Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5: Getting Wight To It
A word of warning: This is our spoiler-filled recap and review of Episode 5, "Eastwatch".
SPOILER WARNING: Seriously, this is your last chance to turn back.
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have serious game. Heck, I'd go so far as to say “throne-level” game. That said, there's a conundrum to solve before either of them can park their keister in King's Landing. How on Earth do you convince TV's most opportunistic bunch of backstabbers to sheathe their knives, hit pause on the titular game of thrones and unite against a common foe? To make that task more difficult, nobody wants to believe said foe exists, and, even if the love-in of the century does happen, the power-couple that is “Jonerys” only have - *counts on fingers* - three episodes to get everybody in position for the final fight.
Dany sure isn't winning any friends in this new land, either. Though understandably pissed off with the Westerosi rebels using Drogon as a pin cushion, Dany makes an awful PR move on her first field of victory. The ol' mad king tendencies come to the fore when she opts to melt Warden of the South Lord Randyll Tarly and his son (Dickon, we hardly knew ye). If you're up on your history, you'll know that this is eerily reminiscent of how Dany's father dealt with Lord Rickard Stark and his son, Brandon. Needless to say, Tyrion and Varys are not on board with the BBQ.
Now that Drogon has been established as the most lethal, cold-blooded creature this side of The Wall - Cersei is a close second - it's quite a surprise to see Jon Snow show no fear of him. When Dany returns to Dragonstone, the King in the North and the dragon get on like a house on fire (house Tarly, perhaps). The Queen is perplexed by a foreigner casually petting her war-beast, possibly a little irritated. Clearly this is just Jon's Targaryen heritage manifest. A birthright he still knows nothing about. Classic Jon Snow. Always knows nothin'.
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In an incredibly risky move, Tyrion and Sir Davos secure a secret meeting with the surprisingly unburnt and un-drowned Bronn and Jamie Lannister. The need to put aside old animosities is great, but too much has happened between the two brothers. Jamie isn't about to tell the woman/sister he loves to surrender the war, all because the black sheep of the family is at the door peddling stories of boogeymen in the North. Less so because Dany's dragons aren't as invincible as everybody once thought. A new Lannister dynasty has a chance to begin thanks to Cersei being pregnant again... with what will probably become Joffrey 2.0. Y-yay?
Speaking of houses coming back against incredible odds: team Baratheon is still in the race! Sort of. Gendry, King Robert's secret bastard, is found in King's Landing by Ser Davos, and the kid somehow isn't pissed off at being made to row back home. Three full seasons of upper-body conditioning, combined with the day-to-day blacksmithing, isn't lost on the Onion Knight. He recruits Gendry for the great battle to come, and I love that he'll be wielding a hammer, just like his dear old dad did in the prime of his life. He also gets two points on the board early with it.
Interestingly, Gendry isn't the only new addition to team Stop The Night King. Jorah Mormont (aka Ser Friend-zone) has shed his stoneskin and decides to return to his beloved Khaleesi in Dragonstone. He's surprised to find Jon Snow is deep in her trust, and that the young bastard is wielding Longclaw, the Valyrian blade of his house. Nevertheless, when Jon suggests a crazy errand, Jorah readily signs up to the cause.
Jon reasons that none of these Southern, Summer-lovin' fairies are going to believe that White Walkers exist... unless one is dragged kicking and shrieking in front of their own eyes as indisputable proof. The bold game plan: take a small team North to Eastwatch (the castle being manned by Tormund), and take an undead hostage.
I have a theory that the screenplay writers of this show have played a lot of Skyrim. Because the characters then use some sort of fast-travel option to arrive at Eastwatch, whereupon they discover The Hound, Beric and Thoros languishing in the local dungeon. A pretty decent Justice League is formed on the spot. Seven men total. That can't be a coincidence.
The scene is set for some serious action in the next episode, but it's the last exchange between Jon and Dany that excites me the most. Just as Jon departs, he bids Dany adieu. He wryly points out a silver lining to her: should he fail, she no longer has to worry about the King in the North. Dany responds that she's gotten used to having him around. Total swipe right.