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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 7.5 “Eastwatch”
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Game Of Thrones 7.5

Game of Thrones
Episode 7.5 “Eastwatch”
Directed by Dave Hill
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Starring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen
HBO
Air date: August 13, 2017

WARNING: Spoilers for HBO’s Game Of Thrones….

On last week’s Game Of Thrones, oh man, oh man, there be DRAGONS and Dragon Fire!! But first, at Winterfell, Littlefinger gave Bran the Valyrian steel dagger that kicked off the War of the Five Kings, but why did he do this? Bran then gave the weapon to his sister, Arya, who has finally returned home, but she’s not the little girl everyone remembers — she’s a deadly warrior now. How does her sister Lady Sansa feel about that? Not too thrilled, it seems. Arya wants to train with Brienne of Tarth, who was impressed by the girl’s fighting style. On Dragonstone, Jon Snow showed Daenerys cave drawings beneath keep that prove that the First Men and Children of the Forest aligned to fight the White Walkers. After seeing this, Daenerys told Jon she will help him fight the undead threat… if he bends the knee to her. Later, cowardly Theon and some Greyjoy crewmen arrived to see the Queen, but she was gone! Where did she go? Cue Daenerys riding the dragon Drogon into battle with her Dothraki horde against the Lannister army, led by Jaime. Drogon suffered a minor injury in the fray that downed him, but he still had his fire power. As Jaime foolishly charged at Daenerys, Drogon let out a blast of fire, but Jaime was saved from the flames when someone knocked him from his horse at the last second. But the knight was knocked into the bay and was last seen sinking down in the water wearing his heavy armor and sporting his golden prosthetic hand. Will Jaime survive this? And if he does, will he be captured by Daenerys or will he make it back to King’s Landing to his love Cersei?

On this week’s Game Of Thrones, Episode 7.5 “Eastwatch,” there was no massacre, but a few bombshells were dropped, one of which is HUGE.

First off – Jaime is alive. Bronn was the one who saved him during the battle and now the two have miraculously surfaced from the water. Bronn says Jaime can’t die until he gives him the castle he promised. After facing down a dragon, Jaime realizes that there’s no way they can win against one, let alone, three dragons.

Back on the battlefield, Tyrion assesses the damage. It’s bad. The Dothraki have gathered up the survivors to bring before Daenerys, who gives them all a choice: Bend the knee to her, or die. Tyrion doesn’t advise this tactic, but the Mother of Dragons is not changing her mind. Randyll Tarly, a former Tyrell bannerman, refuses to bow to Daenerys, as he considers her a foreign invader. His moron son Rickon – Dickon – joins his father, and one “Dracarys” later and they’re both toast. Anyone who wasn’t already on his knees quickly bent after seeing that. This doesn’t actually fall in line with Daenerys’ desired image as the peace-loving ruler, does it? Looks pretty bad actually.

Back at the Red Keep, Jaime goes to Cersei and tells her there’s no way they’re winning against dragons; plus, they are no match for the Dothraki hordes. He also reveals that it was Olenna Tyrell who killed Joffrey, not Tyrion. This pisses Cersei off because she wanted Olenna to die screaming, but Jaime had insisted on peaceful poison instead.

Back at Dragonstone, Jon Snow watches as Daenerys returns with Drogon. The dragon growls at first at Jon, but then leans in really close, letting the King in the North touch him. That’s right, that dragon recognizes who Jon is!!! She asks Jon about what Davos had said about him taking a knife to the heart for his people, but he brushes it off as nothing. Just then, Jorah returns! She’s so thrilled to see her old friend and advisor, and well, he loves the hell out of her. She introduces Jorah to Jon — there seems to be some tension there, some jealousy for Daenerys’ affections perhaps?

Next up, Bran wargs into a raven and sees the Night King and the White Walkers marching — time to send some warnings!

At the Citadel, Sam overhears the maesters talking about Bran’s message about the coming of the White Walkers. The maesters think it might be a trick, but Sam vouches for Bran, saying he survived for years beyond the Wall — they need to listen to his warning. The maesters are dismissive, as usual, but the archmaester says he will send a message to Winterfell for clarification. When Sam leaves, they mention how his father and brother were just burned alive; the archmaester didn’t have the heart to tell him yet. Will Sam even care? Perhaps he’d feel bad for his brother, but his father treated him like shit.

Later, we see Tyrion and Varys talking about their concern for Daenerys’ recent behavior, and Varys recounts how he watched as her father, the Mad King, burned people alive.

In the war room, Jon reads the message that came for him: The presumed dead Arya and Bran are alive and at Winterfell, and Bran has seen the Night King and his army of the dead marching on them. Here’s where these geniuses come up with what might be the stupidest plan ever concocted on Game Of Thrones: Jon and company will go kidnap a White Walker to bring to Cersei in King’s Landing to prove to her that they are real, not a myth like she believes. But first, Tyrion and Davos will sneak into King’s Landing for a meeting with Jaime, to get him to convince Cersei to meet with them (when they have the walker). Oh my god, how fucking stupid!!!!!

Listen, Daenerys obviously now believes the undead threat is real, which is why she let Jon go, and without having him bend the knee to her. So, why the hell can’t she just fly one of her dragons over the Wall to where the army of the dead is marching, give a “Dracarys,” and burn those fuckers down? THE END. Since she would be the savior of all humanity, Jon would owe her and can easily bend the knee to her and become Warden of the North, as the Starks have been for centuries.

But no, off Tyrion goes to have Davos smuggle him into King’s Landing, where Bronn sets up a secret meeting for Tyrion with his brother Jaime. He delivers the message from Daenerys, but we don’t get to hear what the “conditions” are that Cersei must meet. Meanwhile, Davos takes a stroll down to Flea Bottom to find Gendry — the only surviving bastard child of the late King Robert Bartheon, who has been hiding under Cersei’s nose all this time. Gendry is ready to leave with Davos and he brings a huge war hammer with him, that he later uses to kill two City Watch guards who become suspicious of them after spotting Tyrion.

Jaime then goes to Cersei to tell her about the meeting – but she already knows, and she knows it was Bronn who set it up. Don’t expect Bronn to live much longer. Jaime says that Daenerys wants an armistice because the army of the dead is marching on the Seven Kingdoms right now. Surprisingly, Cersei thinks an arrangement with the Dragon Queen might be beneficial to them right now. She then reveals that she is pregnant with Jaime’s baby!!! AND, she plans on telling everyone that he is the father. She’s said it recently and reiterated that she is queen and she doesn’t care who knows about their love. Jaime is so happy. They kiss and then she tells him, “Never betray me again.” Umm, we know he’s totally going to.

Back at Winterfell, Arya witnesses the Northern lords complaining to Sansa about how Jon should be there. They also basically say they’d rather follow her. Arya later brings this up to Sansa, saying she didn’t outright defend Jon to the Lords. Sansa’s excuse is that she’s trying to keep them as allies. Arya thinks it’s because Sansa really does want the power, and accuses her sister of not wanting Jon to return. The tension between the two is very strong now that the delight from their reunion has dissipated. And it’s going to get MUCH worse real soon, because Littlefinger has, once again, set events in motion. He knew that Arya was spying on him, so he purposely left something for her to find: It’s the scroll that Cersei had Sansa write to Robb back when Joffrey was King. In it, Sansa calls their father a trailer who wanted to overtake the throne, and beseeches her brother to relinquish his title as King in the North and come to King’s Landing to bend the knee to Joffrey. Littlefinger doesn’t want Sansa to have any allies aside from him, because he really wants to be King, and plans on doing so through Sansa. He can’t have someone like Arya around Sansa because it will interfere with his plans.

On Dragonstone, Daenerys goes to say good-bye again to Jorah, who is joining Jon on the stupidest mission ever. Jon tells her that if he doesn’t return then at least she won’t have to deal with a “King in the North” anymore; she replies that she was getting used to him. Finally here we see these two look at each other like there’s something there – a spark! Davos is bringing Gendry on the mission to Eastwatch, where Jon and crew will then set out beyond the Wall. Instead of hiding his identity, Gendry tells Jon right away that he is Robert’s bastard son and the two talk about how their fathers were best friends. When Jon and crew get to Eastwatch, they tell Tormund their plan. As always, Tormund steals every scene he’s in. When he’s told they need the walker, he asks which queen they have to convince: The one with the dragons or the one who fucks her brother? HA HA HA HA! The Wildling then says there are three men there who want to go beyond the wall — it’s The Hound and the two guys he’s traveling with from the Brotherhood Without Banners, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. When Gendry sees the Brotherhood dudes, he flips out, saying not to trust them, because they sold him to the Red Witch to be murdered. But the men insist now that they are all on the same side, and Jon agrees. “How can we be?” Gendry asks. “We’re all breathing,” Jon replies. It’s the living vs. the dead from now on, and the men set out beyond the Wall on their fool mission.

But now here’s the biggest bombshell of the episode: Sam is doing his punishment writing, while Gilly reads from one of the historical records kept by the High Septon Maynard. She comes upon a word she’s unfamiliar with: annulment. After Sam explains what that means, she casually mentions that Maynard writes that he granted an annulment to Prince “Ragger” — that’s how she says it — and then remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne. Umm…. HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s talking about Rhaegar Targaryen — older brother of Daenerys — having his marriage to Elia Martell annulled and then immediately marrying Lyanna Stark, who we learned last season are Jon Snow’s real parents. We had also learned that Jon was born in Dorne, and Lyanna’s brother Ned found her there at the Tower of Joy as she was dying in childbirth and took Jon as his own. That means that when Jon was born, he was NOT a bastard. He is the legitimate son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, who was at the time the eldest son and heir-apparent to then King Aerys II Targaryen, the Mad King. That also makes him a true-born Stark. And, it likely makes him the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms, if this universe follows a similar rule as the British royal order of succession, which would be Aerys II > Rhaegar > Rhaegar’s children (his two children with Elia were killed), THEN Rhaegar’s siblings.

In their exchange, it doesn’t seem like Sam picked up on the significance of Gilly’s finding, and I guess he’d have no real reason to — he has no idea about Jon’s true heritage. But now we know that Gilly and Sam have this information. After this, Sam starts ranting about how the Maesters have him recording nonsense, while the useful information about how to defeat the White Walkers is probably right there. Frustrated, he packs up Gilly and baby Sam, along with a bunch of books and scrolls he steals from the library and sets out to leave the Citadel. Gilly asks if this is really what he wants to do, considering how much he had always wanted to become a Maester. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of other men,” he tells her before they ride off. Sam has become a man of action.

Wow wow wow! That whole annulment thing came out of nowhere. The story in Westerosi history is that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna, who was betrothed to Robert Baratheon, and this is what prompted Robert’s Rebellion, which led to the overthrowing of the Mad King and Robert’s subsequent crowning. But it seems now like Rhaegar and Lyanna fell in love and conceived Jon, with plans to be together as a family. But Robert killed Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, while Lyanna died in childbirth.

So, that second bombshell, that Cersei is pregnant. Is she really? I mean, it makes sense that she would want to continue the Lannister line, especially since Jaime had previously alluded to not being very motivated to run the kingdom since they no longer had any heirs. Before Cersei gives Jaime the news, she was talking to Qyburn – could it be that Qyburn is helping her fake a pregnancy? Or, possibly it could be thanks to Qyburn that she’s pregnant, like he’s been giving her fertility treatments or maybe found a way to impregnate her somehow. I mean, the guy is a mad scientist and he was able to bring the Mountain back to life — he’s got mad skills.

As for Arya, what will she do with this information about her sister? The message makes it seems like Sansa was the true traitor to her family. When the sisters were last together many years ago, Sansa was totally enamored with Joffrey, who she had been promised to. She even revealed to the Lannisters her father’s plans to secretly leave King’s Landing, which is what led to not only his death, but that of Arya’s swordfighting teacher Syrio. Arya doesn’t know Sansa, Lady of Winterfell — and truthfully, neither do we. She’s been under the tutelage of people like Cersei and Littlefinger for so long, it’s hard to know if the Stark decency will win out in the end.

Bummer: Arya and Gendry did not get to reunite!!! Hopefully that will happen this season, and they’ll fall in love like we all hoped they would. Last time they saw each other, Arya was still a young girl, but Gendry really cared about her. Now that she’s a woman, I can’t imagine the two of them not ending up together.

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  • ptjackson

    Thanks for this awesome summary! I learned some details i missed during the episode!

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