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Recap / Game of Thrones S7E5: "Eastwatch"

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The episode opens a little ways downriver from the Blackwater Rush, with Bronn dragging Jaime to shore, both men exhausted and coughing up water. Jaime says that Bronn might have killed him by knocking them both into the river, to which an incredulous Bronn asks Jaime what he thought he was doing by charging Daenerys; when Jaime says that killing her would have ended the war, Bronn points out that there was a dragon between Jaime and her, and says that until he gets what Jaime owes him, no one gets to kill Jaime — with the exception of Bronn himself. Jaime, still horrified by what he saw, notes that all the carnage was caused by only one dragon, and that she has two others. Bronn shrugs this off, noting that if she brings them into play, "You're fucked," and says their arrangement never included dragons — he has no intention of being in King's Landing when there are dragons spitting fire at it. Jaime realizes that he has to inform Cersei what happened, and Bronn notes that it might be easier for Jaime to just jump back in the river and let himself drown instead of dealing with the Queen. Bronn walks away as Jaime sits and stares at the plumes of smoke in the distance.

At the aftermath of The Battle on The Roseroad proper, Tyrion walks through the ash-covered field, stunned by the carnage Drogon left in his wake, while the Dothraki loot the Lannister-Tarly army's corpses and march the survivors to a nearby hill, where Drogon perches roaring. Standing on a rock at its base, Dany tells the captured soldiers that everything Cersei claimed about her — that she intends to destroy the cities and farms of Westeros and kill everyone who opposes her — is actually what Cersei intends to do. She says that her true intentions are to end a society which only benefits the rich and powerful, then offers them a choice: accept her as Queen and fight against Cersei, or refuse and be killed, which causes Tyrion to look concerned. A few soldiers quickly kneel while their fellows look on in disgust, then Drogon faces them with a roar, causing most of the rest to take a knee, the only exceptions being Randyll and Dickon Tarly along with some random mooks. Dany calls Lord Randyll forward, and when asked why he did not kneel, he tells her that Cersei is his queen. Tyrion speaks up and points out that Tarly had been a follower of Margaery Tyrell, which makes his loyalty somewhat questionable. Randyll says it wasn't an easy choice, and that though Cersei has her faults (there's an understatement), she is a native of Westeros. He derides Tyrion for murdering Tywin and joining Dany with her "army of savages", and Dany admits that his refusal of her offer has earned her respect. Tyrion points out that if Randyll will not swear loyalty to Dany, perhaps he could be sent to the Night's Watch instead — a soldier of Randyll's caliber would be a valuable asset against the Night King's army. However, Randyll refuses this option, saying that only his sworn ruler can make that choice for him. Dany signals Ko Qhono and two other Dothraki, who begin to lead him off, then Dickon steps forward and says that Dany will have to kill him as well. Randyll tries to order him to stand down, but Dickon faces Dany and tells her who he is. Tyrion tells Dickon that House Tyrell has already been extinguished, and if he dies unmarried, House Tarly will be ended as well; Dickon still refuses to kneel. Tyrion tries to convince Dany to have the refusers jailed, but she points out that if it's a choice between supporting her and being safely imprisoned, there may be a great number of soldiers who will do the latter. Tyrion once more tries to reason with her, warning her about "beheading entire families", but Dany cuts him off by saying that she's not going to do that; on the hilltop, Drogon roars again. Tyrion speaks up again, but this time Dany turns away from him, showing that her mind is made up. The Dothraki lead Randyll and Dickon a short distance away from the assembled group, Randyll grasps Dickon's arm, and Dany pronounces their sentence: death by dragonfire. Drogon kills the two, and this display is enough to convince the soldiers who were still on their feet to kneel. Dany turns to leave, with Tyrion clearly disturbed by her actions.


In King's Landing, Jaime has returned to the Red Keep, blowing past Qyburn on his way to Cersei's chamber. She asks how much of their army was destroyed, but Jaime doesn't yet know the numbers, which Cersei blows off by saying they can just hire mercenaries, causing Jaime to shake his head in disbelief. He tells he that, having seen the Dothraki in person, he doesn't believe any army, mercenary or regular, can stand against the horselords; more to the point, Daenerys destroyed virtually all their supplies, Qyburn's scorpion was ineffective, and that all of this was against one of the dragons; he believes there's no way to beat her if she brings all three to bear. Cersei correctly asks what other options they have, since she's on the Iron Throne and Jaime killed Dany's father. She snarks that perhaps Tyrion will plead their case as a form of apology for murdering Tywin and Joffrey, prompting Jaime to tell her about Olenna's confession. Cersei refuses to believe it until Jaime asks who Olenna would rather have had married to her granddaughter Margaery — Joffrey or Tommen. Cersei now wishes Olenna died screaming, and shifts to blaming Jaime for providing the old woman a painless death. Jaime points out that Olenna and all of House Tyrell are dead, and that House Lannister faces the same fate, but Cersei says that if her only choices are fighting then dying or submitting then dying, she knows what she will choose, and that Jaime should know as well.


Back on Dragonstone, Jon is standing on a cliff watching Drogon and Dany return. Drogon lands nearby and approaches him, close enough for Jon to remove a glove and touch the dragon, as Dany, her view blocked by Drogon's neck, can't see what's happening. Jon strokes the massive nose, which Drogon allows much to Dany's surprise. She then dismounts and walks toward Jon as Drogon flies off to join his brothers. Dany, like any proud mother, croons over how beautiful they are, to which Jon jokes that wasn't the word he had in mind, before backtracking and agreeing with her when Dany sends sparks from her eyes. Dany tells him she doesn't view them as beasts but her children, which catches Jon off guard. He points out she wasn't gone long, which Dany concedes, saying only that there are less people opposing her now than when she left. Jon looks uncomfortable, so she points out that he had to kill many people to reclaim Winterfell. Dany tries to find common ground, saying that even though they each want to help the country, neither of them can do it unless they do it from a position of strength, and that isn't always a pleasant goal. She stops and asks Jon about Davos saying he was stabbed in the heart, which Jon tries to play off by saying Davos was exaggerating. Dany doesn't quite seem to believe him, but is distracted by Qhono's arrival with a guest: Jorah Mormont, returned from Oldtown. She's obviously pleased to see her former friend and advisor, who wastes no time in kneeling and referring to her as "Your Grace". Dany introduces he and Jon to each other, with Jon noting that he served with Jorah's father in the Night's Watch. Dany inquires about Jorah's health, and he tells her he's cured, then asks if he still has a place at her side. Dany accepts him with an embrace, as Jon and the Dothraki look on.

At Winterfell, Bran is looking through the eyes of the ravens as they take flight, sending them through the winds and snow near Eastwatch to find that Sandor's vision was true: the Army of the Dead is about to bypass the Wall by crossing the now-frozen ocean near the coastline. The Night King sees the ravens and forces them to scatter with a glance, knocking Bran back into his own body as Maester Wolkan looks on; he tells the older man that they need to send a lot of ravens.

Next, we see a maesters meeting in The Citadel. Several maesters are dismissing Wolkan's claims outright, while Ebrose notes that it isn't like him to be misled. Sam overhears their conversation and realizes they're talking about Bran. Under Ebrose's questioning, Sam tells them he led Bran through the Wall, and that it would have been impossible for a crippled boy to survive the wilderness unless there was something special about him. When further challenged, Sam tells Ebrose that if the Citadel presented a unified front about the Night's King, everyone would take them seriously, which Ebrose admits, but then says he believes it more likely that Wolkan sent the raven under threat by Daenerys, so as to leave the south undefended by most of its armies. Sam protests that it's real, but Ebrose's only concession is to write back to Wolkan and ask for more information, ordering Sam to be quiet while the maesters chuckle about other old false prophecies, causing Sam to leave the room in disgust. One of the maesters asks if Sam knows about Randall and Dickon's deaths, which Ebrose says he doesn't, before moving the meeting on to other business.

In the throne room at Dragonstone, Varys has received one of Bran's ravens, and he and Tyrion are awaiting Dany's return to open it. Tyrion points out that all kings and queens expect people to submit, and that Randall Tarly had a choice: submission or death, and his obstinacy backed Dany into a corner. Varys points out that not killing the Tarlys was an option, to which Tyrion protests that he is merely an advisor. Varys manages to unsettle Tyrion by saying he felt the same way about Aerys, that all he did was find people who'd betrayed the Mad King; Aerys himself was the one that killed them. Tyrion says that Dany isn't Aerys, which Varys agrees is true, saying that if she has the right people around her, she won't ever become like him, but Tyrion must convince her to listen. Tyrion asks Varys about the raven, and Varys says its for Jon. When Tyrion wonders if he's already read it, Varys protests that it's a sealed message for the King in the North — so Tyrion asks what it says and Varys answers, "Nothing good."

Reading the raven, Jon learns that Arya and Bran are both alive and at home, but he is shaken as the raven also informs him Bran has seen the Night King and his army closing in on the North, and Jon urgently insists he needs to go home to the North. When Dany objects, since Jon had said he doesn't have enough men, Jon says they'll fight with the men they have, unless Dany wants to join him. Dany counters by saying that as soon as she heads north, Cersei will retake everything she's gained, then Tyrion speaks up and says that Cersei never really believed in the stories of the Night King and his army, but if she could be proven wrong, say, by bringing a Wight to the Red Keep... Davos asks if that's even possible, and Jon relates the story of his and Jeor's fight against the wight way back in Season 1. Varys points out that this entire plan hinges on Cersei even being willing to listen, and given that she considers them all to be her enemies, that isn't likely. Tyrion counters that Cersei does listen to Jaime, and that Jaime might heed Tyrion's words; when Dany asks how Tyrion would even be able to meet his brother, everyone looks at the Onion Knight. Davos admits he can get Tyrion into King's Landing, but if Tyrion is recognized, both of them are as good as dead. Dany then notes that they still need a Wight, and Jorah says he will head north of the Wall and bring one back. Dany seems loath to part with him, and Davos rightly points out the Free Folk won't help Jorah, but Jon says that's not a problem: he'll lead the raid. Davos protests that Jon isn't a member of the Night's Watch anymore, he's King in the North, and too important to risk his life this way. Jon rightly notes he's the only person there who's fought a Wight, and when a slightly unsettled Dany tells him she hasn't said he can leave, Jon respectfully says that he doesn't need her permission: he is a King, and that he trusted her, a stranger, because he knew that working with her was needed for the greater good and for everybody's best chance at survival; he asks her to trust him the same way. After a silent reassurance from Tyrion, Dany nods her acquiescence.

At Winterfell, the Lords of the North are restless, saying the King in the North should "stay in the North" and because of this, Glover tells Sansa that perhaps they should have chosen her to rule them while Royce says the Knights of the Vale came for her. Sansa tells them all that Jon is still their king, while Arya looks on from the back of the hall. Afterwards, Sansa grumbles that this is exactly what she told Jon would happen if he left, but Arya points out that he trusted Sansa to rule in his place. Sansa shoots back that the Northern Lords' pride is getting in the way. When Arya notes that Sansa is now living in Eddard and Catelyn's chamber, she tries to brush this off as a meaningless observation, but Sansa asks that Arya speak her mind. Arya rebukes Sansa by saying that she used to think she was better than other people, and that she just sat in that meeting and listened to the lords insult Jon. Sansa replies that she heard their complaints, which is her duty; if she had offended them, Jon would be down 2,500 soldiers. Arya's solution to this is to kill the lords, but Sansa notes that simply killing people is no way to ensure compliance; the North worked together to bring down the Boltons and retake Winterfell, and beheading people doesn't inspire camaraderie. Arya reads between the lines and notes that if Jon dies, that makes Sansa the heir apparent, which would mean she needs the support of the northern lords. Sansa asks Arya how she can even ask that, to which Arya replies she knows how Sansa thinks; even if she doesn't want to, she can't help but imagine herself as Queen in the North. Sansa dismisses Arya, who leaves with a slightly sarcastic, "My lady." All in all, relations between the sisters have chilled quite a bit.

Davos and Tyrion have made it to King's Landing; Tyrion says the last time he was in the Capitol he murdered Tywin, while Davos says the last time he was here, Tyrion killed his son. Davos points out a rarely monitored path up to the city, and heads off; when Tyrion protests that someone might steal their boat, Davos tells him to hurry if he's so concerned. Down in the dungeons, Bronn and Jaime are preparing to train again; when Jaime asks why they're in the dungeons, Bronn points out that it wouldn't do for a great knight like the Kingslayer to be shown trying to relearn how to fight. Jaime snarks that he might kill Bronn "by accident", but Bronn reveals the real reason they're in the dungeons as Tyrion emerges from the shadows. As Jaime glares at his brother, Tyrion notes that he's been three steps behind Jaime strategically for some time, but when he mentions Tywin, Jaime gets genuinely angry, informing Tyrion that he said he'd cut Tyrion in half if they ever met again. Tyrion can't help but snark that it will take a long time if all Jaime has is a tourney sword, then the two stare at each other before Tyrion tries to plead his case, saying that Tywin intended to execute him, and that Tywin hated him simply for being a dwarf. Jaime cuts him off and asks his intentions, to which Tyrion replies that Dany is willing to declare a ceasefire if Cersei will meet her terms, causing Jaime to look on in disbelief. Jaime says that Cersei will never bow to Dany, which Tyrion says she doesn't even want — right now, at least — but instead has a "more important request."

Along The Street of Steel, Davos walks through the market to a blacksmith's shop, where he finds... Gendry, plying his trade, though Davos jokes he thought Gendry might still rowing. Gendry asks Davos if he isn't worried, but Davos notes that he hasn't been seen in Flea Bottom in years, and the odds of his being recognized are low. Gendry thanks Davos for his good advice, saying that no one who comes to his shop ever even gives him a second look, since he's beneath their notice; no one would ever think one of Robert's surviving bastards had actually stayed in King's Landing. Davos warns him this arrangement might not last, but Gendry only says he's ready to drop everything and accompany Davos, and apparently has been for some time. Davos tries to impress the seriousness of their situation on him, but Gendry tells him that he's hated making arms for the people who killed his father and was waiting for this day; Davos notes if that's the way he feels, he should bring a sword, but Gendry instead picks up a warhammer like his father wielded. They make it back to the boat but Tyrion is nowhere to be seen, then two Goldcloaks show up. Davos turns on his old smuggler's charm and manages to bribe them, but then they ask what he's hauling. Gendry tenses up, but Davos calls them over, flipping the canvas over to both hide Gendry's hammer and reveal two bowls of fermented crab, claiming that brothels use it as an aphrodisiac to increase their profits. He offers some to them, and urges them to the nearest whorehouse, but as the laughing men turn to leave, here comes Tyrion down from the path. He barges past them, but they are instantly suspicious and head after him. Davos tries to run interference but the men ignore him, noting Tyrion's distinctive facial scar (apparently they were on the payroll in the aftermath of the Purple Wedding and his trial). He offers them more gold, and when they turn to face him, Gendry smashes both their heads in with his hammer. Davos introduces Gendry to Tyrion, and the three push the boat back into the surf to leave.

Jaime walks into Cersei's chamber in The Red Keep, interrupting a conversation between Cersei and Qyburn, with her saying that what he's offering her "won't be necessary". Cersei refuses to tell Jaime what they were talking about and asks why he's come; Jaime tells her he met Tyrion and after Cersei gets done glaring at him, asks what was discussed. He tells her that Daenerys wants to discuss an armistice, to which Cersei asks why she would possibly want that given her recent victory. Jaime tells her of Tyrion's claim about the Army of the Dead, which Cersei dismisses in favor of asking if Jaime will punish Bronn for his betrayal; Jaime realizes that Cersei knew about the meeting and let it happen. Confused, he asks why, and she tells him that reaching "an accommodation" with Dany could be mutually beneficial; furthermore, she knows they don't have the manpower to beat Dany head on, so she's going to try and outmaneuver the younger woman, as Tywin would have done. Cersei tells Jaime that whatever opposes them — an army of the dead, three dragons, or even a dragon queen — they will defeat it, for House Lannister itself, for their own benefit...and for their recently conceived fourth child. Jaime questions who Cersei will claim is the father, but she replies they will no longer hide their relationship from the public, and they embrace, both looking genuinely happy for the first time in a long time...then Cersei pours a bucket of ice water on the proceedings by telling Jaime not to betray her again.

Once more on Dragonstone, Davos and Gendry are getting ready to leave, with Davos advising Gendry to keep his parentage secret and keep up the masquerade of "Clovis", an itinerant blacksmith who wants to aid Winterfell. Jon welcomes Davos back, but when Davos tries to introduce "Clovis", Gendry interrupts him and tells Jon his true name and heritage, to Jon's confusion and Davos's irritation. Gendry says that Robert and Ned trusted each other, therefore he and Jon should try to do the same. They trade stories of meeting each other's fathers, then Gendry says he wants to accompany Jon north of the Wall. Davos tries to dissuade him, but Gendry says even though he's not a soldier, he is a fighter, and that Jon doesn't exactly need a blacksmith if he's carrying Longclaw. Jon gets Gendry to admit he's not a swordsman, then Gendry says he uses a hammer, and Davos admits he's able to hold his own. Jon agrees to take Gendry along, while Davos again tries to get him to stay behind; but Gendry tells Davos that he can't do that after finding out about the Army of the Dead, causing Davos to grumble about no one taking his advice. On the beach, the Northmen are preparing to leave, while Tyrion reunites with Jorah, saying he missed Jorah's glowering. Tyrion reveals he still has the coin the slaver gave him instead of his and Jorah's freedom, then he gives Jorah the coin and tells him to return, saying that Dany needs him. Dany shows up to see them off, and notes that she and Jorah really ought to be better at good-byes by now. He begins to speak but she stops him by gripping his hands; nothing else happens because Jon, Davos and Gendry appear, though Jorah does kiss her hand as he leaves. Jon snarks that if he dies, she won't have to deal with the King in the North anymore, but Dany gives him a small smile and says she's gotten used to him. Jon wishes her luck in her war, then helps push the boat into the surf, but only Jorah looks back as they leave.

At The Citadel, Sam is copying one of Ebrose's texts while Gilly is reading another and learning various facts about the world, including the number of steps in the Citadel. She then asks Sam how many windows the Great Sept has, to which Sam snarkily replies that it doesn't have any now. She then asks Sam what "annulment" means, saying that the High Septon whose journal she's reading issued an annulment to a prince named "Rag-ar" and also remarried him at the same time, both in Dorne. Sam misses what she's saying and begins to rant about the maesters setting him to menial work instead of allowing him to research the archives, then gets up and leaves. He heads to the restricted section and removes multiple books and scrolls, then packs up Gilly and Little Sam, dresses in his blacks again, and leaves the Citadel.

Back in Winterfell, Arya sees Littlefinger talking to a serving girl and paying her for whatever she told him; he then looks to where Arya was, but she's vanished. She follows him as he talks to two lords and then through the halls of Winterfell to his rooms, but before he can enter, Wolkan approaches and gives Littlefinger an old raven scroll that he found in Luwin's archives, confirming that it's the only copy in the castle. Littlefinger thanks Wolkan in Sansa's name, then puts the scroll away before leaving and locking the room behind him. As it so happens, one of the skills Arya learned was lockpicking, and she gets into Littlefinger's room easily, searching for the scroll. She looks in his cabinets, above the hearth, under the bed; pretty much everywhere, and just when she's about to give up, takes a second look at the mattress itself, lifting it up and seeing a hole cut into the bottom. She pulls out the scroll and is not happy with what she reads: it's the one Sansa wrote after Robert's death and Ned's arrest, telling Robb to come to King's Landing and bend the knee to Joffrey. She leaves the room and relocks the door, but distracted by what she read, doesn't see Littlefinger hiding in the shadows, his smug grin making its return.

Jon and his men have reached Eastwatch-By-The-Sea, though Tormund demands to know why Davos hasn't tried to talk Jon out of such an insane plan, causing Davos to snark that it's not as easy as Tormund thinks. Tormund asks just how many queens there are, and which one Jon needs to ally with, but Jon replies that he needs both Cersei and Daenerys as allies. The chief of the Wildlings then asks how many men will be on this ranging, and is disappointed when Jon says he didn't bring Brienne. Jorah openly requests Tormund's aid, while Davos says he's no good in a fight, which Tormund agrees is the case. Tormund asks Jon if he's sure he wants to go past the Wall; when Jon says he is, Tormund takes him into the cells, where he's holding men the scouts found heading toward Eastwatch: Sandor Clegane, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr. Beric says they don't want to head past the Wall, but the Lord has told them they must. Gendry warns Jon not to trust them, telling him of how they sold him to Melisandre. Jorah recognizes Thoros and vice versa, and Tormund isn't pleased to learn that Jorah is Jeor's son, saying that under Jeor, the Night's Watch hunted the Free Folk "like animals", though Jorah points out they returned the favor. Beric begins to talk about how the disparate groups have all met due to divine purpose, but Sandor orders him to shut up; he just wants to know if they're going to be allowed to go with Jon. Jorah asks if they don't want to know the purpose of their journey, but Thoros says it can't be any worse than sitting around waiting to freeze and die. Jon agrees they're all on the same side, and when Gendry asks how that can be the case, Jon replies "We're all breathing."

Tormund opens the Eastwatch gate and the group head out into the snow.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: Tormund's bluntness earns a chuckle from Gendry.
    Tormund: And you need to convince the [queen] with the dragons or the one who fucks her brother?
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: At the end of Season 1, Ser Alliser was dispatched to King's Landing with the moving hand of the wight for more or less the same idea that Tyrion decides here. What happened to that subplot was never mentioned in the show, since Ser Alliser was Put on a Bus until Season 4. In the Inside the Episode, D. B. Weiss confirms that the hand withered on the way south.From the Books 
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Maesters of Oldtown feel sorry for young Samwell on account of the execution of his father Randyll and Dickon. In A Feast for Crows, Samwell mentions that ""Randyll Tarly was known in Old Town, but little loved" and he more or less considered hiding his family name because he felt it might hurt his career and reputation there. Here the maesters respect the Tarly family greatly, and don't hold Samwell's background against him, whereas in the novels one can assume the maesters would react with "Joffrey-is-Dead" celebrations.
  • Admiring the Abomination: When Drogon lands practically in front of him and starts stalking forward, Jon's face is half terror and half awe, and actually touching Drogon seems akin to some religious experience. After being allowed to stroke Drogon's snout, Jon admits to Dany that all three of the dragons are magnificent creatures.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Randyll Tarly has been nothing but an irredeemable Jerkass for his whole run of the series, but it's still hard not to feel for him as he faces a horrible death with stubborn courage rather than to compromise the allegiance he already pledged (even if he doesn't like Cersei), especially since he at the same time urges his more-sympathetic son to bend the knee and save himself.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • The name that Ser Davos briefly comes up for Gendry, Clovis, is the name of the Founder of the Merovingian dynasty and the first converted and anointed Christian King of France.
    • The idea of a marital agreement made in secret that can potentially legitimize a supposed "bastard" as the true heir to the throne (vis a vis Rhaegar and High Septon Maynard) is quite similar to the Titulus Regius document from the Wars of the Roses, where Richard III claimed that a secret betrothal contract made by Edward IV to Dame Eleanor Butler as per the testimony of Bishop Robert Stillington nullified his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and likewise de-legitimized the claims of the young "Princes in the Tower". history 
  • Animal Eye Spy: Bran wargs into a murder of crows to spy on the Night King and his army. The Night King notices and breaks the link, but Bran gets what he needed from it.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Davos makes it clear to Tyrion that the latter's attempt for small talk is pointless since they're not gonna be friends anytime soon.
    Tyrion: Last time I was here, I killed my father with a crossbow.
    Davos: Last time I was here, you killed my son with wildfire.
  • Ascended Meme: Davos, upon meeting up with Gendry again, mentions how hard of a time he had finding him, joking that he started to assume that he was still rowing. This was a long-time fandom In-Joke for why Gendry hadn't been in the past three seasons of the show. It was so popular that all of the cast themselves, including actor Joe Dempsie (Gendry), frequently quoted it the past three years.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Randyll Tarly earned his death long ago, so no tears are shed for him. Poor Dickon Tarly willingly joining his father out of filial piety earns some sympathy, though more for Dickon's sake than Randyll's.
    • The two Goldcloaks that extort Davos get an up-close meeting with Gendry's warhammer.
  • Badass Crew: Jon leads one beyond the Wall; including the likes of Tormund, Jorah Mormont, Gendry, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, and Sandor Clegane.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Despite being amiable, Davos makes it clear he doesn't care about Tyrion's witty remark and that he killed his son. But they are on the same side now and so there's no point holding a grudge now.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Jon learns Arya and Bran are alive and in Winterfell, he immediately wants to return home — particularly since he is freaked out for his family's safety, as well as for the North, as this same raven tells him Bran has seen the Night King and his army marching towards Eastwatch.
  • Breather Episode: There's not a significant action sequence in this episode following the destruction of the Lannister army in the previous episode, and much of the episode is dedicated toward setting up the major action sequence in the following episode.
  • Broken Aesop: Varys gives a speech to Tyrion about the evils of Just Following Orders when the latter insists that he isn't responsible for what happened to the Tarlys and that he did everything he could to help them. Varys compares Tyrion's service to Dany to his service with Aerys in response, but the two have fundamental differences. There's no hint that Varys ever made an effort to reign in the Mad King's worst impulses, and it likely wouldn't have gone well had he tried. Daenerys, on the other hand, listens to Tyrion and provides reasonable justifications for why she won't back down, even if burning the Tarlys to death was a bit much. Varys, on the other hand, is said by Grand Maester Pycelle and Jaime to have served Aerys loyally, having advised the Mad King not to let Tywin in during the Sack. Tyrion may not have stopped Dany, but he at least tried.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sam suffers one for the Citadel during the council of archmaesters, in which Ebrose humors him for a moment, but then caves to the will of the other archmaesters. This proves to be the final straw and pushes Sam into abandoning the Citadel, but not before stealing the scrolls he wants. He even repeats Randyll Tarly's mocking insult that maesters at the Citadel merely study about better men before leaving, since that's the only role they play at Westeros, ensuring Medieval Stasis and upholding the status-quo.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Bronn makes it clear to Jaime that should Dany lay siege to King's Landing with her dragons, he will cut his losses and run, and that he will never be on the other side of a giant fire-breathing lizard again.
    • Davos decides to sit out the ranging beyond the Wall, as he'd be a liability. Tormund agrees.
  • The Bus Came Back: Gendry returns after his long absence since Season 3. He is revealed to have been in King's Landing all this time, returning to his work as a blacksmith and making the Lannisters' weapons — something he is very eager to leave behind since the Lannisters killed his father and tried to kill him.
  • Call-Back:
    • Like Jaime, Dany also believes that "Only a fool makes threats he's not prepared to carry out".
    • Jaime tells Tyrion that he swore to kill him for murdering their father if he ever saw him again.
    • Cersei brings up what Tywin said to Jaime in his very first appearance.
      "A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep."
    • When Ser Davos reunites with Gendry, he mentions he thought Gendry would still be rowing.
    • Sam tells Gilly he doesn't want to learn about the achievements of better men when asked if he is really sure about leaving the Citadel behind, echoing what his father told him back in Season 6 in Horn Hill.
    • Jon and Gendry each recall meeting each others' father. And a late scene is mostly composed of this, with Jon remembering Sandor from his visit to Winterfell in the very first episode, while Jorah remembers Thoros from the siege of Pyke.
    • Bizarrely averted with no one mentioning Arya to Jon once, despite almost every companion she travelled with in Westeros being together at the end. Gendry after spending months with Arya and her being the character he spent 90% of his screentime with, instead brings up a three minute conversation with Ned, while Sandor and the Brotherhood — some of the last people to see Arya alive — don't tell Jon, either.
    • A subtle example when Arya is searching for the scroll. Back in season 3, Sansa mentions that Arya used to prank her by cutting a hole in the bottom of her mattress and hiding sheep dung in there. Turns out Baelish hid the scroll in a hole in the bottom of his mattress (with the clear implication that he wanted Arya to find it).
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Subverted. Cersei is unwilling to believe Tyrion is innocent of killing Joffrey at first, since that would require admitting her mistakes, plus her preexisting bias against Tyrion, but she caves when Jaime points out Olenna had far greater motivation to elevate Tommen to the throne and kill Joffrey than Tyrion:
      Jaime: If you were Olenna, would you rather have seen your granddaughter married to Joffrey or Tommen? Which one would Margaery have been better able to control, which one would have made Olenna the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms? She was telling the truth.
    • Played straight with Sam, when he begs the Maesters to believe him about the incoming White Walkers, but they dismiss it on the grounds of being possibly a false letter by Daenerys Targaryen.
    • Invoked. Ser Jorah and Jon resolve to bring a Wight to King's Landing in order to convince the crown that the threat of the White Walkers is real, which is something that even Dany's court themselves trust on Jon's account and word of honor, but haven't verified themselves. As such, as Jon points out to Tormund, the mission's goal is to convince both Dany and Cersei about the greater threat.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Poor Gilly after Sam's given an impressive rant about the Citadel and Maesters:
    Samwell: These Maesters...they set me to the task of that man's window-counting and annulments and bowel movements for all eternity, while the secret to defeating the Night King is probably sitting on some dusty shelf somewhere, completely ignored! But that's alright isn't it? We can all become slavering murderous imbeciles in thrall to evil incarnate as long as we can have full access to High Septon Maynard's 15,782 shits!
    Gilly: Steps. That number was steps.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Jaime's first words after Bronn drags him out of the river aren't a heartfelt thank-you.
    Jaime: You could have killed me!
  • Conflict Killer: Now that they know the White Walkers will make it past the Wall eventually, Daenerys is willing to suspend hostilities in order to stop them, so long as Cersei can be convinced to do the same.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Three-Eyed Raven promised that while Bran would never walk again, he would fly. Come this episode, he does, by warging into a murder of crows to spy on the Night King's army.
    • Gilly reads an account written by High Septon Maynard, mentioning that he annulled Prince Rhaegar's marriage to marry someone else in Dorne — which is where Jon Snow was born to Lyanna Stark, implying she is the one that Rhaegar married. If true, this would make Jon the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
    • Davos carries buckets of crab meat with him. Before he was knighted or took up smuggling, he was born to a family of crabbers.
    • Davos again says he isn't a fighter.
    • Davos bristles at Beric's claim they're all there for the same reason, as he isn't fond of R'hollor followers.
  • Contrived Coincidence: One of the texts Sam is tasked with copying just so happens to contain a passage regarding Rhaegar Targaryen annulling his marriage to Elia Martel and marrying someone else. Even without adding further prove to the fire that is Jon Snows true heritage the existence of such an act would have still shaken up Westeros for years to come. And yet Sam conveniently just so happens to get the one text in all the land that could prove his best friends true heritage completely at random.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Execution by dragonfire is a bad way to go. The Tarlys may have had it coming (well, Randyll did, at least), but there were more humane and merciful ways to execute them, such as a quick beheading.
  • Crying Wolf: The reason why the archmaesters are so stubbornly reluctant to believe Bran's claims about the White Walkers, even with Sam backing him up, is that Westeros has collectively been doing this too much throughout its history. The archmaesters know all about the many times that someone claimed to have magical visions that turned out to be completely false, so to them Bran just looks like another one of the same.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Sam urges the Maesters to use their authority to do some good, such as combing their library for any mention of the Long Night so they may find a way to stop the White Walkers. They don't bite, so Sam decides to be badass on his own.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Gilly: Guess how many windows are in the Great Sept of Baelor?
    Samwell: None anymore.
  • Death Seeker: Bronn hints at this with Jaime, telling Jaime he won't let him kill himself before settling their debt. Jaime doesn't really deny it.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • When Jaime makes it clear that the war will be lost, Cersei insists on fighting it anyway because she would rather go down fighting than surrender. Subverted when she sees an opportunity in Dany's offer of armistice, which she thinks she can leverage into winning the war eventually, though by that point she's also found out about her pregnancy.
    • Randyll Tarly refuses to bend the knee for Daenerys, as he argues that he won't abide for a foreign invader's claim to anything. He wasn't counting on his son following suit.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Now that he's witnessed Drogon and the Dothraki tearing through his army like paper, Jaime is fully convinced Daenerys will win the war.
  • Dirty Cop: The Goldcloaks easily accept bribes from suspected smugglers to look the other way, though the price has risen since Davos last visited. Once they see Tyrion, though, there's no bribing them, since they're aware the reward for him is much better than anything Davos can pay. Gendry kills them both to resolve the situation.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Jaime tells Cersei that he met with Tyrion and waits for Cersei to blow her top. She doesn't, to his surprise, because she already knew about the meeting from Qyburn's spies.
  • Divided We Fall: Littlefinger is slowly undermining the new-found kinship between Sansa and Arya by exploiting their respective Fatal Flaws: Sansa is currently hard-pressed by the noble folk who keeps their army loyal to Winterfell, while Arya's long isolation (and near-Black-and-White Insanity) keeps her ignorant of the demands of Realpolitik House Stark needs to deal with.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Arya doesn't quite realize how precarious Jon's position as king is, as it's entirely based on trust and good faith. Sure, Sansa's priority is to uphold his authority, but it's just as important to keep the North together, which Arya might put in danger by killing the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Even if Sansa has aspirations of a higher office than Lady of Winterfell, betraying Jon and usurping him would do more harm than good, as there are lords that are indeed present for Jon (like Lyanna Mormont, his most vocal and poignant supporter).
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Sam rages against the maesters having him copy down all the writings of High Septon Maynard when he could be looking for important information for the fight against the Night King. Within said writings, however, is mention of Rhaegar's secret second marriage presumably to Lyanna Stark, with the child of that union, Jon Snow, being the strongest candidate for being the Prince Who Was Promised, the prophesied hero who will defeat the Night King.
    • In the very episode where Sam seems to have finally internalized his own convictions and go to a direction his much-hated father Randyll might actually approve of, the elder Tarly and his brother Dickon get roasted to ash by Daenerys Targaryen.
    • Sam's biggest achievement in Season 7 so far is successfully curing Jorah Mormont's grey-scale — thus giving Daenerys Targaryen her longest, most loyal and valued adviser back. She unknowingly kills his father and brother (though he didn't have the best relationship with his father).
    • Gendry and Jon Snow meet thinking they are the sons of their fathers' friends (Robert and Ned) when they are in fact the sons of their biological fathers' enemies (Robert and Rhaegar). Moreover, Jon is a legitimate child and not a bastard, though not by the man that raised him (Ned), while Gendry isn't even a recognized bastard. From the books 
  • Drop the Hammer: Gendry's gotten pretty good with that warhammer of his.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Tyrion's quip about Jaime cutting him in half with a practice sword would have made Jaime chuckle otherwise, but Jaime is in equal parts angry and sad to meet with Tyrion once again, and certainly not in the mood for jokes.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Invoked by Littlefinger, who tells the maester that his request for the scroll comes from Sansa, knowing that Arya is spying on him.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Both Jon and Gendry's reaction to one another due to who their fathers were. Jon expected Gendry to be more stout while Gendry assumed that Jon would be taller, mirroring the first on-screen meeting between Robert and Eddard, in which they rib each other about their weight.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Gendry is now sporting a buzzcut, possibly to make himself look less recognisable.
  • Evolving Credits: For the first time the opening credits show Eastwatch By The Sea, which is the first new major location that gets the treatment in the season. Though in the previous episodes Highgarden and Casterly Rock were shown for the first time in-show, the two lordly castles didn't get the same treatment, as they involved just a couple of scenes each and scant screentime at it.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Lord Randyll and Dickon Tarly, who end up captured by Dany and the Dothroki after the previous episode's battle. Dany offers the two and their soldiers an ultimatum; either bend the knee or die. They both refuse and die together, being burned to death by Drogon.
  • Facial Dialogue: It's always been a staple of the show, but this episode has a few notable moments. Namely:
    • Cersei's expression changes from smug to despondent and then furious when she realizes that Jaime is telling the truth and Olenna was the one who killed Joffrey.
    • When Jon says that he'll accompany Jorah beyond the Wall, Dany's impassive facade morphs into a look of concern and fear. When they're saying their goodbyes, Dany's expression speaks of true fondness for Jon.
    • When Tyrion and Varys discuss the message that Bran sent Jon, Tyrion asks Varys what it says. Varys states that it's a sealed letter for the King in the North and then takes a long swig of wine while a close-up of Tyrion more or less says, "I Know You Know I Know" that Varys would have opened that letter regardless. He then repeats the question and Varys admits that he did read it.
    • Jaime's eyes widening when Cersei warns him to "never betray [her] again".
  • Fandom Nod: Davos mentions he thought Gendry might still be rowing, in reference to the fandom's consensus that he's been rowing since his last appearance in Season 3.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Maesters think of the North as a backwards land prone to superstition, and dismiss Maester Wolkan's warning of the Night King as him going native, essentially. Samwell Tarly's own testimonial and vouching for Brandon Stark (who it must be noted is a senior ranking nobleman whose word is law to Maesters) is also dismissed.From the books 
    • Randyll Tarly goes to his death abusing and insulting Daenerys and her army for being foreigners and savages.
  • Feed the Mole: Littlefinger employs a variation here. He knows that Arya is spying on him, so he arranges for her to find something (the letter that Sansa was forced to write urging Robb to bend the knee, way back in Season One) that will further undermine her relationship with Sansa. Arya takes the bait, though it's not clear if she'll have the intended reaction or not.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Cersei lets Jaime's clandestine meeting with Tyrion slide because she sees the benefit of an armistice that Tyrion could broker, but warns Jaime never to betray her again.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Varys invokes the spirit of this by pointing out that their whole plan hinges on Cersei being willing to even remotely hear them out.
    Varys: Anything you bring back will be useless unless Cersei grants us an audience and is somehow convinced not to murder us the moment we set foot in the capital!
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: The archmaesters treat the raven scroll warning of the Night King as a flight of fancy at best and a deliberate ploy by Dany at worst, even though Sam can vouch for both Bran and the coming threat. They refuse to do even the least they could do (read books, as Sam suggests, for information that may be relevant), and Ebrose only asks for clarification to humor Sam. This convinces Sam to abandon the Citadel after stealing what he needs, as he obviously isn't getting any cooperation from them.
  • Held Gaze: Between Jon and Daenerys. It's continuing the Ship Tease from the previous episode, which has verged into Everyone Can See It territory by now, as even Jorah, who has just returned to Dany's side, has caught wind of it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Both the Lannister boys get one:
    • Tyrion seems to be barely aware of what's going on as he walks across a field of ash and charcoal that was once the Lannister army. He only snaps out of it when he realizes that Dany isn't done yet.
    • After getting dragged out of the river, Jaime is paralyzed by the damage Daenerys just inflicted on his army in a single battle, with a single dragon. His growing awareness of just how utterly fucked the Lannisters are now is devastating.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: It is revealed that this is what Gendry did at Davos's suggestion after he escaped from Dragonstone in season 3. He made his way back to King's Landing and started working as a blacksmith again, making armor and swords for the Lannisters in the Street of Steel, right under Cersei's nose in the last place her agents would look.
  • History Repeats:
    • Jon and Gendry join forces for a larger conflict, just as their fathers did to depose King Aerys.
    • A Targaryen monarch kills the lord and his eldest son with fire. The context is entirely different, Aerys roasted Rickard Stark with wildfire and had Brandon Stark strangled as he attempted to save his father when both Starks came to the King seeking justice and Lyanna, while Daenerys is punishing and executing traitors after offering them a chance to bend the knee, and even offering them the Night's Watch at Tyrion's recommendation, but Randyll more or less calls her a foreigner and barbarian, forcing her to act on her threat.
  • Holding Hands: Lord Tarly and his son as they wait to be burned alive by a dragon.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Randyll Tarly refuses to bend the knee because Cersei is his queen. When Tyrion points out that she only took power recently, and not by any legitimate means, and that the Queen he once served, Margaery Tyrell, died in the Sept of Baelor at Cersei's hands, Randyll insists that there are no good choices in war. He then clarifies that, whatever her faults, Cersei was born and raised in Westeros, while Daenerys is a foreigner with a foreign army trying to take over.
    • He also disapproves of Tyrion's Patricide, yet he threatened to murder his own son Samwell unless he joined the Night's Watch.
    • Sansa calls out Arya for accusing her of being power hungry and potentially disloyal. Jon reacted the same way when Sansa compared him to Joffrey.
    • Most of the complaints against Daenerys can be perfectly seen here in comparison to what Missandei said in earlier episodes. While everyone that followed her from Essos did so because they believe in her and can choose to go home anytime they want, in Westeros you swear obedience or it's dragon fire for you. And while it's true that execution is the usual way of dealing with traitors, deserters, criminals, political dissenters, and captured prisoners in Westeros, yet she still claims in the same scene that she is better and different from other rulers, all this while coercing into service, under the threat of death by dragon, the survivors of the massacred Lannister soldiers who are simple peasants and commoners pressed into the service of their lords.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Jorah does it for Dany before he leaves.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • Tyrion decides to hit the wine after Dany roasts the Tarlys for refusing to bend the knee. Varys joins him, as he's also read the raven scroll warning that the Night King's army are headed for Eastwatch.
    • Thoros complains about the lack of drink in the cell at Eastwatch. As he and the others set out north, he takes a pull from a flask.
  • Info Drop: A couple:
    • Gilly unceremoniously reveals that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen had his marriage with Elia Martell annulled, and immediately married Lyanna Stark at Dorne. This is treated as a snippet that just serves to further annoy Sam, who is preoccupied with the Maesters' lack of interest in the upcoming battle with the Army of the Dead.
    • The Maesters mention that Jenny of Oldstones claimed descent from the Children of the Forest. From the books, Jenny was the bride of Prince Duncan the Small (nephew of Maester Aemon, but in the show, his brother) and was somehow related to the Ghost of High Heart, an uncannily small crone witch from the Riverlands who is often consulted by the Brotherhood (which makes it likely that she indeed has something to do with the Children); it's also implied that it's the crone's influence which made possible that Prince Duncan married Jenny (a commoner). Jenny later happened to perish alongside Duncan at the Tragedy of Summerhall... which took place on the very same day Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was born.note 
  • Informed Flaw: In this episode, Davos claims he's not much of a fighter and Tormund admits that Ser Davos can't fight to save his life. The problem is that Ser Davos is a war veteran, fighting alongside Stannis at the Battle of Castle Black against Mance Rayder (with much blood and dirt on his armour) and later being a survivor in the brutal Battle of the Bastards, alongside Jon and Tormund. They could have implied that Ser Davos is not good as a hand-to-hand combatant and is a better military commander and cavalry officer (he did fight on horseback in two of his battles) but the general idea that Davos can't fight is plainly not true — though he may have just been referring to himself as not equal to someone like Jon, who grew up with all the training afforded to a son of a lordly house.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The archmaesters on seeing a sealed envelope sent from the North by Bran Stark latch on to a crazy Conspiracy Theory that this is a ploy by the Dragon Queen to weaken them and they all look quite proud to come up with this. The idea that the Dragon Queen, who the maesters know just incinerated the Tarlys (the interim Wardens of the Reach, the region of Oldtown and the Citadel), would resort to such a convoluted plan makes Sam scoff in disbelief, especially when it involves magic north of the wall.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Not quite innocent, since Arya's accusation is still harsh. But when she notes that Sansa is staying in Ned and Catelyn's room she accuses Sansa of wanting to live fancily and in fine surroundings. Sansa bristles at this, likely because she hasn't forgotten the fact that Ramsay raped her in that same room, and that she would probably prefer being in any other room of the house if she could.
  • Internal Reveal: Most of the main cast learns that the White Walkers have found a means past the Wall, which Sandor learned several episodes ago. He's already at the Wall, in fact.
    • Daenerys has two, finally seeing proof that the Army of the Dead are very real, but also that Davos saying Jon "Took a knife to the heart" was not a figure of speech.
  • Irony:
    • Jon and Gendry quickly bond over being bastard sons of their respective fathers... However, Jon's biological father is Rhaegar, Robert's sworn enemy, but neither of them know. Additionally, Jon may not be a bastard, if what Gilly read is any indication — though this hasn't been revealed yet.
    • Randyll and Dickon Tarly, the legitimate line of their House, die by dragonfire, rendering House Tarly functionally extinct. Samwell, the black sheep of the family, is thus now the only surviving male of House Tarly... but due to his Night's Watch vows, he cannot reclaim his heritage. (Then again, Jon did the same and ended up King in the North... admittedly by performing some Loophole Abuse by literally dying.)
  • It's All About Me: Cersei's first reaction to learning it was Olenna, not Tyrion who killed Joffrey is to angrily rage that she's been cheated of inflicting whatever cruel fate she had in mind for Olenna, rather than acknowledge the chaos her false accusation of Tyrion unleashed.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Bronn, after hearing Jaime say he needs to report back to Cersei on what happened, bluntly replies he'd be better off jumping back in the river than facing Cersei's wrath for being the bearer of bad news. Jaime's grim expression suggests he thinks Bronn has a fair point.
  • Join or Die: Daenerys gives the defeated Lannister and Tarly men two choices: swear their fealty to her, join her in building a better and fairer Westeros, or die. Lord Randyll and Dickon Tarly refuse, so she has Drogon burn them to death.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Davos comes knocking at Gendry's door to ask his help, he does it promptly, no questions asked, since he's sick of making weapons for the Lannisters.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Arya thinks Littlefinger is up to something, so she follows him around, trying to find hard evidence for what. Littlefinger receives a mysterious message, supposedly the only copy in Winterfell, that Littlefinger takes and hides in his room as Arya watches. Once he is gone, she breaks in and finds the message Sansa was forced to write asking Robb to come to King's Landing and swear fealty to Joffrey, before tucking it away and then leaving. As she goes, the shot pans to reveal Littlefinger watching from the shadows, having known Arya was following him all along.
  • Kick the Dog: Rhaegar Targaryen is revealed to have annulled his marriage to his faithful wife Elia Martell. He also did this in Dorne, i.e. the region of Elia Martell's birthplace, and moreover later commanded an army of her own kinsmen to fight and die for him at the Trident; all the while lying to them that they were fighting for a future where Elia would be Queen, when secretly Rhaegar had traded her in for a younger model.From the books 
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Randyll was an Asshole Victim and had to be executed, and Dickon chooses to go out with his father, but Daenerys really didn't need to burn them alive. Tyrion and Varys are drinking and visibly uncomfortable approaching the topic in later scene.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Daenerys forces the entire force that she just defeated to do this, which they do after she has Drogon burn Randyll and Dickon Tarly to ash.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • Bronn makes it abundantly clear to Jaime that he'll bail on the Lannisters if open war with dragons becomes a consistent thing.
      Jaime: That was only one of them. She has two more. If she decides to use them, to really use them...
      Bronn: You're fucked.
      Jaime: ...Don't you mean, we're fucked?
      Bronn: No, I do not.
    • Seeing two of their commanders burned alive by Drogon gets the rest of the Lannister-Tarly army to bend the knee.
  • Last of His Kind: After the deaths of Stannis, Shireen, Robert and Renly, and the deaths of the illegitimates Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen (who were Lannisters in all but name), Gendry (who came back for this episode) is the only surviving person that is blood-related to House Baratheon and the only individual who has a scant possibility to adopt the house name.From the books 
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Tormund has this reaction to Jon after hearing his crazy plan.
  • Licked by the Dog: When Dany and Drogon return to Dragonstone the dragon immediately makes a beeline for Jon who is hanging out on his brooding cliff. After some initial tension Drogon allows Jon to pet him becoming the first person, other then his mother, to touch him in such away. Daenerys is naturally stunned by this considering Drogon's usually prickly personality. Considering Jon's Targaryen heritage it's possible that Drogon could smell/sense a connection between him and his mother and wanted to check Jon out.
  • Like Father, Like Son:
    • Gendry seems have become quite proficient in wielding a warhammer, just like Robert Baratheon during the Rebellion. It seems to be even of the same make/style that Robert used to kill Rhaegar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident.
    • Tyrion insists that Daenerys is not like Aerys when Varys suggests that she is. Varys agrees, but insists that it is so because someone like him is there to make sure of it.
    • Jorah ended going with Jon beyond the Wall to fight White Walkers like Jeor did.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Word of Randyll and Dickon's deaths makes its way to the Citadel, but Ebrose can't bring himself to break the news to Sam, and Sam leaves before he can work up the nerve.
    • Gendry never mentions to Jon that he was Arya's primary companion in the first three seasons after Ned's death. Likewise, Sandor being the same thing to both Jon's sisters, though he was probably told of it already offscreen by Sansa herself or/and Brienne.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Davos tries to avert this, he really does. But, as Jon points out, he's the only one on Dragonstone who's fought a Wight before and really knows anything about them, so no matter if he's King in the North, he's got to go and fetch a Wight.
  • Make an Example of Them:
    • Invoked by Dany by executing Randyll and Dickon Tarly; the minute she does this, the few survivors who didn't bend the knee promptly do so.
    • Arya demands that Sansa outright execute the Lords of the North and the Vale who proposed treason, a coup d'etat on Jon Snow. Sansa points out the absurdity of that demand, which only makes Arya suspicious.
  • Multinational Team: The Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is coincidentally this, with only two, Jon and Jorah, sharing an origin. Or three, if you would lump Tormund with them. The others comprise a Westerlander (Sandor), a Stormlander/Dornish Marcher (Beric), a King's Landing boy (Gendry), and a Myrishman (Thoros).
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Arya seems to be unable to even understand the concept of any other solution at this point; Sansa's use of diplomacy is taken as evidence of treason.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Lord Tarly's motive for refusing to submit to Dany. Despite how much he despises Cersei, he's still willing to show loyalty towards her over Dany, whom he deems a foreign invader. Dickon likewise rather die with his father than serve his killer.
  • The Namesake: The titular Eastwatch doesn't appear until the last five minutes of the episode.
  • Nominal Importance: This episode confirms that no person with an on-screen name died at the Battle of Blackwater Rush. Although for Randal and Dickon Tarly that doesn't last long.
  • The Nose Knows: Quite likely the reason Drogon is so friendly towards Jon is because he can smell that he's related to Dany.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Tyrion points out to Varys that what Dany did is no different from any other king asking someone to bend the knee. Dany points out to Jon when the latter expresses concern that she killed many soldiers, that he killed thousands when he retook Winterfell from the Boltons. Likewise, Tyrion himself confronts the fact that he burned people with wildfire, including Davos's own son.
  • Now You Tell Me: Jon finds out that Arya and Bran are alive at the most perilous moment in human history and too close to the enemy for comfort... and that for some reason, Bran is the person providing the intel on their enemy. Arya's case is particularly poignant, as in the previous season, Sansa had learned from Brienne that Arya was alive the last time Brienne encountered her and apparently never told Jon (to be fair, Jon and Sansa were pretty busy retaking the North).
  • Offscreen Inertia: Discussed when he finds Gendry, Davos makes a crack that he thought Gendry might still be rowing. Ultimately averted as Gendry has had several seasons of off-screen time to mature and think things over. He seems more forceful, wants to play a greater role in opposing Cersei and presents as feeling more strongly about his own lineage.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Though Randyll disappeared during the battle last episode, the state of his armor in this one suggests he was in the thick of it and performed admirably.
    • Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane, three formidable fighters, were either captured or surrendered peacefully. In any case, the encounter with Tormund and his men can be imagined as nothing short of picturesque.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Dickon and Randyll apparently expected to get beheaded for their defiance. When they realize that they are about to be burned alive, they can't hide their fear. At the same time, Tyrion didn't expect that either.
    • The look on Cersei's face when Jaime tells her that Olenna confessed that she killed Joffrey and that she had a way better reason for killing the boy than Tyrion. From the books 
    • The look on Jaime's face when Cersei warns him never to betray her again. Before that, this is also his expression when Cersei makes it plain she plans to fight to the bitter end than surrender to Daenerys...and expects the same from him and the rest of the Lannisters' military.
    • The change in Dany's expression when Jon states that he will accompany Ser Jorah beyond the Wall to capture a wight is one of a girl losing her newfound bestie to certain doom.
  • Once a Season: Like Mance Rayder and Arthur Dayne, someone wishes another "Good fortune in the wars to come." Though this time, the one saying it, Jon Snow, doesn't meet his end.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Bronn's stated (though probably not entirely serious) reason for saving Jaime's life — until Jaime pays him what he owes him, no one gets to kill him except Bronn himself.
    Bronn: Listen, cunt, until I get what I'm owed, a dragon doesn't get to kill you! You don't get to kill you! Only I get to kill you!
  • Only Sane Man: Tormund lampshades Davos as being this to Jon.
    Tormund: Isn't it your job to talk him out of stupid fucking ideas like this?!
    Davos: I've been failing at that job of late.
    • Tyrion also considers Jaime the only one of these in Cersei's inner circle, and thus appealing to Jaime is their best chance of convincing Cersei to call a ceasefire.
    Tyrion: The only person she listens to is Jaime. He might listen to me.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Randyll clasps Dickon's hand as Drogon prepares to roast them, showing that he really cared about his favorite son.
    • Despite repeatedly dismissing Sam's warnings, it's shown that Ebrose actually does cares for him enough to not tell him about his father and brother's deaths and does call him a good boy in front of the other maesters.
    • Daenerys tells Jon she's happy for him when he learns Arya and Bran are alive and back at Winterfell.
  • The Peter Principle: Arya is a good deal more canny and effective as a Noble Fugitive, taking on other identities and roles, than she is as a Stark in Winterfell. Before, she banked on exploiting how people tended to underestimate her, but the likes of Littlefinger know Arya well and can effectively manipulate her, by playing to her natural suspicious nature and her sibling rivalry with Sansa.
  • The Place: Eastwatch is the Night Watch's base nearest King's Landing.
  • Plot Armor: Jaime's armor, golden hand, and sword rightfully caused him to sink like a stone in the last episode, but in this one Bronn manages to drag him clear across the lake in what is apparently a single breath, even though Jaime should be incredibly difficult to move at all, much less at the kind of pace necessary for Bronn to make such good time.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: The Night King catches Bran spying on him with the crows and breaks his control over them with a glance.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Cersei knows that her forces cannot win against Daenerys in an open war, so she decides to take the offer of armistice in the hopes that she can eventually turn the situation to her advantage and secure her place on the Iron Throne.
  • Properly Paranoid: Jon argues that the Free Folk won't follow Ser Jorah and insists that he himself will go with the veteran knight, as he has dealt with the Free Folk and has personally fought the Wights and White Walkers. Come their arrival at Eastwatch, Tormund is immediately taken aback after learning that Ser Jorah is a Mormont and the son of the man that hunted the Free Folk like animals. If Jon weren't present, there would have certainly been a fight (and going by that scene, it wouldn't have been the only source of a fight and it's precisely Jon's presence that keeps everyone from fighting).
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Sam has finally had enough of the Citadel's Head-in-the-Sand Management and leaves.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team going on the mission beyond the Wall consists of a Wildling, a red priest, a disgraced knight, a former Kingsguard, an undead outlaw, and a bastard son of a king, all led by a raised-as-a-bastard son who is a king.

  • Reclining Reigner: Drogon lazily resting on the top of the promontory on the hill where the soldiers make their surrender invokes this. He doesn't even move much when he burns the Tarlys on Dany's command.
  • Red Shirt: Jon's party numbers a dozen, but you likely didn't notice the five wildings following the main group of seven.
  • Robbing the Dead: Tyrion sees Dothraki grab and loot the corpses of weapons and other items. This is more or less what happens in any battle and any army (be it ancient-medieval-early modern-modern), although some might see it as a particular quirk of Dothraki army given that we don't see Westerosi armies looting the dead in the show before.From the books 
  • Rule of Seven: Seven main characters team up to go North of the Wall. Though their party numbers more than seven with some Wildlings added so it's not brought up, the number has additional significance as a holy number in Westerosi society.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Having had enough of the lack of response from the Archmaester, Sam steals some scrolls and leaves Oldtown with Gilly and Little Sam, presumably for good.
    • Bronn flat out tells Jaime that if Daenerys attacks them again with her dragons, he's going to cut his losses and run.
      Bronn: Dragons are where our partnership ends. I'm not gonna be around when those things start spitting fire on King's Landing.
  • Ship Tease: Jon and Dany get a lot of lingering gazes and moments alone. When Ser Jorah enters the scene, it sets up a Betty and Veronica triangle for her.
    Daenerys: [flirtingly] I've grown used to him.
  • Sins of the Father: Tormund seems ready to beat-up Jorah on the spot upon learning that he was the son of the former Night's Watch Lord Commander who pursued him and the other Wildlings several times in the past.
  • So Proud of You: While Randyll would have preferred Dickon to kneel he crack a small smile and hold his arm as they are about to die.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • Joe Dempsie's name appears in the opening credits, spoiling Gendry's return in this episode.
    • Eastwatch appears in the main title sequence.
  • The Starscream: Arya accuses Sansa of deliberately refusing to defend Jon because she wants his position. Sansa defends it as mere pragmatism, not wanting to alienate the lords that helped them retake Winterfell and will be their army in the war to come. note 
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Daenerys Targaryen. Loyal adherent to the Kill It with Fire mindset, ruthless to her enemies... and more than happy to welcome one of her most trusted advisors back with a huge hug.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: When Jaime tells Cersei that Daenerys wants to parley, Cersei asks if she wants to discuss her surrender. After Dany just easily slaughtered and burned an entire army of hers. Though she could have been in Sarcasm Mode, for the same reason.
  • Suicide Mission: Jon and his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are marching towards certain death in direction to the Night's King and his army just so that they can bring a single wight back to the South and show the threat that the White Walkers represent to Westeros.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: At the end of the last episode, Jaime and Bronn went into the river mere feet from Drogon, in the thick of the battlefield. They resurface more than a hundred meters away, far enough that the plume of smoke is visible but none of the surviving Lannister soldiers, the Dothraki, or Drogon and Dany are visible. This would strain credulity even if both men were well-trained swimmers wearing appropriate attire; with Jaime in full plate, and neither man ever showing a particular inclination towards water, one wonders if their Plot Armor comes with a full set of scuba gear.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Both Bronn and Jaime quickly come to the conclusion that even with Dany's political allies killed and/or captured, Dany still has a lopsided advantage in the ensuing war; both the fact that the Dothraki are superior fighters to their remaining soldiers and her three dragons being Game Breakers.
    • Ever since Ned's betrayal and death, Arya has spent the entire series focusing on destroying her and her family's enemies and those who she believes will become one when she sees a chance. So the moment she hears unpleasant things being said about any of her relatives (in this case, Jon), she plans to resort to her usual solution. Sansa calls her out on this.
    • The meeting at Eastwatch is much more awkward and tense than you'd hope because they're nearly a dozen desperate men from wildly disparate backgrounds attempting to find common ground. So instead of immediately coming together in an Avengers-esque team-up for the greater good, they bicker about past wrongs, with Tormund and Jorah about to come to blows over the crimes of their relatives against the other.
  • Take a Third Option: Defied twice and in completely opposite ways, ironically.
    • When Randyll refuses to bend the knee, Tyrion suggests sending him to Castle Black, but Randyll dismisses the notion as Daenerys isn't his queen. When Dickon decides to join his father, Tyrion suggests throwing him in a cell to break his will, but Dany refuses because from then on everyone would choose a cell over death or serving her, and she didn't become known as the Breaker of Chains just to imprison people upon returning to claim her birthright.
    • Sansa has the option of receiving the Northmen's insults for Jon (the option she's tenuously taking) or take matters into her own hands and assert her authority and birthright against Jon (which she's trying to avoid). Arya tells her that she'd rather just kill the lords that are badmouthing Jon, to which Sansa tells her that taking a murderous route will only serve to throw all loyalty into the drain.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Randyll makes it clear he has no fondness for Cersei, only supporting her because he views Daenerys as worse.
    • Davos is too cordial and professional to let this get to him, but it's clear that he doesn't care for Tyrion a great deal. He doesn't banter with him on the way over, informs him that he has his own mission in King's Landing, and makes him shut up by reminding him that he killed his son with wildfire the last time Davos came to King's Landing.
    • Gendry doesn't like working with the Brotherhood Without Banners, as they had sold him to Melisandre. Tormund doesn't fancy Jorah as he's the son of Jeor Mormont, who hunted them before. Nonetheless, they agree they're on the same side against the wights and White Walkers, their common enemy.
    • Sansa is actively ameliorating the quarrelsome Northern lords who are growing impatient with Jon's prolonged absence. There's only so much she can do other than being the shield that deflects their insulting comments, though Arya is certainly not happy with Sansa abiding to insults towards Jon. Sansa argues that if she were to do something retaliatory towards them, House Stark will lose their support and armies at the turn of a page
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When Daenerys asks how Tyrion plans to get himself into King's Landing to speak to Jaime, his and all eyes in the room turn to Davos, whose expression evokes this trope.
  • This Is Reality: Sansa gives a speech to this effect to Arya, when the latter says she should execute anyone who talks smack about Jon Snow:
    Sansa: Winterfell didn't just fall into our hands. We took it back, and the Mormonts, and the Hornwoods, and the Wildlings, and the Vale. All of us, working together. Now, I'm sure cutting off heads is very satisfying, but that's not the way you get people to work together.
  • Together in Death: Randyll and Dickon Tarly are executed together.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gendry kills two Goldcloaks with his warhammer to save Tyrion and Davos.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: The episode highlights how Arya became so pragmatic due to her and her family's misfortunes throughout the series, so much that even her sister calls her out on it.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Cersei is now pregnant with another child with Jaime once again being the father. This is after they have lost all their children in the past three seasons.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Glover, who proclaimed Jon King in the North and publicly said he'll stand by his side after Jon forgave him for not siding with him during the Battle of Bastards (Jon didn't even hold it against him), decides that maybe Sansa would have made a better ruler and suggest that they change lords. All because Jon went negotiating reinforcements for the war with the dead. This is because by doing so, he is trying to win Sansa's favor, as his own reputation is still in a perilous place all in all.
  • Unknown Rival: Jorah obviously sees Jon as competition for Dany's affections. Jon, for his part, is only focused on quelling the army of the dead.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: A classic composition as the crew marches out of Eastwatch, with Jon at the node, and a set of three flanking him on his right and left rear-wing.
  • Villain Has a Point: Though motivated entirely by her own desire to keep the crown, Cersei raises some valid points when she dismisses Jaime's belief that the war is unwinnable and they need to come to terms with Daenerys; assuming the Dragon Queen doesn't just have them killed out of hand for their crimes against her, given her cause is on the ascent, any peace deal that might be negotiated between the two sides will be massively slanted in Daenerys's favour.
    Jaime: This isn't a war we can win.
    Cersei: So what do we do? Sue for peace? I sit on her father's throne, the father you betrayed and murdered! And in her mind, she's winning! What sort of offer do you think she'd make?
  • War Is Hell: Jaime is clearly traumatised by what he saw on the Goldroad, and makes it plain to Cersei that the horrors he witnessed on that battlefield are going to be repeated across Westeros until the Lannisters are either crushed or forced into capitulation.
    Jaime: I just saw the Dothraki fight. They'll beat any mercenary army. They'll beat any army I've ever seen. Killing our men wasn't war for them, it was sport. Her dragon burned a thousand wagons; Qyburn's scorpion fired bolts bigger than you, they couldn't stop it and she has three of them! This isn't a war we can win.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Beric tries to give an inspiring speech about how everyone present in the dungeon was — knowingly or unknowingly — brought to Eastwatch by the Lord of Light's will, only to be interrupted in the most abrupt way possible by the Hound:
    Sandor: (to Beric) For fuck's sake, will you shut your hole? (to Jon) Are we coming with you or not?
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Played with.
    • Played straight in the war storyline: As Dany points out, as much as she and Jon want to do good, they can only do so if they have the force and power to do so. Jon doesn't dispute this when Dany reminds him that he became King in battle against the Boltons where thousands died for the liberation of the North.
    • Deconstructed in the Winterfell storyline: Arya apparently went to the Daario Naharis' School of Killing People That Don't Agree With You. Sansa has to spell to her just how bad that idea is and how much harm it can do, though Arya questions her intentions as mere ambition and envy towards Jon.
  • Wham Line: Gilly mentions reading in a book that the High Septon at the time of Mad King Aerys performed an annulment and a marriage in the same ceremony for Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, making Jon Snow Rhaegar's legitimate son by Lyanna Stark. Of course, she doesn't know how to pronounce Rhaegar's name and doesn't mention his surname, and Sam is both frustrated with the Archmaester and didn't hear anything about Jon, so the Wham is more for the audience.
  • Wham Shot: The moment it is revealed that Littlefinger has been letting Arya follow him this whole time, feeding her with bad information.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Davos tells Gendry that he cannot reveal his Baratheon background, and yet he does it at the first opportunity he has when he meets Jon. Davos is not pleased, though he probably meant not to reveal it to Daenerys's people in particular, as Gendry's father destroyed her family and forced her into exile in the first place.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: In his enthusiasm over meeting Jon, Gendry comments that he isn't as tall as his father. Jon gives him a cold stare and Gendry realises he's just insulted a king, so hastens to apologise.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Bronn asks this, on behalf of the audience, about what Jaime was thinking charging at the dragon.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: When Dany asks how Tyrion is supposed to get to King's Landing to speak with Jaime, Jon and Tyrion immediately looks at Davos, a former smuggler, who reluctantly agrees to help Tyrion.
  • With Due Respect: When Jon readies himself to leave Dragonstone, Dany protests that she has not given him permission to leave yet. Jon politely reminds her that they are technically social equals, and he is not beholden to her.
    Jon Snow: With all due respect, Your Grace, I don't need your permission. I am a King.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Littlefinger demonstrates why he's still in the game: over the course of a single episode he's managed to shake the sisterly bond between Arya and Sansa to its core. As he's seen approaching Lords Glover and Royce after their confrontation with Sansa, that means he either put them up to it beforehand, or he saw it happen and just made up a new plan on the spot.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • Gendry says is his motivation for opposing Cersei. It rings a little hollow (but see Offscreen Inertia) since he didn't seem to care that much in Season 3 when his parentage was revealed to him, downplaying it as the result of a hookup with a tavern wench. Though the Lannisters sending soldiers to kill him just for being Robert's bastard likely had something to do with it too.
    • Ser Davos mentions that Tyrion killed his son the last time he was in King's Landing, referring to the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Davos doesn't seem to hold it against Tyrion, though, likely accepting that both sides were only doing their duty.
    • Cersei briefly lampshades this, citing the fact Jaime killed her father as a reason why Daenerys is unlikely to come to peace terms with them.