The fifth episode of this season’s “Game of Thrones” is called “Eastwatch,” a reference to the fortress that the Night King and White Walkers are believed to be headed for.
As of Thursday morning, HBO had not released a description of the episode.
Perhaps they are being cautious after the hacking they experienced last week, but there is a fair amount to mull over. As we noted last week, things would heat up – and they did in a spectacular battle.
Expect this week to be more of the chess match, but first, the big question.
When last we saw Jaime, he was sinking to the bottom of a lake, seemingly dazed and weighed down by armor and that golden hand. His army had been decimated by Daenerys atop the biggest of her dragons, Drogon, and her attacking Dothraki hordes.
Apparently, Bronn – judging from a freeze-frame look – knocked him off his horse just as he was about to be engulfed in dragon fire. Jaime was making a desperate charge at Daenerys and her grounded dragon, seeing it as the only way to turn the tide of the battle.
Don’t expect this to be the ignoble end to the knight, though. He’s too valuable to the franchise to not resurface sans hand and armor and likely not the man he was (watery baptisms are classic moments of change in stories).
His twisted devotion to his sister, Cersei, has kept him going, but can that sustain him anymore? There is a shot of his estranged brother Tyrion walking through the ashes in the aftermath of the battle. Will they meet? Will Jaime be captured?
“You’ll have to make her listen,” Varys can be seen telling Tyrion in a preview. It might be logically assumed that Varys is referring to Daenerys, who can be fiery at times. But what if he’s referring to Cersei, Tyrion’s sister? She may hate him, but she knows he’s no fool. If he does see his brother Jamie, might Tyrion try a desperate diplomatic act to save the Seven Kingdoms since the White Walkers pose the biggest threat.
There is a preview shot of Cersei sitting forlornly on the edge of her bed. Does she think Jaime is lost? When she thought so before, she still had her children, but now she’s all alone. The good news was that the gold Jaime sacked from the Tyrells made it to King’s Landing, which may satisfy oily Tycho and his Iron Bank.
But the bad news is now that she has lost a battle and (possibly) Jaime, they may not be interested in backing her. Worse, Drogon burned up the grain she was counting on to feed her people, and as a monarch, she knows she needs the good will of her people.
Jon, Daenerys and Drogon
In the preview, Jon is seen talking to a war council that includes Daenerys, Varys and Davos telling them that Bran saw the Night King and his army marching toward Eastwatch.
So that means Jon has been in contact with his sister Sansa and knows about Bran’s visions. Now that they seem to have crippled Cersei’s army, they may be able to take the threat from the North seriously.
Here’s a thought: When Jon and Daenerys were in the cave alone to see the White Walker drawings, she again asked him to bend a knee. The scene ended there, but when we see them walking out of the cave he’s trailing a few steps behind, as, say Prince Philip does behind Queen Elizabeth II. Did they make a deal? She seemed anxious for his counsel.
Since Drogon was wounded by the Scorpion, the nickname for Qyburn’s giant crossbow machine, there are concerns. Why is it called Scorpion? Are the arrows poisoned? Even if not, it’s likely Cersei has more devices surrounding King’s Landing, so that means a change in tactics.
After Arya shows off her mad ninja skills in a practice bout with Brienne, Sansa, who is watching from above, realizes her sister is no longer the person she knew. Bran has already confirmed that Ayra has a to-kill list. Littlefinger, who thought he could manipulate Sansa, now finds he has three unpredictable Starks to contend with. Meanwhile, Sansa, too, is worried about grain supplies and feeding her own people.
Winter is coming hard.
Wildcards and Surprises
Theon Greyjoy is asking for help to save his sister, Yara, but he’s not likely a high priority considering the situation and his own track record. Still, Euron Greyjoy, who has her, and his fleet must be reckoned with.
A healed Ser Jorah could reappear, and now the action may shift northward.
What role might the Hound and the Brotherhood without Banners play? From the initial trailer for the season put out by HBO, Beric Dondarrion is seen with his flaming sword making a stand with Jon in the snow. Will they make their way to Eastwatch just in time to help battle the Night King?
Perhaps the most intriguing rumors among GoT fans is the reappearance of Gendry, King Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate son. The actor who plays him, Joe Dempsie, was at this season’s premiere gala and confirmed he was back. But where? My guess is King’s Landing, his home, and where Cersei is and maybe where more than one Lannister is heading.
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