Game of Thrones S8E5 Recap (Spoilers): The Last War
We’ve waited for what felt like an eternity, but folks – it is here. It’s time. The FINAL season of HBO’s hit Game of Thrones is underway. Join me every week as I hit the highlights of the latest episode and discuss little news and notes you might’ve missed along the way. LFG – Winter is here.
Game of Thrones S8E5 Recap (Spoilers)
This episode starts with the execution of Varys. Just, right off the bat, Varys is literally boom roasted. Not before getting some ravens out with the news that Jon’s the rightful heir to the throne. He and Tyrion have a nice little goodbye and Varys hopes he’s wrong about Dany (that’s probably a cue that he’s not wrong about Dany). Dany utters, ‘dracarys’ and Varys is toast.
Jon visits Dany and backs away from her affection. She tells him there is no love for her here, so she’ll just have to use fear. Not a good sign. Dany is game-planning with Grey Worm and Tyrion. Tyrion pleads for her to stop when the bells ring so no innocent people have to die. She reluctantly agrees (I mean, FFS she just wants to burn this city to the ground), and on his way out, she tells Tyrion, “the next time you fail me will be the last.” Not a good sign for Tyrion here.
We catch up with The Hound and Arya, who literally ride right into King’s Landing. Tyrion visits Jaime, who was captured by Dany’s forces trying to get back to Cersei. Tyrion frees him and tells him to get Cersei out of the city. Not a good move – Jaime points out the obvious, “your queen will execute you for this.” Nice moment here between the brothers.
Then, it’s on to King’s Landing the next day. People are hunkering down for the oncoming war while some of our heroes are sneaking in to the city. Tyrion tells Jon, “if you hear the bells ring, call off your men.” This is as tense as things can get.
Dany shows up overhead riding Drogon and completely decimating the Iron Fleet. Then, he starts taking out the scorpions atop the wall at King’s Landing. This sumbitch about to make short work of the city’s defenses.
There’s really not much to say at this point – it’s pretty much a Drogon and Dany’s army laying siege to King’s Landing. Qyburn tries to convince Cersei to bail, but she won’t. Dany’s forces enter the city and are confronted with the Lannister army, who, upon weighing their options, decide to drop their swords and surrender.
The bells ring.
But, Dany can’t stop won’t stop. Drogon starts lighting the city up, soldiers and innocent civilians alike. We cut to Grey Worm, who chucks a spear into the surrendered Lannister men. Jon tries to call the men off, but ain’t nobody listenin’ to him. It’s full on madness at this point.
Jon very clearly understands that this is madness. The Mad Queen rides.
Jaime makes it around to the hidden entrance to the Red Keep only to be confronted by Euron, who somehow miraculously survived the attack on the Iron Fleet and swam to the exact spot of the hidden entrance. They do some sword fighting as folks in those days were prone to do. Euron stabs Jaime twice, but Jaime gets up and drives a sword through Euron’s tummy, thus ending him as the most irrelevant character to all of this. Seriously – I hate Euron.
Qyburn finally convinces Cersei to get the hell out of dodge.
Meanwhile, The Hound and Arya are on the way up the Red Keep when The Hound convinces Arya to give up her vengeful ways and get out of that place. Then, IT HAPPENS! CLEGANEBOWL!
Jaime and Cersei are reunited. He tries to get her out but the castle is literally coming down on top of them. Time is of the essence for Arya as well, who is shown traversing the chaotic scenes in the city’s streets.
CleganeBowl ends when The Hound runs The Mountain through the crumbling wall and into the fiery depths of hell itself (I think….at least, that’s what it looked like).
Shit, y’all! Wildfire is blowing up in the streets! Who else forgot about all the stores of it around King’s Landing?! Jon is ordering men to fall back. At this point, They’re just trying to GTFO.
Deep within the Red Keep, Cersei and Jaime arrive at the exit only to discover the rubble has closed the doorway. There’s nowhere to go as the castle literally crumbles down on top of them. Cersei and Jaime die together.
The episode ends with ashes falling from the sky. Arya has survived…barely…and she hops on a horse and rides out of King’s Landing….presumably unhappy with how things went down.
Dany is the Mad Queen. That’s where we’re at now with only one episode to go. A lot of people were unhappy with her “snap” decision to just burn King’s Landing to the ground, but I don’t understand how you can see it that way. This season has been her undoing – her breaking. She’s worked for so long to get to where she is, but recently it’s been loss after loss after loss. It was bound to happen, and I generally like the grand vision behind it – but it feels rushed (like much of this season to many people). It’d play a lot different if there was more time.
Plus, Dany’s always had a history (on the show) of having a bit of a calloused side. We’ve seen her teeter between rage and kindness before.
You can read this for more that I’m not willing to type right now. Nonetheless, by and large, it feels like this is the last storyline to tie up at this point, and I imagine it’s all the finale will be about.
People are who they are. A lot of folks are disappointed in how Jaime’s arc ultimately ended, but I loved it. He was one of the most complex characters on the show. Just when it looked like he was going to redeem himself, he slipped back to his old ex. In the end, nothing could top his love for Cersei – he saw himself as the hateful man he warned Brienne about…not the man he could be. Also, let’s not act like he went to Winterfell because he was a good man to begin with! He went because he wasn’t underestimating the Night King the way Cersei was. He was trying to save his ass.
Jaime could have been among the best of them. But, he could never escape Cersei’s love. It’s like he wasn’t truly whole without her.
I go back and forth between theories. On one hand, her arc is pretty well completed. She became this badass assassin with the purpose of killing the Night King – she’s served that. She had a nice little scene with The Hound in which he jars her to realize that she doesn’t want to lead a life fueled by vengeance the same way he has. So, that could be it for her.
On the other hand, I like the idea of her being the Song of Ice and Fire because she killed both the Night King (ice) and Dany (fire). If Arya is the last person standing, the true hero of this tale, wouldn’t that be kind of badass?
Regardless, the way she’s been a focal point of this season, I figure she’s going to have a massive role to play in the finale.
We finally got CleganeBowl, and in my opinion, it delivered on all fronts. This was literally the only reason The Hound was still around…he made his choice long ago and vengeance was the only path for him. The Mountain was a veritable zombie robot. But, the moment he saw his brother, it’s like nothing else in the world mattered. Qyburn ordered him to stay by his queen’s side, and he practically chokeslammed him onto a pile of rocks and killed him instantly.
Then, the mere visual of the two brothers, standing on the stairs, with the dragon fire roaring overhead. It was just beautiful. I even loved the subtlety of The Hound laughing when he realized he couldn’t kill The Mountain. Like, he realized he’d dedicated his life to ending his brother only to find out he couldn’t.
The Hound tackles The Mountain and they fall through the crumbling wall and allllllll the way down the side of The Red Keep into a pit of fire. Damn.
*Dany specifically says that Jon betrayed her. Grey Worm noticed that Jon stood back after he threw a spear at the surrendering Lannister army. I don’t think this bodes well for Jon. Just as things don’t really bode well for Tyrion. We’re due for some heartbreak, y’all.
*My main criticism of this season is how Tyrion is being handled. He went from being one of the greatest minds in all of Westeros to enduring blunder after blunder. Just doesn’t make sense to me.
*People were critical of Varys’ death. Said it didn’t make sense for him to do what he did, but I don’t agree. I think it was made pretty clear that Varys was one of the good ones – one of the dudes who genuinely cared about the good of the people. He saw what was happening to Dany and risked everything to get the word out about Jon.
*The wildfire going off throughout the city was a nice touch. Seems like Cersei had a plan to blow Dany’s forces up and do as much damage as she could. Just didn’t happen, ’cause y’know…Drogon basically did that for her.
*Can we all at least agree that Euron has to be the worst, most pointless “main” character in the show’s history?
*So, who rang the bells?
Try to function this week – we’ll do this for the last time next Monday.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Alabama Crimson Tide football, the WWE, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley