Last Night’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ ‘The Bells’ Episode Was The Worst Rated In The Show’s History
Fans have not been pleased with the highly-anticipated Season 8 of Game of Thrones. The reactions to the first five episodes of the final season of the hit HBO TV series have been mixed, but there have been many disappointed diehard fans who have given negative critiques of the series and it shows in the ratings.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Game of Thrones has enjoyed incredibly positive reviews with every season earning a rating of at least 91% except for Season 8, which stands at 74% going into the sixth and final episode. Nothing punctuated how much fans are unhappy with the direction of the show and the rushed nature of Season 8 quite like the ratings for last night’s Episode 5 of Season 8 titled “The Bells.”
Disgruntled Game of Thrones fans voted down Sunday night’s episode by giving it a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest-rated episode since the “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken Air” episode. That episode, which was the controversial episode where Sansa Stark was brutally attacked by Ramsay Bolton, was given a 54% rating as well.
In the first seven Game of Thrones seasons, there has only been one episode rated below 77%. In the five episodes of Season 8, there have already been three episodes with ratings of 75% for “The Long Night,” 57% for “The Last of the Starks” and 54% for the penultimate episode titled “The Bells.”
This season’s reviews are a little more compassionate on IMDB, but there are still at an all-time series low for the show. While most of the first seven seasons enjoyed ratings over 9 from IMDB, Season 8’s Episode 1 earned 8.2, Episode 2 jumped to 8.5 and Episode 3 stayed stead at 8.2. Then the last two episodes set the bar for lowest-rated episodes with “The Last of the Starks” receiving a poor 6.3 rating and “The Bells” coming in at 7.1. Before this season, the lowest rated episode was again “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” with an 8.1 score and no other episodes had been rated under 8.5 until Season 8.
Did fans not believe the character arc of Daenerys Targaryen or her descent into madness and transformation into the Mad Queen as she burned King’s Landing down to the ground along with everything and everyone? Or did they not enjoy how rushed these episodes are and how there has been zero character development and at the same time plenty of plot holes? Or did the writers not do nearly a masterful job as George R.R. Martin did with A Song Of Ice And Fire as the last season was completely done without the books help?
The final ever episode of Game of Thrones will be directed by series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. They have yet to direct any of the most memorable episodes, but have written and directed Episode 6 of Season 8. They already sound as if they are preparing for the worst from GoT‘s rabid fanbase.
In an Entertainment Weekly interview from April, Weiss said: “We’ll in an undisclosed location, turning off our phones and opening various bottles.”
“At some point, if and when it’s safe to come out again, somebody like [HBO’s GoT publicist Mara Mikialian] will give us a breakdown of what was out there without us having to actually experience it,” Weiss continued. Benioff added, “I plan to be very drunk and very far from the internet.” This does not come off as a resounding endorsement to the end of a legendary series.
In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, the showrunners doubled down on their drinking from a hidden location. “We are going to take our wives to an undisclosed location — the four of us, together. We’re going to turn our phones off,” Weiss said. Benioff added, “Going offline, drinking tequila.”
None of these remarks sound like fans should be hopeful for a happy ending to Game of Thrones. You may also want to have the tequila close at hand when you watch the series finale this Sunday.