Game of Thrones: Recap of Season 7 Episode 5 – Eastwatch
You want movement, you’ve got movement! Welcome to the Episode 5 Recap of Game of Thrones’ Episode “Eastwatch.” The torrid pace of this season was kicked up a notch or four this week, as we had characters moving from the Reach, Dragonstone, to King’s Landing, back to Dragonstone, to Eastwatch by the Sea, and everywhere in between. As an overall critique of this episode and the entire season, I really wished that the show creators were willing to do a Season 9, because this season, particularly Episode 5, just seems so short and toned down from otherwise great dialogue scenes. It almost feels like some scenes are cut to condense the time length. There are several instances in this episode (which I’ll explain later) that I was yearning to hear more from our favorite characters, many of whom who have not conversed in several seasons or others who have never met but share relationships between them. I understand the reasoning behind it, especially with so much of this story not being finished with only a handful of episodes left, but even so, it is disappointing.
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I try to make my recaps/thoughts based geographically (i.e. at the Wall, Winterfell, King’s Landing, etc.), but it was a little more difficult for this episode than in those past. Please bear with me if I jump around!
First off – Eastwatch in the title sequence! I’m glad they did this to visually show casual viewers where Eastwatch-by-the-Sea is in relation to everywhere else. It does make me wonder though, why Highgarden or Casterly Rock were never included. I understand the reasoning in omitting them from Episode 3 (to maintain the surprise attack) but Highgarden should have been added to Episode 4’s introduction to explain geography. But again, that’s just me being uber-picky about the title sequence.
The Reach, Dragonstone and King’s Landing
The episode begins with Bronn dragging Jaime ashore, far away from the battle scene. I don’t think anyone really expected Jaime to die, but this outcome didn’t seem very believable, given how the last episode ended. I would’ve preferred them escaping the river at the end of last episode, with Jaime saying something like “I have to warn Cersei” or even Tyrion demanding Jaime be rescued from the depths so he can tell the tale of what happened. That’s even with the random 20 foot river that Jaime falls into mere feet from the water’s edge.
Later on, we see Tyrion walking amongst the ruins and destruction that Drogon caused. His amazement and horror of the outcome continues as Dany asks the remaining Lannister and Reach forces to bend the knee, only to find Randyll and Dickon Tarly refuse. Their “death by fire” was strangely reminiscent of Dany’s father, Aerys, burning Rickard and Brandon Stark (another father/son duo) alive that directly prompted Robert’s Rebellion. Tyrion expresses his concern and dismay about Dany to Varys, who urges him that he needs to convince Dany to be less-Mad King-like. I really enjoyed this scene and the insight in to Varys’ past. For someone who (in the TV show) cares so much about the smallfolk, I always wondered what was going through his mind when he watched Aerys torture people.
When Dany returns to Dragonstone, Drogon lands right in front of Jon Snow, and Jon is even allowed to touch Drogon, further confirming that Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. I would’ve preferred to see this interaction between Jon and Rhaegal (who I believe he will ultimate ride with considering the name connection) but it was very cool nonetheless. This was definitely a top scene from the episode for many people, including myself.
In the Season of Reunions and Returns, we get two in Episode 5, the first being Jorah Mormont, who has been cured of greyscale. It was disappointing for me to not hear Jorah talk about Sam, which would have been an obvious connection to Jon Snow who was in the room, further solidifying the relationship between Jon and Dany. In the Dragonstone War Room, Jon learns that Bran and Arya are alive, as well as Bran’s vision of the undead army on the move. The entire group concocts a plan to attempt to persuade Cersei with a truce for the good of the realm by offering her a clear symbol of the doom that they all face: a “living” wight. They first need to attempt to prove this to Cersei before attempting such a deadly mission, and so, Davos smuggles Tyrion in to King’s Landing. Personally, I doubt the effectiveness of this plan. First, it’s going to result in many favorite characters’ deaths Beyond-The-Wall and second, I don’t expect Cersei to go along with the truce. In fact, she’ll likely find a way to exploit their meeting, if it does occur. The whole idea seems so contrived and simply to create a shock-value of favorite characters’ deaths. I hope I am wrong.
Tyrion and Davos arrive at King’s Landing and “reminisce” about the Battle of the Blackwater. I think a lot of viewers forget that Tyrion (and his wildfire) was directly responsible for Davos’ son’s death. Davos responds maturely (and not hating Tyrion) considering both were doing their duty back then and are currently on the same side. My least favorite scene of this episode is involved Tyrion and Jaime. I thought it was incredibly rushed given their past relationship, how long they have been apart, and what has transpired since. It wasn’t really any conclusion between the two characters, even though Jaime does relay Tyrion and Dany’s wishes to Cersei. On a side note, it’s incredibly disappointing to not see a Bronn-Tyrion scene, especially given that those were always a highlight of episodes during Seasons 1-4. It’s these minor scenes that could add greatly to the overall story but are unfortunately left out due to the time constraints of the show.
After this meeting, we learn that Cersei is (apparently) pregnant. I’m still on the fence whether she is or not, because she could clearly be using Jaime’s new child to manipulate him, in the same way she literally just did, allowing Jaime to meet with Tyrion. Cersei is still up to something; even if that unlikely heist mission is successful, there is no way Cersei is just going to join up with Jon and Dany.
During these meetings, Davos heads out to discover our favorite blacksmith – Gendry! I enjoyed the fan-service nod of “still rowin” from Davos. If you recall, Davos was the one who saved Gendry from Melisandre at Dragonstone. Gendry is eager to part with Davos for bigger and better adventures, though I’m not sure he expects what is about to come. It was incredible to see the Warhammer in action, as I’ve long envisioned how powerful Robert Baratheon would be with it in open battle. I also enjoyed Davos’ interactions with the Gold Cloaks, as it was a fun nod in to his past dealings as a smuggler.
The crew quickly returns to Dragonstone where everyone is about to leave, though Gendry is eager to start a bromance with Jon since their fathers were best friends. (Funny enough, Gendry’s father, Robert, killed Jon’s real father, Rhaegar, in battle.) Why no mention of Arya? After some seemingly-romantic goodbyes between Dany and Jorah and Jon, the team is off north to the Wall.
There wasn’t too much going on in Winterfell other than Arya snooping around to figure out what Littlefinger is up to. She also questions Sansa’s motives, as she believes that Sansa ultimately wants to be the true leader of the North instead of supporting Jon. The letter that Arya discovers in Littlefinger’s room has been the talk of the Internet, as it will clearly affect the Winterfell storyline in the final two episodes. I think it was ultimately a way to divide the Stark daughters in the hopes that Littlefinger can separate them and possibly end up trying to marry Sansa. He’s certainly up to something, as always. I’m really interested in seeing who wins this cat-and-mouse game between Arya and Baelish. In addition, why hasn’t Bran just told someone that Baelish turned on Ned and led to his death!? These are the issues with bringing omnipotence into the fold. What I did find interesting with Bran is how he was able to warg in to several different animals at the same time, as evidenced by the flock of ravens scouting north of the Wall. Was the Night’s King able to “terminate” the warging of Bran? That is something I will monitor for sure.
At the Citadel, Sam is conveniently in a room full of Archmaesters discussing the raven that Bran sent to the Citadel, warning of the impending White Walkers. I really enjoyed Sam “manning up” and defending his true reason behind being at the Citadel; to warn the Maesters of what is coming and to figure out how to stop it. Despite their initial thoughts, they choose to simply write back to Winterfell for clarification instead of warning (and with the ability to influence the lords and knights of) the rest of Westeros. Sam is frustrated by their decision and ultimately decides that he is better off helping Jon directly in the North over toiling away with chores at the Citadel. I would expect that one of the books that he takes from the library will be valuable, especially the one that Gilly finds describing the annulment of Rhaegar’s marriage with Elia Martell so that he can marry Lyanna and legitimize his future son as heir (Jon). I’m not sure if it ultimately matters in the long run since Jon was even named King in the North for his leadership rather than his name. It’s possible that it affects his relationship with Dany; optimistically, she realizes that she has a family member still alive, pessimistically, she becomes furious that she is no longer the true heir to the Iron Throne. Either way, I’m not sure the show has enough time for that.
In a “Who Knows Who” of Westeros, Jon, Davos, Jorah, Gendry and Tormund meet with Sandor Clegane (the Hound), Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion, who have been imprisoned. Again, I had really wished that some of these characters expanded on their past dealings with one another, or who each of them knows, since there are a lot of similarities. Gendry, Sandor and the Brotherhood know Jon’s sister (Arya), Sandor knows Sansa, Jorah’s father was Jon’s Lord Commander, just to name a few. I only lament over these things because I expect most, if not all, of these characters will die during their Beyond-the-Wall mission that is coming in Episode 6.
Theon? Grey Worm? Euron? Yara? I get that these are all minor characters, but it’s strange we haven’t heard from most of them in two episodes. The fast-pace nature of this episode is really going to affect the timeline of these characters. And clearly, their season arcs