Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Game of Thrones 7x03 Recap: "The Queen’s Justice" (Ice and Fire Make... Lots of Sass) [Contributor: Melanie]

"The Queen's Justice"
Original Airdate: July 30, 2017

Yowza. What an episode. I have a feeling I’m going to be saying that from now until this show ends sometime in 2018. However, this episode featured a meeting between two characters that we’ve waited seven years for (20 if you read the books back in the day). And I can say without a doubt, the scene between Dany and Jon is one of the show's top scenes — with the amount of quick-paced dialogue, passive-aggressive tones, and the choreography of everyone in the room.

That being said, this episode saw the departure of a beloved character. But, Lady Olenna went out of life like she lived it: dropping mics — revealing at the last minute to Jaime that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey — before peacing out with a massive chug of poison-laced wine, throwing deuces in the air. On top of that departure, a heartfelt reunion between Sansa and her brother Bran capped off the emotional side of the episode.

However, other, far more unfortunate things happened in between.


The episode begins with Jon, Davos, and their entourage arriving at Dragonstone to a greeting from Tyrion and Missandei. They force the Northerns to surrender their weapons and their boat and take them to Daenerys. From above, Melisandre notes to Varys that she has “brought ice and fire together” and they her work was done, before departing for Volantis. In the throne room, Dany and Jon’s meeting is tense. She notes his claim as King in the North puts him in open rebellion from her authority and he insists that she must abandon her war with Cersei for the ultimate battle with the White Walkers.

Dany and Tyrion are loathe to believe Jon’s stories about the army of the dead and the Night’s King. They trade verbal blows, Dany pointing out everything she went through and sacrificed to get to her home country and throne and Jon pointing out her claim rests on her father’s status as king once. Ultimately, before they can just start an inevitable slap fight, Varys enters with news of Yara’s fleet and Dany retires to speak with her counselors about the loss of her fleet and admiral.

Later, Jon talks with Tyrion who warns him not to be so assuming of Daenerys — that she “protects people from monsters,” even if those monsters aren’t the stuff of legend that Jon is fighting up north. While he refuses to let Jon go back home, defeated, he offers to help him get his dragonglass. Dany is confused by the request. However, she later speaks with Jon privately, noting their similarities and her willingness to try to understand the enemy he is facing, as her own dragons were once just a myth. She allows him to mine the glass and turn it into weapons.


Euron Greyjoy returns to King’s Landing a hero, with Yara, Ellaria, and Tyrene in tow. He presents the Sands to the queen, though she says any wedding between them would take place after the war. Euron then taunts Jaime by asking for sexual advice when it comes to Cersei. That night, Cersei visits her brother and they spend the night together, unfearful of consequences now that she is queen.

She has Ellaria and Tyrene locked in a dungeon where she berates Ellaria for murdering her daughter when there was no political advantage to doing so. She then gives Tyrene the same poisonous kiss and leaves Ellaria locked up down in the cell, forced to watch her favorite daughter slowly die and live out her life with Tyrene’s corpse rotting away next to her.

Cersei meets with Tycho from the Iron Bank in Braavos, who shows doubt in her ability to win the war and, thus, an unwillingness from the bank to put money toward her cause. The bank demands she repay on her debts and she asks for two weeks to do so.


Sam has completely healed Jorah, much to the surprise of the archmaester. Jorah thanks him and says he’ll be returning to Daenerys’ side now that he has fulfilled her order to heal himself. The archmaester scolds Sam for attempting such a dangerous procedure but is impressed with his abilities to complete it without danger. He then tell same to copy down some tomes in his office that were starting to rot, laughing at Sam’s disappointment in hoping to receive a reward for his success.


Sansa is speaking with Jon’s counselors — don’t worry, Little Finger is always leaning somewhere nearby. She is helping to ready the castle and the men for war when she is called to the castle gates. Bran has arrived with Meera Reed and Sansa immediately rushes to embrace her brother. They speak together at the werewood tree and Bran says he can never be Lord of Winterfell, despite being Ned’s only remaining trueborn son. He tells Sansa that he is able to see and know everything that is happening, remarking how beautiful she looked on her wedding night and she leaves, distressed.


Greyworm and his forces take the Rock with ease, despite its status as an impenetrable fortress. This alarms him, knowing that there are more Lannister soldiers. Euron Greyjoy arrives with his fleet, setting fire to the Targaryen one and stranding Greyworm and his men in the castle.


The missing Lannister forces were, in fact, headed to Highgarden where Lady Olenna patiently waits to be taken prisoner or executed. Jaime sits down and speaks with her. She warns him that Cersei is a disease in Westeros and one day he will regret his role in spreading it. He ignores her and offers her poison instead of the many, painful and humiliating ways that Cersei suggested she be executed. As she goes to take a drink, she reveals to Jaime that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey and tells a shocked Jaime to let Cersei know it was her.


This was one of those rare Game of Thrones episodes that’s about character development, more so than plot points. Though some big moves did happen, this episode was dialogue heavy and focused on the choices of characters, rather than the actions that resulted.

I want to talk about the lesser scenes before getting into THAT big scene. Cersei gets her long awaited revenge on Ellaria Sand. It’s interesting considering that, by the time Tommen died, she was numb to any sort of sorrow. She lets that facade go in this episode to the point where she resembles a human mother, begging to know why her daughter was killed so needlessly. She points out there was no advantage or reason to kill Myrcella, except as a personal blow to Cersei herself. She takes that agony and turns into a grisly punishment, more befitting the Cersei we know now.

On the other side of things, Lady Olenna is given probably one of the best deaths in the show — and it doesn’t even happen on screen. She, in true fashion, makes a point to warn Jaime that his loving Cersei won’t change the truth about what she is and one day he’ll come to regret the part he played in letting her loose on the country. She throws back some poisoned wine, calmly, and muses — quite casually — about how she went about choosing the poison to kill Joffrey. Even in her death, Olenna is calm, calculated, in control, and gets the last word.

Diving into the biggest part of this episode: the meeting between Dany and Jon. This is a meeting that has been taunting fans with possibilities for years. They’re two of the show’s most popular characters, the only two of the main cast who started from nothing and rose up to greatness, and easily the two you want most to root for. Their scenes together this week showcased how similar the two really are. They enter into the meeting guns blazing in a relentless back and forth, both trying to prove their own points and get their way, much to the chagrin of their respective advisors.

The scene brings out both the flaws and the triumphs of these two. Dany, forced yet again to be mansplained to — even if it is about White Walkers — quickly surmises Jon to be no more than another man telling her what she needs to do and know. She shuts it down with her specific brand of confidence, bordering on intimidation, and tells him all the pillages, violence, assassination attempts, and rape she has gone through to find her way back home. In turn, he reprimands her for desire of blind obedience and for not listening to his pleas for help against the White Walkers.

Tyrion comes as a buffer between the two, insisting to Dany that Jon is trustworthy and they should investigate his claims, while also advising Jon not to write Dany off as “the Mad King’s daughter” and let the army of freed slaves of Dothraki speak to her worthiness as a ruler. In the end, the two monarchs come to an uneasy peace. But they’re incredibly similar people: both stubbornly fighting to protect their home. For Dany, the home has always been the people she’s helped; for Jon, it’s the north. Unfortunately, their desires to protect their respective loved ones are coming into conflict.

But, as Melisandra pointed out, ice and fire have finally met. And the series isn’t called A Song of Ice and Fire for nothing. It’s also not happenstance that we waited so long for them to meet. Things are about to kick into high gear. And, if Melisandre is right, Dany and Jon are the only hope against the coming storm.


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