All the ‘Game of Thrones’ Easter Eggs & References You Missed in ‘Eastwatch’
The fifth episode of the season was a giant information dump – SPOILER alert – bringing back long lost characters (Gendry!), pitting two Starks against one another, and revealing a Lannister baby is on the way. But did you catch all the references buried in the episode? There was one very crucial book passage, a familiar actor, and an homage to Robert Baratheon. Check them all out in “Eastwatch,” and if you’re craving more take a look at all the references in “Dragonstone,” “Stormborn,” “The Queen’s Justice,” and “The Spoils of War.”
1. Daenerys’ House of Undying vision
When in doubt over what will happen next on Game of Thrones, look back the the visions and prophecies from past seasons. Daenerys vision at the House of Undying in Season 2 has been analyzed for ages, but on Sunday night that vision came pretty close to true. In the vision, Daenerys walks through a dilapidated and snow-covered Great Hall. As she reaches out to grab hold of the Iron Throne, the seat she’d spend years fighting to claim as her own, she’s pulled away by the cries of her dragons. Then she exits the Great Hall to arrive beyond the Wall, where she walks through a blizzard before reuniting with the ghost of Drogo and their son. One reading of the vision is that as Daenerys gets close enough to King’s Landing, she’ll be pulled away by threats from beyond the Wall, which is pretty much what happened on Sunday.
After her defeat of the Lannister army, Daenerys proved herself a viable threat in the war against Cersei. But instead of following through with her plot to overthrow the Lannister queen, Jon convinced Daenerys to shift her sights to the impending battle up north. Daenerys may not be beyond the Wall herself, but this new plan could put a wedge in her goals toward the Iron Throne (the upcoming meeting with Cersei certainly won’t go smoothly).
But some Redditors took the relevance of that vision even further. Could it reveal that the Mother of Dragons will never actually grace the Iron Throne, or even foreshadow her eventual death? In the most literal, way-too-on-the-nose way, Daenerys sees the Iron Throne covered in snow. With the information Gilly revealed about Jon’s possible parentage last night (more on that in a minute), could this vision suggest Daenerys will never sit on the throne now that Jon may be the rightful heir? She visits her dead husband and baby north of the Wall in the vision, so does it mean Daenerys will die in the fight against the White Walkers? No idea, but thank the red god Thoros is around if anyone needs resurrecting.
2. Gilly proved R+L=J with a twist
Gilly dropped a massive reveal that Sam completely ignored. While thumbing through a book, Gilly discovered that Rhaegar Targaryen got an annulment from his wife (Elia Martell) in Dorne to secretly marry another woman. That other woman is obviously Lyanna Stark, who was revealed as Jon Snow’s mother last season. The confirmation of Jon’s parentage is of little surprise to any Thrones fan, but this new information throws a major wrench in Daenerys’ plans to rule the Seven Kingdoms. As we already broke down in detail, this annulment means Lyanna and Rhaegar were married, meaning Jon isn’t a bastard, but Rhaegar’s lawful son and thus the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
There’s no way to tell how exactly this will play out, since the book passage doesn’t mention anything about Jon. But if Bran knows the truth about Jon’s pops (he did tell Sansa he had something important to tell Jon), then the passage Gilly uncovered could be the one shred of legal proof needed to confirm Jon’s legitimacy. Let’s hope Gilly and Sam took that book with them on their way out of the Citadel.
3. Sam is done reading about better men
After leaving the Citadel and stealing a pile of books and scrolls, Sam proclaims, “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.” If that line sounded familiar it’s because it was the same insult Randyll Tarly used on his son when Sam visited Horn Hill last season. “You managed to stay soft and fat. Your nose buried in books, spending your life reading about the achievements of better men,” Randyll said in “Blood of My Blood.” Sam may still have his head buried in books, but that’s exactly how he’ll achieve something great, and probably get his name in one of those books one day.
4. Sansa’s letter to Robb
I already broke this one down, so go here for the full explanation. But the TLDR version goes like this: The letter Arya found in Littlefinger’s bedroom is the scroll Cersei forced Sansa to write back in Season 1 before Ned was beheaded. Littlefinger, who was told just a few episodes ago that Maester Luwin kept every raven ever sent from King’s Landing, had his minions track the letter down, then planted it to stir up the tension between Arya and Sansa. By further igniting Arya’s mistrust of her older sister, Littlefinger gets one step closer to controlling the Lady of Winterfell. Will the Stark sisters fight? Or will Littlefinger finally get caught (and killed) for his trickery?
5. Gendry takes after his father
Gendry returned on Sunday after what felt like years and years of endless rowing. Sporting a new hairdo and hiding out in Fleabottom, the blacksmith reemerged with a strong nod to his parentage. It was no mistake that Gendry’s weapon of choice is a warhammer, much like the one famously wielded by his father to smash the heads of his opponents. Though we never saw it onscreen, there have been legendary tales about Robert Baratheon’s warhammer. And one of those tales in particular could cast doubt on the future of Gendry and Jon’s bromantic ties.
6. Gendry and Jon’s dads were enemies, not buddies
When Gendry and Jon meet they immediately bond over their shared identity as illegitimate sons, but more specifically, that their fathers were besties. Only thing is, Ned obviously isn’t Jon’s dad, and Jon’s real (yet-to-be-confirmed-but-clearly-official) dad was Rhaegar Targaryen. As the story goes, at the Battle of Trident Robert Baratheon led the attack against the Targaryen army where he killed Prince Rhaegar by smashing his breastplate with his warhammer. So technically, Gendry’s dad killed Jon’s dad so he could take over the Iron Throne, not realizing Jon Snow (the supposed bastard of his BFF Ned) was actually the last surviving male Targaryen heir to the throne. Once everything is revealed, will it create some beef between Gendry and Jon? The King in the North is a big proponent of forgiving kids for the sins of their fathers, so maybe they’ll continue to stay pals regardless.
7. The resurrected versus the resurrected
The Fellowship of the Wight, AKA the Eastwatch crew might be the most fantastic cluster of badass dudes in all of the Seven Kingdoms. But there’s also something fascinating about this particular group of men: Almost all of them have had some form of death or near-death experience.
Jon and Beric Dondarrion have both died and been resurrected. Jorah was on the verge of death and believed to be a lost cause until saved by Sam at the Citadel. The Hound was believed to be dead after his brutal duel against Brienne. Gendry was also believed to be long gone and dead in that rowboat. And Thoros is a Red Priest who’s brought Beric back from the dead six times. (Tormund hasn’t faced death in the same way as the others; could he be on his way out this season?) It’s kind of perfect that a group of men who’ve returned from the dead in various ways are off to fight an army of undead.
One Redditor pointed out something especially interesting about this undead face-off: It’s an actual battle of ice versus fire. The difference between both sides is the way they’ve invoked the power of resurrection. The White Walkers and Night King turn the dead into zombies through their icy magic, but Jon and Beric were brought back (the latter by Thoros) with the power of fire. There’s also some symbolic fire connections to the Hound, his face burned by flames, Jorah, who serves the fireproof Mother of Dragons, and Gendry, a blacksmith who relies on fire to forge weapons. Plus, Tormund is a redhead; that counts, right? There might not be anything else to it beyond some fun symbolism, but it’ll be especially exciting to see the song of ice and fire literally coming to fruition on screen this Sunday.
8. Is that Ned?
You might have spotted one familiar face in “Eastwatch.” One fan on Reddit pointed out that the actor who played Ned Stark from the theater troupe in Braavos last season was also one of the Lannister guards questioning Ser Davos. Kevin Eldon, a British comedy actor, was the thespian mocking Ned in the play Arya watched in Season 6. And on Sunday, Eldon appeared again, only this time as a gold cloak. Maybe the theater troupe took their show to King’s Landing.
9. Wishing good fortune brings bad fortune
D.B. Weiss and David Benioff don’t write familiar dialogue for no reason, often repeating lines across seasons to draw thematic parallels or foreshadow. So it was all the more interesting on Sunday when Jon recited a line to Daenerys that we’ve heard twice before, both instances ending in death.
“I wish you good fortune in the wars to come,” Jon tells the Mother of Dragons as he boards a ship heading north. That sounds like a greeting as common and traditional as “Have a nice day,” but there’s a hint of an omen lingering in those words. We first heard that in Season 5 when Mance Rayder refused to bend the knee to Stannis, making those his last words before burning to death at the stake. Then last season at the Tower of Joy, Arthur Dayne said those same words to a young Ned before dying by his hand. (Benjen also said it to Bran last season as the video above shows, but he left off the “wars to come” bit so we won’t count it.)
As Redditors have pointed out, both times that line has been said on the show, the person who said it died soon after. It seems like a stretch to suggest a mere line would hint at Jon’s (second) death, but it could foreshadow some trouble in his future with Daenerys. Once it’s revealed he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne (see above), could it draw a wedge between their alliance?
10. The maesters joke about book prophecies
After the maesters debate Bran’s letter they namedrop a couple prophecies from the books that they find just as preposterous as the possibility of White Walkers. “It brings to mind the work of Jenny of Oldstones, the charlatan who claimed descent from the Children of the Forest,” one maester says as they all laugh. We’ve never heard this woman’s name before on the show, but as one Redditor pointed out, this is a little nod to the books.
Jenny of Oldstones is mentioned a few times throughout George R.R. Martin’s books. She’s was a poor woman who Prince Duncan Targaryen married against his father’s wishes, but what’s most interesting is her friendship to a woods witch known as the Ghost of High Heart. In A Dance with Dragons, Barristan Selmy tells Daenerys the story behind her parents’ incestuous marriage: The woods witch once told Daenerys’s grandfather, Jaehaerys II Targaryen, that the Prince Who Was Promised would be born from the the line of Aerys II and his sister, Rhaella. This nod probably means nothing, but is a nice but of fire to fuel theories that Daenerys is Azor Ahai.
The second mention is about the prophecy of Lodos, a man who claimed to be the son of the Drowned God and believed a kraken would rise up to destroy Aegon the Conqueror. That never happened, and Lodos instead filled his pockets with rocks and sunk to the bottom of the sea to meet up with his deity dad. It’s pretty unlikely this reference means anything, but if you’re desperate, you could draw some connection to Euron and his aim to defeat Daenerys.
11. Eastwatch joins the credits
It’s always fun to spot the little additions to the show’s opening credits, and so far this season there have been three. Oldtown was added to the map, then a little White Walkers clue was added to the waters surrounding the Wall, and on Sunday Eastwatch joined the map. After the credits crawled up the the ladder at the Wall, instead of pulling back, the camera veered right to highlight Eastwatch (called Eastwatch-by-the-Sea in the books) on the southeastern tip of the Wall.
12. The arrowhead in the Hound’s vision
In the season premiere, Thoros asked the Hound to look into the flames. In them he saw a place where the Wall meets the seas (Eastwatch) and a mountain formed in the shape of an arrowhead. That last detail plagued even the most hardcore Thrones fans, but the teaser for this week’s still-untitled episode gave us a peek at that mountain. But there’s more! We’ve seen this place before.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed that arrowhead mountain is the same one we saw the Children of the Forest hanging around. In the Season 6 flashback where Bran witnesses the creation of the Night King, the mountain is seen in the distance. Based on the angle of the mountain’s peak, we can guess Jon and company are on the opposite side of where the Children of the Forest congregated. That means they’re about to battle the army of the undead fairly close to where White Walkers were created. Will the ice zombies have the upper-hand in the land where they were created?