The May 12 episode is the penultimate of the entire Game of Thrones series. This is the final episode before the series finale. Daenerys still has her eye on the Iron Throne and she’s going to do whatever it takes to get it, no matter the cost. On the other hand, Cersei will do whatever she has to do to keep the Iron Throne. This is a showdown of epic proportions.
Jon Snow and Davos will arrive in King’s Landing to help Daenerys fight Cersei. Will Daenerys keep all of her allies? Tyrion told Varys that Jon Snow is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and now Varys’s loyalty has shifted. Tyrion’s loyalty may have as well. Meanwhile, The Hound and Arya are heading to King’s Landing as well to take care of “unfinished business.” Cleganebowl might actually happen in the penultimate episode. Arya’s still got to finish her kill list, too.
The episode begins with Varys writing a letter to someone about Jon Snow being the true heir to the Iron Throne. He has betrayed Daenerys for what he thinks is best for the realm. Jon Snow arrives at Dragonstone and Varys greets him on his way up to see Daenerys. Varys echos what Cersei said about the Targaryens in season 2. Every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. Jon Snow asks Varys what he wants out of all this. Varys says he only wants “the right ruler on the Iron Throne.” For Varys, that person is Jon Snow. Again, Jon Snow stresses that he doesn’t want the Iron Throne and remains faithful to Dany.
Tyrion goes to see Daenerys, who is refusing to eat. “There’s something you need to know,” Tyrion tells her. Daenerys replies, “Someone has betrayed me.” She says Jon Snow, while Tyrion says Varys. It all stems back to Jon Snow, though. Jon Snow told Sansa, even though Dany begged him not to tell anyone his secret. Tyrion acknowledges that he made a mistake in telling Varys. Daenerys is well aware that Sansa told Tyrion so that the truth would get out. Varys burns the letter he wrote and prepares for what he knows is ahead. He is escorted to his execution. “It was me,” Tyrion tells him. Varys isn’t scared of dying. “I hope I’m wrong,” Varys says, regarding his feelings about Jon Snow vs. Daenerys. Daenerys sentences him to death and has him burned alive. As Varys dies, Jon Snow looks at Daenerys like she just made a very questionable decision.
Jon Snow and Daenerys have a discussion about Sansa. “This is a victory for her,” Daenerys says. Jon Snow tells Daenerys that he loves her. “You will always be my queen,” he says. They kiss but the passion is gone. Later, Daenerys prepares to attack King’s Landing. Tyrion begs Daenerys not to hurt innocent people. She’s not backing down from the fight. He asks her that if she hears them ring the bells, she’ll call off the attack. Before Tyrion walks away, she tells him that Jaime was stopped heading back to King’s Landing. She threatens Tyrion. If he fails her again, it’ll be the last time.
It doesn’t take long for Tyrion to show where his loyalty truly lies. Tyrion asks Davos, the greatest smuggler alive, a favor. He grabs the keys to Jaime’s chains. He’s giving his brother a chance to start a new life. All he asks is that Jaime rings the bells and opens the gates of King’s Landing to prevent a slaughter of innocent people. Jaime knows Tyrion will likely die for what he’s doing. Tyrion is hopeful that Daenerys will show him mercy if she ends up on the Iron Throne without a river of blood beneath her. Jaime once freed Tyrion, and now Tyrion is returning the favor. “If it weren’t for you, I never would have survived my childhood,” Tyrion says. Regardless of his loyalty to Daenerys, nothing can match his love for his brother. Tyrion hugs Jaime before setting him free. This is likely the last time these two brothers will ever see each other.
The Hound and Arya come across allied forces on their way to King’s Landing. When a soldier asks who they are, Arya simply says: “I’m Arya Stark. I’m going to kill Queen Cersei.” The Hound and Arya make it into King’s Landing unnoticed, as well as Jaime who walks right between the soldiers from the Golden Company. Harry Strickland takes his place at the head of the mass of soldiers, waiting for Dany’s forces. The Hound and Arya make it inside the gates before they’re closed. Jaime does not. He tries to find another way inside before it’s too late.
Euron and the rest of the Iron Fleet await Dany and Drogon. She comes down from above and obliterates multiple ships. She dodges the scorpion’s arrows like a pro and destroys Euron’s ship. She makes her way to King’s Landing, burning many of Cersei’s soldiers alive. The Golden Company waits to attack but Dany and Drogon strike them from behind. The Dothraki and Unsullied charge toward King’s Landing. Grey Worm impales Harry Strickland, killing him instantly. King’s Landing becomes the epicenter of fire and destruction. Cersei watches as her city crumbles. Qyburn tells Cersei that all the scorpions have been destroyed, as well as the Iron Fleet and the Golden Company. Cersei is certain that the Red Keep will remain intact.
Tyrion walks through the destruction and sees the bells just ahead. Jaime has made it close to the bells, but Dany and Drogon are close. Jon Snow, Grey Worm, and the rest of Dany’s men come upon Cersei’s soldiers. While it looks like they’re going to fight, Cersei’s men drop their swords. They are surrendering. Everyone is at a standstill now, waiting for the other to make their next move. Suddenly, everyone hears the bells ringing. Despite the plan, Daenerys refuses to stop. She flies towards the Red Keep and begins burning everyone alive.
Chaos ensues around Jon Snow. He tries to stop any further madness in the streets, but it’s no use. Grey Worm and the Unsullied refuse to stop killing people. It’s sheer mayhem. Cersei watches as her city burns brick by brick. Daenerys begins destroying the Red Keep. Meanwhile, Jaime and Euron come face-to-face as Jaime is trying to get inside the Red Keep. They begin to fight and it’s brutal. Euron stabs Jaime. Jaime manages to get a sword and plunges it right into Euron’s stomach. Jaime leaves Euron to die. As he takes his final breaths, Euron says, “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.”
The Hound and Arya are inside what’s left of the Red Keep. The Hound tells Arya to go home. Cersei’s going to die regardless. She’s determined to kill Cersei, though. The Hound says that she doesn’t want to be like him. He puts his arm around her neck. “If you come with me, you die here,” he says. He doesn’t want that for her. “Sandor, thank you,” she says before he walks away.
Cersei’s world is crumbling around her. The Hound comes across The Mountain, Cersei, and Qyburn. Cersei tells The Mountain to stand back but he can’t. Qyburn tries to reiterate what Cersei just said and The Mountain quickly kills him. Cleganebowl begins. The Hound knocks off The Mountain’s helmet, revealing his grotesque face. Cersei’s all alone wandering around the destruction. Suddenly, Jaime comes into view. They embrace and try to avoid the destruction together.
Arya manages to escape from the Red Keep to the streets of King’s Landing. She sees so many innocent people dying and bleeding around her. She falls down, but a woman helps her up. The Hound and The Mountain continue to fight. The Mountain begins to get the best of The Hound. The Hound tries to stab his brother but it’s no use. His brother just won’t die. The Mountain begins to gouge The Hound’s eyes out, so The Hound stabs The Mountain right in the eye. The Hound is not going to lose to his brother again. He lunges for his brother and they fall into the burning flames of King’s Landing together.
Arya wakes up covered in ash as Daenerys continues to destroy the city. She manages to survive a crumbling building. She stumbles upon a group of people hiding. She tells them that they have to leave or they’ll die. The same woman who saved her is there. She tries to get them to safety, but the woman and child are ultimately burned alive. Arya is consumed by the flames, but it’s not enough to take her down. Not today. She wakes up to nothing but ash and burned bodies. Everything around her is nothing but death. She sees a horse in the distance and rides off on it.
Cersei and Jaime make it to the bottom of the Red Keep. There’s nowhere for them to go. Cersei doesn’t want to die. “I want my baby to live,” she cries. “Please don’t let me die.” Jaime holds her as the world crumbles around them. “Nothing else matters,” Jaime tells Cersei. “Only us.” And that’s how Jaime and Cersei die — together.