Game of Thrones – The Queen’s Justice
By: Tara Donahue
This season has proven so far to be quite eventful. Then again, many things that are happening have been seven seasons in the making such as the most-anticipated meeting of the entire series which finally happened in this episode. While the Seven Kingdoms are full of drama these days (when aren’t they), which is to be expected as we are nearing the conclusion, this episode also had some funny moments, too.
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is finally arriving at Dragonstone, where Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and some of the Dothraki army are waiting. After some pleasantries and introductions, they are asked to turn over their weapons. Jon and Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) do as asked and the Dothraki also take their boat.
Tyrion asks about Sansa (Sophie Turner), but he’s quick to point out that their marriage was a sham and was unconsummated. Jon didn’t ask and it’s clear he really didn’t want to know either. They continue to make small talk before Jon gets to see one of the dragons a little too up close and personal for his tastes as it swoops in and he and Davos dive for the ground. Everyone else seems to be used to them already, though Tyrion says they really aren’t something you ever get used to.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) is watching them approach from high above when Varys (Conleth Hill) approaches. He finds it strange, when she spoke so highly of Jon, but when he arrives she’s hiding on a cliff. She has done her part, she’s brought fire and ice together. Now she’s done whispering to kings. She didn’t end on good terms with Jon. Mistakes were made. Melisandre is leaving, going to Volantis. Varys tells her she shouldn’t return to Westeros as she wouldn’t be safe. But she tells him she will return one last time. She has to die in this strange country, just like him.
As Jon approaches Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), sitting on her throne, Missandei introduces her by her many titles. Then, it’s Ser Davos’ turn. “This is Jon Snow.” He says simply. After that long introduction to the Mother of Dragons, that seems pale in comparison. “He’s the King in the North.” He adds. It’s okay, Jon. Not everyone can be as titled and as awesome as Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, and the Breaker of Chains.
Jon refuses to bend the knee, which is something Daenerys is not used to. She reminds him of the oath his ancestor, Torrhen Stark made. He swore fealty to House Targaryen in perpetuity. An oath is an oath and perpetuity is forever. But Jon isn’t swayed as he’s not worried about the politics. He just wants to save his people from the Night King and the Army of the Dead. They need to work together to fight what’s coming.
Daenerys has done many great things on her path to reclaiming what is rightfully hers and Ser Davos chimes in, pointing out all the great things Jon has also accomplished. Including almost revealing that he took a knife in the heart and died for his people. He stops himself, but the comment has not been missed.
Still refusing to bow to Danerys, Jon is reminded that by declaring himself King in the North, he is in open rebellion. Before this conversation can continue, Varys interrupts with news, asking her to dismiss her guests. Dany dismisses them and before they depart, Jon wants to know if he’s Dany’s prisoner. “Not yet.” She replies.
Varys has come to report the attack on the Greyjoy ships that were heading for Dorne. This is not good news for Team Targaryen.
Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) is feeling pretty proud of himself as he rides through King’s Landing on a horse, dragging Yara (Gemma Whelan) behind him on a leash and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) are in chains behind them. The Westerosi population are throwing things, spitting and simultaneously cheering and booing as they make their way into the throne room, where Cersei (Lena Headey) waits. He presents his gift to the self-proclaimed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms; justice for her murdered daughter, Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free). Cersei is pleased. Euron has proven himself a true friend to the crown, but he feels she deserves more than a true friend. He only wants one reward. Cersei tells him he will have what his heart desires…once the war is won, that is. Something tells me Euron won’t be getting that reward or any other. This is Cersei Lannister we’re talking about.
Some time later, we see Cersei in the dungeon with Ellaria chained to one wall and gagged with Tyene right across from her. So close, yet so far away. Qyburn (Anton Lesser) is also there. Cersei taunts Ellaria over Oberyn’s (Pedro Pascal) death and then comments on her daughter being a “perfect Dornish beauty.” She’s lain awake at night, imagining how to kill the woman who took her only daughter from her. She entertained many ideas, a few she describes as she leans in and presses her lips to Tyene’s. It seems that Qyburn has figured out the poison Ellaria used to kill Myrcella. The Long Farewell it was called. He provides Cersei the antidote, which she drinks, as Ellaria and her daughter realize what she’s just done. Some might call it proper justice, Myrcella was innocent, but it’s still heart wrenching to watch as Ellaria realizes she’s going to have to helplessly watch as her daughter dies.
Cersei must have been feeling pretty victorious because she went straight to Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to celebrate in a way no brother and sister ever should. She doesn’t even hide that fact the next morning, when someone knocks to let her know she has a visitor.
It seems the Lannisters owe the Iron Bank a great deal. They want to bet on a winner and they have doubts that Cersei will be that winner. She says she has Euron, but Daenerys has dragons can destroy those wooden ships of his. But dragons aren’t invulnerable. She reminds him that while the Lannisters owe a lot of money, a Lannister always pays their debts. He can’t say the same about Daenerys and her team. She invites him to stay for a fortnight as her honored guest, assuring him that when he returns to Braavos, her debt will be paid in full.
Back at Dragonstone, Tyrion has gone to brood over his failure to predict the Greyjoy attack and finds Jon Snow already there, doing some brooding of his own. He feels like he’s a prisoner there, but he isn’t. He’s free to roam anywhere he wants on the island. Except they took his ship and Jon just wants to leave and go prepare his people for what’s coming. Unfortunately, he can’t help anyone from here. Tyrion points out that Dany could have conquered Westeros a long time ago, but she didn’t. Instead, she stayed where she was and saved many people from horrible fates. She protects people from monsters, just as Jon does. It’s why she came there, to Westeros. She can’t be expected to just head North and fight for someone she doesn’t know after a single meeting. It’s not a reasonable thing to ask he explains. Tyrion then asks Jon if there is anything reasonable he does have to ask, something they can do to help.
Of course, Jon wants dragonglass and Tyrion presents this idea to Daenerys. She doesn’t understand what it is or what Jon wants with it. He explains to her that it can be used to make weapons to defeat the white walkers. She is curious to know what Tyrion thinks about that stuff. He wants to believe it’s wrong, but “as a wise man once said, you should never believe a thing simply because you want to believe it.” Dany wants to know which wise man said this, but Tyrion claims to not remember. Then, in a rare moment of comedy on an otherwise dark, serious show, Daenerys asks if he’s trying to present his own statements as ancient wisdom. Tyrion says he would never do that. To her. He convinces his queen that Jon is there against all advice and by letting him mine dragonglass, she’s giving him something by giving him nothing. It’s a step toward a better relationship with a potential ally.
Daenerys grants Jon permission to mine the dragonglass and will even provide help for him to do so. He asks her if she believes him. “You’d better get to work, Jon Snow,” is the reply.
At Winterfell, Sansa has a short discussion with Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish (Aiden Gillen) before someone arrives at the gates. It’s Bran Stark (Isaac Hemptstead Wright), he’s returned home. Brother and sister have finally been reunited. This makes him Lord of Winterfell, she tells him, as they talk by the weirwood tree. But Bran can’t be Lord since he’s the Three Eyed Raven now. Sansa doesn’t understand and wants him to explain. He tries to, by telling her how sorry he is for what happened to her on that horrible wedding night. Sansa is visibly upset by this and excuses herself.
Elsewhere, at the Citadel, it seems Sam’s (John Bradley) experiment to heal Jorah (Iain Glen) has proven to be successful. The greyscale infection is no longer active and he’s free to go. He will return to Daenerys since he owes her his life. Her and now also Sam. They shake hands, which is a bit emotional, as Jorah hasn’t been able to touch another person since he became afflicted, before parting ways.
Archmaester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) tells Sam he should be proud for succeeding where more seasoned maesters have failed. He saved Jorah’s life. His reward? Not being expelled.
Daenerys is meeting with her war council. She wants to send her dragons after Euron’s fleet of ships. Tyrion is concerned about her flying around on the dragons alone, but she won’t be alone. She’ll have Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal. What can anyone do to them? It’s not the dragons they are worried about, but her. It’s too great a risk, she’s too important.
The Unsullied arrive at Casterly Rock as Tyrion speaks about what an impregnable fortress it is. There’s a montage of the battle over him speaking about how his father built it from ruin. Except for the sewer, which was left to Tyrion to build and he built a secret passage to sneak girls in. This gives them the upper hand on the attack and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) leads the Unsullied army to victory. But it’s short lived as they realize most of the army isn’t there and Euron’s fleet has wiped out all their boats.
We see the majority of the Lannister army, being led by Jaime, who has Bronn (Jerome Flynn) at his side, marching their attack on Highgarden. After the Lannister army defeats the Tyrell army, Jaime finds Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) sitting calmly at a table in her chambers. She knows they’ve been defeated and that her death is coming, at Jaime’s hand. She’s resigned herself to it. She did unspeakable things to protect her family or watched them done on her orders and she never lost a night’s sleep. They were necessary. One of those things, which she reveals after Jaime pours the poison in her wine and she drinks it, was killing Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). She wants Cersei to know it was her. A final act of revenge for Lady Olenna, who will most definitely be missed.
Another victory for Cersei as she takes yet another ally of House Targaryen. Something tells me Daenerys will make her move soon and I can’t wait to see what she does.