YOU GUYS THERE ARE A LOT OF SPOILERS IN HERE, FROM THE FIRST SENTENCE. DO NOT – I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH – DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOST RECENT GOT EPISODE. K? K.
We’re now one episode away from Game Of Thrones being donezo forever, which is wild stuff. So naturally, a lot of shit went down in this second-last episode, which saw Daenerys Targaryen – I mean if you didn’t know this already, you haven’t read the numerous spoiler warnings we have pasted in this article’s beginning – burninate Kings Landing to the ground. Yep, Dany’s gone full Mad Queen and it was both great TV and a heartbreaking character arc.
As always, me (Mel, Senior Style & Features Editor) and my boss Josie (Head of Editorial) are here with our Game Of Thrones recap to cover what went down in case you missed something. Or you just wanted to read some lol commentary. Either/or really.
JOSIE: We open with Varys, Lord of Spice, writing a letter to someone outing Jon Snow as Aegon Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne. Of course Varys cannot help himself, even in old-timey medieval shows there is always a character who just lives for the hot goss.
MEL: Varys lives for the tea and I love him for it, tbh. But before he sends the note off, he burned it! And then got arrested by Daenerys’ henchmen for betraying her bc Tyrion, who keeps making TERRIBLE decisions, dobbed on him.
JOSIE: Bloody Tyrion continues to make terrible choices. I think in the next office Kris Kringle, someone needs to give him a magic 8-ball because at this point it would offer more guidance than his own stupid conscience does? I like that Varys didn’t die before planting some sneaky little seeds in Jon’s head, so it wasn’t all in vain I guess. Even though Jon was like **adopts flat Northern British accent** “Eoye don’ wan’ the thronn” for the six thousandth time, it clearly affected him because he can no longer get it up for his girlfriend / aunt / power-tripping queen.
MEL: Yep, looks like the romance between Dany and her nephew is absolutely donezo because that’s the second time she’s gone in for a pash and he’s been like “no thankyou I’m good”. Guess burninating your advisors isn’t Jon’s kink?
JOSIE: He simply can’t get off to the burning carcasses of people! It’s not his thing. It was a bit awkward at the Burning of Varys because, like, everyone had betrayed Dany and Varys was just the scapegoat. But I guess that’s why she did it, to make a point. She even threatened Tyrion later to be like “betray me again fucko and that’s the last time!”
MEL: Meanwhile, as Dany prepares to take on Cersei and her cronies we see that our favourite comedy spin-off duo Arya & The Hound are galumphing their way into Kings Landing!As is Jaime. He’s more like Eeyore – because he is sad and stupid and got caught by the Unsullied before he could make it past the gates. Cue sad Eeyore music.
JOSIE: Arya & The Hound are so fun! I’d watch that Game Of Thrones black comedy spin-off that is funny yet somehow more graphically violent than Game of Thrones. The spin-off I would not watch? The Increasingly Sad Adventures of Jaime Lannister. Honestly, my take is ever since Jaime got his hand lopped off he’s been a gigantic sad sack just moping around waiting to die.
MEL: Seriously! I was almost disappointed when Tyrion disobeyed Daenerys and released him from prison under the belief that Jaime would go “reason” with Cersei. Is Tyrion tripping on some contraband Westeros mushrooms? When has Jaime ever had any sway against Cersei’s stubbornness? That was fucking ridiculous and honestly at this point even I would demote Tyrion if I was Daenerys. And by demote I mean burn alive, obviously.
JOSIE: I was that concerned for Tyrion after he let Jaime go. Like if Dany finds out about this you are so dead, bro! Speaking of things being dead, I was extremely concerned when we got to Big Battle Day and it was just “here’s 1000000 of the Big Arrows”. Drogon did not go into this with good odds!
MEL: You said “I hate the big arrows” about 40 times during that opening sequence, when Drogon whizzed down from the sky to burninate all of the Iron Fleet. Baiiiii evil octopus boats! They really went down surprisingly quickly. I have to say this – Daenerys really didn’t nail her dragon strategy for the battle against the dead, but hot damn has she got it down now. When she blew open the Kings Landing gates and destroyed ALL of the Big Arrows by coming at them sideways? Absolutely inspired.
JOSIE: My thought is, why not destroy the Big Arrows and the Iron Fleet when they killed Rhaegar or Rhaegal or whatever the shit his name was? All she did was flail around on Drogon for a bit and then retreat! I guess she was in a bit of shock, but still. Also further to your point, just get the TWO DRAGONS to kill all the wights instead of flailing around in the clouds for 2 hours? Anyway, we can wring our hands over her past dragon tactics all we want, this time she wiped out the Big Arrows in record time. It was funny when Qyburn came to Cersei in his usual understated way like “Oh yes hi everything’s on fire and we are going to die, just thought I’d give you a polite heads up” and she’s like “But the BIG ARROWS!” and he’s like “Hunny, no”.
MEL: He was, as you’ve said before, ridiculously calm about their quick defeat. He was all “oh no, the arrows are gone too!” When Cersei said “The Red Keep will protect us” and then you could hear Drogon in the distance I was like, he’s definitely screeching “no it won’t!” in response. Meanwhile, Sad Eeyore-aka-Jaime managed to meander down to the escape boat for the Red Keep, but before he could get in to his precious Cersei, Euron emerged from the water like the octopussy weirdo he is.
JOSIE: You could tell Jaime was like “oh for FUCK’S sake just fuck offff” but instead Euron wanted to have both a metaphorical dick swordfight and an actual weapon swordfight with Cersei’s OG boyfriend. When he got the big stab in Jaime’s side I was really annoyed for Jaime, like is this how he’s gonna cark it? But he managed to get the killshot in which was nice. Euron was such a boring one-note villain character, don’t you think?
MEL: Oh my god, yes. He was basically Jafar but Westeros-style. Speaking of style, I did really enjoy his final outfit – very bohemian warlord, IMO.
JOSIE: Like we said, he looked like he’d purchased that fetching leather embossed jacket from a high-end bohemian boutique in Byron Bay for $3,500.
MEL: RIP our most stylish yet one-dimensional warlord. Then, it finally happened. Dany turned full Mad Queen. I could NOT believe this was how they decided that character’s arc would go, let me tell you. Why are all the powerful women now just psychos? I hate it. You just kept repeating “oh my Christ” “Oh! Good Lord” every time a wall fell over as Dany destroyed the walls of the city. Which was a lot of “oh my Christ’s”, since it was basically all the walls.
JOSIE: I really hated all those falling bricks! That was crazy. That bit of tension after the bell rang was really well done, I thought. When Dany didn’t retreat it was like, “okay she’s going to shoot fire at Cersei, fine that’s pretty justified”. But then she was just shooting flames at everyone! She’s gone full Mad Queen and made Cersei look like Mother Teresa, tbh. I agree with you though, can we not just have all these bitchy evil “difficult” women in Game Of Thrones? It’s such a boring Disney cliché in a way. The men are all righteous and the woman are cackling and destroying everything.
MEL: I actually could not believe it when Dany started burning the townspeople and we saw kids and all these innocent folks dying. Like, it’s fun and exciting that Dany has lost the plot and has turned evil, it’s just pretty shit that season 8 has consisted of all the powerful women besides Arya going batshit. Moving on – we finally got Cleganebowl.
JOSIE: The Hound was like “Arya you need to turn back because beyond this point everyone is going to cark it”. Which was a nice foretelling of how Cleganebowl played out. There’s people in this show that are so hell-bent on their own plans that they don’t mind dying as they carry them out. It was the only way that Cleganebowl could end, really. What about Qyburn’s anti-climactic death beforehand though?
MEL: Omg could not believe the killed Westeros’ own Dr. Frankenstein by just having his monster push him into a pile of rocks. Unbelievably beige death for the scary Doc! Loved that we got Cleganebowl and that it was as bloody and dramatic as expected. When The Hound stabbed Gregor in the chest and EYE and couldn’t kill him!? When Gregor went for the old eye-gougey trick again! Them FALLING INTO A FIRY DEATH!? Good stuff.
JOSIE: He basically just tossed him aside like he was nothing! He gave you LIFE, Frankenstein! Oh my god, it was actually a hilarious fight. When he was like “fucking just die would you”! Ultimately he got his revenge which was nice. I do love The Hound, but am sad our bound-to-be-a-hit spin-off Arya & The Hound cannot exist now. Meanwhile, shoutout to the 3 hardest working people in the Game Of Thrones crew this week: the person who does the CGI fire effects, the drone camera operator, and the bloody cello player. That cello player surely has RSI by now.
MEL: My god, there was so much ominous cello in this episode. RIP that cello player’s fingers, I reckon. So eventually Jaime made it to Cersei, and the whole time they spoke you and I were covering our eyes because we weren’t sure if it was Real Jaime, or if the showrunners were going to do a bait-and-switch on us and Jaime was actually Arya who had come across Dead Jaime on her way to kill Cersei… but no. Real Jamie it was.
JOSIE: It was Real Jaime and I thought he was gonna pull out his sword and dramatically stab Cersei, as per the prophecy of her little brother killing her. But basically since they were trapped underground because of all the rubble they realised they were doomed so they just hugged and cried and died together. Did he technically kill her because he led her to an underground death trap? Maybe.
MEL: Look, I’ll argue a loose yes to that, he did tell her they’d be safer down there and they absolutely were not, so. I know, he was a bit of a gutless wonder of a character, really. I think his ties to her were just far too strong, and in the end he didn’t want her to die alone. It’s quite nice but not really the dramatic slaying that everyone was expecting.
JOSIE: Can we also talk about Arya’s little story arc in this episode? She was all hell-bent on killing Cersei too, The Hound had to forcibly stop her. So then she turned back and was just basically in a war zone. I think for all of Arya’s bravado she’s still somewhat immature, and she definitely saw the true horrors of war in this episode.TBH I was OK with that ending for them. I thought it was a little weak for Jaime considering he had found the dead and turned against Cersei to do so – as in, it felt weak to have his character return to Cersei and die in some rubble. But I guess it was fitting series-wide for them to die together.
MEL: ABSOLUTELY AGREE. Arya’s always been Mrs Revenge and I think this showed her what pure vengefulness actually looks like – not giving a shit about anyone but yourself, really. She was right in the middle of Dany’s fire-bombing of Kings Landing, seeing the innocent perish. I feel like that plus The Hound’s words to her have flicked a switch and we’ll see her having a bit of a quarter-life-crisis in the season finale. Maybe she’ll even decide the Lady-life is for her and marry Gendry after all (no).
JOSIE: Well at least she scored a new horse out of her day in King’s Landing, as well as (probably) PTSD. I’m so interested to see the aftermath of Dany’s actions in next week’s. Jon looked so devastated, Arya looked angry, and you know Sansa will be like *smunty face* “Hmph, told ya so.”
MEL: Can we just quickly discuss how a solid 5 full minutes of this episode – the second last episode of a very short final season – centred around Arya having a moment with a horse.
JOSIE: And the entire time I was like “A brick’s gonna hit her” “Someone’s gonna stab her” “Dany’s gonna shoot fire at her”. I really killed the mood for you, I’m sorry.
MEL: Look there was no mood to kill – the woman was patting a horse while the entirety of Kings Landing burned around her. It was the worst! Anyway yes, very keen to see how they’re going to deal with their new Mad Queen.
JOSIE: And keen to see who sits on this goddamn Iron Throne. If it even exists after Dany’s little fire shooting spree!