Gendry Still Rowing

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Meme
Synonyms: Where is Gendry?, Still Rowin'
Date Started: 2014
Related: Gendry Waters
See Also: Game of Thrones
Gendry begins rowing in s03e10, "Mhysa"
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Gendry Still Rowing was a meme in Game of Thrones fandom, humorously referencing the fact that the character of Gendry Waters disappeared for several seasons of the show and was last seen in a rowboat rowing away at the end of season 3. The meme received media coverage, tweets from the actor who plays Gendry, comments from TPTB, and eventually a shout-out on the show when Gendry returned in season 7.

Origins

In season 3, episode 10, "Mhysa", of Game of Thrones, Gendry Waters escapes being burned at the stake by leaving Dragonstone in a rowboat. He plans to flee to mainland Westeros. This episode aired on June 9th, 2013, and would be the last time Gendry was seen on the show until August 13th, 2017, when Gendry returned in season 7, episode 5, "Eastwatch."

After Gendry rowed away at the end of season 3, he remained absent from the show for all of season 4, his actions and whereabouts completely unaddressed. It seems to have taken about a full year for Gendry's absence to really be noted, probably because fans were hoping he'd come back in season 4, but how exactly the "Still Rowing" meme began is somewhat unclear.

An early example — showing that fans where already making fun of the fact the Gendry was still probably out in the boat in season 4 — is a May 2014 reddit thread on the r/gameofthrones subreddit showing a cartoon of a man in a rowboat and the title "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea".[1] The post received 310 comments and as of early 2019 has just over 3,000 upvotes. These numbers no longer qualify the post for r/gameofthrones' top posts of all time, but is substantial response considering the date the post was made.[2]

Drawing from the May 2014 Reddit thread, posted with the caption, "Meanwhile, somewhere in the Narrow Sea"

Many fans in the thread commented on the fact that Gendry's disappearance was actually a result of the books' adaptation into a television show.

[professorlava — 46 points]

In the book it was someone else [in the boat] right? But there's still no word? The other character ( of which the show fused the two into) is accounted for.[3]

[faultlessjointBearded — 130 points]

Correct, it was Edric Storm (a different bastard of Robert Baratheon). Gendry remained with Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr and the brotherhood without banners to be their smith.[4]

[NickHink — 1211 points]

After each episode's credits there should be a clip of Gendry still rowing to Westeros.[5]

[XcivHouse — 123 points]

Don't worry Gendry you'll hit land when the writers figure out what they want to do with you![6]

[hobo_shinobi — 41 points]

My wife is furious that she has yet to see anything this season from one of her favorites. She swears Gendry has some huge role he has yet to play in all of this and his absence is driving her crazy.

I told her he is probably going to end up like Benjin. Died off screen and we'll see his empty boat on a shore somewhere during someone else's scene lol[7]

However, the term "Still rowin'" came from the actor Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry, who tweeted, "Still rowin'...#GoT" in June 2014[8] just days after season 4 concluded without any updates on Gendry's status. Fans took the concept and created various image macros and other memes, many of them tweeted at Dempsie in reply to his post. Popular variations included Gendry in the rowboat with text, Gendry inserted into other water scenes on the show, or missing characters photoshopped in the boat with Gendry.

Dempsie continued to occasionally reference the meme, notably in June 2015 after the final episode of season 5[9] and in June 2016 after the final episode of season 6[10]. Fans continued to respond to his tweets, and may fans on twitter used #stillrowing and #stillrowin on their tweets about missing Gendry. On tumblr, the popular tag was "where is gendry".

Example Gallery

Gendry's return and TPTB

In addition to Joe Dempsie's tweets, the show runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff also showed they were aware of the meme. In a July 2016 interview, they said:

Dan Weiss: “He’s still rowing.”

David Benioff: “Yes, he's still rowing. It's a long, a very long–"

Dan Weiss: "He's coming up on Florida."

David Benioff: "He's getting in great shape. Think of the shape he's in after rowing for four seasons."

Dan Weiss: "Big lats."[11]

Gif of the Game of Thrones scene where the character Davos Seaworth references the meme

When Gendry returned in 2017 for season 7 episode 5[12], the meme was referenced in dialogue: Davos Seaworth, who originally put Gendry in the rowboat back in season 3, goes to find Gendry and says, "Thought you might still be rowing."[13]

Fan reactions:

[@ablankbagebook]

When the directors put a fandom joke about Gendry rowing forever. Fantastic thank you #GameOfThronesS7[14]

[@BYT]

Please give us a shot of Gendry's jacked rowing arms #gameofthrones[15]

Dempsie also tweeted about it again:

[@joedempsie]

🚣 ashore. #Hallelujah @GameOfThrones[16]

External Links

Resources

News coverage

Before Gendry's return

After Gendry's return

References

  1. Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea (archive 1, archive 2)
  2. Although it must be kept in mind that Reddit's voting algorithm has changed in the years since the "Somewhere in the Narrow Sea" post was made (the soft cap for how high something could be voted was raised from ~5,000 to ~8,000 in 2015, for example) and the algorithm has always been set up to count new material and new votes as more important than old things.
  3. professorlava, comment on "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea". May 13th, 2014.
  4. faultlessjointBearded, comment on "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea". May 13th, 2014.
  5. NickHink, comment on "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea". May 13th, 2014.
  6. XcivHouse, comment on "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea". May 13th, 2014.
  7. hobo_shinobi Comment on "Meanwhile somewhere in the Narrow Sea". May 13th, 2014.
  8. June 17, 2014 tweet
  9. June 17, 2015 tweet
  10. June 27, 2014 tweet
  11. From the July 5th 2016 interview UFC Unfiltered: Miesha Tate and GoT creators, transcribed in the Moviephone article Where Is Gendry? 'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Address Long Absence, July 7, 2016
  12. According to the Game of Thrones wiki, despite being in the "starring cast" for season 7, Gendry doesn't appear in S7e1, S7e2, S7e3, or S7e4, so the August 13th 2017 season 7 episode 5 "Eastwatch" is Gendry's first appearance since season 3.
  13. ‘Game Of Thrones’ referenced a meme and the internet loved it
  14. @ablankbagebook, Aug 13, 2017 tweet.
  15. @ablankbagebook, Aug 13, 2017 tweet.
  16. 14 Aug 2017 tweet