The second to last episode for Game of Thrones decided to pull out all the stops. Whether that be a good, or a bad thing, that is up to you to judge. Forces have reached Kings Landing and the battle is inevitable. Will fire and blood win?
There are spoilers beyond this point, don’t read if you haven’t seen the episode.
The shadows always know
Varys (Conelith Hill) has been lurking in the shadows all these years. Using his little “birds” as his eyes and ears. His goal has always been for the greater good of the people, using any means possible. The power he holds is immense, and his dealings were bound to catch up to him. He wants Jon (Kit Harington) on the throne, his trust in Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has waned significantly. In a twist of betrayal, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) informs Dany of the true intentions of Varys. Spawning the end of his time here on earth, Dracarys indeed.
Life, Death, and loss
Loss has taken its toll on Dany, who looks like a shell of her former self. She has been through far worse, yet this is the event that has broken her. They have spent all this time building up such an interesting and strong character, only to tear her down in what seems to be a “time crunch”, it’s quite upsetting, but leads to a brazen and unforgettable episode (what have you done Game of Thrones?). The time to strike is now and the dragon queen has a vendetta to pay.
Family ties run deep, so when Tyrion learns of Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldu) capture, it comes as no surprise he rushes in to aid his downtrodden brother. The Lannister’s have done a lot of unforgivable things, but when it comes to family they are as loyal as anyone else. Without Jaime, Tyrion wouldn’t be alive today. It’s something that will never be forgotten. If there is a chance to convince Cersei (Lena Headey) to leave before the battle begins, saving innocent lives, that is a risk Tyrion is willing to take. Once the bells ring, the war has been won.
There is a tension in the air as the troops ready themselves. They know she is coming, they just didn’t anticipate how the rules of war can be warped by her, as well. Instead of talking, she has learned her lesson, one must act right away if victory is to be achieved. As the wings of Drogon are heard, they know. It doesn’t take Dany long to lay waste to the Iron Fleet and all the defenses surrounding the city.
The mad queen rises
What comes next, no one quite expected. The ground forces had the Lannister army surrender to them, the city is no longer Cersei’s and the war has been won. As the bells ring and the calm settles in the city, that’s when the unthinkable happens. Dany decides to lay waste to the thousands of innocents trapped within Kings Landing. When all this time, they have built her up to be a protector of those same innocent souls. The direction of the “mad queen” is so unnecessary, they have alluded to it in the past, but to watch the horror in action is another thing. This is not the Dany people have come to know and love.
The carnage continues and so many lives are extinguished. Jon wants to follow his queen, but these questionable tactics are out of his realm of thinking. There was no need to keep fighting once the bells rang, but there is power in fear. If they won’t love her, they can fear her. If no one is left to rule over, then what is the point of it all? The city is burning, and only ruins will be left.
Family, it’s all that matters
As the onslaught on the city continues, The Hound (Rory McCann) is ready to face his brother. It has been a long time coming. Fans knew, that it wouldn’t be a fair fight after the “alterations” that have been done to The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), but it had to be fulfilled. As the Hound sends Arya (Maisie Williams) away, urging her to not become him, she thanks him, knowing that she will never see him again. How does the Hound bury his grudge? By flinging his brother and himself off the side of the keep and into the inferno below.
The Red Keep falls, and Cersei is left to her own defenses, alone in the world. The creators chose to give her a “human” element, when she has shown little to none of that in prior episodes. Now that her world is crumbling, she cares, but not enough to stop it all from getting to that point. Jaime finds her in her time of need, just as he always has. Yet he is injured, due to a run in with Euron (Pilou Asbæk). For once Jaime was useful in that regard, ending the evil pirate’s rule for good. There is no escape for the twins, they are trapped, but at least they are together. Dying in each other’s arms, more lives extinguished.
The aftermath is horrifying, as the rubble of the city smolders and burns. Arya rises from the ashes, there is a new mission for her to uphold now. Will she be the one who ends it? There is only one episode left and not enough time for us to find out.
The series finale for Game of Thrones airs Sunday, May 19th on HBO
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