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GAME OF THRONES Recap: Eastwatch By the Bastards

GAME OF THRONES Recap: Eastwatch By the Bastards

Hello, fair citizens of the Realm! It’s that time of year again—the most wonderful of them all—Game of Thrones season. And, in addition to winter: spoilers are coming! (And maybe a few swears, too. Woops!) As this is a recap, it goes over everything in crazy detail, so proceed at your own risk and don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Trueborn Dany may have been the one spitting fire, but it was all about the bastards in this week’s fifth episode of Thrones, “Eastwatch.” Named after the castle at the easternmost point of The Wall, Eastwatch by the Sea did not turn out to be the home of Gendry Baratheon (as we so long hoped), but he did end up there, alongside the other two (Jon and Tormund) of this particular recapper’s boyfriends, leaving the game for power and into the fight for life. DAMN WHAT AN EPISODE OF THRONES, Y’ALL.

But first, we have a beef to pick with a one young, fresh Samwell Tarly. I feel like Leslie Jones right now:

Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam, Sam: did you bump your little head between your first scene and the last? What gives, bruh? How are you going to be the one who’s always hyper-obsessed with detail and the connections of history and STOP GILLY IN THE MIDDLE OF HER TELLING YOU ABOUT RHAEGAR AND LYANNA. Boy, I could smack you silly! Do you know what this means? IT ONLY MEANS THAT JON SNOW IS TECHNICALLY AND ACTUALLY THE RIGHTFUL KING OF WESTEROS. If Rhaegar got an annulment from his wedding, in Dorne, and married Lyanna Stark before she gave birth then technically—technically!—Jon Snow is no bastard at all, but actually the heir to Rhaegar’s throne, a.k.a. the one that was taken from him by Robert Baratheon after he died.

Just let that one sink in for a minute. Because for all of the importance of his parentage, I did not anticipate that Jon would be a “true-born” son. And here I was thinking this was only important to him in the context of his future as a dragon-rider. Oh George, even when you aren’t writing your own story, you never cease to surprise us (if this is part of your plan, natch).

But now it seems VERY plain who the three heads of the dragon truly are: Dany (because duh), Jon (because also duh), and Tyrion, because he too had a moment in Meereen where a dragon did not immediately bite off his head for touching it. Don’t think for a second that moment was anything other than a signifier of that, particularly when one takes Dany’s shocked response to Drogon’s tranquility in Jon’s hand, and that passionate mention of how Tywin Lannister hated Tyrion for “what he was,” and the mention of Tyrion being a monster, into consideration. These are our three heads of the dragon, y’all.

(The moment starts around 3:23, below.)

But how happy do we think Dany will be if and when she realizes Jon Snow is the true Targaryen heir? Our money is on “probably none too pleased” because, well, she’s been living her whole life for this moment — to arrive and be the queen, the last Targaryen. It was promised to her and she worked hard for what she thought was due (mistake number one). But also what if technically Tyrion is because he’s secretly Aerys’ last living son by way of an affair or rape of Tyrion’s mom? What if she finds out there are MULTIPLE SECRET TARGARYENS?!

OK OK OK we may be getting ahead of ourselves so let’s just stop. HAMMER TIME!

First of all, not only did we find out where Gendry’s been all this time—right back in Fleabottom, King’s Landing because of course/god damn it—he’s joined the Good Guys (for now) thanks to Ser Davos bringing him aboard Team Triple D (the “d” stands for oh you get it). AAAAND he has his chill new mega-hammer (that plus his old bull helm and sheesh I have the vapors), which will no doubt do well for him once he ends up in front of the army of the dead, based on what it did to those Lannister guardsmen. (Thanks for saving Tyrion, btw.)

Also: did anyone else notice how much darker the metal of his hammer is? And how Gendry mentioned that he “knew” he was getting ready for something? Of course this can be taken at face value with no mystical undertones whatsoever (and it’s probably best you do that), however we can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t some magic involved there thanks to Melisandre. Or whatever steel he used to forge his hammer (leftovers from Ned’s longsword mixed in with some others?!). Or maybe his blood intertwined with it to create some sort of Valryian magic in that steel as a byproduct of the magic she used on him! MYSTERIES ABOUND is what we’re saying, also I feel like a conspiracy theorist right now.

Still, to see Stark and Baratheon boys coming together in the name of “saving the Realm” was an exciting if no doubt purposeful mirror — but will their war actually be the one to end the real war worth winning? Ned and Robert’s games were the stuff of power, not of life and death. Of course, Ned and Robert never traveled North of The Wall with a Red Priest and a Wildling and their friends before, so who knows? Maybe they’ve finally learned from their fathers’ adherence to the games of control. And don’t think for a second we aren’t going to learn (hopefully!) that being cured of Greyscale means Ser Jorah can’t be turned into a wight.

Or maybe he will be and he’ll be the one they bring to the Dragonpit to show Cersei! (Or maybe he’ll give her greyscale or she’ll turn into a Wight Queen or something .)

Speaking of control! Let’s talk about Dany, who’s clearly in dire need of some reigning in. (Also yes I know there’s a direwolf Jon/Dany joke there but I’m leaving it.)

First we need to apologize to Varys, who so clearly has his finger on the pulse of what’s best. We’re sorry we ever doubted you. He sees how unwieldy her quest for power can turn her actions, which Tyrion knew, too, but tried to reason away. “That’s what I used to tell myself about her father,” he uttered ominously. “I’m not the one doing it.”

Now, obviously Dany is not as all-out-evil and mad as her father, but homegirl still comes from his stock so she’s gotta learn. Here’s hoping her crush on ol’ morality map Snow—and the return of SER JORAH OF HOUSE FRIENDZONE—will help guide her to what’s just and right. Or, better yet: she learns all on her own, frees the Realm from tyranny, smashes the army of the Dead, kills the Night King, and makes Jon and Jorah and Gendry all her boyfriends. And Tyrion and Jaime can go off and raise Cersei and Jaime’s NEW (which: ugh/oy/SERIOUSLY?!) child after they murder Cersei.

I mean hey, a girl can hope.

But back to Cersei because, ugh, it always comes back to her. She has yet another brotherloverbaby in her sisteroven (barf), but this time she doesn’t care if everyone knows it. Oh, and she’s also apparently keen on meeting with Dany (HELLO DRAGONPIT SCENE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR) in order to try and trick her and beat her on the field. Because all she cares about is her family, and power, and the ugly little lie she’s created for herself—that she deserves any of this.

Side note (and I’m going to hate myself for saying this, but): how heartbreaking was it to see Jaime so seemingly defeated and in want of death? Bronn knew it, Dany probably knew it, Drogon definitely knew it, we all knew it—you just don’t stare down a dragon and try to murder its mom and think you’re going to come out fine the other end of it. So definitely get ready for more of his redemption arc later on. He already feels thisclose to joining the other side after his reunion with Tyrion.

And, in the end, the most exciting and satisfying reunion of last week—that of the sisters Stark—may turn out to be the deadliest, if Littlefinger has anything to do with it. You see, he knows Arya doesn’t trust him (and he likely remembers her being quite the adept little spy/sort from when he was traveling with Tywin back in season two), so he’s definitely setting her up with that little runaround letterchase. DON’T BELIEVE IT, ARYA! TRUST YOUR SISTER! MURDER LITTLEFINGER! HE’S THE WORST!

But who knows, guess we’ll have to wait and see for next week, a.k.a. the penultimate episode of the season when everything traditionally goes to shit.

OTHER ODDS AND ENDS:

  • NOT HAPPY WITH DANY’S TREATMENT OF THE TARLY’S if for nothing more than the Dickon jokes. R.I.P. them
  • Quote of the night, Ser Davos: “Nothing f***s you harder than time.”
  • Choices words from Ser Beric: “And we serve it together whether we know it or not.”
  • Choicer words from Gendry about Jon Snow: “And you’re a lot shorter.”
    • UGH CAN THESE TWO GET IN ON A TRIPLE KISS WITH TORMUND?
      • Again: a girl can dream, right?
  • Do we think Arya’s just good at reading people, or did the Faceless Men also teach her literal mind reading?
  • According to Sam, Bran “survived for years beyond the wall” so, OH, OKAY THAT’S WHERE ALL THE TIME WENT ON THIS SHOW.
  • Do we think Dany will figure out Jon’s already dead? And if so, what does that mean??

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: HBO

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor, creator/co-host of Fangirling, and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter but only if you really want because, like—I’m not your boss.

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