This post contains spoilers from Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3. As a society, the world of Westeros is not exactly forward thinking. Most modern conveniences haven't been invented yet. There's no electricity, not much in the way indoor plumbing, long distance communication is done by raven, and no one's even heard of snapchat. Heck, they only have one inn on the entire King's Road. So when it comes to infectious diseases, it's not surprising that there's no known cure for something like greyscale, and that Sam cures Jorah's greyscale with an experimental idea, to say the least.
Last week, we cut away as Sam began his treatment of Jorah, and I think most of us were relieved when that happened, even if it did cut straight to a chicken pot pie being eaten. In terms of gross, that was one of the show's most agonizingly awful scenes in quite some time. Not just because of the pus (though, ew), but the whole scenario: Sam's shaking hands, Jorah trying not to scream, the well, scale, shall we say, of the entire undertaking, when you saw how far gone the rot had spread.
Fans were left hoping that Sam's work would not go completely unrewarded, and that Jorah would in fact be cured.
And as we discovered this week, Sam succeeded. Jorah is cured. HUZZAH!
The answer it turns out is something we here in the 21st century take for granted: Plain old germ theory. Remove the infected area, plaster with a salve that kills the greyscale germs. Check out the formula:
Pine resin, elder-twig bark, beeswax, olive oil. (Wait, I'm pretty sure that's the same thing my massage therapist includes in her seaweed wrap.) It's almost so simple, it's embarrassing. But that's how medicine worked in the dark ages before scientific theory came along, and people could test to see if something worked in a manner that everyone accepted. People died regularly from small infections that are now easily taken care of with a seven day regimen of penicillin.
So what does it mean going forward? Well, Let's do some cast math shall we?
While Sam is clearly about to spend the next 30 days copying musty, paper mite-infected scrolls as thanks for his hard work, Jorah is free to go. And we all know exactly where he's headed: Dany at Dragonstone.
One wishes that hearing Daenerys' name would have caused Sam to spill to Jorah everything about the White Walker situation and the need for the dragonglass, so that when Jorah turns up and finds Jon Snow already there mining away, he can vouch that the King in the North isn't crazy. But sadly, no. Maybe Jon will mention Sam to Jorah when Jorah shows up, and the two can vouch for him and the dragonglass insanity that way.