‘Game Of Thrones’ Death Watch: Fire Rains Down From The Heavens

05.13.19 1 week ago

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The Game of Thrones Death Watch is a weekly roundup of who died and who looks like they might be headed for death, written by me, a person who has not read the books and will go a long, long way to make a very stupid joke. This is what we’re doing here. This is not science. Please do not yell at me.

Season 8, Episode 5 – “The Bells

WHO DIED THIS WEEK?

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Tens of thousands of innocent people

Well, that happened. It wasn’t great! Dany heard the bells signaling surrender and saw the Lannister forces lay down their swords and then still took to the skies and torched the city’s occupants, women and children and all. It wasn’t just Dany, either. Her forces on the ground, the Unsullied and Grey Worm and the rest of the coalition, committed their own fair share of atrocities, too. Call it the fog of war, call it a failure of leadership, call it mass murder. All are correct and fair. Dany has been through a lot lately, between the deaths of Jorah and Missandei and the revelation that her boyfriend is actually a nephew who has a better claim to the throne than she does. That’s a lot to deal with, especially for someone who has been so singularly focused on becoming queen. None of that makes it okay, though.

When did you realize things were going to break this way? Did you think, even just for a second, that she would accept the surrender? Because, let me tell you what, I was pretty sure things were going sideways the second I saw her and Jon in front of that fire. It wasn’t even the thing where she said she’d choose being feared over being loved. It was when I looked at her hair and saw it was frazzled. There’s no clearer sign that a female character in a television show or movie is about to have a breakdown. Everyone was doomed the second she chose not to brush her hair that morning, the same way Missandei was doomed when Grey Worm started talking about retiring to the beach.

I still think the show is not doing right by Dany as we approach a conclusion. Her descent into madness is happening so fast that it’s playing out more like “women are too emotional to rule,” which is a bummer. It’s not going to end well for her. We’ll touch on that shortly.

Cersei and Jaime Lannister

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Hmm. Also weird!

I’m not sure what to make of any of Jaime’s recent arc. Or his arc, in general. He was bad, then very bad, then good, then sweet, then a bad scoundrel who broke Brienne’s heart, then he died holding Cersei while she cried. I wasn’t particularly sad when he died, which would have been fine if the show didn’t apparently want us to be sad? I don’t know. R.I.P. Jaime, I guess?

The Cersei thing was even weirder. It feels odd and gross that years of watching this show has put me in a position to say this but… shouldn’t her death have been more satisfying? Cersei has been awful for years. It’s been a fun awful some of the time, all smirking and wine-sipping and double-crossing, but that’s what made her potential comeuppance so delicious. I wanted Arya to get her. I kind of wanted Jaime to get her. Instead, her death played out as collateral damage. Sure, there’s something a little poetic about her being killed by the crumbling castle she did horrible things to occupy, but still. It would have been fine with me if someone loaded her into a crossbow and launched her into the sun. It’s not that I hated her, it’s that the show made her so evil sometimes that she deserved a death befitting of a villain of her stature.

Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet

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Few things:

  • Nope, Euron!
  • The Iron Fleet’s crossbow accuracy sure took a dive between episodes. They hit a flying dragon with multiple consecutive arrows last week. This week it was like an army of Blake Bortles’ out there. Miss, miss, miss, torched. I did find it funny that they kept yelling “Fire,” though. Kind of ironic that the command to shoot at the dragon was also the thing the dragon killed them with.
  • I’ve been joking for two seasons that Euron looks and behave like a guy who plays bass in a crappy band and it is just now dawning on me that “Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet” is a perfect band name. This is shameful on my part. I apologize.

Good night, my sweet unshowered prince.

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