Game Of Thrones S8E5 Has Lowest Ratings In Series History

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 14 May 2019 12:13

Warning: Contains Spoilers

cersei and the hound from game of thrones season 8 episode 5cersei and the hound from game of thrones season 8 episode 5HBO

As we enter the final stretch of the final season of Game of Thrones, it seems some fans have very mixed feelings about what they’re watching.


It’s fair to say this eighth season has been the most hyped and highly-anticipated of them all. We had to wait two years for its six, cinematic episodes, each with a longer running time than we’re used to from the HBO show.

After such a long wait, and armed with the knowledge that this would be the final season, therefore the culmination of years of mounting tension and the revelation of who would finally sit on the Iron Throne, expectations are undoubtedly high.

Unfortunately, as the brothers Clegane recently found out – the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And it seems the same can be said about episode ratings for Game of Thrones.


The fifth episode of season eight, titled The Bells, currently has the lowest rating for any Game of Thrones episode on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s standing at just 49 per cent, five per cent behind the second lowest rated episode – Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, episode six from season five.

The ratings site describes the latest episode as:

Death, destruction, and the deterioration of Daenerys’ sanity make “The Bells” an episode for the ages; but too much plot in too little time muddles the story and may leave some viewers feeling its conclusions are a little unearned.

You can watch the preview for it here:


While the episode’s scope and cinematic action was almost unmatched – the whole thing was visually stunning – it seems many people were left disappointed by the rushed plot points and unsatisfactory downturns in a number of character arcs.

Specifically, Daenerys Targaryen, who – on the surface – had spent the entire series building herself up as an honourable queen, the ‘breaker of chains’ and freer of slaves. She hated the loss of innocent life and made it her mission to destroy tyrants.

In The Bells, however, she seemingly did an about turn, and proceeded to lay waste to countless innocent lives in King’s Landing, hellbent on causing death and destruction.


Others, however, are pointing out that Daenerys’ character was always capable of the atrocities we witnessed in The Bells. And though some plot points were rushed in the episode, Dany’s journey from season one to now has had clear signs that she would stand up for what she believes in, no matter the cost.


As one person handily summed it all up in a series of tweets:

s01 to s07 showed up a Daenerys that rose from the very lowest of lows to the height of power. In s01 & s02, we see Daenerys realize that without power, no one will respect her or take her claim seriously.

She had her armies. She had dragons. She had powerful allies in Westeros. She had the strongest claim to the throne and finally had the chance to take King’s Landing.

They continued:

Season 7 and Season 8 was about losing that power. First, her powerful allies are stripped away one by one. Olenna, Elliria, Yara. Tyrion mismanages them as Hand of the Queen and makes horrible tactical mistakes.

In S08E01, Daenerys realizes she doesn’t have the love of the people.
In S08E02, she loses her claim.
In S08E03, she loses Jorah.
In S08E04, she loses her second child, and Missandei.
In S08E05, she loses Varys, Tyrion, and Jon, through betrayal.

Some people have criticised the Game of Thrones creators for throwing Dany under the bus for the sake of a dramatic ending, though there’s certainly plenty of evidence she could’ve taken this dark turn at any point.

This is Game of Thrones after all, heroic characters don’t always end up the hero.

I’m just glad she figured out how to properly use her dragon, and finally laid waste to the Iron Fleet.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Film and TV, Game of Thrones, Rotten Tomatoes, Season 8


Rotten Tomatoes
  1. Rotten Tomatoes