Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5: Doom and a high death count come to King's Landing
A spoiler-filled recap of what went down in Episode 5 of Game of Thrones.
For a recap of Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4, click here; and here for the review.
On Dragonstone, Varys writes a letter in his chambers. It speaks of Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne. He tasks a serving girl from the kitchens — Martha — with some assignment, and asks if Daenerys is eating anything. Martha replies in the negative.
Jon reaches Dragonstone and Varys broaches the subject of his being the rightful king. But Jon brushes him aside saying he has no interest in ruling. Tyrion observes them from a distance.
He comes to Daenerys, and tells her that she has been betrayed. She says, "By Jon Snow." Tyrion is taken aback and tells her it is Varys, who knows of Jon's Targaryen lineage. However, Daenerys still chooses to see it as Jon's betrayal — had he not told Sansa, despite her (Dany's) express entreaty not to, Tyrion and through him Varys, would have never found out.
That night, Varys is taken from his chambers by the Unsullied. He bids goodbye to Tyrion, and is executed by dragonfire.
In her rooms, Daenerys gives Grey Worm the slave collar Missandei brought with her across the Narrow Sea. He throws it into the fireplace. Jon arrives and asks to speak with Dany; he tells her he turned Varys down and told him in no uncertain terms where his (Jon's) loyalties lay. Daenerys says Sansa should know what happens to people she tells Jon's secret to; that Sansa is as much responsible for Varys' death as Daenerys.
Also read: Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 review: Daenerys' last war is a fierce, fiery but empty spectacle
Dany also tells Jon that in Westeros she has inspired no love, only fear. The people love Jon. Jon replies that he loves her, that she will always be his Queen. They kiss, as Dany asks him if his queen is all she'll ever be, but Jon pulls away and she has her answer. "Let it be fear," she declares.
Daenerys, Tyrion and Grey Worm discuss the attack on King's Landing. Tyrion pleads for the attack to be called off if the city rings its bells in surrender. Daenerys says her mercy should not be considered a weakness. However, she agrees to fall back if the bells are rung. After Grey Worm leaves, Dany tells Tyrion that Jaime was caught trying to get across their lines. She warns him that if he, Tyrion, fails her again, it'll be the last time.
Jon, Tyrion and Grey Worm meet Ser Davos by King's Landing. The rear guard is still to reach, so the attack can only take place at daybreak. Tyrion takes Ser Davos aside to ask for a favour. Meanwhile, the Hound and Arya have also reached the camp and ride on towards the city walls.
Tyrion comes to the tent where Jaime is in shackles and tells him there is no way Cersei will win the battle. He tells Jaime to save himself, Cersei and their child by taking her through the Red Keep's dungeons, emerge beyond the city walls, where a dinghy (arranged by Ser Davos) will be beached. He advises Jaime to sail for Pentos and start a new life there with Cersei. He also asks Jaime to ring the bells in surrender so the city need not be attacked.
Jaime wonders what the consequences for Tyrion will be when Daenerys finds out what he has done. Tyrion says if millions of innocent lives would be saved, then what is the life of one not-so-innocent dwarf worth? The brothers hug, and Tyrion tells Jaime he would never have survived childhood if not for his older brother.
At daybreak, the city is in chaos. The people of King's Landing try to seek whatever safety they can. Many are locked out of the Red Keep's gates — Jaime is among them. Arya and the Hound make it through. The Golden Company walks out and takes their places outside the city walls.
Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet scan the waters off King's Landing when Daenerys descends on them with Drogon. Before the scorpions can find their target, Drogon has destroyed most of the fleet. Euron escapes by jumping into the water.
As the Northerners, Unsullied, Dothraki and the Golden Company face off against each other, a roar of fire from the latter's flanks destroys the city walls and most of the sellsword army. Daenerys wreaks havoc on Drogon, destroying all the scorpions, burning down the walls and many of the enemy's soldiers.
Qyburn gives Cersei the news that the Iron Fleet has been lost, as has the city. She believes there is still some hope of victory, that the Lannister army will put up a fight.
However, the Lannister soldiers surrender when confronted by Daenerys' army, with Jon, Davos and Grey Worm at its head. The people cry for the bells to be rung, and finally, they are.
Daenerys hears the bells ring. Tyrion hears them too and hopes that the attack will now halt. But Daenerys looks ahead at the Red Keep and spurs Drogon on, unleashing fire on the city's hapless residents. Grey Worm attacks the surrendered Lannister forces and the Targaryen army goes into a savage bloodlust, slaughtering, looting, raping, pillaging the citizens of King's Landing. Jon's calls to them to get back into formation, to stop, are all in vain. Jon is aghast at what has unfolded.
Jaime finds the boat on the beach and hopes to get into the Red Keep from the dungeons. Euron, however, has also washed ashore and the duo fight. Euron stabs Jaime twice, but is ultimately killed by Jaime.
The Hound and Arya have reached the Red Keep but all around them, the palace is crumbling. The Hound realises Arya is unsafe and tells her to get away. He asks her to look closely at him and see what seeking revenge all his life has made him. As he walks away, Arya calls out his name and thanks him.
Qyburn, the Mountain and the Queensguard are escorting Cersei to Maegor's holdfast when the Hound challenges them. At the same time, Drogon causes the roof to fall down over them. Only Qyburn and Cersei (shielded by the Mountain) and the Hound are still standing at the end of it. Even as the Mountain loves towards his brother, Qyburn commands him to stand with his queen. The Mountain crushes Qyburn's skull. Cersei walks away as the Mountain and the Hound fight.
Jaime finds Cersei in the middle of the crumbling palace. She sees he is badly wounded. Jaime takes her through the dungeons, but when they come to the tunnel that leads out to the beach, it has been blocked by the falling debris. As the rubble comes down all around them, Cersei weeps that she doesn't want to die, that she wants her child to live. As Jaime embraces her, the walls collapse around them and they are killed.
The Hound and the Mountain continue to battle, but his older brother is not killed even when Sandor impales him on his sword. Gregor chokes his younger brother and is about to put out his eyes in the same way as he once did Oberyn Martell's. The Hound stabs the Mountain through the eye; when this also fails to kill him, he leaps with him off the towers, plunging into the fires below.
Arya runs through the city as it falls to ashes around her. Jon has finally managed to get his men back in order, and commanded them to fall back. Arya is badly hurt; she walks through the aftermath of the attack on King's Landing and sees a woman who gave her a helping hand lying dead in the streets, burnt, embracing the corpse of her little girl. She sees a horse ahead and walks to it. She then rides away from the city.
Dead: Jaime, Cersei, the Mountain, the Hound, Qyburn, Euron Greyjoy, Varys, Harry Strickland and the Golden Company, untold numbers of King's Landing citizens, the Lannister soldiers, Euron's Ironborn
Watch the trailer for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 here:
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