'Game of Thrones' Final Season Podcast: "The Bells" Toll Before the Series Finale

The Hollywood Reporter's 'Series Regular' podcast sorts through the final season's fifth episode.
Courtesy of HBO

Welcome back to Series RegularThe Hollywood Reporter's new podcast dedicated to diving deep into hit TV shows — starting with Game of Thrones.

Every episode of Series Regular comes courtesy of Josh Wigler (that's me!), taking a closer look at a new corner of Westeros. What are the circumstances that brought Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and the Seven Kingdoms' other heroes and villains into their current conflicts? Look no further than Series Regular for the answers to those questions and more, as the final season unfolds.

In this week's edition, Wigler braves the fires at play in "The Bells," from director Miguel Sapochnik, which included Daenerys' conquest of King's Landing — a war effort that ended incredibly violently for everyone involved, many of whom did not walk away from the fight with their lives intact. Among the topics covered:

1. The Penultimate Hour. Ned Stark's execution. The Battle of the Blackwater. The Red Wedding. The Battle at Castle Black. Daenerys Targaryen's first flight. The Battle of the Bastards. The Battle of Ice and Fire. And now: "The Bells," which takes its place alongside Game of Thrones' other historic penultimate installments. As the second-to-last episode ever, where does "The Bells" fit alongside its penultimate brethren? That question is addressed at the :41 mark.

2. The Mad Queen. All conversations about "The Bells" begin and end with one character: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons — and now, "Destroyer of Worlds" feels like an apt title to add to the list. A survey of Dany's damage and the road to her downfall occurs at the 11:35 mark.

3. Watching the Throne. Following her conquest of King's Landing, Daenerys has finally won the Iron Throne, but will she keep it? She's the current title holder, but she's not the only candidate on the board. With one episode still remaining in Game of Thrones, there's only one chance to make a call for the Iron Throne. Those calls are put into the universe at the 20:00 mark.

4. No One Lives. All season long on The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Wigler rang the bell on an ill-fated prediction: Arya Stark's demise. Very thankfully, he was wrong. Game of Thrones had other plans for Arya, delivering her with one of the most satisfying character arcs in the history of the series, and certainly in "The Bells." Wigler's take on how Thrones did right by Arya comes in at the 24:40 mark.

5. Everyone Dies. The Faceless Men's very own Arya, aka "No One," survived "The Bells," but others? Not so lucky. Varys, Euron, the Hound, the Mountain and the Lannister twins all lost their lives in the series' penultimate hour, a series regular bloodbath unlike any previously seen. The podcast covers the impacts of those deaths starting at the 35:42 mark.

Hear it all now on Series Regular. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. Follow Wigler on Twitter at @roundhoward and send suggestions for future topics and questions to SeriesRegular@THR.com.

Series Regular is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including TV's Top 5, the weekly TV news analysis podcast hosted by West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg and chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg; Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.