Each week I will set out with a foolishness and a sense of purpose that would make Jon Snow proud by power ranking all of the plot lines in the most recent episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’
Well, Daenerys finally did it.
She went to the dark side.
At first glance, it felt like a heel turn for her. But that’s just not the case. For the most part, heel turns are sudden. A legendary heel turn was Hulk Hogan turning on Macho Man and joining NWO.
This was not that.
This had been building for some time and accelerated since she hit the shores of Westeros and endured one betrayal after another. Apparently, all it took was the death of another one of her kids (as well as her bestie) to seal the deal.
“The Bells” wasn’t exactly what I thought it’d be but I’m neither mad nor disappointed. If anything, I’m shocked. I’m not “Red Wedding shocked”, though. That brand of shock was different. This kind of shock—Bells Shock—is slightly more muted and restrained.
Red Wedding Shock was the Patriots coming back to beat the Falcons. Bells Shock was them holding on to beat the Rams.
With that being said, here’s our song of the week.
To the rankings!
6. The Second Thoughts Club
The problem with being someone like Varys is that your whole game is double-crossing people and talking shit behind their back. The law of averages says that that kind of life is going to catch up with you eventually.
And man it did
Guys, Varys is dead.
He got roasted. He looked into the eye of Drogon, Drogon looked back, and that was it. You were a good dude, Varys. You deserved better.
In all fairness, he got a little too close to the sun and overplayed his hand. He deserved better but he also should have known better.
I am, however, very interested to know who he was writing to and if any of those letters made it off Dragonstone.
5. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Jaime
Jaime confused a lot of folks last week when he bailed on Brienne to go to Cersei. He was most likely going to save her but was maybe going to kill her? No one really seemed sure.
However, in the end, it didn’t matter. Jaime got busted on his trek south and was taken captive by Team Dragon. You can dye your hair all you want but you can’t hide a gold hand. No really, you can’t. You can wear a glove, but like, someone will take that right off and you’ll be screwed.
In a last-ditch attempt at stopping his Queen’s inevitable destruction of the city, Tyrion frees Jaime, returning the favor from when Jaime saved him back in the day. Their goodbye was touching; of all the bad things Jaime has done and through the ups and downs he’s taken us through, his relationship with Tyrion was one of the show’s strongest. It certainly felt like a “goodbye forever,” not a “Goodbye, see you at lunch.”
Jaime then gets caught up in the masses running to safety, so opts for the escape route Tyrion had told him about.
He looks to be in good shape until Euron appears because that’s what Euron does: he appears. More often than not, it doesn’t make much sense logistically, but logistics be damned, he just shows up.
And this is where I was a little confused. Euron immediately challenges Jaime to a fight and I’m not sure why. I kind of know why but I’m not totally sure why. I want to be totally sure!
However, I am totally sure that Euron’s dead and that’s pretty sweet.
Euron was junk.
4. A Revenge Driven Life
It was somewhat surprising when Arya joined the Hound for the trip south but Arya is nothing if not a perfectionist. She definitely wasn’t going to move on with her life knowing that her list still had a name on it. She wanted to kill Cersei and was cool with dying to do it if need be.
Because time means nothing on Game of Thrones anymore, they arrive at the Team Dragon campsite just outside of King’s Landing right before things go down.
The Hound and Arya end up being our view from the other side of the attack, weaving through the panic-stricken people of the city, rushing to first escape the potential invasion and then really rushing to escape Daenerys and Drogon.
During the first part, they are unfazed. The two of them stroll through the chaos emotionless in a way I picture Kawhi Leonard tackling a Black Friday sale.
Yet when things really start going sideways, The Hound hits the pause button.
First, he insists Arya leave and dip out before she dies. Naturally, she refuses because Arya doesn’t do dipping out.
“You want to be like me?” he snaps at her, and at that moment, something changes. She sees what being like him—being someone consumed by revenge—is really like and where it gets you. It gets you in the middle of a massacre and a humanitarian nightmare consumed solely with killing your zombie brother. No one wants that. That seems like a terrible way to live.
And Arya realizes that.
A veneer, a layer of Arya, was suddenly stripped away. No longer a cold-blooded assassin, she became scared like everyone else not aligned with Daenerys. Now she not only loves dipping out, but she’s dipping out presently.
Along the way, she runs through a gamut of emotions, going from scared to nervous to effin’ petrified to concerned. She also suffered another concussion, and if you’re keeping track, that’s her second this season. She’s definitely going to have to sit out at least a few games.
However, she’s definitely going to ignore protocol and what next episode has in store for Arya will be something to toss around in that noggin of yours for the entire bloody week. Is she going to kill Daenerys? It kind of feels that way.
Meanwhile, The Hound continues on, running into Cersei and company in mid-GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE mode. The sight of his baby brother causes The Mountain to snap as much as a giant zombie can snap. He kills Qyburn and, yes folks, Clegane Bowl has arrived. You wanted it. You’ve been waiting for years for it. Now it’s here.
It was gnarly as all hell. The Mountain almost won, too, managing to withstand numerous stab wounds, you know, because he’s a zombie. Finally, The Hound charges him and they go crashing through the crumbling walls and down, down, down, down into a roaring fire.
The Hound is going to hate that.
3. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Tyrion
Tyrion, Lord of Shitty Plans, first ratted out Varys to Daenerys but that was a waste because she was hip to everything. Instead of being pissed at Varys, she was mad at Tyrion for leaking the Jon files to him, knowing full well how he’d react.
Varys was the person at work who you like but don’t say anything incriminating too because you know that dude will be telling everyone about it. The only difference between that person and Varys is the presence of a dragon.
Oh. And being a eunuch.
Dany tells Tyrion about capturing Jaime and effectively puts him on notice. You eff up again and you’re done.
Now if your boss were to say something like that to you, you’d probably be inclined to keep a low profile for a while. You’d be on top of your correspondence, early for meetings, willing to stay late, etc. Tyrion goes in the other direction.
Tyrion—and follow me here—goes to Team Dragon’s camp, asks Davos to set up a smuggler’s starter kit for him and then goes to Jaime, begging him to go to Cersei to get her to surrender so they can run away together and be the creepy neighbors who move in down the street from you but keep their curtains closed all the time.
Yes, Tyrion knows he’ll probably die, but being Tyrion, Lord of Shitty Plans, he also thinks Daenerys might grant him some leniency if his plan works.
Ranking The Lords of Shitty Plans
3. The Night King (I feel like he didn’t fully think his plan through)
2. Jon Snow
By the end of the episode, Tyrion can’t believe what he’s seen. Or he can. He probably should believe it. I believe it and I’m not in Westeros.
I’d say there’s a very good chance Daenerys kills Tyrion next week.
Unless Arya kills her first.
2. Keeping Up With The Lannisters: Cersei
So Cersei has the Iron Fleet stationed in Blackwater Bay and the Golden Company positioned in that weird area of King’s Landing that no one has ever seen before but has somehow shown up in two straight episodes.
Oh well. It looked cool.
It goes without saying that she felt pretty good about things. She’s also surrounded herself with a human shield, having graciously allowed the people of King’s Landing into the Red Keep for “protection.”
However, heading into halftime, let’s go to our man on the sidelines Qyburn to check in with Cersei.
“My Queen, how are you feeling about the battle so far?”
“All we need is one good shot.”
“Well, they’ve taken out all of the scorpions.”
“The Iron Fleet will hold Blackwater Bay.”
“Well, the fleet is pretty much gone.
“The Golden Company will…”
“Yeah, they’re pretty much gone too.”
Thanks, Q! Now back to Jim and Tony in the booth.
Just like that, Cersei’s coalition of the willing was done. At least she still has her Lannister army, though.
What’s that now?
Never mind. They just surrendered.
Time to run.
What else was she going to do? Cersei doesn’t fight. Cersei schemes and drinks wine. There’s no place for either of those things when a dragon is burning everything around you. I would have done the exact same thing if I were her.
There were a lot of convenient meetings in “The Bells” but none more so than Jaime running into Cersei as the rubble literally crashed down on the world around her. No. Really. she was standing on the map of Westeros.
It was symbolic.
He talks her into running away with him, starting a new life, maybe becoming farmers or opening an Etsy shop, and things look pretty okay for the two of them until, well, until they get crushed by the ceiling and are most likely killed.
I think they’re dead. My sister doesn’t. We’ll agree to disagree.
It seemed like a fitting end for the two of them, vulnerable and alone as the world was ending. That’s what makes me think they’re dead.
But who knows? It’s Game of Thrones. Crazier things have happened.
1. Stop Dragon My Heart Around
Last week, Daenerys lost her second dragon followed shortly by Missandei. She left Winterfell feeling a little taken advantage of and very betrayed by her lover/nephew/rival. She was not in good spirits. Plus, it seemed like Missandei was the one who had been doing her hair this whole time.
In short order, Daenerys confirms that Varys is Varys, an unreliable sneaky son of a gun, and burns him alive before basically telling Tyrion that he’s next unless he gets his act together. She makes one last play for Jon Snow, first playing the sympathy card by talking about her role as an outsider and pointing out that people really like him and no one really likes her. They fear her, but they don’t love her.
So, that begs the question for Jon Snow. Which one is it: fear or love?
Jon rebuffs her advances and that’s our answer. Jon is on the shit list now.
“Let it be fear,” she says.
If you were surprised by her turning her dragon fire on King’s Landing then you definitely missed this part (not to mention all the L’s she’s taken recently). She’s the new kid in school and has been treated as such and over the course of our time with her, we’ve definitely seen her run hot.
Once again, this has been building for some time, and ultimately, her story is a tragedy. It’s a story of betrayal and loss and feeling alone. She has no one left and I bet if you asked her point blank if she should have just stayed in Mereen, she’d probably say yes.
Daenerys does get points for learning from her mistakes, though. Last week, she was ambushed by Euron while flying directly at them. Fast forward a week and—surprise bitches!—she’s taking you all on from behind and from the side. She’s coming right at you but she’s using the sun to blind Euron and his dudes so they can’t get a clear shot. Those scorpions are dope as hell but they are a pain in the ass to move. Daenerys was also killing it with the evasive maneuvers.
I’d counter that it was weird that Euron wasn’t the one pulling the trigger on a scorpion, seeing as how he went 3-for-3 during the previous ambush.
Daenerys’ plan for catching them from behind extended to the Golden Company, who for all the hype and press clippings, were wiped out in about a minute. And you thought the Dothraki were eliminated quickly during the Battle for Winterfell? At least they got into the game. The Golden Company barely made it out of the locker room.
A good chunk of King’s Landing is in ruins, the Red Keep has been destroyed, Grey Worm has broken bad, and the Dothraki are having a hell of a good time rampaging through the city.
It then makes you wonder: what does she do next?
Questions for Daenerys Going Forward
- When are you going to kill Tyrion?
- What are you going to do with Jon Snow, who had an awakening of sorts amidst the carnage and destruction and pulled his men out?
- Do you remember who Arya is? That might be important.
- So like, what do you do now?
Yeah, what do you do now, Daenerys?
Pivot to healthcare?
See you next week.