Game Of Thrones Season 8 Breakdown: What 'The Bells' REALLY Means

The most explosive episode yet?

Arya Bloody
HBO

Caught your breath yet?

Remember a couple of weeks ago when everyone was concerned about how few people had been killed at the Battle Of Winterfell? Remember the sad, knowing nods of those sage fans who knew that major deaths tend not to happen in big, impersonal battle sequences? Those people knew this was all coming.

Despite the penultimate episode of Game Of Thrones' final season once again inspiring a divided reaction online, it would have delighted millions of fans and it cannot be said that it wasn't an incredible feat of cinematography, emotional film-making and spectacle. You may not agree with all of the story beats (but since when was there ever a unanimous consensus on that front?) but if TV shows are to be judged on how they make you feel and the images they print indelibly onto your brain, this was a resounding, devastating success.

With so much happening, inevitably there's a lot to unpack ahead of the finale, so let's get into what we learned from The Bells...

11. Those Retired Characters Really ARE Safe

Game of Thrones Tormund Ghost
HBO

A small thing, but if you were worried that Tormund, Ghost and Gendry were being given "happy endings" (aside for Gendry losing his beloved of course) only to be brought back and killed sneakily, you need not worry.

Both Kristofer Hivju and Joe Dempsie have now been removed from the opening credits, which is usually an indication only of death. For them to have been cut means they're no longer active characters, which means we can all now go back to imagining Tormund and Ghost frolicking in the snow instead of having serious charred people flashbacks.

Executive Editor
Executive Editor

Executive Editor, chief Gunter and the most read writer on WhatCulture. Like ever.