game of thrones eastwatch recap

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7 huge details hidden in last night’s ‘Game of Thrones’

There's a lot to unpack.


Sarah Weber


Posted on Aug 14, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:37 pm CDT

Warning: This story contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones season 7 episode “Eastwatch.”

Game of Thrones barely gave us time to recover from last week’s dragon battle before diving into another jam-packed episode on Sunday night. We knew the fiery encounter between Daenerys Targaryen and the Lannister loot train would have consequences—and we’re already seeing them unfold.

Here’s a closer look at seven details you may have missed among all the excitement.

1) Randyll Tarly got the son he always wanted

You likely remember back in season 1, Samwell Tarly arrived as a new recruit for the Night’s Watch because his military-minded father, Randyll Tarly, loathed Sam’s bookworm tendencies and lack of fighting skills. After failing to reshape Sam in his image, Randyll forced him to renounce his claim to Horn Hill so Randyll’s second son, Dickon, could be the heir instead. On Sunday night’s episode, Randyll predictably decided that his honor was more important than his life, refusing to bend the knee to Daenerys, who he saw as a foreign invader backed by barbarians. Though he chose to die, he agreed with Tyrion Lannister that Dickon should bend the knee and carry on his family’s name and title. Except, ironically, Dickon was such a good student of his father that he too refused to submit. Randyll Tarly got the son he wanted—and now they’re both dead.

2) Sam was influenced by his father, too

Back at the Citadel in Oldtown, Sam’s frustration over the maester’s refusal to acknowledge the threat in the north has consumed him. He vented to Gilly (missing a very key piece of information), and in doing so, he echoes his father’s words. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men,” Sam tells Gilly. You’ll recall back in season 6, Randyll cruelly lashed out at Sam, saying, “I thought the Night’s Watch might make a man of you. Something resembling a man at least. You’ve managed to stay soft and fat, your nose buried in books, spending your life reading about the achievements of better men. I’d wager you still can’t sit a horse or wield a sword.” Of course, Randyll and Dickon are now dead, and Sam likely still has a major role to play in this story.

3) Sam missed a huge clue about Jon’s parents

One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of Game of Thrones on Sunday night was an understated line read by Gilly from High Septon Maynard’s journal. “Maynard says here that he issued an annulment for a Prince ‘Ragger’ and married him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne,” Gilly reads. Sam, lost in his own thoughts, ignores the revelation, but fans quickly realized that “Ragger” was likely “Rhaegar,” making Jon the legitimate product of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen‘s marriage. Nobody on the show realizes it yet, but the revelation could have huge consequences.


4) Jon gets Dragon cuddles—and we know why

As if Gilly’s revelation weren’t enough, the show gave us another not-so-subtle hint about Jon’s true parentage as Dany returns from battle. She lands Drogon next to Jon, giving Jon a full view of the gigantic and intimidating dragon. But instead of acting aggressively toward Jon, Drogon leans in and lets Jon pet his scaly face. Dany, who is typically the only person who can safely get close to her “children,” is clearly taken aback. It’s a clue for her that there’s more to Jon than meets the eye—and a hint to the audience that the dragon can sense Jon’s Targaryen blood.

5) Gendry is back—and his meeting with Jon echoes an encounter between their fathers

After Davos helped Gendry escape becoming Melisandre’s royal blood sacrifice to the Lord of Light back in season 3, the young bastard of Robert Baratheon is back. It seems he’s had his fill of blacksmithing in King’s Landing, and he’s eager to start swinging his warhammer just like his dad. (It’s even decorated with the stag of House Baratheon.) It’s clear Gendry feels some kinship with Jon—both believe themselves to be the bastard sons of two great lords who were friends. (At this point, Jon doesn’t know Eddard Stark was just a surrogate father to him.) Their meeting even echoes how we’re first introduced to Robert and Ned. Back in episode 1 of the series, King Robert Baratheon arrives at Winterfell to ask his old friend to be Hand of the King. Robert looks at Ned and says, “You got fat,” while Ned eyes Robert’s generous girth. Similarly, Jon greets Gendry by remarking that Gendry looks leaner than Robert. Genry fires back that Jon looks shorter than Ned. Nothing says friendship like trading insults.

6) Littlefinger sets a trap 

Petyr Baelish may be a master manipulator, but he’s having a tough time taming the remaining Stark children these days. Sansa is leery at best, assuming that Littlefinger is always scheming (and he is), while Jon, Bran, and Arya made it clear they don’t like or trust him. So Littlefinger decided to resort to a different kind of manipulation, planting a letter Cersei forced Sansa to write that called Ned a traitor and asked then-King of the North Robb Stark to bend the knee to Joffrey Baratheon. Robb and their mother, Catelyn Stark, saw right through Cersei’s ruse at the time, but all these years later, Arya might read Sansa’s words as if they were really her own. If Littlefinger can’t bend the Stark children with clever words, maybe he can sew enough discord to stay relevant.

7) Unlikely companions meet in the north

By the end of the episode, the game plan is for Jon and a party of men to capture a wight or White Walker as proof to offer Cersei and Daenerys about the coming threat. If Westeros is to survive the winter, Jon knows the living must put aside their personal squabbles and unite, but his first challenge might be the men he needs most right now. Some of his small band have met before—and they’re not all friends. Back in season 3, Jorah Mormont is exchanging war stories with Ser Barristan Selmy when he mentions that he fought alongside the “crazy bastard” Thoros of Myr during the Greyjoy Rebellion.

We also know that Gendry has his own baggage with the Brotherhood Without Banners, which almost got him killed when it handed him over to Melisandre. Tormund Giantsbane hears the name Mormont and immediately reacts. Jorah’s father, Jeor Mormont, late Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, was considered a notorious killer among the wildlings—though clearly the wildlings returned the favor. Jon quickly decides that anyone still living should be on the same side, but how well he can keep this band together might reflect his chances of uniting the Seven Kingdoms against the only enemy that matters.

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*First Published: Aug 14, 2017, 1:55 pm CDT