Three weeks ago, many had made the observation that this season was moving at breakneck speed. That Benioff and Weiss weren’t going to waste any more time, and the story was coming to a close at a rapid pace. That speed was on full display tonight in “The Queen’s Justice.” Benioff and Wiess have cut the foreplay, and were in for some amazing storytelling.
We begin in Dragonstone with what is undoubtedly the most anticipated introduction of this entire series. But before we get there, we get another amazing reunion: that of Jon and Tyrion. They exchange pleasantries, and this entire I was grinning ear to ear, quietly fist pumping to myself. Also another meeting, was Ser Davos and Tyrion, former adversaries at the Battle of Blackwater, now both Hand’s of their respective King’s, trying to build a bridge (Is Davos Jon’s Hand? This isn’t explicitly stated and he doesn’t have one of those badass pins. Maybe Jon doesn’t need a hand, he’s to cool for all those stupid labels.) After surrendering their weapons, Tyrion escorts them up to the castle. They exchange some brief words about Sansa, assuring Jon that Tyrion never bedded her. This was not only was quite comical, but really made me remember how far this series has come, how complicated and masterfully woven the character arcs have been, and how absolutely miserable Sansa’s life has been (more on that later).
Also on their journey, Jon see’s a dragon. Tyrion tries to comfort him “I’d say you get used to them, but you never really do.” And Jon stands in awe at this new beast. On an incredibly nerdy side note: this Drogon appears immediately after Jon says “I’m not a Stark.” Jon is saying this in reference to his non-full born status, but the viewer knows this to be a nod to his true Targaryan lineage. Serious credit to the writers and editors, I continued my fist pumping just a little more when this happened. Another shoutout needs to go to the cinematography team. The camera work in this season has been amazing. The sweeping shot on the way up to the castle, the naval battle last night, this is easily the most cinematic season and every frame is absolutely gorgeous.
Melisandre is spotted on the cliffs above, looking down on the group, keeping a healthy distance from the guy who banished her for killing a little girl, and the other guy who wants to swing the sword. Good call Melisandre. Suddenly Varys shows up, and these two have a conversation about how sorcerers and sorceresses are kind of awful. Both characters and mysterious, blunt, and make me want a spin off series about the two of them after season 8. She says she can’t leave forever, as her destiny is to die in Westeros, just like Varys’. I always believed that Varys would make it to the end, but if her premonition is to be believed, he might not make it to the end. Melisandre makes the comment that she’s finally brought together Ice and Fire, and she dips out. So long for now Red Preistess, try not to be the absolute worst on your travels.
And now, we have it, finally, after six seasons and some change: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have met, and at this point my fist pumping isn’t quiet or to myself at all any more. And here’s my new favorite interaction of the series: Missandei greets the northern travelers, and rattles off the incredibly (see: ridiculously) long list of names she has accrued over the series. Jon turns to Davos, who says simply, “This is Jon Snow, he’s the King of the North.” What follows is an absolutely incredible game of political, verbal chess. Dany is focused on the Iron Throne, Jon couldn’t give to shits and wants to stop the Ice Zombies, ever walking towards them. While we know that Jon is the one concerned about the real threat, he sure isn’t the best at convincing others. Dany is reluctant to embrace this story, and it’s hard not to be when it involves zombies and someone called “The Night King.”
Over the course of the scene, Dany and Jon move closer and closer to one another, ending in a close circle of the Rulers and Hands. Jon refuses to bend the knee, because last time a Stark did that for a Targaryan, well, Game of Thrones happened. And Dany is pissed because she hasn’t fully realized how to recruit people who don’t care about the Iron Throne. Honestly, I could talk about this scene for hours, but I should probably move on, lest I start getting nose bleeds and going full nerd.
We finally got the meeting of the two most central characters of this story. Three if you count Tyrion (which your a fool not too), and it paid off big time. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Next, We see Jon on the cliffs of Dragon stone, brooding in a way that would make Ned proud. Tyrion joins him, also intending to brood (you’re better at brooding than I am” got an audible laugh from me), and ends up doing what he does best. He tells Jon that he may not be able to get Dany’s armies to fight the Army of the Dead, but he could still ask for something reasonable. Smash cut to Dany asking why the hell anyone would want Dragonsglass. Tyrion then performs the same verbal gymnastics and convinces Dany to grant Jon his request. Peter Dinklage shines in this section, and watching Tyrion scheme is a thing of beauty.
Dany and Jon meet on a bridge, Jon watching the dragons he will one day ride (don’t even try to @ me, it’s happening), and Dany agree’s she will provide Jon with his obsidian, giving the two a reason to stay in touch. The bridge has been built, and the stage has been set for an epic pairing of Ice and Fire.
Euron has made it back to King’s Landing, with Elaria, a Sand Snake, and Yara in tow. Euron rides up to the Iron Throne, gifts the Dornish matriarchs to Cercei, and tell him that once the war is won, she will have his hand in marriage. Euron uses this to throw some serious shade at Jamie, who almost loses it in front of the entire crowd. Euron is such a smug prick, but my god is he great to watch. Pilou Asbæk is quickly shaping up to be a great villain, and I for one am horrified by what his next move will be.
Cercei takes Ellaria and daughter to a seller somewhere, and what follows is full on, unchained, sadistic to the nth degree Cercei. Her plan is to kill Ellaria’s daughter using the same lipstick method as Myrcella was taken by. Then, she will die, and Ellaria will watch as her daughter rots away, unable to do anything about it, while being forcefully kept alive in the same room for the rest of her life. Was it cool for Ellaria to kill Myrcella? No. Does she deserve the full wrath of an unhinged Cercei? Not even the worst person on earth does. The fact that she did all this with The Mountain in the room was just another twist of the knife.
Jamie is sitting alone at a table, unstrapping his hand and pouring himself a drink. Cercei all but kicks down the door and makes a B-line for his pants. Jamie tries to put his hand back on, but theres no time for that in Cercei’s agenda. She’s a woman who knows what she wants, and isn’t going to let anything stop her, she’s drunk on her own power, and is flirting with it in a dangerous way. I don’t know how to feel about torture and murder make Cercei want some lovin’ from her twin brother, but it’s definitely not a good feeling. Theres a knock at the door and Jamie tries to shuffle away like a gentleman, but Cercei doesn’t care. She’s the queen, and if she wants to tell a maid that she and her brother had such wild sex that they need new sheet’s, then dammit she’s going to.
The Iron Bank of Bravos has come to collect their debts, and instead of paying her debts, Cercei uses some similar political tactics as her brother to convince them to instead extend their line of credit. The Iron Bank is worried that Lannister’s will lose the war, and they want to back the other guys. Cercei convinces them otherwise, and avoids losing their funding, and the war overall. I’m just saying, for a show that keeps telling us that Lannister’s pay their debts, I’ve never actually seen them pay their debt’s, they just keep killing people.
For such a long, tragic story, Sansa has really come into her own as a leader. For so long, she’s been playing the Game of Thrones, and losing. Now that she’s in charge, she get’s to put everything she’s learned the hard way into practice. She’s giving orders, making decisions, and genuinely kicking ass at it. Thats when Littlefinger makes his move. He gives her some song and dance about how every battle needs to be fought in the mind for it to be successful. Littlefinger is creepy, but I’m confident Sansa can see through his act and will hopefully be able to play him for her personal gain.
Then theres a knock at the door and we get yet another reunion. I thought surely it would be Arya, but nope, this time it’s Bran! I forgot how satisfying it is to have two Starks back together again, but, like almost every other character in this series, these two have grown and developed so drastically, it was almost like they were never siblings to begin with. Bran over some super vague, extremely odd dialogue about how he can’t be the Lord of Winterfell due to his responsibilities as the Three-Eyed-Raven. Sansa doesn’t understand, but then Bran drops some creepy knowledge of her wedding night with Ramsey. This, justifiably, upsets Sansa, and she storms off. We’re bound to get more of them together as the season progresses on, but for now, not cool Bran.
Side Note: There’s no Lyanna Mormont in this visit to Winterfell, and now I’ve almost stopped caring about this show at all.
Well, just like that, Ser Jorah is cured! I’m glad we didn’t have to spend to much time on this story, I don’t know how many more scenes I could’ve taken of Jorah being de-scaled. Now, Captain Friendzone is free to return to his beloved Khaleesi, and fight Jon for her hand in marriage (or, more likely, die protecting her honor). Sam is called in by Arch Maester Marwyn, and is commentated for his skill and clear talent for Maesterhood. Although, he is punished for breaking the rules. I love these quick scenes at The Citadel. The downfall of some storylines in Game of Thrones is that we spend way to much time with them (Arya becoming No One, I’m looking at you), but here, we get just the right amount every episode.
Grey Worm and the Unsullied sail to conquer Casterly Rock, using a story telling device that I don’t think we’ve seen before Tyrion is narrating the battle in Dragonstone, while the attack on the castle is shown in real time. This was inventive, and I loved how the show runners used it. This scene could have been an epic battle sequence, and even though got shots of Grey Worm kicking some serious ass, it all felt a little underwhelming. But that’s the intention, because it was, by design, far too easy to take Casterly Rock.
Side Note: I love how Tyrion is using the scars of his bastardized past to take down the monument of his father. You go girl.
Why was it so easy to take Casterly Rock? Because the Lannister’s high tailed it over to High Garden, and conquered the castle in a similarly easy fashion. We skip over two battles this episode, but it gave us the following scene, so I’m more than ok with it. Jamie meets Olenna in her chambers, and pours them a drink. They trade some verbal spars, and Olenna shows just how quick and vicious she can be. Finally, after she’s played with Jamie enough, she asks how it will happen. Jamie tells her about how Cercei initially wanted it done (seriously, Jamie, get out while you can), but then pulls a vile of poison out and pours it into her wine. She pounds it, and then the gloves come off. She tells Jamie the it was her who killed Joffrey, and asks Jamie to give Cercei the finger for her from beyond the grave. And just like that, Jamie storm out of the room, and Olenna uses her very life as a mic drop. We thank you for your service, Olenna out.
This episode was amazing. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite seasons, and we’re only three hours in. I know it’s easy to praise how good these episodes are, when so much of it is simply pay off, but thats just a testament to how strong this show has always been. If it weren’t for how amazing the earlier seasons have been, then this season would feel hollow. But they were and this isn’t. Episode four (somehow already the middle of the season), here we come.
Oh and by the way, I’m still fist pumping over that Dany and Jon stuff.
Quote of the Episode:
Tyrion: A wise man once said never to believe something simply because you want to believe it.
Dany: Which wise man said that?
Tyrion: …I can’t remember…
Dany: Are you trying to pass of your own sayings as ancient wisdom?
Tyrion: *clearly caught* I would never do that.