Don't ask for whom the bell tolls. The bell tolls for a good chunk of the cast of Game of Thrones. Never a show hesitant to kill off main characters, the show's finale season has nonetheless been particularly brutal — and no episode has been more merciless in its treatment of characters than "The Bells," the show's penultimate episode.
Up above, a newly unhinged Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) singlehandedly destroys King's Landing. The Night King had been planning on perpetrating mass destruction via ice; she carries it out with fire. Here are all the main characters we lost during "The Bells," not to mention the many nameless groundlings (and Dothraki, who were apparently not totally decimated by the Battle of Winterfell). But Game of Thrones has always been a show about the Lords and Ladies of Westeros' battle for the throne — not about about the people affected by those leaders, hasn't it?
Varys' (Conleth Hill) loyalties were not to any particular individual, but to the ruler he thought could serve the people (or "the realm") best. After catching a glint of madness in Daenerys' stare, his loyalties switched to Jon Snow (Kit Harington). So, for his final act, Varys does what he does best: Stirs the damn pot. The master of whispers scribbles a bunch of raven scrolls telling of Jon's parentage and rightful claim to the throne. Varys writes like he's running out of time, because he is. For his betrayal, Daenerys executes him with the full force of Drogon's might.
Harry Strickland (Mark Rissman), the leader of the Golden Company with an oddly normal name, met his end at the hands of a vengeful Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson).
Here lies Maester Qyburn (Anton Lesser), crushed to death for telling the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) to use his inside voice. As Cersei and her entourage try to escape the Red Keep, the Hound (Rory McCann) stops them. The Mountain abandons his bodyguard duties and gears up for his long-awaited show-down with his brother. When Qyburn tries to wrangle the Mountain back into his post, the Mountain flings him down stairs. He dies on impact. With that, Frankenstein's Monster kills Frankenstein.
Sandor and Gregor Clegane
To Sandor (Rory McCann) and Gregor Clegane, Westeros' most dysfunctional sibling duo, the events of Game of Thrones are mere backdrop for their epic rivalry. Last episode, "Cleganebowl," the long-awaited clash between the Mountain and the Hound, finally happened — complete with special effects for drama. While Sandor battles his half-dead, psychopathic brother, debris falls and fires blaze. As it turns out, Mountain is even harder to kill than Sir Night King. When it becomes obvious that repeated stabbings won't kill him, Sandor throws them both off the edge of the Red Keep.
Wow! Amid an end-of-days siege, there's still time for romantic rivalry! Men these days! Knockoff pirate Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) and nobleman with a death wish Jaime Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) have a show-down on the beaches off King's Landing. No one's a winner. Jaime kills Euron, but Euron leaves Jaime gravely wounded. Euron's final act is cackling about Jaime's impending death.
Jaime and Cersei Lannister
Jaime always said he wanted to die in the arms of the woman he loved. Here, he gets his wish. As the city burns, the tow-headed twins find their escape tunnel cut off from rubble. They're officially trapped. Jaime wraps his arms around a terrified Cersei as the building shakes around All Jaime can offer her are words of comfort and devotion, at last: "Look me in the eyes. Just look at me. Nothing else matters. Nothing else matters. Only us." With that, the Red Keep falls on them. Are we seriously crying over Lannisters? Yes, yes we are. If Cersei gets her way, she'll haunt the Iron Throne forever.