Last week, Game of Thrones delivered one of the most one-sided battles we’ve been witness to, as Daenerys made use of (one-third of) her menacing aerial advantage to make a statement. She delivered an ultimatum to the surviving soldiers – bend the knee, or be burned alive – this week, which she followed through on, despite Tyrion’s protests.
“Eastwatch”, the fifth episode of the seventh season, had a lot more to offer: a huge revelation that will send ripples once someone puts two and together, and the return of a character that allowed the show’s writers to include a joke (“still rowing”) that turned into a meme long ago.
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Here are the top five moments from this week’s episode, according to us. Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 5, ‘Eastwatch’.
How to train your Drogon
Fresh off his fiery presence in last week’s battle, Drogon had a more intimate moment after flying back to Dragonstone. As he lands, he tries to intimidate a waiting Jon Snow by roaring as loudly as possible. Drogon then leans in for a closer look, and bares his teeth.
Jon is hesitant at first, but then slowly moves his hand towards Drogon, and rests it on his face. The dragon seems to sense something in Jon – the audience knows Jon is half-Targaryen – as he closes his mouth, and gently shuts his eye. Daenerys, of course, is surprised at what’s occurring.
Book fans have been waiting for Jon to interact with dragons for almost two decades, and the sequence clearly suggests that Jon can handle them. We’ll just have to wait to see if the other two dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion, are equally friendly.
Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
R+L=J takes on another meaning
Although the Jon-Drogon interaction was interesting, the most revealing thing about Jon came in a throwaway moment that was easy to miss. At the Citadel in Oldtown, Gilly is poring over some books, while Sam is busy working on something else. She comes across some facts interesting to her, but Sam is still fuming over the day’s events.
You can see the exasperation clear as day on his face, and after listening to Gilly for a while, he reaches a breaking point and storms off. But right before he cuts her off, Gilly brings up the annulment of a marriage involving a ‘Prince Ragger’, who then remarried in Dorne. Prince Ragger is almost certainly Rhaegar Targaryen, the son of the Mad King, who was killed by Robert Baratheon, who would have gone on to become the king.
That means Rhaegar ended his marriage with Elia Martell, so he could marry another: Lyanna Stark, the woman he loved. In turn, that means Jon wouldn’t be a bastard anymore, but a true-born Targaryen. Hopefully Sam and Gilly packed that book as they left Oldtown.