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Game Of Thrones Recap: Season 7, Episode 5 - Eastwatch

Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 5
In the fifth episode of season 7, Daenerys deals with the aftermath of the Field of Fire, while Tyrion tries to figure out how to deal with Daenerys. Jon makes some new friends, and long-absent characters return to the fold. Tyrion hatches a crazy plan, one that's so crazy it just might work. Tensions rise in Winterfell, and Littlefinger looks for a way to exploit the situation. After gaining important new information, Sam must decide where his true loyalties lie. Find out what you missed with our detailed breakdown of "Eastwatch."

What happened last time

In the fourth episode of the season, Jon (Kit Harington) and Dany (Emilia Clarke) had a moment in the dragonglass cave, and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) received a not-so-warm welcome from Jon. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) managed to see Higharden's gold back to King's Landing, but their grain shipment—and most of their army—was torched when Daenerys showed up on Drogon, along with her Dothraki screamers. Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) departed Winterfell and Arya (Maisie Williams) returned home, but she found much has changed in her absence. She later had a reunion with Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie) that went swimmingly. Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) tried to find an opening somewhere to drive the Stark siblings apart, but it definitely won't come from Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright).

The Crownlands
Their plot armor coming in handy yet again, Bronn and Jaime drag themselves from the Blackwater River, looking like a pair of drowned rats. They've drifted downriver from the battlefield, so they're safe for the moment. Bronn takes this opportunity to berate Jaime for his stupidity, but Jaime defends his actions—not even bothering to thank the sellsword for saving his life.

Back at the battlefield, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) walks through the ashes, surveying the destruction. The Dothraki have gathered the surviving Lannister soldiers and brought them before Daenerys. Drogon waits nearby, a menacing mountain of fire and teeth. Dany addresses the soldiers, giving them an ultimatum: bend the knee or die. While many of the soldiers kneel right away, Lord Randyll Tarly (James Faulkner) and his son Dickon (Tom Hopper) do not. Given that Randyll was reluctant to betray the Tyrells in the first place, his obstinate refusal to swear to Dany seems odd. Following his father's lead, Dickon also defies her.

Dany prepares to burn the Tarlys, and Tyrion tries to intercede. If she begins her conquest of Westeros by snuffing out ancient houses, she will make their task much harder. Daenerys doesn't want to listen, and ignores Tyrion's suggestion of keeping Dickon as a captive. Her Hand can only watch in grim silence as she has Drogon roast the Tarlys. Afterwards, all the remaining holdouts immediately fall to their knees.

King's Landing
Bronn and Jaime have made it back to the Red Keep. Jaime finds Cersei (Lena Headey) in her bedchamber and delivers the news of their defeat to his sister. Seeing just one dragon in battle has deeply affected him, and he advises her that "this isn't a war we can win." Unsurprisingly, Cersei isn't deterred by this proclamation. If there's one thing she has in spades, it's determination. She will not let this foreign Queen and the brother who murdered their child take Westeros from her. When Jaime reveals that it was actually Olenna Tyrell that killed Joffrey, Cersei shrugs it off—Tyrion still killed their father, and so he and his blonde-haired whore will die.

As Daenerys and Drogon arrive back on Dragonstone, Jon stands on the cliffside, watching their approach. Maybe Drogon is feeling aggressive after roasting all those Lannisters or maybe Daenerys wants to intimidate Jon a bit. Either way, Drogon lumbers towards Jon after they land, snarling menacingly. Jon is unnerved, but doesn't move as Drogon comes close. As the massive dragon sniffs him (perhaps smelling his Targaryen bloodline), Jon reaches out tentatively and pets the gigantic head. By some miracle, Drogon allows it—much to Dany's surprise. After she dismounts, they start to talk about the dragons, but are interrupted by the arrival of Jorah (Iain Glen).

It's obvious that both he and Daenerys are overjoyed to be reunited. When he tells her that he's been cured, Dany even gives him a hug. But before Jorah can get his hopes too high, he notices Jon standing not far away. Uh oh, is he already on a one-way trip back to the friendzone?

Bran uses his skin-changing abilities to take control of a great flock of ravens in the Godswood. They take to the air, speeding northwards. We watch from their perspective as they fly north of the Wall, eventually encountering the Night King's army. There are thousands of them, perhaps even a hundred thousand, and they're marching steadily southwards. The Night King shoots a cold stare into the sky, and the ravens scatter as Bran returns to his body. Maester Wolkan (Richard Rycroft) is nearby, and Bran orders him to send ravens with word of what he saw.

Around a table, the Archmaesters argue over Bran's message. Sam (John Bradley-West) enters with a pile of books and overhears their conversation. Unable to keep quiet, Sam does his best to convince them of the truth of the White Walker threat. While Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) does seem to take Sam's pleas seriously, another Archmaester points out it could be a ploy to lure the southern forces away so that Daenerys can scoop up their lands like loose pearls. Frustrated, Sam leaves.

In the throne room, Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) discuss the events of the Field of Fire, and they're both clearly unhappy about Dany's decision to burn the Tarlys. After all, a Targaryen burning one of his Lords is what started this whole mess years ago. Tyrion is drinking again and he gives Varys some withering side-eye when the Spider tells him that he needs to get Daenerys under control.

Later, Dany and her council meet. Jon tells them about the message he received from Bran at Winterfell. Finally convinced of the need to deal with the White Walkers, Dany doesn't argue (much) when Tyrion suggests reaching out to Cersei to negotiate a truce so that all of Westeros' armies can face the impending doom together. All that remains is the thorny problem of actually convincing Cersei. Tyrion knows his sister, and she won't believe anything she can't see with her own eyes. What if a wight could be captured and brought back to King's Landing?

They begin to hatch a plan: Jorah and Jon will go north to meet Tormund at Eastwatch. There, they will go beyond the Wall and attempt to catch a wight. Tyrion suggests setting up a meeting with Jaime. Smuggler extraordinaire Davos (Liam Cunningham) offers to take Tyrion to King's Landing. While Daenerys definitely isn't pleased about Jon's decision, he points out that he doesn't need her permission—he's a King. Dany finally agrees, and they set their plan in motion.

Arya enters the Great Hall, where the Lords of the North are restless. Lord Glover (Tim McInnerny) complains about Jon's absence, and tells Sansa (Sophie Turner) that perhaps they should have chosen her to lead them instead. Lord Royce (Rupert Vansittart) chimes in that the Knights of the Vale came for her. Sansa shuts them down quickly, sharing a tense look with Arya across the room. Later, the sisters walk together to Sansa's room, and when Arya realizes it was their parent's quarters, she calls out Sansa on her motivations. Why didn't she defend Jon more strongly? Sansa tries to set Arya straight about how politics works, and why they need those lords. Arya won't back down and even implies that Sansa has designs on Jon's throne herself. The scene ends very tensely.

King's Landing
Tyrion and Davos land on a cove near Flea Bottom, and go their separate ways. Tyrion heads to the planned meeting place, while Davos goes up into Flea Bottom on his own mission.

Bronn tricks Jaime into coming with him into the Red Keep's dungeons, and so Jaime is unpleasantly surprised when Tyrion is there waiting for them. After a tense few moments where Jaime seriously considers splitting his little brother in half, he agrees to hear him out. Tyrion explains the situation, pointing out the futility of Cersei continuing to resist a Targaryen queen with three dragons. Though we don't see it on screen, Tyrion also reveals what is happening beyond the Wall.

Somewhere on the Street of Steel, Davos approaches a smithy's stall. "Thought you might still be rowing," Davos says. The camera cuts to the blacksmith, and we see that it's none other than Gendry (Joe Dempsie). The two talk, and Gendry admits that he's tired of making swords for the same people who killed his father. Davos asks Gendry to come with him to serve Daenerys and Gendry quickly agrees, only pausing to grab a gigantic warhammer (emblazoned with the Baratheon stag).

Back at the cove, Davos and Gendry prepare to leave. As they stow their things, a pair of nosy Gold Cloaks come to investigate. Davos tries to smooth talk them into leaving with a bribe, but unfortunately they recognize Tyrion as he tries to slip past. Gendry has been watching this exchange, and before the Gold Cloaks can raise the alarm, he sneaks behind them, warhammer in hand. Two powerful blows later, the Gold Cloaks are dead and the trio make their escape.

The Red Keep
Jaime finds Cersei in her bedchamber, and comes clean to her about meeting with Tyrion, and what he had to say. After revealing that she already knew about the meeting, she tells Jaime that she agrees a temporary truce might be in their best interests. When he asks why, she drops a bombshell—she is pregnant. What's more, she plans on telling the world that it's Jaime's child. He seems genuinely moved, and the pair embrace. That's when the other shoe drops, as she quietly tells him to "never betray me again."

Safely back at Dragonstone, Gendry and Jon meet for the first time. Although Davos meant for Gendry to lie about his identity, Gendry tells Jon right away that he's Robert Baratheon's bastard son. The pair warm to each other immediately, trading a few stories about Robert and Ned, and then Gendry asks to come along on the mission beyond the Wall. Jon agrees, and Davos throws in a few digs about young idiots going off to get themselves killed.

On the beach, the expedition prepares to set off. Tyrion and Jorah have a brief moment in which Tyrion reveals how fond he's grown of his former captor. Daenerys arrives, and she and Jorah also bid each other a sentimental farewell. When Jon and Dany say goodbye, it's a much more formal affair—but sparks still fly when Daenerys tells Jon she's gotten used to him being around. Echoing both Ser Arthur Dayne and Mance Rayder, Jon replies, "I wish you good fortune in the wars to come," before going to the boat.

In their room, Gilly (Hannah Murray) regales Sam with obscure facts written by Septon Maynard—who apparently recorded everything from the number of steps in the Citadel to how many times he pooped each day. Then Gilly reveals something that fans have long been waiting for: a confirmation that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were married. 

That's right, Septon Maynard traveled to Dorne and annulled Rhaegar's marriage to Elia Martell, then married Rhaegar and Lyanna. This means that Jon is nobody's bastard—not Ned Stark's, not even Rhaegar Targaryen's. Jon is the trueborn son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, which makes him the actual heir to the Iron Throne, not Daenerys. Sam was so frustrated from his earlier conversation with the Archmaesters that he isn't listening at all. Will this information ever see the light of day?

In a fury, Sam goes to the library, enters the restricted section and steals a number of books and scrolls. He takes one last look at the astrolabe as he leaves, but it's obvious he's done with the Citadel. Loading up a horse and cart in the dark, he, Gilly, and little Sam set off. "I'm tired of reading about the achievements of better men," he says as they drive away.  

Arya stealthily watches as Littlefinger meets with one of his informants, then Lord Glover and Lord Royce. Later, Maester Wolkan brings Littlefinger a scroll, and Baelish pointedly asks if it's the only copy in Winterfell. He then says, "Lady Stark thanks you for your service," which is most assuredly planned to rouse Arya's already growing suspicions of her sister.

After he leaves, Arya breaks in and ransacks his room, looking for the scroll. She eventually finds it in a fairly obvious hiding place under the mattress. We only get a brief look at the letter, but it appears to be from Sansa—written right after Robert Baratheon died in season 1, urging her brother to bend the knee to Joffrey. While we know this letter was written under duress, Arya does not—which is obviously Littlefinger's plan. As she exits his room, Littlefinger watches from a dark corner down the corridor, a sly look on his face.

Gendry's rowing skills must have come in handy—Jon's expedition has already arrived at Eastwatch. They meet with Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) to explain their mission, and the Wildling has some surprising news: he's caught a group of men trying to head north of the Wall, and he has them locked up in the cells. When they go to see the prisoners, we see that they are none other than Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and the rest of the Brotherhood Without Banners along with the Hound (Rory McCann). Within moments, old enmities rise to the surface, especially between Gendry and the Brotherhood—who once sold him to Melisandre. Nonetheless, Jon calms everyone down and offers to give Beric's men what they want—to go north of the Wall with his expedition. In the last shot of the episode, we see the small group disappear into the blizzard, heading into dangers untold.

Final thoughts
There's so much to digest in this episode. First of all, let's talk about the bomb that Cersei laid on Jaime. If she truly is pregnant (which we theorized might happen a year ago), then this could really put their relationship to the test. If the prophecy of the woods witch Maggy is to be believed, then Cersei has already had all the children she will ever have. That means it's extremely likely that she is either lying, or she will lose the child before it's born. Also, let's talk about the look on Jaime's face when she told him never to betray her again. He knows he's trapped now, and he may be forced to do something about it before much longer—especially if Cersei doesn't dial down the crazy a bit.

Arya and Sansa—ugh, this storyline really stinks. They never really saw eye-to-eye as children, but Arya's deep suspicion of her sister seems out-of-character. What happened to "the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives?" She may not be as trained in politics as Sansa, but Arya is no dummy. It should be pretty obvious that Littlefinger is trying to lead her by the nose. This whole thing is a prime example of the "Idiot Plot" trope, and could all be cleared up if the two just sat down and talked.   

Now let's go to the other big reveal: Gilly's discovery in the ponderous records of Septon Maynard. Fans everywhere probably screamed in frustration as Sam completely ignored her bombshell, instead mansplaining to her about why the Maesters are crotchety old dudes who will never act. We just hope Septon Maynard's book got brought along for the ride, or maybe once Sam calms down some, we'll get a scene in which he turns to Gilly and says, "Wait, did you say 'Prince Rhaegar?'"

Let's give a warm welcome back to Gendry and his absolutely ripped arms. While we also theorized that Davos would find him in the Street of Steel, we were a little off on what his mission would be. That being said, nobody expected for Tyrion to hatch a crazy plan to capture a wight beyond the Wall. Also, how about that warhammer? Now that Gendry knows his true heritage, it's pretty neat that he's chosen to honor his dad by making a sweet replica of his weapon.

Davos had some awesome one-liners this episode, although nothing can beat Tormund asking Jon about "the big woman." For a moment, we thought the whole expedition was going to fall apart as the members stared daggers at each other, but they look like they might manage to come together as a team beyond the Wall. Finally, this is why we love the internet: