Game of Thrones’ Penultimate Episode: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Dragon Queen Scorned

Ring “The Bells”! The latest news from Westeros: a dragon dies, and a tyrant is born.

by | May 12, 2019 | Comments

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

After hanging in for over seven seasons of Game of Thrones — about 72 hours of TV — fans’ beloved Mother of Dragons just devolved into a crazy bitch literally within sight of the Iron Throne. In “The Bells,” the second to last episode of the series that aired Sunday, Emilia Clarke’s celebrated heroine nosedived from “Mother of Dragons” to “Fascist Dictator of Fire & Blood.”

What? She couldn’t handle the pressure? She couldn’t be trusted to make the right decision in the heat of the moment? She let emotion triumph over reason? She’s become her father?

Is there a single woman in the Seven Kingdoms who’s smart, powerful, and can get things done without killing people? (R.I.P., Margaery Tyrell.)

Here are the top moments from Episode 5: "The Bells" 49%.

1. Dracarys, Varys

Varys in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Varys dies in this strange land by dragonfire. Tyrion betrays Varys’ betrayal of Daenerys, telling her that the secret is out and Varys is Team Aegon. And starting now, and repeatedly throughout the episode, we think, Jon could’ve stopped all this madness by sleeping with her again. We weren’t alone:


2. Drogon and on and on…

Drogon destroys King's Landing season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

Drogon destroys the Iron Fleet, then the scorpions lining the walls overlooking Blackwater Bay, then the gates of King’s Landing and the Golden Company along with them, and more scorpions.

Daenerys pauses to catch her breath — she must’ve lost her voice saying “dracarys” that much.

The city takes a hair too long to ring the bells of surrender, while Dany stews in her vengeance perched atop the city walls.

Drogon next sets the streets aflame along with terrified innocent bystanders, and then begins destroying the Red Keep, which is beautiful and terrible to see. Dragonfire also sets off pockets of wildfire still hidden in the bowels of the city, sending green plumes up in the inferno that was once King’s Landing.

In the thick of the carnage, we have to say goodbye to Harry Strickland (dispatched care of Grey Worm’s revenge). We hardly knew ye!

Jon realizes the madness Daenerys’ fury has wrought. She promised him fear, and she did not disappoint.

3. Tyrion Says Farewell

Tyrion signs his own death warrant by letting Jaime go. At least the act gives us this touching moment between the two brothers.

“If it weren’t for you, I never would have survived our childhood,” Tyrion says. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had.”

They’re crying, we’re crying, you’re crying …

4. The Man Who Killed Jaime Lannister

Euron in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

In a moment so fleeting in its treatment of a major showdown that it argues (again) for at least one more episode in this too-brief final season, Euron miraculously swaggers out of Blackwater Bay at the same time Jaime arrives at the spot to sneak into the Red Keep through the exit that Tyrion told him about.

Euron tells Jaime that he will be a legend if he kills a second king. Jaime: “You’re no king.” Euron has the title of king of the Iron Islands, so to a certain segment, he qualifies. Plus, he had sex with Cersei, so that makes him king of her boudoir – a petty king, by the tone of this absurd conversation.

Naturally, stabbing ensues.

“I got you,” Euron calls after Jaime, and with his dying breath: “I am the man who killed Jaime Lannister.”

5. Cleganebowl

The Hound versus the Mountain in Cleganebowl in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (HBO)
(Photo by HBO)

“You come with me, you die here,” The Hound says to Arya when they get inside the Red Keep, shooing her off. Uncharacteristically, Arya agrees, notably calling after “Sandor” to say thanks and then departs.

Sandor meets his brother on the Red Keep stairwell. Cersei: “Stay with me!” Mountain eyes her. Qyburn: “Obey!” The Mountain throws Qyburn down the steps with such force that he instantly dies. (Qyburn was a brittle man.) Thus, the monster killed his maker.

Cersei exits quickly and Cleganebowl is on!

“Yeah, that’s you. That’s what you’ve always been,” Sandor says to Gregor after knocking his helmet off, then runs his sword through his Frankensteined brother, who removes the blade and comes at his bro.

Much sword-swinging later – and a tumble down some stairs, slamming against walls, gouging of eyeballs, stabbing in the face – and The Hound realizes that skewering The Mountain just won’t end him, so he body-slams Gregor right through the wall into the fiery hellscape below.

We’ve joked about Qyburn playing Doctor Frankenstein with Gregor as his monster, but the monster’s final words from Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 horror novel seem more fitting for Sandor than for Gregor:

“I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace, or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.”

6. “I Want Our Baby to Live”

Cersei and Jaime in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Meanwhile, back in the map room, Jaime finds hysterical Cersei. We thought it was Arya sneaking up on Cersei or even wearing Jaime’s face, but no, it was a real moment between the twins.

“I want our baby to live,” she cries as they find themselves trapped by the walls collapsing in around them.

He calms her and embraces her: “Nothing else matters.” (Cue: Metallica.)

The Red Keep becomes Jaime and Cersei’s crypt – supposedly. We’ll believe it when we see their crushed skulls.

7. A Faceless Man Meets Her Match: Gravity

Arya in season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones, "The Bells" (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

While Cleganebowl reaches its conclusion, Arya’s busy trying to save the city – or, at least, dodge the falling debris that may mean the end of her and the random people she’s tasked by the script with saving. (Unnecessary.) Finally, she wakes to an orgy of death save for one bright life standing before her.

“The Bells,” apparently, traded the kingdom for a horse.

What was your favorite moment of the episode? Tell us in the comments!

Game of Thrones season 8 finale airs Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

game show San Diego Comic-Con DC Comics Disney+ Disney Plus ESPN green book Crackle Rom-Com Chilling Adventures of Sabrina OWN ABC free movies parents E3 MSNBC children's TV Shudder book Peacock 24 frames Walt Disney Pictures BBC America cooking TruTV Binge Guide Reality Competition Syfy cinemax Oscars christmas movies Action universal monsters Hear Us Out cartoon History CMT Star Trek TCA 2017 Comedy Nat Geo GoT Starz Discovery Channel A24 films Tubi crime drama Stephen King Martial Arts documentary aliens Animation chucky Lucasfilm Bravo Musicals screen actors guild Comic Book Ovation CNN DGA critics serial killer dogs psychological thriller hispanic FOX casting Spike National Geographic Mary Poppins Returns game of thrones Country Polls and Games canceled TV Land Toys biography TBS Horror based on movie ITV BBC medical drama Sundance TV Superheroes HBO animated FX transformers The Witch sports die hard Ellie Kemper concert quibi Winners harry potter name the review romantic comedy AMC blaxploitation YouTube Premium E! Tumblr what to watch CBS All Access anthology travel Elton John Marvel Studios 21st Century Fox crime movie Amazon Prime Video TV renewals MTV dark werewolf Year in Review Fall TV Netflix Christmas movies 2019 Rock emmy awards diversity vampires Writers Guild of America Britbox Rocketman BAFTA Classic Film rotten movies we love Infographic witnail Women's History Month Song of Ice and Fire Disney dc Creative Arts Emmys Fantasy Acorn TV Lionsgate 4/20 disaster Calendar toy story science fiction Sci-Fi Heroines supernatural comics Holidays tv talk period drama PBS The Walking Dead Kids & Family Countdown Travel Channel satire cats Sundance Netflix Awards Tour Sony Pictures Premiere Dates mutant halloween Reality Family YA screenings Schedule Pride Month finale Mystery elevated horror canceled TV shows CW Seed cancelled television award winner video south america Character Guide Mary poppins First Look Quiz Holiday revenge GLAAD TLC Brie Larson USA blockbuster Film strong female leads Star Wars Apple Cannes video on demand HBO Max psycho crime thriller Shondaland Biopics docudrama Pet Sematary Superheroe documentaries Summer Valentine's Day directors DC Universe versus Turner Nominations Mudbound unscripted Anna Paquin Disney Channel ABC Family American Society of Cinematographers Fox News Western Paramount El Rey Pixar indie jamie lee curtis sequel BBC One WarnerMedia A&E GIFs criterion TV Comedy Central Grammys Tomatazos BET Awards VOD Sundance Now Extras political drama Masterpiece spy thriller Avengers Lifetime Drama Trophy Talk Esquire Paramount Network Pirates Arrowverse Chernobyl Trailer cancelled The CW Spring TV movies Hulu robots politics Podcast comiccon reboot batman SundanceTV spinoff Musical FXX MCU 007 BET Pop TV renewed TV shows HBO Go thriller Amazon Studios Marathons USA Network Universal romance Spectrum Originals Certified Fresh TNT theme song FX on Hulu Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marvel Television mockumentary YouTube Red composers Opinion spanish language social media Captain marvel APB all-time LGBT Comics on TV Pop DirecTV zero dark thirty 2017 festivals Baby Yoda X-Men Ghostbusters VICE reviews TCM spider-man indiana jones cancelled TV series zombies Adult Swim anime Lifetime Christmas movies Video Games ratings adaptation The Arrangement TCA dceu asian-american police drama Thanksgiving streaming cops Food Network historical drama Emmys Red Carpet PlayStation 45 Apple TV Plus YouTube Warner Bros. Watching Series RT History boxoffice Dark Horse Comics Set visit Mindy Kaling Cartoon Network Logo TCA Awards President best justice league true crime Endgame series Rocky cults Nickelodeon Election Trivia New York Comic Con PaleyFest Television Academy television Academy Awards breaking bad Showtime TCA Winter 2020 Freeform Cosplay sag awards Disney streaming service Christmas Crunchyroll a nightmare on elm street VH1 NBC Music mission: impossible 20th Century Fox Teen latino news Disney Plus Turner Classic Movies natural history miniseries dramedy SXSW dragons Columbia Pictures NYCC Hallmark Christmas movies comic Funimation crossover joker comedies See It Skip It richard e. Grant Best and Worst Amazon doctor who Amazon Prime ghosts adventure 2016 SDCC hist IFC Films stand-up comedy Tarantino Super Bowl twilight slashers Awards Epix 2015 The Purge Apple TV+ stoner 2020 cancelled TV shows First Reviews DC streaming service cars LGBTQ Black History Month kids talk show CBS child's play war singing competition Marvel golden globes 2018 sitcom nature scary movies zombie technology Television Critics Association space RT21 IFC binge Black Mirror independent Box Office 71st Emmy Awards TIFF discovery Film Festival Winter TV Mary Tyler Moore facebook franchise Photos foreign WGN Vudu teaser Interview Hallmark Sneak Peek Emmy Nominations spain OneApp