I adored this one.
The beauty of The Queen’s Justice is that it wastes no time introducing Jon Snow to Daenerys Targaryen. The coming together of these two iconic characters has been six seasons in the making, and it was glorious indeed. Everything from the contrast in their respective titles (a downright hilarious moment), to Dany’s disbelief in the White Walker threat was perfect. Sure a case could be made that Dany’s becoming annoyingly arrogant, but it fits the character’s tremendous journey when you look back on the whole thing. It’s also interesting to note that almost all of Dany’s allies have been wiped out. I knew this season would be unexpected, but taking Yara, Ellaria and Olenna out of the game so soon is some ballsy storytelling. Nevertheless, this paves the way for the eventual Dany/Jon team-up and I’m all for it. Fire and ice indeed.
The Sand Snakes were always Game of Thrones‘ weakest subplot (a universally agreed upon sentiment), and now we can safely say that we’re done with that trainwreck. Thankfully House Martell went out with a bang as Cersei finally got revenge for Myrcella’s poisoning by doing the same to Ellaria’s daughter. The entire scene is one of the greatest things this show’s ever done. The only dialogue in the sequence comes from the queen with both her prisoners gagged, and Lena Headey delivers a powerhouse turn. You hate the woman for being so vicious, and yet you totally get where she’s coming from as Ellaria did in fact commit the crime in question. The intricate shades of grey when it comes to both mothers and their motivations make this development so captivating to watch. Furthermore, there’s the looming threat of The Mountain standing right there beside them, and the relief that Cersei didn’t choose a more heinous way to dispose of Ellaria’s daughter. Tyene definitely got the easy way out.
And then there’s Lady Olenna. Words can’t express how magnificent Diana Rigg has been in the part. Her razor-sharp barbs and hysterical wit have been a cornerstone of the series since season two, and it’s a real gut-punch to lose the character. Nevertheless, we’re so close to the end and I love that she manages to win even in death. Yes this is the moment where she finally tells the Lannisters that she is in fact responsible for Joffrey’s brutal death (although we can’t forget that Littlefinger also played a part). Olenna’s final scene with Jaime is masterful in every way. Notice that the Kingsguard never resorts to brutality in dealing with the Queen of Thorns, even after she reveals that she killed his son. Instead, he still manages to give her a dignified death (at Cersei’s behest), and we never really see the moment in which she perishes. To parallel Olenna’s victory, the episode cuts to black while she’s still alive and well. How brilliant is that?
Bits & Beheadings
– Jon mentions Tyrion pissing off the edge of the world. I love the continuity on this show.
– The cinematography as the gang crosses the bridge towards the castle? Breathtaking.
– Hilarious moment with Jon getting terrified of the dragons (the first he’s ever seen) and jumping to the ground as Tyrion and Missandei casually watch on.
– Melisandre wisely doesn’t meet with Jon Snow. She tells Varys she’s heading to Volantis. More importantly, she mentions that both she and Varys will die in Westeros. Foreshadowing?
– I love how Dany casually apologizes to Jon for her father’s various barbecues.
– Dany states that she is the “last Targaryen.” Little does she know…
– Emilia Clarke had some off moments this week but I did love her empowering speech (found below).
– Notice that Jon doesn’t let Davos say that he died (and was subsequently resurrected). I wonder how Dany will react to that revelation.
– Theon has been retrieved by the Ironborn fleet. No one cares.
– If you needed any more reason to hate Euron, look no further than him mentioning that he’s “hard” while dragging Ellaria, Tyene, and Yara through the streets as people pelt them with dirt (much like Cersei’s walk of shame).
– Ellaria’s face when she sees the monster who killed Oberyn is chilling.
– Cersei tells Euron she’ll marry him when the war is won. Something tells me that will never happen.
– I’m waiting for Jaime to tell Cersei about Euron’s perverted taunts.
– Stunning shot with Ellaria and Tyene trying to pull away from the chains and reach each other.
– It’s intriguing to note that Cersei gets horny after exacting revenge. She subsequently gives her brother a blowjob (that was disturbing to write), and flaunts their sexy night in front of her handmaiden the next morning. I love that she doesn’t care about scandal anymore and purposely asks for “fresh sheets”.
– Cersei’s handmaiden is the same one who stumbled upon Sansa flowering in season two, and spied on Tyrion and Shae in season four. Also, her haircut now matches Cersei’s. #Trendsetter.
– Did anyone else get Tywin vibes as Cersei manipulated the banker from Bravos?
– Congrats Jon, you now have Dragonglass.
– How good was the dialogue this week? You only need to see the never-ending quotes section below for proof.
– Loved seeing Sansa take charge in Winterfell. Can she get rid of Littlefinger already?
– Good life tips from Littlefinger about living every possibility in your head. The script circles back to this with Olenna’s line about failure of imagination. I thought that was a terrific touch.
– Although I would have loved to see Sansa unite with Arya, her reunion with Bran was wonderfully heartwarming. Of course he ruined it with his Three-Eyed Raven-ness when he brought up Sansa’s traumatic wedding night. Talk about socially awkward.
– Counting the minutes until Bran tells Jon about his true lineage.
– Does anyone else think that Jorah got cured from Greyscale far too easily? Still, I’m excited to see him get back to Dany, and I’m glad Sam is useful now.
– In retrospect, the gang definitely should have let Dany take her dragons and unleash them on Euron’s fleet.
– Hey look it’s Bronn! Tyrion’s line (“Give me 10 good men and I’ll impregnate the bitch”) is a callback to Bronn saying that line when referring to The Eyrie in season one.
– Even more awesome continuity: Jaime’s sneak attack (leaving Casterly Rock to the Unsullied and taking Highgarden) is something he learned from Robb.
– Running joke: Lady Olenna making fun of her house’s Golden Rose sigil.
– Notice The Rains of Castamere playing in the final scene – once again as the Lannisters exact revenge on an enemy.
– Olenna mentions that Jaime’s love for that “monster” Cersei will be his undoing. Sounds about right to me.
Kings & Quips
Tyrion: And Sansa? I hear she’s alive and well.
Jon: She is.
Tyrion: Does she miss me terribly? A sham marriage. And unconsummated.
Jon: I didn’t ask.
Tyrion: Well, it was. Wasn’t. Anyway she’s much smarter than she lets on.
Jon: She’s starting to let on.
Tyrion: At some point, I want to hear how a Night’s Watch recruit became King in the North.
Jon: As long as you tell me how a Lannister became Hand to Daenerys Targaryen.
Tyrion: A long and bloody tale. To be honest, I was drunk for most of it.
Melisandre: My time whispering in the ears of kings has come to an end.
Varys: Oh, I doubt that. Give us common folk one taste of power, we’re like the lion who tasted man. Nothing is ever so sweet again.
Missandei: You stand in the presence of 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, the Breaker of Chains.
Ser Davos: This is Jon Snow… He’s King in the North.
Daenerys: I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a broodmare. I’ve been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen. The world hadn’t seen a dragon in centuries until my children were born. The Dothraki hadn’t crossed the sea, any sea. They did for me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.
Jon: You’ll be ruling over a graveyard if we don’t defeat the Night King.
Ser Davos: If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die. And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.
Euron: There’s nothing quite like it, is there? The love of the people. Though I suppose you wouldn’t know.
Jaime: This same mob spat at my sister not long ago. And if you turn on us, they’ll cheer to see your head mounted on a spike.
Euron: Or yours. They just like severed heads, really. Listen, if you have any advice at all, I would love to hear it. When we have an hour or two to speak as brothers.
Euron: Does she like it gentle or rough? A finger in the bum?
Cersei: (to Ellaria) I want you to know I understand. Even though we’re enemies, you and I, I understand the fury that drives you.I was there that day when Ser Gregor crushed your lover’s head. If I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of Oberyn’s skull breaking. The sound of your scream. I never heard a sound like that. I thought, “That’s true love.”
Cersei: (to Ellaria) I don’t sleep very well. Not at all, really. I lie in bed and I stare at the canopy and imagine ways of killing my enemies.
How to destroy Ellaria Sand, the woman who murdered my only daughter. I thought about having Ser Gregor crush your skull the way he did Oberyn’s. It would be poetic, I suppose, but fast, too fast. I thought about having him crush your daughter’s skull. She’s so beautiful. The thought of this lovely face cracking open like a duck egg, no, it’s just not right.
Cersei: The destruction of the Sept of Baelor was a tragic accident.
Banker: Indeed, but sometimes tragedies are necessary to restore order and rational leadership.
Banker: We don’t make bets. We invest in endeavors we deem likely to be successful.
Cersei: A fancy way of saying “bet.
Cersei: In your experience, how do bankers usually fare with revolutionaries? The Lannisters owe the Iron Bank quite a lot of money, but Lannisters always pay their debts. Do former slaves or Dothraki or dragons?
Tyrion: (to Jon) I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel like I’m failing at brooding over failing.
Tyrion: (to Jon) White walkers, the Night King, Army of the Dead– it’s almost a relief to confront a comfortable, familiar monster like my sister.
Daenerys: And what does the King in the North want with dragonglass?
Tyrion: Apparently, it can be turned into weapons that kill white walkers and their foot soldiers. Or stop them. Destroy them. Unsure about the nomenclature.
Tyrion: But a wise man once said that you should never believe a thing simply because you want to believe it.
Daenerys: Which wise man said this?
Tyrion: I don’t remember.
Daenerys: Are you trying to present your own statements as ancient wisdom?
Daenerys: What was that Ser Davos said about taking a knife in the heart for his people? Did you notice that?
Tyrion: You must allow them their flights of fancy. It’s dreary in the North.
Jon: You’ve been talking to Tyrion.
Daenerys: He is my Hand.
Jon: He enjoys talking.
Daenerys: We all enjoy what we’re good at.
Jon: I don’t.
Littlefinger: I know Cersei better than anyone here. If you turn your back on her–
Sansa: You don’t know Cersei better than anyone here.
Littlefinger: I only meant to say–
Sansa: That the woman who murdered my mother, father, and brother is dangerous? Thank you for your wise counsel.
Littlefinger: Don’t fight in the North or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always, in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you.
Everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before.
Maester: Many maesters whose chains are heavy with healing links have attempted it and failed. Yet you succeeded. How?
Sam: I read the books and followed the instructions.
Jaime: There are always lessons in failures.
Olenna: Yes. You must be very wise by now.
Olenna: (about Joffrey) He really was a cunt, wasn’t he?
Olenna: Will there be pain?
Jaime: No. I made sure of that.
Olenna: That’s good. (She drinks it) I’d hate to die like your son. Clawing at my neck, foam and bile spilling from my mouth, eyes bloodred, skin purple. Must have been horrible for you, as a Kingsguard, as a father. It was horrible enough for me. A shocking scene. Not at all what I intended. You see, I had never seen the poison work before. Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.
The strongest episode thus far. Absolutely remarkable and almost perfect.