6:45am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Final Season, Episode 5: What to Expect
The final season of HBO's Game of Thrones is finally at hand. Every week before a new episode, The Hollywood Reporter's resident Westeros expert Josh Wigler will offer up a guide to the must-see moments of the coming installment. What should you expect from the latest adventure of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and anyone else who is still lucky enough to be alive? Who will die this week? What monstrous twists have creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss cooked up as Thrones rushes toward the end of the line? Chew on those questions and more in the story ahead.
Season 8, Episode 5: "The Bells"
Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss
Airdate: May 12, 2019
Runtime: 80 minutes
Number in series: 72 out of 73
Where we left off: Missandei of Naath (Nathalie Emmanuel) is dead, and so is Rhaegal the dragon, both of them killed at the command of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). It's a huge blow to the Targaryen forces, compounding the recent losses of Viserion, Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and half the Dothraki and Unsullied forces. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) also faces an existential crisis as momentum builds behind Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his claim to the Iron Throne, even if he doesn't want it. Whatever lies ahead for the fate of Westeros, all roads lead to King's Landing as Game of Thrones stands at the edge of one last war.
What we expect to see: All the death and destruction. Sapochnik's "The Long Night" was a tense battle (if a dimly lit one) for the soul of Westeros, with humanity winning the day. Now that it's an all-out royal rumble between the remnants of the living, all bets are off, especially with only the series finale remaining after Sapochnik's second and final installment of the final season. Who will die? We have our predictions officially locked in, with the highlights including Daenerys, Cersei, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Euron (Pilou Asbaek) and Maester Qyburn (Anton Lesser), among others.
What we won't see: Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Ghost, both of whom were last seen heading north of the Wall to pursue new Free Folk endeavors. Sure, it's possible we'll see them at some point in the future, but Thrones afforded both characters the rare happy ending in "The Last of the Starks." Others who may sit this one out, even if we see them again in the series finale: Sansa (Sophie Turner), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) — assuming all attention centers on King's Landing, rather than Winterfell.
What we're hoping to see: Nuance. An outcome that doesn't reduce Daenerys' entire arc into something as simple as "Mad Queen repeating her father's mistakes." A moment for Cersei that shows some shreds of humanity, even if those shreds are nothing more than an admission of agony. Above all else: a Clegane Bowl that lives up to the hype.
Catch up on the past week of THR's Thrones coverage:
• Recap: Game of Thrones Enters the Iron Throne Endgame with Fire and Blood
• Podcast: "The Last of the Starks," Explained
• Interview: Gwendoline Christie ("Brienne of Tarth")
• Interview: Kristofer Hivju ("Tormund Giantsbane")
• Interview: David Nutter (Director)
• Deep Dive: 23 Burning Questions Before the Last War
• Deep Dive: Who Will Die in the Last War?
• Forecast: Game of Thrones Final Season Brews Up a Breaking Point
• Trailer: The Bloodbath is Coming in Episode 5
• Photos: Episode 5 Promises One Final Battle for the Throne
• News: Game of Thrones Viewers Spot Starbucks Cup Amid Winterfell Celebration
• News: Game of Thrones Delivers More Massive Ratings for "Last of the Starks"
• News: Late-Night Hosts Joke About Gentrification on Game of Thrones Following Coffee Cup Mistake
• News: George R.R. Martin Dubs J.R.R. Tolkien "The Master" of Fantasy Writing
• News: Game of Thrones VFX House Pixomondo Ups Jonny Slow to CEO
• News: Avengers, Game of Thrones Actors Storm Social Climbers' Top Actors List
• Running Times for the Final Season
• Complete Guide to the Final Season
• George R.R. Martin on the Final Season
• Season 8, Episode 1: Everything to Know Ahead of "Winterfell"
• Season 8, Episode 2: Everything to Know Ahead of "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"
• Season 8, Episode 3: Everything to Know Ahead of "The Long Night"
• Season 8, Episode 4: Everything to Know Ahead of "The Last of the Starks"
Read all of THR's Final Path series, featuring character-by-character predictions:
1. Jon Snow
2. Daenerys Targaryen
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Cersei Lannister
5. Jaime Lannister
6. Sansa Stark
7. Arya Stark
8. Bran Stark
9. Samwell Tarly
10. Theon Greyjoy
11. The Hound
12. Brienne of Tarth
15. Davos Seaworth
16. Jorah Mormont
18. Tormund Giantsbane
19. Beric Dondarrion
20. The Dragons
21. The Night King
22. Across the World of Ice and Fire
23. Final Predictions
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for continuing coverage all season long.