1. Gilly dropping one of the biggest bombshells in Game of Thrones history
OK, so you definitely noticed this one, but we thought we’d ease you in with ONE OF THE BIGGEST GAME OF THRONES BOMBSHELLS OF ALL TIME. Gilly here essentially confirms (though we don’t actually hear the end of her sentence, because Sam fucking cuts her off) that Jon Snow is not a bastard, but a trueborn Targaryen.
She reads from an old book: "Says here [the high septon] annulled a marriage from Prince ‘Ragger’ [Rhaegar], and married him in secret, to another woman, in Dorne.” We can be basically 100% sure that this woman is Lyanna Stark (Dorne is the location of the Tower of Joy, where Lyanna gave birth to Jon, as we saw last season), and what this all means is that Jon has the most legitimate claim to the throne of anyone in Westeros – more than even Daenerys, by virtue of his being a man. Holy fuck.
2. Sam echoing the harsh words of his father
Suck it Randyll, u ded now. However, his harsh words last season seem to have had a lasting effect on his son. You may remember the old crank telling Sam, of his ambitions to become a maester, back in Episode 6 of Season 6: “You’ve managed to stay soft and fat, spending your life reading about the achievements of better men.”
In ‘Eastwatch’, after becoming frustrated with Archmaster Ebrose and his colleagues’ refusal to take his talk of the White Walker threat seriously, he decides that perhaps there was some truth in his father’s criticisms. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men,” he tells Gilly, as they take a horse and cart away from Old Town, probably headed north to either Castle Black or Winterfell, or perhaps out to Dragonstone.
3. A poignant detail behind Daenerys’ reunion with Jorah
The glint in Daenerys’ eyes as she welcomes Jorah back to her service was a brilliant piece of acting on Emilia Clarke’s part, and one of the little, understated highlights of this week’s episode. However, there is also a hint of darkness behind their reunion. The only reason Jorah has been able to return to his Khaleesi is because of one Samwell Tarly curing his greyscale – and who did Daenerys just burn alive with dragon fire? Oh yeah, Sam’s father and brother.
Now, as we know, it’s not like Sam had the best relationship with his dad, but still, there’s an air of poignancy to how this has all gone down.
4. What the letter Arya stole from Littlefinger said
A quick pause will reveal all – namely that this letter that Littlefinger so-deperately-didn’t-wan’t-Arya-to-find-but-actually-really-did is the very same one Sansa sent to Robb all the way back in Season 1, under duress from Cersei. It tells Robb and Catelyn that Ned is a traitor and tried to seize the Iron Throne for himself, and orders the young wolf to come to King’s Landing and bend the knee to Joffrey.
Here’s the full transcript:
“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”
For more info on the importance of the letter, and what it could mean for the relationship between the Stark sisters in the future, we’ve gone into it in more detail here.
5. And how she knew where to find it
Littlefinger needed somewhere convincing enough to hide the scroll that Arya thought he’d definitely tried to conceal it, and went for a tiny hole inside his mattress – but how did Arya know to look there? Well, as this conversation between Tyrion and Sansa back in Season 3 reveals, Arya used to cut holes in her sister’s mattress and fill them with sheep dung when she was angry with her – “and she was always angry with me,” Sansa says.
But how did Littlefinger know Arya would find it there? Well, maybe he had someone listening in on that conversation between Sansa and Tyrion, maybe he knew that Arya was such a good sleuth that she’d find it either way, or maybe he just got lucky. Remember though, this is Littlefinger, he rarely relies on luck.
6. Davos referencing one of the show’s most famous memes
Ever since Ser Davos smuggled Gendry away from Melisandre and Stannis and sent him off in a rowing boat, he’s been one of the biggest Game of Thrones memes around. For every episode he didn’t appear, there was a ‘Gendry’s still rowing’ meme – something the actor Joe Dempsie fuelled himself when he tweeted the words “Still rowin’” at the end of Season 4.
Now he’s finally back, and the meme is dead, but not before the show could make a very cheeky self-referential joke about it. Davos finds Robert Baratheon’s bastard son at the armoury in Flea Bottom, and quips: “I thought you might still be rowing.” So cheesy, but we loved it anyway.
7. The meaning behind Gendry’s ‘Clovis’ alias
This is a really smart one. While it may at first seem like the name ‘Clovis’, which Davos gives Gendry as an alias in the heat of the moment when the two goldcloaks approach them on the shore, is nothing more than a hastily thought-up moniker, it actually has a deep and very clever hidden meaning which the show creators have almost certainly done on purpose.
Reddit user fifthpilgrim points out that in real life, Clovis culture is a paleo-Indian culture known for the spear tips they make, known as Clovis points. These points are commonly made from obsidian – the material known as dragonglass in Game of Thrones – see where we’re going here? A lot of fans have theorised that Gendry’s big role, as a blacksmith, will be to forge the dragonglass weapons Jon Snow and his army will use to fight the White Walkers. What’s in a name, eh.
8. And why his weapon of choice is a hammer
Yes, Gendry is a blacksmith, so while he makes swords, he’s much more used to wielding hammers. However, this isn’t the real reason this is his weapon of choice. Who else was notable for carrying a great hammer into battle? Gendry’s father, Robert Baratheon. Gendry even has the Baratheon stag emblazoned on his hammer’s hilt – clearly he’s proud of his family heritage, even if he is a bastard.
9. Jon and Gendry echoing an Episode 1 conversation between Ned and Robert
We miss the rapport Ned and Robert used to have going on back in Season 1, but it looks like we might have found a replacement, in the form on their sons (well, adopted son in one case), Jon Snow and Gendry. The conversation where Jon notes that Gendry is a lot leaner than his dad, and Gendry quips back that Jon is much shorter than Ned echoes one the old King and his Hand-to-be had back in the very first episode. “You’ve got fat,” the rather portly Baratheon tells Ned, stony faced, before the pair both break out into laughter.
10. But the irony behind them talking about their fathers
Nice little chat Jon and Gendry have about their dads being mates, isn’t it? Except it’s not really true – we know that now. Jon’s real dad is Rhaegar Targaryen, who Robert actually killed on the battlefield on his way to becoming king. Awkward.
11. The familiar face of that goldcloak
Thought that goldcloak Davos fed fermented crab to before Gendry cracked his skull open looked familiar? That’s because we’ve seen him before. He played the role of Ned Stark in the Braavosi play Arya went to see a number of times last season. Is it supposed to be the same guy? Probably not, the career change of Braavosi actor to Lannister guard doesn’t make much sense, but hey, you never know.
12. The detail in Dany’s war table
This is a brilliant spot by Ibnicefire on Reddit. If you look very carefully at the image above, from Episode 2 of the season, you can see just one direwolf sitting on Dany’s Painted Table – it is positioned at Winterfell and facing south, to represent Jon Snow’s army, and the fact that, at this time, Daenerys believes Jon to be an enemy, and his focus to be on everything south of him, rather than north to the Wall.
However, if you take a look at this picture below, from Episode 5...
You can see that there are now four direwolves on the table, one at Winterfell, one at Eastwatch, one at Castle Black and one at the Shadow Tower (one of the other castles on The Wall) – and they are all facing north. Now than Dany has met Jon, she knows that he has his forces spread out across these four points, and that his focus is actually north of The Wall, not down towards her. It’s a tiny detail, but the sort of thing that makes Game of Thrones the brilliant, intricate show it is.
13. A reminder that Sansa never wanted her mother and father’s bedroom
Arya and Sansa’s sweet reunion was apparently very short lived. After meeting again for the first time in years in ‘The Spoils of War’, in ‘Eastwatch’, Arya goes on the attack after she feels Sansa does not stand up strongly enough for Jon after Lord Glover and Yohn Royce criticise the King in the North for spending too much time away from Winterfell.
Arya pointedly states that Sansa is sleeping in their mother and father’s old chamber, saying: “You always liked nice things, made you feel better than everyone.” However, if you remember back to last season, it’s actually Jon who insists that Sansa take that room, and Sansa even protests that he should sleep there. “I’m not a Stark”, Jon argues, but Sansa replies: “You are to me”. Jon then goes on to tell her: “You're the Lady of Winterfell. You deserve it. We're standing here because of you.”
While there may be some truth to Arya’s assertion that Sansa does indeed enjoy being in charge, I don’t think she realises how much her sister has changed –Sansa is not the shallow young girl she was back in Season 1.
14. How Ser Jorah and Thoros of Myr know each other
While Ser Jorah and Thoros have never met in the show, they greet each other at Eastwatch by name. This is because they actually met nine years before the show begun, at the Siege of Pyke during the Greyjoy Rebellion against King Robert, when Balon Greyjoy tried to gain independence for the Iron Islands. They both fought on the side of the realm.
Thoros was said to be the first soldier to charge in at the siege, with a flaming sword. The man right behind him? Ser Jorah Mormont.
15. Why there was nothing honourable about Randyll Tarly’s sacrifice
At the beginning of the episode, Randyll Tarly and his son Dickon choose to stand and be burned alive by Drogon rather than bend the knee to Daenerys. A lot of people have been saying this was very honourable of them, but was it really? It was only very recently that Randyll broke his oath to the Tyrells and helped destroy the family for good. Before that, he fought for the Mad King against Robert Baratheon, then knelt to Robert, then followed Renly after Robert’s death, and then served both Joffrey and Tommen.
Reddit user mrsedgarallenpoe argues that Randyll followed Cersei and stood against Daenerys not because of any honour, but because of his noted hatred of “foreigners and savages” – what Jaime tells him Dany’s army is made up of. Remember how Randyll treated Gilly when Sam brought her to Horn Hill?
16. The ‘Three Heads of the Dragon’ prophecy potentially taking shape
Book readers will know all about this theory, and show watchers have probably heard about it too – it comes from a prophetic dream Daenerys has, in which she meets her brother Rhaegar, who tells her “the dragon has three heads”. This is believed to mean that there will be three dragon riders – one of whom we already know to be Dany.
Who could the other two be? Well, most people theorise one will probably be Jon Snow, and the other will either be Bran or Tyrion. After this episode, Jon riding a dragon (probably Rhaegal, since it’s named for his father) looks very likely, given how happy Drogon was to get up close and person with him, sensing his Targaryen blood. The only other character the dragons have let touch in the show so far is Tyrion, so maybe it’ll be those three who eventually ride into battle on the backs of Dany’s three children.
17. “Never betray me again”
Si-ni-ster. After Cersei tells Jaime that she’s pregnant with a fourth child, and this time, she will tell everyone that its his (whether she’s telling the truth or not, we have no idea – this is Cersei we’re talking about), Jaime gets very emotional. The pair hug it out, before Cersei chillingly tells Jaime: “Never betray me again”.
This is in reference to him going behind her back to meet with Tyrion (something that was actually orchestrated by Bronn), and it’s a sentence that garries with it a whole ten-ton weight of foreshadowing. Because of Maggy the Frog’s prophecy that Cersei will be killed by her ‘valonqar’ – high Valyrian for ‘little brother’ – fans have long theorised that Jaime (the younger twin by a matter of seconds) will be the one to finally off his sister. What a betrayal that would be.
18. Eastwatch makes its first appearance in the opening credits
We’ve not really heard much about Eastwatch-by-the-Sea until Season 7, but given the episode title, the castle where The Wall meets the sea had to get its first ever appearance in the opening credits. Somehow, we’ve still never seen Casterly Rock make it in, though.
19. And Tyrion finally got to have a drink!
Obviously this is the biggest moment of the episode. Tyrion’s gone far too long without a drink this season, and it hasn’t exactly gone well for him – he keeps making bad decisions and Daenerys hasn’t been all that happy with him. Still, now that he’s got some wine back in his hand, hopefully he can go back to doing what he does best – drinking, and knowing things.