Daenerys Targaryen had promised to bring down the sky upon King’s Landing, and so she did. Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 ‘The Bells’ saw many deaths as the two queens clashed amidst fire and blood, and some of the show’s longest veterans drew their last breath.
Here’s a lowdown on all the deaths, expected and unexpected, that came to pass in episode 5. If you aren’t caught up on the episode yet, be warned, this post contains massive spoilers!
The Master of Whisperers has betrayed many rulers in his lifetime in order to uphold his true loyalty – peace for the Realm of Westeros. His last betrayal cost him his life. Concerned with Daenerys’ increasingly unhinged tendencies, Varys had chosen to put his faith in the last Targaryen available – Jon Snow AKA Aegon Targaryen. He got busted by one he called his friend – Tyrion Lannister. He died just as Dany said he would if he ever betrayed her – burnt alive by Dragonfire.
The pirate lord had been overreaching for too long and kinda had this coming. Euron managed to survive Dany’s fury but then chose to challenge Jaime Lannister on his way to Cersei – which is never a good idea. The two men acted out their rivalry over Cersei in a cave under the Red Keep and for a moment Euron almost seemed to have gotten the upper hand – until Jaime ran past his sword through him. Euron died as he lived, in grandiose delusion, this time believing to have slain the Kingslayer.
The Golden Company and Harry Strickland
All that build-up from Season 7 and the much-hyped Golden Company was just about wiped out in two seconds when Daenerys rained down fire from the sky. Their leader Harry Strickland died while running away, speared from the back by Grey Worm. With overall screentime of just a few minutes in the entire season, there’s not much to mourn in these deaths.
Gregor and Sandor Clegane
Cleganebowl finally happened, and this is perhaps one of the only storylines that completely lived up to the hype. The Clegane Brothers, bound to each other’s fate by primal hatred clashed in a struggle to death as the Red Keep crashed down around them. It’s a kind of poetic justice that the undead Gregor became human again, if only for a few moments, triggered by the pure and primal hatred his brother inspired in him. This was the first time since his ‘revival’ that he disobeyed Qyburn and Cersei.
The morally corrupt but scientific genius Qyburn had risen from a disgraced maester to Queen Cersei’s Hand. It is fitting that he met his end in the hands of one of his own horrible creations – the undead Mountain. Qyburn may have bent the Mountain to his will but he did not account for the deep and almost primal hate between the Clegane Brothers.
Jaime and Cersei Lannister
The Lannister twins went from the world as they came into it – together. Jaime had tried to turn a new leaf, far away from the twisted schemes of his sister and lover. But blood does run thicker than water, and the Lannister pride and bond ultimately won out. As they stood trapped in the Red Keep dungeons, Cersei was afraid for the first time, for her and Jaime’s baby, for their future. The Red Keep crashed overhead and Jaime and Cersei met death hand in hand, tragic and defiant in their love and pride.
The people of King’s Landing
For two whole seasons, all of Dany’s advisers had been trying to dissuade her from attacking King’s Landing precisely because of the multitude of people who call it their home. Daenerys had vowed to “break the wheel” that crushed the poor, and to never become “Queen of the Ashes”. In her final, mad fury she reneged on all those promises and brought death and unfathomable destruction to the very people she had claimed to protect from Cersei’s misrule.
The panic, trauma, and helplessness of them is captured in the heartbreaking montage of Arya running through the streets hand in hand with other residents, trying to avoid the fire overhead and Dothraki blades on the streets. The people of King’s Landing paid the price of Dany’s pain and madness with their lives.
Dany’s Last War has been won, but at a great and terrible cost. What awaits the Dragon Queen now?