The third episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, titled The Queen’s Justice starts to get into the thick of the conflict for the 7 kingdoms. Let’s see how it all played out! It should go without mention, but spoilers! Disclaimer: this show is clearly a brilliant generational production, so its scoring is relative to itself and not other shows. A 7 for a Game of Thrones episode is easily a 10 for any other show.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 The Queen’s Justice Review
Ice & Fire
We lead off with Jon and Sir Davos arriving at Dragonstone for a meeting 7 years in the making. After an amusing exchange between Jon and Tyrion things between the 2 old friends turns warm. A tense period ensues when they are asked to relinquish their weapons, but a show of good faith. One wonders how Jon would fare versus a Dothraki…It’s refreshing to see the great chemistry between Tyrion and Jon restored and I’m very much looking forward to their exchanges. Meanwhile, Jon’s face upon seeing the dragon is priceless. Jon Snow isn’t often left looking shocked.
In an unexpected scene, Varys interrogates Melisandre about her absence from meeting, needling at her history with Jon Snow. For once Varys is the one left speechless as Melisandre has occasion to do with her words. She pulls out one of her signature death prophecies and leaves Varys to chew on his impending mortality.
But now for the long awaited meeting. Daenerys has an impressive title rattled off and Davos provides more comedic relief by reinforcing the regular, everyman nature of Jon Snow. Jon refuses to bend the knee and the tension ensues. Daenerys’ attempt to make amends is again mature and cuts through the political bullshit but still demands Jon compromise. Jon’s response is just as sharp retorting the just as tenuous claim to rule. This is an airing of grievances between 2 scorned houses and Jon holds his ground well in his very unpoetic Jon Snow way. But the truth is, the only ruler is the one who sits on the throne and for now these 2 characters are mincing words, honestly for lack of anything better to do at the moment. It was posturing at its finest and most unbecoming, because in essence they are both still pretenders at monarchy. Varys’ whispering ways brings the conversation to a premature close. This scene hinted at intensity but didn’t quite deliver the payoff partially from chemistry and partially intentional. This is a complex situation and one that won’t resolve quickly or with a flourishing speech. There is also a ton of meta here, stuff that we know which they don’t.
Tyrion continues to demonstrate his deft hand able to persuade without deceiving. His honesty is his integrity and his foresight is his strength. After some smooth talking he makes the 2 rulers more amenable. Jon and Daenerys reconvene in private and acknowledge what separates them and also what they have in common, and come to understand that although their long term futures are going to see them pit against one other, their short term propsects make accord the most desirable.
Theon is pulled in from sea and is immediately recognized as a bailer in a short sequence that will have to unfold later. Meanwhile Euron parades his victory and spoils of war at King’s Landing. Cersei deftly deflects Euron’s advances and makes him wait. This episode is full of teases. Euron and Jamie have a banter and Euron gets savage. I don’t think anyone has ever had the balls or skills to insult Jamie in such a way. +1 Euron.
The Queen’s Justice
Cersei then turns her attention to Ellaria and shows the vulnerability she has left. But this quickly evaporates as she demonstrates her affinity for torture and revenge, exacting the same method but then upping the ante to ridiculous levels.
Vindicated, she turns her attention to Jamie and for the first time openly carries on their relationship. I had wondered how long before she’d eschew appearances and now wonder what the consequences of it being out there will be. Further into reality, she must face the literal costs of war with an empty bank. She uses Lannister wit and promises a fortnight repayment of debt to the Iron Bank. Cersei is ruthless, yes, but also incredibly tactful.
Sansa begins his administration of Winterfell with skill. She has matured beyond years and shows ready for the role of command. Baelish finally weasels his way into her with counsel that is sharp and wise.
Bran’s return is another heartwarming moment but falls just shy of Sansa and Jon’s reunion as Bran has clearly become emotionally distant. Family means something different for him as his purpose is in some ways beyond daily affairs. His detachment is complete and Sansa is clearly troubled. The Stark children have all dramatically changed, and things will never be the same. It’s a bit anticlimactic but understandable.
In an impactful moment, Jorah is finally again able to touch another, as Sam has succeeded in removing his greyscale. In a surprising twist and incredibly plain but awesome declaration (I read the book and followed the instructions) Sam demonstrates his worth and earns his reward in not being expelled. Perhaps his transcriptions have been carefully selected…
A Queen’s Determination
The battle of Casterly Rock commences. Tyrion yet again demonstrates his ability to turn misfortune into survival as he directs the Unsullied through the sewers which turns the tide, until Euron’s forces equalize the sea, causing a siege/standoff. What seemed like a calculated victory for the Unsullied has turned into a murky situation, but again this battle as last week’s lacks a spark of excitement.
But the Lannister wit spreads across the whole family and Jamie has led the bulk of their forces towards Highgarden to bring a sunset to house Tyrell. Olenna Tyrell remains biting until the end. This exchange is the best of the episode. She takes her penance with gusto and reveals her hand in killing Joffrey, masterfully taunting Jamie and pouring poison in his emotional wounds. Defiant to the end and a true thorn. However, this crushing defeat will come full circle and now puts Daenerys’ prospects in peril, and perhaps much more open to working with Jon Snow. This is after all, the game of thrones.
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