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How do I even begin? Eastwatch was one of the most perfect episodes of Game of Thrones I have seen in a while. With huge revelations and developments, it was a whirlwind of possible scenarios that Eastwatch delivered, and more.

We left The Spoils of War wondering about the fate of Jaime and Bron, and this is perhaps my biggest niggle of the episode. Are we supposed to believe they swam across the whole lake? Or that Daenerys was just like, ‘catch you later’, instead of pursuing her would-be killer? Hm. This seems like an overly lucky escape, and a bit of a climactic let down to The Spoils of War, that it’s convenient the rest of the episode makes up for this fault. The harsh reality of the battle is returned instead by Tyrion’s visible struggle as he walks through the ashes of his family’s men. It is a testament to Peter Dinklage’s acting that he can convey such emotion in a short space of time, but it also implies that perhaps this will be a dilemma Tyrion has to face where he must chose, say, between Dany and Jaime.

why is this starting to sound more like a threat every time she says it?

It is also interesting seeing the trajectory Daenerys’ character arc is taking, as we become more and more concerned with her behaviour as the episodes progress. She tells the men that “we will make this world a better place than we found it”, but why is this starting to sound more like a threat every time she says it? We are seemingly more in danger of seeing her become the Mad Queen with every episode, and this will be an interesting point of conflict when the revelation about Jon’s lineage becomes more well known (as I will mention at the end of the article).

But this episode was jam-packed with developments, and with the fast paced nature of their revelation I will quickly round them up. A bit of an unforeseen one is the revelation from Cersei that she is pregnant – but is this just another ploy? Or a way to encourage Jaime to continue fighting for their house? It seems like a strange development, and I am interested to see how this new plotline progresses if it is true or not.

Finally Ser Mormont has returned to Dany’s life. Only to promptly leave. But hey-ho, it was nice to see them back together – the man who was there from the beginning.

Old conflicts between them glare as each one fights for either diplomacy or fighting

The army of the dead has cropped up again, this time becoming a more pertinent threat for the Seven Kingdoms. Bran is proving himself useful, as he uses some ravens to track the army – while set against some of the most stunning sceneries in the show. The army seems like it’s moving at quite a chilled-out pace, but I guess there’s no rush when you’re sure to win and have nothing to lose. The development of a new strategy regarding the army was an unexpected development. It surprised me that they decided to attempt to get Cersei involved in the fight, setting up (I’m sure) some fantastic betrayal by her. One question though, why can’t Dany just send one (doesn’t even to be her favourite!) dragon up North to burn the army? It won’t kill the white walkers, but it’d sure be helpful.

Arya had an intriguing episode too, as tensions with Sansa and Littlefinger grow. She is bickering with Sansa again already, in a way reminiscent to the first season but without the child-like lack of malice about it. Old conflicts between them glare as each one fights for either diplomacy or fighting. Perhaps stoking these tensions is Littlefinger, in his obsessive desire with Sansa. The two play a game of cat and mouse throughout the episode, until we finally see that Littlefinger is still top in this particular game. Will he have planted a fake letter in order to split the Stark sisters? And maybe everyone should just start asking Bran to check for a bit more clarity in their lives?

It is a revelation that is staggeringly important, but even the characters seemed unaware

It’s what I’ve been waiting for, for so long. I thought they’d forgotten. I assumed he was still rowing. But no, here is Gendry – the character after whom I asked the question ‘where the fuck is Gendry?’ over a year ago. And he isn’t rowing anymore! Instead he’s been skilfully preparing his hammer skills, and I guess now we have another somewhat contender to the throne? More interestingly was his revelation of his identity to Jon, and his desire to befriend the other (seeming) bastard. I’m not entirely sure Dany will be pleased when she finds out, but for now I am just generally excited to have Gendry back in the show.

Finally, the most important part of the episode. The R+L=J theory, and the increasing scenes which seem to confirm it. If you’re not about fan theories (even though this one is fairly established) – look away now. Jon’s interaction with the dragon, early in the episode, was another strong hint at his Targaryen heritage. With stunning CGI on the dragon (not usually a fan of CGI), Jon’s interaction with it perhaps hinted at his own ability to control and ride the dragons, maybe we should try and burn him with fire? Anyone thought about doing that? But, the most important revelation came quietly and without fuss. It is a revelation that is staggeringly important, but even the characters seemed unaware. It was Gilly reading from a diary about annulment; the annulment between Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell, and the marriage of Rhaegar to Lyanna Stark instead. As heir to the Mad King, and probably father of Jon Snow, this means that in reality Jon isn’t a Snow after all. He is the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms – not Dany. How this plays out when it becomes revealed to her, I cannot predict – but I’m sure it will be fascinating to watch.


5/5

Quotations:

  • Bron: “Dragons are where our partnership ends”
  • Daenerys: “Sometimes strength is terrible”
  • About the army of the dead: “it is a bit much” – perhaps the most British response, ever by Archmaester Broadbent – going to miss Jim Broadbent in the series!
  • Tyrion: “What is somebody takes the boat?”, Ser Davos: “Then we’re fucked. Better hurry.”

P.S. Only two more weeks left guys, this is not a drill.

You can watch the show on Sky Atlantic in the UK, and pre-order the DVD on Amazon here.

Image: HBO 2017

Clare Clarke

<p>Clare, Editor-in-Chief of The Panoptic, has just graduated with a BA in History from the University of Warwick. Passionate about journalism, Clare has written both for her student paper, The Boar, and completed academic research. Clare encourages investigative journalism and...

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