Game of Thrones is all about the fan theories and references, as we see every week. This week's episode was no exception. Not only did we have Sam calling back to his father's words last year, after the latter was already dead, but we had some screamers for book readers and Westerosi history nuts. But, as always, that's not all! There are no less than ten Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 easter eggs in this week's episode, "Eastwatch."
Some weeks, it feels like the showrunners have begun to mainly draw only on their own history of the show, and have taken to leaving the A Song of Ice and Fire bits for George R.R. Martin. Not this week. Not only did this week contain the biggest "book spoiler" to date, but both of the scenes with Sam contained reference after reference to not only the original books, but The World of Ice and Fire as well. And that's not counting Gilly's current bedtime reading. (A tome which we hope she took with her.)
So where have you seen that image before? Or why *does* that line seem so familiar? Let's run down all the callbacks and Easter eggs tucked away in Game Of Thrones' fifth episode of Season 7.
"All I Want To Do Is Destroy The Wheel"
Tyrion is worried Dany will be The Mad Queen. But he should have listened to her words. That statement that all she wants to do is destroy the wheel is a callback to her idealism that drove her back in Meereen to end slavery.
Despite the show of flame power, Dany is listening that what makes her special is that she could change things.
Maggy the Frog's Prophecy
Cersei's pregnant? But Maggy the Frog said back in the day she would only have three children. So what's wrong with this math?
This suggests several scenarios where she does not carry the child to term: Miscarriage is the easiest. Cersei could be killed before she gives birth. Maybe it's not be a child, but a deformed monster like she's always said Tyrion was.
Or she could just be lying.
Drogon Lets Jon Touch Him
This isn't just because he's approving on Dany dating the guy. (Though as a cat lady, I promise, if your pet likes him, it helps.) This is supposedly proof that Jon is a Targaryen.
But what it really called back to is the scene where Tyrion touched Rhaegal and Viserion when he undid their chains, and the same way they considered frying him and then didn't.
Perhaps there's some validity to the Tyrion Targaryen theory after all.
For those of us who were wondering, Sansa let us know this week that Ghost is sitting around patiently waiting for Jon to come back, conveniently off camera in order to spare the CGI budget.
Jenny of Oldstones
There was a WEALTH of references this week in the Citadel scene.
One they mention is "Jenny of Oldstones," who claimed the be descended from The Children of the Forest. What the Maesters don't mention is that this commoner married the heir to the Targaryen throne, Duncan the Small (son of King Aegon "Egg" Targaryen of the Dunk and Eggs novellas.) Not only did her marriage change the line of Targaryen succession to the father of Mad King Aerys, but she convinced Aerys' father that he must force his son to continue the incest practice, because their line would produce "The Prince That Was Promised."
Lodos Of The Iron Islands
Another reference, this one directly from Maester Ebrose: "Lodos." Lodos was King of the Iron Islands when Aegon arrived to conquest, and insisted he was the direct descendant of the Drowned God. He called on the Kraken to come to him in the Island's hour of need when Aegon arrived....and nothing happened. He and his followers were slaughtered.
Gendry & Jon = Robert & Ned
Robert and Ned were BFFs back in the day, fighters who worked side by side to make a new world. Now Gendry is stepping up, Robert's bastard to Ned's bastard, to form the same sort of friendship.
But you know what Gendry and Jon really are? Robert's son and Lyanna's son, working side by side.
Reading About The Accomplishments Of Better Men
When Sam leaves the Citadel, he announces he is done reading about "the accomplishments of better men." That same taunt was thrown down by Randyll back in Season 6 when he learned Sam was going to be a Maester.
Turned out Randyll was right about the Maesters. Sam wants more from this life, which he didn't know then either. Too bad his father didn't live to see it.
The Letter Littlefinger Left Arya
One of the big ones this week, that letter Littlefinger clearly left for Arya to find to continue to drive the already growing wedge between the Stark sisters. But what did the letter say?
"Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert's brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King's Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark."
This of course, was something Sansa was forced to write, after Ned was already in jail, and Arya gone missing. But she doesn't know that. To her it looks like more proof that Sansa is always out for her own ends, and that she would betray her brothers at a moment's notice.
Maester Maynard's Book
Forget the bit about "Ragger." There's another callback to the novels in this scene. There's a joke in A Feast For Crows about a book that Sam's reading:
There was a page for each day of his term, every one of which seemed to begin, “Lord Orbert rose at dawn and moved his bowels,” except for the last, which said, “Lord Orbert was found to have died during the night.”
The Last Heroes
Behold, the story of Azor Ahai, as told by Old Nan to Bran Stark in the very first novel A Game of Thrones:
The last hero determined to seek out the children, in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched until he despaired of ever finding the children of the forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it.
Now, the story is slightly different here. Instead of seeking out The Children, Snow&Co are seeking out a wight to bring back. He doesn't have a dozen companions, only seven. But will history look back on Azor Ahai reborn and declare these the new "Last Heroes"?
Survey suggests very likely.