TV Review: Game of Thrones Season Eight Episode Five – “The Bells”

“Far More People Love You In Westeros Than Love Me. I Don’t Have Love Here. I Only Have Fear…” 

With the penultimate episode of previous seasons of Game of Thrones infamously being the designated chapter for when stuff truly goes down, one could argue that the blockbuster, non-stop action which has been constant throughout Season Eight thus far doesn’t really offer the same sort of salivating desire fans previously would expect, with the show’s final curtain being laced with death and destruction from the offset with no real time for contemplation or mulled thought. With the attack on Cersei and King’s Landing an inevitability as soon as Daenerys and her forces landed on such a side of the Seven Kingdoms, “The Bells” brought to life one of the most explosive and murderous rampages seen on the show’s entire run, an eighty minute cinematic spectacle which completely abandoned the early philosophy of the show’s run by harbouring the death of leading characters as a slight, off-hand side note, but made up for such weaknesses with a sure handed technical savviness and narrative choices which although have sure been divisive amongst both fans and critics alike, served an absolute purpose which for me personally, made complete narrative sense. At the end of the day, Game of Thrones is simply a television show with boobs, dragons and zombies which just happens to have millions upon millions of die hard fanatics, and whilst many may see the events of “The Bells” as simply a step too far in the wrong direction, I thought the second to last episode of the show was pretty damn fine indeed.

Whilst it would almost take the length of a dissertation to wade through each individual character arc which ended in deathly fashion this week, the opening act in which the conniving treachery of Varys finally came to a fiery end was something of which was always going to come to fruition, and whilst in hindsight, the bald headed eunuch may indeed have been correct about the stability of his once lauded after Dragon Queen, now really wasn’t the time to start a royal coup in any shape or form. With everyone now seemingly well aware of Jon’s true heritage and Tyrion once again betraying his Queen as he solemnly and rather beautifully aids Jamie’s escape in order for him to see Cersei one last time, the combination of hardship and distrust which has built up in Daenerys for so long finally blows over by the time we finally arrive at King’s Landing, where even with her most loyal aids pleading with her to embrace mercy at a time of great peril, the Dragon Queen finally becomes the Mad Queen with one swift dragon-fuelled rain of fire which turns King’s Landing quickly into ash.Was such a rash course of events something out of the blue I hear you ask? For me, absolutely not, with Daenerys showing signs of hardship, cruelty and at times, an unhinged desire for power no matter the cost, with her temperament, personality and whole character so clearly destined for such atrocities for quite a significant while now. As we all say farewell to some significant players from the show, no matter what you may think of “The Bells” on a narrative front, the technical side of the episode was absolutely stunning, with the effects, the deft, one-shot camera movements and the sound all combining in a masterful synch to create an episode which is as memorable as it is thoroughly divisive.

Overall Episode Score: 9/10

Posted on 15/05/2019, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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