Game of Thrones season 7, episode 5 recap: Eastwatch

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister – Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO via HBO Media Relations

Game of Thrones gave us an episode full of revelations, returns, reunions and responsibility. So what went down in “Eastwatch”?

Game of Thrones has worked to establish very specific themes each season. Season 6 was grounded in the idea of going home and we saw that theme play out from episode to episode. Building on that framework Season 7 has focused heavily on the idea of family and “Eastwatch” drove the point home like only the episode before the penultimate episode could do.

It’s crazy, we reached the halfway point last week and we’re already gearing up for the finale. Not that every episode this season hasn’t felt like it could have operated as its own finale. The premiere was practically a stand-alone episode all unto itself. In fact so much has happened in the past five episodes it’s hard to believe that a few short weeks ago we were just getting started. I suppose it’s to be expected as a strange compromise – a shorter season but a lot less exposition and filler. To that point “Eastwatch” was insanely full and that was with it ending just before the 60 minute mark.

When I sat down to write this recap I kept thinking about how last week’s episode ended with me yelling at Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) for nearly getting himself killed! Conversely Episode 5 was lighter in tone and that family theme wrapped itself around the episode and kept us warm even as the final moments threatened us with the reality that winter is really here and The Great War is the only war worth fighting.

“East watch” felt more like a Friends episode to me and I’m tempted to refer to it as “The One Where Everyone Meets Everyone.” And as silly as that might sound that’s pretty close to reality but I’m totally getting ahead of myself.

Eastwatch Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5

A

This episode was almost an A+ for sooo many reasons but I have very strict stipulations about what warrants an A+ and I there was not nearly enough Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) for that. Also, despite being chock full of moments I could honestly rewatch right up until next week there was some stuff that disappointed me. And I can feel the rant coming on so let’s go ahead and get on with that spoiler warning.

This is the part where I tell you that “Spoilers are coming” (or should we start saying “Spoilers are here?”). So if that’s something you want to avoid you should probably stop reading now. To protect your potentially unsullied eyes I’ve included a fun video! Please enjoy the delightful Gwendoline Christie laughing hysterically at Nikolaj’s suggestion that Jaime would kill Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), given what we now know! For everyone else, grab your hammer, there’s a ton of episode to chisel away and something about abs…Yeah, let’s go talk about —

And so our watch begins.

Because to the regular format this week with locations instead of people because this episode was literally all over the place

King’s Landing

Let’s just get everything that happens here out of the way because the rest of the episode discussion hinges on so much of it. We didn’t really spend a lot of time here but the amount we did was narratively significant.

This episode did not keep us waiting! Jaime and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) emerge from the strange depths of the lake on the adjacent bank. Sadly, Jaime isn’t deterred from returning to his sister after his near death experience. He wants to figure out a way to work with Dany but Cersei (Lena Headey) would rather die fighting. She’s aware of her shaky claim and Dany’s dragons make her a formidable threat. There doesn’t seem to be many choices.

Luckily Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) shows up and he and Jaime have a secret meeting. Despite the latter’s defense of his brother to Cersei moments earlier, he’s cold to Tyrion, though that seems to soften after he hears out the idea of an armistice while they sort out the problem with the White Walkers.

Jaime comes to his sister with the idea and she’s seemed to have a change of heart. She’s interested in hearing out the terms and might even be interested in the Army of the Dead. Or so she’ll have us believe. She’s also aware that Bronn arranged a secret meeting behind Jaime’s back and wonders if he’ll punish the sellsword for betraying him because she knows everything (probably in part thanks to her constant handmaid). Jaime looks confused but Cersei reveals that she’s pregnant [Insert a Telenovela level dramatic reaction here] and then hugs her brother-lover and threatens him should he ever betray her again.

Cersei’s definition of betrayal is interesting because she seems to feel Tommen’s suicide was a personal affront to her. There’s not really any logic to the idea except that it’s a coping mechanism because I’m pretty sure if she thinks too hard she’ll fall apart. There is reason to see Tommen’s death as a betrayal in the sense that he robbed Cersei of her ability to mother, which is her only redeeming quality.

What’s alarming now is she hasn’t really shown any interest in having more children. In fact, I think she’s a dirty liar and Jaime’s face when she threatened him said it all. He was so happy to hear it, but it’s hard to trust her and I’m hoping he’ll finally see how she’s manipulating him. OMG please let Jaime go forth and be the character he’s supposed to be already!!!

Granted, this seemed directly intent on positioning Jaime as the Valonqar. That’s no surprise but I want my redemption arc because he’s so much better than this and I don’t understand why these writing choices were made and I can only hope it works out in the end because right now it looks so bad. And I’m seriously mad about it and I won’t be happy until Jaime is in Brienne’s arms.

Anyway, Cersei doesn’t actually know everything because if she did she’d be able to guess who’s back! Back again! Gentry’s (Joe Dempsie) back! Tell your friends (I won’t apologize for that, that song is applicable to so many things)! Actually he’s been in Flea Bottom this whole time. Sneaky sneaky Game of Thrones. So like, he was there when Cersei took her Walk of Shame. And when the Sept blew up. I mean not actually there but he wasn’t floating around the middle of the Blackwater like we thought. Instead he was being a blacksmith all inconspicuous.

Davos (Liam Cunningham) makes the whole scene even better with his “Thought you were still rowin'” line. Leave to the Onion Knight to execute the most perfect line of meta-dialogue. I certainly appreciated it amid my incessantly squeeing. And there’s so much more to discuss about Gendry!

Dragonstone

Many things happen here in this episode.

Dany returns from Highgarden after forcing the Lannister army to bend the knee. She burns Dickon (Tom Hopper) and Randyll Tarly (James Faulkner) when they refuse, which essentially puts an end to another noble House – not that Sam (John Bradley-West) doesn’t count but he’s technically in The Watch and isn’t allowed to own land.

Anyway, Dany returns and Jon has an up-close and personal official introduction with Drogon. He takes off his glove to pet the dragon and the whole thing is incredibly breath-taking. I talk about it at more in-depth here. But going right along with the family theme, this was no ordinary dragon encounter.

She also asks Jon about what Davos said about him taking a knife in the heart. Jon brushes it off that he got carried away and Dany is about to press on when none other that Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) returns to his Queen. The reunion, however, is short-lived when he volunteers to go with Jon to Eastwatch to deal with the White Walkers heading there.

The hope is to convince Cersei that there’s a bigger threat than maintaining the Iron Throne so they want to bring back one of the Others (ugh I kind of wish the show used this term instead of White Walkers because this is getting very The Walking Dead) to prove their existence. Tyrion (after speaking with Varys (Conleth Hill) and drinking their feelings) feels that he’s the perfect envoy to treaty with Jaime. It works and then it’s just a matter of figuring out who will go. Dany tries to be petty and threaten Jon that she hasn’t given him permission to leave and he goes off about how he doesn’t need her permission because he’s a king too.

The Jon and Gendry meeting is probably my most favorite part of the whole episode. They’re basically instant best friends. I’m sad that he didn’t mention Arya (Maisie Williams) but we’ll save that and all the tears for the reunion. Assuming he and Jon survive, of course (OMG they better!).

Winterfell

Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is scheming and seems to be leading Arya to mistrust her sister. He wants to prevent the sisterly bond from excluding him. He’s pulling all the strings and while it looked like Arya had a close eye on him, he appears to have an even closer eye on her. But I’m fairly sure he’s underestimating Arya, which is good because it gives the sisters and opportunity to create their own plot.

Sansa (Sophie Turner) does her best to run the castle while Jon has chosen to lead his ragtag group of men into battle. Arya starts an argument with her, questioning Sansa’s motives. The two sisters have always had a contentious relationship but there’s no reason to lose hope that they won’t sort this out.

Eastwatch

Considering it’s the episode’s namesake we don’t actually see much of the location. Jon, Jorah and Gendry arrive to convince Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) as well and who else happens to be there? None other than what’s left of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Everyone argues because they all hate each other really but Jon, the uniting force that he is says they’ll all fight together because they’re all on the same side aka the side of the living.

Three-Eyed Raven Observations:

  • I’m assuming that Missandei and Theon were both still at Dragonstone but just unseen? There was no mention of either of them, which was curious.
  • Davos is the funniest and I love him more and more each episode. His reaction when Gendry doesn’t listen to his advice to keep his identity secret is hilarious! Ugh I hope he makes it to the end!
  • Jon knows that Arya and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) are alive and well at Winterfell!
  • Sam decided to leave the Citadel because he’s tired of reading about adventures of other men but I didn’t give him his own section to talk about it because I’m mad that he interrupted Gilly (Hannah Murray) when she was just about to tell us the most interesting thing ever!
  • JON IS A TRUE-BORN TARGARYEN!
  • For the record, I am not suggesting that Tormund should die. I’m suggesting that he might die. And like if he does it also might put an end to the Torienne garbage. He called her “The big woman” come on! He can’t even learn her name?! Gross.
  • Death Scorecard: Two Tarlys and two Lannister soldiers.
  • Ice Dragon: Jury is still out on if this is going to be a thing.
  • Gendry Watch: And so this watch has ended! He’s returned to us! I hope he takes his shirt off out of instinct. Like he just sees Arya and we’re all crying and hysterical and somewhere in-between our blinking tears he just takes off his shirt. Should I start a Gendry ab watch?
  • Reunions: We’ve still got Gendry/Arya, Jon/Arya, I’m rooting for the The Hound (Rory McCann) to reunite with both Stark girls!
  • Clegane Bowl: The Hound cannot die next week, he’s got unfinished business and if they head to King’s Landing I have no doubt he’ll be with the party that goes!
  • I am starting a campaign for a new ship. I call it Sandrick. Sansa and Podrick (Daniel Portman) would make such a nice couple! He’d be so sweet and he has magic in bed. And I mean really, Sansa – when she’s ready – deserves several 100 orgasms. I mean she does like “nice things.”

This episode was so exhilarating I feel like I’m missing somethings, if so I apologize. It’s an ever onward march through season 7 of Game of Thrones. And there’s no turning back!

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