‘Game of Thrones’ recap: ‘Eastwatch’ revealed a threat in the North and a slew of royal heirs

Season 7 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is charging towards its conclusion at an astounding pace. The fifth episode, “Eastwatch,” might just be the densest installment of the series to date. It is so full of death, reunions, and revelations that one game-changing discovery wasn’t even noticed by the characters yet. So without further adieu, let’s dive in to the best moments of “Eastwatch.”

Fall of House Tarly – The episode picks up directly after last week’s loot train battle. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn survive as expected, but Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has rounded up the remaining Lannister bannermen. With her dragon Drogon towering behind her on a hill, she gives them the choice to bend the knee or die. Randyll Tarly opposes the Dragon Queen, and his son Dickon follows suit. Despite Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) protests, Dany carries out the promised death sentence and the two Tarlys are roasted alive by Drogon.

Dragonstone Meet and Greet – When Dany lands back in Dragonstone after her victory, Drogon pays special attention to Jon (Kit Harington), even letting the King of the North pet him. Perhaps Drogon senses something familiar about Jon’s blood? Dany must sense something special about Jon too because she begins to ask him how he took “a knife to the heart.” But she is interrupted by the return of Jorah (Iain Glen), now cured of greyscale. When Tyrion proposes bringing a wight to King’s Landing to prove that the army of the dead exists, it is Jorah who volunteers to head North of The Wall with Jon.

Arya vs. Littlefinger – The Northern houses are angered that Jon left Winterfell and urge Sansa (Sophie Turner) to take control instead. Arya (Maisie Williams) is displeased that her sister would let the men speak ill of Jon and becomes increasingly concerned when she spies Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) passing a note to a woman in secret. The mini assassin trails him and witnesses the maester pass him a scroll, to which Littlefinger responds “The Lady of Winterfell thanks you for your service.” Arya searches his room and discovers the scroll is the one Sansa was forced to write back in season one (refresher: it was sent to Robb in an effort to get him to bend the knee to Joffrey). Considering Littlefinger sees Arya leaving his room, it’s safe to say this is a trap to pit the sisters against each other.

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Gendry is Found – Gendry (Joe Dempsie) is rowing no more! On a secret mission to King’s Landing, Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) ventures to the blacksmith quarters and finds the Baratheon bastard back at his old craft. Apparently he figured the safest place to be was “right under the Queen’s nose.” Gendry immediately wants to accompany Davos and fight, instead of arming Lannister men. He can’t use a sword, but does possess an enormous warhammer just like his father. He demonstrates his skill with said hammer by swiftly bashing in the skulls of two Lannister guards who recognize Tyrion.

Cersei’s Surprise – Speaking of Tyrion, he arranged a secret meeting with Jaime. Tyrion defends his reasons for killing their father, but ultimately puts family affairs aside to tell Jaime about the army of the dead. Jaime reports to Cersei (Lena Headey) about Daenerys’s proposed armistice in the face of the White Walkers, but Cersei knew about the meeting the whole time. She knows that Dany possesses the numbers to win the war, so they will have to be smart and keep the enemy close. Cersei also has a new reason to fight and win: she’s pregnant with Jaime’s child and she does not intend to hide the parentage. “Never betray me again,” she threatens, as the incestuous pair hugs over the news.

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Sam and Gilly – A few episodes back Gilly (Hannah Murray) was reading up on dragonglass, and now she has stumbled on Jon’s royal lineage. While telling Sam (John Bradley) about the obsessive journals of an old maester, she describes how the maester performed an annulment for Rhaegar Targaryen and a subsequent secret marriage in Dorne. Gilly doesn’t think much of this info, but for everyone keeping score, Rhaegar is Dany’s dead brother who is said to have stolen away Lyanna Stark to the Tower of Joy in Dorne and raped her. We know Lyanna is Jon’s mother thanks to the flashback last season, but if Lyanna and Rhaegar were in love and legally married before the birth, that would make Jon (not Dany) the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Sam is leaving Oldtown for the North after growing tired of the maesters’ indecision on White Walkers, so hopefully he brought that journal with him.

The Fellowship of the North – Jon arrives at Eastwatch by the Sea to discuss the plan to capture a wight with Tormund (Kristofer Hivju). The wildling warrior is obviously not happy about heading north of the Wall and into the Night King’s territory, but he says he has a few people who will help them. Tormund reveals that they stumbled across the Hound, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr and are now keeping them prisoners. Beric is insistent that these men are all heading to the same place for a reason and were fated to meet. So Jon, Jorah, Gendry, Tormund, Beric, Thoros, and the Hound form an unlikely alliance and take up the mission in The North. The Night King poses an obvious threat, but potentially more harmful are the many reasons these men have to hate each other.

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