Game Of Thrones S7 E5 Recap: 10 Things That Left Us Shook In ‘Eastwatch’
Plot twists are coming…
This week’s GoT didn’t feature any huge set-pieces, but for book fans it was as significan AND shocking as last week’s big battle - mainly because it’s packed with major revelations and massive set-ups. We’ll get to the reasons why in a moment, but before that, we want to resolve last week’s cliffhanger…
Last week’s cliffhanger was resolved pretty instantly, which made the two people on the planet who actually thought the Game Of Thrones showrunners would kill off Cersei’s squeeze / sibling in such a casual manner feel *instantly* better. As for us, we’re always pleased to see Jaime, whether he’s soaking wet / terrified of dragons or not.
tyrion’s not happy
Tyrion’s gone on quite a journey over the course of this show - going from irresponsible drunk, to genius battle tactician, to feeling glum, to being Hand of the dragon queen, to (in this episode) transforming into someone who’s weighed down by the horrors of war.
Whether he’s strolling through the consequences of last week’s awesome finale, or giving Dany side-eye while she’s handing out threats, Tyrion’s mood is the one to watch this week.
guys, we’re starting to worry about dany
Okay, so hear us out. We know the White Walkers are on the way (more of that in a little bit) and they’re going to be the proper villains of Game Of Thrones (probably, but knowing George RR Martin, they’ll turn out to be the goodies), but, to paraphrase Mitchell and Webb, is Dany a baddie? She’s obsessed with power (never a good thing in George RR Martin’s worlds), and, in this episode, she demonstrates she can be pretty merciless when it comes to achieving that power.
Whereas last week she seemed to aim her dragon fire mostly at wagons and stuff, here, she coldly (warmly?) executes Sam’s dad and brother because one of them’s a bit of a dick and the other one’s a bit of a Dickon. We’ve grown to like Dickon over the course of this short season (a brilliant achievement by the writers) and we’re sad to see him fry for refusing to bend the knee. His dad, not so much, but our point stands - is Dany evolving into this show’s next big bad?
It would be pretty bloody typical of this twist-filled show for Jon to have to team up with the White Walkers to defeat the mad queen in the final season.
Jaime comes back from the battlefield with tales of wild warriors who kill for sport, and a dragon who can shrug off scorpion bolts and doesn’t need to bother with his two back-up brothers... and her reaction? Let’s buy some mercenaries!
“We fight and die or submit and die, I know my choice - a soldier should know his,” she tells Jaimie, and we actually kind of get it.
This is Game Of Thrones’ brilliance in one scene - we sort of feel sorry for Cersei here. The last time she submitted to anyone it was the High Sparrow, that led to her experiencing “Shame, shame, shame” and what’s in Cersei’s imagination about what Dany has planned for her can only be worse.
As for the revelation that she’s pregnant again, with Jaime’s baby no less, well, we’re not sure if that’s real, or further game-playing. Either way, it’ll affect Jaime’s decision making from this point on.
is jon batman?
He’s dressed in black, he’s stood on the edge of something looking broody while what sounds like Hans Zimmer’s Batman theme plays on the soundtrack. Okay, so maybe this isn’t the best theory we’ve come up with this week, but it WOULD EXPLAIN A LOT.
Fair play to Kit Harington in this scene, the moment where Drogon decides to come and say hello is perfectly played, with Jon going from looking like he was glad he wore black trousers today to stroking the dragon’s face convincingly. Oh, and this brief bit will be significant for any book readers who still subscribe to the R + L = J equation - it certainly gave us shivers.
As for the moment later on in the show, that seemed to subtly suggest Jon might not be a bastard after all, well, that basically made us lose it, then cry, then jump up and down in excitement.
Can we take a quick moment to congratulate director Matt Shakman for another brilliantly directed episode? He was in charge of last week’s stunning events, and this week contains just as many clever decisions - Jorah could’ve entered this scene strolling up the hill, but Shakman goes for a perfectly timed block reveal from behind a Dothraki warrior, giving Jorah’s return the air of a magic trick. Now he’s here, we’re not sure how Mr Mormont’s going to feel about Dany’s burgeoning relationship with Jon Snow. But, from the looks of things, Jon’s more worried about Jorah, which proves he really does know nothing.
Still, Jon and Jorah will be hitting the road to try and grab a White to take to Cersei (which feels a tiny bit like the worst plan in the world, but we trust Tyrion so hopefully it’ll be okay) so they’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other... and gossip about their crush.
bran’s gone raven
Bran sends his raven mates to get a good look at the White Walker army, which is even more terrifyingly huge than the last time we saw it. Then, the Night’s King breaks Bran’s spell, which freaks him out enough to send a scroll to the Maesters at the Citadel, which directly leads to Sam having to break out his ‘This is super serious my dudes’ speech for the billionth time, which eventually causes him to leave the Citadel for good.
Bran also sends a bird to Dragonstone, which inspires Tyrion to volunteer to travel to King’s Landing to talk to Jaime, and to Jorah offering to help Jon catch a Wight. So, yeah, what we’re saying is Bran’s winged mates have set a LOT of big stuff in motion this week.
sansa and arya get pass agg
Well, that didn’t last long, Arya and Sansa are back to their season one dynamic with Arya being a bit of a tomboy tearaway (threatening to cut off people’s heads for insulting Jon / telling Sansa she’s being a princess), and Sansa basically telling her little sister she needs to grow up and be responsible. As much as we love Arya, we’re with Sansa this week - the North definitely needs to work together if they’re going to survive.
And Arya’s arrogance might cause some serious trouble for her later down the line - especially as she appears to fall into a Littlefinger trap that seems to be setting Sansa and Arya up for further conflict.
tyrion and jaime reunited
THIS IS HUGE. When Tyrion suggested going to speak to Jaimie we assumed it would be at least a couple of episodes before it happened, but then we realised this is Game Of Thrones season seven, where people can apparently teleport from one location to another (remember the earlier seasons, when people had to actually travel to places?) and before we could finish the thought, Bronn was already leading Jaime to his brother.
But however they got back together, we’re giddy that they did - we’ve missed this dynamic so much, and it didn’t disappoint, setting up a major plot point for the show, and potentially one of the biggest future meetings yet - Dany and Cersei. Oh, how we’d want to be a raven on the wall if that ever happens.
In arguably the most fan-pleasing moment in an episode full of them, Gendry - who’s become a running meme because the last time we saw him he was rowing, and, according to fans, has been rowing ever since - turned up in Flea Bottom, where he’s been carrying on with his former job as as a smith, because of course he has. As Davos puts it: “Thought you might still be rowing.”
But in an episode so fast-paced we can't quite cope, we’ve barely seen Gendry on dry-land before he was back in a rowboat, on his way to join Jon’s fight against the army of the dead.
There’s been a definite theme of history repeating itself this season, with call-backs and echoes throughout - so the sight of Robert Baratheon’s son joining Ned Stark’s bastard son (OR IS HE?) with hammer in hand, ready to go to war, has a lot of resonance.
Then, there’s just enough time for The Hound, Beric and Thoros to join the Avengers (Expendables?) style gang, and we’re all set up for next week - which will be VERY Wight heavy by the looks of things. We can’t wait!
- By Sam Ashurst @samashurst