Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 (titled “Eastwatch”).
After multiple seasons away from the fray, Gendry (Joe Dempsie) made his triumphant return to Game of Thrones in Episode 5. The fan favorite was last seen infamously rowing away from Dragonstone after Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) helped him escape, thwarting Melisandre’s attempt to sacrifice Gendry to help his uncle, Stannis Baratheon.
In Episode 5, viewers learned that Gendry had been keeping a low profile in King’s Landing while working as a blacksmith. So when Davos came to call, he was more than excited to get away. By episode’s end, Gendry had left Dragonstone with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Davos, and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) to help capture a White Walker or wight to prove the threat they pose to humanity.
So who is Gendry to Game of Thrones’ major players?
Gendry is the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon, the late King of the Seven Kingdoms. Despite having never met his biological father, Gendry clearly holds the man in high esteem. In Episode 5, he reveals his weapon of choice is the same as his father’s, a war hammer. Gendry’s connections to Game of Thrones’ main characters run deep.
Gendry and the Starks
He shares an especially strong connection with the Starks. He met Eddard, the Stark’s fallen patriarch, when the latter was retracing Jon Arryn’s final movements.
Gendry also traveled with Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) for a time when she was in disguise. Joe Dempsie, who portrays Gendry on Game of Thrones, discussed Gendry’s bond with Arya in an interview published on HBO’s Making of Game of Thrones blog.
Given all this backstory, when Gendry met Jon Snow, the two shared quite a bit of history without having ever met. While Gendry was quick to mention his father’s friendship with Jon’s, a major plot development in Episode 5 created another paternal connection between them.
Jon Snow and Gendry’s biological fathers share a bloody history
Before Sam unleashed his rant against the maesters and his current state of affairs, Gilly (Hannah Murray) unknowingly revealed one of the biggest and best-kept secrets in the Seven Kingdoms. In one of her books, she read that Rhaegar Targaryen received an annulment from his wife to marry another woman.
So who did Rhaegar marry? It does not take a lot of imagination to conclude that Lyanna Stark was the bride in question, making Rhaegar the biological father of the baby Lyanna handed off to Ned in the Tower of Joy.
This means that Jon Snow is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, as his blood claim overrides his aunt Daenerys’. So what does this have to do with Gendry?
Well, the man who killed Rhaegar was none other than Robert Baratheon, Gendry’s biological father. What does this mean for the future? Probably nothing, but it is interesting that Game of Thrones emphasized Robert and Ned’s relationship in the same episode they pretty much confirmed who Jon’s biological father is.
So to break it all down: Robert (Gendry’s biological father) killed Rhaegar (Jon’s biological father) and now their sons are on a perilous mission together. Behold the tangled web known as Game of Thrones. Season 7 continues with the premiere of Episode 6 on Sunday, August 20 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
[Featured Image by Macall B. Polay/Helen Sloan/HBO]