We're at the home stretch and it's great to see a concrete plotline forming for the end of the seventh season.
"Eastwatch" wasn't as action-packed as the last episode, but it did provide the foundation for an explosive season finale with incredibly satisfying character moments.
With two huge storylines running through the course of the episode, I think it would be best to get the smaller details out of the way first.
Sam has had it with the Citadel
and is going back to the North to be of some use. Though it was sort of annoying
that his sole purpose was to look for a book on dragon glass and to heal Jorah
Mormont, I did want him become a maester. On the flipside, he'll be in a position
to take on a greater role in the coming war and will be perfectly placed to die at any time.
The fallout of Dany's ambush against the Lannister back end is beginning to take its toll on the Lannisters, as Jaime declares that they cannot with this war on an open field. This was weird, considering they were still able to acquire both the gold and the Greyjoy armada.
With these assets, they can reclaim Casterly Rock and force Dany to fall back. Dany is too weak to let both Grey Worm and her beloved Unsullied die on The Rock. Cersei doesn't need to meet Dany's army on the open field, either. She just needs time to ramp up the defenses of King's Landing and make a proper plan - one that would bypass the strength of the Dothraki horde. By the looks of things, she already has one in the works.
A couple of fan favorites also return.
Jorah Mormont is back and
provides Dany his services as a military commander. Jorah's return gives Dany a
much-needed ally with an instinct for war that Tyrion does not ha- wait, he's leaving
again? Well, damn.
Gendry returns as well and is itching to get back into the action. Call me sentimental but there's something special about seeing Gendry and Jon Snow together. Granted, Jon really isn't a bastard anymore, but it's still great to see that these two have some sort of bond. Plus, with the Baratheon house in shambles, Gendry is technically the last living survivor of his line.
Now let's discuss the two significant storylines of this episode: starting with the weekly Winterfell drama.
Littlefinger is finally on the move and is up some serious trouble in the North. This time, he's trying to undermine Jon Snow's hold on the Northern houses and transfer the power to Sansa (i.e. him). The problem is that even if he manages to accomplish this, Sansa already hates Littlefinger's guts. He needs to worm his way back into Sansa's mind and instill that he is the only reliable friend she has.
The second storyline, and the one which leads to the season finale, is the dumb plan of capturing a White Walker and bringing it in front of both Cersei and Dany.
Seriously though, is this really the best plan the kings and queens of Westeros could come up with?
The plan has Jon Snow leading a raiding party beyond the wall to capture a White Walker. Afterwards, he and his party need to gain an audience with Cersei to present the evidence of their impending doom. This plan hinges too much on their faith that Cersei's humanity and ability to see reason will overrule her batshit crazy personality.
If this does fall through, there will be various interesting points to watch out for. If Jamie sees an actual White Walker, will he be inclined to make more of an effort to change Cersei's mind? Or would the knowledge of an upcoming baby cause him to back his sister out of the fight?
Whatever the case, none of this would matter if Jon Snow doesn't capture a White Walker.
With so much on the line, Jon gathers the best men he could find on short notice: Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, Sandor Clegane, Gendry, Tormund Giantsbane, and Jorah Mormont.They'll need to quickly set their differences aside and rely on each other if they want to succeed in this suicide mission. After all, winter is here and heads are definitely about to roll.