Arya & the Hound – great ending. Loved clegane bowl.
The scene with Tyrion and Jaime was probably my favorite.
So much guys. I have so many feelings i can go on for an hour.
The Bungled Tragedy of Daenerys Targaryen
As Abe astutely pointed out in APOC Episode 47, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is at its core an anti-war polemic, and Septon Meribald’s Broken Man speech in “A Feast for Crows” is the beating heart of the series. Back in season 6, the showrunners bungled what should have been a home run by completely eliding that speech. Had they included even a few key lines, it might have prepared us for the show’s final destination: how war ravages both innocent civilians and the warriors who become broken and deranged. Given how they whiffed on Meribald, perhaps it’s unsurprising to see how badly they mishandled Daenerys’ arc.
Was Daenerys’ Anakin Skywalker-like turn toward insane, genocidal anti-heroine earned? No. Foreshadowing, of which there was a sufficiency, is the not the same as character development, which is necessary. Dany in her moment of final descent into the dark side has not been developed as a ruler who would absolutely lose her mind and slaughter innocents for no purpose, after she’s already won.
It’s especially telling that in the “Inside the Episode” interview, Dan Weiss said, “And then she sees the Red Keep, which is to her the home that her family built… it’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal.” Ummm… WTF? This literally makes no sense. Why would seeing the Red Keep make Dany want to reduce King’s Landing to rubble, instead of TAKING the city? There is no upside for her to destroy the city her ancestors built along with most of its citizens, a city she claims to want to rule, even via fear. By nuking the city, she shits her own bed. What a pathetic commentary on how burnt out the showrunners must be to write such irredeemable pablum. She would have to be completely and totally insane to do this, and again, the show just hasn’t done the character work to make her THAT crazy. Angry, yes. Vengeful, yes. Shaken, and alone, yes. Utterly insane? No, the show didn’t get us there.
What would have made far more sense in that moment, and been consistent with her character arc, is if after the bells rang, she’d *partially* lost it and flown to the red keep, bypassed the city, and gone after *Cersei*, perhaps nuking some innocents in the process. A few burnt buildings absolutely would have made the point that she was a ruler to be feared, and created enough of a moral problem for her and Jon to be in conflict in the series finale, which is where we were headed anyway. It would have given her angry dragon self a taste of vengeance that would have been understandable given all of the pain that Cersei and the Lannisters had inflicted on her and her family. We the viewers might even have partially empathized with such a move. And, it would not have marked her as completely insane.
However, if the story demanded that she destroy the entire city, it didn’t set that up in any coherent way. Perhaps it could have worked from a tactical stand point had Cersei forcibly embedded all the civilians amongst her weapons and defenses, and spread Scorpion Crossbows throughout the entire city. This would have given Dany a choice: destroy the entire city or back down and let its civilians live.
I look forward to A Dream of Spring, the final book in the series, so we can read a well-constructed and believable character arc to set up this crucial moment. It’s hard to imagine George’s setup for Dany to burn down the entire city, if that happens, will resemble David and Dan’s.
Still, for all of its bungled story-telling, character development sacrificed at the altar of plot points, poor writing, and increasingly oblivious Fan Fiction-y adaptation, let’s credit the show for forcing its viewers to face the realities of war. Whether the comparison is Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fire bombing of Dresden, or the Shock and Awe campaign against Baghdad in the Iraq War, extremely powerful and frequently delusional, narcissistic leaders armed with weapons of mass destruction inevitably annihilate the lives and homes of innocent civilians. And, soldiers on the ground who once thought they were the “good guys” fighting for freedom and justice often become savage rapists, as in Vietnam. Readers of the books have understood these themes going back many volumes, but I think this episode is the first one to, however clumsily, truly bring these central points home to viewers. So, in some small way, this episode partially makes up for the calamitous missed opportunity of the Season 6 Broken Man episode.
Despite my complaints, I give the episode 4 out of 5 lemoncakes because it was an amazing spectacle. The Arya running through a city being destroyed sequences were some of the most powerful moments of the series. I enjoyed Cleganebowl, it was fun and silly and Sandor laughing about it was I thought a welcome bit of comic relief. I’m on the edge of my seat to see how the Dany vs Jon conflict will be resolved.
And, one note about Sansa: she was foolish, self-absorbed, and high on her own supply to put her cousin’s life in danger by betraying her vow to him to keep the secret of his identity. Playing the Game of Thrones with Jon as a piece was the stupidest thing Sansa has done since she betrayed Ned’s plan to flee King’s Landing to Cersei in Season 1. That got Ned killed, and this could do the same for Jon. It might work out well in the end, but if it does, it would be a lucky outcome for Sansa, not one based on true skill. Dany has a dragon and an army of Unsullied and Dothraki, and I imagine she is going to be highly focused on dealing with the remaining threats to her monarchy: Jon Snow, his family, and anyone who knows about or has been involved in spreading the word about his true identity.
In such agreement with you, Matthew. As I pointed out, I expected some collateral damage and maybe a moment of Dany being destructive but expected her to realize what she was doing., and to stop. Dany, just a month ago, would be horrified at the horror she inflicted. Also agree about Sansa’s betrayal of Jon’s secret. She put his life in danger, and even though they are cousins, he really is her brother.
Great Ending, Awful Execution
This episode is interesting to me. On paper, this is definitely one of the best episodes of the series. Important characters die deaths befitting of their stories, there is loads of action and the massacre in King’s Landing feels like a perfect Game of Thrones moment in every way. Yet the episode doesn’t quite work, and I’m certain that is because of the writing and execution.
The main thing that everyone is talking about is Dany becoming the Mad Queen and killing everyone. I’ve seen people who love this and people who hate this. I’m somewhere in the middle. I think that having Dany – the hero presented from episode 1 – become the final villain of the series is a genius idea that befits the story of Game of Thrones. We have all clamoured for Dany to stop wasting time in Essos and kill people with her dragons. Well she did that here and it was horrific; a brutal twist that uses our own expectations against us in a perfect way. But because of the writing, having Dany go mad doesn’t work. I still sympathize with her, I don’t understand why everyone thinks she will be such a bad queen, and most significantly, I can’t buy into the idea of her choosing to kill all of those innocents. There is no build up to this big moment, and there is nothing that suggests Dany will vengeful murder anyone other than Cersei and Euron. After all, Dany is still the same person who bent over backwards to save lives in Meereen. She can’t just completely change who she is in the blink of an eye. There must be a gradual character arc building to this moment. Once again, D&D gunning for a surprise reveal has sacrificed all logic in their storytelling.
I feel similarly about Jaime’s death. I think it is a great idea to have him die with Cersei, and it nicely gives us the grim story that no matter how hard they may try, not everyone has the ability to fully redeem themselves. But it just doesn’t feel right because Jaime’s story has been written so poorly. His sudden decision to go back to Cersei is so rushed that I can’t buy into it, and it really diminishes the emotional impact of him dying in this episode.
Euron and Cersei ended up being pretty weak as villains. Euron has a pointless fight with Jaime and he never even gets any closure with Cersei after all the time that was wasted with them. Similarly, Cersei’s pregnancy gets no pay-off after so much set-up. It’s quite disappointing, and it comes off that D&D only made Cersei pregnant to give her something to do this season and attempt to make us feel some sympathy for her when she dies. Lastly, Euron seems pretty happy that he killed Jaime Lannister. Surely the first man in centuries to murder a dragon has better achievements than killing a cripple (who he didn’t even kill by the way since Jaime just shrugged off those stab wounds).
Fluids raised some fantastic points above about the show’s lack of exploration of the common man in its latest seasons. I completely agree with everything he said about it. I think it is fascinating that GRRM increased the focus on commoners, extraneous kingdoms and minor lords as his book series went on, with there being reactions to nearly every crucial event that happened in the later books. It made the series feel like true fantasy with a world you could fully imagine and understand. On the other hand, D&D didn’t even try to keep Game of Thrones as a fantasy series, ignoring nearly every aspect of the world that the characters live in. Where GRRM increased the scope of what he was doing, D&D sloppily stripped away layers and layers of the story until we ended up with a season purely focused on the main characters, hardly sparing a thought on the world that had been developed so beautifully in the first 4 seasons. Actions no longer have consequences, the world doesn’t react to the many wars that have plagued its landscapes, and there are no other fascinating powers in battle outside of the (mostly) cookie-cutter protagonists, antagonists and minor side characters.
I had a few other quibbles. The scorpions continue to obey no rules. Their accuracy drops by 200% this episode and they are re somehow all destroyed within a couple minutes. The Golden Company are similarly pointless and underwhelming. Even the elephants couldn’t have saved them.
The rest of the episode was pretty great. The whole thing looked phenomenal. The sequences of Arya running through a crumbling King’s Landing were suitably horrific. Cleganebowl was awesome fun and provided a perfect conclusion for The Hound’s character. Varys staying true to his character until the End was wonderful, and I especially liked the subtle reveal that he tried to poison Dany. All of these things were a joy to watch, it’s just a shame that the writing this season has ruined something which could have been so much better.