Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.
To refresh your memory, Gendry was first introduced in season one as master armorer Tobho Mott’s apprentice. However, it soon came to light that — unbeknownst to him — he was one of the nearly 20 illegitimate children of Robert Baratheon.
Following Robert’s death, Gendry set off to join the Night’s Watch with a group that included none other than Arya Stark. He was saved from Joffrey’s purge of Robert’s bastards when Arya convinced the Gold Cloaks that he had already been killed. The two went on to become very close during their imprisonment at Harrenhal and stint with the Brotherhood Without Banners, but were separated when the Brotherhood sold Gendry to Melisandre.
It was Melisandre who finally revealed his heritage to him by identifying the Red Keep as his father’s home. However, she then seduced him in order to leech his blood for a sacrifice to the Lord of Light before locking him in a cell under Dragonstone. He eventually escaped her clutches with the help of Davos — who sent him back to King’s Landing in a rowboat — and hadn’t been heard from since.
But that all changed in “Eastwatch” when Davos made a pitstop in Flea Bottom to recruit Gendry to Jon Snow’s cause after smuggling Tyrion into King’s Landing to talk to Jaime.
Gendry had been biding his time reluctantly forging weapons for the Lannisters and was all too happy to grab his war hammer — a callback to his father’s signature weapon of choice — and head north.
“Gendry played an important part in the lives of more than one main character in the show,” explained showrunner Dan Weiss in the post-episode rundown. “It wasn’t so much a question of whether to bring him back as it was how to bring him back. Given the relationship he had to Davos in season three and we ended up with a situation where Davos was the only way Tyrion was going to get to King’s Landing to do what he needed to do. We realized that Davos could either be sitting, waiting by the boat, twiddling his thumbs or he could go and look for the guy who ended up being almost like a surrogate son to him. His role just kind of took shape from there…He’s not going to lie to Jon about who he is and especially when telling him the truth could help him be a part of things which is something he’s probably wanted very much for the past three or four years.”
The sixth episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season airs Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO.