Put down those oars and rest those tired muscles, because Gendry Storm is officially back on Game of Thrones. Completing his training for the 2017 Westeros Olympics rowing team, the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon returned in Season 7's "Eastwatch." However, with the Baratheon line seemingly extinct, how does having a stake back in the race effect HBO's chaotic chronicle moving forward?
Guess Who's Back, Back Again?
Being honest, no one every really bought the idea that Gendry had just rowed to freedom away from the clutches of red woman and incestuous Lannisters, but jeez, talk about playing the waiting game. Some four seasons after Gendry bobbed off in his boat, he returned to join Jon Snow's "Magnificent Seven" and headed beyond the Wall.
While Gendry will hopefully be sticking around for a little longer, Thrones writer Dave Hill spoke to EW to reveal the story behind Gendry's long-awaited return and how it was originally supposed to come a little earlier in the game:
“We’ve always expected to bring Gendry back since we saw him rowing out. We almost brought him back in season 6 and it didn’t quite work out. We definitely wanted him here for the big mission, and we wanted Robert Baratheon’s bastard son back into the show. It made sense that Davos would want to save this boy who’s like a surrogate son. And Joe is great — which is a big positive.”
Alongside Gendry's reappearance, Thrones became even more meta than usual as even Liam Cunningham's Ser Davos joked that he assumed Gendry was still out there rowing. Davos wasn't the only one cracking out the jokes, but actor #JoeDempsie said it has been a struggle to keep his return under wraps:
“What’s happening with Gendry?” became part of my daily life, answering the question. And I could say with clear conscious that I had no idea. It’s been a meme-a-week, but I’m partly responsible for that by tweeting “still rowing” at the end of season 4. They even worked a reference into the show of that… There are some real crowd-pleasing moments this season."
The whole Gendry situation became a running joke of the show, prompting Finding Nemo-inspired artwork and some to question whether the boy from Flea Bottom would ever return. However, Gendry's homecoming was brilliantly planned to coincide with that trip to bag a wights or possibly craft some much-needed dragonglass weaponry. Thankfully, Dempsie assures us that he was always set to come back and that we can (presumably) expect big things from our hammer-wielding welder:
"I feel like there’s stuff to explore. Gendry’s position in this war has to have some kind of constitutional value. What part he plays in the politics has still to be seen, if anything. For the moment, I’m pleased to be back involved and be one of these Avengers."
As for throwing Cersei off her chair AND beating Queen Daenerys in that big race to King's Landing, don't expect Gendry to be in any rush to build his own Ikea Iron Throne:
"If he survives [the North of the Wall mission]… I would assume … I know he’s illegitimate, the last known son of the Baratheon blood line. I don’t know. He doesn’t seem like the kind of character who would make a play for power. But then maybe it could be something foisted upon him reluctantly…"
Admittedly, the whole premise that Gendry simply rowed back to his little blacksmith dreams in King's Landing did seem a little loose, but we can let it slide that Benioff and Weiss aren't leaving us with just another question mark next to a character. That being said, when the newly promoted Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is looking for your Baratheon bastard ass, perhaps hiding out under her nose isn't the best decision ever made in the Seven Kingdoms — and boy have there been some stupid ones made.
All that there is left to say is "welcome back, Joe." Here's hoping that his time among Jon Snow and his "Snow Men" won't see him rowing to an early grave in the upcoming cold snap as Season 7 of Game of Thrones comes to a close.
Check out the trailer for Episode 6 of Season 7 and don't forget our poll below:
Are you glad that Gendry is back?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)