Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 5 Recap "Endings"
Warning – Series Spoilers Ahead
Let’s just get right into it – our beloved show is going to end.
Anyone who thought there would be a peaceful transition of power was wrong (although I doubt many actually thought that as… well, it’s Game of Thrones). They had me in the first half though as having bent the knee to Daenerys when she quickly overpowered Kings Landing defenses, I was sure that my queen (who was totally not mad) would spare them as the righteous and just ruler that she was. I was wrong.
The first 7 seasons did not prepare me for the last minute roller-coaster of a story arch that was headed our way. Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, and Protector of the Realm. She was supposed to bring balance to Westeros and destroy evil, not join it. How could they do this to her?!
Personal commentary aside, this episode brought us into the home stretch of the series with Daenerys’ army headed towards Kings Landing to kill Cersei and take back the iron throne. Lord Varys is doing his usual thing of manipulating the whispers, Jaime, Sandor, and Arya are sneaking into enemy stronghold, and Jon is rebuffing Daenerys’ attempts at being more than relatives.
Varys, having openly told Tyrion his thoughts on replacing Daenerys with Jon knows him time may be coming. He’s quickly sending out messages to all his birds that Jon is the rightful heir to the throne in order to prevent the information from being suppressed. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and soon all of Westeros will know.
As soon as he hears the steady cadence of marching soldiers, it’s over. Varys is brought before the queen and summarily executed by her last remaining dragon; not before Tyrion let him know he was the one that turned him in.
Jaime was captured before he could make it to Kings Landing to rejoin Cersei by Daenerys putting him back in the familiar role of being imprisoned. Tyrion, seeing Jaime’s reunion with Cersei as an opportunity to prevent unnecessary bloodshed, offers Jaime the chance to smuggle Cersei out of the city where they can run off to live their days in anonymity if she rings the bells and surrenders. Jaime is set free, and he runs to be with her.
Toss the previous episode aside and forget about it. All the defenses, the dragon killing crossbows (scorpions), the Lannister Army, and the Golden Company are summarily defeated within minutes. Daenerys and her dragon quickly defeat Euron, burning his fleet, and then proceeds to take out all of the castles fortifications and soldiers stationed outside.
After breaching the walls, Grey Worm, Jon Snow, and Sir Davos lead the vanguard towards the Red Keep towards Cersei. After seeing the destruction of their defenses, Kings Landing defenses throw down their swords and submit to the invaders. A crescendo of “Ring the bells” echoes throughout the city signifying the people’s willingness to accept their new conqueror. Meanwhile, Cersei learns that her fate is all but sealed and begins to flee unaware that Arya and Sandor are coming for her.
Just when you thought that it was over, Daenerys continues the attack riding on her fire breathing dragon, and her armies move farther in to slaughter their way to victory. Buildings are coming down, everything is on fire, and mass chaos has ensued. It’s during these moments that Sandor “The Hound” Clegane urges Arya to leave before she’s unnecessarily killed within the crumbling walls. She begrudgingly listens to him and leaves him to live to fight another day.
Sandor then finds a fleeing Cersei, and it’s revealed that he’s really only interested in one thing… killing his brother. After dispatching her guards, Qyburn orders Sir Gregor “The Mountain” to protect Cersei instead of focusing on his brother and is given one of the quickest deaths of the series by being unceremoniously thrown head first into a wall killing him instantly. Both brothers lock eyes, Cersei quietly runs past them, and (as fans are calling it) the Cleganbowl was on.
The fight that we’ve been waiting an eternity to see is finally here – and it’s everything we could have hoped for. The Hound quickly removes his brothers (or what’s left of his brother) helmet to reveal the creature beneath and proceeds to slice and stab him repeatably. Similar to the Terminator though, The Mountain keeps getting up repeatedly no matter the amount of killing blows that should have ended him for good.
After stabbing him in the head and realizing that even a direct blow to the brain wasn’t going to defeat him, Sandor Clegane rushes his brother and sends them both flying through the castle wall down hundreds of feet into the burning city sacrificing himself to kill the monstrosity. Fire caused this lifelong feud, and it was fire that ended it. Very fitting.
Jaime encounters a shipwrecked Euron on the beach next to his getaway boat, and the two finally duke it out. Blow after blow, stab after stab the two are relentless with Jaime getting a mortal wound to the lungs, and Euron being speared through the chest. Jaime rushes to find Cersei, and Euron revels in the knowledge that he’s the one that killed the Kingslayer.
During this, the city continues to burn with Daenerys and her forces killing everyone in cold blood. Jon, seeing the brutality kills one of his own men for attacking an innocent woman, and eventually orders everyone out of the city. In an already strained relationship with his queen, this might be the final straw and sets the stage for the final showdown for the throne.
Lastly, we’ve come full circle. Jaime reunites with Cersei and they retreat to the underground to make their escape. Cersei realizes that Jaime is going to die to his wounds, and Jaime finds the exit blocked due to the construction. In an almost (they’ve done horrible things) sad moment, the two embrace and are crushed under the weight of the keep being destroyed on top of them.
The Plot Thickens?
Has Varys been poisoning Daenerys? Before his death, he’s seen talking to one of his little birds about their plans “With great risk comes great reward”. We’re not entirely sure what the girl is doing for Varys, but we know that she works in the kitchen and is surrounded by soldiers.
Would soldiers be guarding the kitchen for anyone other than Daenerys? Is Varys the cause for Daenerys going mad? I hope we find out exactly what’s going on in the last episode.
What’s Jon going to do?
Now that his queen has gone mad, how is Jon going to respond? He’s not the type to take this sitting down, and I think there’s only going to be one end for them. Either Jon is going to kill Daenerys, or Daenerys is going to end him first.
Who’s going to win the throne?
With just a single episode left and only a handful of characters left, who’s going to end up on top? After the burning of the city, is there even an Iron Throne still to possess?
Let me know in the comments below and join me next week as I wrap up the last part in the series finale.
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