At least that seems like the takeaway from the episode's current Rotten Tomatoes rank of just 49 percent—not "fresh."
In the behind-the-scenes video about that episode above, the first words are, "Episode 5 should just be called 'holy shit.'"
That was obviously the writers' intent, too—to really tear things apart. Daenerys Targaryen, in the eyes of many fans, did a straight-up "heel turn" and with her armies laid total fiery waste to King's Landing, bringing the Red Keep down on the heads of Jaime and Cersei Lannister in the process.
While many would argue Emilia Clarke's character was always heading in that direction, fans didn't like it and critics would probably just take the "holy" out of the quote from the video and leave the "shit."
Just a few of the comments excerpted on Rotten Tomatoes:
- "If you were hoping the show might suddenly veer back toward the kind of thoughtful, established character motivations and behavior we've enjoyed for most of this series' run, then you might have been left disappointed. Or enraged." — Pajiba
- "I think this was a hot garbage fire of an episode. Hot. Garbage. Fire." — The Stranger
- "By the end of this 90 minutes, as the ash settled, it is difficult not to feel one was looking at the charred remains of an era-defining television show's integrity." — The BBC
Other criticisms fell along these lines. Even positive reviews were kind of tepid. Like this:
- "If seeing characters we've spent eight years with meet their end is what you were after, this episode left you satisfied." — Boston Globe
So that's not the most glowing endorsement, is it?
If Daenerys roasting the Landing with her dragon was the biggest problem for many, at least one Twitter user did a decent job of illustrating how her transformation into a villain shouldn't have been unexpected.
But yes, even if the argument that we were heading this way as Daenerys suffered setbacks, losses, and revealed more of the harder parts of her character is pretty solid, that doesn't make anyone happy about it.
Can Game of Thrones really pull off a great series finale after the penultimate episode was apparently a fiasco?
Just check out HBO at 9 p.m. ET Sunday to see.