Game Of Thrones Season 7 Review : “Eastwatch”

Have an episode with a battle. Deal with its aftermath in the next episode. Set the stage for next episode’sโ€‹ battle. This has been GOT’s M.O. this season. Welcome to the review of S7E5, “Eastwatch.”

Despite the relative lack of action, this is a super fast episode. Characters travel far and wide, none more so than Ser Davos. Plus, a Lannister reunion.

We pick up where we left last week. At least one character on this show has his motives and destination clear in his mind. Bronn says no one has the permission to kill Jaime until he’s paid the gold that he’s owed. Fair enough, Bronn! You ARE a sellsword, after all. But we still love you for that heroic act, and your razor-sharp humour. 

A core theme of Thrones is characters paying for their actions. Lord Tarly and his beloved younger son Dickon refused to bend the knee to Dany. And Dany fed them both to Drogon’s flames. Dany gave all the Lannister bannermen a choice. Those who refused knew full well what they were doing, like Messrs. Tarly & Son. I did predict a death like this for you, Dickon. But I’d rather you and your father don the black of Night’s Watch and be of some real use. Like poor Sam. Adios, anyway.

Cersei being Cersei won’t accept defeat just yet, even despite the dragons. She certainly has gone a few more miles to the megalomaniac side. And it is unnerving for Jaime the way she keeps switching between her lover and queen modes.

The war could have dragged on for a few more episodes but with only two episodes left in the season, the useful tool that is Bran’s vision makes a decisive intervention. Jon gets to know that his beloved siblings are alive. Also, The Threat is far closer. Dany believing the threat level is logical, as Jon convinced her with the prehistoric cave paintings. The problem is Cersei. She might stop hostilities for the moment (and indeed, she welcomes getting that option for her own reasons), but just like the Maesters in the Citadel, she too isn’t going to believe in the existence of White Walkers and wights. The solution? Go north of the wall and capture a wight, bring it down south so everyone can have irrefutable proof of the gravest danger facing them. Like, really?

Even on paper, this sounds like a suicidal mission. And onscreen, when we see the members of that mission, it makes us worry how many of them are going to survive, and how many fan-favourites are we going to lose? Gendry, the hammer-wielding sidekick, could be one. Tormund another. And Beric and Jorah too. I’d presume Thoros somehow survives, simply because he’s the only person in Westeros now who can bring people back from the dead. This is presuming that all of them won’t die. Jon certainly can’t, not at this stage. But Jorah, despite his connection with Dany and the time spent by the series towards his convalescence, seems like an odd character in this endgame. And much as I’d like to see more of Tormund’s wry humour and his scenes with Brienne, I think we’d not get them. Alas! Unless Thoros of Myr can resurrect them all. That’d be poetic too, showing the Night King that like his ice wights, fire wights exist too. I’d like to see the look on his icy face if that happens!

Cersei’s pregnancy is a strange development at this point. Everything points to the Lannisters not surviving the series. What purpose does this news serve? I don’t think she’s lying but, could she be doing this to control Jaime and making sure he doesn’t defect to the other side?

We also have that wonderful moment this week where Drogon tries to intimidate Jon. What was Dany trying to do there, though? Jon was at the edge of a cliff. Drogon had already killed quite a few people. Was she trying to scare him, show him the might of her “children?” Possibly. But surprise, surprise! Jon actually rubs the beast’s cheeks with his hands. And this look on Dany’s face says it all.

Coupled with Gilly (God bless her!) discovering the annulment of Prince “Regaar’s” first marriage and his secret second marriage in Dorne (where the Tower Of Joy) is, we now have more proof than ever that Jon is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, not that he would care much for it. The stronger inference is that he is the “Song of Ice and Fire” of this series. Here’s some more proof, courtesy Twitter. Caution : Don’t laugh.

Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Littlefinger has upped his game to counter the new threat that is Arya. While Bran’s presence provides easy solutions, I guess we will see some escalation of tension between the sisters next week, and even in the season finale, before things resolve themselves. Littlefinger’s could die in the final season’s opener. Nevertheless, it is remarkable how a guy with no powers or kingdoms has managed to trick or coerce all these northern houses towards the achievement of his own endgame, and his ability to see the moves on this chess board before others even think of them. Arya might be smart, but at the moment, she’s being played. And she has no idea.

Warging time :

  • Dany is in a big dilemma. No, not the war. It’s her heart. It is in a love triangle and the other two people don’t even realise that. It isn’t maternal love she feels for Jon, not yet. And Jorah is the one, as Emilia Clarke admitted in this interview. The one who can see through her. This love…
  • Brienne is shown with Sansa in next week’s official photos, with the Lady of Winterfell reading some papers. Where are we going there?
  • Also, we see Dany and Tyrion walk between the dragons. Is Tyrion finally going to ride one? Are they going north too, on a rescue mission?
  • There have been half-cooked plans on this show before. But this trip beyond the wall has to top them all. As Tormund said, it’s a “stupid f*****g idea.”
  • Are we going to see a more direct confrontation between the Lord Of Light and The White Walkers?
  • How is Dany going to react when she comes to know of Jon’s parentage? Not jubilantly, I presume. Unless…
  • The Hound looks intimidating in that camouflage for beyond-the-wall forays. Expect a few wights to die just by looking at him.
  • Where is Varys going from here? He seems less and less sure of Dany after every episode.
  • These last few weeks at Dragonstone have made Dany tan, very tan. Not that she looks any less attractive now.

As always, kindly share your thoughts about this episode, the review and the series in general. I love hearing from you.

โ€œBeyond The Wallโ€ teaser :

All images (except GRRM and Kit Harrington) courtesy : HBO.

Thanks for reading.

8 Comments

  1. Excellent post (as usual)! I really did not like this episode. Maybe it was because the previous episode was sooo good, but this one just felt rushed and it was a let down. The best part of the episode for me was the Jon & Drogon scene. That was amazing – looked great and well acted.
    I will be interested to see how the show now deals with time, because now that Cersei is pregnant, there’s that 9 month limit there, (and since she’s aware it’s probably more like 7 or 8 months before Lannister Baby arrives), and since they have characters jump from place to place so quickly now, totally at odds to how the first couple of seasons were, I’ll be interested to see if the baby is ever born… because it’s rather silly to have her be pregnant for multiple episodes and have characters supposedly travelling all over in the same amount of time.
    I agree that the walker strategy is ridiculous. So silly. I do love all those characters together though. I am hoping that Dany decides to fly north on Drogon, and she ends up saving the guys as they run away. That would be such a great scene!
    Littlefinger needs to die. He’s so annoying. Totally over the whole Sansa vs Arya topic – which brings up a separate rant from me about how they can’t ever show women being friends with each other. They – television/movies, etc – always show women fighting other women and it gets old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This episode was quite fast-paced, yes. And there seemed to be so much happening. That Jon and Drogon scene was marvellous. I was like, holding my breath with my mouth agape. ๐Ÿ˜€
      I have a feeling that she isn’t pregnant after all. And if she is, maybe the baby would be born next season only. You are right in that having that birth this season would be stretching belief too far.
      Yeah, it’d indeed be awesome if Dany (and Tyrion) could save them. Otherwise….
      Littlefinger needs to die, yes. As soon as possible. As for Sansa vs Arya, I guess in this case it is sort of justified, because of two things : the whole Stark kids’ sibling rivalry thing (which we saw earlier too with Jon and Sansa) and Baelish’s machinations. Now that Bran is there too, I have hope that this will be resolved sooner rather than later. At least this should not result in any deadly standoffs. They are too mature for that, the kids.
      And as for Tv in general, there are some cliches that most showrunners love. Maybe this is one of them too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting theory about Cersei’s pregnancy! You might be right about that one.
    I am really getting vibes that Tyrion is going to turn on Dany. I’m not sure he’ll be riding a dragon anytime soon – I know alot of people have that theory, but I don’t hold to that. We shall see!
    I forgot to mention in my earlier comment about how I kind of agree with Dany’s decision here to toast the Tarly’s. I know people are bothered by this action by her, but I don’t think she had any other option. And she did give them a choice…. Now if this was Jon roasting people I’d be a little perturbed as he really tries to save everyone and give them a fair shot, but Dany has acted in controversial ways before (crucifying the slavers) and this decision of hers felt authentic to the character to me.
    I wonder if when Jon finds out that he’s a Targ, and that he’s legitimate and the Iron Throne should be his, if he’ll have that internal struggle – after all, he doesn’t really want to lead – and the best leaders are usually those who don’t want/seek after that power – but he’s Jon, and he may feel like he must lead and fight for the throne. It’ll be interesting! The more I watch this show the more I want Jon on the throne. With Tyrion as hand. I like them together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cersei is a master manipulator. So we can’t put anything past her.
      As for Tyrion, yes, we’ll see.

      Yes, I thought so too. I didn’t like her doing that but then that is what she is, that’s her character. We can’t expect her to suddenly behave like Jon. This is good writing, that’d be bad.
      Jon and Tyrion together would be awesome. But then, what of Dany, around whose return to the throne this show has been building since the first season? I do agree that it’d be very thrones-y to not give her the throne. She thinks its her right, but she needn’t be. And indeed, in a medieval world, Jon being male has a stronger right to the throne. Not sure Jon would want to leave the north though.
      I read a theory yesterday about Bran being the Night King. You can check it here :

      http://wikiofthrones.com/11417/bran-stark-actually-night-king

      And I thought, well, I was kind of sad after I finished reading it, to be honest. Do tell what you feel, once you read it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting theory re Bran & the Night King. I’m not sure I agree with it, but I do think it’s plausible. There is some link between the Starks & Winter & the Night King – whether it just be an old ancestor, or something. I also think that perhaps the Starks have not always been good – perhaps they are presently trying to atone for mistakes in the past – although none of them would know this at this point except perhaps Bran so I don’t know that that theory is true.
        There has just got to be a point to the crypts in Winterfell, and the saying that there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. Perhaps if there is a Stark there, then Winterfell is safe from winter, due to some ancient pact. ? I don’t know. I also don’t know how fully fleshed out this supposed theory will be on the TV show – it sounds a bit too complicated.
        Also, the whole theory of the prince that was promised sacrificing someone close to them (Azor Ahai sacrificing Nissa Nissa) – I personally think that if the PTWP is Jon, then the sacrifice will be Arya, not Bran. Arya and Jon are the closest to each other in the books, and I know one family member of mine has been pushing them romantically since reading the first book. (That thought never crossed my mind until it was mentioned and now I can totally see it. Provided Jon is a Targ and not her brother). Bran and Jon just don’t have that link that Arya and Jon have – not in the books, and not on the show.
        Bran has serious imagery tying him to Winterfell in the books, and I just flat out don’t like the idea of him being the Night King. Because I want my Starks to be “good”. But i just have a hunch that GRRM is going to throw something incredibly sad and shocking into the mix.
        Should be interesting. Wonder if Winds of Winter will be published prior to the last season airing of GOT.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Last year I had read a theory that said the Night King was an old Lord commander of the Night’s Watch, lured by a woman (guess there’s something about that in the books too).
          Here, your knowledge of the books really shines through. The bit about the saying and their connection with winter, yes, there has to be something there. It can’t be just a saying. Same for the crypts too, yes. What does it say about the saying in the books?
          I know this theory does sound complicated but the way the show introduced time-travel, I don’t think it is unlikely. Plus, we were discussing last year that Bran could be Bran the Builder and he could also be the guy who drove the Mad King mad. Extrapolate that, and we reach here.
          I didn’t know about AA having to sacrifice someone close to them. And yes, I do accept that if closeness is the point, Jon and Arya are far closer. However, I digress on the romantic angle idea. At this point, Jon and Dany are more likely to be romantically linked. Whenever Jon comes to know of his parentage, his relationship with Arya isn’t going to change. She’ll always be the little kid sister, albeit one who’s grown up to become something he wouldn’t have ever imagined.
          And yes, I am with you in the whole Bran-is-NK business. I hate the idea that Bran could be the chief villain of the show too. I mean, that would essentially mean that the show is about him and all the rest of the characters are just there to fill the spots. If that were to happen, I’d be as heartbroken as I was with Ned’s death.
          As for WoW, God it’s been long, hasn’t it? It was supposed to come out before the sixth season. Wonder what tweaks is GRRM making now!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, that Night King theory is one that I hold to. An old Lord Commander who left his post for love. Now, Bran could go back in time and alter it like he did Hodor. Messing with time is a dangerous thing. It’s tough for me to really tell how I feel about it, because the whole time business hasn’t been established in the books yet. Hodor’s still alive, and that “hold the door” scene hasn’t happened in the books (if it will even happen in the books).
            This latest episode brings up some additional questions for me about the Night King, so I’ll discuss those once you post your review. ๐Ÿ™‚
            I am curious how they’ll show Jon’s parentage on the show. There will need to be hard evidence, not just Bran’s visions. I suppose Sam will conveniently have evidence in one of those scrolls he stole… he just needs to listen to Gilly…. and why no one ever noticed or read the scroll until now is totally beyond me…
            As for the crypts in the books – they are like a myth almost. No one except for the Stark kids, and perhaps a few loyal servants who are all dead now know where the entrance is. There is a secrecy about them that hasn’t been explained, nor why it is so important for Stark bones to rest there. And then are the bones enough of a Stark presence in Winterfell? Or do you need a live Stark? There isn’t a live Stark in Winterfell currently in the books – just the bones are there (unless Rickon is hiding away there which is unlikely as Ramsay still holds Winterfell).
            I cannot wait to find out the truth behind this, as I’m sure GRRM has something awesome in store for us readers!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think that Hold the Door episode will happen in the book, whatever form that may take. The showrunners said in the Inside The Episode video of s6e5 that GRRM told them two secrets about the story, one of them being this. So he must intend to use it himself too, in WoW maybe.
              I am excited about this latest episode myself. Guess we’ll have a lot to discuss. ๐Ÿ˜
              Gilly is bringing the evidence from Oldtown, I guess, regards Jon’s parentage.
              I guess the scrolls are like old archives, and there hasn’t been any real desire among any of the maesters to read them, laziness and all.
              I think they need a live Stark in Winterfell, otherwise there always are dead in the crypts, no?๐Ÿ˜
              I am amazed at the level of detail and connections in the show. Figures that the books will be even better. That is proof that GRRM will indeed have something up his sleeve. It’s masterly, the whole plot.

              Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s