Warning: This post is dark and full of Game of Thrones spoilers.
The ashes from Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones is finally settling and, much like King’s Landing, the fandom’s hopes that GoT would be even remotely satisfying as it approaches the finale are crumbling pretty quickly. “The Bells” saw the destruction of King’s Landing, the death of more than one major character, a battle for the Iron Throne that felt too rushed and one character’s descent into true madness. But fans were pissed about nearly everything they saw. Here’s why.
To put it mildly, GoT fans are mad as wildfire about what happened in the penultimate episode of the show’s final season. Among the plot points getting the most flack is Daenerys’s full descent into “Mad Queen” territory after she decided to just burn King’s Landing to the ground rather than go straight for Cersei and kill her. Fans were also not okay with Cersei’s unsatisfying death, which saw her die in the arms of Jaime as they were crushed under rocks in the Red Keep’s crypts.
In general, there was backlash against the pacing of the episode, with beats feeling entirely too rushed. You mean to tell us that the siege on King’s Landing was a piece of cake for Jon and Dany’s remaining army and they could just kill the Golden Company like it was nothing? Oh, and Dany just immediately knew right off the bat how Varys and Tyrion found out about Jon’s true identity? And were we just supposed to be okay with Dany killing innocent people and expect them to somehow support her in her claim for the throne?
Fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure for these plotting choices, which were made by showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. In addition to overseeing the entire show from its first season, Weiss and Benioff have taken the reins to write the final season. So, if there were two folks who deserved to hear from the fandom on Sunday night, it was these guys. Fans used the power of a good meme or reaction shot to make it clear they were mad, mad, mad about how “The Bells” played out.
— Saad Kareem (@saadkareem3333) May 13, 2019
— 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝗮 ⁶¹ / not today 3000 (@therapcyeol) May 13, 2019
— Nora Dominick (@noradominick) May 13, 2019
And you know what? I support the fandom’s intense dislike for how season eight is playing out. I knew that these general beats needed to be hit (Cersei always had to die, Daenerys was never going to be fit to rule, Jon was always going to have to deal with his true identity and its implications for the throne) but it’s becoming clearer there needed to be another season. This final season is rushing at breakneck speed to wrap up every storyline and close the loop. Satisfaction be damned.
D&D really threw away all of Jaime’s redemption arc, Dany’s whole protector of the innocent storyline, Arya’s faceless assassin skills, Bran’s 3 eyed raven abilities, and and all the hype around the golden company away in just one episode. Really?? #GameofThrones #GOTS8E5 pic.twitter.com/8LnW7vjvvz
— forevernews (@forevernews_in) May 13, 2019
“I never cared for them – innocent or otherwise” – Jaime Lannister, the man who sacrificed his honour to become the kingslayer in order to save those innocent lives. lol it’s like D&D have slept through their own damn show #GameOfThrones
— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) May 13, 2019
— Pallavi Mall (@pallavimall) May 13, 2019
That is what’s so disappointing about “The Bells.” That’s why fans are pissed. We knew that there was a possibility this is the way things would go for the characters, but to smush it all into an episode or rush through certain moments (don’t even get me started on how rushed Varys’s execution felt) isn’t the way this should have gone done. Fans have invested their time into this show. Years and years and millions of dollars have been sunk into crafting this story.
GoT might be able to restore fans’ faith in it with the finale episode, which will air on May 19, but for now we’re all going to spend the next week wondering what we just watched.