REVIEW: Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 3 – The Queen’s Justice

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 3 – The Queen’s Justice

Game of Thrones continues its penultimate season with a historic meeting between ice and fire, Cersei’s vicious vengeance against Dorne and Highgarden, and Daenerys discovering that becoming Queen of the Seven Kingdoms will be more challenging that she anticipated.

As with all episodes in this short season, this one was jam-packed with major interactions and events, the biggest being the long-awaited meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Thankfully, this meeting took place at the beginning of the episode and pretty much covered around half an hour. With fans having waited for this moment for years, Game of Thrones certainly did not disappoint. Both parties met while at the height of their power, having endured long and difficult journeys to get to where they are.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 3 – The Queen’s JusticeThe confrontation was powerful and realistic, with both parties presenting compelling arguments based on their families’ fractious history. Both had valid points and it was hard to side with either. It would have been very unlikely for an alliance to form immediately when neither of them really knew much about the other. But it was a promising start. As Tyrion pointed out, it would have been unreasonable for Daenerys to believe the truth about the White Walkers simply from Jon’s words, and likewise it would have been foolish of Jon to bend the knee to a Targaryen given what that family did to his over the centuries. But a compromise was reached in the end, with Dany granting him the dragonglass, and it looks like there may still be some chance of a better understanding between the two.

This meeting also brought back the delightful dynamic of Tyrion and Jon, and how they play off each other. It was fun to have Tyrion tease Jon about his brooding (the Lannister wasn’t wrong though!) and to remind him about his marriage to Sansa, whom he continues to admire. Tyrion’s esteem for the Northerner also helped Jon’s case with Daenerys. With both powerful rulers trusting in the Lannister’s advice, it seems like he has the most power of them all.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 3 – The Queen’s JusticeBut even clever Tyrion was bested by his sister in the end, as his almost perfect plan of laying siege to Casterly Rock (shown for the first time on Game of Thrones) turned out to be an empty victory. It’s interesting to see how, despite everyone’s expectation that Dany would be instantly victorious, with all her Westerosi allies, her Dothraki, and her dragons, she is losing so far. There is a sense that all these early victories for Cersei might mean her downfall will be all the greater but for now, Dany is losing. It’s a humbling experience and one that paves the path for an alliance with the North.

There were a few scenes to show that Samwell had succeeded in healing Ser Jorah, who will be off to join Daenerys again. The archmaester was impressed but still dealt some dreary punishment on poor Sam for breaking the rules.

Game of Thrones, S7 Ep 3 – The Queen’s JusticeBack in Winterfell, Sansa is proving to be one of the best rulers the North has had in generations. While Jon is off on his crusade against the Walkers, Sansa is taking care of her people, making practical preparations for the long winter, and impressing all the liege lords of the North. It’s annoying to still have Littlefinger creeping around her but his advice is sound when he talks about imagining and preparing for every possible scenario so as not to be taken by surprise by anything.

There is one surprise though and it’s another Stark reunion, with Bran arriving at Winterfell at last. But it’s not nearly as emotional as last season’s reunion between Jon and Sansa, mostly because Bran is in full Three-Eyed Raven mode now, and barely reciprocates his sister’s joy at seeing him alive and well. It’s sad to see Sansa so happy but also so confused about her brother. As she walks away from the Godswood, you get the sense that she feels more alone than ever, surrounded by brothers who might not be quite sane.

Cersei continued in her quest for vengeance against the Martells and Tyrells. With Euron’s victory over his niece and nephew, he marches into King’s Landing arrogantly dragging behind Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene, before presenting them to Cersei. The Queen then enacts a particularly cruel revenge on the woman who killed her daughter. It’s a harrowing scene, how Ellaria is forced to watch her own daughter die of the poison she gave Myrcella. But one has to acknowledge Cersei’s own pain and sorrow as the driving forces for this latest act of brutality.

Game of Thrones Olenna TyrellThe other act of vengeance happens towards the end of the episode, as Jaime and the Tarly’s storm Highgarden and the Tyrells are defeated. In one of the best scenes of an already impressive episode, Jaime and Lady OIenna have the most civil execution ever, calmly chatting about Cersei’s atrocities while Olenna sips a cup of poison, the most humane way to go that Jaime somehow convinced Cersei to do.

And then, the Lady Olenna goes out with style, dropping the biggest truth bomb (at least for Jaime) and admitting that she was the mastermind behind Joffrey’s death. Even at the end, Lady Olenna will have the last laugh. She will be missed on Game of Thrones.