Three down and we’re almost halfway through this season. This week’s episode of Game of Thrones gave us reunions and first introductions for a lot of characters while concluding storylines and relationships for others. “The Queen’s Justice” took a step back from the action for most of the episode and concentrated on the potential meet ups we have waited the better half of a decade for (wow, pretty heavy when you write it out, Doc.) and just how those meetings would finally unfold. Needless to say there were things to be unexpected and things that went as they should have; but one thing is certain and that is that this war is not as lopsided as everyone assumed and the good guys need a win ASAP.
I’m thrilled that we got right down to business with Jon and Davos arriving in Dragonstone in the first scene. Part of me was paranoid they’d do the same thing as the premiere and roll the credits as soon as Jon’s feet touched the sand and I’m happy this meeting was the focal point of the episode. A lot happened here so I will break it down the best way I can but if you want the full experience you could also just watch the episode.
It was monumental to see Jon and Tyrion reunite and each see how far the other has come. Dwarfs and bastards are synonymous in most fathers’ eyes and these two were definitely born at a disadvantage despite being born into ancient houses. I also completely forgot that Davos and Tyrion fought on opposing sides at the Battle of the Black Water back in Season 2, and I’m a little surprised Davos didn’t bring up the deaths of his sons who were there. But then again this is a very mature move on Davos’ part – they’re not there to save the deceased, they’re there to save the living. Which leads into why I was surprised but also relieved Davos and Jon didn’t see Melisandre before she departed from Dragonstone. Varys is very naive in this scene and I still have no idea where his loyalties lie. Is he feeding Cersei information, still, and that’s how she knew about The Greyjoys and Martell’s passage to Dorne last episode? Of course Melisandre has to drop yet another bombshell as she tells Varys that he will die in Westeros just like her. Cue the Lord of Light theme, cue me screaming at my television.
The entire meeting between Jon and Dany was enough for anyone to sink their teeth into – having so many POV characters, all having seen and done so much, give differing and justifiable opinions about the other. Jon is right, as far as he is concerned, Dany is just another person who showed up to Westeros to rule, what he thinks, is a doomed country. Jon has no time for politics and politics is what Dany has been working towards for seven seasons now. We also have an understanding of why these two characters are reacting the way they are about each other, and having Davos and Tyrion there to extinguish any fires (no pun intended) made the scene work that much more. My only complaint is Varys cut the meeting too short, giving news to Dany about Euron attacking her fleet and taking Yara and Ellaria hostage to King’s Landing.
Tyrion took two serious hits this episode as Dany’s Hand and the first came when he found out about what happened to Yara and Ellaria. Yes, Tyrion probably made the best plan he could, but between that and his second mistake which I’ll talk about in a moment, Tyrion needs to realize his brother and sister may be smarter than they let on. After all, they were also raised by Tywin Lannister and they certainly didn’t NOT learn anything from him when he was still alive. Tyrion begins to rectify that mistake, however, by cutting a deal to let Jon mine the dragon-glass beneath Dragonstone. It’s a great compromise that still allows Dany and Jon to end in good graces, but I think the only thing that will finally bring Jon and Dany together is when they both learn of Jon’s true parentage.
Sansa is running Winterfell splendidly in Jon’s stead and she is really starting to let on how smart she actually is. Sansa looks and feels like she is right where she belongs: as Queen in the North. Of course, Littlefinger is still breathing down her neck, and while I feel like Littlefinger has been pretty irrelevant up to this point, that scares the crap out of me because he always has a plan, and a backup, and a backup for his backup. Sansa’s disinterest is cut short when Bran finally returns to Winterfell. We’re then given one of the most frustrating sit-downs of this show as Bran explains his powers like a freshman from a liberal arts college who just came back for Thanksgiving and has no times for his home friends’ naivety. Bran’s main goal right now is to prepare for the Long Night, and part of that is bringing Dany and Jon together. Bran knows Jon is a Targaryen but he lacks the proof outside of his visions and power. There needs to be a way for Bran to prove to Jon he’s not Ned Stark’s bastard… but ‘what’ is the question. It’s also worth noting that Bran in all likelihood has now allowed the Night King to pass The Wall since Bran has his mark, and the only reason Bran would serve the realm up on a platter like that is if there is something he needs or is looking for to win the war, and I think that is the key to Jon and Dany’s relationship.
It’s great to see Jorah cured and on his way back to Dany. I loved his time with Sam and it speaks volumes about Sam as a person to have seen him help Jorah out of respect for Jorah’s father, Jeor Mormont. Sam is then reprimanded for his actions – treating Jorah without consent of the Citadel – before being congratulated by Slughorn and given another task instead of being expelled: Copy texts from deteriorating books. Surely Sam will read something vital about Westeros’ history or the White Walkers and it will probably be after that that Sam will make his way to Winterfell to find Jon and inform him.
It’s not that I don’t love Euron Greyjoy, but I can’t deny I had my doubts about Thrones bringing in another “bad guy” in its second to last season. However, Euron has proved to be quite the mercenary and he has put his money where his mouth is on all of his promises. Like I said last week, I was completely wrong about my prediction that Tyrion would be Euron’s gift to Cersei to win her hand in marriage. The gift turned out to be Ellaria and her daughter Tyene, Ellaria being the one who poisoned Cersei’s daughter Myrcella in the Season 5 finale. Cersei agrees she will marry Euron after the war is won (doubtful) and she then goes on to prove once again how much of a monster she is by poisoning Tyene the same way Ellaria poisoned Myrcella. Cersei also ups the ante and chains the two of them up across from each other so Ellaria has to watch her daughter slowly die.
It’s a genuinely monstrous scene from Cersei and she continues to amaze me with just how ‘mad’ she can be; but I have to hand it to Lena Heady, Indira Varma, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers for their incredible acting this entire scene. Really, the acting in this entire episode was some of the best for everyone in this series. So between Euron on the sea and Jaime on land with the help of Randyll Tarly, the wins keep stacking up for Cersei – someone who at the beginning of this season had all of the odds stacked against her. Cersei’s winning streak does not even stop here for the episode, we still have Tyrion’s second mistake:
Leave it to Thrones to hype up what could have been one of the greatest set pieces in the show and then barely show it. Tyrion goes into detail about how Casterly Rock will be well armed and see the Unsullied coming from miles away. Through incredible cross-cutting, we learn that Tyrion’s plan is for Grey Worm to lead a team of Unsullied through the sewage system of The Rock, a system Tyrion is familiar with (because he literally dug passageways for him to smuggle prostitutes into his bedroom), and we see this sequence of events unfolding as Tyrion narrates. However when Tyrion finishes his plan, we cut to the real events of the sacking of Casterly Rock and learn that barely any of the soldiers are there. Just as Grey Worm comes to this realization, who else shows up but Euron and his damn fleet again. Cersei had the jump on Tyrion the whole time and instead she has Jaime lead their forces to…
Jaime, Randyll and Dickon Tarly, and F*****G BRON lead the way as the Lannisters take Highgarden (and the majority of Dany’s funds), bringing an unfortunate end to Olenna Tyrell’s time on this show (that’s really the only way sacks work, by killing the head of the house more or less). I absolutely loved the jump cuts of Jaime walking through Highgarden bee lining towards Olenna’s keep. Very singular minded, all business, Jaime is certainly Tywin Lannister’s son right now. However, that isn’t why he is doing this and Olenna points that out. “She’ll be the end of you,” she tells Jaime about his sister; and I think this may be a turning point for Jaime, despite his arrogance in this scene before Olenna has the last laugh. Out of respect, Jaime decides to give Olenna a poisoned glass of wine. Once Jaime confirms it will be quick and painless, Olenna chugs the entire thing like she’s spending Friday night with yours truly. She then admits to Jaime that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey at his wedding back in Season 4. Something we all knew, but a little bit of dramatic irony goes a long way in a show like Thrones where relationships and plotlines are rooted in centuries of history and knowledge. Jaime storms out of Olenna’s keep, and Olenna holds her head high, ready to die, as we cut to black.
We’re almost halfway through the season and right now, the good guys need a win. Tyrion will need to make up for his two mistakes and Jaime has a lot to reflect on about Cersei. Who knows when Jorah will finally come back to Dany, considering the Citadel and Dragonstone are on opposite corners of Westeros, but with that plot line wrapped up for the most part, expect more to wrap up or blend into other developing plots. I’m curious how Yara as a hostage will affect Dany’s next move and let’s hope it involves Theon redeeming himself and in all likelihood dying in the process. Four episodes remain and this war is far from over. Of course this war does not even matter and as Davos said to Dany, “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die; and then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”
The DOT DOTS…
I was wondering where the Dothraki have been this whole time and it makes sense they’re Dragonstone’s security… The bastard of Winterfell and the Dwarf of Castely Rock… This is Jon’s first real taste of politics and he probably feels like he’s come to some sort of tour the way Missandei welcomes them… “This place has changed.” -Davos; You forget the little things like Davos spent two seasons on Dragonstone… Tyrion’s approval of how far Jon has come is great… “I was drunk for most of it.” -Tyrion; same, dude… How else were Jon and Davos going to react to seeing three creatures they thought to be extinct that are the size of 747s… I can’t tell if Varys and Melisandre have some sort of history or if she just knows that much about him because of the Lord of Light thing… “I have to die in this strange country… Just like you.” -Melisandre; STRESS ME OUT MORE… Thrones was always great at exposition through dialogue about Westeros’ history… This whole conversation in the throne room is amazing… It was great to see characters friendly outside of Dragonstone and then when it came down to business that’s exactly what it was, all business… It’s also just monologue after monologue of incredible acting… At this rate of Jaime being an idiot, Davos is slowly becoming my favorite character… It’s shit like when Varys rushes in to notify Dany about Euron’s attack on Yara and Theon that makes me question his loyalty – is he still giving/receiving information to/from Lannisters?… Jesus, no one could give Theon a blanket?… Cersei has zero plan to marry Euron… Jaime’s right, the crowd of King’s Landing makes no sense in who they cheer and jeer for… I think it’s safe to say the Martells are out of the playoffs… Having said this, this could be more F’d up than the Sept bombing last season… Calling it now, Cersei didn’t get all of that Long Farewell lipstick off but had just enough of it to kill Jaime accidentally in the season finale… Not my actual theory but still worth saying in case it happens… I’d love to be a part of the Iron Bank if I were a person in this world. The Iron Bank doesn’t have to worry about getting sacked or burnt because everyone owes the Iron Bank… “We don’t bet, we invest in endeavors we deem likely to be successful” -The head of GoT Gringotts; I need to start gambling with this mentality… More Jon and Tyrion, please… Very mature of Jon and Dany coming to an agreement, it shows why they’re still alive on this show… Minus the part where Jon should technically be dead… It’s definitely not a coincidence the new Maester of Winterfell sounds a lot like Pycell (RIP in Peace)… “Every possible series of events is happening all at once.” -Littlefinger; Why do I feel like I think like Littlefinger sometimes too… Bran, you haven’t seen your sister in like six years and you can’t even hug her?… “I told you, it’s difficult to explain.” -Bran; YOU MAKE IT SO HARD TO ACCEPT THE FACT YOU’RE THE MOST CRUCIAL PIECE OF THIS SHOW… Slughorn, “What did you do?” Sam, “I picked his scab and rubbed some Neosporin on it.”… Tyrion and Jorah would probably make really good friends when Jorah eventually makes it to Dragonstone… So Tyrion made a ‘Hoe-Door’ in Casterly Rock (I know, still too soon)… As soon as Olenna chugged that wine I knew she was about to say something amazing, I just didn’t know what… Good guys need a win, and they need it stat…