The best way to survive "Game of Thrones" may be to take a break from it.
Season 7, Episode 5, "Eastwatch," brought back multiple characters from years past, including one we haven't seen since the show's third season. (Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven't yet watched Sunday's episode.) None other than Gendry (Joe Dempsie), the illegitimate son of Robert Baratheon, resurfaced this week. Yes, that's right: The young blacksmith managed to survive the seas and row to safety.
Surprisingly, Dempsie doesn't seem torn up about having missed multiple seasons of the HBO drama's epic action. While speaking with Variety, he pointed out that his absence kept his character alive long enough to be involved in the buildup to the series' conclusion.
"It feels kind of perfect from a personal point of view," he said of the timing of his return. "I can't speak for everyone but I think most actors in the show, if you ask them what they want for their character ... I think the majority of us would say, 'I just want a part to play in the end game.'"
Gendry is getting that chance -- for now anyway. After quickly forming a bond with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), he headed off beyond the wall in search of White Walkers. It's an insanely dangerous mission, but Dempsie is optimistic that his character might be safe for a while.
"By staying out of harm's way for three seasons, I hopefully get to survive a bit longer," he told Variety.
Dangerous as it is dealing with the army of the dead, we have high hopes that he'll make it, too. Not only does he still have to reunite with Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), we're interested to see what happens to Gendry and Jon's friendship when they learn the truth of Jon's parentage.
"Game of Thrones" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.