Ned Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Mace Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Qyburn. A lot of people have been called ‘Hand of the King’ (or Queen) in Game of Thrones. It’s the second most powerful position in Westeros, second only to the King in authority and responsibility. Get a good king and your days are easy, get a bad one and you end up being the power behind the throne.
Or as Jamie Lannister put it all the way back in Season 1: “The King shits, and the Hand wipes.”
However, for our money, the greatest Hand that ever lived is one Ser Davos Seaworth – who is essentially filling that role for Jon Snow.
The Onion Knight is loyal, a straight talker and one of the only characters who actively seeks to improve himself. Oh yeah, and he’s really quite funny, as he proved again in this week’s episode, ‘Eastwatch’.
‘Eastwatch’saw Ser Davos make a quick trip to King’s Landing to deliver Tyrion to a secret meeting with his brother Jaime. While he was there he popped over to the impoverished Flea Bottom district of the city to give us one of the best jokes in Game of Thrones history.
Because in Flea Bottom, after four seasons of waiting, we were finally reunited with Gendry.
When we last saw Gendry in Season 3, he was thanking Davos for saving his life and freeing him from Stannis’ clutches in Dragonstone. Davos gave Gendry a boat and some vague directions and told the Baratheon bastard to row to King’s Landing.
So Gendry started rowing. And rowing. And rowing. And for four seasons we never saw him again. After a while fans started to wonder exactly what happened to Gendry. Was he dead? Was he written off the show, or was he just being put on ice? It got even funnier when Joe Dempsie, the actor behind Gendry tweeted this message at the end of Season 4.
So what does Davos say to Gendry after four years?
Oh Davos, you truly are the greatest Hand of the King.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Joe Dempsie talked about how the Gendry rowing meme took on a life of its own in the past three years.
“’What’s happening with Gendry?’” became part of my daily life, answering the question,” he said, “and I could say with clear conscience that I had no idea. It’s been a meme-a-week, but I’m partly responsible for that by tweeting “still rowing” at the end of Season 4. They even worked a reference into the show of that… There are some real crowd-pleasing moments this season.”
Needless to say, people loved Gendry’s return.
Not to mention Davos' fun little lampshade.
Thank you, Davos. Thank you, Gendry. Now go to Winterfell already and meet Arya again.