Season seven’s got me all over the place. There’s only seven episodes this season and so far I’ve done two regular recaps and two power rankings. This episode felt a lot like episodes past: a little banter, a little scheming, and a few power plays (particularly Dany, and I have lots of words for that). But nothing differentiated the characters’ motivations so much that I feel like a power ranking works for this episode. Particularly because the most memorable moments in “Eastwatch” were all the reunions or unlikely meetings that took place.
Obviously we know how Dany and Jorah know each other, so that’s unnecessary, but what about everyone else? And I’m going to take the time to point out that I am by no means a Game of Thrones scholar (or maester) and I don’t pretend to be. I’m just a fan who’s watched the show a bunch and written about it a bunch, all enough to know people’s names and significance to each other.
So here’s a handy cheat sheet to figure out how the fuck all these guys know each other! Or, how they’re all connected.
Jon and Jorah
When Jon first joined the Night’s Watch as a wee precocious lad back in season one, the Lord Commander was one Jeor Mormont. Jon was eventually selected to serve as Commander Mormont’s steward. His most memorable contribution as steward was that he saved Jeor from wights that were on the loose in Castle Black, back when the dead army was still just a suspicion.
Joer was so taken with Jon that he gave him the Mormont family sword, Longclaw, which Jon still uses. I’d be surprised if the topic of that sword didn’t come up at some point beyond the wall, considering it should belong to Jorah. Jorah, after all, being Jeor’s son and the heir to House Mormont. Or, really, former heir, because Jorah screwed up his position when he sold slaves to the Free Cities for some quick cash, and had to forsake his title. (All in all, not a bad course of events, because that’s how Jorah met Dany and how we ended up with the formidable Lyanna Mormont!)
And let’s not forget Jon and Jorah’s other connection: Sam! They don’t know it yet, but that little bundle of joy is at once Jon’s BFF and Jorah’s personal greyscale surgeon.
Additionally, Tormund and Jorah have Jorah’s father as a connection, though not much more than was discussed on the show. Tormund knows Jeor as a killer of Wildlings, Jorah knows Wildlings to be killers of people south of the Wall. Checkmate, basically.
Tyrion and Jorah
So much has happened since season five that it’s easy to forget that these two are long lost buddies! After Tyrion was convicted of killing Joffrey by default (when Oberyn got his head smushed in by the Mountain while serving as Tyrion’s champion in his trial by combat), he killed his dad while he was on the shitter (RIP Tywin) and then was swiftly smuggled out of King’s Landing by Varys. They were traveling to Meereen to find Daenerys, but had to do so under secrecy because Cersei had a price tag on Tyrion’s head. So he was stuck in a box on a ship to Pentos, and from Pentos he was stuck in a small carriage to Volantis.
And that’s when Tyrion, still reeling from being cooped up for however long it takes to travel between Westeros and Essos, got cocky. He went in public and in short order got scooped up by Jorah, who tells him he’s taking her to “the queen.” His queen, he should’ve specified.
At this point Jorah is super depressed because Dany sent him away after she found out he’d been spying on her for some time for Robert Baratheon, so bagging Tyrion was a big deal for him to use as leverage to win back Dany’s favor. Eventually they get caught up by slavers and were sold at auction to fight as slaves in the newly reopened Meereen fighting pits. Fortunately they were sold together, mostly thanks to Tyrion’s quick thinking, and Jorah made his way back to Daenerys.
Jorah’s romp with Tyrion is also when he contracted greyscale. They inadvertently sailed through the ruins of Old Valyria, essentially where people with greyscale go to die, and were attacked by said people, called the Stone Men.
Gendry and Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr
For however brazen Cersei is these days to announce her twincest, remember when Cersei and Jaime’s love was something to be kept secret? It was really the catalyst for the whole show, including how Gendry became a part of the story.
Ned Stark was hellbent on finding out what got the former Hand of the King, Jon Arryn, killed, so Ned followed Jon’s breadcrumbs to the shop of Gendry’s master, where Gendry was serving as an apprentice. We come to find that the reason Jon Arryn went to visit Gendry was because he found out that Gendry was one of Robert Baratheon’s bastards. The long and the short of it being that Joffrey was not actually in line for the throne, because he was Cersei and Jaime’s child.
With Robert’s death, and when Joffrey’s birthright was called into question, he (or Cersei) had all of Robert’s bastards killed. Gendry escaped death and King’s Landing the same way Arya did, on a partly real, partly not crew of Night’s Watch recruits. Fast forward a bit, when Gendry happened upon the Brotherhood Without Banners on the road to Castle Black, which is the ragtag group of misfits that Eye Bandage Beric Dondarrion and Top Knot Thoros of Myr head up. He soon announced he was staying with them, claiming they were the closest he’s ever had to a family.
Unfortunately for Gendry, Melisandre knew he existed. She met up with the Brotherhood (who also serve the Lord of Light) in her quest for king’s blood to help Stannis win the war, and the only family Gendry ever knew sold him to Melisandre for a couple of bags of gold. So there is not much love between Gendry and his new/old traveling companions.
Gendry and Davos
That next part of Gendry’s story is also where Davos comes into play. Melisandre seduced Gendry and used leeches to get his king’s blood for Stannis to use as a way to insure the death his enemies. (He threw each leech into a fire, naming the remaining living kings as he did. They all eventually died, but none by his hands, so I’m going to chalk that blood magic up to coincidence.)
The problem was that Stannis wanted to sacrifice more than just Gendry’s dick blood. He wanted use all that king’s blood and burn him alive. Davos, never a fan of Melisandre or the Lord of Light, opposed the belief that killing Gendry would make Stannis win the war. So Davos set Gendry free, with nothing but a rowboat and a general direction where to go. And, since Gendry can’t swim, the directive “Don’t fall out.”
Jon and Gendry
This one seems a little self-explanatory, but I think there’s more to explore here. Jon’s real lineage aside, as far as they know, Jon and Gendry are the bastard sons of great friends. Jon is only where he is because Ned acknowledged him as his bastard, and was brought up in comfort and privilege. Even if that upbringing was mired in angst because of his bastard status.
Gendry, on the other hand, was one of numerous Baratheon bastards and didn’t know until Melisandre told him that he was Robert’s son. His mother was a tavern wench and he grew up in the poorest area of King’s Landing.
The significance here is that these are two guys who grew up assuming they had a fixed place in the world, but their tenacity has gotten them farther than they ever thought possible. Jon is King in the North, and Gendry technically has the purest claim to the Iron Throne of anyone living in Westeros.
Also, their banter so wonderfully mirrored the classic Robert/Ned banter that it’s hard not let it have a moment!
Jorah and Thoros
Okay, I cheated on this one. This is a book reference, of which I haven’t read! Per the Game of Thrones wikia, Thoros of Myr:
fought for King Robert Baratheon in the Greyjoy Rebellion. He was the first man, followed closely by Ser Jorah Mormont, through the breach during the Siege of Pyke, stabbing and terrifying the ironborn with his flaming sword.
The Greyjoy Rebellion happens about ten years before the events of the show, so Jorah and Thoros go way back.