Game of Thrones – Episode 7.3 “The Queen’s Justice”

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Synopsis: Jon and Davos arrive at Dragonstone and Tyrion and Missandei are there to greet them. Tyrion and Jon catch up as Jon marvels at the dragons flying around. Melisandre watches from afar, which Varys makes not of. She says that as much as she did to broker this meeting, she’s got some issues Snow and Davos. The Red Woman is taking off for Volantis, but says she will be back as she has to die in Westeros, as will Varys. Jon meets Daenerys in the throne room and it does not go well. She is adamant he pledge loyalty to her. He refuses. He tells her about the threat of the White Walkers, but she has trouble believing it. Varys interrupts and the meeting is cut short. After, Varys tells them about Euron’s siege. Theon is pulled out of the water by some of Yara’s men. He tells them she was captured. In King’s Landing, Euron marches through the streets with his prisoners, Ellaria, Tyene and Yara. Euron presents his prisoners as his gift to Cersei. She graciously accepts, riling Jaime. In the dungeon, Cersei ties up Ellaria and Tyene. She poisons Tyene with the same poison used on Myrcella and leaves Ellaria to watch her daughter die. After, Cersei is quite horned up and she takes Jaime in her chambers. In the morning, they are awoken by a servant. Cersei has a visitor from Braavos. Cersei meets with the representative of the Iron Bank and negotiates for another two weeks to repay their debt.

Tyrion joins Jon in a sulkfest. Tyrion is upset about the lost men, while Jon feels like he’s trapped on the island and no one believes him. Tyrion suggests Jon starts by asking Dany for something small. Tyrion relays to Dany a request from Jon to mine her dragonglass and convinces her to honor the request. She softens towards him, and tells Jon herself that she will allow him to mine the dragonglass. In Winterfell, Sansa takes to her new leadership role and walks with her maester, and Baelish, to survey the grounds. Sansa is summoned to the gate and she is astounded to see her brother Bran has returned. Later, at the godswood, Sansa and Bran reconnect and he tells her that he’s the Three-Eyed Raven and tries to explain what exactly that means. Bran references seeing her on her wedding night and the trauma she’s endured. The Archmaester examines Jorah and sees that the greyscale cure that Sam had done has worked. Sam and Jorah shake hands farewell. After, he reprimands Tarly for defying orders, but appreciates his efforts all the same. He tasks him to transcribe some old scrolls.

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Dany wants to retaliate against Euron herself, but Varys, Tyrion, and Missandei advise against it. As they talk about the assault on Casterly Rock, Tyrion mentions a secret way in and as he details the battle, the Unsullied attack is shown to be successful, but questionable, because the forces on the Lannister side are unexpectedly small. As the Unsullied take Casterly Rock, Jaime and his forces take Highgarden instead, while Euron’s fleet wipes out the Unsullied ships. Jaime confronts Lady Olenna in her castle as her army has been defeated. Jaime admits their strategy, giving up Casterly Rock to Dany’s men in order to get Highgarden, and more importantly the Tyrell fortune. Olenna admits the terrible things she’s done, but says Cersei surprised her with her level of depravity. Jaime offers her poison, which she takes quickly, but before it acts, she admits her hand in Joffrey’s death, and tells Jaime to share it with Cersei. Jaime is stunned.

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Comments: And now her watch is ended. A shame to say goodbye to Lady Olenna as she always made for good commentary and calling bullshit on everything. She outlived all the other Tyrells, and even though she was defeated by Cersei, she still got in a great parting shot: confessing she was responsible for Joffrey’s death. It was at least a fitting end. While the meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen was exciting, two main characters destined to meet and seven years in the making, it is also one of two storylines that felt a bit bungled in season 7. I’ll discuss the other one in a future episode (it’s the one with the Stark girls), but this one just feels a little off. Dany is completely and uncharacteristically harsh with Jon from the beginning. It’s done, obviously, to give more weight to their eventual connection and unification, but it doesn’t feel quite natural. Dany has always given people the benefit of the doubt, save for Tyrion, but he won her over quickly. She seems against Snow because he is the self-appointed King in the North, which she views as a threat to her plans to reign, but really her quest for power never seemed to be about ruling just because she wanted to. It was about changing the world, leaving the world better than she found it, and for her first approach with this potential ally, when she herself said to Daario that she needed to make connections and forge a marriage with someone in Westeros to strengthen her claim, it all feels completely out of character for her. Thankfully, it doesn’t last too long, as she’s already softened a bit by the end of the episode, but it still feels a bit like the show trying to steer things in a certain way rather than relying on the organic way it could unfold. Shifting gears, I do wonder, and fully expect, Melisandre’s heaping pile of foreshadowing, telling Varys that they both will die in Westeros, pays off in season 8. The show never uses any piece of dialogue lightly, everything means something in the long run, and it will be curious how this will actually play out.

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Quotes:
Tyrion (about Sansa): She’s much smarter than she lets on.
Jon: She’s starting to let on.

Tyrion: A long a bloody tale. To be honest, I was drunk for most of it.

Missandei: You stand in the presence of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the iron throne, the rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, protector of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the unburnt, the breaker of chains.
Davos: This is Jon Snow…he’s King in the North.

Tyrion (to Jon): I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel like I’m failing at brooding over failing.

Jaime: There are always lessons in failures.
Olenna: Yes. You must be very wise by now.

Olenna (about Joffrey): He really was a cunt, wasn’t he?

Olenna: Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me. 

Title: Technically a title, Ilyn Payne was once the King’s Justice and he beheaded Ned. In this case, it speaks more to Cersei’s continued vengeance against her enemies, specifically Ellaria and Olenna in this episode.

Deaths: Olenna is poisoned by Jaime. Tyene is poisoned by Cersei. Ellaria isn’t killed but this is the last time we see her, and we might assume she dies in her cell some time after Tyene.

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