Daenerys suffered a major blow last week and the hits just keep on coming in “The Queen’s Justice.” Euron makes good on a present for Cersei, Ice and Fire finally meet in Dragonstone, and we get another Stark reunion in Winterfell.
Cersei’s lack of allies isn’t slowing her down much. As the first reigning Queen of the Seven Kingdoms she’s beginning to prove that when backed into a corner she remains incredibly dangerous.
Euron waltzes into King’s Landing as a hero, leading prisoners Ellaria, Tyene, and Yara while the crowd jeers and throws food. Yara seemingly disappears for the rest of the episode while he hurls the Dornish women at Cersei’s feet.
By crippling the Dornish war machine Euron is a hero in Cersei’s eyes. But his marriage proposal is gently rebuffed until after the war. This only appears to goad him further, even taunting Jaime by wanting some sexual advice.
We already knew Euron was gigantic asshole, but this episode also confirmed that most people correctly believe that Jamie is romantically involved with his sister – and as Queen Cersei no longer cares to hide it.
Ellaria was responsible for Princess Myrcella’s death back in season 5. Cersei relishes in the chance to enact cruel torture on both the mother and daughter in the most predictable way, by poisoning the daughter in front of the mother.
And is anyone shocked that revenge torture makes Cersei super horny? Change of sheets indeed.
I predicated last week that Cersei’s cruel actions toward the prisoners would drive a wedge between Jamie and Cersei, but clearly he’s still totally on board with her plans (and her body).
Jaime is a very frustrating character. He was on track for redemption and self-knowledge after losing a battle, losing his hand, and spending time with Brienne on the road back to King’s Landing, even giving her the sword and mission to save the Stark girls.
Skip ahead several years and Jaime appears to be back to his old cocky season 1 self, madly in love with his sister and basically just her pawn and plaything. And Olenna Martell gets to call him out on it.
Yep, we got to see Higharden (House Martell), and Casterly Rock (House Lannister), for the first time all series.
Grey Worm and the Unsullied sailed all the way around Westeros to attack Casterly Rock, as per Tyrion’s and Dany’s plan. The siege is narrated by Tyrion, who explains a hidden entrance in the sewer system that he had created growing up there.
The infiltration is a success, but the Lannister army is much lighter than expected. Grey Worm looks back out onto the harbor to find the Greyjoys have shown up to destroy their ships (through surely Euron himself must still be in King’s Landing).
Worse, Jaime took the bulk of the army along with Bronn and Randall Tarly and marched on Highgarden, the other local ally to Team Targaryen. Highgarden rolls over and we’re treated to a delicious scene between the matron of House Martell, Olenna, and the Kingslayer.
It’s hard to be confident when defeated but Olenna remains sharp-tongued when she fully admits to poisoning and killing Joffery in season four. I believe the audience already knew this (or was the reigning theory) but Jaime certainly did not.
Olenna mocks him for supporting Cersei and clearly gets under his skin. Olenna drinks some poison provided by Jaime, putting a final end to the entire Highgarden subplot that began back in season three.
The marquee moment of the episode was the highly-anticipated first meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Thanks to some high-level, late game fast-travel abilities that everyone apparently now possesses, Jon and Davos already arrive at Dragonstone.
As King of the North Jon’s been summoned to bend the knee to Daenerys, who has only recently shown up in Westeros and declared herself Queen.
The meeting between our two lead heroes was full of fan service, bravado, quips, and many, many side-eyed reaction shots. Jon is adorably uncomfortable yet passionate, while Daenerys is haughty and knowledgeable. It was fantastic, even with the very predictable outcome.
Jon is headstrong and doesn’t see the point in bending the knee and even fighting Cersei when the Night King is approaching the Wall with an army of the dead.
For Daenerys this is the first time she’s ever heard about an undead army and responds accordingly. Both sides refuse to give an inch, and it’s up to their advisers – namely Tyrion, to find common ground with the dragonglass.
Daenerys agrees to let Jon mine the dragonglass as a show of good faith. Baby steps toward a possible alliance.
The scene between Jon and Tyrion (their first since the first season) was equally fantastic. Jon is an excellent leader and warrior but admits to not being so good with words, while Tyrion proves to be an enviable diplomat.
I’m interested to see how long Jon remains by Daenerys at Dragonstone – she basically threatens him for not bending the knee by declaring he and the North to be in open rebellion.
As an audience with multiple Points of Views we’re privy to more information than both characters. We know the undead army is very much the threat Jon espouses. But as Tyrion points out, it’s difficult thing for anyone outside of the North to believe or care about. Likewise ignoring Cersei isn’t an easy choice either, as Baelish warns Sansa while Winterfell prepares for the Night King.
Cersei has won some major victories and pulled the rug out from Team Targaryen. If our heroes have any hope of winning the Game of Thrones and surviving the Long Night, they’ll have to find a way to join forces and deal with both threats.
The Meeting of Ice and Fire: Our two biggest leads of the series finally came together after seven years, and the sheer presence in that room was a sight to behold. As always, it was Tyrion that stole that show, though Davos’ too-brief introduction elicited the biggest laugh.
Olenna Martell: A great character remains defiant, witty, and ruthless to the very end. Hopefully her tongue-lashing got through to Jaime.
Jorah Mormont: Jorah’s back baby! Sam’s risky procedure worked perfectly, and Jorah is now greyscale-free and can presumably return to Team Targaryen.
The Unsullied: Team Targaryen won a battle but at a sharp cost. With the Unsullied’s ships destroyed they’re forced to either stay at a food-less Casterly Rock, or march on foot across Westeros.
Bran Stark: “Hey sis, long time no see. Remember the time you married a brutal murderer and rapist? Man that was something. See ya later!”
Geography: Remember when we would spend entire episodes getting characters from one location to the next? Ain’t nobody got time for that anymore! Pull up a map and be shocked with how quickly Jon made it to Dragonstone, and Grey Worm to Casterly Rock.