The fifth episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, titled “Eastwatch” brings a magnificent revelation for longtime fans. Read below to find out more! It should go without mention, but spoilers! Disclaimer: this show is clearly a brilliant generational production, so its scoring is relative to itself and not other shows. A 7 for a Game of Thrones episode is easily a 10 for any other show.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 Eastwatch Recap & Review
Any and all questions about the fate of Jamie Lannister are quickly abated as the show begins by him and Bronn emerging from the riverbank. How they could swim their way out in heavy armor, is a matter for the Seven to explain because we cannot. Bronn confronts Jamie’s idiocy on charging Daenerys right on with Drogon by her side and proceeds to make it clear he’s in this for the money and wants his debt paid by Jamie – but their friendship will quickly be at an end given this Dragon business.
Meanwhile, Tyrion walks amongst the remains of the once powerful Lannister army. This is a sobering and somewhat tender moment as we can see the conflict of emotion acted out convincingly by Peter Dinklage.
Further on, Daenerys has captured the remains of the broken army and surrounds them with her loyal Dothraki, whilst Drogon sits impressively on the background. We are all extremely relieved to see him doing well! Now the defeated armies face the choice almost every army in history has faced: surrender and bend the knee or die. The smart ones bend the knee, but Sam’s father lord Tarly is of inexplicable allegiances – quick to betray his oath to house Tyrel but now faithful to Cercei simply due to her being a local.
Daenerys has had an outstanding journey from her firsts attempts at freeing slaves and ruling with love, but has learned that men are ruled by fear more than love. She does not budge to Tyrion’s suggestions of leniency and impassively orders Drogon to roast them where they stand. The Tarly’s are brave in their demise, but they are now out of the game nonetheless. The steel of Emilia Clarke is well rounded in this scene, she does not look cruel but she does seem firm. Drogon makes the whole setting impressive and powerful, leading all other soldiers to bend their knees. Men are ruled by fear, and she just proved it again.
This season is moving scenes and travel much faster than the previous ones, perhaps due to the lack of book material to reference. Thus, the next setting takes us to King’s Landing and Jamie attempting to explain to Cercei that they cannot win, even with the Tyrell gold and mercenary armies. During the exchange, the revelation of Olenna’s part in Jeoffrey’s demise is dismissed by an always well-acted Cercei. I particularly enjoyed seeing the desperate plea on Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s eyes, which was a fantastic casting choice due to his capability to make the audience despise and love his character at the same time.
Of Targaryens and Dragons
Jon Snow stands atop a cliff and watches Daenerys fly back to Dragonstone, not expecting Drogon to pick to land right next to him. The audience already knows more than the two characters, and the CGI team did a fantastic job of creating meaningful and compelling tension for this scene. Dragons can smell a Targaryen, it seems, and Jon is brave and bold enough to extend his hand towards this flying killing machine of a beast. I suppose, if he was going to eat you he would have already.
We are thus treated to a tender moment, when the dragon allows Jon to touch him, and looks at him with the same acceptance that only a Targaryen could ask for. Daenerys is properly puzzled by this, and looks hopeful as she is now clearly warming up to Jon in ways that may make him bend the knee faster than you can say “hotsprings cave“. But he still thinks dragons are beasts, and to her, they are her beloved children. To me, they are my cats.
Either way, I’m calling it now we’ll see Jon riding Raegar sooner or later.
The conversation that follows is a very important one: can Jon condemn her use of violence when he just butchered Bolton and Northerners alike to reclaim Winterfell? To help others, one must be in a position of strength. This line of questioning is unfortunately cut short in what was a somewhat ham-fisted reunion with Jorah Mormont who is now cured and returned into the Queen’s service. A poor choice of setting and a wasted opportunity for two separately interesting scenarios, likely the result of budget constraints.
Can the hand move the head?
Tyrion Lannister didn’t like to see the Tarly’s burn. Of course, he doesn’t know that the same man has disowned his son for similar reasons to those of Tyrion’s father. Regardless, the behind-the-scenes of the game of thrones is apparent as Varys explains he was too complicit to the mad king’s decisions by not opposing them. But what can tyrion do? “I’m her Hand, not her head. I can’t make decisions for her.”
The follow-up discussion takes place at Dragonstone’s war table, where Jon receives a message from Bran about the incoming Undead Army, and the return of Arya and Bran. He announces he must return to the North, and Tyrion has his chance to be a worthy advisor to Daenerys and nods her in favor of allowing Jon to go. But for her armies to be able to assist on this threat, Cercei must be persuaded not to attempt to reclaim Dragonstone. An armstice while a larger enemy is dealt with is necessary.
Lannister Secret Meetings and who does Bronn really pull for?
Here, somehow, the cast manages to propose the insane narrative that a meeting with Cercei and a captured wight to prove their existence will be set up. This was one of the less convincing parts of this episode, and it felt as if the cast didn’t believe it a great idea either. Again, perhaps the rush to finish this season in 7 episodes is depraving us of important scenes and dialogue that could have made this madness seem more level-headed.
Davos continues his amazing feats of smuggling by sneaking Tyrion via dinghy all the way to the Blackwater Bay. Bronn has somehow heard of this plan and assist in facilitating a meeting by cheating Jamie to come to the basements of the Red Keep, where Tyrion presents his proposal on behalf of his queen.
The last Baratheon is back
Davos arrives at the Street of Steel to find Robert Baratheon’s bastard, Gendry, who he set free from the clutches of Melissandre many seasons ago. Gendry has grown bold and is eager to join Davos, and not scared to weild a large and deadly hammer to escape the inquisitive Gold Coats.
He is later unceremoniously made to meet with Jon Snow, and quickly reveals himself to be Robert’s bastard. This awkward and pointless introduction is not quite saved by the always perfect and humorous performance of Liam Cunningham. There’s just little to no explanation to the setting and setup to this moment, and the acting by Joe Dempsie seems forced and out of synch with the rest of the cast. Perhaps he’s been away so long that he’s forgotten some of the inner circle hints. Either way, the scene does not work, but it’s nice to see Baratheon and Stark rejoined.
Samwell cuts off the most important line ever uttered in the series
Samwell Tarly was a coward. He has always identified as one, and acted as one whenever possible. Weak, fat and feeble, his saving grace is his good heart and the desperate bravery of those who know they cannot win. We all love him for it because we know true courage is for those who are scared.
But he has had enough of the impartial ways of the Maesters, with their processes and histories that they claim to know of but seem to lack in passion for. Sam has seen the army of the dead, his real loyalty is to Jon, and is ready to speak up in front of the Archmaester and his board. John Bradley-West is once more a great delivery mechanism for the audience thoughts: “Do freaking something you bunch of old fools!”
We are then brought to Gilly, who is annoying Sam by reading random statistics from an old and forgotten diary by a High Septon who was fastidious enough to record his every bowel movement. He also recorded an “annulment” between “Reagar and Ellia and…” – Samwell cuts her off to go on a truly amazingly delivered rant that will have distracted the non-attentive viewers. Not me. Oh, no no.
WAIT WAIT WAIT… WHAT! WAIT WAIT WAAAAAAIT
Reagar DIVORCED Ellia Martell…. And married Lyanna Stark! So he’s not a child of rape (what everyone would be assuming if they didn’t read the books). He’s now also not a bastard born out of their unmarried union. He’s the actual true heir to the Seven Kingdoms after his father!
This is a huge revelation, because his claim to Targeryan blood would have been weaker than that of Daenerys. This brings in another interesting question to book readers, as there’s a certain member of the Golden Company parading another child of Reagar’s around … but hey surprise! He’s not the heir because of annulment!
Arya vs. Littlefinger
Sansa has taken to being political, which demands her not to betray her emotions and keep calm and clever. She is ruling on Jon’s stead, but the houses of the North may not be happy about his absence and are now effectively blowing smoke up her ass. Even as the trueborn Bran Stark sits by a tree… everyone has clearly forgotten how this inheritance business works.
Either way, we are returned to the excellent confrontations between Arya and Sansa. Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner have developed their characters to the point where if you pick a similar scene from Season One, and this one, you can actually see the difference. Arya knows how to read people, and is not a little bundle of anger: she has a vicious smile on the corner of her eye. Sansa is no longer a teenager dreaming of a prince and lemon pies, and is growing conniving as Cercei.
This is of course the doing of Littlefinger, so Arya begins spying on him. She discovers he is gathering information from the servants, having secretive meetings with Northern lords, and has had a special message delivered by the Maester himself. Arya successfully steals the message, which bears Sansa’s signature – unaware that Littlefinger set the whole thing up so that she would find this missive sent to Rob via Cercei on Season 1
“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne.
“The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”
Keep a Jamie baby
Cercei receives the news of Tyrion’s and Jamie’s meeting with outstanding calm, and is even agreeable to the idea of a truce. She is her father’s daughter, and will maneuver her way to defeat enemies who are superior to her (hint hint Red Wedding!).
Jamie has been seeing the crazy on her all along, but his love blinds him and his fate is now almost sealed as she reveals she’s pregnant with their child. She is ready to go public with it, but breaks the tender moment by warning her brother that she knows Bronn set the meeting up, and to “Never betray her again”.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks she’s lying, or maybe pregnant from someone else. I also cannot be the only one that wants Jamie to wake the hell up – and hopefully the confused and pained look on his face was a hint that perhaps he won’t be so stupid as he was before.
There and Back Again, by Jon Snow
The episode ends by bringing us back to the wall, and creating a strange fellowship that set forth on a quest into enemy lands. This sounds familiar…
Jon, Gendry, Davos and Jorah have arrived at the wall and it turns out that Tormund had captured the remains of the “Black Brotherhood”. United against a common enemy, this unlikely group sets off beyond the wall, Hound and all. Hopefully they won’t run into too many orcs.
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