16th Aug2017

‘Game of Thrones 7×05: Eastwatch’ Review

by Steven Riley

SPOILERS: This review contains key plot points from episode five of season seven, Eastwatch. If you haven’t yet seen the episode then watch it before you read this recap.

game-of-thrones-season-7-episode-5

After last week’s incredibly and fiery finale, it was good we had an episode to catch our breath. While The Spoils of War gave us Daenarys riding Dragon into battle and roasting a whole army in a manner and with a scope quite unlike anything we’ve seen on the show before, this week’s episode felt a little bit more like chartered territory.

Instead of grand declarations of war, armies marching upon castles or battles at sea, episode five was more about verbal jousting as well as some tender reunions and arguably would have felt at at home in season one as the latest series.

Littlefinger’s scheming, Arya’s skulking in the shadows and Tyrion…well Tyrion drinking more than anything made the show a more familiar feel as the show runners began to reset some of the pieces we’ve seen knocked around Westeros in such an entertaining manner so far.

As well as that we saw some long awaited reunions; Jorah returning to his queen after ridding himself of his gruesome, rocky malady and Davos “popping to flea bottom” to enlist the help of Gendry (with a humorous aside to his little rowing trip) were surefire favourite moments for fans. On a personal note however, the most waited meeting has to be between the Lannister brothers after Tyrion’s patricide in a superbly-acted scene of boiling tensions I wish could have lasted longer.

While the show had more of a few hints and winks to earlier seasons (remember that note from Sansa?), that’s not to say at all that it didn’t progress the plot – quite the opposite in fact.

Unlike some of the earlier episodes in season seven which have had the odd bit of clumsy exposition or hasty set ups to quickly move the story along, every scene felt like it had weight in the grand scheme of the story. Whether it’s the scene in which Drogon warmed to Jon (an unspoken way of reinforcing the King In The North’s Targaryen lineage), Gilly clumsily reading out Rhaegar’s marital history (a less unspoken way of reinforcing the King In The North’s Targaryen lineage), Arya calling out Sansa’s intentions in her position of power or Cersei telling Jaime how she intended to cement hers, it felt as if we were getting hints dropped left, right and centre for how the characters’ stories would play out later on.

Indeed, in a series that had so far relied mainly on CGI and awe-inspiring set pieces to impress so far, it was refreshing to see an episode carried by duologues rather than dragons; Arya and Sansa, Varys and Tyrion, Davos and Gendry, Jon and Gendry, there were too many to name. The script was a marked improvement on earlier efforts and really helped set up what should be an action packed last couple of episodes.

And for those who missed the sword-swinging, cinematic violence we’ve seen so far? Have no worries, there will be plenty of that as Jon assembled a crack team with Tormund, Jorah, Gendry and the Brotherhood Without Banners preparing an Expendable style attack on the White Walkers in the hope if bringing back some of the wight stuff to show Cersei what’s what. Who know’s, maybe even Jon’s uncle will turn up beyond the wall for a little Benjeance.

Whatever happens, we won’t be able to catch our breath for a while.

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