Eastwatch Bound and Down
Game of Thrones Recap: Season 7 Episode 5, “Eastwatch”
Welcome to SEASON 7 of HBO’s prestige snuff series, GAME OF THRONES. This is a SPOILER-RICH scene-by-scene recap of episode five, “Eastwatch.” If you’re looking for a spoiler-free recap, sit back and consider what the word “recap” means.
When we last saw Jaime “Too Pretty to Drown” Lannister, he was sinking into deep water faster than James Cameron with a 3D camera, doomed to drown in his heavy plate mail armor. Luckily for him, his old friend Bronn is the strongest swimmer alive, and everybody’s favorite sellsword-who-isn’t-named-Daario pulls him out of the water a good distance from the battlefield.
(I’m holding out hope that Daario and Bronn will meet before the series is over. They will start their own two-man sellsword agency in King’s Landing and solve the crimes the Gold Cloaks won’t take. Your gold, though — they’ll be happy to take that. Tuesdays at 9.)
Bronn gives Jaime the old Raiders of the Lost Ark “until I get paid, I’m your goddamned partner” speech, and Jaime realizes that there’s absolutely no way he can lead an army against Daenerys Targaryen and win. And even worse, he realizes he has to tell Cersei about it.
Trial by Fire
Tyrion takes an incredibly well-dressed walk of shame through the scorched remains of the Lannister Army, grappling with the number of deaths he just helped cause. Not the homecoming he was hoping for after all those months in Essos.
Despite last week’s appearances, Dany took prisoners from Field of Fire: Part Deux. She tells the surviving soldiers that she’s “not here to murder,” as they stand on a field covered in the corpses of their countrymen. She gives them a choice: bend the knee, or refuse and die.
Standing in the shadow of Drogon, with the scent of charred flesh wafting on the breeze, it’s an easy choice for most of them. But Randyll Tarly refuses. He lays the racism on pretty thick, and that’s apparently enough to convince Dickon to stand next to him and die for their country. Despite Tyrion’s pleas that she show she’s a little more merciful than the lady who blew up the Sept of Baelor, Dany has Drogon flash fry them.
Tyrion continues to look concerned. This season he’s about 1–1 on the “making quips” to “looking concerned” ratio, with concern gaining ground quickly. If he keeps this up, soon he’ll be as good at brooding as Jon Snow.
Bad News Travels Supernaturally Fast
Jaime marches straight to Cersei’s chambers, where he skips being nice and starts getting real.
He tells Cersei that they can’t beat dragons. He tells her they can’t beat Dothraki. He tells her Olenna was the one he murdered, not Joffrey. He tells her that he cannot tell a lie, it was he who chopped down the cherry tree in the godswood.
Cersei shrugs and gives the threat posed by the Mother of Dragons the Mother of “Mehs.” The way she sees it, she can either kneel and die, or stand and die — and she’s all outta kneels.
Jon is standing on a cliff on Dragonstone, looking out over the sea (like you do). Dany and Drogon return and land right in front of him, and Jon has some serious face-to-face time with the dragon. Drogon seems to take a shine to him, and Jon stops just short of cradling the giant lizard’s belly like Sam Neill on the triceratops in Jurassic Park.
Dany shares the good news that there are fewer Westerosi in the world today than there were yesterday. Then, having buttered Jon up with tales of dragons and warfare, she asks what Ser Davos meant when he said Jon “took a knife in his heart for his people.”
Jon doesn’t have to explain, because the Dothraki show up to march newly-arrived Jorah “Maybe He’s Born With It” Mormont straight to his queen. He bends the knee quicker than anyone else has this season, really showing Jon how it’s done.
You Are The Warg Beneath My Wings
In the North, Bran wargs into a flock of ravens and sends them north of the Wall, straight to the Night King’s army of White Walkers. He takes a quick head count before the Night King hits him with an ice blue evil eye, knocking the ravens out of they sky and Bran back to Winterfell.
Bran tells Maester Wolkan they need to send out more ravens.
Geez, the maester thinks, this kid really knows how to go through ravens.
“THIS IS FINE.”
In the Citadel, the archmaester holds court over a table of elders, and they chuckle about Bran’s raven (news travels fast) and those bumpkins in the North. Samwell pipes up to vouch for Bran, and he makes a speech to the maesters, imploring them to shout a warning about the Long Night from the rooftops and gather the armies of Westeros to stop the the White Walkers.
The archmaester cries #FAKENEWS, saying this could be a ploy by Daenerys to lure the southern armies away. The other maesters nod in agreement. When has a group of old white men ever been wrong before?
We’ll Always Have Varys
Back on Dragonstone, Tyrion and Varys are drinking heavily and chatting lightly about the horrible things that rulers do. Do Dany’s ends justify her means? Is she another Mad King Aerys? How can they make her listen? Is there more wine?
One of Bran’s ravens made it to Dragonstone, and Jon learns that his little brother and his sister Arya are both alive and in Winterfell. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the army of the dead is headed there, too, and there aren’t enough men (and women — hell yes, Lyanna Mormont!) to stop them.
Tyrion has a plan: take one of the dead to King’s Landing, where the sight of it will convince Cersei to send her armies north. The only problem is that they don’t have a white walker, they have no way into King’s Landing, and Cersei wants them all dead.
But it turns out they have the keys to all these locks. Former smuggler Davos can Onion Knight his way up to King’s Landing without anyone the wiser. Tyrion can talk with Jaime, the only person in Westeros who might still listen to him, and set up a meeting between Cersei and Dany. And Jon’s old wildling buddies at Eastwatch by the Sea can help him and Jorah capture themselves a wight.
The Princess Diaries
In Winterfell, the northern lords are not happy that Jon GTFO’ed down to sunny Dragonstone while they stayed home to count grain and polish their armor. Some of them think that Sansa should be the one running things here, instead of just keeping Jon’s seat warm.
Arya doles out a little sisterly assassin wisdom: I can see through you. The last time Arya saw Sansa, she had wanted a courtly life so badly she married Joffrey Baratheon. Now she’s taken up residence in Ned and Cat’s old room and gets to rule the North until Jon comes back. If Jon comes back. Maybe that’s what she wanted all along.
Life’s a Beach
Davos lands Tyrion on the least-guarded beach at King’s Landing. Mr. Seaworth, you’re as good at sneaking onto beaches as you are at sneaking into my heart.
Snows Before Bros
Deep below the Red Keep, Bronn leads Jaime into a secluded chamber, trading innuendos. But just when it looks like my slashfic dreams are finally about to come true, Tyrion steps out of the shadows to have a friendly chat with his older brother.
There’s bad blood between them, but Jaime doesn’t throw Tyrion over his shoulder and haul him up to Cersei. He says Cersei won’t surrender, but surrender isn’t what Tyrion had in mind. “She has a more important request.”
Jaime literally cocks his head like a dog, to indicate that he’s interested in learning important information that will be relayed off-camera.
Blacksmith Monthly’s August Centerfold
Meanwhile, in Flea Bottom, Davos wanders into the Street of Steel, looking for somebody. He recognizes the strong, glistening arms of the one and only GENDRY! The Bastard Baratheon, Hammerer of Swords, Maker of Chains, Rower of Boats, First of His Name, Gendry!
The burly blacksmith hasn’t been rowing around in circles in the Narrow Sea for three seasons. After he last saw Davos, he came straight back to King’s Landing, and he’s been hiding under Cersei’s nose ever since. But now he’s got a giant warhammer and a trip out of Flea Bottom, and he’s ready for his close up.
Old Crab Cialis
On the beach, we finally see Davos the Smuggler in action, bribing his way out of trouble with a couple bags of gold and some Magical Boner Crabs. They’re just about to get away with it when Tyrion arrives, and the guards finally see what’s going on. Gendry goes full usurper on them and stoves their heads in. He’s a nice kid, really. Maybe some anger/daddy issues.
Jaime returns to Cersei’s chambers, and immediately fesses up to meeting with Tyrion. Walking into this room is like having three wine coolers for Jaime; as soon as he gets there, he wants to share his deepest thoughts and have ill-considered sex.
He brings Dany’s conditions: she doesn’t want Cersei to surrender, she wants a temporary armistice so that they can work together and defeat the Night King. She has even extended an invitation for Cersei to come to Dragonstone and discuss terms.
Just when you’d expect Cersei to recommend blowing up Dragonstone with wildfire, she tells Jaime she wants to accept the invitation. It’s what Tywin would have done. It’s not surrender; it’s a temporary tactical retreat.
She’s also plotting for two now. She’s preggers again! Somehow she already knows, even though she just bumped Lannisters with Jaime before he left for Highgarden. It could be a trick to secure his allegiance, ormaybe pregnancy in the Seven Kingdoms speeds along more quickly than a raven with a note or a boat with an army on it.
She tells Jaime that when the baby is born she wants everyone to know that he’s the father. I can’t wait to see what Euron says; the James Dean of the Seas is in for one hell of a pouty, angry musical number when he finds out.
Jaime and Cersei embrace. “Never betray me again,” she threatens into his ear, sexily.
So Long, Farewell, Dracarys and Goodbye
With their hair streaked back from traveling mach speed, Davos and Gendry are back on Dragonstone, looking for Jon Snow. Davos wants Gendry to lay low in Winterfell, but the young blacksmith quickly volunteers to join Jon’s band of wight-catchers heading north of the Wall. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it avoid fighting zombies.
Tyrion and Jorah reconnect before Jorah heads back out to keep racking up his frequent paddler miles. It seems like just yesterday they were getting ambushed by stone men in Valyria and fighting in the slave pits of Mereen. After greyscale surgery in the Citadel and slaughter on the Field of Fire, those count as “fond memories.”
Oh, One More Thing…
In Oldtown, Sam and Gilly chit chat as he slogs through his transcription homework. We see Sam’s snippy side when Gilly tries to share some Westerosi trivia with him. Dude, this is the woman who sat down with you for dinner every night when you came home from cleaning the latrines. Recognize what you’ve got before it’s gone.
Gilly just happens to open a book to a page that says Prince Rhaegar Targaryen — Dany’s older brother, eldest son of the mad king Aerys — secretly annulled his marriage to Elia Martell and married Lyanna Stark in Dorne. The same Dorne where she gave birth to a baby boy in the Tower of Joy, who she gave to a young Ned Stark to raise as his bastard son. Making Sam’s old buddy Jon Snow a trueborn Targaryen-Stark, nephew of Daenerys, and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne in the pre-Baratheon line of succession. No biggie.
The book also has information about the stairs in the Citadel, the windows in the Sept of Baelor, and shits.
Sam is fed up with waiting for the maesters to listen to him. He breaks into their private library, steals a bunch of books and scrolls about the Long Night, and ships his young family — some of the last remaining Tarlys — away from the place he’s wanted to be his entire life.
So long, Citadel. Your sets were probably expensive and the producers have to save up for dragon fights.
Meanwhile, in Canada, Arya is skulking around the shadows of Winterfell, keeping her ninja skills sharp. She catches Littlefinger Littlefingering his way around the castle, having secret conversations and making secret exchanges with the locals.
In one of those Assassin’s Creed missions where you have to stalk somebody without being seen, she follows him to his room, which I’m happy to see is in the castle basement.
Maester Wolkan brings Littlefinger a secret note. “Lady Stark thanks you for your service,” Littlefinger smarms.
He leaves and Arya sneaks in his room. She cases the joint, looking for the note, but no luck — until she sees that his mattress is out of place. And since there’s no way Littlefinger has been getting any action in the North, she quickly finds the note he hid there.
The note has words like “killed from wounds,” “tried to steal his throne,” and “swear fealty to King Joffrey,” and it’s signed “Sansa.” Looks like the note Cersei made Sansa sign when she framed Ned for Robert Baratheon’s death. But why does Littlefinger want it?
Arya absconds, and we see Littlefinger hiding in the shadows, watching. He planned the whole thing! He wanted her to find the note!
Or hanging out in shadows is just what he does when he’s not trying to flirt with Sansa. Either way, it’s not good news.
“We’re On a Mission From (the Red) God”
Jon, Davos, Jorah and Gendry arrive at the North’s beautiful seaside retreat, Eastwatch by the Sea. Tormund Giantsbane and the Night’s Watchlings are waiting. Tormund doesn’t really understand why Jon would want to go back north through the Wall, but he didn’t really understand why Jon would want to live south of the Wall, either. Well, he can understand the latter a little bit; Brienne is down there.
Turns out Jon has arrived hot on the tail of the Brotherhood Without Banners. The Hound, Thoros, Beric and their loyal Brotherhood redshirts followed Clegane’s vision to Eastwatch, aiming to head through the Wall themselves. It’s a rag-tag crew of misfits, but by god, that’s how the Ocean’s Eleven franchise got started, so they agree to team up.
Tormund brings them through the Wall, and Snow Team Six marches into the Lands of Always Winter to find a dead wight bod to bring back. How did you spend your winter break?
NEXT WEEK: The Place Beyond the Wall
All images: HBO