Twists, turns and intrigue abounded in Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode “Eastwatch.”
We got a low-key massive reveal that you’d miss if you blinked, the return of a fan favorite thought lost to the ages and a pretty sweet Reservoir Dogs-walkout to cap it off.
But throughout the episode we saw a number of reunions on happy, sad and angry terms. Let’s dive in.
Jaime and Cersei: If last episode’s ending felt like a cliffhanger, that cliff was roughly three feet tall, as we open with the instant reveal that Jaime did not drown in a river after being nearly incinerated in Drogon’s Westerosi debut.
Jaime is none too pleased about the situation, telling Lannister employee of the month Bronn that he nearly killed him. In more colorful language than is fit to print here, Bronn reminds Jaime that he was headlong into a tilt with a freaking dragon when Bronn, y’know, saved his life. So, dragons are scary, it turns out, but not as scary as telling Cersei that they have no chance in this war. On the other side of the river, Tyrion takes a tour of Pompeii and looks forlorn.
Jaime returns to King’s Landing, where he doesn’t even pause to take a shower before delivering the bad news to Cersei that dragons are, indeed, scary.
Jon and Daenerys: Meanwhile at Dragonstone, Jon’s daily cliffside brooding session is interrupted when Dany touches down atop Drogon, current Targaryen employee of the month. The injury report looks good for Drogon, as the dragon looks perfectly fine after an early morning team building exercise of roasting a few Tarlys. (Dickon, we hardly knew thee).
Drogon seems to smell some Targaryen on the King in the North, and Jon seizes on the opportunity to show Dany that he is well aware that winning over the children of a single mother is a giant step toward winning said mother’s heart. But Dany still wants a little clarification on the whole fire god Jesus thing that was kind of smoothed over when they first met. Jon is stammering when, bam, in walks ole Greyscale himself.
Jorah and Daenerys: Jorah’s in on the latest “black is the new black” fashion trend. Dany gives him a big hug, and everyone at home is like, “Hold up, that guy literally had stone ebola last time you saw him.”
Bran and ravens: In Winterfell, Bran plugs into the matrix and plays “Flight Simulator” with a bunch of ravens. The black birds loft above the northern wastelands, monitoring the never-ending cold front, when out of nowhere it’s the army of the dead. Bran gets a good enough look before the Night King scrambles his radar.
Tyrion and Varys: The Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner of team Dany are worried that her vision of making Westeros great again is actually just fire and fury the likes of which they have never seen. Tyrion is on team rationalize, while Varys reminds him that he tried that with Dany’s dad and all it led to was a bunch of awkward screaming.
Tyrion and Jaime: Bad news Bran sends the raven news out on blast, and Jon relays the message in Dany’s war room and asks if they can put this whole war for Westeros thing on hold. Tyrion floats the idea of ranging into the land of always winter, stealing an ice zombie and FedExing the ice zombie to King’s Landing to convince Cersei to an armstice. Sounds crazy, but since it’s Tyrion’s plan, everyone is into it.
So Davos and Tyrion set sail for King’s Landing to broker a deal. What results is Jaime’s first meeting with his little brother since he saved Tyrion from an impending execution only to have Tyrion pay him back by killing their father mid-bowel movement. It goes about as good as one could hope, in that Jaime doesn’t choke the life out of Tyrion.
Davos and Gendry … wait ... Gendry! Davos takes a tour of Fleabottom and finds the hammer-swinger himself. Davos proves he knows “Game of Thrones” memes with a one-liner: “I thought you might still be rowing,” he says to the bastard son of Robert Baratheon whom we haven’t seen since he was meekly rowing away from Dragonstone some four seasons ago. Davos makes an Amway pitch, and Gendry instantly says yes, to Davos’ astonishment. Gendry grab’s Chekov’s warhammer, and they bounce.
On the beach, Davos pays off a couple of guards with some Viagra and gold. Things look fine until they spot a very conspicuous dwarf. Gendry delivers the kill of the week with swift blindside hammer blows to the head. You’re hired, Gendry.
Cersei and maternity: It’s time to update the Lannister family Christmas card as Cersei reveals she’s got another incest baby in the oven. Also she busts Jaime for meeting with Tyrion but shockingly is amenable to an armstice.
Baratheon and Stark: Back at Dragonstone, Gendry rightfully refuses to be known as “Clovis the Smith” and opts for “Gendry the Hammer.” Jon immediately accepts Gendry’s Facebook friend request and adds him to the private group “Jon’s snow squad.” Millions smash the like button on this status update.
Jorah and Tyrion: Jorah and Tyrion talk of the good old days when they were slaves. He gives Jorah a coin to commemorate that great time. Then it’s another cringe hug with Dany. Jorah is about to hand her a book of his poems when Jon walks on the beach, and Dany is like “see ya!” Jon cracks a joke about not being her problem anymore. Dany replies that he’s the kind of problem she wants. Jon knows nothing of flirting and hops on the boat. Jorah, of course, gives an over the shoulder final glance back at the love of his life. Jon does not.
Sam and Gilly: Meanwhile at Hogwarts, none of the maesters will listen to Sam and think this bonkers sci-fi telegram from Winterfell is #fakenews. It puts Sam in a right foul mood, and he basically tells Gilly to shut up while she is straight-up revealing that Jon Snow is actually not a bastard and that he is the legitimate son of Dany’s older brother Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark. What!
Sam rage quits the Citadel, grabs a bunch of books from the library - late fees be damned - and drops out of college even though he only needed six more credits to graduate.
Gendry and Beric Dondarion / The Hound and Jon / Tormund and a Mormont / Thoros and wine: Sorry, Tormund, but “the big woman” did not make it onto Jon’s snow squad. Jon and Davos tell Tormund their ill-advised plan, and then its off to enlist the help of the apparently jailed Brotherhood Without Banners. They all hate each other at first but soon decide to form a boy band supergroup and set out to nab a zombie. The wall lets this Magnificent Seven through, and we end there.
The episode felt like more of a set-up than anything else, preparing viewers for upcoming conflicts and upping my hype meter for next week’s episode. Obviously we’ll see Jon’s crew fighting snow zombies, but it will be interesting how the rift between Sansa and Arya develops now that Arya has seen an old raven message from Sansa that calls their father a traitor more of less. It was a masterful piece of spycraft from Littlefinger, showing that even a ninja assassin like Arya is not up to his level in the counter-intelligence game.