How Gendry Could Be a Key Ally for Daenerys in Game of Thrones's Fight for King's Landing

Gendry proposes to Arya in Game of Thrones's "The Last of the Starks."
Gendry proposes to Arya in Game of Thrones's "The Last of the Starks."
Helen Sloan/HBO

Warning: Spoilers for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 ahead.

Based on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, “The Last of the Starks,” Daenerys Targaryen is nearly as vulnerable as she was when the series began: Since season 8 began, she lost Jorah Mormont in the Battle of Winterfell; had her dragon, Rhaegal, killed by Euron Greyjoy in an ambush as they flew back to Dragonstone; saw her best friend and most trusted advisor Missandei executed by the Mountain; and found out that the man she's in love with, Jon Snow, is no bastard of the North, but a secret Targaryen with a claim to the Iron Throne who has the love and support of many—neither of which is being shown to Daenerys, despite the great cost she paid to come fight alongside Jon and the North in the Great War.

Daenerys realizes that if she wants to come out on top in what she called "the last war," she's going to have to make some smart choices as well as a few allies—and quickly. And she has seemingly already started doing so in "The Last of the Starks," when she legitimized Gendry Baratheon and named him the Lord of Storm’s End. When Tyrion tells Dany that the Lord of Storm’s End would be forever loyal to her now, she replies, “You’re not the only one who’s clever.”

As TIME points out, the Mother of Dragons could have had a strategic alliance through marriage in mind: If she had heard whispers about Arya and Gendry's tryst, she might have hoped that a match would help her bridge the gap between herself and Jon’s sisters. But if that was the plan, it clearly flew out the window when Arya rejected Gendry’s marriage proposal.

But TIME also points out that there could be another way Gendry could be useful to Daenerys. He has definitely proved to be a great blacksmith, constructing many dragonglass weapons used in the Battle of Winterfell (including one wielded by Arya to take down numerous wights)—which has fans theorizing that Gendry could make armor for Dany’s last dragon, Drogon, to protect him from Cersei’s dragon-killing crossbows.

"Euron’s giant crossbow proved surprisingly powerful in Cersei’s fight against Daenerys,” TIME writes. “The best way to protect Drogon from a similar fate might be some sort of armor or weapon that Gendry constructs."

Dragon armor might seem a bit random, but art from George R.R. Martin's The World of Ice and Fire has an image of Aegon riding an armored-up Balerion the Black Dread, so it seems that within the world of Westeros, there is some precedent. And based on the look on Euron Greyjoy's face in the trailer for next week's episode, something unexpected is coming.

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10 Fascinating Facts About Samuel L. Jackson


If you watch enough movies, you’re bound to spot Samuel L. Jackson. The 71-year-old star (he'll turn 72 on December 21, 2020) is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, appearing in Oscar-winning films like Pulp Fiction (1994) as well as blockbuster franchises like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From his background as an activist to the origin of his R-rated catchphrase, here are some things you should know about the Oscar-nominated actor.

1. Swearing helped Samuel L. Jackson manage his stutter.

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Before he was one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors, Samuel L. Jackson had trouble speaking in front of others. He was bullied for his stutter as a child, and he avoided talking in school for nearly a year because of it. He eventually took the initiative to treat the issue on his own by researching breathing techniques at the library. He also came up with a unique anchor word: motherf***er. The expletive that helped him manage his speech impediment would also become his professional calling card later in life.

2. Samuel L. Jackson was an usher at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral.

The assassination of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968 thrust a young Jackson into the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson, who was a sophomore at Morehouse College at the time, flew from Atlanta to Memphis a few days later to march in support of a garbage workers' strike. Back in Atlanta, he agreed to be an usher at MLK’s funeral when he heard they needed volunteers. In 2018, he wrote about the experience for The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “I remember seeing people like Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. People that I thought I'd never see, let alone have a relationship with later on in life. The funeral was pretty much a blur.” He later staged a lock-in at his college that got him suspended.

3. Samuel L. Jackson almost became a marine biologist.

Jackson attended college in the 1960s with the intention of becoming a marine biologist. After he held the lock-in at Morehouse, he saw a performance by the Negro Ensemble Company that inspired him to pursue acting. When his suspension ended, he switched his major to drama and joined the theater group that inspired him.

4. Samuel L. Jackson was a stand-in on The Cosby Show.

Before he made it big in Hollywood, Jackson worked as a stand-in for Bill Cosby during tapings of the sitcom. "I was the right height, and I was the right skin tone," Jackson told Vulture in 2012 about the gig. "We did the blocking, while they did the camera choreography because it was a three-camera show. For two to three years, they would put his crazy sweaters on me."

5. Samuel L. Jackson's famous Jurassic Park line was inspired by another film.

Not long before he found a permanent place on Hollywood's A-list, Jackson played a small part in Jurassic Park (1993). John “Ray” Arnold wasn’t the star of the film, but he did say one of its more memorable lines: “Hold onto your butts.” Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp recently revealed that he borrowed the line from director Robert Zemeckis, who uttered it before watching reshoots of his film Death Becomes Her (1992).

6. Samuel L. Jackson asked for a purple lightsaber in the Star Wars prequels.

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Jackson is such a big Star Wars fan that he immediately accepted the role of Jedi Mace Windu when George Lucas offered it to him. He did, however, make one request regarding the part: He wanted a purple lightsaber. Traditionally, lightsabers come in green for Jedi and red for Sith, but Lucas reluctantly agreed to make an exception for Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002). Jackson recounted the origins of his unique weapon on The Graham Norton Show: “We had this big arena, this fight scene with all these Jedi and they’re fighting or whatever. And I was like, well s***, I want to be able to find myself in this big ol’ scene. So I said to George, ‘You think maybe I can get a purple lightsaber?’”

7. Samuel L. Jackson is the highest grossing actor of all time.

Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in more than 150 movies, including blockbuster franchises like Star Wars and several of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including The Avengers series. So it’s not surprising that the actor has earned the distinction of being Hollywood’s highest-grossing actor. The combined box office earnings of all his films—which includes Avengers: Endgame, the biggest money-maker of all time—add up to more than $13 billion worldwide.

8. Samuel L. Jackson has his own wig consultant.

Jackson is bald in real life, but he has sported many iconic hairstyles over the course of his movie career. His ‘dos have become such a big part of his on-screen personas that he employs his own personal hair stylist and wig consultant. Robert L. Stevenson has used Jackson’s head as a canvas on dozens of films.

9. Samuel L. Jackson appears in Kill Bill Vol. 2.

After first collaborating with director Quentin Tarantino on Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown (1997), Jackson made a brief cameo in his Kill Bill series. The next time you watch Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), pay close attention to Rufus the wedding piano player—he’s played by a familiar face.

10. You can hear Samuel L. Jackson on Amazon’s Alexa.

Jackson is known for his distinctive voice and colorful vocabulary. In 2019, the actor lent his vocal talents to Amazon’s Alexa. The Samuel L. Jackson Alexa option has many of the same capabilities as regular Alexa, including playing music, setting your alarm clock, and singing “Happy Birthday.” You can even let the feature use swear words for a more authentic experience.