Sacred Games: Episode 7 and 8, Summary and Discussion Space

Final section!  If you want to talk about the whole thing and get a summary of it, you can check out the full spoiler review here.  This is if you want a summary and discussion of just these episodes.

Episode 7: Rudra

In the present, Saif and Radhike are teamed up again, both with similar leads.  They go to train station where they are stopped by a gang, Saif jumps on the train while Radhike holds them off with his gun.  Saif is captured and taken to the hide out where they are unloading boxes from the train.  Radhike goes to search the apartment of the assassin and finds some kind of plans but before she can call in what she has found, the assassin comes home and kills her.  And then goes to the hide out and cuts off Saif’s thumb and is about to cut off his hand when the police arrive with back-up.  Meanwhile in the past, Nawazuddin is more and more in love with his wife, and she starts feeding him a new way of looking at religion, as a way of giving strength and value to the community.  She encourages him to retaliate and protect “his” people after the bombings injure them.  Saif resists, until another attack kills his wife.  He goes on a revenge spree, killing innocents in the Muslim neighborhood and then setting it on fire.  The people cheer him, thinking he did it for them, not realizing it was simple revenge.  And then he is arrested by Neeraj Padi and knows he plans to kill him.


The title “Rudra” means the stormgiver, the angry vengeful face of Shiva.  Clearly a reference to Nawazuddin in the past.  But possibly also to the assassin in the present who is killing and gutting thumbs off with no control.

Radhike is killed, after Jitendra in the last episode.  This is something that is unique to the structure this show has created.  Characters who might just be a small part in the novel are given a leading role for one series, and then killed or otherwise written off.  Instead of having a massive cast that never get their own focus, they just sort of stretched out the story so that each individual character has their own series.  Radhike is listed a the co-lead for this series, and she isn’t quite, definitely just behind Saif and Nawazuddin.  Probably tied for screen time with Neeraj Padi.  And Jitendra gets more to do in the episodes he is in, time with his family, a backstory, all kinds of things.  Radhike is great with what she has to do, but I was a bit disappointed to see her killed off just when it felt like her character was finally going to do something.  And, come to think of it, in the same episode we also lose Rajshri, Nawazzudin’s strong wife in the past.


Episode 8: Yayati

Everything is seemingly over in the present day.  They have found the guns and connected the politician Girish Kulkarni to them.  It’s just time to clean up the loose ends, Neeraj Padi confronts Girish, they find the boxes of guns, Saif goes to Radhike’s memorial service.  Until at the end, Saif is with his mother and recognizes the words a Hindu talk show host, Pankaj Tripathi, uses and realizes he must be the hidden hand, the final “father” Nawazuddin referred to who is controlling everything.  And he also realizes that there must be something hidden under the floor in Nawazuddin’s hide out, under the Hindu symbol for a doorway.  He goes back and finds a fall out shelter with the dead body of “Trivedi”, the one person Nawazuddin said would survive.  Saif realizes that the attack is much much bigger than he thought, and they know nothing.  In the past, Nawazuddin also thinks it is all over, he has been arrested and thinks he will die in jail.  Saif’s father gives him food and minor comfort, but he has no real hope.  Until Saif’s father sneaks in a phone and he speaks to Pankaj Tripathi for the first time.


Yayati is a Puranic character, a king who was cursed with old age, but traded it with his son, forcing his son to carry his burdens.  A uniquely Indian story.  And now Saif is carrying his father’s burdens, his father who did nothing wrong but ended up setting this whole thing in motion.  And Nawazuddin is carrying his “father”s burdens, his chosen father of Pankaj Tripathi who forced him to set up this plan.

This is a very well-constructed ending.  Just as Saif is seeing the beginning of the end, realizing it is a lot bigger than he thought, Nawazuddin is seeing the start of this new beginning, an actual purpose in life and something to believe in.  Both of them are set up for a second season with more challenges and new situations.





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9 thoughts on “Sacred Games: Episode 7 and 8, Summary and Discussion Space

  1. The book gives every character their due. With (at least) an entire chapter dedicated to their story. So it’s not like series is taking “characters who might just be a small part in the novel” and giving them a leading role for one series. This would have been a very bare-bones kind of story if it had a linear narrative and a straightforward protagonist-antagonist-supporting characters setup.


    • I would assume a character who has one chapter dedicated to them out of a 900 page book is still a small part of it?

      The challenge is, the book had a central narrative with central characters and a beginning and an end. If this was a one season series that lasted 32 episodes, it could have given characters their focus for one episode, then moved on to another story, and come back to them later. But since it is 4 seasons, they clearly have decided to limit each season to certain stories instead of weaving them in and out through the whole narrative. And the central storyline, instead of having one beginning and one end, has to have 4 separate beginnings and endings created.

      On Sat, Jul 14, 2018 at 4:31 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Sure, how you define “small” is up to you. But it didn’t feel like the series had taken small characters from the book and made them bigger, which was my point.

        I’d also argue that the book did NOT have a central narrative and central characters. It did have a beginning and an end because it had to, but it was the kind of book that could have gone on. Or had multiple sequels. I wasn’t done with those stories or characters by the time I was done reading. That’s what I especially enjoyed about it. Sure, most of the narrative is occupied by Sartaj and Gaitonde, same as with the TV series, but otherwise there are people coming and going and staying whatever random length of time the author pleases. You don’t find out until MUCHHHHHHH later how their story plays into the “central” narrative. If they’ve chosen to do the same in the TV series, that’s a choice I understand because explaining it right away would make it less compelling of a story to me as a viewer.


        • They have 4 seasons planned now, but I wonder if it is a hit, if they will choose to keep going? On some of those stories that feel like they could just continue on?

          On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 12:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Oh I’d love that! Esp if they engage Vikram Chandra – who I’m sure had an even longer version in place before his editor cracked the whip.


          • Yes, I feel like that’s been done a lot before, not exactly like GOT because that is a vision which was intended to be in book form, but I think there are other TV series based on books where either they ran out of book and just kept going, or they turned into their own thing after a while and left the books behind.

            Oh right, TV adaptations! That’s where I see this the most, when a TV show from one country is remade in another, it starts with the same template for the first few seasons, and then branches off and turns into something different. If this is an extended first season, then in theory they could continue it with a “second season” based on a completely original narrative.

            On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 4:16 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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