Every episode this season of Game of Thrones has in some way involved a battle sequence, the biggest among them arriving last week. In “Eastwatch,” the show slows down and instead focuses on the fallout of last week’s conflict. In some ways this is to Game of Thrones‘ benefit: we see Davos (Liam Cunningham) demonstrate his smuggling prowess for arguably the first time, for example. But in other ways, the show gives us enough of a breath to think about characters’ decisions — and they don’t always make much sense.
Principally, Josh and I debate whether Jon’s (Kit Harington) plan of marching beyond The Wall serves any broader purpose. I challenge Daenerys’s (Emilia Clarke) small council’s decision to try to capture a wight to show Cersei (Lena Headey) that the White Walkers are real. Why is this the new goal? How would Cersei be of help? And further, is sending some of the most talented warriors and key leaders in Westeros beyond The Wall to possibly certain death a better decision than sending other soldiers armed with dragonglass?
We also take some time to explore Daenerys’s approach to ruling those she defeats in battle. Her callous threats to the Lannister army, as well as her vindictive murder of the Tarleys, seems to suggest there may be a darker side to the Dragon Queen that we haven’t yet seen. Josh and I speculate whether her reign will change for the better or simply come to an end as her allies desert her for cruelty.
Finally, we discuss the White Walkers: a seemingly eternally marching army that takes what seems like years to get from place to place while the rest of the Westerosi can zip across the continent without much trouble. This episode, I had predicted that Eastwatch would become overrun and conclude with a major defeat that sets the stage for the coming war. Alas, the White Walkers seem still to be plodding along from Hardhome to The Wall, without much explanation as to why it’s taken so long. Are they still amassing an army?
I feel as though I was overly negative on this episode, so here’s something to lighten the mood. RIP, Olenna.
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Check back next week for our discussion of Season 7 Episode 6, “Death is the Enemy.”
Update: HBO has apparently renamed the next episode “Beyond the Wall.” Perhaps this is to do with the leaks?