The following contains Game of Thrones spoilers.
A little over 20 minutes into Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5 “The Bells,” Tyrion Lannister makes a request of Ser Davos Seaworth.
“Davos. I need to ask you a favor,” Tyrion says. “You’re the greatest smuggler alive aren’t you?”
“I’m not going to like this favor, am I?” Davos responds.
Whether Davos liked the favor requested we may never know because the scene cuts before we’re able to see just what Tyrion requested. And then Davos Seaworth, himself, goes missing for the rest of the episode. So what exactly did Tyrion need Ser Davos’s “Onion Knight” smuggling skills for if we never see Davos again?
The editing of many Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes has been understandably frenetic, given how the sheer volume of plot the showrunners have to cram into these final remaining six episodes. Davos’s mission isn’t the only conversation that’s been cut short. Showrunners and episode writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff likely thought it would be obvious enough what Davos was tasked with given the episode’s context. But it wasn’t obvious enough….at least not to me until I thought about it a bit more.
The very next scene after Tyrion asks Davos to smuggle something is the scene in which Tyrion visits his bumbling brother Jaime in an Unsullied prison tent. While in the tent, Tyrion frees Jaime and tells him to find their sister and get her to the mouth of the Blackwater where a paddle boat will be waiting that can be commandeered to Pentos or some other Eastern city.
Jaime, being the lovable little scamp that he is, does things a bit out of order. He’s unable to get to Cersei right from the jump as the King’s Landing outer gates close. So he reroutes his path to the Queen through the edge of the Blackwater. It’s there that he sure enough sees the favor that Tyrion asked Davos for. Behold: the mighty HMS Davos.
Yes, while Davos became famous for smuggling onions into Storm’s End to save Stannis and the rest of the city from starving, his biggest challenge appears to have been sneaking one single paddleboat past the entire Iron Fleet.