7 Things You Might Have Missed in Game of Thrones’s 'The Bells'

Marc Rissmann in Game of Thrones
Marc Rissmann in Game of Thrones
HBO

Warning: Spoilers for "The Bells," the fifth episode of Game of Thrones season 8, ahead.

The Mother of Dragons and her forces finally infiltrated King’s Landing in "The Bells," the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones's final season, and it's probably safe to say that viewers were not shocked to see her arrive with full-on rage. But her ultimate decision to kill countless innocent people in the process was not easy to watch—for fans or those who know and care about Dany.

Many characters died, for better or worse, in what might’ve been the most eventful episode of the season, and now we’re left with more questions than we had going into it. But until we get to tune into next week’s series finale, here are some things you might have missed in “The Bells.”

1. The recap essentially confirmed what Daenerys was going to do.

After Missandei was killed in last week’s episode “The Last of the Starks,” audiences had a hunch that Daenerys Targaryen was going to turn into some form of the predicted Mad Queen. She definitely became what we all feared tonight, in a move that was actually made obvious in the recap before the episode began. Ending with Daenerys’s reaction to her loyal advisor getting killed, the recap also added lines from various people speaking negatively about her bloodline while showing her face looking more and more enraged. Including quotes from other characters referencing the fact that the members of House Targaryen are known to go insane just proved that Daenerys was going to do something to live up to the nickname of her father, the Mad King.

2. Jon’s repeated words as foreshadowing.

While some fans were getting annoyed at Jon Snow throughout the first half of the episode, where he spent the bulk of his time either defending Daenerys or sulking, his repeated words of loyalty definitely foreshadowed him being betrayed by Dany when she decided to burn down King’s Landing in its entirety. Jon was constantly telling everyone who challenged Daenerys that she was his queen, even telling Dany that she would “always be.” He said it so many times, it’s already become a meme. But we saw his feelings change right when innocent people started getting killed.

3. The one very confusing line from Jaime Lannister.

It's hard for Game of Thrones fans to know how to feel about Jaime Lannister at this point, as the new episode proved he really did go back to King’s Landing just to be with Cersei (and not to kill her, as some theorized). But there was one moment in "The Bells" that made absolutely no sense: When Tyrion Lannister was helping Jaime escape, he pointed out how many innocent people would wind up getting murdered at the capitol, to which Jaime replied that he never really cared for them anyway. We know this can’t be true, however, because Jaime killed a king (hence the nickname “Kingslayer”) so that he could save the people of King’s Landing. When the late Mad King, a.k.a. Aerys II Targaryen, ordered him to “burn them all,” Jaime instead killed the King so that innocent people wouldn’t have to die. So what was this line from tonight even about?

4. Another prophecy might have come true.

As "The Bells" showed all of King’s Landing being burned to the ground, it’s safe to assume the throne room is destroyed. This brings us back to Daenerys’s vision in the House of Undying back in season 2, where she sees the Iron Throne. In the scene, we see some type of debris, which fans have interpreted to be either ashes or snow. (Bran also had this same vision in Season 4.) Since Daenerys and Drogon have wiped out the city, the throne room has presumably been destroyed. Reddit user loadingorofile96 pointed something else out: If Dany saw snow in her vision, it could’ve meant that Jon Snow would ultimately win the Iron Throne, except it wouldn’t be the same anymore. We don’t have any confirmation that Jon will take the throne in the finale, but it’s more possible than ever after Daenerys’s actions in the latest episode.

5. The Mother’s Day curse.

There’s no way fans could ever forget the death of Tywin Lannister back in season 4, however many might not remember that the episode, “The Children,” premiered on Father’s Day 2014. Because an episode would be airing on Mother’s Day this year, fans were even speculating on Reddit which mom would die tonight. Although we didn’t see Cersei Lannister’s dead body to know for sure she was killed when the Red Keep fell, we’re pretty certain she couldn’t have survived that. Coincidence? Maybe. But it’s still pretty funny she died on Mother’s Day, a similar case to her father.

6. Cersei may have tried to fight fire with wildfire.

Though Cersei seemed pretty confident that both Euron Greyjoy's fleet and their collection of dragon-killing crossbows would be enough to protect her from the power of Dany and Drogon, she may have had a backup plan ready, too: wildfire. Between the Battle of Blackwater and Cersei's attack on the Great Sept of Baelor, it's clear that the wildfire supply—which was created by Daenerys's father—has yet to be extinguished. And we saw more of its distinct green fire in tonight's episode, as King's Landing began to burn. (Joanna Robinson at Vanity Fair theorizes that the wildfire wasn't strategically put in place by Cersei but was more of the Mad King's stash—and that it could foreshadow Dany's fate.)

7. Arya’s horse wasn't just a horse.

Arya Stark being able to miraculously find a way out of King’s Landing was without a doubt symbolism, but of what? The white horse could be a reference to the story of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Bible, which includes the verse: “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.” While Arya has cheated death many times throughout the series, she’s also brought it upon many. (In the books, pale mare is a plague, but it's also mentioned in a prophecy delivered to Dany by Quaithe: “The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal.") We’re not sure what this means for the assassin in the finale, but it looks like Arya still has some things to do.

George R.R. Martin Doesn't Think Game of Thrones Was 'Very Good' For His Writing Process

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

No one seems to have escaped the fan fury over the finals season of Game of Thrones. While likely no one got it quite as bad as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, even author George R.R. Martin—who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the show is based, faced backlash surrounding the HBO hit. The volatile reaction from fans has apparently taken a toll on both Martin's writing and personal life.

In an interview with The Guardian, the acclaimed author said he's sticking with his original plan for the last two books, explaining that the show will not impact them. “You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself,” he stated.

He went on to explain how even his personal life has taken a negative turn because of the show. “I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favorite thing to do in the world,” Martin said. “To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognized within 10 minutes and there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”

While fans of the book series are fully aware of the author's struggle to finish the final two installments, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, Martin admitted that part of the delay has been a result of the HBO series, and fans' reaction to it.

“I don’t think [the series] was very good for me,” Martin said. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'"

Still, Martin has sworn that the books will get finished ... he just won't promise when.

[h/t The Guardian]

Attention Movie Geeks: Cinephile Is the Card Game You Need Right Now

Cinephile/Amazon
Cinephile/Amazon

If you’ve got decades worth of movie trivia up in your head but nowhere to show it off, Cinephile: A Card Game just may be your perfect outlet. Created by writer, art director, and movie expert Cory Everett, with illustrations by Steve Isaacs, this game aims to test the mettle of any film aficionado with five different play types that are designed for different skill and difficulty levels.

For players looking for a more casual experience, Cinephile offers a game variety called Filmography, where you simply have to name more movies that a given actor has appeared in than your opponent. For those who really want to test their knowledge of the silver screen, there’s the most challenging game type, Six Degrees, which plays like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, with the player who finds the fewest number of degrees between two actors getting the win.

When you choose actors for Six Degrees, you’ll do so using the beautifully illustrated cards that come with the game, featuring Hollywood A-listers past and present in some of their most memorable roles. You’ve got no-brainers like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (2003) and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall (1990) alongside cult favorites like Bill Murray from 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). Of course, being a game designed for the true film buff, you’ll also get some deeper cuts like Helen Mirren from 1990’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and Sean Connery in 1974's Zardoz. There are 150 cards in all, with expansion packs on the way.

Cinephile is a labor of love for Everett and Isaacs, who originally got this project off the ground via Kickstarter, where they raised more than $20,000. Now it’s being published on a wider scale by Clarkson Potter, a Penguin Random House group. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now for $20 before its August 27 release date.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER