Game of Thrones
Season 7 Episode 3
“The Queen’s Justice”
I will be the first to admit that I have always hated Cersei Lannister as a character and part of that hate has blinded me to how sublimely clever both she and her brother Jaime truly are. That hatred is something that they use to their advantage in this episode.
One of the things that I enjoyed about this episode is that they went ahead and put the first meeting between the newly crowned “King in the North” John Snow and “Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, etc.” Daenerys Targaryen at the front of the episode. For anyone expecting a meeting of like minds who would band together to fight against the threats facing all of Westeros, prepare to be disappointed. These are two people who do not know each other at all and, reputations aside, have no reason to trust each other. All John Snow knows about Dany is that she is the daughter of the Mad King and has returned to claim his throne with her dragons (something not in dispute when Dany seems unable to relent her need for John to “take the knee”).
Dany can only see a bastard barbarian who has claimed lordship over one of the seven kingdoms that are hers by birthright. While John and Davos plead their case that the problems they face are bigger than squabbling over territory, it falls to Tyrion to try to broker a peace between two people he both respects and admires. A task made that much harder by the news that Euron Greyjoy has defeated the fleet from the Iron Isles. Euron has returned to King’s Landing with a gift for Cersei, Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene along with a still living Yara Greyjoy. This gift allows Cersei to bask in her victory as she tells Ellaria what she has planned for her and her daughter as payback for poisoning Cersei’s only daughter Myrcella.
As Tyrion and Dany plot their next move, they are outmaneuvered again by both Jaime and Euron as the Unsullied have taken Casterly Rock, but are cut off from escape and trapped on the other side of the continent. Jaime has decided to sack HighGarden, home to the Tyrell’s in order to rob them of their wealth to pay off their debts to the Iron Bank of Bravos. Having learned from the mistakes of the past, Jaime decides to give up his childhood home for a better prize. As he confronts Lady Olenna, we are given one of the best performances I have ever seen on the series and even in her death, Lady Olenna steals the final victory from Jaime.
As Dany’s allies seem to continue to fall around her, she and Tyrion decide to give John Snow what he wants: to mine the Dragon Glass that sits under Dragonstone in order to make weapons to kill the White Walkers and defeat the army of the dead. While neither of them truly believes in what John Snow says he saw, they are both convinced that giving him something with no risk to them will be the first sign of trust between the two. John and Dany have a rather gentile scene together that I enjoyed as both of them refuse to back down, but they are prepared to compromise.
Another reunion happens in Winterfell as Bran returns to his home and is greeted warmly by Sansa, who has taken to command very well, impressing everyone including Littlefinger. As Sansa and Bran sit alone under the tree and she tells him that he is the true Lord of Winterfell, Bran rejects the idea. He’s accepted his role as the Three Eyed Raven and proves his powers by recounting to Sansa a memory that she finds unpleasant to hear.
The pieces continue to fall into place as the season continues. It’s not going to be easy for Dany to take the Seven Kingdoms and her struggle to deal with the new circumstances she finds herself in are entertaining to watch. She’s going to need more than a name and some dragons to win over the hearts and minds of the people she plans to rule and with everyone turning against her, including the Iron Bank, her need to form alliances are more important than ever. Cersei and Jaime have shown that they are capable both together and apart, but the cracks in their relationship are showing as Cersei is getting too bold in her personal behavior and Jaime is being led with his heart instead of his head.
Overall, this episode was enjoyable for all the reasons that we love Game of Thrones. We got to see plots and plans laid out both successful and not and the threat of betrayal and possible triumph looming over the heads of every character. Also, Sam did Jorah a solid and it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out in the rest of the season.
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