Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 review The Bells: Daenerys’ hangry decision makes it series’ worst episode
Game of Thrones Episode 5
Director - Miguel Sapochnik
Cast - Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams
When a relationship -- no matter how blissful it used to be -- ends on an ugly note, sometimes all memories of it get tainted. It no longer fills up your heart with glee to think about it. It fills up your chest with bile, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. This stands true not just for shitty boyfriends but for bad TV shows as well. The latest, shining example of latter will soon be Game of Thrones.
We put it on a throne and crowned it as the rightful king who deserved to rule television like no show ever had. We asked Game of Thrones to be true, to be just, to be compassionate or cruel to its characters; but never, even in the face of a fire-breathing dragon or a brain-eating zombie, give up the hand of reason, logic and purpose. But like a man caught having sex with his sister, this show has also thrown all its promises out of the window.
Watch the Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 trailer here:
The betrayal that finally showed itself in all its full ugly glory in Game of Thrones 8’s episode 5, The Bells, was a long time coming. But those among us blinded by exciting fan theories or hilarious memes could not see it catch up with us in a single, very short season. But after this episode, if you still don’t realise how bad things have gotten and how hopeless it all seems, I envy you. I envy you and your blissful, blind belief in it. I wish I could go back to living in a world where Game of Thrones was still a great show, something I recommended to my friends, colleagues and my cab driver. But now, I feel like sinking into the ground, embarrassed for ever promoting or defending it.
How do I explain to my cabbie why Daenerys Targaryen roasted innocents alive even after watching the city surrender? How do I explain how she won the battle so easily when they spent an entire previous episode telling us how she stands very little chance against Cersei Lannister? How do I explain Cersei’s romanticised death after she killed hundreds, ordered women to be raped and children to be killed before their mothers’ eyes? How do I explain Jaime Lannister throwing away his years’ worth of character development to die next to his murderous sister? And how do I explain what they did to my Daenerys? A woman whom her people accepted as Mhysa, a breaker of chains whom freed slaves willingly followed into battle?
She was a queen who once knew right from wrong. What reason did she have to turn into a monster after gaining victories and people’s trust with each battle through multiple seasons? She fought by Jon Snow’s side, lost her two dragons, her armies and all her friends but all it finally took for her to turn mad was Cersei’s pride? Even in the beginning of the episode, she offers a final chance to Tyrion who had failed her so many times, showing reason in the face of anger. Shouldn’t then, a victory in the battlefield have calmed her down?
Why did David Benioff and DB Weiss imagine she should suddenly be worse than Cersei? Because they did get one thing right, whatever Cersei did, she did it all for her children. Cersei never killed for fun and never torched innocents in the streets. But Dany did it all because she could. Did they think that because she punished those who betrayed her, the viewers would automatically assume she is capable of unbridled carnage too? There is a huge gap to be filled in between those two, a few seasons’ worth at least before we could somewhat accept that the queen who once saved her prisoners from getting raped could also someday become one who kills people for fun.
Sure, the episode uses daylight to its advantage this time, brings back the haunting old Light of the Seven; and did give a rather poetic end to the Cleganes. Dr Qyburn’s Monster tried to crush The Hound’s skull like we had all previously seen him do. But the Hound decided to take him down like Harry Potter-Lord Voldermort, Will Graham-Hannibal Lecter as the brothers fell to their deaths into a pit of fire. The one element that started their story. It was perhaps supposed to wring out more emotions from me but I couldn’t care less considering the epic dumpster fire that was raging elsewhere. Who cares anymore that Euron Greyjoy killed Jaime Lannister? No one expected it from Euron Greyjoy. Not even Jaime himself who brushes aside his wounds. ‘Tis, but a scratch.’ How lame that even after all his tall claims as he lay dying, it was a falling brick that killed Jaime. Euron, who was supposed to be the biggest villain of them all, could not manage this either. What a disappointment. Like much of this episode.
Now, there is just one final episode left to go until the series comes to a close. Until a month ago, I was so not looking forward to this day, not ready to say goodbye. A month later, I am still not looking forward to this day, but for another reason altogether. I have thoroughly, completely checked out of this show. Seems to work for D&D then why not for us?
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The author tweets @soumya1405