As if there weren’t enough things to be mad about in the latest ‘Game of Thrones’ episode, now Gendry Baratheon doesn’t even know his own surname.
In an honorable move, Daenerys Targaryen used her rightful claim to the Iron Throne to legitimize and award Storm’s End to Gendry. She had to take time away from her coffee order but still quieted the crowd enough to make this huge announcement. Once an unrecognized bastard of King Robert Baratheon, now a hopeful lord of his family birthright. This should all have been an amazing night for the Northerners and Daenerys’ supporters, however, a simple mistake on the show’s writing ruined it for fans.
Gendry is named lord and he runs off to find Arya, to celebrate and also awkwardly proposes to her. In this exchange, he tells her his news but says that he is no longer “Gendry Rivers.”
Here’s a short history lesson. Recognized bastards of noble birth are given surnames based on the geography of their birth or where the mother is from. Typically, bastards aren’t claimed by their fathers and examples would be Jon Snow or Ramsay Snow, before he was legitimized. So, if a bastard isn’t recognized, they basically have no last name.
Gendry is Robert’s son but was never recognized, so he never had a surname. However, he does make a note that he was raised in Flea Bottom, part of King’s Landing. This would at least make him Gendry Waters being from the Crownlands. Rivers would only apply if he were from the Riverlands, like Riverrun or the Twins.
All these facts are basically pointless because again, his mother is never named or said to be from anywhere specific. Also, she’s been long dead, so there is no way that any of this could be tracked down.
Many fans would claim that this is just a throwaway line and that angry fans are overreacting, again. Yet, it is a big deal to many. The world-building and history of this rich world is part of the allure that brought the show to prominence. In its final season, there’s a certain standard expected by the creators to uphold its standard and some due diligence to the shows own history.
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 airs Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.