We're in the latter half of the season and things are developing quickly. We can see this in the opening sequence where The Pyke has been replaced by this weeks's episode title — Eastwatch.
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen episode 5 stop reading now, or you’ll regret it. 'I’ve waited a week for this and I can’t believe you’ve ruined it, you monster' regret. No one likes regret. So, stop thinking about it and just book a Mustang test drive already.
To nobody's surprise, this week opens with Bronn dragging Jaime out of the convenient body of water he crash tackled him into. There's no explanation as to how he pulled a sinking, full grown man encased in armour to safety. After some obligatory spluttering and water-vomiting, Jaime announces his surprise over not being left to die by his not-so-trusty sellsword.
As it happens, Bronn is more interested in why Jaime thought running at a giant dragon was an A+ idea. Apparently he thought he could end the war by killing Daenerys. Bronn thinks he's a c-bomb. Same.
As to why he saved him, Bronn is still all about them dollar dollar bills ya'll. Jaime ain't dying by anyone else's hands, and not until he gets what he's owed. Jaime is busy crapping himself over Dany's three scary dragons, though. He thinks they're fucked. Bronn takes issue with the plural, as he will be all, "Bye Felicia" by then.
They both seem to agree that telling Cersei about everything that has gone down is going to be a bad time.
Over at the battlefield, Tyrion is walking through the smouldering ruins. The horror of what has transpired registers both on our screens and Tyrion's face. Meanwhile, the Dothraki lead the few Westerosi survivors over to Dany's Hill Of Exposition. Drogon roars menacingly behind her.
Dany addresses the soldiers, saying what Cersei has said about her is not true. She isn't there to burn their cities and homes and murder them. Even though she totally just murdered a bunch of them. And threatens to murder more of them if they don't bend the knee. Okay, Dany.
Only a few soldiers bend, until Drogon roars most of them into submission. Lord Tarly and Dickon stay strong though.
Dany calls Lord Tarly forward, and he states that he already has a queen. Tyrion correctly calls out his flexible allegiance. He was all about the Tyrells until Jaime promised to make switching sides worth his while.
Tarly plays the patriotism and patricide cards, and rather poorly. He says Cersei was born in Westeros and has lived here all her life. Also, the dragon queen has no ties to their land and brought an army of savages. I guess we'll just ignore the fact that she was born in Dragonstone and only grew up overseas because the Baratheons wanted to murder her infant self. Also, hundreds of years of ties familial history. But sure.
Dany respects that Lord Tarly won't trade his honour for his life (just for being a Warden of the South, amirite). Tyrion suggests sending him to the Wall, which Tarly takes issue with. Because sending a Tarly to the wall against their will would be unfair, hey my Lord.
Dany nods for the Dothraki to take Lord Tarly, and Tyrion is getting visibly distressed. This is where Dickon pipes up, ready to die also.
His Dad doesn't like this at all. Neither does Tyrion, who tells him to bend the knee. When he refuses, the latter basically begs Dany to imprison him instead. She stands firm, saying she gave them a choice and they made it.
Tyrion doesn't want her to start beheading Lords.
- Dany — "I'm not beheading anyone."
- Tyrion — "Ffffffuuuuuu"
- Drogon — "It's getting hot in here. SO HOT!"
The two Tarlys are led about 2 metres away for their impending BBQing. Let's just pretend it's a safe distance away from everyone else. No OH&S incident reports needed here.
Lord Tarly grabs his son's arm and Dany sentences the pair to death and lets out an ironically cold "dracarys".
Unsurprisngly, everyone bends their knees. Tyrion looks disgusted and Dany walks away.
I really think that this was a waste of Dickon's character. Ever since he first appeared in King's Landing early in the season, the writers seemed to be highlighting him for a reason. This was reiterated last episode in his conversation with Bronn and Jaime, as well as him helping save the latter early in the Dothraki battle.
All that build up to have him simply die by his father's side seems... odd. Unless this will have a huge impact on Sam when he finds out. I wonder if his noble character was simply meant to make us question Dany's decision to execute the Tarly men. Viewers may not have minded if he was a dick like his father, or if he was more of a non-character. Perhaps he was there to make us care?
Back in King's Landing, Jaime blanks Qyburn on his way into Cersei's room. She already knows they got their arses handed to them and wants to throw money at the problem. Tyrell gold and the Iron Bank can help them buy some temporary sellsword loyalty.
Are there really armies worth of mercenaries available to them? Regardless, Jaime is wigged out by both the dragons and the way the Dothraki fight. He's sure they're screwed.
Cersei wants to know what they can do then, because as if Dany will want to make peace with the family who murdered her father and now sit on his throne. Good point.
She wonders if Tyrion might help intercede to apologise for murdering their dad and Joffrey.
Jaime is all, "Ah yes about that. He didn't."
Cersei calls bullshit until her brother points out that it made sense of Olenna to murder Joffrey in favour of Tommen. He would be a better husband for Margaery. A king the Tyrells could control.
Cersei is pissed. Jaime DGAF because Olenna's family is dead anyway and maybe they should be thinking about their own now.
Cersei — "So we fight and die or with submit and die. I know my choice. A soldier should know his."
Jon stands on the Cliff of Exposition to watch Drogon and Dany return from their BBQ. When the dragon lands, Jon reaches out to stroke him. Drogon is into it and blinks like a happy cat.
Dany comments on how beautiful they are. Jon refers to them as beasts.
- Dany — "They're my children."
- Jon's Face — "Okay, Crazy."
They talk about the ethics of war and how sometimes you need to help people from a position of strength, which can be terrible.
She brings up Ser Thirstos' knife-in-the-heart comment from earlier in the season. Jon tries to laugh it off awkwardly. That knight says the darndest things.
Luckily, he's saved by the arrival of Jorah, who Dany is stoked to see. She introduces him to Jon and the pair eyeball each other. Jorah wishes to return to Dany's service, and she's honoured to have him.
I can't remember the last time I saw her crack this much of a smile. For a moment it looks like they're going to pash, but Dany puts him back in the Friendzone with a warm hug.
More manly eyeballing ensues.
Over in Winterfell, Three-Eyed Bran is tripping balls.
He is seeing through the eyes of a raven, which is flying in a conspiracy (yeah that's one of the collective nouns. Look it up) beyond the Wall. He spots the White Walker army, and the Night King spots him right back.
Bran tells some random that they need to send some ravens.
Random — "I just wandered in from Craft Services. WTF is happening right now?"
I guess ravens fly faster this week because back in Oldtown, Sam walks in on a bunch of Maesters tearing Three-Eyed Bran's news apart. Sam admits to seeing the White Walkers himself and that maybe they should listen to the one kid who has survived beyond the Wall for years when very few others have.
He says that the Maesters tell the people of Westeros that the White Walker threat is real, they'll believe them. He proposes that they tell the Lords to send their troops north to hold the war, and have all available Maesters knuckle down on every text about the Long Night so they can find a historic solution.
The Grand Maester thinks that the message could be a fake from Dany to get the Lords of Westeros to send their troops North, thus leaving her room to swoop in. Most of the maesters are all, "Lolol magic birds, OK."
But the Grand Maester does promise to ask Winterfell for clarification. Sam leaves in a huff and we find out that he hasn't been told about his father and brother being roasted alive yet.
In the throne room at Dragonstone, Tyrion defends his inaction to Lord Varys. Varys compares his justification gymnastics to his own when Dany's father was in power. Tyrion surmises that the queen is not her father. Varys agrees, and says that she never will be ... with the right council.
This entire time he has been playing with what is obviously the scroll from Bran. It's sealed and for Jon and of course Varys didn't read it, how dare you think such a flagrant lie.
Meanwhile, this is the first that Jon is hearing about both Arya and Bran being alive. Yeah, OK. He decides he has to go home, and will fight even without Dany's help.
Tyrion thinks that it's time to make Cersei believe in the army of the dead, and the only way to do that is to bring one of them to King's Landing. Since Cersei would execute them all on sight, the plan is to sneak Tyrion into the city to see Jaime, with Ser Thirstos' help.
In regards to getting a zombie specimen, Jorah wants to help. Jon says the free folk will also follow him if he asks.
Dany pulls rank, saying she hasn't given permission for all her fanboys to leave. Jon quite rightly points out they he trusted her, a stranger, not to kill him when he came to Dragonstone. He wants that same trust from her now. Also, he's a king and he'll do what he wants.
No one can argue with that.
The northern Lords have plenty to argue over, however. They already know that Jon plans to go beyond the wall, and they're not happy.
Not to beat a dead horse, but it took a couple of episodes for Jon to find out about Bran being alive, but this week everyone is all up to date on goss immediately? Did Cersei's cart load of gold pay for FTTB for each castle?
Anyway. They all say that maybe they should have chosen her as ruler all along. She rather weakly backs up her brother's decision. Arya watches on, her face barely masking her displeasure.
The sisters walk and talk about what happened. Arya is taken aback that Sansa is using their parents' old rooms as her own.
Sansa wants to know what Arya is pissed about. Long story short, she didn't defend Jon enough and Arya thinks that her sister wants to keep the northern Lords on side in case Jon doesn't survive. She thinks that deep in her heart she wants to be Lady of Winterfell for good.
Sansa looks freaked out as Arya's eyes bore into her soul and makes up a lame excuse for her sister to leave.
I have to say I rather enjoyed Maisie William's performance in this scene. She is all calculation and smirks — almost daring Sansa to bullshit her. Not even caring if she is lied to, because she knows the truth.
It was great and it made me want to see her and Littlefinger find a diabolical side hustle to run together.
Ser Thirstos and Tyrion arrive at King's landing. They reminisce about the murdering that took place last time they were there. Happy times.
Thirstos basically tells us what's going to happen next by saying guards hardly ever patrol this desolate bit of beach, and that he has some business to attend to in Flea Bottom. I WONDER IF THEY WILL GET BUSTED LATER?
Cut to Bronn taking Jaime through some dubious tunnels for a training session because Dothraki. SURPRISE, they're actually here to see Tyrion.
Jaime's face doesn't know who to be more angry at.
Tyrion tries to congratulate his brother over outsmarting him with the Casterly Rock siege. Jaime doesn't want to hear it and says he will cut him in half.
- Tyrion — "It'll take you awhile with a sparring sword."
- Background Dragon Skull — "Heh. Rekt."
Tyrion gets upset. He talks about how their dad knew he was innocent of Joffrey's murder, but was going to execute him because of what he is.
And let's not forget that the guy slept with Shae. And forced Tyrion watch his first love have sex with a bunch of dudes. Jaime, you know he was the worst.
Jaime doesn't want to hear it. He asks why Tyrion is there.
He explains that Dany will suspend hostilities if Cersei agrees to some things. She doesn't even want a knee bend for now. There's more important stuff going down.
Over on the poor side of the tracks, Thirstos is exploring the marketplace. Surprise, surprise, he finds Gendry! And he's looking fine.
Neither of them are worried about getting busted by Lannister guards. Thirstos because, "Nothing fucks you harder than time." Gendry because his hair is shorter. No one will ever recognise him!
Thirstos explains that something bad is happening. Gendry doesn't even care what it is, he's ready to punch on with his giant hammer.
Back at the boat, Thirstos advises to keep his parentage to himself. Also, a couple of guards roll up because of course they did.
After a spot of extortion, they want to look in the boat. Thirstos reveals some fermented crab, which is not a euphemism but will apparently make them do the sex good and often.
Just as they seem satisfied with the incredibly believable story, Tyrion arrives to ruin everything with his distinct height and scar. It's okay though, because Gendry cause straight up murders the guards with his hammer.
Tyrion is into it.
Up in the castle, Jaime walks in on Cersei and Qyburn and blanks the latter again.
Jaime reveals his meeting with Tyrion, which Cersei knew about already. Probably because they used the same space that her Maester is building his subpar dragon crossbows. You know, the one that Robert used to sneak women through. And has that secret beach entrance literally everyone knows about.
It's hard to tell whether Cersei believes in the white walkers or not. It seems pretty superfluous at this point. Dany does have them beat in numbers, after all.
She is prepared to defeat whatever gets in their way no matter what it takes. Because she's pregnant. And she is going to tell everyone Jaime is the father.
The pair kissed and hug, and Cersei threatens Jaime. What a lovely family moment.
Surely at some point the whole twincest thing has to blow up in their faces, right? I know I've ranted about this before, but incest is one of the main justifications for removing the Targaryens from power, due to the subsequent inbred madness.
Cersei's hubris will ultimately be her undoing, me thinks.
Meanwhile, Thirstos and Gendry arrive at Dragonstone. The knight is very clear about hiding the latter's identity from everyone.
- Thirstos — This is Guy Incognito
- Gendry — I'm Robert's bastard son.
- Jon — Sweet, bro.
Gendry makes a big deal over their fathers being mates. They both chat and give each other a bit of shit. They're gonna be friends and it's great. Also, Jon shoots him a look that a thousand shippers are already writing Tumblr fanfic about.
Gendry wants to go with Jon beyond the wall, even though he doesn't know how to handle a sword.
- Gendry — "I prefer a hammer."
- Shippers — *POUNDING AND NAILING JOKES*
- Thirstos — This is bad. Why won't anyone listen to me?"
- Shippers — "LET'S CALL THEM JENDRY!"
- Thirstos — "I hate all of you."
Everyone gets prepped to leave Dragonstone.
Tyrion gives Jorah shit for glowering. He gives him the coin they got from their slaver a couple of seasons ago. He wants to get it back though. It's a nice moment.
Dany also says a sentimental goodbye. Jorah kisses her hands just Jon rolls up to cock block the moment.
He bids her farewell with some weak compliment fishing. Basically she doesn't want him dead. He wishes her good fortune in her future wars.
She watches them all leave. Tyrion watches her watching. Jorah also watches.
Just, there's a lot of watching.
In Oldtown, Sam transcribes as Gilly annoys him with random facts from the book she's reading.
He's clearly not listening because he misses the part where the writer issued an annulment for Prince Rhaegar and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne.
THIS ISN'T IMPORTANT AT ALL.
Instead, Sam yells about his workload. After leaving in a huff we see him rifling through scrolls and books in the restricted section of the library. He loads up a saddle bag and heads out to a waiting cart with his family inside.
Gilly questions this move, and Sam responds with a line similar to what his father said to him last season.
"I'm tired about reading about the achievements of better men."
I wonder where he's off to? He's going to get an unpleasant surprise if he rocks up home to the news of his dead dad and brother. Or perhaps he's going to the Wall?
Regardless, it's a good thing the answer he'll obviously find will conveniently be found in one of the 10 ancient books he stole. PHEW!
In Winterfell, Arya is stalking Littlefinger.
She sees him whispering with a random peasant girl who he hands some gold to. Next she spies him speaking to a pair of northern Lords before heading to his room.
Someone approaches him at the door, saying he has found an "it" from Maester Luwin's archives. After asking if it's the only copy in Winterfell, he tells the man that Lady Stark thanks him for his service.
Littlefinger then disappears into the room for a short while, before leaving again.
Of course Arya breaks in and goes throufh his stuff. Underneath the bed she finds a small scroll. We only see it for a moment, but that's what screencaps are for.
It's the letter that Cersei told Sansa to write in season 1 in order to save her father's life. Here it is in full:
"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. Your faithful sister, Sansa."
Arya is shocked and leaves the room quickly. Meanwhile, Littlefinger watches her from the shadows.
Clearly he knew that she had been following him, but the question is — did he set up the scroll for her to find and thus widen the void between her and Sansa? My gut instinct says yes.
Like I said last week, he needs to isolate her from her support network. Jon is off beyond the Wall and could quite possibly die, Bran is all freaky and doesn't want to rule, so that just leaves Arya to pick off.
He is absolutely that controlling boyfriend who stops you from seeing your friends and family and convinces you that you can't do better than him.
And finally we arrive at Eastwatch.
Tormund thinks the idea is stupid and wants to know which queen they are supposed to be convincing — the one with the dragons or the one who bones their brother. I feel you Tormund. We're all slaves to Days of our Lannisters right now.
As it turns out, they're not the only ones who want to go beyond the Wall again. Cut to the cells where the Hound and his merry men are being held.
Beric and Thoros:
- Gendry — "Those guys tried to sell me to a red witch."
- Tormund — "Holy shit, you're a Mormont? Your dad hunted us!"
- Jorah — "You did the same thing, bro!"
- Beric and Thoros — "Fate brought us together, my dudes!"
- The Hound — "STFU, we doing this or not?"
- Jon — "Aight."
Cut to the gate in the Wall opening and our scrappy band of non-heroes heading out to face a fate unknown as a TEAM. I guess we'll find out what lies in store for them next week.
That's enough violence, flirting and scheming for one day. It’s time to stop thinking and start driving. Book your Mustang test drive today.
Welcome to another episode of Game of Thrones, which we're sure that you didn't pirate early at all.