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Game Of Thrones Episode 5 Breakdown & Recap -- "The Bells" (Season 8)

It finally happened. Dany and her forces stormed King's Landing with explosive results. Join Lucy, Ryan, Dave, and Tamoor as they break down the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, and place their final bets on who will end up on the Iron Throne.

Game Of Thrones' second-to-last episode is now in the books (or--not actually in the books, you know what we mean) and we've officially entered the home stretch for the series. Before we head into the series finale this Sunday, let's first take a look back at everything that unfolded in Season 8, Episode 5 "The Bells." Check out our video breakdown of what unfolded, predictions for things are headed in Episode 6, and more. Spoilers ahead and in the video above.

Episode 5 featured some tragic losses. The Spider himself, Varys, managed to get himself caught in a web that was anything but his own making--although there may have been more going on than you might have initially picked up on. Specifically, there were some indications that he may have been trying to poison Dany. Meanwhile, Jaime and Cersei Lannister found their own sort of poetic peace with one another (and arguably saw through the Valonqar prophecy). Most importantly, Daenerys lost a big chunk of her sanity.

The latter development in particular, with Dany finally going Mad Queen, has been a controversial one, as some feel it wasn't effectively set up. There had been clues, sure, but some feel the shortened final seasons have not given the show the necessary amount of time to make developments (like Dany's turn) feel legitimate. Regardless, it's clear Game of Thrones is not the show we thought. And the end result is an outcome that's likely worse than what the Mad King (Dany's father, Aerys Targaryen) had intended to do, leading to Jaime killing him.

But hey, Cleganebowl finally happened, as The Hound finally got the revenge against his brother that he had been seeking for most of his life. Sure, it may have ultimately resulted in even more loss but still. That counts for something, right? The episode still managed to toss in a ton of Easter eggs and references, too, and the callbacks weren't necessarily all as obvious as something like Cleganebowl.

Meanwhile, the list of just who, exactly, is still alive and kicking for the series finale continues to dwindle. But even with a rapidly depleting roster, we've got some theories as to just how the last episode will wrap things up. Will Dany end up the Queen of the Ashes after all, or will someone intervene? There's a lot to wrap up in the show's last 80 minutes.

If relentlessly cross-examining body counts and the inevitable mortality of your favorite characters is a little too much for you right now, take a break by going back to the moments that really matter--like every time Ghost has been a very good boy over the years.

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Avatar image for xwinson

Perfectly fine with the plot point that Dany becomes bad or crazy, but the way they executed it was so poorly done.

Based on the character development we know of her, it makes more sense if she burned the surrendered Lannister soldiers, or perhaps she goes to the red keep to kill Cersei but indirectly kills hundreds of innocents. She's always being ruthless and overly harsh to her enemies but she's never showed any tendency to purposely massacre innocent people!

Avatar image for lostn

This is a bad episode. Totally ruined the entire show for me.

I wish Bran could have gone back in time and entered my mind the way he did Hodor's and told me never to get started on this trainwreck of a show. I don't care if the first few seasons were good.

I feel like I've wasted my time. I rarely say that even when I watch a bad movie.

Avatar image for NTenseify

@lostn: I feel like watching the first 6 seasons was worth it but with season 7 & 8 we're not getting anything that made the show special. Just madness and stupidity, oh well, ending really should've been postponed until Martin finishes the books.

Avatar image for Gomtor

@lostn: The whole rushed season is bad; because of the rush.

Avatar image for njs72

GOT lost the plot at the beginning of season 7. I say if anyone hasn't seen it I'd watch it up to the end of season six and forget about 7 and 8.

Avatar image for DarkFrankhs

Streaming this was tough. Don't know what is going on with this player...

Avatar image for ninjaberserker

It wasn’t a war that descended on King’s Landing. It was pure devastation. This was a massacre, just wholesale violence for the sake of violence.

Avatar image for zaynetha

Seems like its a nice time to have a little break and enjoy a company of best girls on the internet!

Avatar image for kagatoac

You have got to be F'in kidding me. I have been avoiding spoilers for weeks. and I go to a Video Game News Site. to get a spoiler blurb right on the top of my screen.

Thank You very much. I will not be coming to this site again if I want to avoid TV or Movie spoilers on my Video Game News Site!!

Avatar image for icefreze

@kagatoac: EVER wonder how stupid you sound? The world doesnt stop spinning and orbiting just because you are lagging behind. So should the internet stop discussing about GOT just because you havent watched it? Or maybe they should wait 1 year or decade later then only do a review so maybe everyone who is interested would have watched it?

It would be spoiler if Gamespot had special premier while the rest of the public has no access to it. The show is already out there. so go and watch it instead of complaining

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@kagatoac: What the hell are you talking about? There were no spoilers in the thumbnail link, the link from the home/front page or from scrolling from one article onto another. Nice try, troll.

Avatar image for openmind23

I on-purposes didn't read any of this and shall not read any comments given to this post in fear of someone being stupid and sending me spoilers. I cannot yet watch any episodes as I don't have the channel it's on and shall be waiting for the Blu-Ray release (im patient so thats cool).

Gamespot. Please dont start saying what happened in an episode in the picture link. Say something like more Game Of Thrones Info, so I dont start reading what happened and spoil it for myself.

I have been thinking of stopping coming here because of this annoyance, so please change the way you upload the icon info for the GOT news :)

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@openmind23: One week after an episode airs, it is not considered spoiler fare so just stop reading. You have noone to blame but yourself if you can't control your desire to read beyond the words "Game of Thrones".

PS You'll be waiting a while longer until the launch of season 8 is available for purchase. It is thought that it will around Christmas when it hits stores digitally or otherwise.

Avatar image for openmind23

@gotrekfabian: I voiced my concerns and I did state i'm patient and don't mind waiting. Stop trolling dude :)

Avatar image for gotrekfabian

@openmind23: You will see spoilers allover the internet if you're going to wait that long, that was all I'm saying.

As for trolling I can only say "huh?". Either you misread my intent or you need to look up what trolling is.

Avatar image for mypetmonkey

@gotrekfabian: You disagreed therefore troll... or russian bot or something something... Welcome to 2019

Avatar image for icefreze

GOT is all about prophecy and vision. there is still 1 that has yet to be completed, whereby Danny walked through a burned throne room, touch the iron throne, but walked towards the sound of his baby......

There should still be 1 more twist in the story, and my prediction will be Danny pregnant with Jon baby, Arya wanted to kill Danny but Jon took the hit and died protecting her, and Danny then left the throne behind to Tyrion and Sansa vanishing from Westeros.

Jon wont kill her, neither will he let anyone kill her even after what she did. He will realised that he had contributed to the genocide that just happened and will protect her no matter what.

A Targayren baby has to survive in order to have possible stories in the future!!!

Avatar image for jeepguy16

I agree with most of what was said but honestly I think you guys are still pulling your punches a bit.

This episode, from a story / character perspective, was garbage. Not bad, but terrible.

Here is the thing, every major issue I had, I didn't dislike it happening, I disliked the WAY it happened.

1. Varys decides to tell everyone about Jon. Yep, that makes sense. However, the clever / sneaky / intelligent Varys has left the building and what is left looks like Varys, talks like Varys, but does not in any way act like Varys. Had he been working his Varys magic and been clever when Tyrion betrayed him, it would have been fine. But instead, it seems even the Unsullied knew he was up to something....

2. Tyrion betrays Varys and remains loyal.Again, not a terrible way for things to go. But why is he so loyal to her? He proclaims his loyalty, but what has she ever done to earn that from him. He is also supposed to be one of the most intelligent people, and yet can't see her for what she is despite REPEATED evidence showing she can't be trusted, and more than one character straight up telling him she can't be trusted. Yet, a character he actually owes his life to, a character who helped him multiple times, he betrays for his queen. At least sell it more. Why does he care about her so much? Lets have some character development of him agonizing over what to do. Or maybe make him less aware of how bad she is becoming, because it is clear, Tyrion knows she is a problem. Yet, he remains loyal because....reasons?

3. Jon hangs out while Varys gets torched without a word (and in the following scene has an intimate moment with Dany).So Varys, who tells people the same secret Jon could not keep himself, dies for that secret. And then Jon, the guy who befriended his enemies, who is so honorable he couldn't even lie to Cersei, and who stuck his neck out to put an arrow in The King of the Freefolk because he was being burned alivedidn't protest AT ALL. He just stood there, seemingly oblivious to the fact that HE DIRECTLY lead to Varys death. Varys being killed by Dany makes sense. However, based on the character Jon has been up until this point, it makes zero sense for him to be only mildly concerned about this whole event.

4. Arya, who has been wanting to kill Cersei the entire series, after a few sentences from the hound, decides, nah, I would rather not die her / become that.Again, it's fine that she ultimately decides not to, but it should be due to more than a few lines from the hound. There should have been moments of doubt or a realization that her family needed her more than she needed to kill Cersei, or ....something. Something to explain how this stubborn strong character suddenly abandon her entire goal in life.

5. Jamie goes back to Cersei.This almost makes sense, but it's difficult to understand why he would betray her and leave Kings Landing, then hang out in the North for a bit and get involved with Brienne, only to suddenly realize he must get back to Cersei and ditch his character arc. Again, it almost makes sense, but sell it a little more. Moments where he struggles not to go back, or if he heard news, we could see his expression that would give us a window into his decision to go back to her.

6. Cersei suddenly becomes human and fears for her child.OK this one I can't really get behind on any level. Earlier in the series, Cersei had more depth. Go back and watch the episodes with Joffery where you can see her struggling with what he is, and trying to figure out how to reign him in. Even as the series carries on (beyond the books), she generally has motivations for everything she does. Yet, in episode 4, with the ability to wipe most of them out, including Tyrion, she does not take it. She hangs out in the Red Keep even after she has clearly lost. She doesn't do anything smart or clever that we have seen her do in the past. She just hangs out until she can be replaced by a new "bad queen" and then turns into a human concerned about her child. Also, what was the point of the child besides to humanize her? It's a really weird plot point to be introduced and really have nothing come of it.

7. OK the big one. Daenerys goes from unstable to full Mad Queen, ditching much of her past character development.She has been a savior of the innocent for most of the series. She had her primary goal, but she went out of her way to save people. She waved the group of women in season 1. She saved all of the slaves. She was extremely upset when she passed the children nailed to signs. She cares deeply for those that she has saved and that follow her. Yet, she doesn't just decide to charge the Red Keep, but decides that she must murder everyone in the city, specifically going out of her wait to kill families and children? Her character now has zero depth. She is completely one dimensional. Why did she do everything? She is crazy. It's in her blood. I am no doubt it is how the show was supposed to end, and it is a good ending, but written in a COMPLETELY unbelievable way. She goes from unstable straight into murderous rampage simply by looking at a building. While there is build up to the moment, the degree she snaps does not make any sense. Had she just charged the keep and killed many innocents with collateral damage, sure that would have made sense. Everyone would still be angry, and know she couldn't be trusted. Would it have been AS EASY to paint her as the Villian that has to die? No (and how Game of Thrones like that would be, to have grey area). Instead, we know she is a monster. Not a flawed human, but a crazy monster that has to be dealt with.

Plot Holes :

- How did they manage to kill a dragon at a distance so far that Dany apparently can't even see the fleet of ships (....) last episode, and yet this episode, they can't hit ANYTHING. Hell, most of them can't even figure out how to shoot the thing. The majority of the Scorpions she burns, are surrounded by people just standing around, as if they hadn't noticed the dragon setting everyone on fire.

- The Mountain obeys every command for a few seasons now, and then suddenly does whatever he wants? Also, he can survive a dagger to the brain, and yet is apparently mentally aware enough to have the sight of his brother break him free of whatever hold Quyburn has over him?

- Euron randomly shows up on shore and Jamie happens to be sneaking by? Alright... And he wants to kill Jamie because... he can?

Ultimately, it's clear what has happened. Martin gave them the major plot points. As they passed the books, a team of writers that took most scenes straight from the books, had start writing everything themselves. And while they knew what had to happen, they didn't really know how to get there. So they filled in the blanks the best they could, trying to come up with the best motivations they could to make the characters get there. It wasn't natural though. Furthermore, the time limitation means they had to rush. So it all ends up feeling like you are reading the cliff notes to the ending of Game of Thrones. We find out what happens, but not why, and not even really how (at least, not how we got to this point).

Avatar image for bababooey12


lol just can't make some people happy. I feel up until now that everything that has happened, while I may not neccesairly have liked, example Theon dieing, has still led to a great show and story writing(despite the rushed feel that there is I will admit.) I guess I don't care about the small stuff like how a character made it from this side to this side in 5 mins(who cares its a show lol).

1. Yes, of course he did, why's that a surprise, he always has been for the good of the realm. He trusted her like Tyrion and was realizing what she was becoming(sorry to say but that didn't happen all in one episode lol, if so guess we have been watching two different shows.) As for his methods, yes he has always been sneaky etc, but given recent events like I don't the white walkers war etc, he changed a bit, not too hard to understand why that might be.

2. What has she ever done lol more than his sister, even his brother or whole entire family for that matter, as well as making him hand and her most trusted advisor, about sums it up. As for what she has become he mentioned that in a prior episode and could tell that he was starting to fear her. The episodes, especially this season have done well to hint at that...

3. Lol again like number two he fears her as most do of them do(she even stated this in that hardly what I would call an intimate moment lol). I would too probably, so would you if she had a dragon and after witnessing/hearing what she has done in the past and up until this point.

4. This one I agree and disagree. I mean keep in mind Arya was almost killed numerous times, not to mention all the other things she has gone through up to this point. I also felt she kind of saw the hound in a weird way, as a fatherly figure.

5. I agree and disagree, could they've sold us a bit more on it sure, guessing they didn't in the effort of trying to wrap up the show, but I feel like they didn't need too. I mean, its his sister, his dead children's mother etc. The fact of him going to her makes perfect sense.

6. don't have time to respond.

7. The big one, that seems most our upset about. The whole entire series has done a good job on her character and making you feel that she has everyone's best interest(breaker of chains, freeing people blah blah), while at the same time hinting at many different times the possibility of her turning out like her father. There are things she has done in the past, don't have time to go over them, that has shown that. I think a lot of people our just upset because they expected her to just remain this good character all the way to the end and couldn't believe it when she snapped. This show has always been a kind of dark show and has never foreshadowed a happy ending of any kind. I guess I don't understand what people expected.

In the end I agree that the last two season have felt rushed, but I think you kind of should've expected it. I mean you've had many of the major actors and actresses talking about wanting to leave and do other thing etc. I guess its like what did you think was going to happen. However, to say we find out what happens but not how or why, I don't agree with at all. I feel, despite it being rushed they have done a good job with wrapping trying to wrap things what little time they have.