Every Important Detail You Might Have Missed In ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 Episode 5

In the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, a whole bunch happens -- big deaths, little deaths, battles, and some big surprises.

Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 recap

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When the opening credits rolled on episode five of Game Of Thrones, it felt like much of the good will this season started with has well and truly turned.

Certain deaths, certain storylines, and certain goofs have left people feeling unsatisfied as one of the most epic series of all time limps to the finish line.

Did episode five, Dracarys, ease that tension?

What makes a good conclusion to Game Of Thrones after eight seasons? Could everyone or even anyone be satisfied? There’s limited time left to find out, but at least we’ll always have an album of Game Of Thrones bangers so … ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let’s get into the recap!

Soy Latte Of The North

Last week’s episode, ‘The Last Of The Starks’, was finally illuminated, which meant we could all see the cup of coffee accidentally left on set in Winterfell.

Some were willing to let the prop goof slide as it meant we could actually see the action, but others thought the Winterfuckup was emblematic of a larger issue. Namely, that the showrunners have checked out, that they don’t care anymore, and we’re being rushed to the finale just to be done with it.

Multi-season storylines haven’t been given the full attention they deserve — GHOST! — and characters, mostly women, have been treated unfairly.

Then there’s the issue of characters behaving uncharacteristically for the sack of wrapping shit up as quickly as possible. Those fears all seem rather justified tbh, as the events of this episode played out.

RIP Varys, Master Of Whisperers 

Yet another crucial character who has met their end this season in a way that feels abrupt and completely unsatisfying.

Lord Varys, OG eunuch, played his hand early in the episode as he tried to convince Jon aka The Notorious Aegon Targaryen that he — rather than Dany — was the best candidate for the Iron Throne.

We hear our ol’ mate Spider tell one of his many spies at the start “the greater the risk, the greater the reward”. He truly believes Jon not Dany is the right choice and the rightful leader he has been desperate to serve his whole life.

By the end of the episode, the audience knows Varys was right.

How does he, one of the show’s most cunning and careful characters make his case for treason to Jon?

On a beach, in broad daylight, surrounded by other soldiers and being viewed by Tyrion from afar. “What do you want?” Jon asks, with the Master Of Whisperers replying: “All I’ve ever wanted: the right ruler on the Iron Throne.”


“Men decide where power resides, whether they want to or not,” he adds.

Unsurprisingly he’s caught for his treasonous behaviour and properly roasted by Dany’s last remaining dragon, Drogon.

So yeah, okay, he’s another character that had to be dispatched in order to wrap this final season up but this end? For Varys? In front of my salad? Add it to the growing list of characters — Missandei, Rhaegal, etc — who have become casualties of season eight’s messy storytelling.

At this rate, Lady Lyanna Mormont is shaping up to be one of the few characters who actually got the death she deserved.

Happy, Uh, Mothers Day?

Episode five, Dracarys, aired on Mothers Day for most of the world (Australia and New Zealand excluded, obvi), which had a not of fans nervous/excited about what that meant for the show’s many mothers.

And reader, it wasn’t great.

Cersei’s plans fell down around her like the city of King’s Landing while she stood in her tower and … emoted? For most of the episode? She didn’t have a whole lot to do besides sneer smugly for the first 45 minutes, then whimper for the remaining duration.

A showdown between Cersei and Dany? We didn’t get it. A showdown between Cersei and Sansa? Nope. A showdown between Cersei and Arya? Wub-wub.

One of the most complex and interesting female characters in modern pop culture died among the remnants of Targaryen rule in the bowels of the castle, not with a bang (of her brother) but with a whimper.

May we raise a bottomless glass of red wine in her honour.

Sansa Stark’s Reach

She’s playing the game better than anyone else at the moment, as her strategic decision to tell Tyrion about Jon’s real identity has had beneficial consequences for her even if she’s on the other side of Westeros.

In Dany’s words to Jon: “She betrayed your trust. She killed Varys as much as I did. This is a victory for her. Now she knows what happens when people hear the truth about you.” Sure, Jan. Point is, all of this gives credence to the likelihood of Sansa Stark being the broad to end up on the Iron Throne, not Dany.

Bros Before Hoes

Jaime Lannister didn’t make it very fucking far out of the North in his quest to return to his “hateful” fuckboi ways and return to his “hateful” sister/lover/queen Cersei.

He was picked up by the guard who very clearly spotted that giant, sodding gold hand and were like ‘oy mate!’ Imprisoned, it was Tyrion who naturally came to his aid in what was a nice callback to earlier seasons when their positions were reversed.

“If it weren’t for you, I would never have survived my childhood,” Tyrion says emotionally, as he shares his plan with Jaime to get him into King’s Landing, ring the bells, and then away to safety with Cersei.

“You would have,” his older brother replies, before they share an emotional embrace. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster,” Tyrion whispers. “You were all I had.” It’s their final moment together, ever.

Arya Motherfucking Stark

“I’m Arya Stark. I’m going to kill Queen Cersei.”

A girl says what she means as she rides into town with The Hound, who was sporting one of two questionable hooded looks throughout the episode along with Jaime Lannister. Ultimately though, it was The Hound who acknowledged that if she stayed in King’s Landing to cross Cersei’s dodgy wig off her list, she would die.

He gave her leave while addressing her bravery at the same time, something that was met with a poignant “thank you”.

Arya was our audience entry point as she sprinted through the disintegrating city, watching innocents die around her and witnessing the full wrath of Dany.

“You can’t stay here,” she says, pleading with some kids at one point. “You have to keep moving … if you stay here, you’ll die.” It’s another callback, because that’s one of the few things Game Of Thrones remains good at now: callbacks to better seasons.

The theory is Jon is the one who has to ultimately end Dany’s maniacal reign, as foreshadowed in Jenny Of Oldstones, but that’s also what’s expected. He was expected to kill the Night King too.

Showrunners subverted those expectations and made good on the clues they had been laying throughout the show, by having Arya do it. She’s also now one of the few people who saw firsthand what Dany did to King’s Landing. She’s tight with Sansa, who also wants to see her gone.

Could it be Arya not Jon who closes that final set of eyes? And who will take care of Drogon?

RIP Harry Strickland, Lord Of Regular Names In A Fantasy Show

He came, he saw for a few eps, he had the most normal name in Game Of Thrones history, he died.

So Rhaegal Totally Didn’t Need To Die

It’s a talking point that has been discussed a lot over the last week, with even military historians pointing out that the dragon’s death at the hands of Euron Greyjoy was pretty dumb given a) they should have known where the Iron Fleet was thanks to scouts and b) they should have seen where the Iron Fleet was thanks to Dany’s vantage point directly above them.

The needlessness of that death became even more evident this week as we watched Drogon casually duck and roll and dip and dive spear after motherflippin’ spear like it was entirely no thing. “Euron killed one of her dragons,” Cersei tells Qyburn.“He can kill another.”

Well, apparently that depends on the needs of each specific episode.

Qyburn Ya Later

Lol, killed by his own creation. How very Mary Shelley.

Greyjoy No More Boi

Euron and Jaime had to sword fight for more metaphors reasons than one. So they did. It was what it was. Another character was dispatched (Euron) and that was that.

CleganeBowl 2019 Actually Happened

“Yeah, that’s you,” The Hound says, facing off against his zombie-esque brother, The Mountain. “That’s what you’ve always been.”

The monster on the inside is now the monster on the outside and the two meet the only end we could have hoped for them: dragging each other towards destruction.

By any other standards The Hound would have won the fight, getting in some excellent blows including a zombie staple: one to the head.

Yet after The Mountain tries to pull his favourite squishy eye trick so famously used on Oberyn Martell, The Hound realises that much like Harry Potter and Voldemort, “either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives”.

Spear tackling him out of a castle and into a pit of flames was suitably metal and suitably the epic conclusion The Hound needed. It was the one we needed too.

Jamie Lannister’s Redemption Arc

*makes fart noise*

I mean, that’s what they spent the past few seasons setting up so it makes sense they’d just toss that shit out the window so Cersei and Jamie can become concrete together, forever, as pebbles. What a crappy, boring end for both of them.

We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes

The hint of Daenerys transitioning into the Mad King was interesting, especially in episode four which was bookmarked by her losing two of the people she valued most: first Ser Jorah and then Missandei later.

By episode five, we saw that impact fully.

Dany won’t eat, just like her dragons when they’re upset. She doesn’t leave her chambers. Doesn’t see anyone. Doesn’t even look like herself.

When it comes to the battle of King’s Landing, she has gone Fully Fucking Radge.

Missandei’s final words to her have manifested like poison, dracarys contorting and twisting and manipulating until she sets the whole city aflame.

She burns the guilty, she burns the innocent, she burns everything, as all of those who followed her bravely watch on in horror with the realisation that Dany is truly lost. Only the Mad Queen remains now and some Mad Queens just want to watch the world burn.

Checking In With Our Favourite Game Of Thrones Fan: T-Pain

The one true tweeter of the North.

Game of Thrones Season 8 is currently streaming on Foxtel Now.

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Maria Lewis is a journalist, screenwriter and author of The Witch Who Courted Death, It Came From The Deep and the Who’s Afraid? novel series, available worldwide.