It was hard to miss all the important information we learned in Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5, "Eastwatch": Daenerys is acting eerily close to her mad king father, Tyrion and Jaime met face to face, Gendry has finally stopped rowing, Jorah is back in Khaleesi's good graces and Jon Snow touched a freakin' dragon. With so many important plot points unfolding with all the subtlety of wildfire, you'd think there might not be anything left to discover. Nevertheless, we've persevered and unearthed some fascinating Easter Eggs, references and things you might have missed and set them out for you below. Enjoy!
If you haven't caught up on the things you might have missed from last week's episode, "The Spoils of War," you can read about it here or watch the video below.
1. Eastwatch Has Joined The Credits
For the first time in seven seasons, we got our first close look at Eastwatch, one of the three functioning castles remaining to the Night's Watch. This is where Tormund and the Wildlings have set up camp, and where they were keeping the Brotherhood Without Banners imprisoned. It'll also be the home base for the mission North of the Wall to go capture a wight. Hopefully we'll get to see our very own suicide squad return safely back there in the next episode!
2. Sansa's Message To Littlefinger
Sansa's clothing has long contained subtle and not-so-subtle messages about where her allegiances truly lie, and this episode was no different. On the behind-the-scenes HBO website, costume designer Michele Clapton revealed that Sansa's wide leather belt is so much more than just a simple accessory. It's a direct message to the oh-so-clever Lord Baelish:
"This is her taking back control of her body. I designed it to wrap around over her side-laced dress to represent the absolute removal of any possible physical touch. Her dresses are also tightly-laced on, incredibly difficult to remove; it’s a message to Littlefinger."
3. Cersei's Prophecy-Defying Pregnancy
We've all heard the prophecy that Maggy the Frog made to Cersei in her childhood. When Cersei asks if she and the king would have children, Maggy replies:
"Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds."
Maggy's not referring to the children that they would have with each other, since (unless you believe a certain wild theory) Robert and Cersei would never actually share a child. Instead, Maggy is referring to the three babies that Cersei has with Jaime: Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. That's it. Three. Finito. No less, no more. Cersei may be pregnant again, which is giving Jaime a much-needed infusion of faith in his and his sister-lover's cause. But if the prophecy is to be believed, she'll never bring another child into the world again.
4. Ghost Is Waiting Patiently For His Master At Winterfell
Fans of Jon Snow and his lovable direwolf companion, Ghost, often find themselves wondering, "where the hell is that diredoggo anyway?" We asked ourselves at the Battle of the Bastards, and we've been asking since Jon Snow set foot on Dragonstone back in Season 7, Episode 2. Now, Sansa's finally given us an answer. As she's explaining to Arya about what it's like to deal with the opinionated Northern lords, she tells her little sister that these proud men won't sit and wait patiently for Jon like Ghost. Thus, we can conclude that Ghost is safely running around the woods of Winterfell, keeping the CGI budget costs down and waiting for Jon to come home.
5. Jenny Of Oldstones, Lodos, And The Maester Conspiracy
As the maesters sit, choosing to ignore Bran and Sam's very real warnings about the Night King and the army of the dead, one of the maesters mentions Jenny of Oldstones. This character is a popular one among storytellers and songwriters. She was a common woman, one the of the smallfolk, who claimed to be descended from the Children of the Forest (it's this claim that the maesters find so laughable). Prince Duncan, the son and heir of King Aegon IV fell so madly in love with Jenny that he abdicated his throne in order to be with her. Jenny of Oldstones was also friends with the same woods witch who prophesized that the Prince Who Was Promised would be descended from the line of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen (the niece and nephew of Duncan Targaryen, and the parents of Daenerys Stormborn, and the grandparents of Jon Snow).
The maesters also laugh at the memory of the supposed prophet Lodos, a king of the Iron Islands who was believed to be descended from the Drowned God. During the conquest of Aegon the Conquerer, he called on great krakens to appear and destroy Aegon's fleet. When the krakens didn't appear, Lodos and thousands of his followers filled their robes with rocks and walked into the sea, hoping to rejoin the Drowned God. Lodos's followers were found dead, washed up on shore, but Lodos himself was never found. Some decades later, another man on the Iron Islands claimed to be Lodos reborn.
The maesters' skepticism of any and all forms of magic seems to be a nod toward a popular book theory known as the Maester Conspiracy. In short, this theory suggests that it was the maesters — the most learned, respected men in the Seven Kingdoms — that purposefully tried to eradicate all magic from the world. Some suggest that it was the maesters that poisoned the last of the dragons and suppressed wargs and skinchangers from learning about their powers. The show hasn't had time to delve too much into this idea yet, and with Sam having hot-footed it out of the Citadel, it doesn't seem like they'll ever get the chance to go back to it. Still, it's a nice hint at the larger world of A Song of Ice and Fire.
6. Bastard Buddies
Gendry says he might not be a warrior, but he is a fighter (those seem like synonyms to me, but whatever). He wasted no time in picking up his hammer and swinging it around, calling to mind the fabled stories of his father Robert Baratheon wielding his war hammer in Robert's Rebellion. While Gendry and Jon were quick to comment on their similarities as the bastard sons of former BFFs Robert and Ned, the truth, of course, is that Jon isn't Ned's son at all. He's the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, whom Robert Baratheon killed at the Battle of the Trident using a war hammer freakishly similar to the one Gendry has now. While the show seems to be setting up a fast friendship between these two, is it possible that their relationship will wind up more closely mirroring that of their real fathers?
7. The Line Of Succession
OK, you'd have to have been blinder than Aemon Targaryen to miss Gilly name drop Prince "Ragger" and his annulment and remarriage, which is 100% a reference to Rhaegar Targaryen annulling his marriage to Elia Martell and marrying Lyanna Stark, thus meaning that Jon Snow is a bastard no more but a legitimate Targaryen son! As the son of the crowned prince of the Seven Kingdoms, this makes his claim to the Iron Throne more valid than his aunt Daenerys's. Jon has no interest in the Iron Throne, but if something happens to Daenerys, could he be persuaded to take it anyway?
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video for next week's episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6, which airs next Sunday on HBO.
(Image Source for Jenny of Oldstones: I-Am-A-Lady-Damn-It via DeviantArt)