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Game of Thrones season 8: Surprising details you probably missed in episode 5

by Ruben Leonard (2020-08-06)

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The Hound en route to Cleganebowl.
Warning: Spoilers aplenty below. Game of Thrones' penultimate episode (ever!), The Bells, was controversial for sure. From a story perspective, it was arguably the series' most important episode. It included the deaths of many key characters, most notably Cersei and Jaime Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen completing her transition into Mad Queen. Some fans hated the episode, others loved it.It was undeniably epic, though, spanning around 90 minutes and featuring some incredible cinematography. The visuals of King's Landing being razed by Drogon and Daenerys were haunting but fantastic. Amid the madness, you may have missed some of these details and callbacks to previous seasons.Bad omensEven more than Cersei and Jaime's twin deaths, the key takeaway from The Bells was Daenerys' official turn from hero to villain. King's Landing had surrendered, but she couldn't help herself. She burned it down, along with thousands of innocent men, women and children, just because.As far as Targaryens go, she's more Aerys than Rhaegar.This all kind of came out of nowhere. She was disgruntled after learning, in episode 2, that Jon Snow's true identity is Aegon Targaryen, heir to the Iron Throne. But things escalated quickly from "hey, we need to talk about this" to "brb, going to murder every person in King's Landing." This, however, has been foreshadowed in the show at least twice.The first time came in season 2. Daenerys was in Qarth, a city in Essos, where her dragons were snatched by Pyat Pree, a local warlock. Pree chains the dragons up in a tower, which Daenerys enters alone. Before she reunites with her scaled children and incinerates the strange man, she sees a vision of herself in the Red Keep.

The Keep's ceiling is ripped off, and snow covers the ground. At the time it seemed to signify winter and The Long Night, but the White Walker threat would ultimately be dealt with before Daenerys takes King's Landing. Now fans speculate that it's ash, not snow, in the vision. (It absolutely was snow, as if you look closely you can see icicles, but hey, visions can't be perfect.)Two years later, in season 4, Bran Stark, still Bran and not yet the Three-Eyed Raven, touches a Weirwood tree and sees one of his first visions. It features the same shot of a war-torn Red Keep as Daenerys saw in Qarth and, more ominously, the shadow of a dragon flying over King's Landing.Jaime's death was also hinted at in a previous episode. In season 5 he and Bronn, while in Dorne, discuss the way they'd like to die. Jaime's? "In the arms of the woman I love." Happy Mother's DayThis is just a tidbit, but it's a fun one. Cersei Lannister dies in this episode, which aired in the US on Mother's Day.Meanwhile, her dad, Tywin Lannister, was killed by Tyrion Lannister in episode 10 of season 4, which aired on June 15, 2014, aka Father's Day.

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Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5: Everybody hurts


Look at him!
The Bells' greatest triumph has to be Cleganebowl. It may have been fan service, and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane conspicuously reignited his desire to kill his brother just a season ago, but it was still a satisfying showdown.Not only did it end the life of The Hound, one of the show's best side characters, it also ended three of his story arcs. Most obviously, he killed his brother. There was some nice symbolism to this, as the fratricide was accomplished by Sandor plunging his brother and himself into a pit of Drogon flames. Of course, Gregor deformed Sandor's face by holding his face to fire, leading to a life-long fear of flames.As my mother once told me: if you're gonna go out, it may as well be in a pit of fire.

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Second, and more poignantly, was his relationship with Arya Stark (and Sansa Stark). Before Cleganebowl, The Hound talked Arya out of ascending the Red Keep and killing Cersei. The structure was crumbling and the Mad Queen circling, making it a suicide mission. Arya says she wants revenge, but The Hound forcibly holds her back.

"Look at me," he grunts. He says he's been after revenge all of his life, and Arya shouldn't be like him. "You come with me, you die here." The Hound is successful, Arya retreats. "Sandor," she calls out as he approaches the stairway, "thank you." (This was itself reminiscent of Bran thanking Theon Greyjoy during the Battle of Winterfell moments before the latter's death.)