Dear Game of Thrones, how do you go about topping an episode that had Arya sparring with Brienne, Dany asking Jon for advice, and ended with a dragon literally melting the faces of its audience and Lannister soldiers? Well, instead of literally melting faces you mentally melt them as “Eastwatch” really brought a slew of “holy crap” moments in what was an episode that was brilliantly paced, emotionally impactful, and incredibly significant to Thrones lore. It’s interesting with such a short season it seems that there would be no time for breathers. Even with a ten episode season there’s little time but knowing that there only two episodes left in this season it didn’t seem likely as there is still so much to do. Upon first glance, it appears that “Eastwatch” was constructed to let the audience gather their breath after the decimation of the Lannister forces, and we couldn’t be more wrong. What “Eastwatch” lacked in action it made up for with tremendously huge impactful moments for the history of this show. There were reunions, returns, dragons, the wiping out of families, possible babies, the Magnificent Seven we’ve always wanted, and a throwaway line that changes and confirms everything we’ve thought about Jon Snow’s lineage. That’s right, I’m looking at you Gilly.
Let’s start there, with Gilly, as I felt that it was such a tremendous moment that got intentionally brushed aside as if it wasn’t that important. While Gilly is teaching herself to read she is going through a number of the old maester books and comes across a maester who kept track of everything. Literally. This guy was counting windows, stairs, and his bowel movements. Now that’s a dedication to the craft. It was easy to let this scene slide by as some comedic relief but things certainly turned real when Gilly missed pronounced Rhaeger’s name, a crafty way by show runners to slip this in under the radar, and mentioned how Maester Bowel Movement helped annul his marriage (to Elia Martell) and then secretly married him to… well, that’s where Sam kind of threw his hissy fit but we as hardcore fans know what’s up. Rhaeger essentially got a divorce so he could marry Lyanna Stark and together they conceived Jon. Which means that Jon isn’t even a bastard. Like, not even a little bit. He is legit royalty and I can’t help but think how oblivious Robert must have been to the fact that Lyanna and Rhaeger were in love. I think part of it is that machismo attitude and there was always a pigheadedness to Robert, but man does this change Jon’s story a bit. The casual nature of the reveal had me slapping my girlfriend’s leg while throwing my hands to my head in disbelief.
And what of this pure, non-bastard Targaryen/Stark hybrid child, Jon Snow? This episode was filled with momentous Jon scenes that helped remind us why we love the King of the North so much. It’s easy to peg Jon as stubborn and in some ways naive, but as the show has progressed he has matured and met the challenges that Westeros has thrown at him. Coming face to face with Drogon was a scene filled with foreshadowing to Gilly’s reveal as well as stating that Jon isn’t afraid of much anymore. He’s willing to look unknown danger in the eye and face it head on. Who among us didn’t feel their heart in their chest as he placed his hand on Drogon’s snout only to have the dragon submit like a hippogriff that was just bowed to. Yes, I’m sure the dragon can sense that hidden Targaryen bloodline within Jon but it can also sense his well being and courage. Out of all the dragons, Drogon is the most unruly so the fact that he allows Jon to pet him is a big deal and don’t think it goes unnoticed by the Mother of Dragons. Although, if you listen carefully you can hear Ghost all the way in the North howling with jealousy.
This isn’t the only big moment for Jon though, Dany having returned from her victory at the Loot Train and burning two out of the three Tarly men finds herself in a position where she might be falling for the King of the North. There were tons of glances filled with longing and subtle comments that signified that not only does Daenerys admire and respect Jon but she also might be feeling something else that has been a bit foreign to her. Love. Yes, I know it’s gross and kind of squirmish but it’s also kind of cool in this super weird way. Even the reunion with Jorrah couldn’t derail these feelings, and much credit to Mormont, master of the friend zone, of noticing his queens feelings (even when she may not) and stepping quietly to the side so they could have their goodbye. I guess years of being overlooked will give you a sixth sense to moments like that.
Goodbye? That’s right, Jon has finally left Dragonstone and is headed to Eastwatch to go beyond the Wall to confront the White Walkers. In another awesome Jon Snow moment, Jon devises a plan and instead of sitting on the side lines he refuses for it to go into motion without leading the charge. It’s a very Ned Stark “he who places the punishment must carry it out” type mentality and further proof that Jon is the King we deserve. Good thing that for this mission he’ll be reunited with Tormund (!!!) and is bringing along the best Westeros version of Magnificent Seven one could hope for. Jon will be joined by a who’s who of badasses. We’re talking Master of the Friendzone Jorah Mormont, now fire lover the Hound, Tormund (!!!), Ser Beric and his fire sword, Thoros and his top knot, and Gendry… that’s right Gendry is back and he is ready to wield a hammer. Sick of being on the side lines, Gendry, who has been hiding in Kings Landing this entire time, is ready to contribute and do his part. Partly because he knows he’s destined for more than just forging steel and partly because of the relationship between Jon and his father. I for one was all about the return of Gendry and look forward to seeing what he brings to this narrative moving forward.
But what is the significance of this trip? Isn’t there a war being waged on the Seven Kingdoms? Well, yes but it seems that Jon has convinced Dany that this is the war and in order to win it there is no time for petty squabbles between those who wish to wear a crown. In order to prevent the Long Night a truce must be reached but Tyrion knows that there’s no way Cersei is going to go for it because she’s never believed in the stories of the White Walkers and the Night King. If they want to convince her then they’ll need proof and the Magnificent Seven look to bring back a White Walker or some other dead creature to prove to Cersei that this war is legit. But how could the idea of reaching a truce even be introduced? It’s not like Tyrion can just walk into Kings Landing and have a conversation with the Queen, who wants him dead for killing her son. Good thing Davos is such an awesome smuggler and Bronn is such a sneak because Tyrion and Jamie are reunited at long last, and after some confessions and tension, it seems that Tyrion’s humor is able to break the ice allowing Jamie (oh yeah, sorry, he’s alive folks) to listen and report back to Cersei.
Although, Cersei was already aware of this top secret meeting. Much like Varys, she has her own little birds and there isn’t much that happens in that city without her knowledge. Oddly enough, Cersei is really keen to the idea of meeting with the Dragon Queen and brokering some sort of truce. What? That sounds almost reasonable. What’s going on here? I’m sorry, what? Did Cerseie just imply that she’s pregnant with another one of Jamie’s children? Whaaaaaaat?! Allow me to be one of the first to call bullshit here as I suspect that this is just another manipulation ploy by the queen of manipulation. She even goes as far as promising Jamie that she’ll openly admit that he’s the father as well. Cersei plays on Jamie’s emotions like no one else can and I am beyond curious to see how this all plays out because there is no way that this child actually sees the light of day. I just can’t fathom a Westeros where this happens… again.
On top of all this pregnancy news, the idea of truce seems have nothing to do with the White Walkers but more to some kind of shady/evil plan of Cersei’s, I see you Qyburn. Yet the idea of truce opens the window to a couple of super exciting things. Thing one, it may cancel out the theory that Cersei and Jamie will not survive the end of this season and if a “truce” can be worked out there is a good chance that these characters will survive into season eight. Something I wouldn’t have thought was possible five episodes ago. Thing two, in a season filled with incredible meetings and reunions, could there be a more epic encounter than Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister?! Holy crap! What would that be like?!
Some quick thoughts before I let you guys go-
- The happy reunion between Sansa and Arya seems to be short lived as Arya seems to greatly disapprove of the way that Sansa governs. For starters, Sansa doesn’t stick up for Jon when his bannermen talk smack and Arya believes that Sansa just reeks of wanting to be in charge herself. There is a lot of mistrust here and it isn’t helped by Littlefinger at all who is looking to cause a discord between the two sisters. Why else set up that eleborate plan where Arya finds the note Sansa sent to Rob asking him to bend the knee to Joffery. It finally seems that we’re getting the Littlefinger of previous seasons here. I still don’t know what his end game is but it’s clear that he’s looking to isolate Sansa so the only person she has to turn to is him.
- Did anyone notice how quickly Sansa retreated to being a bratty child when confronting Arya? It seemed like seasons of progress were dismissed as she went into naggy, shut up, older sister mode. Sisters, am I right?
- Davos continues to be one of my favorite aspects of this show. All of his lines are perfectly timed and help to break tensions in the best ways possible. I don’t want to say that he’s become comedic relief, as that would be downgrading the importance of the character, but he has surely become incredibly important to bridging gaps. I also loved the wink and nod to the internet community with the row boat joke directed towards Gendry.
- We can no longer ignore the courage of Sam who not only stood up to the maesters as they received notice from Bran Stark about the Night King, but also took it among himself to break into the dark library, steal important books, and leave maester school to better serve the cause. While Sam may not view himself as a great man, he is surely on his way to becoming one. I love the progression in his courage and now with his father and brother dead, I wonder what Westeros has in store for Sam next.
- Tormund asking about the “big woman” was awesome. I have missed him and feel a bit more confident of his chances of survival now. There are plenty of other characters who can die beyond the Wall next week. Of course, I’m sure I just gave him the kiss of death.
- Does anyone else think that the White Walker or dead creature that gets brought to Cersei is going to be Jorah Mormont? There was something about his farewell to Daenerys that seemed like their final farewell. Not to mention his offer to help the Queen by bringing something back just reeked of ominous foreshadowing. I can’t take credit for this as it was my girlfriend who whispered this to me during the episode. If it’s true she gets full credit.
There you have it Geeklings. I know, that was a lot to unpack. What did you think of this weeks Game of Thrones? Were you shocked by Gilly’s reveal? Is Jon’s quest beyond the Wall doomed? Can there actually be a truce between Cersei and Dany? Is Cersei even pregnant? Sound off in the comments below. If you’d like to talk more Thrones with me then you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. See you guys later in the week with my episode preview but in the mean time try and remember the night is dark and full of terrors so believe in the buddy system.
Images from HBO
Kevin Carey is an
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