All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!
7.3 The Queen’s Justice
Ah, the Queen’s Justice. Sound familiar? Remember Joff had “The King’s Justic” aka his executioner Ser Ilyn Payne- the silent man who chopped off Ned’s head? The Queen’s Justice arguably refers to yes, literal justice, as well as Cersei’s means of serving up revenge. And Dany’s too. I guess. There’s so much room for improvement in these later episodes, so don’t mind if I just correct some of these scenes.
Pyke is still in the opening credits for some reason- and we are suspiciously missing two big castles here- Casterly Rock in the Westerlands and High Garden of the Reach, both the seats of power in their respective kingdoms.
The episode kicks off by getting straight to business- Jon’s arrival at Dragonstone, flanked by Davos. They’re greeted by Tyrion and Missandei and Jon and Tyrion greet each other warmly, but no matter how warm the greeting and no matter how much Davos is crushing on Missandei, Jon can’t help but feel uneasy when he hands over his weapons and watches his boat get escorted away by Dothraki. Did… Did Davos forget he had a wife? When was the last time he saw her? Anyway. You know who hasn’t forgotten he has a wife? Tyrion. He and Jon chat about Sansa and I think it’s adorable how Tyrion seems to ask after her to be polite but is still keen on her wellbeing.
Tyrion warns Jon that Stark men don’t fare well when they travel south and Jon insists that he’s not a Stark- he’s about to drop that he’s a Snow when D&D ride in on Drogon to beat us over the head that Jon is actually a Targaryen. Jon and Davos are rightfully amazing and swoon over the appearance of a dragon while Missandei keeps her ground.
Melisandre watches from above when she’s confronted by Varys and still claims that she’s successful because she brought ICE and FIRE together. So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, D&D are basically smacking you in the face, yelling that A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t just Jon and it isn’t just Dany- it’s the two of them together. I still think they will be wrong, but whatever. Mel informs Varys that she’s not sticking around- she’s heading to Volantis and Varys tells her not to return- but Mel drops that she has to return to Westeros to die, just like him. HOLD UP. Varys already left Westeros and came back- twice, mind you- so let’s just expect Varys to bite the dust next season.
Upon entering the throne room, Missandei announces all of Dany’s titles and Davos doesn’t know how to respond even though Jon has done so much more and like Tywin said, if you have to say it, it’s probably not true. Dany refuses to acknowledge that Jon is the King in the North because his ancestor Torrhen Stark bent the knee (shot) back in the day to her ancestor and thus, Jon must be following the Targaryens, right? She breaks Jon’s confidence a bit as his gaze goes down and she asks him if he’s there to bend the knee (shot).
NOPE TO THIS SCENE. I get it, there’s tension, it’s the meeting of the two biggest characters on the show, and Kit Harington does a fantastic job here with some subtle behavior and body language, but there is some really lazy dialogue going on here. Goddamnit, will they not let her grow as a character?
Anyway, Jon points out that he’s not technically breaking faith since her father burned his family and Dany asks that he not judge her by the actions of her father (which Jon conveniently did)- so then why do they not give her any sense of leeway or diplomacy? She knows he’s not in leagues with the Lannisters, she knows that he’s honorable based on Tyrion’s word, and she also acknowledges that the Stark/Targaryen alliance was the strongest Westeros had ever seen- could they not come up with a more creative way for her to ask Jon- request maybe- that he serve as her Warden instead of her demanding that he relinquish power? Dany’s development could have been displayed in her negotiating tactics alone but instead they leave her with whining and demanding she get her way instead of actually learning how to be diplomatic. It’s disappointing.
Jon brings up the White Walkers, but Dany’s insistent that Jon is the enemy to the North and keeps interrupting him while Jon is trying to make his case that everyone needs to set aside their differences to fight the army of the dead. She’s never heard of them or heard tales of them but you would think that an army of zombies would catch her attention- but Dany is stuck on ow Jon refers to not her but everyone as a child so she instead transitions into how Robert tried to have her killed as a baby, her treatment as woman, and how the thought of her taking power kept her alive and helped her do things that had never been done, like lead the Dothraki over the Narrow Sea and birth dragons and… LIKE WHY. WHY. WHAT IS THIS DIALOGUE. IS THIS EVEN A CONVERSATION. How does this… how does she… Why are they presenting her as this antagonist when we are supposed to be conflicted between who we would side with?
Let’s rewrite this for a hot sec: Jon makes an observation about Dany’s feud with Cersei, speaks about his feud to the North, then maybe talks about how he was tossed around like garbage by the Night King and then maybe implies that the Night King will break her with a snap of his fingers. Then Dany can brag about everything she’s done and say that she can beat the Night King and whoever gets in her way based on the things she’s done.
And then we can pick up where Davos talks about Jon’s accomplishments because that part is pretty good. After Davos speaks highly of how Jon was selected to lead the North and not by demanding it, Jon grows more confident and frustrated with Dany, tells her off for not seeing the bigger picture and putting her energy into a title that doesn’t actually mean good leadership. Dany tells Jon that she considers him in open rebellion when Varys sprints in to let her know that Yara and Ellaria have been captured.
Not Theon though. He’s been pulled ashore while Tyene, Yara, and Ellaria are paraded through King’s Landing and Euron is celebrated like a hero upon entering the Throne Room. He presents them to Cersei so she can seek JUSTICE (get it?) for Myrcella’s death and Cersei tells Euron he can have what he wants- her hand in marriage- when the war has been won.
Down in the dungeon Cersei gets her JUSTICE by recounting Oberyn’s death to Ellaria’s face and then lays a little kiss on Tyene’s lips so that she can die by the same way Myrcella died after kissing Ellaria goodbye and Ellaria is left, forced to watch her daughter die. Indira Varma is so wonderful in this scene despite not having any dialogue and it pains me to say that it’s absolutely comical how she and Tyene gesture towards each other in the last shot. And again- bad dialogue. Like as if the audience couldn’t get the reference. After kissing Tyene, all we had to do was cut to Cersei kneeling down to speak to Ellaria, and then get a couple of shots of Ellaria- not Ellaria and Tyene- trying to get to her daughter. Much more effective.
Cersei then makes her way to Jaime’s room, goes downtown, then opens the door naked and post-sex, because she’s the queen and can do what she likes. It’s a very Robert move. Standing at her door is the little handmaiden that ran to tell her everything about Shae and Sansa. Mycroft has arrived from the Iron Bank- they don’t want to bet on the outcome of the war with Dany, but they will make a quick investment on who the victor will be. Cersei makes a convincing argument that Dany won’t pay back her debts or has any inkling of economics and so she has the Iron Bank convinced enough to lend her a bit of gold.
In Dragonstone, Jon confides in Tyrion that he knows the Night King and White Walkers sound ludicrous to anyone who hasn’t seen them and Tyrion admits that he does believe Jon- but everyone else will need to be convinced. He points out that Dany and Jon are fighting the same fight- saving people from monsters- and this scene is fine as it doesn’t point out the deficiencies of Dany’s character. They should just stop writing for her because when they are writing about her, it’s infinitely better.
Tyrion asks if there’s anything that he can help Jon with in the meantime and Jon brings up the dragongless underneath Dragonstone. Tyrion brings the request to Dany and he does some smoothing over between Dany and Jon, urging her to keep Jon as an ally by giving him the dragonglass and making it a productive relationship, while they are able to regroup by taking Casterly Rock.
After Tyrion’s calmed each of them down, Jon approaches Dany and she makes a bold statement about how Tyrion enjoys talking because people enjoy what they’re good at. Jon disagrees and says he doesn’t- if you didn’t catch on, it’s because what he’s good at is fighting and killing. Dany agrees to let Jon’s men mine the dragonglass and he thinks that he’s changing her mind, but she glosses over this and tells him to get to work.
Up at Winterfell, Sansa observes her people and resources- but they only have food to last about a year. The Maester says Luwin kept a copy of every scroll so they can check on the records of weather and Littlefinger is keen on this fact. Meanwhile, Sansa begins to arm up Winterfell. She begins to show off her tactical prowess, knowing that certain houses will use Winterfell as a retreat so they need to start collecting grain for their food stores. She also notes that the armor being crafted by the knights of the Vale should be covered in leather to protect against the cold because she grew up in the North and she was also very good at making clothing as proven by Jon’s cloak and her first conversation with Cersei (did everyone just forget that she was a knowledgeable, prodigal seamstress from the very first episode? Why the Sansa-hate!?). Littlefinger tells her that Sansa was made for command and attempts to turn her attention to Cersei instead of Winterfell.
Littlefinger recommends that Sansa treat everyone like an enemy so that nothing comes as a surprise and she becomes suspicious of him- but her attention is called away because Bran has arrived. She’s overcome with emotion but Robot Bran doesn’t hug her back. He relinquishes his title to Lord of Winterfell since he’s the Three-Eyed Raven and Sansa’s like, wtf. Bran tries to explain that he can see everything and she’s like, sure? Then out of his ass, Bran brings up the night she was raped because I’m sure that the thing Sansa wants to hear is that he was a witness to her rape and to evoke the disturbing memories and humiliation that Ramsay caused her. Like, no social cues whatsoever. Nice one, Bran.
At Oldtown, Ebrose checks over Jorah, who seems to be cured of greyscale because he rested a lot under Ebrose’s recommendation. He gives a firm handshake to Sam before leaving to join Dany because Jorah knows no other path than his hormones. Sam admits to Ebrose that he treated Jorah and Ebrose comes very close to letting Sam onto the Quidditch team but retracts any sort of praise and doesn’t even award him with a link. Rude. Instead, he assigns Sam the task of copying scrolls that are rotting away.
In Dragonstone, Dany wants Euron Greyjoy and plans to fly Drogon and company to take out their fleet- she doesn’t understand that while the dragons are nearly invincible, she is not. She’s kind of been lulled into a false sense of security, you know, surviving fire and men and all that.
A Guy Ritchie voiceover ensues as Tyrion describes what will happen as the Unsullied lay siege to Casterly Rock (we get such a cheap, short shot of Casterly Rock after hearing so many tales of it, oh woe)- so they’re not going to lay siege. They’re going to attack using the sewer systems that Tyrion designed under command of Tywin, where Tyrion built himself a passageway to smuggle in his ladies, and this is how Grey Worm and his Unsulled get inside. It’s not a full fight though, and most of the Lannister forces have actually left Casterly Rock- instead, Casterly Rock has been surrounded by Greyjoy ships that are wiping out the rest of Dany’s fleet. Meanwhile, the Lannisters are too busy attacking High Garden, the second richest family in Westeros with an abundance of resources.
Cersei has been able to successfully stay one step ahead of Tyrion this entire game, and she’s sent Jaime as well as the proposed new leaders of the Reach, the Tarlys, to knock Olenna out of power. The Reach is unprotected, as most of those soldiers were sent to attack King’s Landing in that defunct plan. Jaime heads over to visit Olenna one last time and she recalls how the Lannisters wiped out House Reyne when they threatened to become the most wealthy family in the Realm. Jaime admits that Casterly Rock is pretty much worthless now that all the gold has been mined. While they are leveling with each other, Olenna admits that like Tywin, she did unspeakable things to protect her family, but she’s never seen anyone do the things that Cersei commanded and she would never do those things herself. After listening to Olenna badmouth his lady, Jaime stands to leave and assures Olenna that he was able to convince Cersei to kill Olenna swiftly and painlessly- with a poison. Olenna chugs it quickly, then confesses she killed Joffrey without a second thought, and the episode ends, as Jaime realizes that the enemies that killed his children were in fact, reacting to something Cersei did- and that she is the indirect cause of all their deaths. Hell of an ending and a hell of a way for one of our all-time favorite characters to leave the show.
RIP Lady Olenna. An absolute filthy minded and eloquent treasure.
Next up, we have 7.4 The Spoils of War!