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Game of Thrones: 8.05 - The Bells

L.L.Lotte

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Dany says that the people of Slavers Bay rose up in support of her and she holds the people of Kings Landing culpable by not doing the same.

In the books Danny's legacy in Slavers Bay is one of slaughter.
So much this. Was going to reply that Daenerys had already given her reason for why she thought the people of KL were not innocent, but Svalbard bet me too it.

To play devils advocate though... There is a problem with this. They surrendered and rung the bells. That was the people's decision, not Cersei's. So they did rise up against Cersei, yet Daenerys killed them anyway. So she was ignoring her feelings about Slavers Bay as well.
 

Mr Orange

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I have to say that, apart from the sudden unexpected competence of Dany at dragon warfare and the utter waste of Jaime's arc, I loved that episode.
i'm not sure that Jaime's arc was wasted - tragic, yes as he fell victim to his love for a seriously toxic relationship, but I think his arc was realistic even if it didn't have the happy redeemed ending most were hoping for

Worst for me is,apart from cramming into 6 episodes,is Tyrion, the most important character is now useless and largely overlooked,his scheming,drinking,shagging days well behind him. I think they have effectively written him out of the last few series and if he enters the water followed by a mast again I'll punch somebody.
I have to agree with this - Tyrion has gone from the smartest of the Lannisters to a bumbling fool who keeps making mistakes and misreading people

I think these paragraphs from that review clearly lays out why the Dany arc is not a surprise:
All her friends, advisors, whatever you want to call them have been trying to restrain her from her baser instincts, but as they fall away, betray her, or both, Daenerys Targaryen is becoming increasingly unhinged. The entitled girl who smiled as her brother's head was melted by boiling gold, who desires to rule the Seven Kingdoms without even really knowing anything about them or the people who live there simply because she believes it's her birth right? That's the same Dany who freed the slaves because the concept of slavery offended her (plunging the cities she conquered into, you guessed it, civil war and terrorism). Daenerys only knows how to rule through absolute power, for all her talk of freeing the poor and downtrodden from beneath the yoke of the upper classes.

Instead, what The Bells shows is a world in which the powerful take what they want, the identity of the good guys and the bad guys depends solely on whose side you're taking yourself, and nobody is going to get a happy ending, especially not the people who suffer most under the boot of a “liberating” army of foreign mercenaries and murderous barbarians who have no compulsion about putting people who don't look like them to the sword. This isn't the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms regaining her throne to the cheers of the people, it's a foreign invader with an army of foreign invaders (even the Northerners are 'foreign invaders' to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms, since they don't have knights and live a much different lifestyle than the rest) turning the capital city into a pile of ashes and rubble. This is the woman who swore, “I will take what is mine with fire and blood,” and she's fresh out of advisors to talk her down from the ledge.
also, I don't think either her or Cersei are/were mad, they were just as tyrannical as all the male kings Westeros has had.

To play devils advocate though... There is a problem with this. They surrendered and rung the bells. That was the people's decision, not Cersei's. So they did rise up against Cersei, yet Daenerys killed them anyway. So she was ignoring her feelings about Slavers Bay as well.
that is a good point, although maybe by that point Dany had already decided they were enemies.

My mate has a fanboy theory that the last scene will find them on the Island in Lost.
ha ha, I actually had a conversation yesterday about the fact that if they didn't really wrap things up well next episode then this could be as unsatisfying an ending as Lost was
 

The Big Peat

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She has always being impetuous. Weiss and Beinoff laid the groundwork on this when executed the Tarleys. I admit that is different to slaughtering women and children. Dany has always had this element to her character. When she claimed she was going to break the wheel I wondered what that really meant. I never took it that she was going to herald in a new age of egalitarian rule. Dany has always had an autocratic leaning.
There is a huge difference to the point I don't really accept it as the same element.

Destroying a huge fortification containing thousands of people by using dragon fire is par for the course for Targs seeking to conquer Westeros. For Aegon the Conqueror, the place was Harrenhal; for Dany, it's King's Landing.

While the Harrenhal contained an army (many of whom would, however, not be soldiers) and King's Landing contained many more obvious civilians**, Dany probably thinks that in the time since she arrived in Westeros, there have been plenty of opportunities for the inhabitants of King's Landing to leave the city and so by not doing so, they have, in effect, tied their fates to that of Cersei.

Dany is not in Westeros to free it (as she may or may not have been doing in Slaver's Bay); she is there to assert her right to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms by birthright (a stance that loses whatever moral authority it might have by Dany wanting to keep Jon's right to the throne, one which trumps hers, a secret).


** - As I won't be watching this season until the DVD is issued, I don't know who exactly was in King's landing when Dany put it to the fire.
The city isn't a fortification. The walls are, the Red Keep is, but the actual city is not a fortification. Dany destroying the walls? Smart. If she'd attacked the Red Keep itself despite there being civilians there? Ruthless. Attacking the city and civilians, a target with no military value whatsoever, something she has gone to great lengths to avoid every other step of the way? Insane.

However, having said this, Tyrion's idea to siege, may have not been as apocalyptic, but could have generated a long drawn out fight that could have provoked great suffering too. And they only had two episodes to do it, so going dragon nuclear was one quick option.
This is very true. Tyrion's idea sucked as much. Storming the city was actually a better idea if done without randomly strafing it for dragon fire for the lulz.

Although even better would have been having Davos just sneak a death squad in and take down Cersei that way.

i'm not sure that Jaime's arc was wasted - tragic, yes as he fell victim to his love for a seriously toxic relationship, but I think his arc was realistic even if it didn't have the happy redeemed ending most were hoping for
I don't get what the point of emphasising Jaime's sense of honour and the stain he's born because his best action (killing Aerys) is seen as his worst if at the end of the day, all that resulted in him just standing around awkwardly, then deciding to die with Cersei after all. Realistic perhaps, bit not dramatically satisfying.

Maybe HBO regrets only 6 episodes?
HBO wanted more; it was the writers that didn't.
 

Mr Orange

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I don't get what the point of emphasising Jaime's sense of honour and the stain he's born because his best action (killing Aerys) is seen as his worst if at the end of the day, all that resulted in him just standing around awkwardly, then deciding to die with Cersei after all. Realistic perhaps, bit not dramatically satisfying.
I agree that it might have been more satisfying for Jaime to end on some kind of redemption arc, but GOT is often about reality, not what is satisfying to the viewer. good people die, bad people prosper, sh!t happens. Jaime has always had the struggle inside him of his honour against his love for Cersei and I think throughout the series it's never been certain which would win out. this ending may not have been what people wanted, but that doesn't invalidate it.

HBO wanted more; it was the writers that didn't.
that's interesting, I hadn't heard that before. if that's the case then the writers made a big error in my opinion.
 

Al Jackson

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I agree that it might have been more satisfying for Jaime to end on some kind of redemption arc, but GOT is often about reality, not what is satisfying to the viewer. good people die, bad people prosper, sh!t happens. Jaime has always had the struggle inside him of his honour against his love for Cersei and I think throughout the series it's never been certain which would win out. this ending may not have been what people wanted, but that doesn't invalidate it.


that's interesting, I hadn't heard that before. if that's the case then the writers made a big error in my opinion.
Yeah sometime , two years ago, president of programming Michael Lombardo said something like that, but he and David and Dan are in some locked agreement to go with what D&D want to do, that got set in concrete before or during or after season 6. Lombardo stepped down from his position a few months ago.
HBO seems to be hoping the GoT prequel will be a hit, we will have to see, I am not enthused about the era picked.
 

The Big Peat

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I agree that it might have been more satisfying for Jaime to end on some kind of redemption arc, but GOT is often about reality, not what is satisfying to the viewer. good people die, bad people prosper, sh!t happens. Jaime has always had the struggle inside him of his honour against his love for Cersei and I think throughout the series it's never been certain which would win out. this ending may not have been what people wanted, but that doesn't invalidate it.
The reality of a fictional story is simply a matter of authorial justifications; some outcomes might be more likely than others in the real world, but there's always the possibility of either, and therefore it's all about the sell. The moment we bring outside reality into it rather than relying on the internal logic, the sell has failed.

Fair enough for you and everyone else for whom it felt right, but when I watched that, I just didn't feel like that was the logical end. They didn't sell me.

I probably would have been okay with him dying so Cersei could get away though as a) Great inversion of his signature deed b) More interesting final episode.

that's interesting, I hadn't heard that before. if that's the case then the writers made a big error in my opinion.
Yeah, I don't get it. Maybe they were under pressure from producers/actors that wanted other lives? But, whatever the reason, they had the space to do it right and opted not to.
 
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Dave

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...whatever the reason, they had the space to do it right and opted not to.
I'm not buying into the "they didn't have time to do the story ending justice" argument either. Neither am I arguing that they didn't do it justice, I'm just saying that as regards time, they had extended episodes last Season, and three very extended episodes this Season. There were a lot of different stories to complete, but ample time to do them all justice.
 

Culhwch

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I’m a little late to this party – I couldn’t watch it Monday night, so I had to endure a day at work dodging spoilers before finally catching up!

Life is not a song, sweetling. I couldn’t help but think of Petyr’s words to Sansa when reading through the backlash to this episode, because this episode really did prove the truth in those words. There was never going to be a happy ending to this story. That’s kind of the whole point, of the books and the series. It was always going to be brutal, and costly, and unjust for some, too kind to others.

For me, Dany’s turn wasn’t unexpected, but I think that whole arc really suffered from being compressed into a shortened season. If these last two seasons had had the standard ten episodes each, I think that would have allowed a little more breathing room to develop this. As it is, though, I still bought into Dany’s motivations. It’s been said earlier in the thread, but she essentially came to Westeros with an idea in her mind that she’d be received as this benevolent Queen there to free the people from the oppression of the Usurper and his allies, and when faced with the reality that, no matter what she did, she was viewed as an outsider, a threat, and someone to be feared rather than loved, she eventually just embraced it. There were shades of this possibility in everything she has done to this point. Meereen, Vaes Dothrak, the Tarlys, and many stops in between. It was an escalation that ended with her razing to the ground a city and population that she felt should have simply bowed to her and handed her Cersei on a platter. She said she’d take it with fire and blood…

I would have thought Varys was smarter than that. He’s survived the fall of many monarchs before Dany, I don’t see why he’d be so meek about it this time around.

I like that Arya finally embraced life over death. It came a bit suddenly, as everything has seemed to this season, but that’s not an unwelcome character development. Interested to see what her role will be next episode.

Jon and Tyrion. What a pair. I don’t know that Tyrion has necessarily suddenly become stupid, but he seems unwilling to admit his mistakes. He’s always thought he was the smartest person in the room, and often he was, but as a result he finds it hard to admit when he’s made the wrong decision. Jon, on the other hand, is just a bit dim, bless his heart. I’d assume the pair of them have now, somewhat explosively, had their minds changed on the Dany problem, though.

Jaime and Cersei. Well, it certainly was an ending. Cersei defiant almost to the end, or perhaps more accurately in denial until it was no longer possible to be. I also don’t think this ending necessarily invalidates Jaime’s redemption arc. He’s a complex character who has done terrible things, and he has done heroic things, and in the end he came down somewhere in the middle – trying to save someone he’d never stopped loving, even if she was mostly a vile harpy.

Cleganebowl. Loved it. Would never have thought, first reading aGoT close to twenty years ago, that the Hound would become someone I actively cheered for.

I still think that they got the order of the battles wrong. I feel like this battle, coming where it did, should have been more impressive than the Battle of Winterfell, and maybe it was if only because I could see what was happening. But it still feels odd that they had the literal battle between life and death as just a warm up for a battle to decide which of two tyrants gets to sit on a throne for a brief period, until the next usurper rolls up. I think the battle against the Night King should have been the ultimate battle.

Had the thought this morning, and no way would it happen, but what if the series ends with evil Queen Dany on the throne and one of the many spin-offs in the works is sequel set five or ten years in the future, focusing on a rebellion against her! I would totally watch that show...
 

The Big Peat

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I'm not buying into the "they didn't have time to do the story ending justice" argument either. Neither am I arguing that they didn't do it justice, I'm just saying that as regards time, they had extended episodes last Season, and three very extended episodes this Season. There were a lot of different stories to complete, but ample time to do them all justice.
You may be right about that; still, given how they have done it, more time would have helped.
 

Ursa major

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The city isn't a fortification. The walls are, the Red Keep is, but the actual city is not a fortification. Dany destroying the walls? Smart. If she'd attacked the Red Keep itself despite there being civilians there? Ruthless. Attacking the city and civilians, a target with no military value whatsoever, something she has gone to great lengths to avoid every other step of the way? Insane.
I know the city isn't a fortification. What it is (or is intended to be), in its destruction, is the same kind of message that Harrenhal was in its ruin: Bend the knee or burn.
 

Ursa major

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He’s always thought he was the smartest person in the room, and often he was, but as a result he finds it hard to admit when he’s made the wrong decision.
As Max Planck once said: "Science advances one funeral at a time."
 

ctg

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The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, The Bells, blew up, torched and incinerated all previous predictions of how the season will end.

There’s just one episode to go – and a lot of mess to clear up – before we finally say goodbye to one of the biggest TV shows of all time.

Out of all the plot holes and contentious character developments, there’s one major question left unanswered: who will sit on the Iron Throne? (Assuming it’s still standing.)

We want to hear your final predictions. Tell us who you think, or hope, will be left to rule Westeros and put an end to the Game of Thrones.

Share your predictions

Use the form below to tell us who will sit on the Iron Throne. Try and keep it to around 200 words, but include as much detail about characters and plot lines as you can. We’ll publish a selection of our favourite theories
. Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Share your Game of Thrones theories

Oh this is tempting, but honestly as I said, to me personally, I don't need to see the ending and I honestly don't care anymore, who is going to inherit the Iron Throne.

200 word limit to give a detailed guess isn't much.
 

Ursa major

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Who will sit on the Iron Throne...?

The child from Arya's liaison with Gendry, with Arya as the Hand/Regent....
 

REBerg

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Episode 5 just put up astronomical numbers:


Maybe HBO regrets only 6 episodes?
Possibly. I've seen speculation from more than one source, including HBO's own John Oliver, that HBO subscriptions are going to drop dramatically after next Sunday.
I'm likely to be among those who cut the cord, but I'm hanging on to see how HBO ties up all the glaring loose ends to Deadwood with the movie at the end of this month. Beyond that, I don't see much reason to continue paying the monthly fee,
 
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Al Jackson

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Possibly. I've seen speculation from more than one source, including HBO's own John Oliver, that HBO subscriptions are going to drop dramatically after next Sunday.
I'm likely to be among those who cut the cord, but I'm hanging on to see how HBO ties up all the glaring loose ends to Deadwood with the movie at the end of this month. Beyond that, I don't see much reason to continue paying the monthly fee,
I know, I am sticking around for Deadwood, one of my favorite HBO shows, I like Westworld but it does not pull-me-in , there seems to be too much tap dancing … I am curious about the prequel to GoT , have to see.... as far as I know HBO still has the option on I Claudius , I would go for a not-stage-bound version of that if it's up to HBO's quality standards.
Right now my go-to show after GoT is The Expanse.
 
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