Game of Thrones 7×05 Review: Unconventional Allies

When the enemy you’re fighting is anything but conventional, sometimes you’ve got to go for unconventional methods. That’s about the only way.

This is, of course, a nice way of saying: WTF Jon? What the actual fuck?

Who here thinks going past the wall to look for a wight is a good idea? Show of hands. Anyone?

No, I didn’t think so.

Who here can think of another plan, though? Yeah, I’m not exactly brimming with ideas, either.

So bad idea it is.

A team made up of Tormund, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, Jon Snow, Gendry Waters, The Hound and a couple of extras who are sure to die are heading for an epic battle …next episode. And I somehow get the sense a dragon (or two) might be needed for a rescue.

But that’s a story for another day. For now, let’s focus on the friendships, the reunions and the chaos of “Eastwatch”

CHAOS IS A LADDER

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Littlefinger is always, always ahead of the game. He seems to be ahead of the game this time too, playing Arya, making it so she finds that letter Sansa was forced to write by Cersei what feels like ages ago, in Season 1, the one who bid Robb to bend the knee, the one Sansa thought might save her father’s life.

In context, the letter means nothing. Sansa had no choice. Arya, however, isn’t getting context, she’s just getting the scroll, and she’s getting the scroll alongside Littlefingers machinations to make it seem like this is something Sansa is trying to keep from Arya, so it all looks …well, bad.

And, in a way, it’s smart of Littlefinger to go for this angle. Arya and Sansa love each other, yes, but they don’t know each other anymore and they have no real, empirical reason to trust each other, other than the fact that they’re sisters. Just like Jon and Sansa had to grow to a point where they could respect each other, Sansa and Arya need to come to that place where they accept each other for who they are now – not who they were last time they were together.

Because, the thing is, Sansa has grown up in the time they’ve spent apart, Arya hasn’t. Arya has become a bad-ass, yes, but she’s still very set in her ways, very married to her truth, very used to always being one step ahead of everyone. The Sansa that stands in front of her is not the same Sansa she last saw, but Arya not only doesn’t know how to accept that, she can’t even see it, and she’s doing a disservice to her sister by trying to protect Jon against a foe that does not exist.

(If Jon were there, he would tell Arya this. But Jon is not there)

Don’t blame Arya for this, though. This is only natural. It’s reinforcing an idea she already had, deep down, and she never had a chance to grow out of. The relationship that will come out of this little misunderstanding will be stronger for it.

Thankfully, Arya and Sansa have something Jon and Sansa didn’t as they stumbled upon the relationship they now share, and that’s Bran. Mr-I-have-no-feelings-but-all-the-knowledge could probably shed light on this situation, if anyone remembers to ask him. And by anyone, I mean Sansa. Arya’s a badass in her own right, but she’s not the one to pause and see the big picture. That’s gotta be Sansa.

And she will, I have no doubt. This is background drama, supposed to distract us from the big battle that’s coming. By the final episode Littlefinger will be exposed, and hopefully, will leave this show to make way for more budget for dragons in Season 8.

I can’t say we’ll miss him. Plus, we’re really gonna need the dragons.

THE LANNISTERS

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“A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of sheep,” says Jaime, quoting Tywin Lannister himself, and yet, a lion should, perhaps, concern himself with the opinions of sheep, from time to time. Especially when those sheep have three dragons, a larger army than yours and are warning of a threat that could, potentially, wipe everyone in the Seven Kingdoms out.

Then again, Cersei has never been the kind for common sense. She might have agreed to a meeting (one that she’ll try to use to her advantage) and she might pretend she cares, but in truth, I have no doubt that, if it came to it, she’ll leave everyone else to fight the white walkers and hope they all die defeating them so she can have the Seven Kingdoms. That’s the kind of woman she is.

Problem is, that’s not the kind of man Jaime Lannister is, for all the time he’s spent with her, for all the bad he’s done. The books have been kinder to him, have given him a more straightforward redemption arc, but that Jaime is still inside this one, and that Jaime will not let other men fight this battle for him, no. If needed be, this Jaime will abandon Cersei and go fight that battle by himself.

Especially when the baby is gone, and it will be, for we all know the prophecy. Cersei is only meant to have three children, and she will bury them all.

In a way, Tyrion knows this, or Tyrion hopes this. The thing about Tyrion is that he was never enough to pull Jaime away from Cersei because Tyrion never demanded more of him. Now he is, and that, plus the loss of another child, as well as, perhaps, another meeting with the woman who is his moral compass in this big reunion of all the houses, is sure to push Jaime into the right path.

Just in time for what it’s sure to be an explosive season 8.

THE TRUE HEIR

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Such a throwaway line, and such an important one. Someone named Rhaegar annulled his marriage and married someone else, Gilly mentions, before she and Sam leave Oldtown for no other reason than Sam has to go to Winterfell to have a long talk with Bran about who Jon Snow really is.

If the line means nothing to you, let me introduce you to one of book readers favorite theories now come true: Jon Snow is not a bastard, because Rhaegar Targaryen, the heir to the throne, married Lyanna Stark, before she gave birth to a baby, a baby who’s not named Jon, but possibly Aegon Targaryen.

Why Aegon, say I? In the book, that wouldn’t be his name, but considering how the show is condensing storylines, and considering no one has ever mentioned the name of Rhaegar’s other children, I’m going to say that’s where the show is going. Either way, Aegon or not, the man we know as Jon Snow is not only not a Snow and not a Stark …he’s not even a bastard.

There was foreshadowing for this last episode, of course, when he, Davos and Missandei waste a good two minutes of screen-time discussing the matter of his last name and what being a bastard means, and now the foreshadowing has paid off. Jon is no bastard, and considering that, he’s got a much stronger claim to the Throne of the Seven Kingdoms than his aunt, Daenerys.

He’s not just another Targaryen, Jon. He’s the one true heir, and, if his father was right, the Prince that was promised. And boy, do we need him to bring the dawn. Thing is – he might not be able to do it alone.

DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?

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Our fathers trusted each other, why shouldn’t we?” Gendry asks, and the friendship I didn’t know I needed set sail. Just imagine, these two are going to be related someday because Gendry is so marrying Arya even if it’s in my head let me have my headcanons Game of Thrones is a hard show for shippers and I’m going to stop this run-on-sentence now.

There’s a lot in that short conversation, two men sizing each other up and deciding that they believe in the same thing and that they can go to war together. Not just any war, either. And all my feels are not even because these two are very pretty, or because we never got to see the Ned and Robert friendship and how they got to the point where they’d give up so much for each other, but in these two, we might get a chance to, no. My feels are because I thought I knew how much I missed Gendry, and then this episode showed me that I had no idea.

I needed – Jon needed, this show needed someone with common sense to go like: if what you’re saying is true, then what are we doing here, let’s go fight it? I can’t ride out the storm, because the storm is coming for me. So I’m gonna fight.

And that’s exactly what Gendry did.

If it weren’t for the fact that I want him to marry Arya, I’d want him to marry me. That’s how welcome you are, Joe Dempsie. Never leave us again, please. Make sure you survive till you can walk with Jon into the Winterfell courtyard and after the Jon/Arya reunion we can get an Arya/Gendry reunion and OMG I HAVE FEELS ALREADY SOMEONE WRITE ME THIS FIC.

Other things to note:

  • Oh, lookie here. Jaime isn’t dead. I’M SO SURPRISED.
  • NOT.
  • Come on, as many people pointed out, he’s got heavy plot armor. If he dies now, his whole arc is a waste of time.
  • Bron: What the fuck were you doing back there? Us: YEAH, WHAT THE FUCK, JAIME? WHAT THE FUCK?
  • Let me tell you the truth, I felt no sympathy for the Tarlys. This show has made me cruel, what can I say?
  • And it’s not even that I have the greatest sympathy for Sam, cause Sam’s boring, but still. These two were jackasses.
  • Also, Tyrion, this is WAR. There is such a thing as being too damn nice for war.
  • Grow a spine.
  • Oh, I love it when you speak sense, Jaime.
  • Alas, it couldn’t last.
  • For the sake of me keeping my dinner, can you and Cersei just not touch for the rest of the season? Thank you.
  • Very high on the list of things I would never do: Pet a dragon.
  • What were you thinking, Jon? No, seriously, what were you thinking?
  • Come on Daenerys, touching the dragon is the equivalent of a Targaryen DNA test. You must know this.
  • Yeah, Jorah, you left and alas, someone younger and prettier took your place. That’s the way of life.
  • “I thought Arya was dead. I thought Bran was dead.”
  • MY FEELS.
  • And poor Jon didn’t even get one second to enjoy it.
  • But he did get all extra growly and like I WILL PROTECT MY FAMILY.
  • It was hot, I’m not gonna lie.
  • Jorah, no one likes a martyr.
  • Daenerys practically trembling at the thought of Jon going was the final piece of the puzzle. Like it or not, this ship has sailed, ladies and gentlemen.
  • So, I guess that means Sansa is going to be Queen in the North.
  • Thank God she’s good at it.
  • Jaime was torn between hitting Tyrion and just hugging him. Someone nominate Nikolaj Coster Waldau for an Emmy!
  • Gendry, how I’ve missed you.
  • He has a warhammer like his father and I didn’t even care about Robert Baratheon but the warhammer almost made me cry, I’m not gonna lie.
  • JON AND JENDRY ARE BFFS.
  • “You’re a lot leaner.”/ “And you’re a lot shorter.”
  • And Gendry didn’t even mention Arya.
  • “Nobody mind me, all I’ve done is live to a ripe old age.” We love you, Davos.
  • Tryion sees the Jonerys. He ships it.
  • Arya, you’re being played, girl. You’re being played.
  • “The one with the dragons and the one who fucks her brother” OMG.
  • That scene at the cell on Eastwatch was like a buddy-cop movie.
  • Me, as the credits rolled: I have a bad feeling about this.
  • My brain says Jon is not going to die now. MY HEART, HOWEVER, IS CONCERNED.

NEXT, ON GAME OF THRONES

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

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