Written by Dave Hill
Directed by Matt Shakman
Bronn heaves Jaime onto the riverbank, unsure what the Lannister was trying to accomplish by charging Daenerys and her dragon. “Ending the war,” Jaime says. He realizes they have little hope of defeating the Dragon Queen, and Cersei needs to be informed at once.
Tyrion surveys the destruction on the battlefield. Making his way to Daenerys, he looks on as she offers her captives a choice: Bend the knee or die. Many drop to one knee, but Randyll and Dickon Tarly, and a few others, remain standing. Randyll flatly refuses to call Daenerys his queen, but unsuccessfully tries to convince his son to surrender. Ignoring Tyrion’s suggestions the Tarlys take the Black or spend time in a cell, Daenerys sentences the two to die. Impassively, she watches as Drogon incinerates the men. The other dissenters immediately fall to their knees.
Jaime returns to the capital and informs Cersei they are outmatched by Daenerys — and tells her about Olenna Tyrell’s confession. Cersei determines their only option is to fight and die, or submit and die, and her choice is clear.
Bran wargs into a flock of ravens and flies over the Wall. He “sees” the Army of the Dead slowly marching forward; the Night King at the center. The king looks up at the birds, aware he’s being watched. Bran quickly returns and tells Wolkan they need to send ravens.
Watching Daenerys fly back to Dragonstone atop Drogon, Jon Snow is caught off guard when the dragon lands nearby and rushes toward him. Dany watches with interest as Jon slowly reaches towards Drogon. Instead of biting off Jon’s hand, the huge creature allows Jon to gingerly stroke his snout. Dany explains they are not “beasts” to her, but her children. Jon is uncertain about Daenerys’ decision to attack the Lannister troops — there will be no one left if the living continue to kill each other — but knows he cannot argue much, given his recent battle with the Boltons. Daenerys is surprised by the return of Ser Jorah Mormont, now cured of his greyscale. Embracing him, she happily accepts Jorah into her service again.
Concerned by what he saw at Blackwater Rush, Tyrion relates the situation back to Varys. The two men feel that with the right counsel, Daenerys will not become her father, but Tyrion knows he must have a lengthier discussion with the young queen. Varys holds up the sealed message he received for Jon Snow — a message containing “nothing good.”
Hit with the implications of Wolkan’s letter — Arya alive and Bran too, somehow seeing the oncoming Army of the Dead — Jon insists he must return home and ready his men. Daenerys maintains she cannot send her armies north as Cersei will find a way to take advantage at the first opportunity. Tyrion makes a bold suggestion: Ask for a temporary truce by proving the Army of the Dead exists. Jon thinks a few men can capture a wight and bring it to King’s Landing. Jorah volunteers, and Jon is adamant he go as well. To get an audience with his sister, Tyrion takes on the task of secretly meeting with Jaime.
Davos rows Tyrion in a dinghy to a hidden cove of Blackwater Bay, and each heads off with his own agenda. Bronn leads Jaime down to the dragon skull room in the Red Keep under the pretense of training, but instead reveals Tyrion. Jaime is displeased to see his younger brother, but remains to hear out his proposal.
Davos returns to the Street of Steel to find Robert Baratheon’s bastard, Gendry. More than ready to leave King’s Landing, Gendry grabs his war hammer and leaves the forge. Tyrion is hesitant to bring the stranger along, but changes his mind when Gendry proves useful, killing a pair of suspicious Gold Cloaks. Ignoring Davos’ advice to keep his parentage a secret when they get to Dragonstone, Gendry immediately introduces himself to Jon as Robert’s bastard son, and volunteers to help with the mission north.
As Jon, Jorah, Davos and Gendry wait to embark Jon’s ship, Tyrion hands Jorah the coin he was given by the slaver Yezzan as “payment,” and suggests he take it for luck. Jon wishes Dany “good fortune in the wars to come” and departs.
A group of maesters discuss Wolkan’s letter in Archmaester Ebrose’s office. Sam arrives with his latest transcriptions, keeping silent until he realizes the men are discussing Bran Stark. Pointing out how miraculous it is a crippled boy managed to survive beyond the Wall, Sam suggests the maesters listen to what he has to say; Westeros will take the threat seriously if the Citadel backs it as truth. Ebrose decides to write back to Wolkan asking for clarification, and dismisses Sam.
In their Oldtown chambers, Sam and Gilly sift through the rotting manuscripts awaiting transcription. Adding to to Sam’s frustration, Gilly excitedly reads off information from a High Septon’s diary, stumbling over the word “annulment.” Fed up with the busywork, Sam makes a decision. Returning to the restricted area of the stacks, he grabs scrolls and books, and gives the Citadel library one final look before readying his family for a new journey.
Sansa handles the lords of the North, who are unhappy about their absent king. Arya watches as Sansa does nothing to rebuke Lord Glover for questioning whether Sansa might be the better ruler. Sansa diplomatically tells the men Jon is doing what he thinks is best. In Sansa’s chambers afterwards, Arya pointedly notes she knows what Sansa really wants, even if Sansa won’t admit to it.
From the shadows, Arya watches as Littlefinger moves through Winterfell. She observes Wolkan deliver a scroll Littlefinger requested from Maester Luwin’s archives. Arya secretly enters Littlefinger’s chambers and searches for the scrap of parchment, finally retrieving it from Littlefinger’s mattress. The scroll bears Sansa’s signature. Arya exists and relocks the door, unaware Littlefinger has been watching her and wanted her to find what she did.
Jaime enters Cersei’s room as Qyburn is leaving and confesses he met with Tyrion. Cersei’s calm demeanor catches him off-guard, but he relays Daenerys’s request. The queen reveals she already knew about the meeting, and thinks a temporary truce may be worthwhile for the sake of their House… and child. Jaime is shocked but pleased when Cersei says she doesn’t care who knows it’s their child. Their happiness is real, but Cersei warns her brother: “Never betray me again.”
Jon, Gendry, Davos and Jorah explain the mission to Tormund. The wildling is disappointed Brienne has not joined them, and understands why Davos won’t either — he’s not a fighter. Down in the Eastwatch cells, Tormund shows Jon the pack of men he found also heading north, and Jon recognizes the Hound. Gendry, seeing Beric Dondarrion, immediately says these men are not to be trusted — they once sold him to a Red witch. Jorah also recognizes Thoros, who then exposes him as a Mormont, the son of the man who hunted Tormund. Despite the hostilities within the group, Jon agrees with Beric that ultimately, they are all on the same side.
The gate to the Eastwatch tunnel is raised, and the men step beyond the Wall.