"The Bells" is what the fifth episode of Game of Thrones 8 is called. So named after the big bell in the city tower of King's Landing that had a crucial role to play in the episode. The ringing of the bell would have suggested that Kings' Landing had surrendered to Queen Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion had eked a promise out of her not to attack the city after that. But the makers should have gone with the name that the fans chose for the episode - The Last War. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5 Recap: From the Rise of the Mad Queen to Major Deaths, Everything That Happened in ‘The Last War’ (SPOILER ALERT).
But then, even that wasn't a suitable title, since the battle turned out to be so one-sided. Daenerys and her dragon lay waste to Cersei Lannister's armies and her city, and massacres innocents of citizens easily. It was an episode that marked her true ascension as the Mad Queen, and even though the transformation was rushed, it made a lot of sense. The show was building up on it for some time, and Dany's vicious turn turned out to be the best part of the episode, not to mention the beautiful cinematography. However, we cannot say the same about certain other important characters and events that happened in 'The Bells'. Like the seven below:
The Golden Company
There was so much hype that was made about The Golden Company (whose reputation was talked about in the previous seasons). They finally made the debut in the first episode of the final seasons. But, apart from getting us introduced its captain Ser Harry Strickland, the show did little to show why Golden Company was so talked about. We expected them to do so serious damage in The Last War. Alas! They were destroyed at the beginning of the battle itself, including its captain. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5: All the Major Deaths That Happened in the Bells Aka the Last War (SPOILER ALERT).
The pirate lord was expected to step into Ramsay Bolton's shoes as the next ruthless Big Bad. Euron did have its moments - from killing the Sand Serpents to spearing Rhaegel, he made a name for himself. Euron's biggest achievement in the show, though, was convincing Cersei to sleep with him. However, what we get to see Euron in 'The Bells' is very disappointing. He mysteriously loses his impeccable aim that killed Rhaegal, as Drogon destroys his fleet with immaculate ease. Later Euron engages in a needless duel with Jaime Lannister. He gets mortally wounded but then boasts about killing the KingSlayer. Euron, man, You didn't! A brick did that job!
Not The Night King, Cersei Lannister was made to be the Big Bad of Game of Thrones right from season 1. Like Tyrion used to say, she has some redeemable qualities, like her love for her kids. But, overall, Cersei's vanity is what bad stuff is made of. We were so looking forward to seeing her meet her inimitable doom. She does that in 'The Bells', but it is not the kind of satisfying demise we had expected. First of all, all Cersei does is stare out of a window and see Daenerys wreak havoc across her city. Then what we see is a helpless Cersei, whose most loyal bodyguard The Mountain refuses to heed her, sobbing her way into Jaime's arms, before both of them die from the falling hubris. In trying to make Daenerys the Mad Queen, Cersei loses her edge and end up eking some sympathy from us. Game of Thrones 8 Episode 5: From CleganeBowl to Mad Queen, 5 Fan Moments That Came True in ‘The Last War’ Aka ‘The Bells’ (SPOILER ALERT).
Pray, why exactly was Arya Stark needed in the episode? All she did was run helter-skelter with no clue what was happening around. She never gets anywhere close to Cersei, and she also gets a mother-daughter killed in the process of rescuing them. It was purely her luck that saved Arya from dying, and she had ample of that this season!
As someone joked about him, Jon Snow is turning out to be the biggest extra of the season. He has not had any major achievements apart from knowing his own lineage. In 'The Bells', Jon Snow's one job was to look shocked at the mayhem happening around him, as his Queen and her army massacred the innocents. He does save one woman from getting killed, but that's it. If only he had listened to Varys...
Peter Dinklage the actor has been terrific this episode, especially in the scene where he has a tearful farewell with Jaime. But his character is turning out to be a joke. We see him inadvertently betray Varys leading the latter to his execution. We saw him see his city burnt by the Mad Queen, because he didn't heed the advice of the man he got killed. Tyrion has been one big failure ever since he was appointed as Daenerys' Hand. So we won't be surprised if he is next in line for 'Dracarys'!
Don't get me wrong! The scene where The Hound meets and fights his zombified brother after seasons of waiting was sheer brute force. The camerawork was excellent, the scene had some poetic justice and the episode didn't shirk away from the gruesomeness. We also get to see the Mountain unmasked. But I had issues with the placement and how it happens. It is surprising that the Mountain doesn't heed the one order that Cersei gives him to avoid the fight and also gets Qyburn killed. In the mayhem around the fight, Cleganebowl feels more like a fan-servicing moment done to mark the checklist and be done away with.