By Joe Buckley
With as many characters and locations and plots as we have in Game of Thrones, and the fact the series is beginning its climb towards the final stage, it’s inevitable that characters have to come back into contact with each other after years and multiple seasons away.
We’ve already seen it in season 6 and the early parts of season 7. We wept when Sansa and Jon were reunited at Castle Black (and we’d never even seen them speak to each other before). We held our breath when Benjen saved Bran from the wights, and we grinned like madmen when Arya found her beloved Hot Pie once again. Normally, these reunions are spread out over the course of a season, with usually just one per episode. In episode 5 “Eastwatch”, we get a whole bunch within an hour, and they ain’t no tiny ones neither!
You can be forgiven for blinking and missing one or two. Just in case, here’s a reminder of every happy (or less so) meeting we saw this week!
Tyrion and Jaime are the only two members of their family who like each other, which makes it all the more cruel just how little time they’ve had together over the years. Since the pilot episode, they’ve really only had season 4, 8 episodes of which Tyrion was imprisoned for. Even though it meant going against Tywin and Cersei’s (and that should really say something) wishes, Jaime helped spring his little brother free the night before his execution, probably thinking they’d never see each other again.
The fact that it lead to his father’s death meant Jaime became incensed with Tyrion, promising to cut him in half if they ever met again. That promise, at least, went unfulfilled. At their meeting, Tyrion tries to use humour to bridge a sensitive subject with Jaime, as he always has in the past, but when that fails, he actually shows some intense vulnerability, admitting the terrible effect that Tywin had on him. It’s not enough to melt Jaime’s ice wall in the flesh, but Jaime does take Tyrion’s message to Cersei. After all this time, with all that’s happened, Tyrion still trusts in their brotherly bond.
The two remain on opposite sidelines, but a connection has been reopened. The two have always had a special relationship. We might even get to see it play out more. What’s much more likely is that, as he has time and again, Jaime will find himself caught between his two loving siblings.
This episode included its fair share of humour, which makes sense as it was directed by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia director Matt Shakman. Early on in Game of Thrones, much of the responsibility for providing laughs fell to the wonderful duo of Tyrion and Bronn. After fighting for Tyrion in the show’s first trial by combat all the way back in season 1, Bronn stayed on as his personal guard/killer/comedy partner. Whilst in King’s Landing, we were treated to many all-time one liners, and felt the pinch when Bronn admitted he couldn’t fight for Tyrion once again if the opponent was the Mountain.
Unfortunately for us, no witty banter came out in the two-second reunion we saw between them, the latter using the former as a way to contact Jaime. And this was after the fandom got their hopes up that Daenerys would capture Bronn and pair him with her Hand once more. Fingers crossed this is not the last time we see them together.
It’s strange to think that Jorah and Daenerys haven’t truly been together since the end of season 4. Aside from a quick glance or two in Daznak’s Pit, and Dany’s rescue from the Dothraki in season 6, the two have been separated by hidden secrets of spying, slavery, and disease. Jorah played such a part in Dany’s original growth, and he was so dedicated to her, it’s easy to see the effect the absence had on both of them (even if Daenerys didn’t admit it at first).
Still, all too soon. Jorah may have found his way back to his Dragon Queen, but in an attempt to make up for past wrongs and get back in her good books, he volunteered to go beyond the Wall and catch a wight, all to make his khaleesi happy. It must be said for Jorah – he swings for the fences. As the boat pushed out from the Dragonstone beach, he glanced back once more to see Daenerys staring after them. We all must wonder if Jorah even considered she might be staring at someone other than her Old Bear.
All in all, Tyrion and Jorah only had a few episodes together, and they weren’t exactly the best of friends. When a drunk and disgraced Jorah saw Tyrion walking through a Volantis brothel, he saw a way back into Daenerys’ good books, so he kidnapped the dwarf and took him east. No path ever ran smooth though, and the two found themselves nearly killed in slavery before being thrown into the fighting pits. The last time they saw each other was in the throne room of Meereen before Jorah rode out with Daario.
On the trip, the two reached a mutual respect, at least. Jorah did bother to save Tyrion after all, and Tyrion returned the favour. Tyrion giving him the gold coin that bought them both was a touching moment, and if Jorah ever returns, the two can look forward to serving their Queen together. If.
An anomaly in the set of reunions, these two have never been seen on screen together: Jorah and Thoros. Instead, this connection goes back many years, to Greyjoy’s original rebellion. When Robert and Ned’s forces swarmed over the defences of Pyke, it is said that Thoros of Myr was the first through the wall, and that Jorah Mormont was not far behind. It’s actually the battle Jorah was knighted for.
The two aren’t friendly, likely aren’t even close, but bonds do form in battle. Whether this is going to have any effect on their mission beyond the Wall remains to be seen.
Davos isn’t only a hell of a talker whenever in a jam, he’s also a father figure. Since his own son died, and his friend Princess Shireen was burnt alive, he hasn’t had anyone to take under his wing. That is, if we forget that Davos once risked being burnt alive himself by defying his king, setting young Gendry free before Melisandre could use him. The last they saw of each other was Davos telling Gendry to keep rowing.
As the Onion Knight and anyone with an internet connection quipped, we all thought he’d been just doing that for years. As it turns out, Gendry made it back to King’s Landing, which is where Davos decided to look for him. Gendry didn’t take much persuading to go North and help Jon, and while Davos hasn’t gone beyond the Wall himself, it’s hopefully a chance to see that side of Davos once more.
Not all reunions are happy ones. Davos would never have needed to rescue Gendry in the first place if Beric and Thoros hadn’t sold him to Melisandre shortly after allowing him to join the Brotherhood Without Banners. Gendry, an outlaw bastard, finally thought he’d found a real place in the world, before finding himself in chains within days. It’s unclear how much of Beric’s decision was due to the Red God and how much was financial, but it is clear Gendry has not forgiven or forgotten.
He may not be pleased, but Gendry is stuck with the pair in the lands beyond the Wall, and may have to put the old grudge aside if everyone is going to survive what they’re looking for.
Jon and Tormund: it’s not quite Tormund and Brienne, but it’s pretty good. Ever since Jon was busy being a mole within the wildling ranks, he and Tormund have got on. Ironically, the two became even closer after Jon lead the defence against Mance and assumed the title of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Their friendship peaked when both of them fought together in the Battle of the Bastards, with Tormund finally repaying Jon for allowing the wildlings beneath the Wall.
Tormund has been guarding Eastwatch for Jon, and is now heading back into his homeland once more, though it’s doubtful he wants to be there. The good news is we’ll likely all be treated to something infinitely enjoyable: Tormund and Jon, fighting side by side.
Davos might not be able to fight at Tormund’s shoulder, but the two did enjoy some pre-battle chit chat before the Battle of the Bastards, and seemed to enjoy each other’s company.
Unfortunately, their reunion was a short-lived one with Tormund heading north and Davos staying pat. The question remains then, if Davos will be there to welcome the seven (or how ever many survive) back at Eastwatch, or if something more urgent will call him away.
One of the smaller reunions of the show- okay, it’s the smallest, Jon’s never spoken to the Hound. Heck, he’s only seen him once, all the way back in the first episode when Robert Baratheon brought his royal procession to Winterfell. He’s even unaware of Sandor’s special connection to his favourite sister Arya (whom he dodged a reunion with by floating on up to Eastwatch).
As packed as “Eastwatch” was with reunions, what’s spectacular is there’s still plenty that might come sooner than we think. The Starks are massing at Winterfell, Sam’s left Oldtown, somebody at some point has to talk to Ghost. We’ve two mammoth episodes remaining in season 7 before season 8 hypothetically brings every character together at once. Enjoy, and rejoice!
Joe Buckley is a British writer who was a show-watcher first, and was even late to that game. Thankfully all caught-up now (and then some), Joe writes on Game of Thrones, the NBA and is trying his hand at sci-fi writing. Contrary to news reports, he is not a real knight (so far). You can find him on Twitter at @serbuckley.