Well. I didn’t think it was possible. I really didn’t but Eastwatch did the unthinkable, topping GoT’s roster as one of the most shocking episodes to date.
BEWARE MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW-YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
We get the answer to our [who came through at the clutch for Jaime] question when the scene opens up to Bronn pulling the Kingslayer from the depths of the river. Not surprising, Jaime’s too pivotal to the game to’ve been taken out so easily.
Enter Tyrion who walks among the carnage of the battle. It’s as if he’s in disbelief. The field is decimated. The bodies are decimated. The horses and wagons?
The few that are left gather before Dany, Drogon chillin’ in the background like a Russian bodyguard. It’s clear that they’re terrified. Not sure of what will happen next. Can’t blame them, they just witnessed the bulk of their numbers go up in a Westerosi pyrotechnics show. Dany assures them she means no harm. That she’s nothing like Cersei– I mean yeah she just charbroiled their crew
But it’s all good.
Oh, and ya’ll should probably get on those knees.
Some are quick to follow command. The others that are more stubborn get a loud reminder from Drogon. Proving that dragons aren’t just ravenous reptiles but rather intelligent cognizant beings, able to understand the words and world around them.
The last of the pig-headed Lannister crew are the Tarly’s: Rickon and Papa Randyll. He refuses to bend the knee, it isn’t until he starts talking that we realize his defiance is less about loyalty to Cersei but about the principle of the matter (with a touch of racism against the Dothraki). He makes his choice but he lives long enough to see his son volunteer himself up for the roast. And this is where we leave them, Dany takes no prisoners even at the passionate behest of Tyrion. He implores that there must be another decision. I completely understand why Tyrion is so stressed out. He just witnessed a mass bonfire just a few moments before so he has a good idea what the Tarly’s are about to go through. But Dany gives zero fucks. They’ve made their choice and with her signature line, ‘Dracarys’ they go up in smoke.
Here is where I see both sides of the coin. On one hand, It feels like Daenerys can’t escape her genetics. She’s going mad, just like dear old dad. Unnecessarily ruthless, taking out people she could have spared. I get it. She’s supposed to be the savior but here she is, responsible for all this death. Almost like Cersei, right?
Exactly. This was when I realized what the producers were doing. Drawing parallels but not necessarily to highlight the birth of a villain so to speak. This is tactical. To display how Dany isn’t as neonate to war as she seems. She has had to change her mentality to synch with Cersei’s thinking. She has to, If she doesn’t then she’s the weak link in the chain. Cersei is free because of the fact that she has no holds barred when it comes to what she will do to win. Nice guys finish last, especially in the game of thrones. At this point, caring about what anyone thinks, even if it’s her hand thinking she’s nuts is of no consequence. Dany doesn’t care what you think, the only thing she cares about is that you know she’s Queen. In all honesty I don’t believe that she wanted to kill the two men. She gave them a choice. She meant what she said. There lies the stark difference between her and the oldest Lannister. Where Cersei relishes the pain people suffer at her hands, Dany passes the sentence, swings the sword a moves on. Oh you have a problem with serving me? You can serve these flames instead.
The drama continues when we see jaime arrive at Kings Landing. Cersei asks what happened, and little brother fills her in on the details. Tells her the Dothraki not only murked them, but had fun while doing so. Reminds her of how many dragons Dany has, and drops a bomb: that Olenna did the deed, taking out sadistic psychopath Joffrey. Cersei seethes at the news, irate that she didn’t have the pleasure to have her die screaming. And we get a first hand look at why Olenna was the real OG. Even in death she’s winning.
Dragonstone sees some action when Khaleesi comes home. She rolls up on Jon who waits on a cliff. It looks as though Drogon is getting ready to go for the kill, but something else entirely ends up happening— more confirmation that R=L-J is a thing. Jon Snow is a Targaryen and with the reality that Drogon doesn’t trip when Jon tries to pet him, it’s only a matter of time before he/everyone finds out.
Dany’s expression is ambiguous, It can’t be told if she’s threatened, intrigued or confused. When Jon asks her what she’s been up to she tells him there’s been a significant population decline on the Lannister side. He quips it didn’t take long, hinting at his disapproval but like I said: Dany doesn’t care about anything. When she inquires as to how he appreciates her baby dragon, Jon is honest, saying they’re magnificent beasts. She corrects him, reminding him that she sees him and his brothers as her children. (NOTE: BLATANT foreshadowing here. Cersei’s weakness was her children and now they’re gone… for the most part making her virtually unstoppable. Dany doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses…unless of course you count her kids. Just some food for thought.)
Up North Bran’s in full warging mode in the Weirwood forest. He’s now taking flight in an Unkindness of Ravens where he witnesses something egregiously eerie. The army of the dead heading down towards Eastwatch by-the-sea
Over at the Citadel Sam and company are making a few discoveries. One, that the threat of the dead may very well be real. Two, that Sam is wasting his time with a bunch of skeptical intellectuals, no matter how reputable they are. And three, that a rather meticulous maester performed a rather convenient annulment of a marriage for a prince “Ragger” performed simultaneously with a marriage after. This discovery is made by Gilly, who is now hooked on phonics but it’s brushed over by Sam in his frustration. I’ll tell you right now though, this girl right here caught it and was fist pumping like a champ. Another shameless plug at Jon’s lineage.
Master of whispers makes a resurgence in the throne room of Dragonstone. Him and Tyrion drink and share things, mainly how to get Dany to chill. Her machinations are beginning to look rather Aerys-esque and it could only get worse if they [Tyrion in particular] don’t find a way to get her to relax.
At the round table, thing are getting heavy when the threat in the north reaches the south by Raven. Jon gets good news and bad news. The good news? Bran’s alive and so is Arya. Long story short he needs to go home STAT. But since the war with Cersei is still a thing, perhaps a standstill for the sake of larger issues?
They begin to try to find an alternative. Bring the dead to Cersei, proof is the only thing that will convince her the stories aren’t just fairy tales, it’s real and it’s about to give them all a nasty case of frostbite.
Cue Jorah, who has now entered back into his honored position in the friend-zone. He offers himself up to go grab one of the wights, for Khalessi. To prove his love and all. Shoulda known better. It seems valiant, until Jon pipes up that is. The queen’s attention switches to him when he recaps what the Whitewalkers are like and assumes the role o leader in the expedition to grab one. Dany hastily replies I did not give you permission to leave and Jon quickly reminds her who the fuck she’s talking to. A KING. THE king in the North and he doesn’t need her damn permission.
She might want to ask the night king for a bit of ice for that burn.
It only seems to turn her on however, and the atmosphere is potent with tension.. of the sexual variety. Jorah sees what we all see as an audience, no doubt he’s feeling the threat of competition. Jon could care less, and Dany seems to be drawn to the challenge Jon represents. I can’t say I didn’t see this one coming, I’m just hoping that it doesn’t play out too predictably.
Up at Winterfell, trouble is brewing. First, the Northmen prove that separation anxiety is at an all time high. Addressing their complaints to Sansa. The suggest perhaps they should have made her queen but she diplomatically shuts them down, reminding them that Jon and only Jon is their sovereign. Arya observes all of this and does a little confronting of her own. She suggests that Sansa might enjoy the fact that she has the power even at the expense of Jon’s honor.
The problem is only exacerbated by LF, still chillin’ at the northern capital pulling all the deceptive strings. What seems like a sting operation on Arya’s end turns out to be a classic bait and switch. Baelish allows her to see just enough of him and hear just enough to plant seeds of doubt in her mind. Particularly towards Sansa with a letter he allows her to come across.
The few phrases we can make out here — “swear fealty to King Joffrey” and “tried to steal his throne” — it brings some clarity as to just what this is. A letter Sansa sent to her family under duress, partially at Littlefinger’s own behest/pressure, while she and Ned were Cersei’s prisoners back in season one. The exact text of the letter was never read on screen back then, but the sum of it appeared to be that Ned had been arrested for treason and that the Starks should come to King’s Landing and swear their loyalty to Joffrey. When our favorite northern family received it back in season one, it’s quickly dismissed as Cersei’s words and not Sansa’s own. But Arya isn’t aware of all this backstory and seeing this letter could worsen the doubts she already has about her sister’s ambitions.
This only proves that though he’s a real scumbag, it’s why Petyr is still a player in the game. We’ll just have to see how this goes.
HBO/the showrunners remind us again of the unusual and unrealistic speed of things here when Davos and Tyrion arrive in Kings Landing. We’re in the dragon pits when Jaime comes across is younger brother for the first time in years. There’s still bitterness there, at least on Jaime’s end. He’s still not over Tyrion taking papa Tywin out with a crossbow while he was taking care of business on a chamber pot. But Tyrion gets to the point, they have bigger problems than petty grudges. He suggest an armistice, reminds Jaime that Daenerys, his queen is not her father (another nod at foreshadowing here. We’ve been reminded of this fact constantly this season and if I know anything about GoT, that means it will be significant, if not now then later.)
In Flea Bottom, another reunion takes place. A face we haven’t seen since he was popped on a boat a few seasons ago. Gendry Baratheon, Rob Baratheon’s bastard son is making swords and swinging hammers. All that rowing has got his arms looking fit so Davos proposes he join the squad. Gendry, sick of his station as a blacksmith cosigns immediately. “Leggo” he says.
On the beach, trouble shows up in the guise of two guards. Silver-tongued Davos offers the boys an aphrodisiac: ‘fermented crab’ which in layman’s terms is Westerosi Viagra to throw them off their scent. It almost works until Tyrion shows, and the guards aren’t as thick as they look. The recognize him, prep to take him, but Gendry makes us remember the name. True to Baratheon form he’s all brawn, putting the war hammer to use, taking the guards out with only two swings.
In the queen’s quarters, Jaime delivers the news that Tyrion and he have met. But Cersei is not surprised. She knew all along. She allowed it to happen because she has something up her sleeve as well as something up her uterus. More of Jaime’s incestuous spawn. Will the people cosign? Probably not but Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.
Just when you thought it was over, the cycle continues.
But something about the scene felt foreboding rather than anything else, Especially with the closing line “never betray me again.” I get the feeling it’s only a matter of time before we see mad queen tendencies arise.
Gendry and Jon meet at Dragonstone. I love this. Especially considering the history the two men’s fathers had. Best friends with bastards sons. You see the similarities between the two, both headstrong and honest. They don’t sugar coat anything and get straight to the point. Hence, why they’ve barely passed pleasantries when Gendry volunteers to join Jon on his journey. The King in the North agrees. “Nobody mind me,” an overruled Davos says. “All I’ve ever done is live to a ripe old age.” Clearly salty but at an impasse, the party including Jon, Jorah, Davos and Gendry, make their way off.
At Eastwatch by-the-Sea, we enter the Wildlings holding down the fort, literally. Tormund’s first question to Jon is “where Brienne at?” (Ha!) Otherwise, he thinks Jon is as mad as his grandfather, he can’t believe he wants to go north of The Wall again. Jon is adamant and then some, so Tormund concedes. He’s always been a ride or die. It’s time to introduce them to some of Eastwatch’s current prisoners, who also want to go north: The Hound, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion. Gendry is, understandably, wary of anyone who claims to be guided by the Lord of Light. We remember that little scene with the leeches a few seasons back. But Jon argues that they’re all on the same side — “we’re all breathing”
The men squad up, all seven of their motley crew head out of the gates and into the white.
This episode was definitely a perfect buffer to what will happen next week. The showrunners are tying up loose ends effectively, bringing everything together in this penultimate season. I am a bit hesitant to say I approve of the speed of it all. Though the content is rich, it seems a bit rushed. A lot of information is being thrown at the audience at once and it takes a few pauses and rewinds to process all of the juiciness that happens. But hey like I said, not complaining. With all the discoveries made last night, one thing can be said for sure in regard to the next two episodes:
Bad things are coming.
Be sure to check out a sneak peak of episode 6 below!