14 August, 2017

Season Seven, Episode Five "Eastwatch"

Last week, someone asked why these threads are called "Scorecard". My answer was that I never intended to post anything about this show beyond my original post. Having been a follower of the source material almost from the moment there WAS source material, I was fired up about HBO's investment in the show. I convinced my wife to watch S1E1 with me and, while intrigued, she was confused by the names and faces, the relationships...the sheer volume of the show. So I gave her the GOT lineup - "this is Eddard Stark, goes by Ned, friend to Robert Baratheon the king since they were wards of Jon Arryn. He's husband to Catelyn, father to..." etc. etc. I decided to post it, and called it a scorecard as if one would use it to "keep score". Well, if you're keeping score, it's Gilly 1, everyone else ZERO. Seriously...the entire continent just got scooped by Gilly. And she doesn't even realize it.

And that was only one bit of oomph in an episode chock full of 'em. Fantastic episode in a way very different from last week's powerhouse. Lots of plot points to nibble on.

Oh yeah...and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea (no relation to Manchester despite the same surname) makes its appearance on the intro. Tormund!

King's Landing

Let's all suspend our disbelief at Jaime and Bronn traveling that far under water while Jaime is fully armored and keeping his sword, not to mention his heavy prosthetic hand. Can we agree to that? Thanks.

Jaime has come to know firsthand that the Lannisters and their allies cannot defeat one dragon, much less three, even if the Dothraki weren't there. That's a tough pill to swallow, and he's not looking forward to informing Cersei.

Back at the battle scene, Daenerys demands that the survivors bend the knee to her, else they will die. After Drogon bows up a bit, most decide that their knees are quite flexible. Not so Lord Randyll Tarly, nor his son Dickon. He refuses to give his allegiance to someone who brought the Dothraki to Westeros, as well as the Unsullied. Savages and eunuchs with no ties to his land. He also refuses Tyrion's suggestion to take the Black and join the Night's Watch, as Daenerys has no standing in his eyes to demand that of him. So Daenerys orders Drogon to light him up. (Couldn't he have volunteered to take the Black, though? Well, I guess the point is moot now that he's soot.) Dickon demands to be killed with his father, and his wish is granted. Tyrion had pleaded with Dickon not to be the last of his House...but of course Dickon is NOT the last of his House.

Jaime makes it back to Cersei. He tells her that they cannot win this war. The Dothraki are the best army he's ever seen, and Daenerys' dragons are unstoppable. Cersei is determined to go down fighting, though...largely because she knows she's dead if she surrenders. She'd rather take the chance of figuring out a way to win. Put a pin in that, though, and we'll come back to it. In the middle of this discussion, the opportunity arises for Jaime to let Cersei know that Olenna killed Joffrey, not Tyrion. Cersei doesn't want to believe it, but there is a certain implacable logic to Olenna wanting Joffrey out of the way so that Margaery could be married to much more pliable Tommen. Once that logic is expressed, Cersei believes it 100%.

Dragonstone

Jon awaits the return of Drogon and Daenerys. In a scene anticipated by many, Jon quite literally passes the smell test with Drogon. Daeny, watching closely, seems very interested in that fact. I might be reading too much into the scene, but Daeny seems to want Jon to understand that she cares for the dragons just as if they were her children...and while her head is turned watching them fly, Jon's expression seems somewhat "WTF" to that statement. But he recovers nicely.

While Jon and Daeny discuss the price of power, she asks him about Davos' statement when they first met - that Jon had taken a knife in the heart for his people. Jon replies that Davos got carried away, but when Daeny point blank asks him if the statement was just a figure of speech, Jon looks uncomfortable. He is saved from having to respond, however, by the arrival of Ser Jorah Mormont, back from the Citadel, back from Greyscale. Still in the friend zone, though, I think. Certainly Daeny is delighted to see him, and welcomes him back very warmly, but I think she has eyes for someone else. Agreed?

Winterfell

Bran project his mind into a number of ravens flying north of the Wall. He's looking for intel on the army of the Night King, and he finds them by the thousands, marching on Eastwatch. The flock is scattered by the Night King, and Bran is hurled out of his warg state. Upon regaining his mind to the present, he tells Maester Wolkan to send ravens to warn the people.

The Citadel

The Maesters have received Bran's raven, but they put little stock in it. One man is outright dismissive of a crippled boy speaking of visions granted him by a three-eyed raven. Sam, having brought more scrolls to the maesters, speaks up and demands to know if they're speaking of Brandon Stark. With confirmation, he points out that Brandon survived years beyond the Wall when nobody else could do the same, so perhaps they shouldn't be so dismissive.

Sam asks the maesters to speak to the lords to send their men North, and to put all the maesters at work looking through old wisdom to see if they can find a permanent way to defeat the dead.

Archmaester Ebrose (that's what the subtitles showed his name to be) allows that he could order that, but he's not sure yet whether this is some ploy by Daenerys or something else entirely. He needs to seek clarification from Winterfell, and that's the end of the discussion. Sam, disappointed, takes his leave.

As Sam departs, one of the other maesters mockingly likens Bran's warning to similar visions from Jenny of Oldstones, who claims descent from the Children of the Forest. Jenny of Oldstones is a name which book readers should recognize...and the maester is probably right, although not in the way he imagines.

Dragonstone, pt 2

Varys and Tyrion sit in discussion over Daeny's actions in burning the Tarlys. Varys is concerned that Daeny is a little too bloodthirsty, and Tyrion too is troubled over her actions. They agree that Tyrion's counsel will be very important in keeping Daeny from exercising her power too forcefully. Talk turns to the unopened, sealed scroll from Winterfell which Varys has. It is meant for Jon. Varys, of course, knows what it contains. It relates that Arya and Bran are alive, and that the dead are coming.

Jon wants to leave immediately. He knows it's a losing battle, but he needs to be with his armies when the dead come. Of course it would help tremendously if Daeny brought her armies and her dragons to the cause, but Daeny is unwilling to hand over Westeros to Cersei.

What if Cersei would agree to an armistice. If they prove to her that the dead are marching, surely she'd see the sense of putting the war on hold to deal with the bigger threat. They can't get Cersei to the North, so they'll have to bring the North to Cersei. Jon determines that he and Jorah will go to Eastwatch to bring a wight to Cersei and prove that the dead walk. I don't think I imagined Daeny's dismay at the thought of Jon going into danger, did I? She tries to forbid him from leaving, but he points out he doesn't need her permission.

Separately, Tyrion is going to ride into a perilous situation as well, as he needs to speak with Jaime to set the stage for meeting with Cersei. He will count on Davos to smuggle him into King's Landing.

Winterfell, pt 2

Sansa hosts a meeting with the lords of the north. She listens to them griping about Jon's absence, and gently puts them off, stating that they need to wait for Jon to return. At least, that's the way she sees it. Arya, watching, has a different take. She believes that Sansa loves the taste of power, loves thinking she's better than others, and even though she (Sansa) doesn't *want* to hope that Jon doesn't return, that's what she does want. Sansa is either dismayed that her sister could think that of her...or she's dismayed to hear her motivations stated so baldly (and accurately?).

King's Landing, pt 2

Davos gets Tyrion to the base of the cliffs under the city. They split, as Davos has business of his own to deal with.

Bronn is Tyrion's confederate in this matter, and he brings Jaime beneath the Red Keep under the guise of sword training. Tyrion is there, ready to make the pitch discussed on Dragonstone. Jaime is angry to see Tyrion, but he does listen to what he has to say.

Davos, meanwhile, haunts the smithies on the Street of Steel, looking for someone. At long last, we see Gendry again. In what I'm sure is a nod to the Gendry memes, Davos tells Gendry he thought he might still be rowing. Gendry trusts Davos, and he's definitely ready to leave King's Landing. Making weapons for the family trying to kill him doesn't really appeal to him. Davos anticipates having to convince Gendry to come with him, but he almost can't get a word out before Gendry has grabbed a warhammer and walked out the door.

Back on the beach, Davos has to do some fancy talking and bribing to get the Goldcloaks to leave them be. He's managed it (fermented crab!), but then Tyrion shows up and the Goldcloaks decide that they are going to be wealthy by turning him into the Queen. Instead, Gendry turns them into face paste, killing them with his hammer.

Jaime's follow up meeting with Cersei is scarcely more pleasant. She knew he was meeting with Tyrion, and knew that Bronn was the intermediary. Cersei was content to let the meeting happen, because she is playing for time and wants to have a ceasefire with Daenerys. Also...bomb dropped...she indicates that she's pregnant again. What joyous news! Cersei hugs Jaime warmly, and tells him to never betray her again. (By the way...if it's a boy...could it possibly be the valonqar? - just a thought).

Dragonstone, pt 3

Tyrion, Davos and Gendry have returned. Davos takes Gendry to see Jon. He tells Gendry to go by the name Clovis, and to tell Jon that he's a smith. Gendry says he understands...and then promptly tells Jon that his name is Gendry and he's the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. Gendry is itching for a fight, and he wants to help Jon.

Tyrion, meanwhile, reunites with his erstwhile captor Ser Jorah. It's a touching scene. Tyrion gives Jorah a memento from their time together (a coin from a slaver) and tells him to bring it back when he returns. And he must return, because their queen needs him.

Again, Daeny is very warm with Jorah as they say their words of departure...but again she's very attentive to Jon, as well. Could there be some bad blood brewing in this mix?

The Citadel, pt 2

Sam and Gilly are poring over old documents. Gilly is spouting inanities (how many steps are in the citadel, e.g.). She quite casually mentions that High Septon Maynard recorded that he performed an annulment for "Ragger" and remarried him to someone else at the same time = BOLT OF LIGHTNING! There it is in the histories, folks. The key to R+L = J...legitimate J...out of the mouth of Gilly.

Sam doesn't seem to be listening to her, though. He's frustrated to the point of rash action at the maesters' refusal to let him do what he needs to do to save the realm.

So he steals a few books and scrolls, loads up the car and moves to Beverly. Hills, that is. He tells Gilly that he's tired of reading about the achievements of better men. Sam the Slayer rides back to action!

Winterfell, pt 3

A distrustful Arya follows Littlefinger around, watching him pay informants and conspire with other leaders. She's got skills, does Arya, but Littlefinger isn't a novice. Littlefinger meets Maester Wolken. He's requested a message from Maester Luwin's archives, and seems to be interested in keeping it a secret. But he's only interested in appearing to want to keep it a secret. He has set Arya up. She breaks into his room, finds the message in a decent but not incredible hiding spot, and reads this all important missive. As best I could make out, the message is the one Cersei forced Sansa to send after Ned was executed. She sent it to Robb, urging him to come to King's Landing and bend the knee to King Joffrey. It informs Robb that their dad dies a traitor's death. It was done under duress, but it fits Arya's current narrative of her sister. Hurry home, Jon.

Eastwatch

Gendry, Jon, and Davos meet Tormund at Eastwatch, and tell him of their plan to kidnap a dead person. Tormund thinks they're idiots, and mention that he has some other like-minded idiots locked up. He leads them to Thoros, Beric and the Hound. While Gendry has great reason to distrust the Brotherhood, and Jon knows that the Hound was a creature of the Lannisters, and Jorah knows that Thoros is a drunk, they decide to add them to their party. After all, they're all on the same side, Jon states. They're all breathing. Out they ride from Eastwatch, into the teeth of the cold.

Scenes From Next Week:

  • Jon and his war party find what they seek, unfortunately.
  • Daenerys and Tyrion wait
  • Sansa and Arya...a confrontation?
  • Racing the dead
  • The Night King strides forth
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