Here are the three biggest developments from Season 7, Episode 5 of ‘Game of Thrones.’ USA TODAY
When watching Game of Thrones, it’s not a bad idea to take notes.
The fantasy drama is one of the densest series on television — there’s more to analyze in an average episode than in some college seminars. But if you’ve missed an important reference here or there because you were distracted by all that dragonfire, we’re here to help.
Here are four key Easter eggs from Season 7 that may have significance in the series going forward.
In Episode 5, while Sam was too annoyed at the maesters for ignoring the threat of the White Walkers to listen to Gilly reading an old text out loud, the wilding girl revealed that Prince “Ragger,” as she seemingly pronounced “Rhaegar,” annulled his first marriage and remarried.
It didn’t name the women involved, but it’s further evidence that Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark were in a loving, consensual relationship, upending the accepted story of Robert’s Rebellion, that he rebelled to rescue Lyanna after she was kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar. It would also make Jon, who the show heavily implied is their son, a true-born Targaryen, not a Stark bastard. It also gives him a stronger claim on the Iron Throne than his aunt, Daenerys Targaryen.
The Valyrian Steel Knife
The dagger that an assassin used in Season 1 to attack a comatose Bran has cropped up several times this season. First, in the premiere, Sam is flipping through a text and passes by what looks like a diagram of the blade. Then Littlefinger, who in Season 1 claimed the blade was owned by Tyrion Lannister, gives the blade to Bran. Bran then gives it to Arya, who uses it in a sparring match with Brienne that shows off the fighting styles she’s learned during her journey.
It’s one of the few Valyrian blades mentioned in the show, and it can kill White Walkers. Did Bran give it to Arya because he saw that she would need it in the war to come?
Gendry’s war hammer
The reappearance of Robert Baratheon’s bastard son Gendry was met with excitement from many Game of Thrones fans, and he quickly bonded with Jon Snow, as they believe their fathers were friends. Gendry brings a war hammer with him on the journey beyond the wall, a throwback to his father, Robert, who fought with one and used it to kill Rheagar Targaryen (who it seems is Jon’s real father). That could foreshadow a similar, eventual confrontation between Jon and Gendry. However, Gendry, the last known descendant of a Baratheon, could also unite those houses under Jon’s rule at a later date.
A more immediate benefit of Gendry’s inclusion in Jon’s inner-circle is his skill as a blacksmith. He apprenticed for a prominent blacksmith in King’s Landing, noting Jon’s sword right away at their meeting. Does that mean he can manipulate the ever-precious Valyrian Steel?
References to the fluidity of time
We learned last season that Bran has the ability to travel to the past, not only to observe it, but sometimes to change it (RIP Hodor). This season has been littered with re-treads of moments and lines from earlier seasons, from Littlefinger telling Sansa, “Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you,” to the Archmaester’s lectures on the importance of recording history. The references may be foreshadowing another moment of the past repeating itself, or another instance where Bran changes past events.