SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from Season 7, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, entitled Eastwatch. Proceed at your own risk.
After last week’s epic battle, this week’s episode of Game of Thrones takes a breath and deals with the fall out of Daenerys’ actions, and begins to set up the run to the finale which is only two weeks away (boo!). Here are five shocking moments from Episode 5 of Game of Thrones Season 7.
Westerosi Fried Tarly
Jaime and Bronn survived and escaped Daenerys’ attack on the Lannister loot train relatively unscathed. Lord Randyll Tarly and his son, Dickon, on the other hand were not so lucky. Along with a number of Lannister and Tarly soldiers, Randyll and Dickon were taken prisoner and brought before the Daenerys. She offers them a simple choice; bend the knee or die.
Overawed by the presence of dragon, some submit to Daenerys. But Randyll Tarly does not. Tyrion tries to get Lord Randyll to see reason, citing his already shifted loyalties. He was a bannerman to House Tyrell before allying with Cersei. While admitting that there are no good choices in war, Tarly points out that for all her faults, Cersei has lived in Westeros all her life and does not bring savages to their shores. To him, Daenerys is a foreign invader.
Dickon stands with his father, despite Randyll’s attempts to hide who his son is. On Daenerys’ command, both are killed by dragonfire. Their fear before Drogon incinerates them is palpable and uncomfortable to watch. The rest of the army wisely bends the knee.
Cersei Is Pregnant
After Jaime’s clandestine meeting with Tyrion in the bowels of the Red Keep, he immediately tells Cersei what occurred. During the conversation, where Cersei states that she is well aware of what happens within King’s Landing, the Queen reveals that she is pregnant. Jaime, aware that he has not been the Queen’s only lover in recent years, tentatively asks who the father is.
After Cersei assures her brother that the baby is his, Jamie tells her that the people will not like it, probably as a reminder of the Targaryen dynasty. Cersei reminds him of their father’s saying; “A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.” In the next breath, she warns him to never betray her again.
But all might not be as it seems. In her youth, the woods witch Maggy gave Cersei a prophecy about her children – that she would have three, and that “gold will be their crowns, and gold will be their shrouds.” So if the prophecy is to be believed, then Cersei will have no more children. So what options are there? Is she lying to Jaime to pull him closer into her camp after his meeting with Tyrion? The more likely is that the child will not be born, either through a miscarriage or because Cersei herself dies before the birth.
In Jon’s absence, Sansa is playing politics at Winterfell. The Northern Lords are unhappy that Jon has gone South and Lord Robett Glover openly states that maybe they should have proclaimed Lady Stark their leader. The Knights of the Vale remind her that they came to Winterfell’s aid at Sansa’s request. While Sansa dismisses their apparently treasonous comments, Arya wants Sansa to support Jon without question, starting with a few summary executions. Sansa, playing a longer game and looking to foster her own support among the assembled Lords, does not agree with her sister.
Arya’s dislike of Littlefinger takes a turn as she begins to investigate him. Watching as he speaks with Lords and serving girls alike, collecting information. When Maester Wolkan gives him a note from Winterfell’s archives, Arya breaks into his room to discover the contents. What she finds is a message that Sansa sent to their brother, Robb, shortly after their father was arrested for treason way back in Season 1. The one urging him to come to King’s Landing and bend the knee.
As she leaves, it seems that Arya has not been as sneaky as she would like to be. Littlefinger is watching her as well, and setting into a motion a game that might fracture the growing bond between the Stark sisters.
In the midst of Samwell Tarly deciding to step up and thumb his nose at the Maesters of Oldtown, Gilly drops a small bombshell on the audience. While reading through book, she comes across a mention that a High Septon annulled Prince Rhaegar’s marriage and then remarried him in secret to another woman in Dorne. Sure, she pronounces Rhaegar’s name incorrectly, but if the account is accurate, it is a major new piece of information.
If Rhaegar’s marriage to Princess Elia Martell was annulled, and he legally married Lyanna Stark, then any child they have – in this case, Jon Snow – is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. As a reminder, Dorne is where Eddard Stark found Lyanna giving birth at the Tower of Joy.
Jon’s position as the trueborn heir of Rhaegar Targaryen would make him next in line to the throne after Rhaegar’s death. His claim would supercede Daenerys’ own claims to the Iron Throne. As a visual nod towards this, this week’s episode saw Jon Snow seemingly bonding with Drogon and even touching the mighty dragon.
Jon Leads Badass Supergroup Beyond The Wall
At the end of the episode, Jon Snow leads a group of seven warriors beyond the wall for a singular mission – to capture a white walker and return them to King’s Landing to convince Cersei to unite all their forces to stop the Army of the Dead.
The group is a veritable who’s who of certified badasses and fan favorite characters. They are led by Jon himself, former Lord-Commander of the Night’s Watch, returned from the dead and now King in the North. Tormund Giantsbane, leader of the Free Folk and possessed of the greatest beard the series has every seen. Gendry, King Robert’s bastard who is handy with a hammer and a terrific rower. Ser Jorah Mormont, all round fierce warrior and survivor of greyscale. Lord Beric Dondarrion, chosen by the Lord of Light and resurrected several times overall. Thoros of Myr, the Red Priest who is seemingly constantly drunk but has a thing for flaming swords. And lastly, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane who really needs no introduction at this point.
With seven named characters venturing beyond the Wall, will all of them survive to return? One thing is for sure – whatever they do, wherever they go, they are going to be in for one hell of a fight. A popular theory already doing the rounds is that one of the seven will be turned into a white walker for the others to return with. Smart money is apparently on the Hound, making the oft-anticipated CleganeBowl a contest between basically undead brothers.