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Game of Thrones S07E05, Eastwatch review: The Fellowship goes looking for White Walkers

tv Updated: Aug 15, 2017 10:56 IST
Soumya Srivastava
Soumya Srivastava
Hindustan Times
Game of Thrones,Game of Thrones Episode 5,Eastwatch Review

Jon and his merry band of brothers are out to catch a White Walker in Game of Thrones’ new episode.

Game of Thrones- Eastwatch
Director: Matt Shakman
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage
Rating: 4/5

SPOILERS AHEAD

The fifth episode of season seven of Game of Thrones left us scratching our heads as we tried to piece together all the many references to earlier episodes and foreshadows to the ones to come. Eastwatch bolstered several fan theories while leaving others to wither away. With about a dozen storylines addressed in the episode, we have a long task ahead of us.So whip out your notebooks, pencils and DVDs from the previous six seasons because this one will need some work. Shall we begin?

After the storm that was the previous episode, Eastwatch’s lack of action was more palpable than it should have been. However, the dearth of battle sequences didn’t register as death of entertainment. Each and every storyline was a build-up to something more important. The tension between Arya and Sansa and Littlefinger’s literal shadiness proves that Arya may have become No One but Lord Baelish has been running the game for years. The letter that Arya finds in his room is speculated to be the one sent to Robb by Sansa in season one. In it, she asks Robb to bend the knee to Joffrey, written under Cersei’s pressure, of course.

How could something so old and clearly unintended be so bewildering to Arya is not something we yet know. But for the makers to take it up and use as a weapon to drive the plot, is a great way to fan curiosity. Baelish has long been one of the most powerful men in Westeros, without any dragons or Wildfire, but watching him relegated to the sidelines in the last few episodes and even the second half of the previous season, felt like an unfair underuse of a potentially villainous character. It is heartening, if you will excuse my dark soul, to see him return to his creepy, cunning ways.

Again, the episode may have been low on action but what a fantastic way to tease what is to come with that ending. Could there have been a better way to tell your viewers the end is nigh than to bring the series’ lead together with the muscle we grew to love as he sheltered and almost died for a little girl, a friend he met on the other side of the wall, a man who we saw fall in love with the queen he served and battle an illness that should have killed him, a fire-sword wielding believer of the lord of light who returned from the dead and, of course, a man who rowed a boat for four seasons? I don’t think so. The fellowship, as I will now refer to them, promises a dreadful journey in the next episode and it could be the adrenaline talking, but if the formation was so exciting, imagine what catching a White Walker would be like. Though, it doesn’t come without the fear of losing one or two or more of them.

The episode stuck to its theme of building up to more things in shorter scenes as well, Gilly’s recitation from an old Maeter’s book being the biggest reveal of them. Rhaegar’s annulment of marriage and then the wedding with Lyanna proves that Jon is their legitimate child, making his claim on the Iron Throne even stronger than Daenerys. While it may seem like a problem right now, it soon might not. The makers did a very subtle of job of hinting at something between Dany and Jon, if I think I saw what I saw. To choose to not make it all about in-your-face gooeyness and merely reflecting it in a look of jealousy in his face as she hugged Ser Jorah or in her longing eyes as she bid him goodbye, was a good call.

Cersei’s big news also puts another theory in jeopardy. As the prophecy had predicted and fans had speculated, she will die at the hands of Jaime who is supposed to choke her to death. That seemed more and more probable with her rising cruelty and greed but now that a baby is in the picture, the makers have changed the game quite a bit. Will Jaime be willing to kill his unborn child as well?

Nothing is ever quite so easy in Game of Thrones but here’s hoping that our merry band of brothers return well and safe from the front, bearing an icy-cold gift for Cersei.

Read our previous episodes’ reviews:

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The author tweets as @soumya1405

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 10:11 IST