Synopsis: Bronn and Jaime come up for air a fair distance away from the battle. At least they didn’t let us linger on the idea that Jaime was ever in danger. Bronn chastises Jaime for putting himself in danger. Jaime notes that they only saw one dragon. What sort of damage can she do with two more? Tyrion surveys the damage of the battlegrounds, mostly covered in ash. The remaining soldiers are brought in front of Daenerys (and Drogon). She says she is not there to murder them. She is not Cersei. She says she will spare them if they bend the knee. Some do, but others wait until Drogon gets testy. The Tarlys still remain standing and Tyrion questions their allegiance to Cersei. Tyrion tries to dissuade Dany from killing Randyll outright, but she refuses, leaving Drogon to burn them where they stand. The remaining men kneel. Disheveled, Jaime returns to King’s Landing to update Cersei. She asks the damage report, but Jaime says they haven’t even finished counting. Jaime says this isn’t a war they can win. He also tells Cersei that it was Olenna who killed Joffrey. Cersei is upset that Olenna’s death wasn’t brutal enough. Daenerys and Drogon return to Dragonstone where Jon Snow is waiting for them. Jon marvels at seeing the dragon up close, even getting close enough to touch him (he is a Targaryen after all even if he doesn’t know in, but hey, didn’t Tyrion also touch one of her dragons?). Dany updates him on the battle, and they talk about the brutality of war. They are disrupted by the Dothraki who present Daenerys with a returning Jorah Mormont. Jon tells Jorah he knew his father. Dany welcomes Jorah back with open arms, ecstatic that he found a cure.
Bran wargs into a raven as it tracks the army of the dead ambling closer to the wall. The Night King turns and looks at the raven, ending Bran’s spying. Bran tells the maester they have to send some ravens out. At the citadel, the Archmaester is reading the word from Bran to the other maesters. They are in disbelief, but an eavesdropping Sam tells them it’s true. Sam begs them to send word to everyone to get men to join the battle in the North and to have everyone looking into the old books to find a solution to their dead army problem, but the maesters remain cautious. Tyrion and Varys discuss Dany’s decision to end the Tarly line. Tyrion defends her, but Varys sees similarities to his service of her father. Varys has the scroll for Jon Snow. Jon is excited to learn that Bran and Arya are alive, but says that he needs to get back home to prepare for the battle. Daenerys doesn’t want to join him and leave her position vulnerable to Cersei. Tyrion has a plan, show Cersei the threat is real. Davos will sneak him into King’s Landing where he might be able to convince Jaime to convince Cersei to meet with them. Jorah offers to head North with Jon to get one of the dead to show Cersei. Sansa meets with the lords of the houses, and they express displeasure that Jon has left them. After, Arya and Sansa regroup. It’s now tense. Sansa needs to practice diplomacy, but Arya is all about violence. Arya says that Sansa really wants to be in charge, she’s always coveted the role of being a leader. Davos and Tyrion beach at King’s Landing, and the separate each with a mission. Bronn brings Jaime to Tyrion in the dungeon. The brothers also have a tense reunion. Tyrion praises Jaime for outwitting him at Casterly Rock, and defends himself for killing Tywin. Jaime just wants to know what he wants. Tyrion explains things have gotten a little complicated. In town, Davos finds Gendry. He invites him to join him and Gendry is right by his side, with his newly forged hammer. Back at the beach, Davos and Gendry are found by some guards, but he’s able to pay them off. Unfortunately, when Tyrion returns things get dicey, but Gendry hammers them off.
Jaime visits Cersei to tell her about his meeting with Tyrion and Dany’s request to meet with Cersei. Cersei agrees to meet because it might put them in a better position in the war they are losing. Cersei also tells Jaime that he put a baby in her, and the siblings embrace. Still, Cersei warns Jaime against ever betraying her. Davos introduces Gendry to Jon Snow back at Dragonstone, and he tells him his true identity and offers his service. Tyrion wishes Jorah well, giving him the coin that the slavers gave him when they bought him from Jorah back in season 5. Daenerys also says goodbye to Jorah and Jon Snow as they row off. Sam and Gilly are reading old books from dead maesters. Gilly reads about Prince Rhaegar getting an annulment, which doesn’t register with Sam, but since he’s frustrated with the whole thing, he breaks into the library, steals all the old books he can carry, and makes off with Gilly in the middle of the night. Samwell’s gotta Samwell. Arya spies on Baelish which leads her to finding a note in his room. It’s the one that Sansa wrote to Robb (under threat from Cersei) asking him to pledge loyalty to Joffrey. As she leaves him room, Baelish smiles from the shadows. Jon, Davos, Gendry and their crew arrive in Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, where Tormund is in charge. He tells the Wildling of their mission, and he brings him to the cells where they see a few other men who plan to go beyond the wall: it’s the Hound and the Brotherhood with Banners. They all agree to go together. They suit up and begin their march.
Comments: Dany does seem to be getting a little power hungry. Both her and Cersei lacked their usual nuance in their ideas of ruling. Cersei is operating without her safety net, that of her children, but Dany doesn’t quite seem like herself. Maybe this is laying the seeds of some Targaryen madness, or maybe it’s just to force a little tension between her and Tyrion and her and Jon. Either way, this Daenerys doesn’t seem like someone who will just step aside when she learns that she’s not, in fact, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. I’ll touch more on this in the next episode but the plot between Arya and Sansa begins here. While the tensions between them right now are natural, stemming from their different roles and the differing perspectives they’ve developed over the years, but once Littlefinger’s machinations kick in, it veers into a wrong place. Travel time has certainly been condensed as Davos journeys from Dragonstone to King’s Landing, back to Dragonstone, and up to Eastwatch in the span of an episode, something that would’ve taken at least a season before. I’m partially grateful, as the travel time could drag things out, but I’m partially whiplashed by how fast everything is. Cersei tells Jaime she’s preggers, but is anyone else out there not buying that. She’s a decent manipulator and she’s likely sensing Jaime is growing weary of her. What better way to make sure he’s still on her side? Definitely a thread to which I’m interested in seeing the resolution. In the rewatch, I’ve come to appreciate a lot of characters that I may not have before. I think the one I was most surprised has grown into a favorite is Davos. He’s been a supportive player for Stannis and Jon, but he’s also pure comedy, as this episode highlights.
Bronn: Dragons are where our partnership ends.
Tyrion: Did you read it?
Varys: It’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North.
Tyrion: What’s it say?
Varys: Nothing good.
Davos (to Gendry): Thought you might still be rowing.
Davos: Nothing fucks you harder than time.
Davos: Nobody mind me. All I’ve ever done is live to a ripe old age.
Samwell: I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.
Title: Eastwatch-by-the Sea is the eastern most outpost of the Wall, where Tormund is in charge, and where the army of the dead is nearing.
Deaths: Dickon and Randyll get burned by Drogon and Dany. Gendry pounds out a couple gold cloaks.