“Daenerys Targaryen made the worst move in ‘Game of Thrones’ history,” I declare to Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow and Luca Giliberti in our 30-minute recap of “The Bells,” the fifth “Game of Thrones” episode in Season 8, which aired on Sunday, May 12. Watch our exclusive video slugfest above.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS EPISODE:
In the episode Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) went to war against Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), in a battle that saw dragon fire rain down of King’s Landing. I explain that “Dany won the battle easily. With her dragon, all the scorpions, crossbows and ACME company contraptions, almost everything was burned to the ground. The Lannister soldiers surrendered and the bells were rung. King’s Landing and the iron throne was hers for the taking. Unquestionably she was able to dethrone Cersei. Then she decides to throw the clean win away. She will probably still be able to claim the throne, but I don’t see how she gets out of next week’s series finale alive. All she needed to do was take the iron throne without torching thousands of innocent civilians on the way. She then likely wins the game of thrones.”
Daenerys’ decision to unnecessarily burn the city to the ground has been a polarizing one for the Emmy-winning show. Debates have raged in our forums about whether it was in her character to carry out the massacre. Regardless of whether it made sense it was the wrong decision for Dany. I’d go as far to say the dumbest move. It will likely lead to her character’s death in the final episode. And also, not making that choice would have likely ended the series with her ruling from the throne. It was literally a win or die choice. And all she needed to do was not torch thousands of innocents. But as the mother of Dragons had promised earlier in the series, she took what was hers “with fire and blood.”
Cersei was the big loser of “The Bells,” being crushed by the crumbling city she had ruled in the arms of her lover/brother. Although, one might wonder if she would’ve felt some satisfaction from seeing her apparent successor descending into the ruthless destruction that her reign had a propensity for. Regardless, Headey has now wrapped her performance on the series. A performance that has earned four Emmy nominations. Riley says that “her material in this episode was very powerful and she could contend for an Emmy win with it.” Luca adds that “she has not had a lot of screen time but I’m glad she had two good scenes that will get her a nomination. I think she’s very deserving.”
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