Game of Thrones

GAME OF THRONES: The 12 Biggest Questions Raised By Episode 5, “Eastwatch”


Following last week’s epic clash between the Lannister army and Daenerys Targaryen’s forces, Game of Thrones slows things down in the action department but still moves stories along at a rapid pace in “Eastwatch,” the fifth episode of Season 7. In some ways, this episode feels like a new season premiere, as the war for the Iron Throne takes a backseat — with Daenerys declared the unofficial winner by both sides — in favor of the show and its characters remembering that the White Walkers are still a threat that someone should probably do something about. With next week’s episode (HBO hasn’t yet revealed the title) promising an epic clash between the living and the dead, here’s everything “Eastwatch” left us pondering as we wait to see if Jon and his companions can catch a wight beyond the Wall.

12. Is Jon Snow A Legitimate Son?

“Eastwatch” drops a pretty big revelation in the most casual way possible (and through the most unlikely character) when Gilly unwittingly stumbles upon an interesting bit of historical data in her readings with Sam. Gilly comes across a passage that says that Prince Rhaegar had his marriage annulled and remarried in a private ceremony in Dorne. Now, even if Sam hadn’t been so caught up in his own drama to not pick up on what Gilly was saying, it’s unlikely that he would have grasped the whole significance of it but still, learning that Rhaegar Targaryen had his marriage to Elia Martell annulled and remarried in secret would be a big deal to anyone in Westeros.

Although the series has not officially confirmed it yet, we can safely assume that Rhaegar’s new bride was Lyanna Stark, aka Jon Snow’s real mother. If true, this is a huge moment as it means that Jon is not a bastard at all, but rather the true born son of Rhaegar Targaryen … which also means that he has a better claim to the Iron Throne than his aunt Daenerys. Will this lead to some turmoil down the road between these two? I’d like to think that it would end with Jon staying King in the North while allowing Daenerys to rule in the south, since he doesn’t seem very keen on being king of anything, but Daenerys probably won’t take the news quite as well.


11. Did Cersei Just Doom Herself (And Did She Make Up That Pregnancy)?

Even someone as conceited and power hungry as Cersei Lannister knows when when she’s lost, as she seems to recognize the truth of Jaime’s claims that their armies stand no chance against Daenerys Targaryen. Still, Queen Cersei isn’t the type to give up without trying every last trick at her disposal, so she knows that revealing to Jaime that she’s pregnant is sure to guarantee her brother’s loyalty going forward. But is Cersei actually pregnant? It’s not like she has many allies left these days and if she had any doubt about Jaime’s loyalty, she’s the type who would either kill him or do whatever she could to deceive him into staying by her side. A child would be just the thing, especially since they’ve lost all three of their previous children.

Let’s say for a moment that Cersei is telling the truth and she really is pregnant. Does this not mean that her and her unborn child are doomed? If we’re to believe Maggy the Frog’s prophecy that Cersei will only have three children, then we can assume that this new child will not survive to term, whether because Cersei is killed before that time or due to some other unforeseen circumstance. At any rate, even if the child’s mother is a monster, you have to feel bad for that doomed child because they’re as good as dead at this point.


10. How The Heck Are The “Northern Avengers” Going To Capture A Wight?

Team Jon Snow finally came up with a plan to convince Cersei and Daenerys to stop trying to kill each other and band together for the common goal of saving the realm from the White Walkers: just capture one and show it to them!

Wait, what?

Proving that the White Walkers are real is a problem that Jon has been struggling with for a long time now and I can imagine it’s becoming incredibly frustrating for him. In theory, showing people legitimate proof that the threat is real should be enough to sway any doubters, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that capturing a wight seems like an incredibly dumb idea at this point. Why? Well, it’s not like Jon Snow and his Magnificent Seven are just going to stumble upon a small group of them; the White Walkers are all marching together towards the Wall and are commanded by the Night’s King. Setting aside the logistics of actually nabbing a wight in the first place (do you just tie them up and load them on a boat?), how is Jon going to accomplish this when he’ll also have to fight off the whole White Walker army at the same time? I can’t wait to see how this is all going to play out … Source: Winter is Coming

9. Is Sam “Lord Tarly” Now?

Tired of having to deal with a bunch of out-of-touch old men who can’t get over how smart they all are, Samwell Tarly takes Gilly and young Sam the heck out of Oldtown with a large number of books and scrolls in his possession. Unfortunately for Sam, he leaves before learning that his father and brother were burned alive by Daenerys, so it’s hard to say whether he’s heading back to Horn Hill or has another destination in mind. The real question though is whether or not Sam is considered the new Lord Tarly now that his Randyll and Dickon Tarly are dead.

Technically he shouldn’t since he’s a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch and took a vow saying he would take no wife or hold no lands. But with Sam being the only living heir (unless there’s some distant cousin we haven’t met yet) and the fact that he clearly doesn’t care about his vows considering he’s living in sin with Gilly, Sam’s vows are probably just technicalities at this point. At any rate, I’d say it’s a given that we’ll see his father’s sword Heartsbane being used before very long, what with the White Walkers on everyone’s doorstep.


8. Will Bronn Actually Be Punished?

First off, I’ll just say that perhaps it’s a good thing that Bronn didn’t die in last week’s episode after all, as we probably never would have had that Jaime-Tyrion meetup without him. That being said, it looks like the mercenary’s luck may be about to run out, as Cersei makes it clear to Jaime that Bronn should be punished for “betraying” him and setting up a meeting with Tyrion behind his back. While it’s unlikely that Jaime will heed his sister’s suggestion (or was it an order?) and actually go through with disciplining Bronn, there’s always the chance that Cersei will go around Jaime and just do it herself.

Honestly though, do we really expect Bronn to stick around long enough to find out? He already tells Jaime that his loyalty to him ended when Daenerys started burning people alive with her dragons and it’s clear to everyone at this point that the Lannisters cannot win this war, so it’s only a matter of time before Bronn ditches Jaime for his brother Tyrion and offers his services to the Dragon Queen (assuming that he makes it out of King’s Landing alive first, of course).


7. Is Fermented Crab Really an Aphrodisiac?

I get that Davos was just trying to get rid of the Gold Cloak soldiers who were harassing him and Gendry, but is there any truth to the Onion Knight’s claim about fermented crab being a man’s best friend when it comes to performance in the sack? Either way, it’s a brilliant smuggler’s tactic on Davos’ part, but I’m kind of curious now if any bit of what he said was true. Unfortunately, those gold cloaks got to eat Gendry’s hammer (oh dear, that doesn’t sound right) before they could find out! Source: SB Nation

6. Gendry’s Back, But Why?

Look, I’m as happy as anyone that Gendry’s (Gendry!) back and ready to lend his massive hammer to the cause of smashing in White Walker heads, but what exactly is the significance of bringing him back now? Gendry is the last Baratheon and uses this connection to ingratiate himself with Jon Snow (cue the “did we just become best friends?” memes), but it’s not like that name has much pull anymore. Besides, what’s the value of bringing Gendry along on a mission north of the Wall besides just being another arm to swing a sword (or hammer in this case)?

It’s hard to believe that Game of Thrones would bother bringing Gendry back at all if he’s just going to die in the next episode while fighting White Walkers, which means that there must be another reason for Robert’s bastard to show up again at this moment specifically. That being said, even if the real reason turns out to be just be for fan service, I’ll be cool with it because Gendry is great and it’s just good to know he’s not out there “still rowin'” as Davos so perfectly put it.


5. What’s Going To Happen Between Sansa and Arya?

It’s safe to say that Sansa and Arya have definitely cooled on one another following their warm reunion in last week’s episode, as the two clash over Sansa’s leadership style and the fact that Arya can tell Sansa wants to be Queen in the North, even if she says she doesn’t. Unfortunately, there’s a third party manipulating the situation and making it even worse in the form of Littlefinger, who is finally back to his scheming ways this week. We see Littlefinger set Arya up to find a letter that Sansa wrote to Robb back in Season 1, albeit a letter that Sansa was forced to write under fear for her own life.

Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that Arya will recognize the letter for what it really is and the whole thing seems to be leading to a further rift in her relationship with Sansa. That being said, it feels like only a matter of time before Arya figures out what Littlefinger is really up to and when that happens, it’s safe to say Lord Baelish’s scheming ways will be brought to a bloody end.


4. Would Cersei Actually Change Her Tune If She Saw a White Walker?

Let’s assume for a moment that Jon’s Magnificent Seven are successful in their endeavour to capture a White Walker and even manage to get an audience with Cersei Lannister to present their findings. What then? I don’t know if Jon is just giving Cersei too much credit or doesn’t realize the extent of her insanity, but Cersei is pretty much the most treachorous person in Westeros and even if she went along with the idea of helping to stop the White Walkers, she would betray him and Daenerys the first chance she got (she even says as much to Jaime in this very episode!).

Convincing Daenerys that the White Walkers are real make sense, since she has three dragons at her disposal who could melt a ton of ice zombies but how does gaining Cersei as a temporary ally benefit anyone? Hopefully, Jaime will have plunged a dagger in his sister’s back long before this becomes a problem.


3. Would Jon and Gendry Still Be Best Friends If They Knew The Truth About One Another?

One of my favorite moments from this episode is the meeting between Jon Snow and Gendry, as the two become fast friends based on the fact that their fathers were best buddies, so why shouldn’t they be? Of course, it’s all a little bit awkward considering Jon’s true father isn’t Ned Stark but rather Rhaegar Targaryen. Why is this is significant? Well, considering it’s Robert Baratheon who killed Rhaegar, this means that Gendry’s father killed Jon’s, which is pretty much the opposite of the best friends sentiment.

If Jon knew the truth about his father, would he still be as willing to take Gendry north with him for a suicide mission? I’d wager yes because Jon and Gendry both seem pretty chill about this sort of stuff, but it’s still funny how many scenes are tinged with irony this season all because of the fact that no one but Bran knows the truth about Jon’s parents. Source: PopSugar

2. Hey, Where Did Theon Go?

We saw Theon Greyjoy wash up on the shores of Dragonstone last week, where he was promptly accosted by Jon Snow. However, even though a considerable portion of this week’s episode took place at Dragonstone, Theon was nowhere in sight. What is he up to? Theon’s story has largely taken a backseat ever since Euron captured Yara, but his arc is still far from over. With next week’s episode heavily focused on events beyond the Wall, I’m guessing we won’t be seeing much of Theon or any of the Greyjoys for that matter, but I do hope that this conflict is resolved before the end of the season.


1. Should We Be Worried About Daenerys?

It’s hard to argue that Daenerys isn’t a merciful queen, but when your choice is either bending the knee or dying in a blaze of dragon fire, it’s hard to say that she’s really giving her enemies much of a choice at all. This episode tackles the whole issue of whether or not Daenerys is destined to be Mad Queen more directly than in previous episodes, with Tyrion and Varys in particular being very put off by her decisions. To be fair, it’s difficult to argue with Dany’s assertion that she can only make the world a better place from a position of power, but it’s also clear that she enjoys being a conqueror.

Daenerys is willing to go to extreme measures to make a point, but will she settle down on the dragon executions once she’s sitting on the Iron Throne? That seems to be the dilemma Tyrion and Varys are wrestling with and even if Dany heeds their council, it’s possible some outside influences could push her over the edge (such as learning that a certain King in the North is actually her nephew).


Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)