Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Review

This could have been a great hour of television if I hadn’t actually followed the story for a decade. There were spectacular visuals, but very little emotional substance to be found beyond frustration and pure flaming hot anger. (Though the Arya scenes were excellent)

tl;dw Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Recap

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-I’m not necessarily angry with where characters ended up, but I take issue with how it happened. Have Daenerys burn King’s Landing to ash. I’m less cool with her being turned into the Mad Queen, but I could have stomached that too if we hadn’t had spent several seasons following her trying to do good by her people and herself. Self-interest does not a Mad Queen make. (Also to all those smarty pants going off about how she treated the slavers of Meereen who wanted to lock her and everyone who followed her in chains and the Dothraki who wanted to keep her closed off as a glorified prisoner, get some reading comprehension and stop supporting slavers and misogynistic warlords who work the slave trade).

-Our bonafide established Mad Queen was given very little to do except stare into the distance and be stubborn. The Cersei I know and love would have burned the city herself before Dany even had the chance. It’s what Chekhov’s wildfire’s there for.

-Within less than 12 hours since I’ve seen the episode I’ve come up with two simple fixes for their Cersei and Dany problem. The first scenario involves Missandei not needing to die to further anyone’s character regression. Cersei puts up half a fight and then rings the bells, inviting everyone in the city and then of course stabbing them like a good host. The Golden Company gets to actually do something, Cersei gets to actually do something, and Dany gets to see her army and maybe even Jon fall, leading her to go HAM on King’s Landing. Simple. Beautiful. Not so frustratingly railroaded.

-Now. If they actually wanted to use Missandei’s death (and I’m in no way advocating for the race politics behind this cause I’m white and would ask others before actually filming anything for public consumption since I won’t pretend to know how this might impact someone who’s not white like me), they could have made the people of King’s Landing the villain. And when I say people I mean a mob of them. Gathered behind the walls of the city when Daenerys arrived to parlay and get Missandei back. They rattle chains loud enough to be heard across no-man’s land. It’s a gut punch for Missandei and the famed Breaker of Chains. That sound has to be haunting and revolting. Memorable. And then when the bells ring, guess who hears echoes of those rattling chains along with the audience? That’s how you do a heel turn. Though honestly I’d be with her.

-Arya’s scenes were incredible and I’m actually surprised. While it might have been rushed, Arya’s decision to give up the assassin game was very pleasing to me. Amazing acting by Maisie who instantly turned soft and innocent within a scene. Her farewell to Sandor (Sandor!) and her attempts to save the people of King’s Landing after being saved by them was *chef’s kiss* Riding away from it all on a white horse was cinematically pleasing and a great end to an otherwise terrible episode. There’s lots of symbolism in the horse itself (pale horse=death, she rides in on black and leaves on white), but I liked how it tied in with the little girl’s figurine. Kinda wish the little girl had made it though.

-Jaime, Jaime, Jaime. He’s terrible. And terribly stupid. But I don’t know if he’s that stupid. I can sorta buy him negging himself vis a vis Cersei and not caring about anyone but her. What I don’t understand is why Brienne or Tyrion didn’t bring up the handful of pretty significant sacrifices he made in the name of innocence… Guess the Valonquar was closer than Cersei thought. She lived in him for years.

-Sandor actually going through with his revenge is disappointing to me as a book reader, but ultimately this episode is the best ending his show version could have.

-Speaking of the book, I’m glad people were able to enjoy it, but the Lannister boys’ farewell left the taste of ashes in my mouth cause they are the furthest from there in the books. Same with Tyrion trying to save Cersei, lords help me.

-RIP Varys, you were one of my faves until you supported taking Dany down because she was a woman (he literally just saw her be lonely at a party and decided she was unfit to rule, well guess what Varys lots of people get lonely at parties it’s adulthood’s greatest secret.)

-Jon’s always been awkward and sad, though this is next level. They’ve given him nothing to do except be miserable.

-I pray to R’hllor that wee poisoner actually does something to somebody or I’m gonna lose it.

-This episode was a middle finger to Ghost and the CGI he wasn’t afforded.

-How is everyone suddenly so proficient at things like strategy and actually using your dragon to burn things? I call malarkey.

-Euron is a joke with no punchline or purpose. Literally anyone could have killed that dragon. Jaime died cause of the rocks… Why did I have to suffer through him?

-Man, I can’t wait for this to be over.