The Subtle Game of Thrones Season 4 Callback Hiding in 'The Bells'

Rory McCann stars as The Hound in Game of Thrones
Rory McCann stars as The Hound in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

Warning: Spoilers for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones ahead.

While not all fans were thrilled with the events that took place in "The Bells," the latest episode of Game of Thrones, it’s safe to say that Cleganebowl was a hit with pretty much everyone. The fan-named battle between brothers Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, and Gregor Clegane, known as The Mountain, was first predicted back in 2013 and most assumed that it would end in one of the brother's deaths. As The Hound was riding off to King’s Landing for some “unfinished business” earlier in the season, fans knew that the highly anticipated fight was bound to happen ... but it probably didn’t end exactly as they had hoped.

Once The Hound was able to get into King’s Landing and convince his travel buddy Arya Stark to go home, he went straight for The Mountain, who was at Cersei Lannister and Qyburn’s side. After the former maester was tossed and killed, and the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms managed to flee the scene to avoid the confrontation, Cleganebowl began. And it quickly became evident there was no way The Hound could win this one, at least not without killing himself in the process.

Although The Hound was able to repeatedly stab his brother, The Mountain’s zombie-like status proved he wouldn’t be defeated that easily. And one of his familiar moves had us nervous, since we thought it would take out Sandor.

In a callback to the season 4 episode “The Mountain and the Viper,” where Gregor kills Oberyn Martell, The Verge points out how The Hound attempts to finish what the prince started by stabbing his brother, which is met with The Mountain almost killing him with the same eye-gouging move he performed on Oberyn. We’re sure fans could never forget the sight of the Red Viper’s head exploding at the hands of Gregor—and apparently neither did The Mountain.

But the most symbolic part of the whole showdown was the way it ended, as The Hound chose to tackle his brother off the staircase, going along with him as they plummeted off the castle and into the flames together.

As fans will remember, the feud between the pair all started when they were kids, after The Mountain shoved The Hound into a fire, resulting in the severe burns on his face he wore for the rest of his life. Sandor had been afraid of fire ever since, but faced it when it meant the fight would finally be over.

Game of Thrones Counseling Available for Upset Fans Following Series Finale

Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

It’s no surprise that some fans are having a hard time dealing with the fact that Game of Thrones is over. The show ran for eight seasons, and became a huge part of fans's lives and Sunday night routines. Moreover, since the season 8 premiere first aired, fans haven’t been too thrilled with the trajectory of the show, and it has only gotten worse. (The final episode in the series scored the lowest rating in the show’s history on IMDb).

But if you’re having a hard time wrapping your mind around the end of Game of Thrones, or just want to vent, there's a counseling service here just for you. CNN reports that if you go to Bark.com, a UK-based online marketplace, you can find a Game of Thrones counselor who will listen to your every qualm about the show. "The professionals will help them digest their feelings and interpretation of the show, which could range from anger and confusion to sadness and grief," the service description reads.

"We watch them to escape our daily lives and immerse ourselves into the 'unknown,'" Lynette, a counselor from Bark.com, said in a statement regarding people's TV show obsessions. "This is the very reason why we sometimes become addicted to watching them, the stories they tell become part of our identity."

There’s options of booking a 30-minute or 60-minute session, which range from $25 to $51. Fans can choose from a face-to-face session, group session, or online, and can specify which specific problems they’re having regarding the show. 

What do we say to Game of Thrones-related anxiety? Not today!

New Coke is Making a Comeback Thanks to Stranger Things

Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, and Sadie Sink in Stranger Things.
Netflix

In what was considered one of the biggest consumer product marketing blunders of all time, the Coca-Cola Company upset devotees of their signature beverage by introducing New Coke in 1985. Sweeter and smoother than the original, people practically revolted over the change, and the drink eventually disappeared from shelves.

In 2019, New Coke is not only resurfacing—it might turn out to be one of the company's savviest marketing moves to date.

CNN reports that Coca-Cola will be producing 500,000 cans of New Coke in collaboration with Netflix to promote season 3 of Stranger Things, the 1980s-set paranormal drama. Cans will be featured on the show in a kind of retro product placement.

Fans can look for the cans online, which will be offered as a free gift with the purchase of two special Coca-Cola Classic or Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles with Stranger Things artwork beginning Thursday. Special vending machines will also be set up in major cities, and visitors to Atlanta's World of Coca-Cola can purchase the product there, too.

The company is using the exact same recipe for New Coke that got them in hot water back in 1985. For many, it will be their first chance to sample the drink that anti-New Coke activist and retiree Gay Mullins described as being "unbelievably wimpy" and tasting like Pepsi (a comment meant to be derogatory). Originally intended to replace Coca-Cola Classic, the drink was eventually rebranded Coke II and sold through 2002.

Coca-Cola anticipates demand will exceed their 500,000 can allotment, which means you're likely to see them pop up on eBay before long.

The new season of Stranger Things premieres July 4.

[h/t CNN]

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