The Bells Marks My First Real Fear for the Books

sad dany in game of thrones

So The Bells happened.

I’m going to talk about the last episode of Game of Thrones which did in some fairly major characters (in more ways than one) and why I’m worried about the books for the first time and not just that Martin probably won’t finish them.

Disclaimer one: If you don’t want to hear anything at all criticizing the show fair to you. Don’t read.

Obviously SPOILERS and swearing! Definite swearing in this one.

jaime lannister in season 8

A lot of people seem surprised that Jaime did indeed went back to save his sister and wound up dying with her (I hope.) There’s complaints that it ruined his slow burn redemption arc to which I have to ask…

What redemption arc?

Oh yeah, he rationally (and unnecessarily) went to fight the dead and he banged Brienne but that was the inconsistent thing. People talk about his redemption arc on the show and I’m like did I miss something?

Show Jaime has always been up his sister’s ass. It’s consistent. Book Jaime told her to get lost while he wondered about his honor and his page in the Kings Guard book. Show Jaime tossed the book aside and fucked her on the table instead.

I’m actually ok with her death as well. It was anti-climatic sure but she was crying and begging and crushed by what she wanted most. The people who deserved to see her die are long dead and the rest of them have been turned into idiotic shit heads or worse. So…

Book Jaime: I mean who knows? There’s too many things in play that don’t even exist in the show (Aegon & Stoneheart amongst other things) that I don’t know what will happen in the books. That their going to die together I’ve always kind of agreed with but the how and when remains up in the air.

My worry now after I’ve seen Winter play out and this stuff with Dany is will it matter? Or will Martin toss away all his work on Jaime’s character in the books to subvert our expectations? (A phrase which I’m kind of starting to feel like I never want to hear again until some movie or show somewhere actually fucking surprises me and does that!)

jon and dany

Shouldn’t they have kept Rhaegal alive so Jon could actually try to stop her and we get the second dance?

Also frankly despite the episode being well shot (I could see shit!) they burned it into the ground in terms of the destruction and Arya’s fake out deaths. I actually got bored. Dragon battle would have helped.

dany hearing the bells
Emilia Clarke was great this episode.

Dany hearing the bells is pretty much me listening to and reading years of Cleganebowl! Get Hype! crap and Dany burning shit is basically me realizing that’s what they give us of course.

I mean Cersei side-stepping around them was a nice moment. I just think it’s amazing Qyburn was a smarter more loyal and plain old better hand of the Queen then that fucking idiot Tyrion ever was. And the Mountain was harder to kill than the Damn Night King. Yeah Get Hype. I was happy when they finally both died.

Same with Varys.

Yeah, he was right but he wrote her off and started plotting her death before she ever did anything but look upset in Winterfell. I mean I’m totally sure driving her into paranoia and isolation was helpful here.

And then the Mad Queen happens.

my feelings exactly Dany
Am I remembering it wrong of did Jon Connington have the hatred of bells in the books?

And it’s coming in the book but what makes it so hard to swallow was in a show that likes to purport it’s “gray” characters (and quite frankly white-washed a hell of a lot of the ones they liked) based on a book series about the same where well mainly no one is entirely one or the other but there’s no room for gray or debate here.

She became the blackest of the black. Took her place as worse than many of the other villains simply due to the weapon of mass destruction and the absolute targeting of the civilians. It wasn’t like she lost control of the dragons. She didn’t say fuck it and go directly for the Red Keep and let those people die to get to Cersei or accidentally set off the wildfire as most thought she would. Fuck I mean they even had the city surrender.

You can’t debate her actions and there’s no time for redemption (if there even could be redemption from something like that) so I think we are all know where this is going next week.

I actually didn’t want or think we were going to get a happy ending and we can all wonder about what Martin might do differently (if he does anything at all period) but for the first time the show has made me worry about the books. Maybe there is no deeper meaning to this journey? Because right now the Shakepearian ending the cast talked about- the show is only making me think of that Macbeth quote, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

And for me? If the ending of the book is really as empty as the show and none of it mattered or meant anything that feels like the worst ending of all.


25 thoughts on “The Bells Marks My First Real Fear for the Books

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  1. Glad to know I’m not the only one worried about the books. The show threw away a lot of the prophecy and background material that actually gave the story so much substance, and that was their biggest mistake.

    1. Yep. I’m not even upset about the Mad Queen per say just on top of everything else it all feels so empty. I kind of hope for maybe a new sample chapter or something that says at least he’s headed toward it meaning something 🙂

      1. I’m sure the book will focus on the right continuation of all the storylines. I have faith in George Martin – he won’t dumb down his characters or his story.

  2. At this point, I probably won’t even read whatever books do come out if any does. My interest is gone, especially since they show … exists. (not that I’ve ever watched it) I do feel like I hear a lot of people cheering for characters with “redemption arcs” or “redeeming qualities” that make me go ???. I always kind of thought the point is that EVERYONE sucks, and the ones who don’t end up dead. So whoever “wins” will probably suck too. Hence why I lost interest.

    1. I think I hoped some characters (at least Jaime) would be “redeem” whatever that means but the message seems to be not only does everything and everyone suck you can’t rise above your genetics, toxic relationships and abuse makes you stronger so yeah all around it’s a bummer!

  3. Yeah I love Jaime’s arc in the books, but on the show… next. I’m glad they both died. Glad to have ’em gone, frankly. Same w/ Cleganebowl. Never saw the attraction. Two basically shit human being are gone now- good riddance to them too! I felt a little bad about Varys though, in spite of myself. I mean, if him, why not Tyrion too?

    And you’re right, many of us expec the Mad Queen turn in the books but an eventual redempton from that, but how do you come back from intentionally torching a whole city full of civilians? They’re ruined her irretrievably, seems to me. And it is a scary thought if the books end no better- although I’m confident they will.

    Great point about the bells BTW… wish i would have thought of that, but you’re right- and I don’t hear too many people talking about that. The bells of Jon Connington… hmm.

    1. He’s also got some anger issues and nothing to lose. Mad Queen aside I can see the burning of King’s Landing playing out very differently. I just need Martin to give us something at this point 🙁

      All things considered its going to be a little hard to believe if she doesn’t immediately burn Tyrion seeing as how he did free Jaime. She’d be mad to give him chance number 4,000!

  4. The issue for me wasnt what happened but how it happened. Hell I am so outraged by how Daenerys was treated by the people around her I was cool with her burning shit, I only wish she also killed useless Jon. But it’s terrible writing because the lengths she went to go against the way she was for years. And to have her snap only after Jon rejects her suggesting it was a factor is exactly the kind of garbage David and Dan should be spit on in the streets. I have no doubt George will handle it well and now he has the benefit of people saying whatever he writes is much better than the show

    1. Varys was actually poisoning her! She hadn’t done anything he just wanted the Prince of Dullness and now everyones like oh well, he was right! And oh she didn’t cry when Viserys died. The guy who was her abuser! What? They’ve always had so many gross implications in their writing I don’t know why I’m surprised at this point!

  5. Great post and I completely agree with you. I was disappointed with Daenerys turning into a villain because they set up it up previously for her to be this weak girl who walked into fire and emerged as a potential hero with 3 dragons, someone you could root for, and now that story of redemption, much more than Jamie’s, has been destroyed. I’m curious to see how they end the show and what he plans on doing with the books, but I feel like I spent all this time investing myself into her character growth and transformation and now that has been ruined, but will see what they do next. I agree with you about Jamie and it didn’t shock me that he went back to Cersei. I always thought he would be the one to take her down because she loved him, but they ended up dying together instead.

    1. Guess no one can rise above there pasts and genetics in Westeros!

      I’m going to comfort myself by finally catching up on Killing Eve. Villanelle: The true Mad Queen 🙂

  6. I’m glad Martin has said that the book would need to run for many more seasons to reach the end he has in mind now. I agree about Jamie, I always loved his redemption arc but so much of it was lost in the show.

    I think Dany’s madness will be much better build up in the book, and definitely more believable than her sudden snap to burning children alive. I also hope the Hound’s ending is better. I don’t like that he died because apparently the Mountain was the strongest villain in universe. Why didn’t Qyburn just make more zombies if his were stronger than wights??

    1. I loved the Hound’s ending(?) in the book. The gravedigger and the broken man speech some of Martin’s best stuff and I’ve always believed if anyone’s going to stop Arya’s vengeance spree in the book it will be what’s become of her mother. Hopefully he finishes!

      1. Yeah I think we definitely missed out on Lady Stoneheart stuff. I hope the Hound comes back in the book and maybe gets a good life after all this crap.

  7. I’ve pretty much given up on the book.
    Also, i kinda remember there was a character in the last book that appeared to be related to Denny, but he never made it into the series for some reason.

    I wasn’t really impressed by most of the deaths in this episode. Compared to how epic stuff was, those deaths were kinda underwhelming…

    1. I think he’s being cut has hurt the story.

      There’s nobody to root for (and superficially now that bearded Jaime is gone nothing for me to look at!) I’m just hoping Drogon lives 🙂

  8. I have lots to say as well, but I will wait until after tonight, I actually hope for a tiny redemption with tonights script! 😛

      1. I get that. I’m a die hard Stark fan in the books and in the show… I don’t like what any of them became even though they got the so-called good endings. It’s a bit of an odd feeling!

  9. I’m intrigued to see where Jaime will end up because I’m still not sure in the slightest what’s going to happen with Jaime and Lady Stoneheart… will he even be released by LS? I can’t figure out how he would be and then end up with Cersei. Ngl, Jaime and Brienne have been my favourite ship (Tormund and Jon second), so it was a slap in the face seeing him ditch Brienne, but his ending made sense and I kinda want it to be the same ending he receives in the books. I even cried for the pair. Only Lena Headey can make me cry for Cersei.

    LOL I loved all the memes of Cersei stepping away from the family drama. Legend till the end. 😂

    I mean, I wouldn’t think it was because of the sad look that Dany gave. Dany repeatedly talked about she committing mass murder to get to iron throne and the gravity in her tone around the table made it clear that she was seriously contemplating it that finally did it for Varys – but what doesn’t make sense is that she had already repeatedly made it clear that that was always her gut instinct, so why until then? That’s logically inconsistent and doesn’t line up to how show Varys would react. Was every other time she said she would burn cities to the ground all giggles and randomness for Varys and Tyrion not take it seriously? Or did they just think she was just saying the typical Targaryen Queen with the infamous temper of Targaryen’s. Damn, is that what a hero looks like? The breaker of chains title is such a cookie ally title *rolls eyes*

    I think we can both agree that Tyrion is one of the most overrated characters of the series. But I don’t think it’s his terrible plans that made him *shitty*, he was witness to Dany repeatedly saying that she would take her dragons to KL, but he didn’t take it seriously? He has a habit of not taking women seriously believing and overestimating his own self-importance and abilities. He’s just a whole intellectual middle-aged white man that it gives me a literal headache. But I do understand why he backed Dany in the first place, I can see how he might have thought it as an opportunity to redeem himself by taking up a cause to make up for all his bad deeds, to make himself feel worthy again, so much so that he put away all his doubts. He’s not *intentionally* bad from season 6, but he definitely got too rainbows and sparkles for my liking. It was only something as monumental as Dany’s mass murder that would have had him thinking “hmm, maybe I’m not as right as I think I am.” So white man, honestly, it hurts. I do stan finale Tyrion, that’s the kind of white man I’d like to see in real life, lol.

    We can’t say that the show didn’t whitewash Dany because they did. D&D should have shown the audience Dany torturing the wine sellers innocent daughter, Dany taking a 10% cut from every slave sold,and then there’s the whitewashing of the scene where she burns the slaver – she set the age limit for orders to kill to age 12+ erstwhile forgetting that Khal Drogo pillaged villages and ordered his khalasar to rape women and take them as slaves to fund her Westeros campaign, and she was 15-16. I think if D&D showed all of this, I don’t think the audience would have been as blindsided as they were. Tyrion and Dany are the most whitewashed characters of the show, the two, arguably, most morally grey characters of the book series. I didn’t expect her to burn the entire city, but I did expect her to grapple with her conscience which she did… for a few seconds. Lol. 😕

    I hope they keep the same ending for Daenerys because what she did… is exactly what’s happened before and is happening again, right now, and last weekend. White entitlement and white supremacy… is everything Daenerys Targaryen embodies. And the outcome of what happens when someone feels entitled, superior and/or is dependent on validation is very similar to what happens in real life. It’s one of the most relevant stories of our time. I can’t wait for GRRM to get to the ending better.

    1. I always thought if book Jaime goes back to King’s Landing it would be to try to save Tommen. I think keeping him around on the throne even if he was just a puppet for his mother and keeping Varys in King’s Landing with Cersei might have worked better overall. But it is what it is 🙂

      Hopefully Martin finishes. I’d be happy if he just finishes Winds at this point and we got the Stoneheart, Jaime, Brienne show down. That’s all I need George! And maybe throw in the fall of the Bolton’s and Littlefingers book fate and I’d be a happy camper!

      1. To save Tommen from the High Sparrow? Varys would never be committed to Cersei though, I think. I can’t remember if Varys is siding with fAegon in the books, that’s escaped my memory, but I feel like he said: “the Queen is coming.” Though I could be completely wrong. I really need to reread the books before Winds of Winter releases.

        Isn’t Jon joining the battle against the Bolton’s as well? I’m guessing that’s when he’ll be teaming up with Sansa and Littlefinger too. I was literally sweating reading the final Stoneheart parts, but there’s no way Jaime dies right then and there, like you said, a deal might be struck… but what is that deal going to be?!?!?! Smh. Could be something to do with Cersei, maybe he has to become the valonqar from that deal!

      2. Varys is definitely against Cersei and paving the way for Aegon. I probably should have been clearer on the with her in King’s Landing he’s generally working behind the scenes to make things even worse for her and easier for fAegon. I always thought the actor and character would have been better used if they did the same but had him support Dany in the show (at least early on) and try to bring Cersei down.

        Honestly Jaime could be trying to save Tommen from anyone at some point. The Sparrow? Faegon’s likely invasion? Sand Snakes? His mother’s bad ideas? Poor Tommen such a sweet kid so doomed 🙂

        I guess the main idea has always been Jaime gets her into the Twins for the Red Wedding 2.0 but (and I have to reread as well) does Jaime have any idea that Littlefinger has Sansa? It seems like something Tyrion would think of and Cat knew Littlefinger had betrayed Ned. I mean she really wants Jaime for the whole sends his regards thing and the Brotherhood can get into the twins on their own so he’d have to offer either some truly big vengenance or the chance to find one of her daughters I would imagine. It’s so hard to know where that story is going! And then you have to think if Bran’s truly leaving that cave he’s going to need help and sending Jaime with the brotherhood puts him in the North and makes for a nice bookend to his and Brans story.

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