This to be the most consequential episode in video game of Thrones history. The penultimate illustration of the collection was very tense visual stunner that had an enormous influence on most of the significant characters. Number of fan favorites are dead. Daenerys went full Targaryen. Tyrion cursed treason. The loyalty of Dany’s remaining supporters — consisting of Jon snow — is currently in question. The Cleganebowl happened. And also Arya chose to pick life over vengeance.

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In a way, the illustration — titled “The Bells” — felt favor a solution to the objections of the battle of Winterfell even though it to be filmed at about the very same time. “Episode 3 was as well dark.” Oh, friend think so? How’s this because that some fight clarity? “The very first battle was overhyped.” Okay, here’s a 2nd battle that was kept totally secret. “Not enough major characters passed away in the first battle.” Well, buckle up buddy. (Both episodes, by the way, were directed through “Battle of the Bastards” helmer Miguel Sapochnik).

I have actually a lot of thoughts about this one, especially about Dany’s “Mad Queen” turn and also Arya’s huge decision.

On the beach, Varys intercepts Jon eye as he arrives. Varys urges that to take the crown because that himself and Jon, of course, refuses. “Every time a Targaryen is born the god toss a coin,” Varys says. “I still don’t know how her coin has actually landed, but I’m quite details about yours.”

In the castle, Daenerys look at unlike we’ve ever seen her before. The grieving mom of Dragon’s hair and also makeup team apparently went down through the remainder of her fleet last week. She’s visited by Tyrion who educates her that somebody has actually betrayed her. “Jon Snow,” she says. In a way, Dany is correct. If it wasn’t because that Jon snow going against her wishes, Tyrion wouldn’t have uncovered out about his parentage and then Varys wouldn’t have started maneuvering to betray her.

Daenerys sees this together Sansa’s treachery. So many fans blasted Sansa last week for not keeping Jon’s secret. But an alert what Dany is saying. Couldn’t this have been a clever Littlefinger-like plot rather than a moment of weak confiding in a friend? Watching the scene, that was difficult to tell. Possibly it to be a little bit of both? Sansa to be throwing a bomb into Dany’s within circle and also had to understand it would explode.

For Tyrion, this is a challenging situation. Tyrion likes Varys, who when saved his life. However Tyrion is likpriziv.orgise a survivalist. He’s currently on thin ice v Dany and if the doesn’t tell his queen around Varys’ treachery, then once she finds the end he’s dead too. Tyrion has made a most blunders the last pair seasons, but ratting out Varys isn’t among them.

Later, Grey Worm it s okay Varys from his room. The Spider taking off his rings really acquired me. He’s carried to the beach. This is whereby Melisandre when sacrificed heretics come the lord of irradiate so numerous seasons ago. Now a various burning is around to take place, however the night is quiet dark and also now it’s full of even worse terrors. “I hope I’m wrong,” Varys tells Tyrion. “Truly i do.” but you have the right to see that in his face — Varys is certain he’s right. Tyrion gives him a sort touch, the last he’ll ever before feel, and also Varys watch surprised.

Dany executes Varys through a blast from Drogon, that emerges out of the darkness behind her like a beautiful demon. The mode of execution is rather fitting together castrated Varys’ vul were tossed into a wonder fire once he was a kid, motivating his lifetime dislike and distrust that sorcery. Currently the remainder of him is consumed a magic-induced fire as well.

Why, exactly, was Varys executed? It’s no made perfectly clear. Yet Varys has been creating letters, feasible trying to out Jon snow as the true heir to miscellaneous lords. His conversation with his young spy who operated in the kitchen suggested he could have been plotting to poison the queen, who had been refusing come eat. Add to his conversations v Tyrion and Jon treasonous together well.

Later, Tyrion tries to to convince Dany, one critical time, to display restraint and not attack the city. We’re an alleged to be completely on his side, ethically speaking. Yet the occupants of King’s Landing space Cersei’s responsibility and she deserve to only host them increase as person shields while deliberately provoking a dragon-riding Targaryen to attack for for this reason long prior to she shares part blame too.

Tyrion additionally brings increase Meereen, which is critical reminder of mad Queen foreshadowing. Psychic Dany’s first instinct as soon as Meereen was under bombardment through the slave cities in season 6? “I will crucify the masters,” Dany declared. “I will collection their fleets afire. I will certainly kill every last among their soldiers and also return their urban to the dirt. That’s my plan.” Tyrion talked her out of it. At the time we thought, Well, Dany more than likely didn’t really median it. However she did. She’s said various other things prefer this too along the way. In season 2, Dany similarly promised, “We will certainly lay waste come armies and burn urban to the ground.” and also in season 6, she request the Dothraki come pledge to “kill my opponents in their iron suits and also tear down their stone houses.” Time and again, us dismissed such speak as bluster. It wasn’t.

And when again, Tyrion it s okay Dany to organize back, or seems to. Tyrion states he’ll sneak right into the city and shot to to convince his sister to surrender one last time. If successful, he’ll ring the city’s bells signaling for Dany to avoid the attack.

Dany climate reveals come Tyrion that Jaime Lannister was caught trying to sneak behind adversary lines. She alerts Tyrion — just as she warned Varys last season — that she will certainly execute that if he betrays her.

So what’s Tyrion going to do? Again, like Varys, he goes because that broke. He visits his imprisoned brother and decides to relax him, just as Jaime freed Tyrion in season 4. Tyrion correct realizes Cersei is far an ext likely to listen to Jaime. The two have actually a an extremely touching and emotional goodbye. “Tens of hundreds of innocent lives, one not particularly innocent dwarf, seems choose a same trade,” Tyrion says. “If the weren’t for you I never would have survived my childhood. You to be the just one who didn’t treat me like a monster.” Tyrion also reveals a secret passage out of the Red store for the 2 to escape.

We’re teased here with a happy finishing for the Lannister twins: cruising off to start a life together sompriziv.orghere far away, just as Grey Worm and Missandei dreamy about. Tyrion knows he’s never ever going to his brother lively again, one means or the other.

And Tyrion now seems dead one of two people way. If he marched into the Red keep to have actually a chat with Cersei, she’d either death him or that would have perished in the attack. However by sending Jaime in his place, Tyrion is committing treason. His ideal option would have actually been to perform nothing — stay at Dragonstone and also keep Jaime locked up for his very own safety and also sit earlier and allow Dany it is in Dany. However doing nothing and also risking naught is also the selfish move that Cersei would have done.

King’s Landing: in ~ first, Daenerys’ attacking King’s Landing is at sight gratifying. She wipes out the stole Fleet, figuring out what fans pointed out last week that, ohhh, you have the right to circle behind the ships to blast the scorpions. Euron escapes come safety. She also takes the end the scorpions top top the castle walls (it would be wiser because that Dany to strike at night, yet after the battle of Winterfell we’re happy because that the daylight action).

For Daenerys, the fight for King’s Landing is currently pretty simple. As soon as she gets every the scorpions, the city is hers. So now what?

Red Keep: Qyburn gives Cersei the bad npriziv.orgs. Cersei is in denial as always. “The Red Keep has actually never fallen, it will certainly not fall today.”

So lot of the lead up to the large turn is directed through such gorgeous precision and suspense. Ramin Djawadi nail-biting score ratchets the anxiety to another level.

We acquire a standoff. Jon Snow, Grey Worm, and Davos v the Unsullied face the remaining gold Company troops. Dany ~ above Drogon perched ~ above the city ramparts. Cersei staring out from the Red Keep. Cries from the civilization to ring the bells.

Will Cersei ring the bells? No. She won’t. However somebody does anyway. She watch fine around this, perhaps also relieved the the decision was taken the end of she hands. The Lannister troops throw under their swords come surrender.

But Dany has other ideas. She’s high on destruction. She doesn’t desire peace. She’s staring in ~ the Red Keep and looks furious. She can stop all this however … well…she simply doesn’t want to.

Dany flies into King’s Landing and also blasts away. Buildings, civilians, everyone. The foolish Queen has actually arrived. Her house words space “Fire and Blood” and also she’s delivering both.

Tyrion watches this and also realizes: He to be wrong around Dany.

Jon eye watches her and also realizes: He was wrong around Dany too.

We clock Daenerys and … wait, were us wrong as well?

Did we currently think Dany was capable of this? Or were we in denial about her murderous ways? Did we really think somebody that crucified 163 people because she assumed castle were all responsible because that killing servants was a great person? Or do we feel this is an unfair trick; that authors of gained are advertise a mad Queen narrative versus Dany’s character?

Remember the scene in season 2 in the house of the Undying? Dany had actually a vision the walking v the Red Keep. The ceiling was damaged open and there to be this white stuff falling right into the throne room. Us assumed the was snow and that winter had involved the South. In this episode, at long last, Dany really is in King’s Landing and the Red keep really is gift destroyed. However there’s no snow. We see that white stuff was in reality ash, the ash that’s now raining across the city. Dany’s the queen the the ashes. Therefore this turn was foreshadowed native the show’s an extremely early days.



There to be plenty of moment in previous periods to assistance Daenerys going mad Queen. Has the display been a bit tricky in playing her murderous moments together heroic and also only recently seemed come want united state to really question them? Perhaps. However I wouldn’t speak GoT has been unexpectedly pushing the idea the Dany is negative so much as law what a good drama go in its last act — placing its protagonist come the ultimate check of character. And in law so, the point that acquired is actually pushing is a debate about Dany’s morality, bringing the question right into the foreground that the present after letting it sit quietly in the background because that so long.

We think Daenerys is a great person due to the fact that she’s happy made so countless benevolent choices to try and make the people a much better place. Those selections tended to be made as soon as Daenerys was emotion calm and secure. As soon as you have two armies and three dragon it’s straightforward to decision you’re going come banish slavery due to the fact that you can. But the show has also pretty consistently presented that when Daenerys gets really-really upset she fairly nimbly leaps to “kill them every in the most painful means possible” as the finest solution nevertheless of whether it’s totally justified or not. And also she’s never been angrier 보다 she is now.

Since season 7, Dany’s shed two dragons, she two most trusted friends and also advisors (Ser Jorah and Missandei), and also has unable to do from ruling a land whereby she was venerated to a continent wherein — together she puts that — nobody loves her. Dany didn’t seem choose she necessary that huge of a push to nuke a city, and the final season has given her a really difficult shove. What she does here is a lot favor Aegon i Targaryen’s burn of Harrenhal to conquer Westeros in the very first place.

And yet…and yet…it’s definitely shocking that Dany opts to simply start nuking civilians as soon as it’s so clean she didn’t have to. That is correct shocking. Personalities hopefully sometimes do shocking things otherwise they’re utterly predictable and also dull. The dispute is whether this is an deserve “character surprises you” minute or — as one pan grieved top top Twitter — “character assassination.”

I doubt the crucial is Dany’s quote earlier around ruling through fear. She doesn’t simply want come win, she desires to teach Westeros a class after all her struggle. No an ext traitors, no an ext lords refusing the bend the knee, no more perceived disrespect — all that’s over. If you mess with Dany, this is what happens and now everybody will fall in line. That course, probably this wasn’t around any type of reasonable all. Varys warned around Targaryen prejudice to madness. Possibly we’re intended to think Dany just ultimately snapped.

If I’m propelled to criticize, then I’d speak that i wished season 8 had more episodes come play Dany’s arc out a little longer, but I additionally know the production provided the final season everything they had given the level that production compelled to pull turn off its battle sequences.

One point is certain: all those parents the end there who called their kid “Daenerys” space going come super annoyed.

The Hound and Arya: The Hound talks Arya into not start the Red store with him. “If you come through me, you’ll die,” the says. “Cersei’s dead anyway. Perform you must die with her?” Cersei has actually been top top Arya’s list of names because that so long. But Arya decides she’s had enough of death and also changes her mind.

I’m disappointed no to get an Arya/Cersei scene due to the fact that that would have been amazing. I can’t assist but imagine a scene whereby Arya sneaks in and confronts Cersei and then alters her mind.

But Arya killing Cersei like so numerous have predicted would have actually been a disastrous ending because that Cersei, reducing her death to penalty for her season 1 sins and making irrelevant whatever that Cersei has done due to the fact that then. The “right” fatality for Cersei, narratively speaking, is that she dies due to having make one devastating leadership decision after an additional — which is precisely what happens and also Cersei is accurate crushed through the collapsing weight of the structure that symbolizes her power (not totally unlike the method she up her opponents at the finish of season 6).

And besides, ns love this turn for Arya and also it yes, really matters the her an option is made in the very same episode as Dany torching the city. Due to the fact that I’ve had actually some the the very same concerns about Arya’s homicidal streak together I’ve had around Dany. Arya, too, has engaged in increasingly indiscriminate death — wiping the end that hall complete of Freys due to the fact that they’re part of that group, nevertheless of every individual’s guilt or innocence. And also just choose with Dany, we’ve cheered Arya’s murderousness and also not questioned it since she’s another young hero who’s gone with hell. Yet killing human being has seemed to have actually less and less meaning to Arya. And also as the happens, life has actually less and less definition too.

So Arya choose to let go of her vengeance — the opposite of Dany. Instead, Arya devotes the rest of the illustration to do the efforts to assist others, journeying ash-covered v the roads of King’s Landing, a sequence with a notable 9/11 feel. Arya also calls The Hound “Sandor” for the very first time, providing him ago a little bit of his humankind too prior to the end.

The Hound, however, feels prefer he doesn’t have anything come live for. He’s been wait to hit his brother ever since Gregor organized his tiny brother’s face into the fire when they were kids.

The Hound find The Mountain. I like that there’s tiny hesitation. As shortly as The mountain sees him, the giant silently knows and also agrees the this is completely happening. Qyburn foolishly make the efforts to stop The Mountain and also gets killed. Cersei, in the only minute of levity in this episode, positive slithers previous The Hound to gain out the the way. Cersei looks choose she’s at the very least 40 percent convinced The Hound is walk to death her and really hope to just skate on by.

They fight and it’s beautiful. The step looks favor some sort of Renaissance painting concerned life. We acquire to watch The Mountain’s Anakin Skywalker face. There’s a moment where we think The mountain is going to repeat his eye gouging trick however The Hound escapes. The Hound stabs The mountain in the eye v a dagger, and also that doesn’t stop him. The Hound realizes the only way to death his brothers is to sacrifice himself too — right into the fire. Sandor deals with his two greatest fears, his brother and the flames, and also pulls them both end the edge. Peace for The Hound at last.

After the CleganeBowl, we get The Dane key — Jaime vs. Euron (both played by Danish actors). Everybody guess CleganeBowl, however nobody suspect this fight and also it makes so lot sense for both characters.

The struggle tests Jaime’s left-handed knife fight training and also Euron has actually a blast. Is it weird the I type of excellent Euron Greyjoy? regardless of so numerous terrible qualities, Euron find so much reckless pleasure in every little thing he does and there’s miscellaneous appealing around that. He’s so thrilled to be in this fight that he cannot yes, really lose.

Euron mortally wounds Jaime v several destructive stabs come the gut. Jaime is tho able to complete him off.

“I’m the guy who eliminated Jaime Lannister,” Euron marvels v a laugh on his face. He’s the just character on the display who’s ever before been so thrilled to perish.

Jaime finds Cersei who is in full panic mode as reality sets in. Ns can’t help but wonder what Tywin Lannister would have done differently if he was still in charge. It’s tough to imagine Tywin ever before surrendering come a Targaryen queen, however I also can’t picture him letting King’s Landing get destroyed.

Jaime bring away his sister down into the cellars where Tyrion told the there was a an enig exit. Because that a moment, us think they’re going come escape. They find the passage blocked. The huge dragon skull appears to mock Cersei — a life dragon is damaging the city over and below is a dead one under below, v Cersei about to join it.

“I don’t desire to die, ns don’t desire our son to die,” Cersei says, her icy composure breaking down totally for the an initial time in the show. (So, yup, quiet pregnant — Happy Mother’s job everyone!).

Jaime realizes the end is near: “Just look in ~ me, there’s only the two of us, we’re the just ones who matter.” Jaime soothes her by echoing her very own words from years ago.

They’re staring at each various other as the ceiling collapses, killing them both (yes, they’re really dead). Lock went the end of the civilization as castle came into it — together. As I’ve pointed out prior to in these recaps, Jaime and Cersei — for every that’s twisted around their connection — otherwise have had the longest and also most classic romance on the show. Many thought the Jaime was going to return to kill Cersei. Yet Jaime has always loved her even if we do not. He’s the friend in the toxic partnership who won’t hear to reason. And while Jaime combated with the Starks and found part romance with Brienne, nothing taken place in Winterfell that would make Jaime suddenly hate Cersei, therefore why would he risk his life simply to death her? The best way to for sure Cersei’s fatality — if that’s what Jaime want — would have been to remain with Brienne.

Returning to Cersei in she hour of require was among those things…we do…for love…

What the show has done right here is pay turn off the long-foreshadowed foolish King moment. Years back the critical Targaryen king wanted to destroy King’s Landing if it was under attack from Tywin Lannister in addition to Ned Stark, and also then Jaime Lannister killed him. We’ve to be reminded of this so numerous times that suitable storytelling insists game of Thrones had actually to somehow revisit the conflict and those decisions. What the showrunners have actually done is avoid just repeating the previous or opting because that the most evident paths. Every the elements have come earlier together: an invasion, a Targaryen, The Kingslayer, Tywin’s other children, a Stark and the city at risk of being ruined by fire. Yet the facets have been remixed to play the end in one entirely and mainly unexpected way. will have four big intervipriziv.orgs about tonight’s episode. There’s one increase right currently with Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, and also he provides a really candid (“Nothing could console me…”) about what the was like to find out his storyline to be ending and has some thoughts around the show’s treatment of his character.

You can also read Lena Headey’s insight about Cersei’s last moments, in which she states it might be “the first time that Cersei has gone to peace.”

We additionally have one with The Hound gibbs Rory McCann around the CleganeBowl — this is an actor who, favor his character, “isn’t much of a talker.” So i was pretty dazzling to acquire this much insight, and there’s a quite touching bit in over there from Maisie Williams as well.

Oh, and here’s HBO’s trailer because that the series finale. Also here space 7 time GoT foreshadowed Dany’s mad Queen turn.

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Here’s this week’s podcast on iTunes,, Spotify, Stitcher, or stream that below. Darren Franich and I most likely disagreed much more than we ever before had on an epiosde in this one.