Just before Daenerys goes completely Apocalypse Now on King's Landing in Game of Thrones S08E06, there is a moment of eerie quiet. After this brief moment of realizing the abysmal situation they're in, the most vociferous of the people start using the uncanny urban acoustics to their advantage: "Ring the bells!", "Ring the bells!!", "Ring the bloody bells!".

In a city housing a million people, this cry is echoed from all quarters, and it is implied even the queen herself hears it. I guess reverberation and amplification work differently in Westeros, but that is not what my question is about.

It's this:

Aerial view of King's Landing

That tower, specifically. It can be seen during the first overview of King's Landing. It first caught my attention because it looks like an anachronistic foam concrete tower, but, more pressingly, there seems to be no way to get to the bell: as the camera flies by, we can see there is no trap door in the floor, or exterior rope against the wall on at least two sides of the building. Ironically, this is shown in S08E05, titled 'The Bells'.

Does this type of architecture have a historical precedent, is it lazy CGI, or is there another explanation?

1 Answer 1


The bell is not moved by a rope. You don't ring it by moving the heart of the bell, but by moving the bell itself. The axis of rotation is at the top of the bell.
It can be seen in this video.

Such bells are chain driven (in the video, and, in modern cases, with electric motors). In the olden days they could be moved using a crank.

Animation of bells ringing in Game
The yoke of the bell can be way above the bell.

Here is nice photo from Shutterstock that shows the plain yoke ending with a wheel driven by a rope:

Closeup of a bell and its mechanism

The higher the distance from the top of the bell to the yoke (and thus the axis), the bigger the wheel needs to be to require the same amount of energy to move the bell.
The rope could be "hidden" in any of the four columns.

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    I think you've accurately described that the driving mechanism is at the top and hidden from view, but I don't get the need for the distinction between rope and chain driven mechanisms - wouldn't either suffice? Jun 17, 2019 at 13:26
  • Great, now I feel kind of silly for not realizing that.. Thanks!
    – Joachim
    Jun 17, 2019 at 13:42
  • @NuclearWang With the chain I had in mind different mechanism take place. The chain attached to the wheel on the yolk move constantly but the wheel that power it have a period of inertia. So engine or crank move constantly but engage only for 1/4 of the revolution. Otherwise the bell would be forced to move around the yolk rather than fall. Jun 17, 2019 at 13:43
  • Szczerzo Kły, I edited your post, can you see if I misinterpreted anything?
    – Joachim
    Jun 18, 2019 at 21:33

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