Game of Thrones, Season 7, Ep 5 “Eastwatch”

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Outside King’s Landing: It seems Jaime isn’t dead after all. Bronn drags him out of the river, some way downstream – far enough away that Daenerys and Drogon don’t instantly see them and turn them into charcoal. Jaime is well and truly boggled by the dragon though. He says one dragon is bad enough, but by all accounts Daenerys has three of them. They stagger off towards King’s Landing, downcast and beaten.

Daenerys meanwhile has captured a bunch of the Lannister army. She offers them the choice of joining her or dying. A few of the men band the knee, but about half stand defiantly. Randyll Tarly speaks up and says he will never betray the Lannisters. His son Dickon joins him. Tyrion obviously doesn’t want unnecessary bloodshed, and argues that they should be sent to Castle Black to serve in the Night’s Watch – after all, they need strong men there. But Daenerys shows no mercy and has Drogon incinerate the Tarlys. This encourages all of the remaining men to quickly get on their knees and pledge allegiance to Daenerys.

Honestly, can you really trust someone who pledges allegiance under duress of being burnt alive, since they’ve already demonstrated that their previous pledge (to the Lannisters) was only temporary? It may have been smarter to just burn the lot of them. I guess we’ll see.

Winterfell: Bran uses his remote viewing to scout out the oncoming army of the dead. He orders ravens be sent out to spread the news that the army is on the march. The army is heading to Eastwatch, the easternmost end of the Wall, where it meets the sea. Looks like my prediction that they’ll try to go around the Wall was right!

Lord Glover and someone else have decided that they want Sansa to become Queen of the North or some such, and take control over Jon. She gives them a curious look and declines to accept, affirming that Jon is the King in the North. Arya isn’t happy with Sansa being the effective ruler in Jon’s absence, and the two of them start bickering, Arya accusing Sansa of having fun playing politics/ I don’t remember if Sansa accused Arya back of playing swordfights, but it’s the kind of vibe that was in the air. They’re arguing like little kid sisters, rather than backing each other up. This is a turn for the worse in their relationship, and it’s sad to see it so soon after they were reunited.

And then Petyr Baelish is up to no good as usual. He hides a scroll in his bedroom, and Arya sneaks in to find it and read it. I don’t know what’s on it, but it surely can’t be good. This is confirmed when Arya sneaks out of Petyr’s room, thinking she got away without being noticed, but we see Petyr lurking around a corner, grinning smugly to himself that Arya fell into his trap. Dear oh dear. Whatever this is, it can’t be good. Arya will no doubt get the wrong impression about something. Could Petyr be using this to drive a wedge between her and Sansa?

Old Town: Archmaester Slughorn gets one of the ravens from Winterfell with Bran’s news, and reads it out to a gathered assortment of old Maesters. Sam happens to be present in the room doing some menial tasks. The Maesters scoff at Bran’s news, ridiculing the idea that White Walkers even exist. Sam speaks up, saying he knows Bran and can vouch for him, and the he himself has seen and fought against White Walkers. He urges then to take the news seriously and send messages across Westeros to tell everyone to prepare for the army of the undead. The Maesters generally dismiss him, but Archmaester Slughorn says he’ll give the matter some thought.

Later, Sam is transcribing some old scrolls when he gets fed up and declares that he’s sick of reading about other people doing heroic stuff, and it’s time they did something. He tells Gilly to pack up, and they set off out of Old Town. Now, where are they going? Castle Black? It really doesn’t seem like there’s much Sam can do anywhere, but I suppose he’ll find somewhere where he can make a difference.

Dragonstone: Jon is stalking the moors of Dragonstone, brooding in a moor-stalking, brooding way. Suddenly Drogon flies up and lands near him. Jon is wary of the huge beast, but approaches tentatively, reaching out a hand to the dragon. Drogon lets him stroke his face. Daenerys, sitting on Drogon’s back, is visibly impressed that Jon is brave enough to do this, and that Drogon will let him. She gets a weird look on her face as she considers Jon. Hmm. Is this the bud of some sort of romance between Daenerys and Jon? It’d be all too perfect: the Mother of Dragons and the King in the North, joining forces in an alliance to secure Westeros, and then ending up getting married. It’s far too clich├ęd, but it looks like the story could be headed in that direction. I think I’d be disappointed if it played out that way.

Jorah has also returned! Wow, that was quick. He must have caught an express ship or something from Old Town. Daenerys is visibly moved that he has returned, now cured of his illness. A bit later, Varys asks Tyrion about what happened on the battlefield, and Tyrion tells him of the execution of the Tarlys. Varys says they have to make sure Daenerys doesn’t start killing people willy-nilly, because that would make her no better than her father. He suggests Tyrion try a bit harder in his attempts to make Daenerys be more merciful.

There is another war council. Jon has received a raven from Bran about the undead army, and pleads with new urgency for men to help him defend the North. Daenerys doesn’t want to spare any of her forces, since she’s concentrating on taking King’s Landing. Tyrion comes up with a crazy idea. How crazy? First, he wants to try to convince Cersei to ally with them in the fight against the White Walkers. Second, he wants to do this by capturing a White Walker and taking it to King’s Landing to show her! But… it’s just so crazy it just might work! Jon reckons it’s worth a shot, and because Jorah hasn’t had enough impossible missions yet he volunteers as well.

Tyrion wants to sneak into King’s Landing to get word to Cersei, via Jaime. Davos offers to take him there.

King’s Landing: Jaime returns from the battle and tells Cersei in no uncertain terms that they are doomed. Daenerys and her dragons are unstoppable. He also tells her that Olenna Tyrell admitted to poisoning Joffrey, after she took the painless poison that Jaime gave her. Cersei at first doesn’t believe it, saying Olenna just wanted to spite her, but Jaime points out that she had motive and means and nothing to gain by lying about it. And after all, he says, if you were Margaery’s grandmother, would you rather she marry Joffrey or Tommen? That seals it; Cersei realises she’s been played. But she has news for Jaime too… they are expecting another child. She says this baby will be their heir, and she doesn’t care who knows that he’s the father.

Tyrion and Davos arrive and set about their missions. Tyrion contacts Bronn, who leads Jaime to a meeting. Tyrion outlines the plan, and asks Jaime to arrange a meeting with Cersei once they have the White Walker in captivity. Jaime doesn’t think she’ll listen, but he’ll do his best.

Meanwhile, Davos is off on his own mission into Fleabottom. He seeks out a blacksmith shop and finds… Gendry! Davos says he’s leaving for Dragonstone and does Gendry want to come? Gendry seems keen, and grabs a few things. On the way back to the boat, which they’ve left on the beach, a couple of King’s Landing guards approach them and Davos manages to talk their way out of a confrontation by bribing them. But just then Tyrion returns and the game is up, as they recognise him. Gendry whacks the guards in the face with a huge hammer, killing them, and they flee back to Dragonstone.

Dragonstone again: Tyrion, Davos, and Gendry arrive. Davos tells Gendry to claim to be a humble blacksmith, but Gendry ignores this and introduces himself to Jon as Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, and then offers to join the expedition North to catch a White Walker. Now this is interesting. I speculated last episode that Jon might also be a son of Robert Baratheon, which would make Gendry his half-brother if true. And looking at the two of them side by side, there is more than a passing resemblance in their features and dark hair.

Eastwatch: Jon, Jorah, Davos, and Gendry arrive at Eastwatch and meet Tormund, who has set up with his wildlings at the castle here. They fill Tormund in on the plan to capture a White Walker. He declares it crazy, but says what the heck and decides to assist them. What’s more, he has prisoners here: Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and his new Brotherhood without Banners friends! I have no idea what these guys are doing here – last we saw they were off wandering around the North somewhere. I guess they wandered north-east? Anyway, now that they’re all here, they decide to become buddies and wander off into the wilderness north of the Wall together. Except Davos stays behind, because as he always claims, he’s not much good at fighting any more. That’s always his excuse!

So. They’re off to catch a White Walker. Good luck – I don’t know how they plan to (a) find one alone or in a small enough group to overcome, (b) restrain one of them without killing it. None of this has been discussed, so maybe they have no idea either and will just make it up when they find some. This really is a stupid plan.

2 Responses to “Game of Thrones, Season 7, Ep 5 “Eastwatch””

  1. Glen says:

    On Jon’s ancestry — I’ll offer no spoilers, but there are a few distinct clues in previous seasons, going as far back as season 1 — they don’t go “hey, this is a clue to who Jon’s parents are” when those hints come up though, so they’re easy to miss; you’ll see how good your guess in good time. The producers have said that it was their own guess about Jon’s ancestry that in part convinced GRRM to agree to license his work for a series (presumably convincing him they were serious fans of his work).
    “I have no idea what these guys are doing here” — responding to Sandor’s vision in the flames.

  2. Glen says:

    Further to that last point; to my somehat vague recollection, Thoros had come to understand they had something to do in the north, but not exactly what. Sandor’s vision in the flames (which Thoros worked hard to coax him to look at) then gave them a specific place to go to.

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