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13th May 2019

22 things you may have missed in the recent Game of Thrones episode

Paul Moore

Game of Thrones fans, it’s time to dig in

As always, if you haven’t seen the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, consider this to be your spoiler alert warning.

1) The Mad Queen

In terms of the writing for Daenerys’ arc in the show, the best word to describe it would be erratic.

In Season 2 when Dany’s outside Qarth, she says the following: “When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!”

However, she also said that she’s reluctant to use her dragons to rain fire on King’s Landing because she doesn’t want to be the Queen of the ashes.

Speaking about her character’s horrific decision to murder innocent people, Emilia Clarke has said that: “It’s so natural for a person to resort to anger and that’s exactly where she goes. It’s there, it has always been there. It’s what has driven her through everything.

“Here comes that familiar feeling of anger and she doesn’t do anything to choke that. She lives in it. It’s this feeling that you could call Targaryen craziness, or you could give it all of these names that it doesn’t deserve because it is just grief. It’s hurt and she has this ability to make this hurt feel a little bit less for a minute. And the feeling is to fucking kill her (Cersei). When you feel that much failure, disappointment, shame, hurt, and lost love, there’s only so much pain that you can handle before you snap.”

2) A more sinister truth

While we understand some of the more psychological-scarring aspects that caused Daenerys to snap – the pressure of her destiny to claim the Iron Throne, Jon’s stronger claim, the breakdown of their relationship, her treasonous allies, and the countless losses that she has recently endured – there’s one fact that’s definite.

Daenerys choose this violent path, even before she arrived at King’s Landing.

During their fireside chat at Dragonstone, Dany said the following to Jon: “I don’t have love here, I only have fear.”

After Jon reaffirms his commitment to her authority as the rightful Queen, but spurs her romantic interests, she says “let it be fear.” This is eerily similar to Cersei’s “I choose violence” line in previous seasons.

Even before she arrived in the capital, Daenerys understood that once the people knew that Jon was the rightful heir, her rule would never be accepted. Fear was the only tactic that she could use to subjugate the people of King’s Landing.

After the bells were rung, the fighting was over. The Lannister forces surrendered but she decided to slaughter thousands and thousands of people.

It really wasn’t a spur of the moment thing.

3) Bran’s vision

The Three-Eyed Raven saw this coming.

Remember this?

4) The bells

Varys knew that the sound of bells ringing in King’s Landing are usually a precursor to something horrible.

Before the Battle of the Blackwater, he had the following conversation with Tyrion.

Varys: I’ve always hated the bells. They ring for horror. A dead king, a city under siege.

Tyrion: A wedding.

Varys: Exactly.

5) The dead

Aside from the thousands of people that were killed in the King’s Landing fire storms, the following main characters all met their maker; Varys, Euron, The Hound, The Mountain, Qyburn, Harry Strickland, Jaime and Cersei Lannister.

6) A horse with no name

At the end of the episode, Arya escapes from the chaos, destruction, fire, and blood via a white horse.

We reckon that the horse belonged to Harry Strickland, the leader of the Golden Company.

Similarly, the little girl that Arya tries to protect was holding a white horse in her hand throughout the episode.

A nice bit of foreshadowing.

7) A previous introduction

Speaking of this mysterious woman and her young daughter, even before Daenerys started to raze King’s Landing to the ground, we got an earlier glimpse of these two characters.

They were part of the crowd when The Hound forced his way towards the gates of the Red Keep.

8) It was never snow

In Season 2, Dany had a vision about the throne room when she was captured in the Houses of the Undying.

The general consensus is that it was snow falling from the gaping hole in the charred roof.

However, after seeing the destruction of King’s Landing, it’s very likely to be ash in Dany’s vision.

It should be noted that during this vision, Daenerys gets near to the throne but she never touches it.

A sign of things to come?

9) Hear me roar

The Lannister sigil of the lion is the first thing that’s destroyed when Drogon rains down fire on the throne room.

A symbolic moment that represents the demise of House Lannister.

Well, there’s always Tyrion. Tywin must be so happy.

10) Varys’ demise

Aside from being a traitor – in Daenerys’ eyes – The Spider was also conspiring to poison her.

At the start of the episode, we see him having a conversation with a young girl, one of his little birds.

“Great risk, great reward. We’ll try again at supper” said Varys.

The plan didn’t work because we learn that Dany isn’t eating.

We’ve also seen Varys’ spy before. She was one of the children that was hiding in the Winterfell crypts when the Night King attacked.

While his motivations and loyalties were somewhat murky, Varys was always clear about where his allegiances were.

“Incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty. As long as I have my eyes, I’ll use them. I wasn’t born into a great house. I came from nothing. I was sold as a slave, and carved up as an offering. When I was a child I lived in alleys, gutters, abandoned houses. You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people. The people who suffer under despots, and prosper under just rule. The people whose hearts you aim to win,” he said.

Then again, Daenerys also came good on a promise that she made to The Spider.

While the contents of Varys’s scroll are fairly clear -it’s a letter detailing the fact that Jon Snow is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne – the more interesting question is who was he sending it to?

Dorne? Illyrio Mopatis? Robyn Arryn?

On this note, it’s worth noting that Varys died for sending ravens about a true King.

Ned Stark sent a letter about a false false King and was also killed for it.

Here’s the letter that Varys was writing.

11) Like father, like daughter

Even before Daenerys decided to burn King’s Landing to the ground, the Game of Thrones makeup team did an excellent job at making her character look like The Mad King in his darkest hours.

Sickly, pale, and gaunt.

Aside from this, her hair looked like it had a more silvery tinge, just like her father.

It’s also worth noting that Dany’s meeting with Tyrion in the throne room on Dragonstone was shot in the exact same way that The Mad King’s fatal encounter with Jaime Lannister was.

Dark, lit by candlelight, and incredibly ominous.

12) Cleganebowl

Aside from The Hound repeating one of Arya’s favourite lines – “Not Today” – it’s fitting that Sandor Clegane died by fire. After all, it was his brother, Gregor, that scarred him for life by holding his face to the fire.

D.B. Weiss, showrunner on Game of Thrones, said that: “We knew that these two were going to die together, at each other’s hands, and we knew the Hound’s death had to be a death by fire. So the one thing stronger in the Hound than his fear of fire is his hatred of the person who put that fear there in the first place.”

In a previous episode, Arya told The Hound: “One day, I’m going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull.” That’s the exact same way that The Hound killed The Mountain in this episode.

Be honest, we all got flashbacks to The Mountain vs The Red Viper during this sequence.

13) The Lannisters

During a conversation with Bronn, Jaime once said that he wanted to die in the arms of the woman that he loves. Well, he got his wish.

In another previous conversation, Tyrion told Cersei that: “A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.”

Daenerys and Drogon ensured that the majority of King’s Landing was reduced to ash.

Also, during the scene where Cersei and Jamie die, the score was ‘The Rains of Castamere’ mixed with “The Light of the Seven” which is a pretty great way to add some poetic justice to their death.

Of course, ‘The Rains of Castamere’ is a beloved song of House Lannister and it’s also the name of the episode that featured The Red Wedding.

“The Light of the Seven” is the wonderful track that soundtracked Cersei’s destruction of the Sept Baelor.

They came into this world together, they left this world together.

Similarly, when Jaime deserted Cersei at the end of Season 7 to head North, their fallout occurred in the King’s Landing map room.

It’s fitting then that their reconciliation took place in the exact same place.

14) Legacy

Last week, Euron Greyjoy was the man that killed a flying dragon with a few incredible shots.

This week, he was killed by a one-armed man.

Elsewhere, Jorah Mormont is now the man that sacrificed his own life to save a woman that has killed thousands of people.

Ser Jorah really had no luck with his Khaleesi.

Game of Thrones Season 8

15) Frankenstein’s monster

Qyburn died at the hand of his own creation.

We know that The Mountain is a remorseless killing machine but the way that he disposed of the Queen’s Hand was borderline hilarious.

16) Tyrion is still the best Lannister killer in the Seven Kingdoms

After telling Jaime to get Cersei out through the dungeons/catacombs, Tyrion has, in one way or another, killed his mother, father, brother, sister, lover  and friend, Varys.

17) The escape

Speaking of Tyrion’s decision to release Jaime, this hasn’t been the first time that we’ve seen a prisoner freed.

Of course, Jaime freed Tyrion when he was facing certain death after Oberyn Martell lost his trial by combat against The Mountain.

Elsewhere, Edmure Tully was freed for a parlay.

Just like he did with Jaime, Tyrion also begged his former lover, Shae, to flee King’s Landing and start a new life.

Tyrion’s relationship with his older brother can be defined by one line: “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had.”

The storyline involving the Lannister men had a fitting conclusion.

18) The wildfire plot

Jaime Lannister previously talked about the wildfire plot that The Mad King, Daenerys’ father, was obsessed with.

“The Mad King was obsessed with it. He loved to watch people burn, the way their skin blackened and blistered and melted off their bones. He burned lords he didn’t like. He burned Hands who disobeyed him. He burned anyone who was against him. Before long, half the country was against him. Aerys saw traitors everywhere. So he had his pyromancers place caches of wildfire all over the city. Beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Flea Bottom. Under houses, stables, taverns. Even beneath the Red Keep itself,” said Jaime.

Well, Dany’s decision to “burn them all” uncovered some of the hidden wildfire stashes that were hidden around the city.

19) The throwback shots

This episode features some beautiful cinematography but there were a few throwbacks to previous episodes too.

For example, the scenes featuring Harry Strickland were a direct reference to Jon Snow during the Battle of the Bastards.

Elsewhere, Cersei Lannister was watching the walls of King’s Landing burn from the exact same spot that she watched the Sept Baelor being destroyed by wildfire.

Tyrion walking through the charred corpses and ashes of King’s Landing was eerily similar to the scene where he walked through the scorched battlefield after Daenerys destroyed the Lannister/Tyrell forces during the The Spoils of War episode.

Here’s a shot of The Golden Company’s sigil in full sight.

To be honest, they didn’t make much of an impact during the battle!

20) The Red Keep

Cersei insisted the Red Keep has never fallen but her own father had attacked the castle during Robert’s Rebellion and breached its walls.

Granted, it might not have fallen in the same way that Daenerys destroyed it in this episode, but Tywin’s assault was a factor in the fall of House Targareyn.

Similarly, Oberyn Martell once said: “Today is not the day I die.” He died that day.

In this episode, Cersei Lannister said: “The Red Keep has never fallen before, it won’t fall today.” Cersei died that day after the Red Keep literally fell on her head.

21) The credits

If you look at the gates of King’s Landing in the opening credits, you can see that Quyburn’s Scorpion missile launchers are now on the walls.

22) Sympathy for the people

If you’re feeling sorry for the innocent people that were killed during the firebombing of King’s Landing, it’s worth remembering that the same people were also cheering during Ned Stark’s execution.

Where does your moral compass lie now?

It all comes down to this, here’s the trailer for the final episode of Game of Thrones.