'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 5 review: Daenerys' act of violence takes us back to the show's roots

'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 5 review: Daenerys' act of violence takes us back to the show's roots


'Game of Thrones' sure got back to the root of what had always inspired the show - violence. In the fifth episode of season 8, the war knocked on the doors of Red Keep. After having shot down a dragon and beheading Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) confidante Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) was pretty sure everything will go as planned. The Last War, of course, is anything but that. Everyone who wanted the gore, the ugly death, the shocking slayings got their money's worth in this episode. And that's exactly it - the show had started out by highlighting basic human desires and it might end on the same note. 

A still of Varys with Daenerys in 'Game of Thrones'. (Source: HBO)

When Missandei told her queen 'Dracarys', it was not a victory chant or an utterance of her loyalty. It was a message to her queen that the Southerners should not be left standing after the war. Daenerys did exactly that, just as she had always planned. When Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) informed Daenerys that Varys had betrayed her, she did not seem surprised because it was something that she expected to happen. She was sure that Sansa would understand the repercussions of truth and play with the information accordingly. Just before Varys was sentenced to death, he bids his old friend goodbye and says that he hopes he was wrong and the ominous background score, in a way, alludes to what we would be seeing in the episode. In an unexpected manner, however, Varys did do what he had intended on achieving.  

A still of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen from 'Game of Thrones' season 8 episode 5. (Source: HBO)

The episode also saw Jon Snow (Kit Harington) make it very clear that his loyalties lie with no one but his queen. He has also realized that his love for Daenerys may not be what he had imagined in the first place. She wants to instil fear among the people in Red Keep, and the Seven Kingdoms because it is clear to her that there is no love for her here. Not the kind that Jon receives from his people. When Jon does profess his love for her, it is more of hogwash at this point and is somewhat disheartening to see. Daenerys also realizes that Jon's heart is not where his words are when she kisses him. That's probably the point when the two clearly are on different sides. It is a breakup but without the dramatic flourishes. It is a realization, silent but carries a depth of its own that influences Daenerys. 

The episode saw Daenerys distance herself not only from Jon but from Tyrion as well. She lets him know that Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was held trying to breach their line. Tyrion hopes to stop the war, stop the loss of lives that would occur if Cersei were not to surrender. He wants Jaime to convince Cersei that the war is not something that they look forward to, but that they should get away from it all and start a new life. However, none of that really worked because when the Dragon Queen set out for the war on Drogon, she knew that she would never stop. 

After destroying the Iron Fleet, breaching the wall of Red Keep and destroying Golden Company and the Lannister Army, the bell is rung to indicate that the Red Keep surrenders. Jon, Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) breathe a sigh of relief, but the mother of dragon doesn't seem happy. The more she looks at the castle of Red Keep, the more her anger rises slowly giving us glimpses of the Mad Queen. We have all heard what happened when her father's rule resulted in death and mayhem in the seven kingdoms. He was notoriously called the Mad King, and with her stunt at the Red Keep, she proved that one can easily go astray in the fight for what is right. 

When the Mad Queen rose, she brought with her hatred, chaos and death. The kind of death that the Red Keep had never seen before and her two loyal supporters - Jon and Tyrion watched it all take place in horror. After all, the queen that they promised their allegiance to is not really the person that they had believed her to be. Daenerys began by fighting to destroy tyranny, but in the end, she became what she had intended to fight. Even as the people in the Red Keep, Jon's soldiers, and the audiences sank to the depths of anxiety as one person after another fell to their death, Arya Stark, was the sign of hope that all of us needed for the finale of what has been one of the most overwhelming television experience. 

Rest in Peace: Euron Greyjoy, Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Ser Sandor Clegane (Hound), Ser Gregor Clegane, Qyburn, and of course, the Master of Whisperers - Lord Varys, you may have fallen now, but you will be remembered. Whether it will be with hatred or love - you are now etched in the memories of many thousand viewers. 

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