How do you follow the “Battle of the Loot Train”? With epic plot development, return of beloved characters, Westerosi Viagra, and team ups that fans of the series have been aching for. The episode “Eastwatch” is the 5th episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, and it was directed by Matt Shakman. With only two episodes left, this episode sets the stage for the climax of not only this season but the series as a whole. Let’s dig in to this meaty episode.
To say that this episode is dense is an understatement, and it is thanks to the great writers and director that we do not get lost in the pacing. The season as a whole is moving quickly due to the fact that it is much shorter than previous seasons, but build up episodes like this one really push viewers suspension of disbelief to the test.
“Dragons is Where Our Partnership Ends” – Ser Bronn, Quip-Master
Drogon looks incredible. He towers over the remaining Lannister forces of the “Battle of the Loot Train” while Dany offers her typical “Bend a knee or burn” speech. This speech doesn’t convince all the stragglers, and viewers were treated to another budget-doubling dragon fire spectacle.
The use of dragons is not only for fear, but also to show Jon and Dany getting closer. When Dany returns back from the battle, she lands Drogon right in front of Jon on his brooding cliffside, and Jon actually pets the dragon, proving his bond with them and her.
It is clear that these dragons are a centerpiece of this show now, and they have been given the proper treatment to really look and sound great. The amount of detail in the scene with Jon is incredible, and they breathe horrifying infernos. Simply put, these are dragons done right.
It would not be a Game of Thrones episode with out some familial drama. As much as the dragons’ fire breath is incredible, we would not be watching this show if we did not care about the characters.
Let’s start with the Lannisters, everyone’s favorite villains and normalizers of incest. There were quite a lot of bombshells dropped this episode for the current royal family, the least of which was an unexpected meeting between Tyrion and Jaime. The scene meant a lot to those two characters and helped set the stage for the last two episodes.
The bigger drama was between Jaime and his queen sister wife, Cersei. Jaime tells her the truth about the murder of Joffery, and Cersei returns the news with her own that changes her position as a potentially sympathetic character.
As the Lannisters become more desperate, the Starks in the north grow more powerful.
It is hard to tell exactly how the Stark sisters’ story will play out, but it is clear that the closer the two get, the worse it gets for Littlefinger. He is trying to keep those two at odds but these girls have come too far to be stopped by him now. This episode set up a major future conflict in Winterfell.
Old Town and Sam, the location and character that get the least love, had some drama as well. Gilly, Sam’s companion, may have dropped the biggest bit of knowledge on us all while Sam was too busy being angsty. Turns out he’s had enough: Sam is getting out of Old Town for good.
While these plot lines had some real development, it was the return of old characters and new team ups that made this episode one of the greats!
The Return of The (Dead) King(‘s Bastard Son)
Gendry, Robert Baratheon’s only true son, bastard, and the last of the Baratheon bloodline, has returned. He was found by Ser Davos working in a smithy in Flea Bottom. It is fitting to find his character here, because it is where we were first introduced to him. He also wields a war hammer, which was his father’s weapon of choice. Gendry displays his skills by mashing in the faces of Gold Cloaks that were causing trouble for Tyrion and Davos.
He has joined Jon’s army and will be a part of one of the greatest team ups of all of Game of Thrones.
Seven Samurai Go Beyond the Wall
This is still Game of Thrones, right? Honestly, with how tightly packed this episode is I am not sure what is going on entirely, but I loved every second of it. So, Jon has decided to go north of the wall to capture one of the dead to bring to Cersei to make a case to stand as one against the long night. He gathers, or stumbles upon, a collection of characters that are an absolute dream team. It is as follows:
- Jon Snow, King in the North
- Sandor Clegane, The Hound
- Beric Dondarrion, Has Been Revived a Dozen Times & Has a Flaming Sword
- Thoros of Myr, Keeps Bringing Beric Back
- Gendry, Warhammer
- Jorah Mormont, Grayscale Free
- Tormund Giantsmane, Wildling Commander of Eastwatch, Loves Brianne of Tarth
Winter is Here. It is time to see what this epic set up will lead to. I am hoping all 7 make it out alive and that we never see another one of Cersei & Jaimie’s children, but who knows. It all depends upon how the game is played.
“Eastwatch” is Game of Thrones set up at it’s best. It has out into motion the final climax of not only this season but the series as a whole. It was a crazy ride that left us with seven of our favorite characters heading straight into harms way.
+ Best setup episode to date
+ Character team ups (Seven Samurai of Westeros)
+ Dragons Done Right
– Breakneck speed, possibly too much context for one episode
Jeff “Beta” Dugan is The Geekiverse’s second “Jeff” but the first of his name, watcher of thrones, and the screamer of “Dragons!”. Follow him on Twitter.
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