[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”21906″ img_size=”700×467″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]We have reached the semi-final of Game of Thrones. It was filled with just about everything that many have been expecting and somethings that were not. With only one episode left, it’s time to explore what was learned in this week’s episode: The Bells.

1) This season’s story arc for Denaerys has been inevitably leading to a singular choice. Will she go down the path of her predecessors and chose fire over mercy? As Lord Varys himself said, “They say that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath.” The coin has landed and her choice was made. For better or for worse, the die has been cast.

2) Poor Lord Varys. He always knew that one day his quest to “protect the realm” might lead to his demise. That time finally came and it was Tyrion who set the wheels in motion. Whether his intentions (Varys or Tyrion’s) were honorable is a matter of debate. It did prove one thing that Varys said. “Power is a curious thing, my lord… Power resides where men believe it resides.” Well in this case, power resided with the woman who owned a large fire breathing dragon and the willingness to use him.

3) Jon has a serious problem on his hands. He is faced with the choice of following the oath he took to Denaerys or following what his eyes just told him. That much of the slaughter was not necessary. The city had been conquered once she brought down the Scorpions and eliminated the “Golden Company.” When the bells started ringing, her job was complete. What followed was more about her rage. The rage about her personal losses: Ser Jorah, her two children, and Missandei. Her hurt and disappointment about how the people in Westeros didn’t show her the love she wanted. At least, not the kind of love she had grown accustomed to elsewhere. When added to Jon’s inability to see beyond their family relationship, she decided that if love wouldn’t suffice then fear would work as well. Blood and Fire indeed. Makes you wonder how quickly the city would have fallen with all three of her Dragons.

4) Speaking of people with a problem. Both Sansa and Tyrion and possibly Jon are more than likely on Denaerys shit list. Jon for not doing as she asked and telling his Sisters. Sansa for betraying her to Tyrion, and Tyrion for setting Jaime free. She had to know he would do it. Perhaps she was testing his loyalty to see if he would. In that case, test failed. It is going to take all his cunning to get him out of this one. Of course, he knew the likely outcome for his actions. He said as much: “Tens of thousands of innocent lives for one not particularly innocent dwarf. Seems like a fair trade.”

5) The scene between Tyrion and Jaime was touching. They pretty much knew this was the last they would see of each other. I would not be surprised if the tears spent in the scene were real. Tyrion was correct that it was only Jaime who ever had his back. Imagine the turns Tywin is doing in his grave knowing that the “son” he despised is the only one left. Serves him right. The question will be, for how long with Tyrion be the last one standing.

6) The Golden Company was a joke. For all their “supposed” reputation, they lasted all of about 10 seconds. Apparently they had never ran against an angry Queen and her Dragon in their exploits. By the way, Cersei…I’m not sure Elephants would have helped here. Except to give Drogon something big to eat afterwards.

7) The Clegane Bowl was a brutal, vicious fight. It is totally not fair to fight a giant of a man who will not die. The Hound did all he could and delivered blows that would have killed any other person. He also got abused worse than even the beatdown Brienne put on him. Sandor had a great line about Ser Gregor when his helmet got knocked off. “Yeah, that’s you. It’s what you’ve always been.” In the end, it ended the way it started, with Sandor and Gregor toppling over the tower and into the dragon fire. Respects to you Sandor Clegane, your journey is now complete.

8) Arya was talked out of her pursuit of Cersei by Sandor. He knew if she followed that course, she would likely die like he knew he would. It was a nice scene where she called him by name and thanked him. Of course, she then had to find the way out of the capital. Along the way she saw enough death, carnage, and suffering to last a lifetime. She also proved she had the lives of a cat. At least three or four times I thought she was dead, but she preservered. We last see her riding out on the horse of the former leader of the Golden Company. Well, at least it survived.

9) The fight between Euron and Jaime was another brutal affair with Jaime acquitting himself well for a one handed man. He took blows that were more than likely fatal but still was able to land a fatal wound himself. It was interesting that all Euron seemed to care about was that he was the one that killed the Kingslayer. The fact that he dies in the process was unimportant. He would be disappointed to learn that a collapsing castle did the job before his work came to a conclusion.

10) The death of Cersei and Jaime was fitting that they came into the world together and they departed it together as well. That being said, it was for me a weak death. For all that Cersei did, for all the destruction she caused, to die under the weight of a falling castle was anticlimactic. Although, in retrospect, perhaps fitting as she always knew that in the “Game of Thrones, you either live or you die. There is no middle ground.” In this case, the castle literally came down around her.  Another issue for me was the appearance that all these seasons of watching Jaime’s attempts of personal reclamation were for nought. This appears to be almost a waste of the audiences time. In the end, he went right back to where he started basically tossing aside all his good works. Shame, Shame, Shame!

So then there was one. One episode left to tie up the loose ends and resolve who will sit on the Iron Throne. How will Jon handle all that he saw? How will Denaerys deal with those she feel have betrayed her? Will Arya have added one last person to her list? Will Denaerys be content to be Queen of the Ashes? We’ll learn the conclusion in one week. What did you think of The Bells? Were Denaerys actions justified? Share your thoughts leading into the final episode with us at GVNation. And don’t forget to check out @TC_Stark’s article Why Did People Have a Problem with Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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