Title: Game of Thrones: “The Queen’s Justice”
Air Date: July 30, 2017
Before we begin – Yes, there are Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. I will not celebrate every twist and turn, but if we are going to talk about what we like, we have to discuss the great scenes. Stop reading if you do not like spoilers. You have been warned!
Read our reviews for earlier episodes this season:
Man, when Game of Thrones doesn’t want to waste time, they sure don’t. Something fans of the show have been waiting years (and fans of the books, decades) for took just one between-episodes jaunt to achieve. Those annoying Sand Snakes have been finished off, and the Queen of Thorns certainly get a hell of a last word. Let’s break down episode three, “The Queen’s Justice.”
This episode gave us, perhaps, THE moment of Game of Thrones: the meeting between Jon and Daenerys. And it was right at the beginning. And it took about a third of the entire episode before we broke away from it. These two were a great match of wills, with Tyrion and Davos playing as the mediators. Neither was willing to budge, neither was willing to give in to the other. For good reason, too: both think of themselves as the saviors of their people, and both think of themselves as going through wholly unique experiences. It was fun and fascinating to watch their prickly exteriors break down, and to watch Tyrion coach them through to an understanding.
Even more on the Dragonstone front involved Melisandre’s creepy prediction to Varys – you have to wonder if Varys knew what Melisandre did to Shireen Baratheon. And Varys looked visibly shaken for only the second time ever on the show, again by a priestess of the Red God. Last season, he and Tyrion encountered Kinvara before sailing back to Westeros, and she stunned Varys to silence by asking him about the words he heard from the flame when he was castrated as a boy. Varys and Melisandre may have impending doom on the way.
Over in King’s Landing, Euron continued to steal the show by bringing Ellaria Sand and her last remaining daughter to Cersei. Jaime looked unimpressed by the gift he brought in, even reminding Euron that the crowd is fickle. Euron responded by asking Jaime what Cersei’s bedroom desires are. This guy is a fantastic villain, and it is going to be so satisfying seeing him go down, however that might be.
Speaking of going down, Cersei is apparently very excited by murder, and no longer feels the need to hide her sins. It’s not often that Cersei seems justified, but her cruel punishment to Ellaria (I was wondering why Cersei’s lipstick was so garish in that dungeon scene) is a fitting end to the Dornish leaders. That said, leaving people alive (and off-camera) is often an unwise decision, so don’t count Ellaria out of the Game of Thrones yet.
Cersei also seems supremely confident. She told the Iron Bank of Braavos that it would take her two weeks to win the war. I know time has no more meaning on Game of Thrones, but damn. Two weeks to defeat an army of Unsullied, a Dothraki hoard, three dragons, a rebellious north, and a fleet of Ironborn? That’s a bold claim. And how nonplussed did the Iron Banker seem? Not to spoil anyone’s lunch who is looking forward to an all-Stark reunion, but the Iron Bank representative almost seemed too nonplussed by Cersei. Like he didn’t really care about the Iron Bank. Like maybe he didn’t know that much about it. Like MAYBE HE IS ACTUALLY ARYA IN A DISGUISE PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE.
Probably not. But Arya could literally be anywhere. Or anyone. She’s probably just headed towards Winterfell. But still.
Speaking of the all-Stark reunion, Sansa seems to be doing pretty well as the leader of Winterfell. That is until Bran shows up and spoils the party like bran spoils breakfast. He is an emotionless husk at this point, nonchalantly bringing up Sansa’s awful wedding to Ramsay and driving her away. It seems unfortunate that Bran is going to be such a sad sack at this point. The jarring opposites of Sansa’s joy in seeing him and his… sitting there was off-putting and strange. Hopefully, he can lighten up a bit.
Sam and Jorah got a pretty big scene, proving that Sam is apparently some kind of medical genius who can read better than anyone. Jorah is cured (and had a hilarious exchange with the archmaester, claiming the climate cured his greyscale), and apparently headed to reunite with his beloved Dragon Queen. Probably important in the long run, but seemed a bit like a filler scene.
Finally, we had the climactic ending. Tyrion has again seemingly out-clevered himself, as his tricky plans blew up in his face again. The battle scene at Casterly Rock was a great way to show how good his strategy was, utilizing his voice over to explain his plan and leave viewers in doubt of the outcome, but it also showed how his siblings were just a little bit smarter than he when it comes to military strategy. Dany’s victory seemed obvious and absolute, but now nearly all of her important pieces have been taken off the board, except, of course, for her dragons, which she is reluctant to use. And, sadly, we bid farewell at the episode’s end to one of the best characters on Game of Thrones.
Like Tywin Lannister, Olenna Tyrell commanded every scene that she was in. Her final verbal sparring with Jaime after the fall of Highgarden was some great character work, especially her reveal (which we already knew, but Jaime and Cersei did not) of being the mastermind behind Joffrey’s death. She only did it after Jaime admitted he was giving her a painless death, and only after she had chugged her poison. The look on Jaime’s face as he turned and stormed from the room was some fantastic acting, and it will be fascinating to see just what it is that drives the ultimate wedge between him and Cersei. It’s sad to see the Queen of Thorns meet her end, but what a way to go.
Verdict: Despite some bizarre teleportation powers that apparently the people of Westeros have developed, “The Queen’s Justice” was easily the best episode yet of season seven. Game of Thrones sometimes drags during episodes that are too dialogue-heavy, but this episode did anything but drag. Very little wasted time, some long anticipated reunions, and a few savage deaths made for an excellent hour of television.
- Finally get the meeting of Ice and Fire
- Euron is a formidable foe
- Tyrion is outsmarted
- The Queen (of Thorns)'s justice
- Time no longer has meaning in Westeros - everyone can just teleport