TV Review: Game of Thrones, Season 7, Episode 5 "Eastwatch"

EPISODE 5: Eastwatch

PLOT: Daenerys demands loyalty from the surviving Lannister soldiers; Jon heeds Bran’s warning about White Walkers on the move; Cersei vows to vanquish anyone or anything that stands in her way.The Lannisters make a move to pay their debt, Daenerys makes a decision to act, a family is reunited


Well, Jamie emerged from the water this episode along with Bronn, after a bit of a cliffhanger from last episode when Daenarys used Drogon to fry the Lannister army and show her true might. Bronn, still waiting for his castle and title, reminds Jamie of why he was saved, saying, "Listen to me, cunt. Till I get what I'm owed, a dragon doesn't get to kill you, you don't get to kill you. Only I get to kill you." Jamie brings up that it was only one dragon that did all this and foretells what could happen if Daenerys harnessed all three. "You're fucked" says Bronn. And, I think that about sums it up. We see Tyrion walk amongst the ashes and you know he's got to be feeling some pangs of regret, even if he feels he's on the right side. It's still his family and his birthright. The decisions he's made have led him here and it can't be easy walking amongst those dead.

Danerys gathers the surviving Lannister troops and proposes that they bend the knee or die, which many of them do. However, Randall Tarly and ol' Dickon Tarly don't bend so easily and refuse. Daenarys calls them forward and asks why. "There are no easy choices in war," says Randall at one point and it becomes even more ironic, given that Daenerys has that weight on her shoulders as well. Randall calls out Tyrion, who fights to reason with them, at being a traitor to his own house and that has to hurt him no matter how you slice it. Still, Tyrion tries to find a solution that will leave both Randall and Dickon alive, but it's to no avail. Danerys, again showing that she can be just as merciless as she is kind, orders them killed by the fire of Drogon. This feels like another move that puts Daenerys in the realm of not necessarily being this "perfect" rule that she often portrays herself as. In fact, it's very much in line with the kind of battlefield execution you'd expect from her father, The Mad King. And by the look on Tyrion's face, he feels the same.

Next, we see Jamie reporting to Cersei on the losses and overall defeat they have suffered. He's not bullshitting her, either. The stakes are very real, especially with at least one dragon in play. He also tells Cersei about Olenna's deathbed confession that she had Joffrey killed. Cersei, of course, doubts this, but Jamie makes the case for the truth, although assuaging her that all of the Martel family line is dead and that the Lannister line will follow soon if they don't figure something out. Cersei, finally where she really wants to be, seems to be about what we'd expect; determined to see it through to the bitter end. "So we fight and die or we submit and die, I know my choice. A soldier should know his." Yeah, Cersei is either gonna win this or burn it to the ground.

We then return to Dragonstone, where Daenerys returns atop Drogon. Jon Snow stands by the cliffside and Drogon approaches, almost curious. Jon reluctantly reaches out his hand and Drogon allows him to touch him. There's a definite connection and I'm just waiting for the moment the Targaryan roots of Jon are finally revealed so we can get on with it. It's obvious on all levels now and I look forward to the full reveal that will carry Jon's story to the next level. What will he do with the new information? Jon and Daenerys have a small conversation, but it's interrupted by the appearance of Jorah Mormount, cured of his greyscale and back to serve her. Daenerys easily accepts him and they embrace. It almost feels like a bit of fan service in that regard and I can't help but feel that Jorah's only fate can rest in sacrificing his life for Daenerys in some way, which feels kind of like a cheat. Maybe they'll surprise us, though.

We then follow a murder of crows flying past the wall and surveying the Army of the Dead, which is absolutely massive at this point. The Three-Eyed Raven AKA Brandon Stark, watches through them as they locate The Night King, who sends the crows away with a simple look. "Ravens. We need to send ravens," he says. Back at The Citadel, the senior members talk about the Three-Eyed Raven and what's going on in the North. Samwell Tarly, standing by, speaks up and advises them that he let Brandon in from The Wall and suggests that they should listen to what he has to say. "Everyone in Westeros trusts and respects you. If you tell people the threat is real, they'll believe it. If you advise all the Lords to send their men North to hold The Wall, they'll do it. And if you tell every Maester in The Citadel to search every word of every faded scroll about The Long Night, they may find something that lets us to defeat the Army of the Dead for good." It's great to see Samwell finally be heard, as he's always been the odd man out and this is the chance for him to step forward and really show his true mettle. Even if it feels like a shoe-in that he'd become a true Maester, it's still good to see that journey come to life. He's tenacious and strong, finally. Unfortunately, he just isn't being taken seriously, which is sadly expected.

Tyrion, drinking and knowing things, sits with Lord Varys as they discuss Daenarys' actions on the battlefield. Tyrion is obviously torn about her decisions. Varys, who served under the Mad King, reminds him of how her father did similar things, but that the difference is those that counsel her now. "You need to find a way to make her listen," Varys tells Tyrion and I can't help but feel that Tyrion may well be the saving grace of her character. Mabye the only one. Vary's hold a scroll for Jon Snow and we cut to Jon reading it. He has just learned that Arya and Bran have returned to Winterfell. Obviously, this is a game changer for Jon, in more than one way. Jon needs to get home. But, the conversation turns to convincing Cersei that The Army of the Dead is real, as Deaneyrs isn't about to give up her position to allow Cersei to retake her advances. Only way to convince Cersei is to bring one of those zombie bastards to King's Landing. The topic turns to finding one and bringing it to her. Naturally, Sir Jorah volunteers to make this happen, but of course Jon knows that none of it can happen without him. Daenarys brings up that she hasn't granted him permission to leave and Jon reminds her that he doesn't need it.

"With respect your grace, I don't need your permission. I am a king. Now, I came here knowing that you could have your men behead me or your dragons burn me alive. I put my trust in you. A stranger. Because I knew that it was the best chance for my people, for all our people. Now, I'm asking you to trust in a stranger, because it's our best chance." And, god damn, how can you not just love Jon Snow even more? His steadfast dedication is beyond admirable. It's downright inspiring. I need him to speak at my kid's graduation some day. For real. Back in the North, the Lords squabble over Jon staying in the North, but Sansa stands up for her bastard brother, reassuring that he is doing what's right for the people. Arya stands by her as well and it's great to see the sisters work together, even if they disagree. Finally, we have some Starks in Winterfell manuevering to make their kingdom strong again. Between Jon, Sansa, Arya and Bran, it's truly awesome to see them pulling it together. Arya provides good counsel to Sansa, even if it's with information she doesn't want to hear, which falls squarely on her preparing for a Winterfell without Jon Snow.

Meanwhile, Tyrion and Sir Davos arrive at King's Landing, venturing into the city to talk to Cersei, while Jamie and Bronn head into the catacombs. Turns out Bronn was the middle man in connecting Jamie and Tyrion once again. (It's worth noting that the slow burn of previous seasons was contingent on a whole lot of travel time, whereas this new season kind of bypasses the travel aspect altogether). The meeting between Tyrion and Jamie is a long time coming. The last time they were together, Tyrion killed their father. The love between the two has always been a nice aspect of the show and seeing them together again creates a bittersweet feeling. Still, it's all about business and that business is meeting with their sister, Cersei.

Sir Davos hits Flea Bottom to retrieve a long lost fan-favorite: Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, who had at one point been ordered killed by Stannis Baratheon by Melisandre. Huddled up, Gendry has been working in Flea Bottom making weapons and now, armed with a badass war hammer, he's ready to fight alongside Davos. What role he could possibly play, I don't know. If anything, he's another link in the chain that could go anywhere. The Baratheon bloodline is so far muddled that I'd all but forgotten it at this point.

Jamie then confronts Cersei, informing her that he met with Tyrion. He informs her that Daenarys wants to meet about a truce that would unite them all in fighting the Army of the Dead. Cersei, however, already knows. She is well informed in what's going on. "Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it. Ourselves. Our house. For this." And the tide changes. Cersei motions to her womb. She is pregnant again. Or is she? Could it all be a trap to ensnare Jamie to her side and have him protecting something that may or may not exist? Does Jamie even really care about a legacy at this point? I can't help but feel that Jamie is being driven down a road that will ultimately lead to his own madness, that may or may not mean his hand as the one across Cersei's throat. I guess we'll find out.

Later we see Gendry and Sir Davos reuniting with Jon Snow. It's interesting to see the so-called basterd of Ned Stark and the true bastard of Robert Baratheon united together. The way things play out, eh? Kind of cool, really. It made me smile. Two men who grew up on the back of their fathers' achievements, now united in a common goal. Gendry is determined to serve and fight, owing his life to Sir Davos. What role will he play in this Game, I wonder?

We see Tyrion and Jorah united as well, standing on the beach. "You may not believe it, but I've missed you Mormount. Nobody glowers like you. Not even Greyworm." Tyrion hands over the slaver coin to Mormount, telling him to bring it back. "Our Queen needs you." I can't help but feel that this is Jorah's last hurrah, but part of me hopes it's not. It feels too simple. But, the last words and the coin almost seem like a death sentence to poor ol' Jorah.

Jon boards the ship with them, but not before a brief chat with Daenerys. "If I don't return, at least you won't have to deal with the King of the North anymore."

"I've grown used to him," she says. "I wish you good fortune in the wars to come, your grace," Jon replies. Ah, Jon, always all business (unless you're a smoking hot Wildling redhead, of course). You have to wonder just where they actually stand at this point. Is there romance? Kinship? Is it all just the business of Westeros? Neither is fully revealing their cards, but I'm very curious what happens when they're all on the table. This mission, however, feels like something that will separate them for a good while.

Back at The Citadal, Gilly and Samwell talk over the current state of things. Samwell is flustered over the continuous disregard of the Night's Watch, while Gilly is steadfast in helping him advance in his training as a Maester. But, Samwell is committed. This is a guy who has seena nd faced the evil of the Army of the Dead. you can't think for a second he'd turna  blind eye. He raids the locked away library, conflicted over his journey as a Maester and his dedication to the defeat of the Army. "I'm tired of reading about achievements of better men," he says, stowing away all the scrolls he can carry and heading back to The Wall with Gilly and Samwell Jr. Again, we see him emerge as a true hero to this cause and one that is desperately needed.

Back at Winterfell, we see Littlefinger maneuvering as usual to work things in his favor. But, he has a Lady with No Name watching over him. Arya follows him around to discover his true intentions, eventually leading to a locked room and a hidden scroll. However, we know that Littlefinger is far more clever than anyone could give credit for and it becomes apparent that he's setting up Arya as much as she thinks she's on his trail. There's definitely some pieces moving around at Winterfell and Lord Baelish is going to have to be dealt with once and for all. However, I fear that it won't be until he's done some real damage there.

Finally, Jon, Sir Davos and Gendry return to The Wall, sitting down to talk with Tormund about their current plan to heist a wight from The Army of the Dead to take back to Cersei to convince her of the stakes. "You really want to go back out there again?" ask Tormund. "You're not the only ones." He leads them back to a group of men also seeking to go beyond The Wall. It's The Hound and Beric Dondarion, along with fellow The Brotherhood Without Banners members. "Here we all are. At the edge of the world. At the same moment. Heading in the same direction for the same reason." says Beric. And, holy shit, he's right. It may feel like the biggest slice of team-up fan service, but god damn if I don't love it. It's absolutely badass to see Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, Jorah Mormount, Beric Dondarion, Gendry, The Hound, and Beric Dondarion all headed past The Wall to kick some ass. I mean, this is endgame awesome kind of shit! This is what we've been waiting for (and then some).

It may feel like a whole lot of set-up, but it's some great damn set up. New alliances, reunions and the evolution of relationships from seasons past. Sure, much of it is happening at a faster pace than we're used to, but that's quite all right for me. I'm loving every aspect of this final journey and I feel like the next two episodes will set us up for a grand finale that we've both been waiting for and never expected. The writing has been so on point thus far, making for a breeze of a great season thus far. My fear is that the next two episodes will come and go in a blink and the agony of awaiting the final season is going to be a true killer. Will we learn of Jon's parentage before this season closes (perhaps at the finale)? Who will die (surely, we will lose a few)? And finally, what can we expect in the turn of events at King's Landing, Winterfell and Dragonstone (amongst others)? The anxiety of the grand finale is sitting on the edge and with only two episodes to go this season I feel like there's no way we can get anywhere NEAR the answers we want before the final season of the series. As per the usual, we'll just have to wait and see and I'm already wishing it was next Sunday.

SEX/NUDITY: None. Sorry. YouPorn is always open, though.

VIOLENCE: Drogon burns two men alive. Gendry smashes the faces of two King's Landing guards.

BEST SCENE: A LOT of set-up this episode and the long-time fan in me really loved the meeting of long-running characters from so many diferent roads. Jon Snow, Tormund, Jorah, Gendry, The Hound, and Beric Dondarion all on the same mission seems like an ultimate Westeros team-up and I did NOT see it coming. But, now that I have it, it's all I want.



Source: JoBlo.com



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