It feels like we just did this. Sunday’s Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 is set to feature another big battle, this one for all of the marbles, or, in this case, the Iron Throne. Unlike the Battle of Winterfell, the Battle of King’s Landing didn’t have a quiet, reflective build up. In fact, it had the exact opposite with a major death, some plotting and machinations going on behind-the-scenes, and a wayward Starbucks coffee cup.
The characters — and the viewers — come into Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 battle weary, and as we’ve said all season, there’s just no time to breathe. No time to take in the visuals and lament that this is all going away next weekend. This is the penultimate episode of the season and the entire series, and historically, the second-to-last-episodes of each season have been the best. I predict that will hold true here in Season 8 as well.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her army tried diplomacy at the urging of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), and it cost them a dragon and a valued member of Dany’s retinue. The Mother of Dragons — on Mother’s Day, no less — will address that with steel and fire and blood, and Cersei (Lena Headey) is ready for her.
Cersei and Euron (Pilou Asbaek) were prepared for the Targaryen army, and they have lined King’s Landing with Scorpion launchers, which, taken in another context sounds frightening. The scorpion weapons prevent Drogon from doing his thing, and very quickly puts the coming battle in Cersei’s favor.
But never count out an Unsullied warrior who lost the love of his life. Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) will want revenge, and he’s been trained since birth to be a stone cold killer. Is he worth the might of a dragon in a fight? Probably not, but expect the little guy to go absolutely berserk on Cersei’s troops, and it will be delicious to watch.
Varys (Conleth Hill), knowing Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) lineage, now understands that Dany isn’t the only option for the throne, and he and Tyrion have differing opinions on who they should back in this conflict. This doesn’t bode well for Dany as she readies her troops and followers for “the last war.”
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 saw Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) set off south together, as both have unfinished business. In previous seasons, we’d see their interactions on the road, but with everything speeding to a conclusion, there’s just no time. These are two people that Cersei doesn’t want loose, and what better way to get close to the queen than during the chaos of a battle. This should be fun to watch.
Also on the King’s Road is Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who left Brienne’s (Gwendoline Christie) bed to go back to Cersei — or so we are led to believe. I think Jaime knows that he can’t be happy as long as Cersei lives, and he has set off to rectify that. Will we see that resolution this week or next? That’s the big question.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 should most likely end with a declared ruler sitting on the throne. Who that will be is still very much in debate, and next week’s final episode will address that, I’m sure. For now, the Battle of King’s Landing is here, and if you thought we all got off lucky during the Battle of Winterfell in terms of character deaths, I think the show will make up for it this week. Steel yourselves for heartbreak; one way or another.
Check back on Sunday night for our Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 recap, and come back next week for the preview of the final episode of Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO. All images courtesy of HBO.