Remember when you used to yearn for certain characters to meet up or re-unite and didn’t get what you wanted for seasons at a stretch? All that is in the past. The show might have been cut to 7 episodes this season but the fast forward button has been punched repeatedly to more than compensate for the lost time. Here’s the list of reunions and team-ups across the 7 kingdoms that was achieved by sheer disrespect for time and distance along with shoutouts to fan theories:
Reunions: Completed vs. Pending
✔ Jaime – Tyrion
✔ Gendry – Davos
✔ Jon – Tormund
✔ Jorah the friendzoned knight – Daenerys Targaryen, breaker of hearts
✖ Grey Worm – Missandei
✖ Jon – Psycho Arya & Creepy Bran
✖ Jon – Samwell the last Tarly
✖ Jon – Ghost, who’s been gone long enough thanks to Drogon burning through the CGI budget
✖ The Hound – Mountain, because Cleganebowl HAS to happen
Going into the details,
Tyrion went to King’s Landing for a completely illogical meeting with Jaime. I mean sure he wants to see Jaime who although likely to kill him is the last family member he cares about but what was the point otherwise? To propose an armistice to the mother of madness Cersei Lannister for the greater good of the realm? Seemed like another dumb move by the once intelligent Tyrion while Cersei seems to be planning the Red Wedding part 2 sans the wedding bit. But anyway this meeting led to Jaime hearing about the army of the dead for the first time, which I think will have some consequence later on. Any by the way, Cersei’s pregnant again, which will probably help Jaime get more conflicted than he already is.
However, starting from there the episode made us forget everything else with satisfying moments for fans. Davos went and rescued Gendry from the netherworld of plot irrelevance, paying tribute to endless jokes made by the Reddit fan community about Gendry’s eternal rowing with a quick pun. Just like in the jokes, Gendry seems to have developed extreme upper body strength from all the rowing, exhibiting it with Robert Baratheon-esque swings of a war-hammer at Lannister soldier’s heads. The Gendry- Jon Snow combo proved to be the bromance we didn’t know we needed, insulting each other’s physiques just like Ned and Robert used to back in the day in season 1.
Jorah Mormont got back to Danerys and her inescapable friendzone to get tormented by the sight of yet another romantic rival, a man who can pet a dragon and has the added advantage of being her nephew (incest has been an integral part of Targaryen relationships for centuries). The Daenery-Jon sexual tension continues to build up in every scene. Jon Snow stood his ground while Drogon bent the knee and let him stroke his cheek, which seems to have shut up Daenerys for good and made her look at him the way Tormund looks at Brienne. I wonder if Drogon and Ghost will get along though. Ghost must be at least a little pissed that Drogon is eating up all the budget in his CGI bowl. I just hope they don’t make Drogon eat Ghost to permanently reroute that budget. Now that Jon’s a confirmed Targaryen, they all have to live in the same incestuous household at some point.
Oh by the way if you missed that last part, rewatch the scene with Sam and Gilly. Gilly just read out written proof of Jon Snow being the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. We all knew he was their son after last season’s reveal but as far as we knew he was still a bastard as Rhaegar was already married to Elia Martell at the time (remember who Oberyn wanted to avenge?). The book Gilly was reading from was a Maester’s account of how he annulled Rhaegar’s previous marriage and married him to another in a secret ceremony in Dorne. The Tower of Joy, where Jon was born was at the northern edge of the red mountains of Dorne. Which means Jon Snow is actually Jon Targaryen, trueborn heir to the iron throne. His father was the heir and since he died, he is now the rightful heir to the throne, not Daenerys. Now that Daenerys wants Jon and Drogon knows what’s up, she shouldn’t really mind him being king and her being queen. He won’t have to give up the King In The North title either, he just needs to expand it to include the other kingdoms. Ironically a girl who just learned to read found proof of who the prince who was promised is and Sam just shut her up because he got flashbacks of all the shit he had to clean up in an earlier episode.
The other important development you might have missed is the exact content of the letter Arya found after she and Littlefinger had a competition around who looks creepier sulking in dark corners. Littlefinger planted that letter for Arya to find, as it was the one Sansa was forced to send Robb when she was practically a prisoner in King’s Landing. This is what it said (credit: /u/ellemmenne):
“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”
Looks like Littlefinger’s plan is to turn the Stark sisters against each other, a plan which can easily be spoiled by their younger brother if he stopped using his connection to weirwood.net for watching porn and did something more productive with his powers.
Anyway, as if all the reunions and meet ups throughout the episode wasn’t enough, Jon Snow has put together an impressive suicide squad to go beyond the wall and capture a wight to bring back to King’s Landing and show Cersei because as you know, logic does not matter anymore. The White Walkers continue to wait patiently while Jon, Jorah and Gendry travel to Eastwatch from Dragonstone and meet up with the brotherhood without banners and Tormund. Tormund is the only one who points out the ridiculously low headcount King Jon has brought along for such a difficult mission, although his reason was that he missed the ‘big woman’, Brienne.
I believe several of the 7 member squad has enough plot armor to get back alive. Jon has to come back and make out with Dany and find out he’s a Targaryen love child, Gendry just got back and its too soon to kill him, the Hound still has to fight his brother in Cleganebowl (it’s real. GET HYPE) and Tormund still has to hit it off with Brienne. That leaves Jorah, Beric, Thoros & Davos on the chopping block. My money’s on Jorah getting turned into a wight and being brought back as a captive. What better use for the friendzoned knight than to die heroically and tragically get turned into a zombie that can motivate the mother of dragons to really get invested in the fight?
Overall rating: 7/10, 5/10 for logic and 9/10 for fan demand fulfilment