Game of Thrones season 7 is moving so fast, I can barely keep up, but for every question it answers, it presents about a thousand more… or more precisely, nine. Eastwatch sees things taking a more low key but still super speedy turn after the pyromaniacs of episode 4, meaning episode 5 was light on burning people alive but worked towards tying up a lot of loose ends. We’re not quite there yet though so here are nine questions I have after watching episode 5. Want a full breakdown of the episode? Read our review.
1. Who is head of House Tarly now?
Episode 5 started with Daenerys’s ‘bend the knee or die’ speech to the surviving Lannisters, which was teased in the episode’s preview trailer, and it doesn’t end well for House Tarly. Both Randyll Tarly (who we hate) and Dickon Tarly (who we surprisingly kinda like) are roasted alive by Drogon after refusing to switch to Dany’s side. With father and son now dead, you might assume Sam is Lord of Horn Hill, but as we know, when a man takes the black he promises to “hold no lands,” which is why the rule of House Tarly passed to Dickon over his older brother Sam in the first place. It’s not the end of House Tarly though. The land of Westeros might not think much of female leaders (well, they never used to), but it’ll take one when there’s nothing left, which makes Sam’s younger sister Talla Tarly ruler of the Reach. Not doubt she’ll be feeling a little overwhelmed with this new position having never been prepared for it, but hopefully with the help of her mother Melessa, she’ll be a worthwhile leader.
2. Why is Drogon so interested in Jon?
Dragons are notoriously difficult to tame (just ask Jaime), so it was with some surprise I saw Drogon take a shine to Jon in this episode. At least, I think it was a positive reaction… it’s hard to tell with all those teeth. The exchange goes on for some time, much to the surprise of Dany, which begs the question: What’s Drogon’s interest in him? Is Jon a secret dragon whisperer or does the dragon see something we don’t? I’m of course referring to Jon’s true Targaryen heritage - is it possible that Drogon recognises him as a Targaryen and if so, why should he care? House Targaryen might have ‘tamed’ dragons in the past, but there’s nothing to suggest it’s a biological skill which might be passed down through the generations. Perhaps Drogon simply recognises Jon as a close relation of Daenerys and sees him as family. That would be cool.
3. Why won’t the Archmaester help Sam?
As Sam points out, this episode gave the Citadel’s Maesters the perfect opportunity to strike a blow at the Night’s King and his army, but instead they choose to ignore Bran’s warning. Given that the Archmaester has already told Sam he believes him about the army of the dead, why doesn’t he use this chance to rally the Lords of Westeros against the oncoming threat? I think there’s three options - either the Archmaester and the other Maesters have their own agenda, which would be served by Westeros not knowing/being prepared for the Night’s King. Or they’re corrupt as fuck and are taking bribes from Cersei (or someone else) to make sure no one believes Jon Snow, which, let’s be honest, is very plausible given what we’ve seen previous Maesters get up to. Or, just maybe, the Archmaester does believe Sam and wants to help, but he knows the other Maesters and most of Westeros won’t accept his word without proof, which he fully intends to get. So maybe Sam should just be patient, alright?
4. Does Sansa want to overthrow Jon?
We’ve known that there’s a certain amount of tension at Winterfell over who’s leading the north for some time now, but this episode sees Arya just come right out and accuse Sansa of building support for herself among the Northern Lords. The sisters have never really got on and it’s good to see they’re back to bickering so soon after being tearfully reunited, but is Sansa really looking to make Littlefinger’s day and overthrow Jon becoming Queen in the North? I doubt it - but she does know there’s a chance Jon will die (she knows the game of thrones better than most) and in that eventuality, she’s not willing to just roll over and give up. She would take up the rule of House Stark and the North and why shouldn’t she? As a legitimate child of Ned and Catelyn Stark her claim is arguably stronger than Jon’s and having learnt much about political and military strategy during her harrowing storyline, she’s not going to throw away everything she’s worked so hard to get just to make Arya feel better about the situation. Here’s hoping Jon returns soon!
5. What does Cersei's pregnancy mean for her prophecy?
Cersei's getting ready to make another pregnancy announcement, but she shouldn't plan the baby shower just yet. The prophecy she was told as a child by fortune teller Maggy clearly states that she’ll have three, and only three, children - Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella. This means it’s likely the child she’s now carrying will never be born, but will she miscarry or will the child die because Cersei herself will be killed before the birth? Many have predicted that Cersei will soon meet her demise and granted it’s not looking good for the Lannisters right now, but we’re unlikely to see her defeated, if at all, before the final season and with the pace of season 7 faster than a speeding bullet, nine months should fly by in no time. Watch this space.
6. Who did Rhaegar Targaryen marry?
Duh - Lyanna Stark, Jon’s mum! It’s soooooo obvious the only reason I’m including this question is because Sam didn't let Gilly finish actually saying the words. Doesn’t he know it’s rude to interrupt? If he’d held his tongue he’d be one step closer to knowing that Jon isn’t a bastard at all and actually has a pretty strong claim to the Iron Throne - especially if he meets up with Bran later on (more on that later). Anyway, for anyone who wasn’t paying attention, Gilly asked Sam what ‘annulled’ meant while studying one of the Maester’s books and revealed that there was a record of a Maester annulling the marriage of Rhaegar Targaryen and marrying him to someone else at the same time. It appears that Rhaegar was so in love with Lyanna that he cast aside his wife and mother to (most) of his children, Elia Martell of Dorne, legally as well as figuratively to marry the Stark woman. This would have made Jon a legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, after his older male siblings, had Robert’s Rebellion not overthrown House Targaryen. With most of them dead, Jon is technically now head of that house, even over his Aunt Daenerys who is the younger sister of Rhaegar. I told you Westeros didn’t like female leaders.
7. Where’s Sam, Gilly, and little Sam going?
After Sam’s little outburst he decides to pick up and leave the Citadel with Gilly and little Sam, stealing a book and claiming he’s tired of reading about greater men’s achievements. Fingers crossed the book he’s taken is the one full of all the useful information about Arya’s catspaw dagger and Jon’s parents and that Sam actually lets someone read it so we can find out what going on! So, where are they heading? Probably to Winterfell to help Jon fight the battle against the White Walkers. Although Sam is still a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch, it’s clear his priority is defeating the Night’s King and he knows Jon has the best chance of doing that. Oh, and isn’t Bran - the other character with lots of useful information - there? I suppose there’s a possibility he could head home to Horn Hill, but it would hardly tie in with his desire to achieve great things and would technically count as abandoning his Night’s Watch post. Equally, he could return to Castle Black, but he knows Gilly and Sam can’t stay there. Either way, at the rate season 7 is moving, a journey which took most of season 6 to make will probably be done by next week, so we’ll find out where they were heading in episode 6.
8. What’s Littlefinger up to?
I can safely say: no good. He’s always up to no good, but Petyr Baelish is particularly sneaky in this episode and I want to know why. After purposely revealing to Arya the letter Sansa was forced to send to Robb back in season 1, it appears Littlefinger is looking to drive a wedge between the Stark sisters. It’s easily done as the pair are already sniping at each other, but this letter will no doubt make things worse as it shows Sansa denouncing their father Ned and pledging loyalty to House Lannister. It won’t matter that Cersei forced her to write it, by implying that Sansa is the one trying to hide it, Littlefinger has ensured that Arya believes her older sister is looking to drum up support for her Queenship and overthrow Jon. It’s obvious that Littlefinger’s ultimate aim is to cut Sansa off from the rest of her family so she only has him to turn to. Boo, hiss!
9. Will Tormund ever see Brienne again?
I’m asking for a friend. Because he really misses her and wants to see if they can make it work. And also, I really want them to get together. I need at least one happy ending HBO! This episode sees Tormund pining for “the big woman” like no time had passed at all - absence makes the heart grow fonder - but will he ever see her again? She’s back at Winterfell at the moment and he’s heading north of the wall to help Jon catch a White Walker so it doesn’t look good, but maybe Jon will stop off at Winterfell on his way back down south to show Cersei that the dead rise? And maybe he’ll need big, strapping Tormund to help him wrestle the White Walker… and maybe Brienne will be impressed by his White Walker-wrestling skills… and maybe they’ll be talking one night about the best way to wrestle White Walkers and… sorry, where was I again?