Game of Thrones S07E05 “Eastwatch” REVIEW

Game of Thrones S07E05 “Eastwatch” REVIEW

1 comment 📅14 August 2017, 21:02

Airing in the UK at 2am and 9pm Mondays on Sky Atlantic
Writers: Dave Hill
Director: Matt Shakman

Essential Plot Points:

  • Jamie Lannister is alive, dragged from a river by Bronn far from the site of his army’s defeat. The hero of Blackwater asks him what the hell he was doing, and says that no-one else gets to kill him until he gets what he was promised.
  • Tyrion surveys the battle scene. The dragon’s devastation is chilling. Amazingly, there are some survivors. Daenerys asks them to bend the knee. Or die.

  • House Tarly refuses. Lord Randyll Tarly and his son Dickon are executed by dragon fire.
  • Jamie tells Cersei they can’t win the war. Cersei says they die either way, so it’s better to die fighting. “I know my choice. A soldier should know his.”
  • Jon gets up close and personal with a dragon. His conversation with Daenerys, where she asks him if the “knife to his heart” is a figure of speech, is interrupted by the return of a cured Jorah Mormont.

  • Bran sends his ravens out across the land, using their sight. They see the army of the dead, which is massive, and only break formation when the Night King looks directly at them.
  • The message is spread across the land from Winterfell: the Night King is coming. The maesters don’t believe it, despite Sam’s protestations. They also haven’t told him yet that his family were executed.
  • Tyrion is having trouble with Daenerys’s decision to execute the Tarlys.
  • Jon Snow wants to leave Dragonstone at the news of the dead’s progress. The allies hatch a plot to capture a dead man and show it to Cersei to convince her to fight alongside them.
  • Jon Snow’s continued absence is not appreciated but Sansa is gaining support among the Northern leaders.
  • Jamie and Tyrion have a heart to heart amid the dragon relics. But Gendry, Robert Baratheon’s bastard son who was working as a blacksmith on the street of steel, has to get busy with his hammer to get Tyrion out of King’s Landing.
  • Cersei knows the meeting took place. She’s also preggers again.
  • Sam Tarly ditches his ridiculous copying duties, gathers up some key texts about the undead army, and takes his family away from the citadel.
  • Arya tracks Littlefinger’s scheming, but doesn’t seem to realise he’s acting against her.
  • A group of unlikely allies goes beyond the wall to capture a dead man. None of them look happy about it.


It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, but will bad news for two members of the Tarly family (goodbye Dickon, we barely knew ye) spell good news for another? We know that Sam was effectively stripped of his birth right by being sent to the wall. But Will little Sam (not technically Sam’s child, but no-one else knows the awful truth about the father) inherit the worldly possessions of House Tarly? And while it may seem like running away is all Sam is good at, this time he’s really grown a pair when he decides to get involved in the coming conflict and flake on his pointless duties. If they’re headed back home, perhaps he’s about to get that bad/good news double-hit?

But the episode title references the name of the fortress the Wildlings have gone to defend. The one just inside the wall. So it’s a surprise that this episode is all about relationships. No full scale White Walker invasion just yet.

Things appear to be heating up for Jon and Daenerys – Jon’s connection with the dragon seeming to stir something within their mother, like when you bring a new flame home and your cat cuddles up to it. It’s become easy to overlook just how amazing the creation of the dragons is, but prior to Dickon and Randall’s execution there’s a lovely little flick of the tail, and when Jon approaches the one Daenerys is flying on and the others wheel in the sky above them, the detail of these beasts are what helps bring this show so believably to life. “They’re beautiful, aren’t they,” the Mother of Dragons asks, and it’s the audience who nods with approval.

There’s a little frisson of… jealousy..? when the returning Jorah hugs Daenerys. We’ve long known he’s in love with his Khaleesi, but Jon sees it immediately too. Does the look Jorah gives him mark Jon out as a potential rival for that love, making Jorah a dangerous man for the King of the North? Only time will tell. But when they part, Snow and Mormont both travelling North to capture a dead man, it’s noticeable that Daenerys shows love in her goodbye to Jorah but the parting with Jon suggests a more passionate departure.

Back at Winterfell, it’s the Stark sisters who are having relationship troubles. Arya, wise way beyond her years, sees right through Sansa like she’s not even there. But for our money we wouldn’t be surprised to see Sansa and Littlefinger scooched up tight next to each other on that big Iron Throne when the dust finally settles, and the way George RR Martin thinks, we’d wager the same thought has crossed his mind. This is, after all, a world where the ‘bad’ people tend to win. That power couple would have to make short work of Cersei and her child first, though. Because the queen on the Iron Throne and her brother are going to be parents again.

If Arya has already figured out Sansa, she’s also on Littlefinger’s case, Scooby Dooing his actions within Winterfell. But the scroll he secures is the one Sansa sent following Robert Baratheon’s death, asking Winterfell to swear allegiance to Joffrey. As Admiral Akbar would say, “It’s a trap!” And Arya has fallen for Littlefinger’s plotting. Clearly he’s keen to drive the wedge between them as far as it will go but how that moves him closer to winning Sansa’s hand in marriage is anyone’s guess at this stage.

The Good:

  • High Septon Maynard seems to have been an early blogger, even recording his bowel movements in his diary. The look of disgust on Sam’s face is priceless.

  • Tormund Giantsbane still has a thing for Brienne, upset Jon didn’t bring “the big woman” North with him to carry out his crazy plan.

The Bad:

  • The feeling that big events are taking place is also palpable in what’s happening in the show, without people needing to spell out that BIG EVENTS ARE TAKING PLACE, as Beric Dondarrion does from his cell as the group of disparate heroes come together to go beyond the wall. We get it Thrones, so please dial this tendency back a little.

Best Quotes:

Tyrion: “Who’s that for?”
Varys: “Jon Snow.”
Tyrion: “Did you read it?”
Varys: “It’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North.”
Tyrion: “What’s it say?”
Varys: “Nothing good.”

Review by Matt Chapman 

Read all of our Game of Thrones reviews

1 Comment

  1. Carolyn
    15 August 2017, 02:32 Carolyn

    I’m surprised the reviewer didn’t mention the HUGE parenting reveal regarding the King of the North dispensed by curious bookworm Gilly and ignored by a frustrated Sam during the ‘bowel movement’ scene.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.