Tales From Westeros: Season 7 Episodes 4 & 5: “The Spoils of War” and “Eastwatch”
Hello there to all those players of the Great Game! It’s me, Grand Master Zed back in action after a week off. Thank you so much for patiently waiting for me, I was stuck in a place where the night was dark and full of low bandwith wifi. But your favorite inquisitor to the cripples, bastards and broken things of Westeros is back with a double dose of Thrones goodness! Now lets dive into “The Spoils of War” and “Eastwatch”!
So, both of these episodes came steady with some very important stuff, but to keep this nice and succinct for y’all, I’ll only be going over the important stuff and not doing my usual moment by moment recap. If you want to talk about anything particular, comment down below, or tweet me @evilgeeks or @itsamezachyp on Twitter! Come on down! Lets chat, theorize and argue together! Enough of this blabber, let’s get to it!
With the Lannister/Tarly army on the march, Jaime pays Bronn for his service, but Bronn wants a castle. The Tarlys come through saying that they’re taking all of the grain and other food from the farms in the Reach, which is a pretty sick tactic on their part because, you know….food. Does an army good. Back in King’s Landing, Tycho the money man talks to Cersei about how jazzed he is that the Lannisters paid their debts. So much so that the Iron Bank declares for Cersei and all of her wicked plans. Give a crazy blond enough money and power and they just might find themselves going power mad. Remind you of anyone? Either way, Cersei name drops some important folks when she says she’ll be hiring mercenaries by way of the Golden Company in Essos. The Golden Company is a 10,000 men strong sellsword company and have reputed to never have broken a contract before, with their motto being, “Our word is as good as gold.” To have that kind of numbers and loyalty behind Cersei is a scary project for sure.
In Winterfell, Littlefinger meets with Bran and gives him the dagger that was meant to kill him back in Season 1. He launches into a monologue about Catleyn, but when he uses the word “chaos”, Bran finally speaks up. “Chaos is a ladder.” This is a reference to something LF said to our favorite bald spymaster, Varys, a while back. It means that to men like him, the bedlam going on in the world is a chance for him to advance. And he has. He’s basically the lord of the Vale and has a bit of a hold on the current Queen in the North, Sansa Stark. So LF is in a pretty good place right now. The two are however interrupted when Meera comes to call on Bran. He’s been built a Professor X style wheelchair by the Maester of Winterfell, and Meera remarks that it’s a good idea. Ever since Bran became the Three Eyed Raven its clear his emotions are not what they used to be, and Meera notes her disappointment on the matter, claiming that Bran “died in that cave” before leaving to go home to Greywater Watch. Outside the walls, Arya sees her home in the distance and pulls the ol’ switcheroo on some bumbling guards when she tries to get into the castle. When they report to Sansa, she finds Arya in the Winterfell crypts, lamenting that the statue of their father doesn’t look like him. The sisters reconnect a bit and then go to see Bran, who’s doing his Professor X psychic tree boy thing beneath the Weirwood tree in the Winterfell godswood. Bran reads Arya’s mind a bit and then gifts her the Valryian steel dagger, which he says is wasted on him. Arya accepts. The three head back and are spotted by Brienne and Pod, who tries to tell Brienne her duty to Catelyn Stark has been fulfilled. An emotional moment for Brienne for sure.
On Dragonstone, Dany and Missandei dish on her and Grey Worm’s hookup, before Jon interrupts them to show Dany the subterranean Dragonglass and carvings made by the Children of the Forest and the First Men. It depicts them joining together to fight the Others and showcases to Dany that the threat of the dead is in fact real. However, in true bonehead fashion, she still wants Jon to bend the knee. However, I will give her this, she makes a good point when she asks, “Isn’t their (The North) survival more important than your pride?” She’s kinda got Jon there. Much as I dislike her, those big scaly bastards are about the best chance Westeros has got against the army of the Dead. Though it pains me to admit it, perhaps Jon should bend the knee. At the very least, she’ll get some decent counsel. He can always betray her later. When they get outside, Tyrion informs a very pissed off Dany about the Casterly Rock blunder, and Dany begins to question the Imp’s loyalty. Pulling a decently smart move, she asks Jon for help. She also says out loud, “I’m losing” which was a very cathartic moment for me. Jon tells her that if she goes ballistic, she won’t be helping anyone, she’ll just be another enemy to the people she presumes to rule.
Back in Winterfell, Pod and Brienne are training some more before Arya interrupts them. She wants to train with Brienne because she beat the Hound. Sansa is talking to Baelish and saying that certain Northern houses aren’t contributing the right amount of grain but that goes unnoticed. Brienne and Arya proceed to spar and Arya appears smaller and faster than Brienne, but a well placed boot to the solar plexus knocks Arya in the dirt before she does a Matrix-esque kip up. Pretty tight fight sequence in all.
Back in Dragonstone, Davos queries Jon as to his opinion on Dany. Jon replies that she has a “good heart” and Davos replies that he’s noticed Jon staring at her “good heart”. Don’t do it Jonny, she’s your aunt! Jon frets a bit about their numbers and we learn the situation in the North is even more dire than it seems. The pair meet up with Missandei and she queries Jon about his bastardy, and she reveals that in her culture, the concept of it doesn’t exist. Jon asks her why she follows Dany and Missandei gives a spirited reply. Davos jokes that he wants to switch sides. The three notice a Greyjoy ship approaching and go to meet it. Theon and his crew roll up and Jon and Theon have a pretty awkward reunion. Bear in mind, the last Jon heard of Theon was when he helped Sansa escape, but before that it was when he had taken Winterfell and betrayed Robb. “What you did for her is the only reason I’m not killing you.” He says to the disgraced Greyjoy. Theon lets them in on the Yara situation, and says he’s here to ask Dany to come get her back. Might be a hard sell at the moment there, Theon.
Back at the Lannister camp, all the gold gets through the gates, but the food is still being loaded up. Randyll Tarly suggests they whip anyone moving too slowly, and Jaime drips a little mercy on em. Randy doesn’t much like that, but as he rides off, Jaime and Bronn begin to talk to Dickon Tarly about his first battle. He has misgivings about killing former bannermen, as he had known some men personally. He also claimed he’d never thought it would “smell like that”, to which Bronn replies “Men shit themselves when they die”. Its true, and you gotta wonder what a lot of historical battlefields probably smelled like. Yikes. Bronn stops and just says, “Listen.” The sound of distant hoofbeats prompts the Lannister army to form a shield line, as they grow closer and the sound of whooping can be heard, which means one thing. Dothraki. As the savage army crests over the hill, it reminds me of the shot from Mulan where the Huns have the high ground and you can truly see the enormity of the threat here. I mean the Lannister army is vastly outnumbered. They lay down their spear wall as Bronn claims that Jaime should get back to King’s Landing because, as Bronn so eloquently states “Those fuckers are about to swamp us.” Jaime claims the army can hold them off before the sound of a dragon’s cry is heard followed swiftly be the sound of 20,000 men shitting their pants simultaneously. Dany rolls up on the back of Drogon and says the magic word, roasting several men alive. Dickon Tarly is mortified, as, in a brilliant strategic move, the Dothraki charge through the hole Drogon has created and flanks the army from within. The rest of them begin bashing into the shield wall, which appears to look as though it wont hold. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, they actually begin to stand on their horses and fire arrows from saddleback. It becomes clear that the Dothraki are too numerous and utterly insane for the Westerosi to handle. Drogon continues to burn shit as Jaime starts to scramble for a plan. He calls in the archers to try to shoot Dany off dragonback, but to no effect. Due to his lack of a hand, he asks Bronn to man the dragon killing Scorpion as Jaime begins to get into a fight with a Dothraki bloodrider, only to be saved by Dickon Tarly. Bronn is thrown from horseback but runs away, saving himself. The name of the game is self-preservation in Westeros, folks. Bronn kills a Dothraki with the Scorpion and loads it up again, but the smoke and clouds obscure his line of sight to Drogon. Tyrion comes over the hill and sees the slaughter. A Dothraki gloats to him that his people “can’t fight” and he’s not wrong, as the ‘Rakis are slaughtering them out there. Drogon circles back and Bronn takes aim. His first bolt goes wide. The second, however, hits the dragon right in the shoulder and it begins to nose dive. Eventually, it gains control and destroys the Scorpion before landing. Like an idiot, Dany dismounts and begins to try to ease out the bolt. Jaime senses an opportunity in the way of a nearby spear and a helpless Dany. Tyrion, from the sidelines chides his brother and begs him to flee with his life. “You idiot. You fucking idiot.” he says to himself. Jaime charges and almost makes it Dany before Drogon spouts fire his way. Bronn, ever the deus ex machina, tackles Jaime into the river and saves his life, where he begins to sink. Quite a battle, quite an episode. A lot of interesting things are being set up here and I’m excited to see where it’ll go. I’ll save my post game wrap up for after the next one, so onto “Eastwatch”!
Things open up with Jaime and Bronn coming up for air on the riverbed, as it look like Bronn has saved Jaime’s life again. There’s a reason you don’t wear plate armor swimming, folks. Bronn claims until he gets what he’s owed, nobody gets to kill Jaime but him. But at the same time, our favorite mercenary claims that “dragons are where our partnership ends”. I was so jazzed for the re-introduction of Bronn, I certainly hope this isn’t the last we see of him. Jaime has to do the hard work of telling Cersei how utterly boned they are, and Bronn suggests killing himself instead.
Tyrion has a moment with the burnt and torn battlefield and wonders to himself if he’s on the right side before finding Dany holding the Lannister survivors (likely those who have surrendered) captive. She gives them a simple, Targaryen choice. Bend the knee, or die. Most bend right away, a few more after Drogon roars, but among those still standing two stand firm: Randyll and Dickon Tarly. Dany asks Randy to step forward, and he explains he won’t kneel to a foreigner, even though Tyrion dunks on him for his “flexible” allegiances. As Randyll is taken to die, Tyrion suggests he take the Black and help Jon out at the Wall, but Randy refuses that too. Dickon also chooses to die with his father, despite being the future of his house. Tyrion is shook and keeps trying to get Dany to listen to him, but the Dragon Queen is unmoved and the Tarlys are burnt alive. #Tarbeque. This in turn causes the entire Lannister army to bend the knee and Dany leaving in triumph. But at what cost?
Back in King’s Landing, Jaime meets with Cersei and tells her how utterly fucked they are. Cersei suggests buying a mercenary army with their newfound riches, but Jaime doesn’t think it’ll cut it. He also reveals to her that Tyrion didn’t kill Joffery and it was instead Olenna, but instead of feeling sympathy for her little brother, Cersei only wishes she could have made Olenna’s death more painful. Jaime once more puts forth “hey, we’re fucked” but Cersei is more determined to fight and die than give up and die.
Back on Dragonstone, Jon has a moment with Drogon, where the dragon allows the King in the North to touch him, perhaps sensing his Targaryen heritage. Dany and Jon chat about the nature of power, and Dany tries a follow-up on that “knife in the heart” comment to no avail before J Bear Jorah Mormont comes back into Dany’s service. I mean, this scene must have meant so much to him. Poor Jorah, he deserves the world. Jon talks up Jorah’s dad and Jorah and Dany have a quick hug, followed by Jorah casting a wary eye on Jon.
Back in Winterfell, Professor Bran takes over a whole mess of ravens by warging between them and making them fly to scout past the Wall. He sees the massive army of the dead and how they are marching towards Eastwatch. When the baddest of em all, the Night King, spots these ravens, Bran dips and says that they need to send more ravens out to tell the realm about the encroaching death.
Back in the Citadel, the archmaesters jabber on after receiving Bran’s note. These well-studied men don’t believe Bran’s letter and they shouldn’t, as it sounds like nonsense. Sam tries to appeal to them by saying he’s seen the dead men himself and play up the ego of the maesters by saying the entire realm trusts and respects them, but the maesters instead believe it’s a plot by Dany to lure Southern armies away to conquer more easily. Sam pleads, but is turned away. The maesters mourn for Sam, due to his father and brother, but Ebrose lets it slip that he hasn’t told Sam yet.
Back on Dragonstone, Varys and Tyrion talk about Dany. There’s something a bit fucking crazy about Dany. Tyrion tries desperately to defend Dany’s actions but he’s not doing well. Varys references the Mad King and how he slept at night by saying he wasn’t the one burning people alive, but was complicit in it. He begs Tyrion to find a way to make Dany listen, that she won’t be the Mad King as long as Tyrion advises her correctly. Varys has a scroll for Jon and insists he didn’t read it, but when Tyrion asks what it says, Varys’s reply is “nothing good.” It gave me a good laugh, I’m not gonna lie. Jon gets the good news that Arya and Bran are still alive, but the bad news that the army of the dead is marching towards Eastwatch. Jon tries to go home, and convince Dany to join him but she remains unmoved. Tyrion devises a plan to perhaps show Cers that the threat is real by capturing a wight and bringing it to King’s Landing. Jorah agrees to go to serve Dany’s interests. Tyrion agrees to meet with Jaime, who hopefully will listen to him about their plight. It falls on Davos to smuggle Tyrion in, which should go pretty well considering Davos is, well, a smuggler. Jon lays down the law that he’s off this rock and headed North of the Wall with J Bear, hopefully with some Wildlings to help them out.
In the North, the lords kiss Sansa’s ass (figuratively) and sing her praises while Arya watches from the shadows like a good pre-pubescent ninja assassin. Sansa goes to bat for the absent King in the North. Arya and Sansa link up and Arya notices that she’s staying in their mother and father’s old chambers, and remarks how Sansa has always enjoyed the finer things. The two launch into an argument, Arya thinks Sansa should be a little stricter and by a little stricter I mean cut the heads off people who talk shit stricter; but Sansa believes that you have to unify people by complacency and appeasement. Arya thinks that if Jon doesn’t come back, that Sansa will try to use the Northern armies to become queen, and seems to strike a nerve in her older sister.
Tyrion and Davos arrive at King’s Landing. Tyrion has a meeting with Jaime which was set up under the guise of super secret sword practice with Bronn, their middleman in common. It doesn’t go too well, with Jaime none too happy to see Tyrion again. The two discuss an armistice between them so they can ride North and fight the Night King. Davos on the other hand, goes to the Street of Steel to a certain blacksmith shop and finds someone I’ve been waiting to see again: Gendry. If you don’t remember my main man Gendge he’s been rowing back to King’s Landing the past few seasons, just kidding it was probably a few days, but has apparently been hanging out back at his old blacksmith’s shop ever since. Gendry is Robert’s only remaining bastard child (that we know of) and he’s apparently taken after his father with an affinity for the warhammer. He’s gung-ho for the trip up North, and he and Davos peace out somethin fierce together. They get set upon by some goldcloaks on the way back to the boat, and Davos handles himself like a boss. It’s so obvious that he’s been doing this for years. He even offers them fermented crab, which is apparently Game of Thrones Viagra, and tries to hurry them off. But in a terrible twist of fate, Tyrion arrives at the same time and is recognized at least in part by the goldcloaks. They don’t have much time to scratch their heads about it as Gendry caves said heads in with his warhammer. When Davos introduces him, the dwarf simply replies, “He’ll do.” Then all three peace out.
In Cersei’s chambers, Jaime pays a visit to talk about his meeting with Tyrion. The twist here is, Cersei knew about the meeting all along and allowed it to happen in order to get buddy buddy with Dany. Now before you get your dicks hard about a hero/villain team up, Cersei isn’t doing this out of any kind of altruism, she’s just trying to sink her claws in and “fight them like Father would have.” The Lannisters are known to be sneaky so this might be fun to see what they come up with. The real bombshell of this scene is we learn that Cersei is pregnant with her and Jaime’s fourth child. She also plans to tell her that her brother is in fact the father. I don’t know you guys. Call me a sap but I’m actually like sort’ve happy for them? Whatever, I’ll move on. Cersei warns Jaime not to go behind her back again.
Back at Dragonstone, Davos brings Gendry to meet with Jon under the guise that his name is Clovis and that he’s come to pay his respects to the King in the North before he heads off to Winterfell. But Gendry says fuck that and tells Jon his real name and the fact that he’s Robert Baratheon’s bastard. The two jaunt back and forth and Gendry begs to come along North of the Wall. When endorsed by Davos, Jon agrees to have Gendry come along. In Jon’s mindset, they’re both the bastard sons of former best friends wielding very similar weapons and fighting together like their fathers did. Very pumped to see the bromance. Speaking of which, Tyrion and Jorah share a lovely little moment before Dany bids Jorah adieu once again. He begins to say something but sees Jon approaching and thinks better of it. Perhaps he realizes that even though he loves Dany, he’s an old man and she’s a queen to be and is like to marry someday, so he lets his actions do the talking. I think Jorah may have just seen his queen for the last time. Jon rolls up and jokes that Dany is glad to be rid of him, but she remarks that she’s grown used to him. DON’T DO IT JON!
Back at Gilly and Sam’s secret love shack, Gilly is reading out of a book written by High Septon Maynard. Maynard recorded a lot of stuff, but more on that later. Sam gets frustrated with the highfalutin maesters and their inaction, and decides to steal the keys to the restricted section of the library and steal some books. He packs up Gilly and Little Sam and they peace out of Oldtown and Sam’s dreams to become a maester because he’s “tired of reading about the achievements of better men.” But the real nuclear bomb drop comes in the form of Gilly reading about an “annulment” or a dissolving of marriage that Maynard did for a Prince “Raggar”, which is Gilly clearly mispronouncing Rheagar, as in Rheagar Targaryen. As well she reads the septon married him to “someone else” in a secret ceremony in Dorne. This is only further confirmation of the R+L=J theory, but it also showcases that Jon isn’t a bastard. His parents, Rheagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were lawfully married before his birth, which as the son of Rheagar, the heir to the Mad King, makes him the current legitimate ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Everything’s comin up Milhouse!
Back in Winterfell, Arya peeps Littlefinger being his sneaky self. She follows him around until he meets Maester Wolkan, who gives him a scroll that is the only copy of its kind in Winterfell. LF thanks him, puts it in his room, locks the door, and chucks deuces; but Arya is close by. She picks the lock and through sheer Holmesian deduction, finds it in the mattress. Inside is a letter Cersei forced Sansa to write way back when, trying to convince Robb to bend the knee to Joffery. At this juncture in her career, this being made public could be an act of political sabotage, or at the very least some decent blackmail to get Sansa to do whatever he wants. Like, you know, bang him. Yeck. Arya peaces out, but apparently Baelish was chillin the whole time, creepin from the shadows. Damn. Say what you want but the guy is a damn mastermind.
At Eastwatch, Jon, Davos, Gendry and Jorah meet with Tormund. He’s not too jazzed about going North of the Wall with their numbers, and disappointed his lady Brienne isn’t around. Davos agrees to stay behind because he’s not a good fighter, which Tormund agrees to. He also shows them that they’ve got some prisoners. The Brotherhood Without Banners. Or what’s left of them. Which happens to be Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, and Sandor Clegane, the Hound. Everyone’s got some kind of beef here except for a few instances. Gendry doesn’t trust Beric and Thoros because they sold him to Melisandre for his king’s blood. Tormund doesn’t trust Jorah because his father, Jeor, hunted the Wildlings as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch for years. J Bear doesn’t like the wildings either. One reunion in the bunch though! Thoros and Jorah fought with each other during the siege of Pyke back during the Greyjoy rebellion, but Jorah says he hardly recognized him. Thoros says that he hasn’t been feeling himself because he hasn’t been drinking. Beric comments that they’re pretty much a band of misfits and he’s right. Jon unites them all by saying their being alive is what brings them to the same side despite their differences. The warriors mount up, and roll out into a blizzard that seems to consume the land itself. If you listen, you can hear a pump up jam of your choice playing in the background. Squad goals indeed.
These two episodes were amazing and hard to sum up in any manner of logical order, so lets focus on the big questions instead. When is Sam gonna find out about his dad and brother? If Cersei were to be convinced the army of the dead is real, will she work with Dany? What’s Littlefinger up to? How are the people of Westeros gonna react to Jaime and Cersei’s new baby? Where the hell is Euron?! Why doesn’t my boy Jon Snow know he’s the rightful motherfucking king yet? How will the greatest squad of warriors Westeros has ever seen fare north of the Wall? All of that will be answered and more I’m sure as the story rolls on. And you can bet dear reader that I’ll be right here to give you every last moment of it. What do you think? Have any theories on what’s going to happen next? Comment down below and I’ll give my thoughts on it next week. This has been Tales from Westeros (the plural makes sense this time!) and I’ve been Grand Master Zed. Thanks for waiting and as always, Valar Morghulis.
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Posted on August 17, 2017, in Tales from Westeros, Uncategorized and tagged Arryn, Baratheon, Eastwatch, Game of Thrones, Grand Master Zed, Greyjoy, Lannister, martell, Stark, Tales from Westeros, targaryen, The Spoils of War, tyrell. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.