Game of Thrones Review by John Keegan

Game of Thrones 7.05: Eastwatch

Game of Thrones 7.05: Eastwatch

Written By:
Dave Hill
Directed By:
Matt Shakman

If the acceleration of the plot this season has been a bit offputting, at least it’s bringing the story to some major moments sooner rather than later.  And as long as one doesn’t think too hard about how people are moving around so damn fast (or exactly which events overlap in time), things are moving along in some nicely eventful ways.  It’s still pretty evident why some are calling this the “fan service” version of the story, but with George R.R. Martin stalling even more with getting out the final books for the source material, this is as reasonable a conclusion as anyone could expect.



Jon Snow of House Targaryen: The characters may not know it yet, but some very important information has been seeded.  It was pretty well reasoned out, at this point, that Jon was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.  What wasn’t so obvious was that Rhaegar actually annulled his existing marriage, wed Lyanna, and then fathered Jon.  Which means, depending on how the Targaryens view succession, Jon might actually have a more legitimate claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys.


That’s not a minor point, because while Daenerys holds the command of the Unsullied and the Dothraki, she’s still effectively barren and unable to continue the bloodline (at least in the adaptation).  Jon may not have that problem, if his resurrection doesn’t have that particular side effect of impotence.  And with his tendency to inspire populist support that mirrors what Dany has been trying to say she has done, he might be more amenable to the survivors of Westeros, especially if he essentially leads them against the White Walkers.  After all, it looks very possible that he could ride a dragon too, doesn’t it?



House Baratheon Rises Again: It also doesn’t hurt that Jon has the support of the surviving true heir of House Baratheon, our long-missing friend Gendry.  And he makes quite the return!  He swings that hammer with authority!  Hopefully he returns from the “heist” north of the Wall, because he is just too good a part of the mix to lose again.  And having House Baratheon loyal to the true heir of House Targaryen would go a long way to reversing the damage of Robert’s Rebellion, which makes their alliance fitting.


House Lannister is Growing?:  All of this puts Cersei in quite an interesting position, as her position as Queen relies entirely on her marriage to Robert and the lack of a living heir.  Technically, House Lannister has no true claim to the throne, and a lot of people are tired of Cersei.  I’m also not convinced that Cersei’s apparent pregnancy is real.  It would be all too easy to believe that she would manipulate Jamie in such fashion.  But it also adds more layers to the very strong possibility that Jamie will end up killing her and taking his own life before the end.  It seems all too obvious that Cersei will agree to support the war against the White Walkers, only to turn on everyone in due time.



House Stark, Divided: We were all anticipating that the one to counter Littlefinger in the end would be Sansa.  But with her playing Queen of the North in Jon’s absence, she seems destined to be in the middle of a much more interesting battle of wits between Littlefinger and Arya.  Frankly, as much as it seems like Littlefinger outplayed Arya in this episode, I’m not so sure that’s the right interpretation.  Arya may have her suspicions about Sansa’s true motives, but she is smart enough to know that the question isn’t what Littlefinger was hiding, but rather, what he intended to do with the information.


Sansa is correct that Littlefinger commands the Vale, but if Jon is willing to ally with the Lannisters against the White Walkers, does all this intrigue truly matter?  And once everyone is putting forces on the field against the army of the dead, what came before could very well be wiped clean in the aftermath.  It wouldn’t be at all hard for Arya and Sansa to play Littlefinger and put him in a position to fall in the middle of battle.  And that sort of thing tends to end up putting new people in charge.  Speaking of…



Sam, Lord of House Tarly: Now it’s a little more clear why Sam had that little side trip to see his father last season.  Not only did it put a face to Randall Tarly, but it makes it very obvious what it means for Sam when his father and brother are burned to a crisp by Drogon.  Unless I missed something, he’s Lord Tarly now, and he’s loyal to Jon.  That can’t possibly be a minor point, now that the Tarly forces have bent the knee to Daenerys.


The Heist in the North: What’s fun is that all of this is merely the top level of what happens in the episode.  It all culminates in the formation of the band of brothers going on a mission to abduct a Wight and take it back to King’s Landing as proof that the threat exists.  This band includes Jon, Jorah, Gendry, the Hound and his companions, which means there’s a bit of cannon fodder, but not enough to eliminate the possibility of a major loss.  On the other hand, it rekindles the potential for a future Clegane Bowl, should the Hound survive to go to King’s Landing and eventually confront the Mountain!

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • A great balance of character beats and forward momentum
  • Nearly everything pointing to Jon’s true ancestry
The Bad:
  • It’s more and more clear that the biggest moves will likely be postponed for the final season

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Game of Thrones by - 8/15/2017 11:51 AM165 views

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