There was a ton of information in today’s show so let’s move slowly as we try to unpack what exactly happened and what it can tell us about the story going forward.
Here’s our discussion on Periscope right after the show ended.
1. Bron and Jaime are alive!
Somehow Bron, the Michael Phelps of the Seven Kingdoms, is able to hold Jaime underneath water and carry him — even though Jaime is weighed down with armor — all the way to a part of the lake where, miraculously, no one is waiting to capture the leader of the Lannister Army.
Now, look, I’m no Napoleon, but Tyrion saw his brother get tackled into the water. He has an entire army of Dothraki soldiers on horseback and a dragon. Why not surround the lake and wait to see if Jaime comes out of the water alive? Wouldn’t Jaime make a pretty valuable prisoner? How in the world do you just let a guy swim to another side of the lake and climb out with zero issues.
And once that happens how can Jaime and Bron just walk back to King’s Landing without getting captured. They have no horses and Daenerys’s army is right there.
Just an absurd plot point.
Regardless, Jaime says he has to tell Cersei about the dragons. He knows there is no way they can win the war now.
“Dragons are where our partnership ends,” says Bron.
2. Daenerys addresses the Lannister Army.
“I offer you a choice, bend the knee and join me…or refuse and die.”
Randall and Dickon Tarley refuse to bend a knee and are burned to death by Drogon — who seems to show no ill effects at all from the spear he took in the chest.
Once they see this the rest of the men kneel faster than Colin Kaepernick on a football field. (This was a joke from one of you inside our Periscope, well done.)
Now Samwell is the head of House Tarley, but he doesn’t know it yet.
3. Jaime tells Cersei they can’t win the war and that Oleanna killed Joffrey.
Cersei basically calls Jaime a bitch: “So we fight and die or we submit and die. I know my choice, a soldier should know his.”
With these scenes back-to-back, we’re seeing signs that both Cersei and Daenerys are struggling with their power. Could both be going crazy?
4. Drogon approaches Jon Snow and Jon rubs his snout.
We don’t have any real doubts at this point, but this essentially confirms Jon Snow has Targaryen blood.
Daenerys asks Jon Snow about the knife to his heart, but he dodges the question and then…Jorah is back!
5. Creepy Ass Bran is warging in the raven as they fly over the white walkers.
Even though he already knew exactly what the white walkers were capable of, Bran decides after flying over them with the ravens that he finally needs to warn everyone in the Seven Kingdoms that the white walkers are coming.
Thanks Creepy Ass Bran, it’s about time.
6. The Citadel receives notice of the coming white walkers via raven.
The maesters debate whether the threat is real and ultimately choose not to take it seriously because they believe it might be a plot by the dragon queen.
Sam’s boss knows that his dad and brother have been burned alive, but hasn’t told him yet.
7. Varys and Tyrion discuss Daenerys’s decision to burn the Tarleys and Varys says it reminds him of advising her father, the mad King.
Varys is particularly nervous that Daenerys won’t listen to Tyrion when he gives advice.
Varys reads the sealed scroll to Jon Snow about Arya and Bran returning to Winterfell.
8. Tyrion suggests they bring a captured white walker to King’s Landing to prove the danger to Cersei.
This seems like a totally unnecessary plot point.
Why can’t the white walkers go ahead and breach the wall and start wrecking people? Why do we need to have another expedition past the wall?
9. Arya criticizes Sansa for not defending Jon more aggressively.
Arya believes Sansa, who is living in her parents chambers, wants to be in charge of Winterfell.
And Little Finger is going to exploit this discord between the two sisters.
10. Davos and Tyrion arrive in King’s Landing.
Bron leads Tyrion to meet Jaime in the crypt where the dragon skeletons are kept.
Meanwhile Davos goes in search of…Gendry!, who after rowing forever is now back working as a blacksmith in Kings’s Landing.
“I thought you might still be rowing,” Davos says, winking at all the Game of Thrones fans who have been talking about this for years now.
Then Davos, who is up there with Bron and Tyrion as the character with the best lines on the show, says: “Nothing fucks you harder than time.”
Gendry’s addition to the story makes decent sense because now they need a blacksmith to make swords with dragon glass. It also puts another character out there with a claim on the Iron Throne.
Davos gives the soldiers who find their boat modern day viagra. Then Gendry kills both soldiers with a big mallet — all that rowing paid off — as they see Tyrion.
11. Jaime tells Cersei he met with Tyrion.
Cersei knew about the meeting and tells Jaime an important detail — she’s pregnant.
But is she lying to try and ensure Jaime’s full cooperation and loyalty to her? And given the prophecy that Cersei would outlive all three of her children is there any way this child is ever born?
12. Gendry tells Jon he’s Robert’s bastard even though Davos told him not to.
“It’s better to be a coward than dead for the rest of your life,” Davos says, objecting to Gendry taking a trip beyond the wall.
13. Okay, here’s the biggest revelation of tonight’s show: Gilly discovers that Rhaegar got an annulment from his first wife so he could be married to Lyanna Stark.
This would make Jon Snow a legitimate Targaryen heir. That’s because Jon’s the son of the oldest son of the Mad King. Whereas Daenerys is the daughter. So whose claim to the throne is higher here?
This also means if the two eventually sleep together, as seems very likely, Jon Snow is going to be banging his aunt and Daenerys will be banging her nephew.
Here’s a big question I have for you guys — now that we know the marriage was legitimate the entire idea of Robert’s Rebellion is a farce too. Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped, she married Rhaegar willingly. So, and this may be an insane idea, but is it possible the reason we haven’t seen inside the castle for Jon Snow’s birth is because Ned and Howland Reed kill Lyanna to preserve Robert’s claim to the throne?
That may be a wild idea, but how much different would everyone’s opinion of Ned Stark become if he and Robert killed Lyanna for marrying a Targaryen, but couldn’t bring themselves to kill the baby she’d just given birth to — Jon Snow — so Ned brought the baby back and raised it as his bastard?
Again, that might be too dark, but this would be a major unexpected revelation from inside the Tower and it’s one of the only reasons I can think of for why we haven’t seen that revelation from Bran’s perspective yet.
Regardless, Samwell leaves the Citadel, still not knowing his dad and brother are dead and that he is now the head of House Tarley. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men,” he says.
14. What’s Baelish doing?
Arya is spying on him and he knows it.
Somehow Arya has gone from being Neo once he understood all the secrets in the Matrix at the beginning of Season Seven, to being an ordinary teenage girl again. Shouldn’t she be able to outsmart Baelish?
It seems clear to me that eventually she will kill him before this season is over, but right now the show is struggling to make them appear equal.
What’s on the paper given to Baelish? It appears to be a missive from Sansa seeking Winterfell’s acquiescence to Joffrey’s rule. This is a message Sansa wrote to Robert under duress when she was being held against her will in King’s Landing. And when Baelish says, “Lady Stark thanks you for your service,” he knows Arya is watching and wants her to find this message.
The clear attempt here is to create dissension between the sisters.
15. Jon Snow and his merry band of White Walker captors reach the Wilding army.
Here Tormund says, “And you need to convince the woman with the dragons or the one that fucks her brother.”
The Hound and his crew want to go beyond the wall too.
“He’s right, we’re all on the same side,” says Jon.
How can we be?
“We’re all breathing,” says Jon Snow.
Then this crew is off to catch a white walker.
But here’s my big question on this plot point: why do the white walkers move so slow? Jon Snow can travel all the way from Daenerys to north of the wall, catch a white walker, then travel all the way to King’s Landing with one to prove to Cersei they exist and the White Walkers still won’t have reached the wall?
We’ve seen how fast the White Walkers can move when they’re chasing someone — remember their attack on the wildlings and Bran — so why in the world are they so unproductive on their march. This is like Moses all over again.