After the amazing ‘Loot Train Battle‘ of Episode 4, I honestly did not think that Episode 5 was going to be able to live up to its predecessor. While it was still a decent episode, I sadly was proved correct last night, as this week’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ seemed to be a lot of set-up prepping us for the final two episodes of the season. Don’t get me wrong, the episode still had a lot going on, and plenty of surprises and interesting reveals, but just did not have the jaw dropping wonder and excitement of Episode 4, and ended on the promise of future excitement and suspense rather than showing us anything, which for me was a little disappointing because I thought with a title like ‘Eastwatch’ we might actually get to see the moment when the White Walkers attacked that castle.
Let’s start with Sam and Gilly in the citadel, where he managed to, as the internet is putting it, “man-splain” right over Gilly reading a passage from the Maester’s journal who gave Rhaegar Targaryen an annulment so he could legally marry another woman in a secret marriage in Dorne. This is a very important plot point as it means that most likely Jon Snow is not a Targaryen bastard either, but a rightful member of that family who has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne, perhaps even more-so than Daenerys. The Maesters themselves also prove to be too stubborn for Sam, who grows angry when they ignore a warning from Winterfell about White Walkers marching on Eastwatch and decides to flee the Citadel, taking Gilly and all the books and scrolls he can steal/carry with him from the library.
In Winterfell, Bran has a vision of how close the White Walkers are to Eastwatch and ravens are sent out to everyone they can think of asking for men and aid for the wall. Meanwhile, Sansa and Arya’s relationship continues to deteriorate, as Arya is all too aware of how much her sister covets power, especially as Jon has left her in charge. Sansa does not like being called out on that fact, especially when she is actually doing a good job leading the North as evidenced by how much her bannerman love her, almost enough to throw out Jon Snow’s leadership entirely. Arya suspects Littlefinger has a hand in what is going on and investigates, but the whole thing becomes spy vs spy as even though she breaks into his room and finds a scroll incriminating Sansa (the one her sister was forced to write while under Joffrey’s thrall back in Season 2, urging her brother Rob to bend the knee), we see Littlefinger watching her intrusion, and it seems like he planted this “evidence” just to continue to drive a wedge between the sisters. But Arya is smarter than that right? Right?
Flashback to just after the ‘Loot Train Battle’ and we learn Bronn pulled Jamie from the river, informing Jamie that until Bronn is paid, no one gets to kill Jamie, which is kind of heroic in a mercenary kind of way. They both discuss how hopeless this war is with both the Dothraki and the dragons on Daenerys’ side, and Jamie reports as much to Cersei as soon as he gets back to King’s Landing, but she reminds him there is no turning back for them, suing for peace is not an option as Dany wants their family dead. Also, just to keep her brother motivated (and potentially prevent any thoughts of Queenslaying to end the war quickly), Cersei informs Jamie that she is pregnant once more with their child, and this time, she is going to tell everyone it belongs to Jamie.
At Dragonstone, Jon gets the warning from Winterfell just as Jorah Mormont returns to Dany, and while they discuss whether Jon should return to fight, Tyrion suggests they bring an actual White Walker back to the south to show both Dany and Cersei as proof of the true evil in the north, which would make them halt the war and send troops to defend the Wall, which Dany agrees is the best course of action. She even sends Tyrion to King’s Landing to get an audience with the Queen for when they get the White Walker, which he does reluctantly with Sir Davos. Meanwhile, Jon looks decidedly unhappy to see how close Jorah is to Dany, and how much she admires him, especially when he volunteers to go North to capture a White Walker. Jon of course also volunteers, and Dany must say goodbye to both of these men who mean so much to her, especially Jon who we learned this episode also has a special bond with Drogon the dragon, as he was able to walk up and pet the beast on the nose while Dany watched, potentially foreshadowing many things.
Tyrion and Davos head to King’s Landing where Bronn sets up a meeting between Jamie and Tyrion (which Jamie does not know about) and Tyrion urges his brother to present his plan to Cersei, though Jamie is still unhappy with Tyrion for killing their father. Meanwhile, Sir Davos collects Gendry (!!) from his new blacksmith post and enlists him in the war, seeing him as a kind of surrogate son who he does not want to see get caught in the war when King’s Landing is invaded. Back at Dragonstone, against Davos’s wishes, Gendry reveals his true identity to Jon Snow right before the King of the North leaves for Eastwatch and asks to go along with him, saying their fathers were friends and allies, and they should work together. Jon seems to take an instant liking to Gendry and allows him to come along, while Davos is unhappy to see Gendry throw himself into danger like that. Jamie meanwhile brings Tyrion’s message to Cersei, who apparently already knew about the meeting, and has already decided to meet with Tyrion, especially if it means a temporary truce with Dany, as she clearly wants to find a way to use the White Walker situation to their advantage, especially now that they are so close to losing the war.
Lastly, we have Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, and Gendry arrive at Eastwatch where they prepare to head out and bag a White Walker, only to learn they may have some unexpected help from Beric Dondarrion, Thoros the Red Priest, and the Hound, who also happened to have arrived at the wall and were being held by Tormund and the Wildlings. They all decide to form an uneasy fellowship to go out and find a White Walker to bring back south, despite the fact that most of them do not like or trust each other, but all seem to agree they met up at that point for a reason, and this seems like something that has to be done. So the final shot of the episode is this group heading out past the wall into the wild, one last hero shot of the ‘Game of Thrones’ suicide squad (as Twitter is calling them) charging forward toward their mission.
GAME OF THEORIES:
- Could there be a bounty on Sam’s head for stealing books from the Citadel library? Or will that plot point be forgotten for convenience? And will Sam ever connect the Jon Snow – Rhaegar Targaryen dots?
- I stand firmly on the side of Cersei being a liar about being pregnant. It is all about keeping Jaime on her side and preventing him from having any regicidal thoughts, especially if she goes full Mad King and starts killing thousands of people (or making alliances with Night King’s…) to ruthlessly win the war.
- Perhaps it is Daenerys who is going to die, and Jon Snow will take up her cause and her troops and conquer the 7 kingdoms. That could be why they specifically showed that Drogon could tolerate him, as Jon would only be riding Drogon is Dany were not around…
- What will Cersei do to Bronn since he “betrayed” Jamie by setting up that Tyrion meeting? Honestly, she could just strip him of his knighthood and the castle promise and it would crush the man. He’s been waiting at least 3 seasons for that castle.
- Is Cersei devious enough to ally herself with the Night King should the situation come up just to stay on the Iron Throne? Could she be that short-sighted?
- Could this be the end of a number of members of the GOT Suicide Squad? I like the theory of Jorah sacrificing himself to become the White Walker they bring back south, but he JUST got healed and saved, I would hate for him to die so soon after that. Could this actually be the end of Jon Snow? Highly Doubtful. But I bet Tormund dies, fans like him too much and he honestly serves no purpose anymore, potentially the same goes for the Hound, though if he became the White Walker, and then they took him south, we could potentially FINALLY get a version of the Hound VS the Mountain battle we’ve all wanted, with both being zombie versions of their former selves.
A lot of set-up this week, but still some cool moments, and at least it was long enough that I got the impression this was it for all the set-up they want to do this season (fingers crossed) and from here on out it will be all the action we want. Here’s hoping our favorite survive that little trip into the wild, that Arya gets to kill Littlefinger before the season is out, and that Dany continues to smash through Cersei’s forces (the dragon battles are clearly going to be the most fun parts of the rest of the show). See you back here next week for the penultimate episode!