Loads of things happened in the most recent episode of Game Of Thrones, and while fans were excited to see one of their favorites come back to the screens, it was by far NOT the biggest bomb of the episode! So without hesitation, let’s dive into this recap!
After possibly the dumbest move Jaime’s ever made by attacking a DAMN DRAGON head on, he and Bronn resurface down the river a few hundred yards from where Daenerys wreaked havoc on the Lannister Army. They watch for a moment as the smoke billows, and Jaime dejectedly mourns the fact that he’ll have to tell Cersei. Bronn tells his friend that, while he’ll stick around until he gets paid, their agreement stops with dragons. And so, the duo head back to King’s Landing to deliver the news.
Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister sulkily storms into the Red Keep to advise his twin sister of his defeat, brushing past a stammering Qyburn on the way. He pushes open the door to Queen Cersei’s chambers, but she’s alert and waiting; she already knows, likely from her Hand — and she isn’t that concerned. Nonchalantly, she notes how they now have the Tyrell gold, so they can just buy more mercenaries, but Jaime is shook to his core about what he witnessed on the battlefield, and warns her that this war is not one the Lannisters can win. Cersei notes how Daenerys isn’t likely to barter for peace while she’s already winning and they sit on her family’s throne, and bitterly remarks that maybe little bro Tyrion will intercede on their behalf as an apology for killing their father Tywin and son/nephew/little shit Joffrey. This reminds Jaime, and he tells his sister the other hard truth he came here for: Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey, Olenna Tyrell confessed to it on her deathbed. Cersei, once convinced of this (and regretting allowing the Queen of Thorns a painless and honourable death), sourly remarks that their wartime options are to die fighting or to die quitting, and that she knows her choice… and a soldier should know his.
Later, Ser Bronn leads Jaime through the dragon skull-laden cellars of the castle under the pretext of needing a more discreet location for Jaime’s physiotherapy sword re-training, and the two argue (as usual). Jaime jokingly hopes that today is the day he kills Bronn by accident, and the knight of the Blackwater remarks that he won’t be the one Jaime will want to take a swing at — introducing him to his brother Tyrion, who just arrived via smuggler’s canoe. Tyrion apologizes for tricking his brother into a meeting, and praises his Highgarden war strategy trumping his own battle tactics, but Jaime just glares, unsure of how to feel. When Tyrion mentions how their father would be proud, this sets him off — and he threatens his little brother for mentioning him. Tyrion isn’t fazed, however, and explains his motives for killing him with increasing exasperation, but Jaime isn’t interested in his sob story and pointedly asks what he wants. Tyrion notes that there are more important things than this petty war over the throne, and that all Daenerys asks for is Cersei to suspend hostilities for an audience, so she can make one small request on certain terms.
Once Tyrion has fled the capital yet again, Jaime returns to his sister’s room to find her already speaking with the smarmy-ass Qyburn, who immediately ends the conversation and excuses himself. Cersei brushes off this sketchy meeting as normal Hand of the Queen business, but Jaime doesn’t beat around the bush and tells her that he met with their little brother… and is taken aback by her knowing smirk and calm response. He tells her of Dany’s request, but Cersei is suspicious as to why a victor would want an armistice — until Jaime explains that an army of dead men is marching south toward civilized Westeros and that they will have proof. Cersei asks Jaime to punish Bronn for ‘betraying him’, shocking Jaime with the knowledge that she already knew about this meeting but let it happen anyway. She explains that meeting Daenerys might be in their immediate interest — since she has the upper hand, they need to fight her like their father would have (see: The Red Wedding); they will defeat whatever is in their way for the safety of themselves… and of their new baby growing inside of her. Happily stunned, Jaime asks who she will say the father is, and she responds that she will be honest and tell everyone it’s him — the lion does not concern itself with the opinion of the sheep. As the siblings kiss and embrace, Cersei menacingly whispers in his ear to never betray her again.
(Can we talk for a minute about how HUGE this is? According to the flashback prophecies Cersei received from ‘Maggy the Frog’ back in Season 5, she will have three children — and she will also be killed by the valonqar, which is High Valerian for ‘little brother’, causing her lifelong hate and resentment for Tyrion. Well, fam, Cersei already had three kids so this one ain’t happening… and if it’s a boy, it would surely be a little brother. Even more importantly, she dropped this little bit of valonqar news during the question/prophecy about her future kids. If one of the series’ other little bros doesn’t get to her first (Tyrion, Jaime, The Hound, Euron, Theon, Bran, etc.), how much you wanna bet that this baby won’t kill her with complications?)
With Jon across the country dealing with his own issues, Sansa Stark is left to hear the complaints of the Lords of the North. While they praise her and the work she’s accomplished, they also actively bash Jon for his absence. As Sansa accepts their praises, she says nothing to diminish their current thoughts and feelings on their nominated King Of The North, and Arya watches from the corner of the room. Later, the two walk through the halls of Winterfell, where Arya realizes that Sansa has taken residence in their parents’ old room. It’s obvious there’s something behind Arya’s question, and Sansa asks that she speak her mind. Arya makes it plain that she’s always known her sister to enjoy the finer things in life, and they’ve grown up so far apart that she’s no longer sure of her sister’s intentions. It’s clear Arya’s concerned about Sansa’s loyalty.
Meanwhile, Littlefinger is being…well, himself, and making shady dealings all across Winterfell, and Arya is subtly spying on him over it. He meets with a man outside of his chambers, where he’s handed a letter. After placing it in his room, locking the door, and walking away, Arya quickly walks up and gains entry. After what seems like ages of searching, she eventually locates the letter in a hole under his mattress. While fans don’t get a full glimpse of it, it’s been determined that the letter is from Sansa to her late brother Robb; at the time, she was forced by Cersei to write the letter and request that Robb bend the knee to Joffery. As Arya takes her leave, we see Littlefinger watching from the shadows of a nearby stairwell. Is he trying to drive a wedge between Sansa and the remaining Starks? And will Arya EVER get to stab him? Gods we hope so.
In the midst of all of this, Bran sits among the Godswood and uses birds to see across the wall. As he’s using their minds to view the armies of the undead, the Knight King senses his presence and scares the flock away. With Maester Wolkan’s help, he writes a letter to The Citadel requesting their knowledge.
At the Citadel, Novice Samwell Tarly carries toms and scrolls into the room where the Archmaesters have convened and are discussing Bran Stark and Maester Wolkan’s letter from Winterfell. They think his stories of three-eyed ravens and White Walkers are ridiculous fairy tales. Same interjects and tells them that he saw Bran go beyond the Wall years ago and that they should listen to what he has to say, as no one else has survived beyond the Wall for so many years. The Archmaesters dismiss Sam except Archmaester Ebrose, who presses him to continue, and so Sam clarifies: People trust the Citadel. If they advise people to send their men to hold the Wall because the White Walkers are coming, they will listen. If they advise the maesters to provide every bit of information they have on Wights and dragonglass, they should listen. Ebrose admits that it is possible that this is all true, but it’s more likely a trick from Daenerys Targaryen to win the weakened lands once men are sent to the Wall. Sam insists that the threat is real, and Ebrose only agrees to write back for clarification before dismissing Sam, and the frustrated Tarly boy leaves in a huff. Another Archmaester asks if Sam’s family was the one that was just burned by Daenerys, and Ebrose says that he hasn’t had the heart to tell him yet.
Later in his chambers, Sam is studying, frustrated that the so-called learned men wouldn’t listen to reason. Gilly is reading a book by former High Septon Maynard, gleefully providing an un-enthused Sam with factoids of trivia, such as the amount of steps in the Citadel and the amount of windows in the Sept of Baelor. She asks what ‘annulment’ means, stating that Maynard claimed to have annulled Rhaegar Targaryen’s marriage to Elia Martell in a ceremony where he was wed to someone else in secret.
This is huge. This means that Rhaegar Targaryen was married to Lyanna Stark when they had Jon Snow. Which means Jon Snow isn’t a bastard at all; he is the true-born son of Rhaegar Targaryen and the legitimate King Of Westeros.
Blissfully unaware of the irony, Sam cuts Gilly off to complain about how the Archmaesters only hear him, but don’t seem to actually listen to him – they just want him to research until he dies instead of doing something that actually helps. Pushed past his breaking point, he heads into the restricted area of the library and takes as many scrolls as he can carry. He glances back at his childhood dream one last time before taking Gilly and Young Sam and escaping his life as a novice of the Citadel.
Dragonstone/Flea Bottom/Blackwater Bay:
After the Loot Train battle, Daenerys gathers the remaining Lannister troops and threatens (this is paraphrased) that “I’m not a murderer, but bend the knee or die.” Oookay, Dany you’re showing a tiny bit of crazy. Many soldiers bend the knee, but a handful refuse — the Tarlys included. Despite Tyrion’s advice, the Queen stays true to her word and Drogon burns them to ash. it doesn’t take more than a second for the stragglers to give in.
As Dany and Drogon return to Dragonstone, they land near Jon Snow, who’s brooding on a cliff side, as he often does. Drogon lands directly in front of him and roars; while most men would run away from that, Jon inches closer, removes his glove, and strokes Drogon’s face. At his touch, Drogon became calm and almost submissive, while Jon seemed bewildered and empowered. Dany looked on in amazement…it’s clear that she’s never seen the dragons react to anyone the way Drogon has reacted to Jon. We know this is because he’s a Targaryen, but she doesn’t so…we’re hoping she just sees it as an attractive quality.
As the two begin to talk on the cliff side, Jorah approaches, having returned from his “Stay” at the Citadel. It’s obvious that Dany is relieved to see him…and he to her, but it’s also clear that Jorah notices she’s got another man entering her life. Poor Jorah…forever sidelined.
After Jon received word that Bran and Arya were alive, and Bran saw the Night King’s army north of the wall, by Eastwatch, Jon, Tyrion, Dany, and Co. devise a plan to pull Cersei into their side of the fight What if they could bring a White Walker to her? Jorah offers to go with them and get one, and then Jon says he’ll go too. Dany isn’t happy about that; she reminds Jon “I haven’t given you permission to leave.” he responds that he can do as he pleases, and respectfully reminds her that “I am a king.”
So, Davos smuggles Tyrion into King’s Landing so he can find Jaime and convince him to have Cersei meet with Daenerys and Jon about the White Walkers. While they’re there, Davos heads into Flea Bottom, into a Blacksmith shop to find…GENDRY!!! Yep, the bastard Baratheon isn’t rowing anymore, and Davos wants him to come to Dragonstone and get out of the danger of King’s Landing. Davos devises the plot to have Gendry go by the name Clovis to avoid danger through his true identity, but Gendry is sick of lying. He comes clean to Jon about his identity, and immediately joins the growing group on the trip to Eastwatch. As the men leave, Dany admits to Jon that she’s “grown used to him,” and the longing looks ensue. That ship is sailing, guys; get used to it!
Jon Snow has been trying to convince Daenerys to go north of the wall to fight the white walkers. She doesn’t want any part of it, but he continues to get dragon glass for his fight. Shortly after Daenerys return Jon gets a raven that Bran is back and is able to warg into ravens to go north of the wall and he sees that the white walker army is heading south. Jon Snow knows it’s time to do something and he sets off to steal a white walker to bring back to convince everyone the threat is real.
Jorah, Davos, and Gendry accompany him to Eastwatch, without even stopping at Winterfell to check up on anyone. They meet up with the leader of the castle, Tormund, who immediately asks if Jon brought the “big woman” with him. Tormund is love struck and I obviously misses his crush. He has some wildlings to bring along on the journey, but also informs Jon that they have some prisoners. The group moves their party down to the dungeon, where they find out that those prisoners are in fact The Brotherhood and The Hound – the very ones that sold Gendry to Melissandre all those years ago.
While the group bickers back and forth, Jon eventually tells them that they’re all on the same side, and so they’ll all go beyond the wall together. The only to not fully accompany them is Davos, and that’s only because he’s a smuggler, not a warrior. And so, like something straight out of an RPG game, this Suicide Squad heads beyond the wall on a mission to capture a White Walker.