Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 recap: DRACARYS

Game of Thrones Season 8 -- photo: Helen Sloan/HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site
Game of Thrones Season 8 -- photo: Helen Sloan/HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

Game of Thrones is nearly over and there is a considerable amount of story to conclude before all is said and done. One war left to go after the Great War.

First of all, did we really lose Missandei and a dragon (complete BS) on last week’s episode of Game of Thrones? Do Cersei and Qyburn really think their scorpion weapon, which can’t really rotate around or point straight up, can defend them from a dragon that knows of the weapon? Not to mention potential infiltration by Jaime, Arya, and the Hound.

There are also some love stories to tie up without much time. Cersei and Euron might be planning their wedding prematurely. Arya needs to give Gendry a second chance. And after getting dismissed by Jaime, it’s about time for Brienne to let Tormund out of the friend-zone.

Let’s get the deaths started!

Varys is spilling the beans! He’s writing a letter, to someone, about Jon Snow’s true origins. From what’s visible, there is information about Eddard Stark and Jon Snow being the true heir to the throne. Additionally, Varys has little spies floating around Winterfell doing his bidding. His little spy, who looks a lot like Lady Mormont, has her eyes on Daenerys. Remember what happened the last time someone wrote an exposing note about royal lineage?

Jon Snow lands at Dragonstone and gets a briefing from Varys. Ever duplicitous, however, Varys actually just wants advance his cause (i.e. Jon as king, Daenerys not leading). The offer and topic is completely rebuffed by Jon as Tyrion watches from a tower above.

Strike one

Tyrion goes to see Daenerys in the war room. The discussion is betrayal, but she’s aware. Daenerys has already linked Jon-to-Sansa-to-Tyrion-to-Varys. With ragged hairs and puffy eyes, she appears to be sinking further into blinding rage. Looks like bunk beds for Varys and Tyrion in the doghouse tonight.

Later that evening, Grey Worm and some other Unsullied march to where Varys is writing yet another letter in his study. It’ll be his last. They march Varys to the cliffs, where Dany, Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Drogon are waiting among the backdrop of crashing waves. Tyrion admits to the betrayal. Ever stoic, Varys goes so far as to thank his old friend before Dany sentences him to die like the Tarly men. Missandei’s first “dracarys” order gets fulfilled, and Varys is the unsurprising first casualty of the episode.

Strike two

As if Daenerys isn’t mad enough, she confronts Jon about the lineage leak. In her opinion, at least now Sansa understands what happens when someone blabs about Jon Snow’s real name. Give Jon credit for being steadfast. He wants no part of the crown. Another thing he wants no part of is sexual relations with his aunt. She leans in for a kiss, and he rejects her. Hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Her decision: rule by fear.

As a side note, Daenerys gives Grey Worm Missandei’s collar. He angrily tosses it in a raging fire, hate burning in his eyes.

Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

Battle plans are agreed upon?

The day before attacking King’s Landing, Tyrion pleads to show mercy for the innocent people at King’s Landing. She orders Grey Worm to ready the troops, but concedes to a ceasefire if the surrender bells ring as Tyrion says they will. Before Tyrion leaves, however, she informs him that Jaime was caught trying to ride through their lines towards King’s Landing. That’s another failure on Tyrion’s part, because he vouched for his brother (even if some think he’s riding to kill her). Nonetheless, she makes it clear another mistake means his life is in jeopardy.

In order for the bells to ring, someone needs to be in the city to ring them. Tyrion’s man: Jaime. After a quick Valyrian language screw up, Tyrion convinces the Unsullied guarding the King-slayer that the Hand of the Queen is 2nd in command and can do what he wants. Ultimately, he pleads with Jaime to escape beneath the city, through a tunnel which will ultimately lead to the beach. Maybe his brother and sister can head to Pentos? Tyrion’s experience at Blackwater has him 100% confident both Euron’s fleet and King’s Landing will fall in the next day.

If Jaime fails, Tyrion knows this is his personal third strike. There is no denying he’s had a twisted past, and he’s more than willing to trade his life for the innocent thousands. Before sending Jaime off, Tyrion weeps, thanking his brother for being the only person who treated him fairly and with love.

Battle Plans Rev. 1

Meanwhile, the couple of days head start means Arya and the Hound are further along, and make their way through the lines via the shock of truth: Arya tells people she’s riding to kill Queen Cersei. It’s pretty comical to be honest. The pair waltz into King’s Landing while Euron’s in the bay preparing Scorpions, archers begin to line the walls, and everyone who isn’t military is scrambling to the Red Keep for safety.

Jaime has also made it to King’s Landing! He walks right through Golden Company battalion who march outside the gate. About the same time, Jon Snow has everyone outside the city, ready to lay siege. Cersei looks on with the same smug, wine-drinking look that ended the Tyrells and started memes all over the internet.


The thing about shooting a dragon with a prototype harpoon is, it involves an incredible amount of luck. That luck is gone without any surprise. Accordingly, Drogon dive bombs from the sky with Daenerys riding in the saddle, and nobody can do a thing about it. Every single ship in the harbor is instantly drift wood. Oh, they have Scorpions on the edge of the castles though, right? Yeah, about that. Daenerys knows about the weapons now, sucks in the arrows, swoops out of the way, and absolutely torches everyone near one of the harpoons. Out front, the Golden Company troops look pompous.

Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

That is, until they hear explosions getting closer. As it turns out, either Drogon or Daenerys was not content with the walls. The subsequent, mile-long bonfire throughout the city terminates with a new orifice through the front gate. It’s second only to the hole Viserion created up north. Golden armor and men go flying like figures on a flipped Monopoly board. The Unsullied and Dothraki charge, as everyone who even looks like they have a soldier’s haircut inside the city walls quickly gets introduced to either Drogon’s fire or a spear.

Nonetheless, Cersei believes they have a chance with just one more lucky shot. Qyburn lets her know about the fleet, the gate, the Golden carcasses, and she holds on tighter than a Japanese general post-Hiroshima.

With nearly no resistance, Jon Snow, Grey Worm, and Davos lead their swarms of men right up to the edges of the Red Keep, double-tapping every body they see along the way. There they face the remaining soldiers, who will either defend their queen or soil their pants. Maybe both.

Just as the men stand-off, minutes away from carnage, Drogon makes one final pass over the city, sure to land on a wall within range of the soldiers, With a final piercing screech, Drogon convinces the leader of King’s Landing troops to drop arms. All his men follow, and there are cries throughout the city for bells of surrender. Quite some time passes, and Daenerys snarls her lip, ready to kill everyone.

More from Game of Thrones

Strike three

Bells ring, but it’s too late. The sound of bells echo through the city, and Daenerys doesn’t care…


She’s in a crying rage. No pity. She rides through towards the Red Keep, burning everything, including the innocent. Everyone is shocked, except Grey Worm, who sees this as an opportunity to get his own pound of flesh. He throws a spear through the opposing leader’s back. The slaughter begins, panic spreads throughout the city, and Jon’s attempt to stop unnecessary death is impotent at best

DRACARYS! (Yep, once more)

Drogon makes wave after wave of strafing runs, obliterating everything in site. Men, women, and children, turned to cinder. Completely nondiscriminatory. At this point nearly everyone other than Daenerys, Grey Worm, the Unsullied, and the Dothraki are shocked.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister – Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO Acquired via HBO PR Rep /

The Kingslayer earns his nickname

Jaime makes it to the boat Tyrion promised. Unfortunately, Euron swims ashore simultaneously, and lets Jaime know he also had sex with Cersei. The ensuing knock down, drag out fight includes a true struggle for life, hand-to-hand combat, and a golden prosthetic pimp slap. Euron struggles to his long dagger and drives it deep into Jaime’s left side. No doubt it’s a lethal blow.

As Euron congratulates Jaime for fighting well despite being a cripple, Jaime crawls to his sword. Another dagger to the side, and Jaime is certainly on his way to dying. His desire to reach his sister, however, provides Jaime with enough motivation to grab his sword and deliver the coup de grâce. Dead center through Euron’s gut, the blow allows Jaime to escape and Euron to existentially recognize himself as the man who “killed” Jaime Lannister.

Up above in the towers of the Red Keep, another Lannister doesn’t realize impending death. Qyburn let’s Cersei know she has lost in no uncertain terms. She still denies it, and wants to stay. Blinded by dust from the rubble, or willfully ignorant, she finally acquiesces to Qyburn’s pleas.

DRACARYS (OMG…please stop)

Meanwhile, Drogon is practicing his fire cursive throughout the city. Sweeping curves. No pattern. Wherever the movement, fire follows. The fire eventually hits the center of the city at the Red Keep. Massive towers and spires begin to crumble. Lines of fire sweep through like the walls are made of Styrofoam.

Qyburn, the Mountain, and Cersei are escorted down the stairs by a few redshirts as rubble begins to fall around them. A blast of fire finally hits home and Gregor protects Cersei from the rubble that is apparently magnetized to stock characters. The smoke clears, and Sandor is at the bottom of the stairs. It’s time for the Clegane Bowl, but not before the Mountain ignores commands from both Cersei and Qyburn, then crushes Qyburn’s head by throwing him like a rag doll.

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Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and as Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson The Mountain – Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO via HBO Media Relations /

The Clegane Bowl!

The Hound quickly knocks of Gregor’s helmet, and the purple-skinned, red-eyed monstrosity is finally visible. Speed still bests the Mountain, and eventually Sandor runs his brother through with the sword. Down to the hilt. The Mountain shrugs it off, lands a crushing blow, pulls the sword out like a splinter, and subsequently chucks Sandor 10-ft away.

The Hound is getting his face caved in. It’s a completely uneven match without swords. Choked against a wall, the Hound repeatedly plunges a dagger into Gregor’s body. Over and over with no effect. Gregor goes for the head-smash move he used against the Viper as daggers continue to puncture. A dagger to the left eyeball has an impact. They separate. Just as the Mountain unbelievably starts to remove the dagger, his brother their ultimate fate. Sandor rushes forward, tackling his brother, sending the pair off the castle tower edge, roughly 10 stories down into a pool of fire below.

DRACARYS (of what’s left)

Arya searches the city, dodges the dead, injured, and terrified. She also dodges falling rocks. She falls, and almost gets trampled by a stampede of people (i.e. “Battle of Bastards” Jon Snow). A random lady helps her just as the stampede reverses course.

Arya wakes up from a bath or rocks, dust, and a likely concussion, Drogon is coloring outside the lines. She finds the benevolent lady and child, then tries to lead them to safety. They run into  a few Dothrakis joy killing throughout the city, and the mother gets sliced. She’s alive, but it doesn’t matter because Drogon still has a taste for barbecue.

The Game of Thrones Romeo & Juliet

Cersei weeps in the map room, but Jaime limps in. He looks like hell and dismisses his injuries when she notices the blood. They move to the depths of the city and their tunnel to freedom is buried under rubble. The smugness is 100% out of Cersei at this point.

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Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

She realizes the error of her ways, and the likely death of her unborn baby. In fact, she begs Jaime to help the baby live. For the final few seconds of their lives, Jaime tries to console his sister. They embrace as the ceilings collapse, crushing them.

The aftermath

Arya looks like Tom Hanks at the end of Saving Private Ryan, and Tyrion is as shocked about it all as when Daenerys threatened him.

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Game of Thrones Season 8 — photo: Helen Sloan/HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations Site /

After awakening from concussion #2, Arya wanders through the streets, looking at the smoldering buildings, contorted corpses, and raging fire. It’s part Pompeii, part blast furnace, and part post-WWII Berlin. Given the destruction of this episode, the second reference to WWII is warranted. She finds a white horse and gets out of Dodge as fast as possible.

Next. Game of Thrones: Bran kind of sucks right now. dark

Game of Thrones has one final episode left to wrap up the incredible series. It sadly and triumphantly airs Sunday, May 17th on HBO.