After a tough loss during last week’s episode, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” rushed headlong into Season 7, episode 3 and showed no signs of letting up on the good guys. With two wars in their early stages, no one was quite where they wanted to be, with the exception of the Lannisters.
[Spoiler Alert: The remainder of this article will discuss Season 7, episode 3 of “Game of Thrones.”]
For an episode that would eventually be end with one of the more depressing losses, “The Queen’s Justice” opened with a rather sweet moment. Tyrion Lannister greeted Jon Snow on the shores of Dragonstone. The two hadn’t seen each other since Jon was just starting at the Wall and Tyrion was the outcast Lannister drinking his way through Westeros. Now, one of them is a king and the other the hand of the queen. The two share a mutual respect and agree to swap stories sometime soon, but first there was business to get through.
After showing off Queen Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, The King in the North found himself face-to-face with the Mother of Dragons. However, their meeting didn’t necessarily go well considering the high stakes on either end. Daenerys’ main focus was on getting Jon to bend the knee and pledge his loyalty to her. In exchange, she offered him the position of Warden of the North, the same role Ned Stark played before leaving for King’s Landing. It was established when the first Targaryens came and conquered Westeros with dragons that the north would be part of the Seven Kingdoms, but Jon knows that he’ll lose the support of the entire north if he bends the knee to a foreign invader - and a Targaryen to boot.
Fortunately, Jon understands that Daenerys’ head is in the wrong place. He explains everything he knows about the White Walkers and the army of the dead coming south with the long winter. However, with what she believes to be bigger fish to fry than ghost stories, all the queen cares about is getting his loyalty and claiming the Iron Throne as quickly, and bloodlessly as possible. Their negotiations end when Varys brings news of what happened to the Greyjoys and their fleet.
From there, we arrive in King’s Landing, where Euron is parading Yara, Ellaria Sand and her last remaining daughter through the streets. He presents the woman who killed her daughter to Cersei Lannister, and she accepts his marriage proposal - on the condition that they win the war. With that, she finds a moment alone with Ellaria. Obviously, fans knew that something terrible would befall the paramour of Oberyn Martell, but Cersei’s punishment is both creative and scary.
Ellaria will watch as the same poison that killed Cersei’s daughter takes her own. If she refuses to eat, she’ll be force-fed. She’ll live out the rest of her days next to her daughter’s rotting corpse. Before leaving, Cersei demands that the torches be changed frequently so that she doesn’t miss a thing.
Meanwhile, back at Dragonstone, Tyrion has a private meeting with Jon, who is frustrated no one will believe him about the army of the dead. He pleads with Snow to bend the knee. Jon can’t do it, so Tyrion offers him any help he can. This comes in the form of dragon glass. The queen’s hand convinces her to let Jon mine what he needs as an act of good faith. With the Greyjoys gone, she’ll need all the help she can get moving forward and Jon is obviously an incredibly powerful ally. She agrees, and the two are last seen with Daenerys opening her mind a little bit to Jon’s request, but reminding him that he’s not off the hook for being in open rebellion against her reign.
It was a tense meeting that, for fans, was several years in the making. Sadly, it didn’t go as well as it could have with the duo becoming a powerhouse in the kingdom together.
From there, the episode shifts focus to Winterfell, where Sansa is in charge and doing a bang up job. Whether it’s figuring out how to feed the country through the long winter or understanding that their armor needs leather, there’s nothing that flummoxes her. However, she’s rocked to her core when there’s a surprise visitor from The Wall. Brandon Stark, the last remaining and true heir to the North, returns after his adventures up north.
He does his best to explain to her that he’s the new three-eyed raven, and that ruling the north isn’t in his wheelhouse anymore. They sit together and she tries to talk to her brother, but he’s acting very strange. He’s almost become too distant to the rest of humanity after what’s happened to him. Eventually, he winds up scaring her off when he mentions that he used his remote viewing powers to see her on her horrible wedding night to Ramsay Bolton. It’s unclear if Brandon was being indifferent or cruel, but it was clear that the moment was not what Sansa, or fans, were expecting.
One stroke of good news from the episode came at the Citadel, where it appears Sam’s cure for Jorah Mormont’s greyscale has worked. Only a handful of people have ever survived the disease, and Sam is responsible for doing what many more experienced maesters could not. However, he still disobeyed a direct order, so he’s punished with some grunt work. Still, the knight that’s been at Daenerys’ side in some way shape or form since the beginning is back on his way to meet her.
The bright spot faded quickly, though, as things turned back to the battle for the Iron Throne. Last week, Tyrion mentioned that Grey Worm and the Unsullied army would take the financial stronghold of Casterly Rock. What he didn’t know is that the mines in his former home have been dry for a while, and the crown is in horrible debt to the bank of Braavos. Thanks to the use of a secret entrance in the sewers that Tyrion built years ago, the Unsullied easily take the castle… Too easily.
When Grey Worm looks back at his fleet, he sees that Euron Greyjoy has destroyed it, and the full Lannister forces were not present. Instead, it’s revealed that they’d taken a page out of Robb Stark’s book and marched their army where it was not expected to be, Highgarden.
Jaime Lannister easily takes the Tyrell stronghold, taking out yet another ally of Daenerys and securing a new financial stronghold for his sister. Sadly, this meant that Lady Olenna, who has survived so much and been a major player in many events in the kingdom, was cornered by her enemies.
Jaime confronts her in his civilized manner. She dresses him down with her words, but she knows that she’s not long for this world. She warns him that his devotion and love for his sister will ruin him, but he doesn’t care. He, instead, gives her a cup with poison in it, which she quickly downs. With what appeared to be her last words, she confesses to being the one that killed Jaime’s illegitimate son, Joffrey.
“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”
The episode cuts to black before we actually see Lady Olenna die, but she did drink a bunch of poison and Jaime left the room pretty confident that she was no longer a threat. If it is her end, it seems her last act was to upset Cersei one more time before she went.