Game Of Thrones Recap: “The Bells” Brings Both Fire And Blood To King’s Landing And Mark The Deaths Of Two Houses

Credit: HBO

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the second to last episode ever of Game of Thrones. So much has happened in the past few episodes. We have had some epic battles, some heartbreaking deaths, some shipper happiness, and shipper devastation.

Just when we thought the Battle of Winterfell would be the one to deliver all the emotionally devastating deaths, last week’s episode taught us that no one is safe from the grim reaper. We saw one of Daenerys’ dragon babies met their death along with one of her most trusted advisers.

Given that Daenerys was already on the cusp of almost losing it after the Battle of Winterfell, will the two most recent deaths finally push her into becoming the Mad Queen after all? Or does Cersei still get that title in the end after everything she has put everyone through?

This week brings us the start of the Battle of King’s Landing and the Iron Throne; who will be the victor, and how many more deaths will we see before next week’s finale?

Gather ’round and let us discuss this week’s episode!

No More Whispers: The episode opens up with Varys scribbling down something that looks like it tells the story of Jon’s true family and real name. Varys is then interrupted by one of his sparrows who tells him that a certain woman “won’t eat” and her soldiers are watching her. Varys agrees and then asks her to remember their motto: “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” Later on, Varys goes to greet Jon who has just arrived at Dragonstone. Varys shares with Jon his concerns about Daenerys and shares that he knows the truth. Jon tells him that he doesn’t want the throne and will stand by his queen. Sadly, Varys doesn’t get much of an opportunity to fight for his reasoning as Tyrion loops Daenerys in on Varys’ treason. Varys is then taken from his room, and soon he’s being marched under armed guard down to the beach below the castle. Daenerys and Jon are there, as is Tyrion. Tyrion tells him that it was him that sold him out. Varys looks to be understanding as Daenerys sentences him to death and has Drogon burn Varys to death.

Begging For Mercy: Daenerys and Jon have another heart to heart after Varys’ execution, to which he reiterates that he loves her and that she is his queen. Daenerys tells him that she only has fear and tries to kiss him but he shuts her down once more. Later on, Tyrion, in the throne room, tries to make a case for the people of King’s Landing. He begs her to back off if she hears the bells of surrender. She slightly appears to agree with that plea, and Tyrion turns to leave, she then delivers the news that Jaime was caught trying to cross their lines, making it seem like he hasn’t abandoned Cersei, after all. This revelation leads to Tyrion asking Davos for a favor when he arrives with Jon at King’s Landing. They aren’t the only ones arriving to take down Cersei as Arya and The Hound have also arrived.

Brothers Goodbye: Tyrion manages to talk his way into seeing Jaime. The two brothers then argue about what will happen to the city, which leads to Tyrion sharing his plan for his brother to sneak out of the city and sail to Pentos. Jaime agrees to the plan and to telling the guards to ring the bell. Jaime points out that Daenerys will kill her Hand of the King when she finds out; Tyrion says that his death is worth it if it saves thousands of innocent lives. Plus, Jaime is the only reason he survived childhood, he says. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had,” Tyrion adds as the brothers embrace in goodbye.

The Mad Queen Arrives: In the morning, things really start to take off. The Iron Fleet waits in the harbor while Cersei closes the city gates, leaving thousands of people outside of the gates, including Jaime. Arya and The Hound manage to get into the city before the gates close. Soon after, Daenerys swoops in on Drogon and starts laying waste to the Iron Fleet and also take out the giant arrow-hauler guys on the wall. Just outside the gates on the other side of King’s Landing, the Golden Company stand off against Jon and his men. The standoff doesn’t last long as Drogon busts out from inside the city and lights everything on fire as the Unsullied and Dothraki take care of those who aren’t engulfed in flames. Pretty soon, Daenerys’ forces are galloping through a King’s Landing that’s ablaze. Cersei still thinks they have a chance but the Lannister forces, as they look around at the destruction, soon drop their swords in surrender and ask for the bells to be rung. From Drogon’s back, Daenerys hears them loud and clear. And then she flies over and torches the innocents, anyway (!!!) while Greyworm and the Unsullied start their siege on the surrendering soldiers.

The King Slayer And The Iron Born: Jaime, while all of this is happening, manages to find the boat Tyrion prepared but also runs into Euron. The two exchanges insults before they start going at it with their swords, trying to kill one another. Euron gets hold of Jaime’s sword and runs it through him but Jaime manages to return the same blow to Euron. Jaime staggers off while Euron continues to taunt him as he lays dying. As for Cersei, she begins to cry as Qyburn tells her the Unsullied have made their way into the Red Keep. Qyburn convinces Cersei to leave her tower, which she does as the city continues to burn.

Cleganebowl: Elsewhere, The Hound and Arya are in Cersei’s abandoned map room when he tells her to leave, kill list be damned. “You come with me, you die here,” he says, pointing out his life as the prime example. “Sandor, thank you,” she says, then he takes off. The Hound then runs into Qyburn, Cersei, and The Mountain as they were coming down to escape. The Hound dispatches of the remaining soldiers, and when The Mountain approaches his brother, both Cersei and Qyburn try to stop him. The Mountain then smashes Qybrun’s head into a rock, killing him. Cersei quickly makes her exit as the two Clegane brothers finally have their showdown. The Hound does everything he can think of to kill his brother but The Mountain is pretty much no longer a man at this point. Gregor tries to even use the same eye gouging technique on Sandor that he used to kill the Viper but The Hound has the last laugh when he rushes his brother, causing them both to fall off the wall and to a fiery death stories below.

Til Death Do Us Part: Cersei manages to make her way down to the Keep when she runs into Jaime. The pair embrace as Cersei realizes he’s really hurt. Jaime leads Cersei down to the tunnels beneath the city to escape but all of the tunnels are sealed up now thanks to the rumble. She begs him not to let her die. He calms her down with an embrace as the building falls on their heads, killing them.

What Now?: Arya, for her part, took the Hound’s advice to heart and tried to make her way out of the city. She is nearly killed several times in the process of making her escape and trying to save some of the citizens of King’s Landing. When the fighting is done, Arya walks around the city in a daze. She manages to find the lone white horse who has survived the chaos and gallops away on it as quickly as she can.

Quote of the Night

“The next time you fail me will be the last time you fail me.” – Daenerys

Check out the promo for the series finale below!




Erika Negrón Rivera
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