Previously on recapping Game of Thrones… HOT PIE BACK! This week…
Season 7, Episode 3- The Queen’s Justice
At last, Game of Thrones has brought together two fan-favorite characters with more in common than either of them fully comprehend. Yes, “The Queen’s Justice” marks, and dedicates a big chunk of itself to, the first meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. Hold on, let me use their full names: the first meeting between Daenerys Targaryen – The Mother of Dragons, The Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, The Unburnt, The Breaker of Chains, The Sultan of Swat, The Human Highlight Film, The Ayatollah of Rock ‘N’ Rolla – and Jon Snow – This is Jon Snow.
Years ago, when their ancestors met, the Starks swore loyalty to the Targaryens “in perpeutity.” Translation: the Starks are sworn to the Targaryens forever. It’s a deal so terrible, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Donald Trump himself made it. Regardless, Daenerys really hopes Jon is there to bend the knee in order to honor the stupendous deal between their families, really folks, it’s the best deal anyone has ever made, period. But, he’s not. Jon finds it hard to trust, let alone pledge fealty to, Daenerys considering the crimes of her father, which oh by the way include burning his grandfather and uncle alive.
Why then travel all the way to Dragonstone, probably overdressed and sweaty due to never having gone this far South before, just to turn down an offer? Because of chem trails and the truth about the JFK assassination! Wait… oh, right. Because of the army of the dead and The Night’s King! If they don’t focus on defeating the enemy to the North first, it won’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne, to blatantly plagiarize a great line from Davos. You would think the prospect of not dying would rouse Daenerys into helping Jon, but alas, to everyone not named Davos, Jon sounds like someone who needs to be fitted for the medieval-equivalent of a tin foil hat. Why would Daenerys send troops to fight an enemy she doesn’t believe is real, when she needs them to fight the war she’s already in. Not to mention that she’s already lost a vast amount of her troops as a result of Euron’s attack from last week.
It’s a stalemate then! Jon and Davos can hang out as non-prisoners for now, but Daenerys reserves the right to take them as prisoners later if Jon remains in “open rebellion” as “The King in the North.”
Tyrion later comes across a brooding Jon, and comments on how Jon looks better at brooding than he can ever hope to. It’s a line that’s so meta (Jon has been known to brood!) I’m shocked Tyrion didn’t look into the camera and wink as a laugh track played, the credits rolled, and we got one of those dumb Chuck Lorre vanity cards about how he once got food poisoning after eating too much pad thai in a Boston bus station, or whatever. Anyway, the reason Jon is brooding this time is because he feels like a right Northern fool. He traveled all this way with his best fur, only to look like a lunatic spouting nonsense, as he tried to convince people to fight an army they don’t even believe exists. Idk Jon, maybe next time don’t lead with asking people to join you in a fight against the dead within minutes of meeting for the first time? Just a thought.
For what it’s worth though, Tyrion believes Jon. Not only because he’s a great judge of character who trusts the eyes of an honest man, but also because of this: why would Jon come to Dragonstone in the first place if he wasn’t telling the truth? To prank Daenerys? Because that would be a really shitty prank, and a dick move to pull on someone looking for allies in the middle of a war. But Tyrion has met Jon before, and knows he is no dick. Jon Snow must then be telling the truth. So while they won’t be committing men to Jon’s cause, perhaps Tyrion can help Jon with the other part of his mission to Dragonstone. Mining Dragonglass. When explaining to Daenerys that Dragonglass, “kills White Walkers or something,” Tyrion implores her to allow Jon to mine it. To them it literally means nothing, but Jon seems to really want it for his purposes, so why not? Give it to him, and gain an ally. Lord knows they need one. Congratulations, Jon Snow! You may not see eye-to-eye completely with Daenerys, but you will be permitted to mine Dragonglass. Still doesn’t mean they believe you about chem trails though.
Meanwhile, as if things in King’s Landing couldn’t get more twisted and dark, well… I mean, they do. First off, Euron Greyjoy returns to the city a hero, parading Ellaria and *ferociously googles her actual name* Tyene Sand, as well as his niece Yara, to the Iron Throne. Upon delivering this gift of justice to the Queen he so badly wants to have sex with it seems like he may literally die if he doesn’t, Euron is declared the greatest captain on the 14 Seas (finally, it’s official!) by Cersei, who also makes him her naval commander. Like, commander of the navy, not the guy who is going to do some weird sex stuff to her belly button (though I won’t put it past him.) And, he’ll finally get his heart’s/penis’ desire once the war is over: Cersei herself! But you know, only once the war is over. Once the war is over, then it will totally happen for him.
Cersei then goes about dealing out justice as only she truly can. Obviously still very upset over Ellaria killing her daughter (justified!) she slowly unveils her own twisted plan for revenge. Much like I do when trying to come up with jokes for these recaps, Cersei has laid awake countless nights thinking up ways to kill her enemies. Having Ellaria’s head crushed by The Mountain, while poetic, would be entirely too fast for Cersei’s taste. Instead she opts for something even more poetic: killing Tyene the same way that Ellaria killed Myrcella, with a poisonous kiss! Only things are wayyyy more fucked up this time, as Ellaria’s punishment is to live to watch her daughter die, and rot away. Let this be a lesson to all: Ellaria Sand may be a bad bitch who will kiss your daughter to death, but Cersei Lannister is a badder bitch who will kiss your daughter to death, and then force you to stay alive as you watch her die and then slowly rot away. Fun!
Later, like any good red-blooded, meat-eating, god-fearing American would after a hard day at the office, Jaime Lannister takes off his fake hand and kicks back with a glass of wine. Cersei, feeling jazzed after submitting Ellaria Sand to unparalleled anguish for the rest of her life, waltzes right in and gets Jaime into bed PDQ. In fact, she’s feeling so jazzed, she doesn’t even care when a servant shows up the next morning (with an identical haircut to Cersei’s, by the way) and sees Jaime in Cersei’s bed. She’s the Queen! Nothing will ever stop this high! Not even the Lannister’s crippling debt that the Iron Bank comes to collect on. Or, the Iron Bank is there to “invest” in someone? To be honest, I didn’t see the point of this conversation until the end, where Cersei promises in classic foreboding fashion that she will be repaying her debt in full within a fortnight, because boy does that promise pay off.
Yeah, the Lannisters decide to just let Daenerys’ army of Unsullied sneak into Casterly Rock and take it. Now, the Unsullied are that much further away from King’s Landing, as the Lannister army (along with that asshole Randyll Tarly, his non-Sam son, and Bronn of all people) attack and capture Highgarden, the seat of House Tyrell, fountain of Westeros wealth, capital of Dandyville, U.S.A. Yet again, Cersei shows she is playing 4-D chess, effectively wiping out another one of Daenerys’ allies, leveling the playing field even further. Plus, she now has the gold to pay back the Iron Bank. And don’t you dare forget about her ultimate anti-dragon weapon: GIANT ARROWS! Things seem to be taking a turn for the worse for Daenerys, and she only just started getting interesting. The moral of the story: don’t have ambition.
That moral goes for Cersei too, who, if Jaime does end up telling her the truth of how Joffrey was killed, will learn that ambition gets you nothing but disappointment, murdered children, and a terrible life. Jaime talks Cersei out of doling out a gross punishment to Olenna Tyrell, convincing her to instead let the Queen of Thorns chug herself to death with a poisoned glass of wine. Before she imbibes however, Olenna lays down a whole bunch of truth on Jaime. She’s done some bad things, but Cersei has done terrible things she could never imagine. Olenna tells Jaime that Cersei will be the end of him, that she’s a disease, one Olenna regrets having a role in spreading, as will Jaime. Then, after she drinks, and the poison slowly works its whatever the opposite of magic is, she drops one final bomb on Jaime. It’s knowledge we’ve been privy to for a while, but it doesn’t make the moment any less powerful when Olenna reveals to Jaime that it was she who orchestrated the plot to poison Joffrey. She’d really hate it if this poison made her go out all purple-faced and disgusting like he did. Then she twists the knife in with one last line: “Tell Cersei. I want her to know that it was me.” Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.The only way this moment could have been better was if Olenna lit up a fat blunt as Jaime stood their stunned. Olenna was truly the best character to ever exist on Game of Thrones, and will be sorely missed. But, DAMN, what a note to go out on.
Spare Thoughts about how “hey maybe there will be justice in the end and Cersei will get hers, they’re just making sure things aren’t too easy for Daenerys! Right? RIGHT!?:
-Also happening this episode because we spent a lot of time on that other stuff and I really want to wrap it up and eat my lunch: Littlefinger gives Sansa a speech about how time is a flat circle, and how she should always be ready for anything so she’s never surprised. Then, surprise, Bran shows up! Sansa tells Bran he’s the true Lord of Winterfell, only for Bran to tell Sansa he can’t be, because he’s the Three-Eyed Raven. Sansa doesn’t know what that means. Bran explains it means he can see everything, as the Three-Eyed Raven taught him. Sansa is even more confused because Bran just said that he was the Three-Eyed Raven. Bran explains that it’s difficult to explain. It sure is Bran, it sure is.
-Also also happening this episode: Varys and Melisandre have a conversation! For Varys reasons, Varys seems keen to get Melisandre to admit that she convinced Stannis to burn his daughter alive. But Melisandre turns the tables on Varys by implying she knows that he will die in Westeros. Ooooooh, bet your little birds couldn’t tell you that one Varys, you bald-headed sonovabitch!
-This week in Samwell Tarly is a BIG DEAL: Sam cured Jorah of Greyscale! Turns out all he needed to do was follow the instructions. Why didn’t anyone else ever think of that! Sam is rewarded with not being kicked out of The Citadel. Jorah is rewarded with his freedom and a brand new shirt. RIP Jorah’s old burlap sack shirt. Welcome, Jorah’s new charcoal shirt! (Boy, they’re really going out their way to get everyone into shades of black this season, huh?)
-When Daenerys commented on Jon having lost two brothers, I was confused. Was there a rumor that Bran was dead? Then I remembered: Rickon! RIP Rickon, you died how you lived, easily forgotten.
-Missandei is introduced as Daenerys’ most trusted adviser. Is she? Calling it now, because what the hell, there’s no consequences for me making a wrong prediction online: Missandei has betrayed Daenerys. I could be missing something here, over how leaks and such work in the world of Game of Thrones, but how is it that information on everything Team Dany keeps managing to get to her enemies? Is there a ubiquitous group of unseen enemy recon troops that has been following Daenerys everywhere, or is there a spy in her midst? Last episode, they tried to play it up like Varys might have a larger ulterior motive. That was a misdirect. This show loves subverting expectation and breaking hearts. I’m swinging for the fences: Missandei is a whistle-blower.
-Serious question: Would Euron Greyjoy be a better character if he were played by Liev Schreiber? Let me know, thanks.
-Soooo, that’s it for the people of Dorne then? They certainly proved to be consequential, huh?
-Sam’s brother, whose name I can’t remember and can’t be bothered to look up, is like the cousin Ezra of the Tarly family. (Shout out to all the Veep fans out there reading Sansa Snark who get that reference!)
-Another tough break for Tyrion, who has actually proven to be pretty shit at advising Daenerys.
-All I could think when the Unsullied were sailing in through the backdoor at Casterly Rock was that it was kind of similar to the Nicolas Cage/Sean Connery classic film The Rock. I even said “Gentleman, WELCOME TO THE ROCK,” out loud. This is who I am.
–In defense of Sam being able to treat Jorah by simply following the instructions in the book: On Sunday I was at the dog park with Simon when a young kid came in to see the dogs. (Bushwick is pretty lax on the whole “you can’t be in here if you don’t have a dog” rule.) There was only one other human in there with me, and he was browsing his phone off in the corner, so me and this kid get to talking. He starts telling me about how my dog is so nice, and how he really likes dogs, so he rides his bike here sometimes to play with them. He also tells me about his aunt’s dog, who is currently pregnant and just lays around the house all day.
Then, this literal child (I’m pretty bad with guessing ages but he must have been 12 at the max) tells me that this isn’t the first time the dog has been pregnant. In fact, the last time that she gave birth, he delivered the puppy!
“WHAT? That’s crazy!” was all I could manage in response. How does a kid with no veterinary training DELIVER A PUPPY?
“Yeah, I just followed the instructions from the internet, it wasn’t too hard,” he tells me.
“Wow, congratulations that’s really impressive.”
So yeah, always follow the instructions. With them, you too could cure a highly contagious disease from a fictional universe, or help to bring a canine life into this world. With instructions, you can accomplish anything.
(To find every single edition of Sansa Snark, click right here.)