Game Of Thrones Recap - Season 8 Episode 5 - The Bells
How long have the “Game Of Thrones” showrunners known that Dany was going to go full evil? From the very start? Last season, when she roasted the Tarlys? I’m fascinated by this question because the level of violence on display from her tonight was SHOCKING, even for the show’s standards. There’s actually a lot to unpack in this episode - but I want to focus on one thing that jumped out to me - the approach to that all the wartime chaos and killing.
Throughout the show there have been some kickass fights, battles, and epic kills. The Battle Of Castle Black, with its giant ice scythes, giant’s shooting arrows and impaling people into the sky, hammer kills and more is a standout. Last season’s Dragon/Dothraki dual combo on the loot train was also totally epic, but nothing comes close to this. After the 30th shot of roasting humans I was like - damn, the director really wants us to feel uncomfortable with all this chaos. Even when Grey Worm starting beasting on people - it was more bloodlust than exciting. Contrast that scene with Arya’s scenes (hello showy tracking shots) and you can get a sense at the horror of war that the director is going for.
I keep saying “the director” but the guy has a name and it’s Miguel Sapochinik - and he’s responsible for some legendary episodes including The Battle Of Winterfell, The Battle Of The Bastards, and my favorite episode ever Hardhome. All of those episodes feature violence and combat not as a thrill - but mostly has a terrifying hellscape that no one should have to live through. Tonight was like that on steroids - my jaw was on the floor for most of it, just thinking - damn that is a lot of innocent people dying - which makes the episode kind of an ANTI-ACTION action episode, which is I think is pretty cool.
Of course the one outlier piece in this episode was the much hyped CleganeBowl and while it didn’t disappoint in epicness (loved the dragon flying over while they were fighting) - it did have a finale in line with the rest of the message of the episode: you can fight, stab, eye push, sword - but it doesn’t matter - violence only will end you falling into the flames of hell. Cool.
And while lots of characters bit it, I’m just excited for the final episode. I was worried they were going to limp into the finale but got dayuuum, I’m pretty thrilled. How is it going to go down with Jon Snow and Dany? Is the North going to come down to rock with Jon one last time. Is Arya get another big kill? We shall see!