Friday, March 31, 2023

GoT 7×05 Eastwatch Liveblog: A New Salt Lick

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Caroline races up 95-N as Kylie and Julia settle in to watch “Eastwatch,” the 5th episode of Game of Thrones‘s mercifully shortened 7th Season. Will Larry find his way out of the puddle? Are we seriously about to witness a pap-smear? We hope you’re as excited to find out as we are.

If you’d like to play Book Snob BINGO, cards may be found on Kylie’s personal blog here. Otherwise, you can find our livechat just below our social share buttons at the bottom of this post. Our highlights/lowlights will follow the episode.

Our reactions to this episode


Dave Hill, once upon a time your episodes used to be ironically enjoyable. Remember when Carol armed the Faith? Or Tyrion smooth-talked a dragon? Though wow, at least this guy can write conversations.

In truth, I don’t know why this episode existed, except to wheel spin so we can get to the last two episodes of the season. So much was drawn out (Davos and the guards with fermented crab meat), and the tension was just… I don’t even know. I’m sure someone felt it, but these characters are just such empty shells at this point, like we’ve been saying.

Gotta love Sam ignoring the ridiculous Rhaegar annulment reveal, though.

Highlight: Well, Good Queen Cheryl absolutely stole her scene with Larry when she announced her lil’ Cherry Bomb. Did she have a scene before that? I’m vaguely thinking yes, but damn if I remember it.

Either way, Lena Heady was perfect, and I frankly have more confidence in Cheryl as a ruler than any one of these idiots. I know she blew everyone up, but comparing her against Deadpan’s random roasting of people and Jonny’s incompetency, it’s like…at least she did it to rid the city of homophobic zealots that were disrupting the entire order (and because she would have died had she gone to that trial). Cheryl is certainly not Carol, but it’s still hard not to see that reasonable, put-upon super mom.

I know Julia’s totally going to pick this because she called Heady’s expression “Martell”, so I’ll cut off my gushing here. But it was definitely the scene my brain wanted to focus on.

Lowlight: Arya and Sansa’s scene, by a lot. This whole Jon vs. Sansa false tension is so unmotivated, especially since literally nothing about Sansa’s actions suggest she’s hyper-ambitious or doing anything beyond taking her duties seriously and offering guidance to her utterly moronic brother. Arya trying to get pissed at Sansa not beheading people (??) or at least taking a firmer stance made her sound like the forum goers who blame Sansa for the downfall of House Stark and start threads on “should Tyrion forgive Sansa?”

Like dude, she is taking her lordly duties seriously. And yeah, Jonny marched into a damn trap, as Sansa knows. There’s a risk he won’t come back, and there’s an army of the dead approaching. Why would she piss off her allies? Also JONNY TASKED HER WITH THIS.

The sneak sneaking behind the sneaky sneak’s back is just icing on this stupid cake. I get that it’s real hard to come up with a plotline for characters with no developed personalities who don’t really work together on-screen, but this is pathetic.



I’m just going to say it, Dave Hill is a better writer than D&D. Like, by a lot. This episode had many, many problems, quite a few of them caused by him, but the fact that I wasn’t embarrassed to be watching it, at least most of the time, tells you how much he’s grown since “Sons of the Harpy”. But, yeah, the cheese level was very high. And the pace was stupid. After four episodes of nothing happening, the amount of stuff shoved in here was impossible for any writer to pull off. Not that it stopped them from wasting whole minutes on Jonny and Gendry’s budding bromance, or whatever. And a love triangle?

Highlight: Lena Heady. Like, omg, this woman is a brilliant actor. She probably still won’t get an Emmy because the world sucks, but god. I love her.

The music is also back to be actually contributing something, even if it’s often very, very overdone.

I think the Northern Lords finally cluing into the fact that they made a huge mistake should count as a highlight. Even if what they did with it was… not a highlight.

Also, is Deadpan’s speech that went “I’m here to burn you alive, for your own good!” a highlight? Yes?

Lowlight: I kind of damned poor Mr. Hill with faint praise for his writing, but everything that happened with Sansa and Arya and Batfinger in Winterhell was just, ugh. Why are they doing this? And while we’re on the question of why; why did Jorah ever get greyscale, why did Sam ever go to the citadel, why is Gendry here? And why the hell did he suddenly have a worshipful connection to his deadbeat dad he literally never met? I know you mushed his role together with Edric Strom, but… no.

Also, that scene where Saint Tyrion and Varys Marx are talking about how super concerned that are about Mad King 2.0. The script just up and said that Deadpan is only a good ruler when she listens to these two men. Super classy.

I feel like I should say something about the annulment, especially since I don’t doubt there has to be something like it in the books, but let’s save that for the podcast, shall we?



Highlight: I found this episode a big old pile of mush, so it’s hard to parse out anything less mushy than the rest. I guess I liked that Gendry came back, and that Davos got to joke that he thought Gendry was “still rowin!” I happen to love book!Davos, and while they absolutely have not adapted his character to the screen, I can at minimum project the book onto him because of his folksy accent.

I also loved Arya’s horrible sneaking skills (literally walking around and not sneaking at all) followed immediately by Batfinger’s sneaky skills!! Omg so sneaky!! That actually made me laugh out loud.

Unlike Kylie and Julia, I did not find the Cheryl/Larry scene (specifically Lena Heady’s performance) that compelling. I think it was fine? I may have to re-watch, maybe I missed something.

Lowlight: Annulments. What. Did you know you could just get an annulment from your wife, especially when you’re the crown prince, you’re legally married, the marriage is well past consummated and there is a male heir already born? How nifty! This is one of those stupid things that makes me literally facepalm. I don’t know why they think such an annulment is necessary—I guess to legitimize Jon?—but he already has a pretty good claim against a female sister of the former prince. But what even is the patriarchy in this show.

Additionally, Gendry’s hammer. I get that it’s a parallel to Robert Baratheon having used a hammer when he was of fighting age. But who cares? What does it mean? Parallels don’t make something magically meaningful. This show has a lot of problems with confusing parallels/motifs with themes. If there is no message the author is trying to convey, then there is no theme.   



  • Kylie

    Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.

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