The below post will contain spoilers of Season 7 Episode 5 of Game of Thrones. If you have not seen the episode yet and do not want spoilers please DO NOT read on. For everyone else, let’s begin.
Let me start out by saying when I see the four words flash across my screen on Sunday nights I get giddy and don’t pay attention to any social media. Those four lovely words are, “Quiet In The Realm.”
Now just a quick overview of what I will be doing on posts like this. I will not be recapping a full episodes of Game of Thrones (GOT). I will be breaking down plotlines from time to time, going over character dynamics and just pointing out things I was thinking as I watched the show.
Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5
This week’s episode was definitely a setup for next Sunday’s episode 6. A lot of small things happened that will lead to big events into the coming final episodes of season 7, we only have 2 left!
Let’s start off with Jamie Lannister, who was saved from Drogon’s fire blast last week by Bronn tackling him into the water at the very last second. He then quickly gets back to King’s Landing and is having a conversation with Cersei. He tells her they are in a losing war with Khaleesi because of her Dragons and the Dothraki soldiers at her side. Cersei quickly brings up that she has the Tyrell money, which means she has the Iron Bank on her side. She also points out that she will pay mercenaries to fight for her and that they will because she has the money to maintain that now. Jamie, being the general he is, knows that depending on mercenaries is never a sure bet, because you don’t know how they will react when facing Dragons. Cersei is quick to point out that Jamie killed, The Mad King (Who was Khaleesi’s father) and their only hope of surviving without fighting lands on their brother Tyrion’s shoulders and she would rather fight than trust him.
Jamie also drops the truth bomb on Cersei that Lady Olenna had their son, King Joffrey, killed and not their younger brother Tyrion, who she insisted would pay for his death. Cersei, of course, doesn’t believe this at first but Jamie pointed out that Lady Olenna wanted Margaery to marry Tommen, who was easier to control than Joffery, meaning that Lady Olenna would hold the true power in all seven kingdoms. This causes Cersei to sip some wine as the reality of what happened to her son sets in. She then verbally smacks Jamie for allowing Lady Olenna to die in a peaceful way instead of screaming in agony like she wanted originally.
We also catch up with Daenerys, who we find presiding over what is left of the Lannister army. She gives them a choice, bend the knee and join her… or die. Samwell’s father, Lord Randyll Tarly stands in defiance before the new Queen. He won’t bend the knee and neither will his son, Dickon. The two are taken aside for punishment. Tyrion tries to persuade Daenerys into showing mercy, he suggests that they throw them in dungeon or take the Black and be better used against the dead. Before Daenerys can say anything, Randyll says that she cannot command him to go to the wall. They made their choice and Drogon burns them to ashes in front of the remaining Lannister army. After seeing this, all of them bend the knee. This is a tough scene for Daenerys, one minute she is talking about how she didn’t come here to murder and the next she roasts two nobles to death. But one could argue, killing those two men caused the other hundred to bend the knee and thus saved more lives than it could have cost. In some ways, this is no different than Ned or Robb beheading lawbreakers in the past. But clearly, Tyrion is having second thoughts after watching all of this.
We then cut to a cool scene where Daenerys returns home after battle and lands Drogon right next Jon Snow as he broods intensely on a lonely cliff. At first, you can see Jon’s fear but he stands his ground. Drogon growls at first but then calms down. Jon even pets the dragon, which is something we haven’t seen much of in this series. Perhaps Drogon can smell the Targaryen blood within Jon? Speaking of, there’s a huge bomb dropped about that later that most people will miss. I’ll come back to that shortly.
Jumping to Bran back at Winterfell he sends ravens over the wall to scout out the White Walkers. He finds them quickly but the Night King quickly notices and this sends the ravens flying away in terror. Bran has scrolls sent out explaining what he is saw, knowing he has to warn everyone as soon as possible. Jon receives this message and tells Khaleesi that he needs to leave, with or without her aid. She says she can’t help him and battle Cersei at the same time, if she were to help Jon then Cersei would strike while their backs are turned. This leads Tyrion to suggest he go to King’s Landing and meet with Jamie, who is the only person in the world that could convince Cersei that the White Walkers are real, a true threat and that everyone needs to band together to fight their common enemy, the dead.
This leads to Davos taking Tyrion to King’s Landing and sneaking into the castle where the Dragon skulls are kept. Bronn brings Jamie to him, under a false invitation of training since their last battle. Jamie is shocked when he’s met by his brother, who he thought he’d never see face to face again. Jamie, as expected, is automatically defensive and reminds his brother that he promised that the next to he saw him he would chop him in two. Good thing Jamie only had a practice sword at this time, even though I still think he wouldn’t kill his brother, not meeting like this anyway. Tyrion explains the situation with the White Walkers and pleads with Jamie to convince Cersei that they are more of the threat and everyone needs to unite towards a common goal. Making sure to say they are putting their war in a hiatus for now, it is not a draw.
Bran’s message reaches the Citadel and is met with disbelief by most of the elder Maesters. Samwell overhears this conversation, but it falls on deaf ears. No matter what Sam says, they just don’t seem to believe. They do agree to ask for more information from Winterfell. This doesn’t satisfy Sam, but he is dismissed from the room. Still unaware that his Father and brother have died, Sam is later seen at home complaining about how the elder Maesters will not take action. Gilly, reading from an old book, mentions a note about how a Maester issued an annulment for Prince Rhaegar’s marriage and, at the same time, married someone else. It’s a quick mention and Sam totally missed it, but this is HUGE news! We already know that Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark were in love and the product of this secret union was Jon Snow. But this news confirms that it was legal and Jon Snow is NOT a bastard and actually another rightful heir to the Iron Throne. How this all works is still a little sketchy, since this means that Daenerys is his aunt, I’m not sure how the laws work in this realm. That all said, Jon and Daenerys doesn’t know any of this. The only two people who seem to know are Bran and Howland Reed (Ned’s friend who was there with him when they got to his sister’s deathbed) and neither are talking yet. We did see Howland’s daughter, Meera, take off to go be with her family in the last episode, so I imagine that we’ll see them again at some point. I don’t see Jon Snow making a huge claim about this, he doesn’t seem the type. But once this news becomes public, it causes waves across everything. Will the North still support him? What will Daenerys do?
Jamie then returns to Cersei and explains what is happening to her. She scoffs at this and is quick to say to major things to him. Nothing happens without her seeing it and do not betray me again. She also comments that he should punish Bronn for betraying him as well with the move he pulled for Tyrion. Then she lets it be known that she is with child, it’s Jamie’s and she will tell everyone it’s his. All of this is important because I think she sees him wavering in his sense of victory and his absolute loyalty to her, so she has to pull him back in and hold tightly. He is her only true ally and she knows this, causing her to do anything to keep him close.
Davos goes into King’s Landing and brings back Gendry, who has been hiding out as a blacksmith in King’s Landing all this time, back to the boat with him. He then takes Tyrion, Gendry and himself back to Dragonstone where Khalseei and Jon are waiting. When the three men arrive Davos tells Gendry not to tell Jon Snow who he really is which of course, is the first thing that Gendry does. It takes Jon a minute to process everything, but he is accepting of Gendry and mentions how both their fathers fought together.
In a touching scene, John Mormont has come back to Khalseei who gives him a big hug. She is happy to see him return and have a trusted ally. This is in true Game of Thrones fashion and doesn’t last long as Tyrion comes up with a plan on how to convince his sister that the White Walkers are real and not just some child’s tale. He suggests they catch one White Walker and bring it to King’s Landing so that no one can deny their existence anymore. Of course, Mormont volunteers to go on this quest and soon Jon, Mormont, Davos and Gendry are heading off to the wall to go on a White Walker hunt.
Now we get to Arya at Winterfell, who is keeping an eye on Sansa and Littlefinger while Jon is away. She sees the lords of the north questioning making Jon King since he is not there with them. They mention that they should have made Sansa the Queen instead. Sansa pauses for a moment at this and then knocks the idea down saying Jon is still, and will be, King of the North.
We then cut to a scene where Arya is with Sansa in a room which use to be their parents. Arya points this out and Sansa just drops the “So what?” response. Without being deterred, Arya reminds Sansa how she always liked having all the nice things to prove she was better than everyone else and that she knows what Sansa is now thinking, that she should be ruling the North over Jon Snow. Arya points out that’s why Sansa was hesitant to shut them down with their qualms about Jon being at Dragonstone. She verbally pokes Sansa and says she knows that she needs the Lords power to take and keep the north. Leaving Sansa speechless and Arya a truth teller.
This last part got me so frustrated as Arya knows how Sansa is, but not Littlefinger. Arya is tracking Littlefinger, trying to find out what he is plotting. She sees him hand a note to one of the grounds girls and her quickly take it away. She then follows him back to his quarters where he is given a note and he asks if it’s the only copy which it is. Once Littlefinger leaves his room Arya is quick to pick the lock and look for the message. She finds the note in a small hole in the mattress and proceeds to read it. This is a note from Season 1 that Sansa was forced to write and send home by Cersei. Arya was never made aware of this note before and has no idea the circumstances behind why Sansa wrote it. As Arya is relocking Littlefinger’s door we see him hiding in the shadows watching her from a distance. Knowing now that he planted that note for Arya to cast more doubts about her sister and her allegiances. We can all only hope that Arya will catch on to Littlefinger quickly and end his life, but this being Game of Thrones we will never truly know until it happens.
We end the episode at Eastwatch Castle on the wall, with Jon’s White Walker hunting party who are now met with a caged group consisting of The Hound and the Brothers Without Banners. After some back and forth, the jailed men joins Jon’s group and you see them all heading out past the safety of the wall’s gates and in search of the White Walkers. This is an amazing group of characters together on an impossible quest: you have Jon Snow, Gendry, Tormund, Jorah Mormont, the Hound, Thoros of Myr, and Ser Beric Dondarrion all setting off beyond the wall to capture a White Walker. It pains me to say this, but there is NO way that all of them are going to come back alive from this. I’m calling it now, the next episode will end in tears.