Need to catch up? Check out the previous Game of Thrones recap here.
Is anyone else a little thrown by how quickly everything — travel, news, major life events — seem to be happening on Game of Thrones this season?
Processes that used to take days, weeks and months of story time unfold in mere minutes in this penultimate season, and like Daenerys on Drogon, it’s all I can do to just hold on. Like this week, we get Jon & Co. heading beyond The Wall, pregnant Cersei, the return of Jorah, a whole new plan for Daenerys’ gang… you catch the drift.
Read on for the highlights of “Eastwatch.”
HOUSE LANNISTER: BARBECUED EDITION | In the aftermath of last week’s battle, the show doesn’t make us wait: Bronn surfaces from the body of water he threw Jaime into, and then he hauls the very much alive Jaime up for air right after. They make it to land, gasping and throwing up, and that’s where Jaime’s first words are “Thank you.” Oh wait, no, they’re “You could’ve killed me.” Nice. Jaime is gobsmacked by the fact that a freakin’ dragon nearly toasted his biscuit — and that there are two more of them. While Bronn is musing about how he’s going to leave the fight long before the dragons attack King’s Landing.
Tyrion surveys the battlefield, which is ash… and that’s pretty much it. Meanwhile, Drogon sits on a hill screeching while Daenerys addresses the prisoners of war. “That’s Cersei Lannister, not me. I’m not here to murder, and all I want to destroy is the wheel that has rolled over rich and poor to the benefir of no one but the Cersei Lannisters of the world.” She offers everyone there a choice: Bend the knee and join her cause, or “refuse and die.” Some knee before the dragon roars; a whole lot more kneel after. Among those still standing: the Tarly men. Randall chooses death, even though Tyrion argues that his allegiance to Cersei is a recent one. Then Dickon follows suit, making the Tarlys stand as Drogon flambés them — even though Tyrion counsels mercy and jailing instead of death. Pretty much all the remaining standing soldiers hit the ground after that one.
HOUSE TARGARYEN | Daenerys rides back to Dragonstone on Drogon — who seems to be doing well, despite taking that hit during the fight — and Jon gets close enough to the beast to pet him on the nose once they land. Danerys looks on, but it’s hard to read her expression. Threatened? Interested? Meanwhile, I’m damn near sure the giant lizard is smiling. “They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” she says once she dismounts, “They’re my children.” She gives him a vague debrief on the battle, then they discuss tactics. She argues that they need to be strong to help people, and “sometimes strength is terrible.” Then she presses him about the knife-in-the-heart thing that Davos mentioned when they first arrived, but Jon brushes it off, and then Jorah shows up so SHH EVERYONE ELSE STOP TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING. “You look strong. You found a cure?” she asks, unable to stop smiling. “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t,” he answers. He offers her his service again, and she looks so damn happy as she says it would be her honor to take him back. Then they hug and it is MARVELOUS. (If you hadn’t inferred, yeah, I ‘ship it.)
THE CITADEL | At Winterfell, Bran has a very disturbing vision of a flock of ravens flying over a hoarde of white walkers, including the Night King. “We need to send ravens,” he says when he comes out of it. Later, at the Citadel, the maesters laugh about Bran’s warning, which they’ve clearly received. “A crippled boy claims to have seen dead men on the watch beyond The Wall,” they say, and Sam overhears and can’t stop himself from adding what he knows to the conversation. “If you tell people the threat is real, they’ll believe it,” he says, begging the Archmaester to get ahead of the threat by asking the houses to send men to defend the north. But the old man isn’t convinced, and Sam leaves the room frustrated.
While Gilly is reading High Septon Maynard’s record book, she reads the word “annulment” and asks what it means. When he tells her it’s the name for a man putting aside his lawfully wedded wife, she says that the septon did an annulment for Rhaegar (!)… but then Sam angrily cuts her off because he’s frustrated about the archmaester not listening to him. (If you want to read up on what Gilly’s coments really mean — and why they’re incredibly important — check this out.) Then he steals some books, loads Gilly and the baby into a wagon and takes off under cover of dark, saying, “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.”
HOUSE STARK | Jon gets the news that Arya and Bran are alive, but he can’t even be happy about it for a second, because the same message reveals Bran’s terrifying vision. But what complicates things is that Cersei is still on the rampage, so Daenerys isn’t very excited about heading north to fight the advancing scourge. Ideally, they’d get Cersei and her troops to fight with them, but as Tyrion points out, his sister doesn’t believe in white walkers. But he’s got another idea: Bring the dead to her. So Daenerys and her council come up with a crazy plan: Go beyond The Wall to capture a white walker, then bring it to King’s Landing to convince Cersei that everyone’s got bigger problems on their hands. And just like that, Jon is volunteering to go WAY north.
Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, the Stark sisters argue. Arya thinks that Sansa worries too much about what other people think of her. “I’m sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that’s not the way you get people to work together,” the redhead says. Arya presses her sibling that she really is only out for power for herself, and it’s probably a little true.
Later, Arya spies on Littlefinger while he’s up to his usual shady dealings. A man brings him something, and Baelish asks him, “Are you sure this is the only copy in Winterfell?” The answer is yes, and after the man leaves, Arya watches Littlefinger lock it away. Naturally, she pops the lock like a soap bubble and finds what she’s looking for stuffed into the mattress of his room: It’s a message from Sansa, likely the one Cersei forced her to write after Ned’s death that makes her seem like she’s betraying her family. Arya takes it, but the thing is, Littlefinger is watching her when she leaves his room.
HOUSE LANNISTER: BACK IN THE OLD ‘HOOD EDITION | Davos smuggles Tyrion into King’s Landing and then attends to some business in Flea Bottom. Meanwhile, Bronn leads Jaime to meet Tyrion in some tunnels under the city. They do a little processing about Tywin’s death, then they get to the bottom line: Daenerys is willing to suspend hostilities if Cersei will agree to certain terms.
That important business of Davos’? It’s finding Gendry, Robert Baratheon’s bastard, last seen rowing away from Dragonstone. Need a quick refresh? We’ve got you covered right here. (Nice in-joke there for the fans with Davos’ line, Thrones.) “Bad things are coming,” Davos warns him, but the hard sell is unnecessary: Gendry is super ready to get out of King’s Landing and away from the Lannisters. There’s a bit of a complication with a couple of nosy soldiers, but Genry bashes their heads in with a hammer he forged himself, and then Tyrion, Davos and Robert’s kid hop in their boat and leave town ASAP.
Jaime brings Cersei news of Daenerys’ desired armistice, but she’s not shocked — she totally knew about the meeting between him and Tyrion — and she’s also not dismissive of the idea. Oh, and she’s pregnant. “Who will you say is the father?” he asks. “You,” she replies simply, reminding them that Tywin always said that the lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of the sheep. They embrace. Also: This means nothing but bad things, right?
Gendry and Jon meet at Dragonstone, and they’ve barely passed pleasantries when Gendry volunteers to join Jon on his journey. The King in the North agrees. “Nobody mind me,” an overruled Davos says. “All I’ve ever done is live to a ripe old age.” (Heh.) Then the dead-hunting party, including Jon, Jorah, Davos and Gendry, shove off.
THE (NEW) MEN OF THE WALL | At Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Tormund wants to know if Brienne has arrived with Jon. (Ha!) Otherwise, he thinks Jon is nuts to want to go north of The Wall again. He introduces them to some of Eastwatch’s current prisoners, who also want to go north: The Hound, Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion. Gendry is, understandably, wary of anyone who claims to be guided by the Lord of Light. But Jon argues that they’re all on the same side — “we’re all breathing” — and that the captives should join their party. So a door in The Wall opens, and the group sets off into a blinding blizzard.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!