Game of Thrones Half-Remembered Recap: S08E05, “The Bells”

Like so many a departing senior just riding out their final days before summer, Game of Thrones is continuing to really phone it in these last couple weeks of class.

Off at Northern High, Varys, our Bald Gossip Girl, is penning a juicy post about how brooding hunk Jon Snow is totally fucking his hot aunt. Soon after, near the practice grounds of the Northern rowing team, he inquires: “So, Jon, anything to add before I post this? Thoughts on becoming prom king?”

Jon Snow, ever devoted to his emo persona, shrugs it off. “My being king may make everyone happy… But the world isn’t a happy place, man.” (Flicks cigarette.)

Meanwhile, off at Dany’s locker, we see that she didn’t wear makeup today; it’s clear she’s totally depressed. Soon we find out why.

Speaking to Tyrion, the class clown who probably could have been valedictorian if he hadn’t been held back after his DUI, Dany explains, “So, everyone knows my secret, which sucks. And I hear Jon told Sansa, and Sansa told you, and you told Varys, and you know Varys totally blabs about everything. And it just sucks, because I totally told Jon not to tell Sansa in the first place, because everyone knows she would love the drama.”

“Sorry, but who is it you’re mad at then?”

“Mostly just Varys, obviously. He’s got to die.”

Off at his desk, Varys senses this. He doesn’t even bother posting his last write-up, and he takes off his jewelry and drops it in a cup, setting the scene for some later adventurer to find a “gossip +3” ring in a goblet inexplicably.

Herself a bit of a drama Queen, Dany has decided to sentence Varys to death by DRAGONFIRE. She, Jon Snow, Tyrion, probably Grey Worm, maybe someone else—whatever—they bring Varys to a cliffside in the middle of the night. You’d think Dany would also want to make a big spectacle of executing a traitor, since she’s all bent on being merciless this episode, but it’s a sensual, quiet affair.

The onlookers stand around Varys like he’s a hoop and Drogon, the most creatively named of dragons, is taking a freethrow. Drogon breathes his flame…

Swish! So, weirdly, absolutely none of the people a few feet away get a rebound. Also, none of the rock below Varys catastrophically explodes, which will retroactively be frustrating once it fucks up so, so many structures.

Next day of class, Tyrion is like, “Look, Dany. I know you want to take prom queen from my sister. But just remember: once the bell rings and the doors open, school’s out. So then your playground fight is just assault.”

“Yeah, whatever, sure,” Dany agrees. “Also, your brother has been crammed into a locker.”

Meanwhile, Jon Snow, along with the cool older teacher he sometimes hangs out with and the moody Torgo “Grey Worm” Nudho have made the 45-minute-ish drive to King’s Landing. They question whether to attack immediately.

“No,” Jon Snow interjects, “Let’s wait until it’s that absurd CGI greenscreen daytime of The Phantom Menace climax, the absurdly blue sky matched with softly lit characters that remains the standard for some reason.”

While defenses at King’s Landing are high for the coming attack, Arya and her older chum, Good Dog, quickly get inside with a pithy line. But anyway…

Back at Northern, Tyrion lets out his brother, Jaime, the fifth-year senior who can’t seem to leave this petty, childish bullshit behind, and Jaime sprints off straight into the arms of the girlfriend he had in middle school. Typical.

Next morning, it’s Teen Wolf time. Lannister Prep versus Northern High. And guess who has the mythological character to dunk on the other dudes…

Thusly, just as the two sides are about to fight, Dany flies in on a fucking dragon. Through her dragon’s highly-maneuverable flight, she could easily avoid all the dumb boat defenses altogether, but instead she goes straight at those. And while those boats’ giant-arrow things were stupidly accurate in her last non-battle with them, this time they are proper shit. She wins! Hooray!

Then she moves on to the giant-arrow things that were installed on King’s Landing’s walls. She blows the fuck out of them, too. And then the wall’s gates. And then pretty much all the enemy troops. (The enemy general, who abruptly becomes some character we’re meant to think is a somebody, only dies shortly after.)

Cersei has been villainously smirking out a window for this entire episode, if not sleepless weeks. But once she finds out she’s lost all her big-arrow crossbows, she’s finally shaken. She may indeed lose, as would make for the obvious arc everyone has been expecting.

Guided by an old guy who is apparently her Hand, she—also, her bodyguard (Giant Zombie Who We Know Is That Big Icelandic Guy), and three to five other guys—ring the bells and GTFO.

At the same time, King’s Landing’s troops have already surrendered to the opposing army’s leaders of name-brand heroes, who bafflingly led the charge. School bell has rung. Dany is perched atop her scaly steed, pleased with herself. She’s thinking how, no, “Drogon” is definitely a creative name for a dragon.

But isn’t that actually a crazy name for a dragon? It’s just “dragon” with an “o” instead of an “a”! Who would name a child “Humon”? It’s perhaps the craziest name for a dragon.

She must be fucking nuts.

So we’re just going to go with that for the rest of the series.

Instead of conquering the city, taking over on the Iron Throne, executioning Cersei with one of her dragon’s strangely-contained fire-bursts, and winning this stupid game, the innocent-loving Dany has some bloodlust now. She starts taking out the city like a scratch-off—with an admirably systematic wiping out that leaves us with only sadness, regret, and a bunch of grey dust.

With Drogon doing his lizard puke all over the place, the Unsullied (and some Dothraki, who apparently aren’t all dead from this prior trash?) take it as their cue to restart the slaughter. Jon Snow is crestfallen.

“Stop killing everyone,” Jon Snow yells, stabbing a couple guys after. “They surrendered,” he yells, slashing a couple more dudes. “Come” *stab* “on” *hack* “bros!” *splat*

At least he saves a lady from a rapist, though.

Earlier, when the dragon was exploding boats, it was made painfully, abundantly clear that Euron (aka, just Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth) was thrown clear of the blast. At the same time, though, Jaime was finding that his half-hour drive into the city took too long: He wasn’t able to get into the closing gates, despite being one of the biggest celebrities in Westeros, a Kingslayer with a literal golden hand that already got him recognized at the start of this episode. Thanks to those arbitrary consequences, both those guys end up meeting at… the sunny, fabulous beaches of King’s Landing!

Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth is immediately like, “By the way, I am DEFINITELY king,” before pulling out his dagger. So Jaime is really glad he picked up a sword from the pile of swords that was earlier along the street for some reason.

The two fight, both losing their weapons and resulting in a fist fight, in which Jaime never just clunks the guy with his fucking METAL HAND.

What the fuck, man?

Euron gets both his weapon back and a couple good stabs in—thanks to Jaime never delivering the biggest stab of all: calling him “Urine.” Jaime does get the second-biggest stab, though: ramming that streetside sword into Sabretooth’s belly.

Returning to the Landing, Dany and Drogon, that power couple, are just making absolute shit of the place. They care for not man, woman, child, nor infrastructure. Hath Dany no desire to sit on the iconic Iron Throne where her father once was?

Apparently not. She’s now Ivanka Trump, cool to just bleach her hair and complete the wretched destruction her insane, likewise too-blonde father was hellbent on accomplishing.

At this point, Arya and Doggy Two-Face have nearly reach their mission of finding their targets: Cersei and Undead Strongest Man Alive. Respectively.

In the only psychological turnaround that isn’t infuriating this season, Dogman Tallboy tells Arya, “Look, I am an absolute asshole obsessed with vengeance, and I’m definitely dying here. This place is already fucked and Cersei will certainly die. Could you just go?”

She does.

Dog Humon soon does find his massive zombie brother, though—and Cersei, too. He kills Cersei’s entourage in a ridiculous, swashbuckler Errol Flynn fashion; smushes the head of that old dude; lets Cersei go for later plot reasons; and finally faces his brother. And… it’s not that great.

They really go at each other, but it quickly ends when Zombie Hulk starts to squish in Hound’s head, implementing his classic Fatality:: thumbs in eyes, squash the head like a soggy melon. Unfortunately for that big idiot, the younger Clegane stabs his dagger into his elder brother’s own soggy melon of a head, and both tumble off the side. So that’s done.

Below where those two fell off, upon the map mural where debris conveniently never hits main characters, Cersei and Jaime finally meet up. They scamper off into the dungeons below the city to record what will be their final incest porn.

Up on the main city layer, Arya is forced to be our lady on the street for this nonsensical news story. She’s getting walked over, trying to save people, and definitely contracting lung cancer amid the dust of all the falling buildings.

And can we talk about the other deaths? Like, they really went nuts on being graphic, right? As if we don’t know that being burned alive, or axed in the head, is a rough death.

Speaking of, though: while Dany is in the air, absolutely ravaging this city for reasons only David Benioff or D. B. Weiss could ever lazily describe to an unseen interviewer after the show, Cersei and Jaime are below, trying to escape. After a short time of the brother comforting his lover and sister, both end up like all the audience: crushed beneath the massive hype for Game of Thrones’ impending finale.

Above, Dany continues to treat this battle like she’s finishing a crossword, alternating between long lines and hammering on little areas until she gets tired enough to pass out. Jon Snow has decided to fuck off with his remaining troops and leave. And while Grey Worm and his squad should have clearly been burned/crushed by any rationale, they’ll all probably also just show up next episode, doing fine.

We close on Arya. She’s nearly escaped, with only definitely lung cancer that will kill her in a few years, when… a white horse approaches. The two almost seem to recognize each other. Is she doing a Liam Neeson bit? No. It’s just a horse. She rides out on it.

Actually, it’s probably the ghost of her father, who was executed there, and who’s now a horse. I’m just making that up, but it makes as much sense as anything else going on here.

So the Hot To Trot chapter of Game of Thrones begins. And ends. Because, thank god, we’re done after next episode.

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