Eastwatch: Recap Episode 5, Season 7


Wow. What a show! So much happened in the “Eastwatch” episode — not to mention that massive revelation at the Citadel. This episode reveals quite a bit about Jon’s heritage.

House Lannister: Aftermath of the Booty Train Battle

Last week, Bronn pushed Jaime out of the path of Drogon’s flames and it was unclear whether they would survive. Jaime appeared to be sinking in his heavy armor in the last frame.

Jaime does not drown in the heavy suit of armor. Bronn hauls Jaime to shore – away from Drogon’s flames. This is extremely fortunate because the Dothraki appear to have herded many of the surviving Lannister troops, including the ones who fought for Lord Randyll Tarly, in front of Daenerys.

tyrion at the loot train

Tyrion walks among the ashes after the Loot Train battle. There is nothing left — so much for Dany’s good intentions. © HBO.

She makes them a proposition: bend the knee to me or die by Drogon’s flames. Almost all of them, immediately kneel – except Sam’s brother and dad.

Tyrion is extremely upset by this – and begs for mercy for them with Daenerys. But, the Dragon queen is in no mood to compromise.

When the Tarlys refuse to take the Black, Daenerys sentences them to die and Drogon plays executioner, incinerating them into ashes on the spot.

Even though Daenerys has said that she doesn’t want to be Queen of the Ashes, that’s all that’s left of the battlefield: pale grey soot.


Later on, back at Dragonstone, Tyrion and Varys discuss Tyrion’s concerns about Daenerys’ actions. Both Varys and Tyrion are advisors and not soldiers, so Daenerys’ conquest-style tactics are hard to stomach.


Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) unburdens himself by telling Varys (Conleth Hill)  what he witnessed Dany do to the Tarlys at the Loot train battlesite. © HBO, Helen Sloan

Varys is troubled by replaying his role as sidekick to an torch-happy Targaryen. (Maybe Robert Baratheon isn’t looking so bad after all?) Tyrion and the spymaster resolve to try to guide Daenerys better and make her listen to them.

House Targaryen

After the Lannister soldiers bend the knee, Dany flies back to Dragonstone on Drogon’s back. When she lands, she is greeted by Jon, who approaches Drogon and DROGON LETS HIM PAT HIM. Big confirmation about Jon’s Targaryen heritage right there.


Kit Harington as Jon Snow on Dragonstone — right before he pats Drogon. © HBO, Helen Sloan.

As Jon rubs his muzzle, the beast is blissing out. Drogon’s eyes go all soft and he is practically purring like a kitten. As we all know, the Targargyens have a special affinity with dragons.


Dany (Emilia Clarke) and Jon (Kit Harrington) bond over their comfort with dragons. © HBO.

Daenerys smoothly glosses over her atrocities at the loot train battle. And, then Daenerys and Jon bond over their shared affinity with dragons.  Just as Daenerys starts to ask Jon about the dagger in his heart, the Dothraki interrupt to announce the arrival of Jorah Mormont.

After receiving a raven from Bran warning of the Night King’s approach, Jon decides he has to leave. But, Dany won’t give him any men to fight the Night King because Cersei’s armies will just take back all that Daenerys has just won.

And, speaking of what Daenerys has won, what exactly is that? She incinerated all of Highgarden’s grain stores. Sure, she has converted some of the Lannister army to Team Daenerys, but she has no way to feed them.

The Citadel

Bran had an extremely disturbing vision of the Army of the Dead and the Night King’s approach. He sends out ravens to the powerbrokers of Westeros, including the Citadel.

When Bran’s raven arrives, the order of the maesters have the opportunity to show leadership. Instead, when the Bran’s warning comes up in their council meeting, the maesters scoff at Bran’s warning as superstitious nonsense.

Sam pipes up and vouches for Bran’s authenticity. Sam implies that perhaps Bran is capable of the mystical or the divine since he lived for years as a cripple North of the Wall, where most seasoned rangers couldn’t survive that long.  (I was waiting for Sam to suggest that one of them goes up to Winterfell or North of the Wall to see for themselves — because as Sam rightly points out, if the Citadel told the lords of Westeros that threat is real, the lords would listen.)

But, Sam doesn’t say this, and rather than taking action, the maesters suggest that perhaps Sam needs more scribe-ing to discipline his mind. Archmaester Ebrose dismisses the Night King threat. It’s far more likely to be a plot by Daenerys than real magic from a crippled boy and it’s on to the next order of business: the rookery for the ravens is in terrible disrepair. Heavens!

Strangely the maesters know that Daenerys’ dragons are real — Archmaester is witholding news of Sam’s father and brother’s immolation from Sam — but the maesters can’t stretch their minds to think that other forms of magic could exist. This feels all too much like a frustrating  ivory  tower.

Later on, Gilly and Sam are in their quarters reading through some dusty tomes Archmaester Ebrose assigned to Sam. Gilly stumbles upon a huge bombshell: somebody named Rhaegar applied for an annulment and married somebody. Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! That means that JON IS THE LEGITIMATE HEIR to the Iron Throne. In fact, if you go by primogeniture, he has an even stronger claim than Daenerys. Holy mackerel.

Well, depending on how you determine who is the “legitimate heir,” you could just as easily argue that Robert Baratheon’s son Gendry is rightful claimant.

Sam is still too pissed off about being dissed at the maesters’ meeting to pay attention to what Gilly’s saying. Even if he was listening, he’d still be missing the other half of the story: Ned in the Tower with Lyanna. But I’m sick of seeing Gilly playing the fool to Sam, so I’m really hoping that she will be the one to deliver the BIG REVEAL at the appropriate moment: when Jon and company learn that Jon is the rightful king to all of Westeros. Touch wood.

[Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. This is exaclty what Gilly said, “What does “annulment” mean? … [Maester] Maynard says here that he issued an annulment for Prince Rhaegar and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne. Is that a common thing in the South?”

House Stark: Littlefinger the Splitter

We know Littlefinger wants the Iron Throne with Sansa beside him. And, the North is key to winning the Iron Throne. (In the real world Wars of the Roses, controlling the North’s forces gave the Yorks a huge advantage – especially since the Northerners were much better, seasoned fighters due to their experience fighting against the Scottish raiders at the border.)

It’s a safe bet that Littlefinger is going to be using his “Chaos is a Ladder” technique in Winterfell to help ensure that Sansa gets the North. And, this is where it gets a little murky.

Just when everyone should be on Team Stark/Jon Targaryen, Littlefinger is going to start splitting them apart. Sansa has a secret desire, which she has done a good job of repressing of being the head of House Stark. Arya doesn’t trust anyone due to her past life as an assassin. Arya and Sansa have a history. So, Baelish decides to play Arya.


Littlefinger’s likely fake message from Sansa, which he plants for Arya to find. (c) HBO.

Littlefinger creates a little piece of theater to make Arya believe that she has stumbled upon a secret message that Sansa intended to send.

King’s Landing

When Jaime arrives at King’s Landing, he immediately rushes to Cersei. Presumably, he’s already briefed her by raven of what happened. She knows Daenerys and her dragon showed up at Highgarden.

Jaime informs Cersei that they cannot win the war against Daenerys. One of her massive dragons incinerated 1000 wagons of loot. And, she has three of them.

Jaime and Cersei.

Jaime and Cersei. (c) HBO.

Cersei doesn’t think they can negotiate a peace and survive. Jaime killed her father. Cersei sits on the throne that belonged to him. The twins would be lucky to get the executioner’s block. They have no choice but to keep fighting. Cersei then mentions that their only chance might be if Tyrion interceded on their behalf – “by way of apologizing for murdering our father and son.”

Then Jaime reveals that it was Olenna Tyrell, and not Tyrion, who murdered Joffrey. Cersei struggles to believe this but then when Jaime walks her through Olenna’s motivations, she knows it’s true. Cersei’s regret: Olenna didn’t die a more painful death.

What’s not clear – to me at least – is what happened to all that Highgarden gold on the loot train. Does Dany have it now? Did it melt away to nothing? Did the gold wagon get away before the dragon fire began? (Jaime thumped the top of the gold wagon to signal for the driver to move.)


Later on, Davos smuggles Tyrion back to King’s Landing so that the Imp can broker a detente with Cersei. It’s quite a gamble. Both Cersei and Jaime want Tyrion’s head on a platter.

Luckily for Tyrion, he still has friends in low places: Bronn arranges for Tyrion to meet with Jaime in the dungeons. Tyrion asks Jaime to talk to Cersei about a temporary truce. The idea is that Jorah will bring Cersei a wight – undoubtedly the most decayed, skeletal member of the Army of the Dead they can find — if Cersei will cease hostilities while Dany goes North with Jon to fight the Army of the Dead.

There are some logical holes in this plan but let’s just go with it.

After Jaime brings the armistice proposal to Cersei, she agrees. After all, what choice does she really have after she sees what Daenerys’ dragons can do?

Cersei agrees to the proposed truce. She also announces that she is pregnant – and it’s Jaime’s baby.


Cersei (Lena Headey) announces she is pregnant. © HBO, Helen Sloan.

Meanwhile, while Tyrion is meeting with Jaime, Davos has business of his own in King’s Landing. He seeks out Gendry who is back at work as a blacksmith. Davos is there to save Gendry: not recruit him. Davos knows that Robert Baratheon’s son may get incinerated by Dany’s dragons sooner rather than later.

Davos asks Gendry to keep his identity a secret. Things are complicated enough at Dragonstone without Daenerys finding out that Robert Baratheon’s heir is within her reach. But, after they sail back to Dragonstone, Gendry — thrilled to meet Jon Snow — blurts out his identity the moment he sets eyes on him. Or, maybe Gendry is just having none of Davos’ subterfuge.

Either way, Jon and Gendry look like they’re destined to become fast friends. Both lads are two bastard sons of two powerful men (Ned/Robert), who happened to be best friends. Jon grew up hearing stories of Gendry’s father. And, both Jon and Gendry are men of action. (Interestingly enough Gendry’s trusted weapon is just like his father’s favorite weapon: a massive war hammer.)


Eastwatch-by-the-Sea © HBO.

Gendry plunges into his new life with Jon and Davos – and chooses to accompany them to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, where Jon has decided to range North of the Wall to get a wight. (For Cersei’s “proof of wight.”)


Jon (Kit Harrington) at the snowy Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. © HBO, Helen Sloan.

When they arrive, Tormund thinks they are insane to want to go North of the Wall. But, it turns out he has three prisoners who want to make the same trip: Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, and the Hound.

The group quickly begins to argue. Gendry hates Thoros and Beric’s religion – the red woman almost sacrificed Gendry to the Lord of Light. Tormund snarls when he hears Jorah’s last name is Mormont: Jorah’s dad hunted Tormund’s people up into the end of the world. Jon points out that they might as well quit squabbling and get on with things. They should all range North together. After all, they’re all on the same side: the side of the living.

Jamie Adair is the editor of History Behind Game of Thrones, a website about the history behind George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the hit TV show, "Game of Thrones."


  • Reply August 14, 2017


    Dany has lost a few brownie points with me after this episode. There’s a right way to do something and a wrong way to do something and dispatching Tarly Snr and Jnr by fire (well I know Sam is still around) was the wrong way to do things. I liked book Dany to begin with but I got fed up of “If I look back I am lost” somewhere along the line.

    The Littlefinger shenanigans has at least given him something to do as book Littlefinger is still in the Vale. I do sometimes wonder whether book or show Littlefinger is actually as Machiavellian as alleged or whether the people he has played are rather naive or a bit thick. Although presumably book and show Sansa both have his measure now.

  • Reply August 20, 2017


    With regards to the gold, it was confusing, but the opening scene where Jamie takes some gold for Bronn and pats the wagon to go takes place long before the dragon smoting scene. When Jon gives Bronn the gold, he sends him off with the Tarley’s to help “persuade” villagers to share their grains and supplies with the war effort. In the battle scene, Bronn is back with Jamie and Tarley Sr. rides up and says that the gold has amde it successfully to King’s Landing. It’s difficult to pick up because everyone is dressed the same, but there is a time-jump from scene to scene.

  • Reply August 20, 2017


    I was also a bit frustrated when she burend the loot, as she just mentioned Cerci had all the supplies, but I suppose the argument is that with her firepower, she could have smote all the people, but chose not to-only to cut off the supply line to the rest of the force ahead of that group.

  • Reply August 20, 2017


    You failed to mention Cerci threatening Bronn, when she asked Jamie if he had “punished” him. In Cerci language, this likely means he is already in a dungeon. I think this might play into Cerci’s downfall, as the opening scene had Bronn going on about Jamie not having paid him the debt he is owed yet. Since Lannisters always pay their debts, he may set Bronn free, perhaps with the SandSnake who saved his life (if her resistence to the poison is high enough for her to be alive), thereby “giving” him Dorne. The mother would have to stay, because Cerci would go after her if she were set free, and Jamie hates her too for what she did to Mercella. This betrayal would pit Cerci against Jamie and perhaps fulfill the prophecy of Maggie the Frog, whereby Cerci is killed by her little brother (having been born a few minutes before Jamie).

    • Reply August 21, 2017

      Jamie Adair

      I must be a hopeless romantic, but the first thing I thought of when I read this comment was then Bronn could end up with Tyene! (Even though I think the Sand Snakes are kinda stupid, I liked them together as a couple. Don’t ask me how that adds up in my squirrel brain. lol.)
      I don’t know if Cersei would act against Bronn without Jaime’s permission. Bronn is kind of Jaime’s pet and go-to man. I could be wrong though – and I do think you are on to something when you say that Jaime will likely kill Cersei and not Tyrion.

  • Reply August 20, 2017


    I think there is one historical person/text that we are overlooking in the greater story. Forgive me if it has already been mentioned, but the story is, in essence, about life defeating death. Hence, Jesus. While religion has an important storyline, just like in the Bible, many religions were practiced before the God of Abraham announced another way. We seems to be forgetting about Little Sam, who was to be sacrificed by Craster in order to ensure his people’s “survival” or the “angel of death” ignoring their household, not unlike the final plague in the Old Testament. Little Sam “broke” the pact with “death” aka the Night King, and he is not happy about it. He may actually be looking for Little Sam, and that is why he is on the move. Little Sam was to be killed as a baby, is being raised by a man who is not his biological father, Sam, Gilly and Little Sam have been turned away from various houses along the way. The resurrection theme is the most obvious reference to the Bible, but those being resurrected are also those leading the fight against death. The Hound was someone who killed without remorse and now has been converted. They even start calling him Clegane instead of the Hound, like Saul turned into Paul after his conversion. Little Sam is in the story for a reason, and although he has been downplayed, he may have a Jesus-in-the-temple-as-a-child-when-He-was-lost-for-three-days-moment given that Sam gave him the book with important information in the scene where he snaps. I don’t think that they are trying to recreate the story of Jesus, but I definitely think He is an influence in this story and may prove to be one of the biggest influences.

  • Reply August 21, 2017

    Jamie Adair

    That’s a really intriguing idea. One of GRRM’s major themes is redemption; I believe he has come out and said this in interviews. I don’t think it would be a stretch for Jesus or something similar to make an appearance in his stories.

    I wonder if the Night King is looking for baby Sam. I hadn’t thought of that before at all.

  • Reply August 22, 2017


    Oh but the White Walkers (though we didn’t see them – only the wights they made) were on the move in the cold open to season 1 episode 1 before Baby Sam was born. Argie’s observations about the Bible are interesting though.

    Changing direction, I’m reading a historical whodunnit “Crowner’s Crusade” by Bernard Knight who has worked (well he may still be working) as a forensic pathologist as well being a writer. At the part I am reading (which is still close to the beginning of the book) the main character and Richard the Lionheart and others are on a ship leaving Palestine. There is mention of the last Holy Roman Emperor having fallen into a Turkish river and sinking like a stone, so Jaime’s armour must indeed have been lightweight but tough.

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