The Westeros Avengers are assembling
Fleabottom: It’s Gendry! After three seasons away, the bastard blacksmith has put down his oars and is ready to kick ass. Davos notes, “Nothing f—s you harder than time,” which is a neat line, but the years haven’t been bad to Gendry at all. Davos doesn’t need to ask him twice to join their team; he’s down for an adventure. Though even Ser Davos is making “still rowing” jokes (which might be the first time a Game of Thrones actor’s tweet has made it into a script — actor Joe Dempsie tweeted that at the end of season 4).
This was all followed by a scene on a beach where, for a moment, we really believed a conflict with guards on Game of Thrones was going to end in mere bribery instead of their brains getting bashed in, and then it didn’t.
Dragonstone: Gendry arrives. Davos told him to conceal his identity as King Robert’s bastard when meeting Jon. This surprised me because Davos lying to Jon Snow seems like an out-of-character thing for him to do. But the deception sets up a fun exchange when Gendry just blurts out he’s King Robert’s son. Jon and Gendry’s parents were friends. Maybe they can be friends too? Aww. Last season we had Battle of the Bastards. Now can we have Bromance of the Bastards?
Jon gently jokes about Gendry’s father’s weight, and Gendry shoots back a crack at the King in the North’s height, which rather hilariously doesn’t amuse him one bit. Hey, Jon Snow, don’t feel bad; your hair adds at least three inches.
The Citadel: The maesters read Bran’s letter, note the Three Eyed Raven’s claims are “a bit much,” and mock his warning as “magic birds talking to cripples.” It’s always fun on Game of Thrones when characters from one story line began ripping another story line as unrealistic; these guys are like the bloggers of Westeros. Sam tries to convince them to take the Night King seriously, but they’d rather not.
Later, Sam’s trying to study, and Gilly is reciting what sounds like the dullest list of facts in the world. This seems like time for a bathroom break, but the show’s writers have decided to slip in a huge revelation: A High Septon once issued an annulment for Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and married him to somebody else. In secret. In Dorne! The scene didn’t connect every single dot for us, but it doesn’t take much to assume this means Rhaegar married Lyanna Stark — and didn’t just knock her up out of wedlock. Which means Jon Snow is not only a Targaryen, but also a legitimate heir. Arguably he’s the most legitimate heir…assuming Rhaegar is really his father, which hasn’t been explicitly said in the show but is the logical assumption from everything we’ve seen. Also, Jon Snow wouldn’t be a bastard at all. Somewhere in the afterlife, Ser Alliser Thorne is really annoyed.
Basically: Jon, Daenerys, and Gendry all have Iron Throne claims and now they’re all hanging out together (Gendry has one if you consider Robert’s Rebellion legal).
Sam packs up some scrolls and decides to ditch the Citadel and go someplace he can be more useful. He probably thinks he’s learned all he can. He actually knows more than he realizes and would know even more than that if he didn’t interrupt Gilly.
Winterfell: Sansa is listening to the lords complain about Jon Snow being absent. “He is doing what he thinks is best,” she says, which, as Arya rightly points out, is a pretty weak show of support. With Arya sniping at her, now Sansa knows how Jon felt when she was criticizing everything he said in the Great Hall — it’s not as easy as it looks, right?
Creepy Arya accuses Sansa of liking pretty things and wanting more power, then stalks Littlefinger as he obtains a letter from the Winterfell archives. Arya steals the letter, and we see Littlefinger smirking in the shadows. It appears that he wanted her to find it.
From freeze-framing the video, the letter appears to be the one that Sansa was forced by Cersei to write back in season 1 when she was held captive. The letter informed Robb Stark that Ned was a traitor and urged him to swear fealty to Joffrey. Robb Stark and Maester Luwin saw right through it — so her words didn’t change their fate. But Arya and Sansa don’t know that. (By and by, in that season 1 scene, Maester Pycelle, as part of Cersei’s little performance in front of naive Sansa, said: “She’s a sweet thing, your grace, but in 10 years, who knows what treason she may hatch?” — a then-ridiculous comment that seems downright prophetic now given where the Starks stand in rebellion to Cersei). Next: The Dissonant Seven