We gave it an A-
After last week’s massive dragon battle, Game of Thrones let us catch our breath with “Eastwatch” as some major players plotted their next moves, Jon had a revealing moment with Drogon, Littlefinger launched a dangerous scheme, Gendry finally quit rowing, and the character deck was shuffled yet again to deal us a very cool new Westeros Avengers ensemble combining several fan favorites. Let’s begin with:
The Reach: Jaime is alive! Bronn hauls him out. He saved his life yet again. They both react to this like you’d expect: Jaime is consumed by the crushing defeat of his army, while Bronn is focused on the loss of his gold.
Still, Jaime could sound a bit more grateful. Jaime tends to treat Bronn the same way he treats anybody else not of noble birth: as less-than. It’s not personal; it’s just how he’s been raised to view the world. Bronn, bless him, doesn’t care about titles and treats everybody the same. Not well, mind you, but the same. Their conflicting attitudes about their position in life is part of what makes their relationship fun to watch.
Nearby: Dany gives the remaining Lannister army one of her hearts-and-minds campaign stump speeches. It doesn’t go over quite as well as usual. “I know what Cersei has told you…” she says, and you know they’re thinking: Yeah, she told us you’d roast everybody and that’s exactly what you did. This like a presidential candidate trying win Ohio after nuking the population of Cleveland. So Dany throws in a bonus motivator: “Bend the knee or DIE.”
Some do. But not the Tarlys! They don’t want to back some foreign queen and break their vow to Cersei. Or, at least, papa Randyll doesn’t want to. His son Dickon looks like he’d happily take a job as Drogon’s poop janitor if it got him out of this mess, but ultimately he decides to stand with dad.
Tyrion objects to Dany’s harsh ultimatum. Why not just take prisoners? Dany points out she can’t go to Westeros saying, “You get a cell! You get a cell!” like some Targaryen Oprah.
The Tarlys still won’t back down, and Drogon burns them. The remaining Lannister holdouts drop to their knees. Dany’s quite satisfied. That’s more like it! Now if only Jon would do that…
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Dragonstone: Jon greets a returning Dany, who’s all flushed from her battlefield victory. Jon’s odds, I reckon, have never been higher.
She lands Drogon on the cliff. I wonder if, after a battle, is Drogon still hot, like a car engine after a long drive. But this is where things get really interesting. Jon is freaked out by Drogon, but not quite as scared as everybody else usually is. The dragon effects here — that snout, those eyes, those teeth — are incredible.
Suddenly Drogon examines Jon closer, almost sniffing him.
Dany is like: What.
Then Jon reaches out and pets her killer dragon.
Dany is like: What?!
We get a rad close-up of Drogon’s eye really taking in Jon Snow. The dragon is apparently the only character in this scene who knows what’s what.
Dany is shocked and impressed. It’s always cool when your aggressive antisocial pet approves of your date. But it’s so strange Drogon would react this way to some young illegitimate Stark kid…
At this point, I half expect Drogon to turn to Daenerys, clear his throat for the first time, and blurt out: “Hey, you know he’s a Targaryen, right?” Next: Ser Jorah returns to the friend zone