Like or hate the current season, you cannot argue that they aren’t pulling out all the stops. I don’t think we’ve seen a character clearance sale this brutal since the Red Wedding.
I was a little concerned that this was going to be another set-up episode with no resolution as it started out exactly that way, but much to my surprise – pleasantly and unpleasantly so – the episode turned out to a very exciting and emotional battle at King’s Landing.
Personally, I think that this episode really nailed something that the Battle of Winterfell didn’t. While the Battle of Winterfell was certainly an amazing thing to behold… when you could see it, it was a battle fought out of desperation and survival. The Battle of King’s Landing, however, was a tragedy… it was senseless and cruel and sad. How horrible does a battle have to be to make me actually feel pity for Cersei Lannister?
I suppose that is the overall tone of this episode… so much violence and bloodshed didn’t have to happen. I know a lot of people were looking forward to Cleganebowl, but it didn’t have to happen. Daenerys roasting the entire city didn’t have to happen. Jaime and Cersei dying in the dungeons of the Red Keep didn’t have to happen.
Maybe that’s the reason that The Hound told Arya to beat it. He knew the futility of it all… the senselessness of the cycle and didn’t want her dragged into it. “Run and get out while you can.” Maybe he wasn’t talking about King’s Landing.
I know a lot of folks are going to be upset over Daenerys becoming The Mad Queen. I know a lot of folks are upset over a myriad of things right now and, to be honest, I don’t care. Stories and series aren’t created and designed to make you happy, especially Game of Thrones which has, for years, thrived on making you as unhappy as possible. There is not and won’t be a happy ending to any of this and that’s for certain.
In any case, “The Bells” was a powerful and brutal episode of uneeded violence and senseless death…. it was a tragedy and felt like one all the way through.
It’s all over next week. At this rate, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m going to survive the finale.