Things continue to move at a breakneck pace in Game of Thrones as the finale approaches. The latest episode of the show was all chaos as multiple important characters died.
Spoilers ahead if you have not seen Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5.
The episode begins with Lord Varys writing a clandestine scroll to somebody. Perhaps to lords and ladies of the Seven Kingdoms to come to Jon Snow’s cause. Varys is just convinced that Jon would be a great king, even though he hardly knows him.
As Jon and Davos arrive, Varys tells Jon he would be a great king. Jon refuses. But as we have learnt, he has a habit of accepting things he does not want if the people around him push him towards that.
Tyrion Lannister rats Lord Varys out to Daenerys Targaryen. This seems way out-of-character for him, since he knows what will happen to his old friend if Daenerys knows about his treason. Varys is taken to a beach, where Jon, Tyrion and others are also present. And sure enough, he is burnt to death by Drogon.
Before dying, Varys says to Tyrion, “I hope I deserve this, truly I do. I hope I’m wrong. Goodbye, old friend.” How long before Jon and Tyrion learn how wrong they were to let Varys die and not confront Daenerys about her incendiary way of getting rid of people? Soon enough, as it happens.
The expression on Jon Snow’s face suggests he is already having second thoughts about Daenerys Targaryen’s queenship. Well, too late. Lord Varys is still dead. Rest in peace the one person in the entire show who really, really cared about the common people.
Tyrion Lannister asks Davos Seaworth whether he really is good at smuggling. Davos says he is certain he won’t like what Tyrion is about to say.
Daenerys Targaryen’s men have apparently captured Jaime Lannister. Tyrion Lannister goes to him and asks him to escape with Cersei Lannister to Essos, like he did after killing Shae and Tywin. There is a tender moment, in which Tyrion says Jaime is the only one who showed kindness to him when others treated him as a monster. He frees Jaime who leaves for his final mission.
Jaime’s character appears to have gone a 180. He tells Tyrion he has never cared about the common people of King’s Landing. Oh, but he does. It was to save them that he killed Aerys Targaryen, who was about to burn down the city before Tywin could arrive with the Lannister army. All that character development, and this is still somehow the Jaime we know from season one, minus a hand and blonde hair.
Jaime Lannister is supposed to get the bell rung, to signal the opening of Red Keep’s gate. We see people of King’s Landing trying to enter the gates of the Red Keep. They are closed and the Lannister soldiers are guarding them. Jaime is unable to get in despite waving his golden hand and yelling, “Soldier!”
Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon attack the Iron Fleet, and it is soon turned to ash. All that famous Scorpion seige weapons are destroyed. And the dragon is invincible again. In the last episode, Rhaegal, a dragon who had a 360 degree view of the landscape, was somehow taken unawares by Euron Greyjoy and his men — basically dozens of ships sneaking up to a dragon who is hundreds of feet up in the air. Is Drogon far smarter than his dead brother or was Rhaegal half-blind?
The combatants are facing each other on the battlefield. The battle is about to begin. Cersei Lannister watches from a window. Harry Stickland is at the head of the Golden Company. Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth and Grey Worm are at the head of Daenerys Targaryen’s armies. A few Dothraki are alive. Do not ask us how.
Drogon attacks the Golden Company from the rear, burning them to death. Jon and others attack. Arya and the Hound are in King’s Landing, both in search of their respective quarries.
The bell rings. And Daenerys Targaryen attacks anyway, burning soldiers and common people alike to a very painful death. She has indeed become the Mad Queen and there isn’t going to be a redemption for her as many hoped.
And, strangely, she is not flying towards the Red Keep. Where she knows Cersei Lannister is hiding. Jon Snow looks shocked, but too late for that now.
Jaime Lannister meets Euron Greyjoy when he tries to sneak into Red Keep from a hidden way. They fight. Jaime is grievously injured, and Euron dies.
The Hound asks Arya Stark to go. She looks scared for the first time in a couple of seasons. So there still is some humanity inside of her. The Hound comes upon Cersei Lannister, the Mountain and Qyburn.
When Qyburn asks the Mountain to focus on keeping Cersei safe, he is killed. Cersei escapes. The Mountain and the Hound fight. Cleganebowl, everybody. The Mountain is basically a zombie and refuses to die after multiple stabbings. He tries to mill the Hound by blinding him and bursting his head like a watermelon (or like Prince Oberyn), but the Hound is made of stronger stuff and he stabs his brother in the face, and then leaps to his death, taking his brother with him.
Jaime Lannister meets Cersei Lannister and they try to escape through the secret passages. They are stopped short when they see the path blocked by rubble. They die. The Valonqar prophecy remained unfulfilled.
Arya Stark wakes up. She is injured, but alive. She sees a white horse. We do not know if it is a hallucination. Whatever it is, it doesn’t make sense. But the scene looks gorgeous, which is true for the show’s last few seasons. Arya escapes.