With the fifth episode of “Game of Thrones” finally premiered on Home Box Office, there are only two more episodes left in the show’s seventh and penultimate season. Things are rolling at breakneck speed now, as the war among the living and the greater war between all living and the dead come ever so close to a cataclysmic collision. Last Sunday’s episode, “The Spoils of War,” seemed to end with perhaps another significant character death or two. Meanwhile, the tantalizing scenes of battle in the snow as teased in the previews have yet to be depicted in the series proper. They have not happened still in episode 5, “Eastwatch,” but it hints that such will happen next Sunday.

Return to the north

Now as stated before, “The Spoils of War” ended with what seemed like Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) sinking down the Blackwater Rush before getting torched by dragon fire. Now we learn that he survived thanks to Bronn, enabling both to escape back to King’s Landing. Daenerys then cows the surviving Lannister-Tyrell forces to bend the knee by having Drogon burn the commanders Randyll and Dickon Tarly, father and younger brother to Samwell (John Bradley).

When Sam becomes frustrated with the Maesters inaction despite news being sent from the North about the White Walkers, he decides to leave and go back there himself. He also misses out on precious information that his friend Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) might not be a bastard but a legally-born son.

Speaking of King Jon, we also get another backstory tease when, upon Daenerys and Drogon returning from battle, he manages to successfully pet the dragon’s snout, reminding that audience that he too is half-Targaryen. She still can’t help him with the coming of the real enemy though. So Jon decides to return to Eastwatch in the North himself to bring back undead proof of the White Walkers’ threat.

Old face returns

Back in Winterfell, more fractures appear in the allied army there, as well as the Stark siblings. Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) has been tracking the White Walkers’ approach and sending warnings that are ignored down south. Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) now decides to sow chaos as he is wont, by tricking Arya (Maisie Williams) into thinking that her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) called for their brother Robb to surrender to dead King Joffrey.

His mother Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) could care less about anything else but ruling Westeros. This means however that the small expedition being led by Jon north of the Wall might be wasting their time.

One highlight of “Eastwatch” was the return of Joe Dempsie as dead King Robert’s bastard son Gendry, last seen in season 3, who falls back in with his companions and Jon in time for that suicide mission at the end of the episode. While it may be a fool’s errand, it should place the needed characters where some action scenes from the old trailers will play out. The next-episode preview confirms this, so we can look forward to medieval “Walking Dead” action when “Game of Thrones” returns with episode 6 on August 20, always on HBO.

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