ByPri Figueiredo, writer at
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Pri Figueiredo

With only two episodes to end its seventh season, Game of Thrones has begun tying up loose ends and working its way to giving every major character a full arc. After four seasons of rowing a boat and making armor for the Lannisters, the fan-favorite Gendry is finally back at play. In the latest episode, "Eastwatch," Jon Snow's legitimacy was confirmed, so could it be possible that Gendry will wind up not being a bastard as well?

Game of Thrones introduced Gendry in Season 1 as a blacksmith from Flea Bottom, who just happened to be one of Robert Baratheon's 20 bastard children. But a theory about Gendry's true parentage — and his legitimacy — has been gathering a lot of followers lately, and "Eastwatch" may have just helped to confirm it.

The Theory

In Game of Thrones's first season, Cersei paid a visit to Catelyn Stark, as the latter was keeping vigil over her son Brandon (who Jaime had just pushed down a window). In an rare moment of honesty and open-heartedness, Cersei shared with Cat a story about the King's first-born son, "a black-haired beauty," who died not long after birth. Although Cersei giving birth to four children — or maybe five, since she's currently carrying Jaime's child — goes against the more accepted Valonqar theory, many still believe that Gendry could be the baby Cersei and Robert apparently lost.

For one reason or another, someone loyal to King Robert — or to Cersei — could have secluded the baby to keep him safe, and perhaps that's even the reason the Baratheon stag remains atop King's Landing in the opening credits. If Gendry turns out to be Robert and Cersei's son, he would be the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, which would certainly shake the balance of power in Game of Thrones (much like Jon's legitimacy reveal has done in the latest episode).

The Hints

Game of Thrones is famous for the constant use of and callbacks meant to drive fans crazy as they hunt for clues in every piece of dialogue, furniture or wardrobe. However, another fascinating characteristic of the show is the clever use of editing as a visual aid to help tell the story within the story, so to speak. Game of Thrones' subtexting can be extremely vexing at times, but in this week's episode it certainly served the purpose of linking characters who, in other circumstances, had no connection at all.

The three scenes connecting Gendry and Cersei [Credit: HBO]
The three scenes connecting Gendry and Cersei [Credit: HBO]

In "Eastwatch," Cersei and Jaime shared a private moment in the Red Keep, when she told him she was carrying his child. It's interesting to notice that this scene was right in the middle of a couple of Gendry scenes, which could signal that either what happens to Gendry will affect Cersei and Jaime, or that is connected to the Lannister siblings in some way. During the first Gendry scene, when he was on the beach with Tyrion and Davos, the Onion Knight did pretty much all the talking. However, it was Gendry who — using a warhammer, just like Robert Baratheon — killed two Gold Cloaks. Keep in mind that the Cloaks are members of the City Watch, whose allegiance currently lies with Queen Cersei.

Speaking of the Queen, in the next scene she told Jaime they should do whatever it takes to win, because of the child she carries. As far as he knows, he fathered all of Cersei's other children, so it's interesting that Jaime's first question to Cersei was "who would you say is the father." Of course, Jaime might just be playing the part of the jealous lover, considering Cersei's promise to marry Euron once the war is won; but the editing cuts from this scene directly to Gendry talking about his father, King Robert.

The bastard reference couldn't be heavier in the following scene with Jon Snow and Gendry reminiscing about their fathers. Jon — Game of Thrones most famous bastard — talked about the time he met King Robert in Winterfell, and Gendry retold his meeting of in his shop. So far, Gendry had featured in the show simply as King Robert's bastard who got away from Joffrey's bastard cleansing; now, he's put toe-to-toe with another so-called bastard who just got his legitimacy confirmed (although Jon still knows nothing).

It will certainly be a long while until himself gets word of his true parents and their secret union in Dorne. So, it's fair to assume that if Gendry ever finds out anything about his lineage (especially about his mother), he'll only do so in the very last episodes of the whole series. Perhaps Gendry's importance will be to forge the dragonglass weapons for Jon to fight the Night King's army, or he'll end up being the one man able to bend Arya into becoming a lady in a castle. Though, the fact that he might be the one true heir who outlives every other contender for the Iron Throne must not go amiss. It'd be a nice full-circle to have Game of Thrones open with a Baratheon king visiting his Stark friend in Winterfell, and finish with a new Baratheon king visiting his new Targaryen friend in the North.


Is Gendry a Baratheon bastard, or Cersei and Robert's only legitimate child?


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