Title: Game of Thrones: “Eastwatch”
Air Date: August 13, 2017
Before we begin – Yes, there are Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. I will not celebrate every twist and turn, but if we are going to talk about what we like, we have to discuss the great scenes. Stop reading if you do not like spoilers. You have been warned!
Read our reviews for earlier episodes this season:
- Season 7 Premiere: “Dragonstone“
- Episode 2: “Stormborn“
- Episode 3: “The Queen’s Justice“
- Episode 4: “The Spoils of War“
This review, like the episode, will be a bit sporadic. We had a lot of jumping from place to place. Strap in.
After a few heavy hitting episodes, we needed one of these. There were a few big moments in “Eastwatch,” but it seems to be setting up the last couple episodes of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Lots of talking, lots of moving pieces, a few character comebacks, and a massive battle on the way. Let’s see what we’ve got.
We started off with a rather infuriating detail: how did Bronn and Jaime sink so far, laden with armor, and swim away from the battle? Sometimes Game of Thrones stretches the limits of plausibility, and the fact that Jaime and Bronn just made it out of there with no issue, with Jaime in full plate armor, is absurd.
Bronn and Jaime escaped being taken captive, which is good for them. Randyll and Dickon (ha!) Tarly weren’t so lucky. They got torched alive in front of their soldiers, and we started to see even more cracks in the alliance between Tyrion and Daenerys. Tyrion does not like the direction his queen is headed, and Varys tries to convince him to intervene. Which again brings up the prospect of Varys not being 100% on Dany’s side, as he claims to be. This man never seems to tell the truth, and he keeps pledging his allegiance to the Dragon Queen. I would not be surprised if Varys has another layer to him.
And, once again, time is warped and Jaime is home. He reports to Cersei and tries to convince her that they cannot win a fight against the dragons. He also tells Cersei that Olenna killed Joffrey, not Tyrion.
These details change things.
Jaime wants Cersei to surrender to avoid unneeded casualties, but Cersei won’t have it. She wants to keep playing it smart. In my experiences as a bullied nerd, being “clever” eventually gives way to “if you think you’re so clever, how about you dodge this punch?” I can’t imagine Cersei’s strategy will hold up to dragon fire, but we will have to see.
Drogon returns Dany to Dragonstone and sniffs Jon. These two just need to get it on already. Not Jon and the dragon. Jon and his aunt.
Jorah Mormont came back to his queen, looking surprisingly well for someone who had all of his skin cut off. It was astounding that he did not mention the man who cured him, even though the first thing anyone would ask would be: “How did your terminal disease, the one that turns everyone into a shrieking monster, get cured?” Nope. Glad you’re back, Jorah. At least Dany hugged him. There was a bit of love for the old bear there.
Bran sent an army of ravens and saw… a lot of zombies. Like, Dawn of the Dead a lot of zombies. And then he wrote a raven to Oldtown. And Jon. Oldtown does not believe him, as the maesters sit around and laugh about zombies. Like, Dawn of the Dead zombies. Jon, however, has a plan: let’s appeal to Cersei’s merciful side. That will, as we all know, go very well. Jon decides that the only way to win Cersei over is by bringing her a (non)living creature from north of the wall. Meanwhile, they have to secure a meeting. And that brought the best part of the episode, as only the Onion Knight can smuggle Tyrion Lannister into King’s Landing.
Davos brings Tyrion to the capital and leaves for some business of his own. The team has somehow set up a meeting, through Bronn, for Jaime and Tyrion, further fueling the fire that there may be a spy in Daenerys’s camp. Tyrion pleads with Jaime to fight the army of the dead, and he brings the news to Cersei.
She tells Jaime that she’s pregnant.
These details change things.
Davos, meanwhile, heads back to Flea Bottom, where he finds Gendry. He even makes a joke that Gendry should still be rowing. Although, judging by the Game of Thrones timeline at this point, Gendry has probably rowed around the world fifteen times since we last saw him. Gendry grabs his hammer, bashes a few heads, and admits who he is to Jon. Jon, naturally, likes the man immediately. I love the idea that Gendry has been under our noses the entire time. Just… doing his thing. Hammering armor and weapons. Waiting to take revenge. Gendry is awesome.
This was an exposition-heavy episode. We got three very important details at the end, however. The first was not even realized by the smartest character on the show – Gilly tells Sam this: not only did Rhaegar Targaryen get his original marriage annulled, he was legally married to Lyanna Stark when he got her pregnant. That means Jon Snow is Rhaegar’s legitimate son, not just a bastard. This could wither cause huge problems for the succession of the realm or make the transition much easier, depending on how the important parties choose to play it. Regardless, Jon is becoming more substantial every episode.
The second important detail is the cat and mouse game going on between Littlefinger and Arya. Lord Baelish is obviously trying to set Arya up, but it seems doubtful that Sansa would believe anything he has to say. I doubt Littlefinger will survive this season. But I may be a little biased…
The third important aspect was the ending, which seems to be setting up the “second to last episode is crazy!” part of every Game of Thrones season. The next episode is directed by Alan Taylor, who directed the unforgettable episode “Baelor” (among others) back in the first season.
SPOILER ALERT: That’s the one where Ned Stark dies.
Verdict: It’s going down next episode. A few reveals made “Eastwatch” important, but it was not the most exciting episode of Game of Thrones we’ve seen. After the sheer carnage of last week, however, it was to be expected.
- Gendry and Jorah are back where they belong.
- The brothers Lannister unite.
- Sam ignores the most important detail.
- All over the place; tough to keep up with.
- Time and distance do not exist.