The Queen’s Justice, indeed, Dragons – in this episode, we get an epic meeting, gruesome revenge, and some plot points that don’t quite make sense. Let’s review.
OKAY OKAY OKAY, IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING, THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR, JON AND DANY ARE FINALLY GOING TO MEET, AAAAAH.
And… it’s sort of anticlimactic?
I think I wanted Jon and Dany to meet when she flew in on a Dragon to save him from a White Walker or something, once he knows he’s a Targaryen. He’d be all like, “Oh, hey, Dragon Queen! I’m your nephew!” And she’d be all like, “Whaaaat?! I have a hot nephew? Let’s get married! This makes sense.” Oh, well. I’ll go back to reading Game of Thrones fanfiction on Tumblr.
They actually meet in the throne room at Dragonstone, after Jon, Davos, and the few men they’ve brought hand over their weapons and ship to the Dothraki. And when I say “ship,” I really mean a tiny, rickety boat. This guy is the King in the North, and he can’t get something a little more than a rowboat? Was there a bigger boat out there that I just missed? As Tyrion escorts them to the castle, one of the dragons flies overhead, and Jon and Davos FREAK OUT, which is the most appropriate response. I actually loved that little bit, because if you just showed up at this place, and BOOM DRAGON, you would probably have the same look on your face as Jon Snow. Tyrion’s line is great: “I’d say you get used to them, but you never really do.”
Meanwhile, Melisandre is like, “peace out, y’all,” because she did not end things well with Jon Snow or Davos. When Varys asks why, she says it was because of “terrible mistakes” that she made. She tells him she’s going back to Volantis. Varys says it would be best if she does not return to Westeros. No, she will, she says. “I have to die in this strange country… just like you.” Whaaaat? Varys is clearly shaken by her words, which are an odd and nonspecific prophecy.
Dany immediately demands that Jon bend the knee to her, reminding him that his ancestors pledged loyalty to Aegon Targaryen centuries before. Jon then reminds her that her father murdered his grandfather and uncle, soooo maybe family loyalty isn’t your best argument right now. They squabble for awhile, Dany insisting that she should not be held accountable for her father’s sins while Jon insists he doesn’t have to follow his family’s traditional loyalties, until finally Jon is like, “BUT LISTEN, WHITE WALKERS.” He’s a bit less eloquent than that though, simply saying that there is an army of the dead, they’re coming, and they need help. Tyrion and Dany both appear skeptical, to which I say: bitch, you have dragons. You survived being burnt alive twice. And yet the idea of zombies is the deal breaker for you? To be fair, Jon is not good at explaining this, and so he just kind of sounds like a rambling lunatic. There is also a moment where Dany says, “I am the last Targaryen,” and the audience is like, “*sideeye*.” Eventually, they reach a detente where Dany tells him to stay at the castle for a few days. He asks if he’s a prisoner, and she says, “Not yet.”
Later, Jon is standing on a cliff, brooding, when Tyrion comes to the same place, also to brood. They’ve been informed about the attack on the fleet, and they need to contemplate their next move. Jon whines a bit about Dany not believing him, and Tyrion correctly points out that it’s a bit hard to believe if you haven’t seen it. It’s not reasonable to ask her to start fighting another war against what Jon claims are the undead. But Tyrion asks if there is anything reasonable they can do.
Why, yes, there is! Jon wants the dragonglass, Tyrion explains to Dany. He urges her to do it, saying that if it’s actually useless, it means nothing to them if he takes it, but providing it to him will be a step in the right direction with a potential ally. Tyrion believes him and tells her that the fact that he came to Dragonstone says a lot. Dany picked up on something else during their initial meeting – when building up Jon Snow, Davos said that he took a knife in the chest for his people, “He gave his l–” before cutting himself off as Jon shot him a glare. Dany asks about that to Tyrion, who dismisses it. I feel like this will come up again.
Dany, while pondering her next move, asks whether they should use the dragons. Tyrion and Missandei say no – Dany needs to be on the dragons to use them, and that’s too dangerous. BUT WHAT IF SOMEONE COULD WARG INTO THE DRAGON. We need Bran here, stat!
Dany and Jon meet outside to have a little chat, and Dany tells him that he can mine the dragonglass and that she will provide the men and resources he needs for that.
Euron returns to King’s Landing a hero, marching Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene through the streets. He rides his f-ing horse into the Red Keep, which is just fantastic, and presents the prisoners to Cersei as the gift he promised her. Cersei is pleased and announces that he will be the leader of the royal fleet. Quietly, she also promises that he will have what he wants – her – once the war is won. Jaime hears this and is obviously like, “oh, hell no,” but says nothing. Euron takes the opportunity to be just a complete asshole and leans over to Jaime, asking him to give him tips on how to please Cersei. Can Jaime kill Euron? I think I’d like to watch that.
Cersei reminds us all that she is a BAMF, not to be crossed. She’s locked Ellaria and Tyene up in the same cell, across from each other but not able to touch. She gives Ellaria a long soliloquy about watching Oberyn die and then about her feelings when Myrcella died. She then turns to the issue at hand: how is she going to get her revenge. She remarks on Tyene and how beautiful she is. She thought about having the Mountain crush her head, but no. Instead, Cersei approaches Tyene and kisses her. This whole scene, I was thinking, “Cersei, that lipstick is not your color,” and as she turned away from Tyene, wiping the color off her lips, we realize that she’s done to Tyene exactly what was done to Myrcella. But no, no – she’s Cersei, so it’s worse than that. She’s going to leave Tyene to die and rot in the cell, right across from Ellaria, so she can watch her daughter die and decay. Before she leaves, she asks the guards to make sure the torches stay lit – she doesn’t want her to miss anything.
The next morning, Cersei is informed that their “guest from Braavos” has arrived. Cersei is in bed with Jaime when she gets up to answer the door, and he tries to stop her, telling her that no one can see them this way. She simply responds that she is the Queen and will do what she wants. I mean, I’m on Cersei’s side here. There are dragons and white walkers out there, so a little incest is really the least of anyone’s concerns right now.
The guest from Braavos is Tycho Nestoris from the Iron Bank. He’s there to gently remind her that the Throne is deeply in debt, and that the Iron Bank is aware that a fight for the Throne is ongoing in Westeros, and they like to invest in who they believe will be the winner. Cersei, in turn, reminds him that Dany has already hurt them by ending the slave trade and that she fashions herself a revolutionary – not something a bank would usually bet on. Cersei asks him to stay in King’s Landing for a couple weeks and the promises that, true to her family’s (unofficial) words, she will pay her debt in full.
In Winterfell, Sansa is running things like a boss. She’s solving their potential shortage of food and making sure that armor is being built to withstand winter. As Littlefinger is giving her yet another pep talk about why she should trust no one but him, she is summoned to the entrance of the castle – it’s Bran! (And Meera) Sansa finally shows emotion for the first time in two seasons, breaking down and hugging her brother. Later, they meet by the Godswood, and Bran tries to explain to her that he’s the Three-Eyed Raven very poorly. “I see everything.” Why can no one in this family just explain this in simple terms? Or just take fifteen minutes to explain the whole thing? Or have Meera do it? Or, god, anything?! He makes a comment about how he needs to talk to Jon, but doesn’t bother to tell Sansa, “Oh, yeah, the King in the North is Rhaegar’s kid, lol.” He tells her that he’s seen what’s happened to her, and he’s sorry for everything that’s happened and that it happened at their home. Bran’s bizarre demeanor and vague references are enough to freak Sansa out and leave him in the Godswood.
Jorah’s completely healed! Hooray! The Archmaester comments that it looks as though the entire top layer of greyscale was removed, and Jorah shrugs it off, saying he knows nothing about that. But come on, Sam’s face screams, “I’M GUILTY, I DID IT.” Jorah tells Sam that he’s going to find Dany, because his place is with her. The Archmaester sort of yells at Sam for disobeying him, but he’s more surprised by how Sam was able to do it. “I read the book, and I followed the instructions,” Sam explains. At least Sam is good at something, FINALLY, right, guys?!
The Unsullied reach Casterly Rock. Let’s talk about this. To get to Casterly Rock by sea, the Unsullied have to sail past King’s Landing and allllll the way around the southern point of Westeros, past Dorne, past Oldtown, etc etc. I guess we are to presume this took awhile, because Jon shows up at Dragonstone before the Unsullied reach Casterly Rock (which is also quite a trek). Anyway, keep that in mind. The Unsullied storm Casterly Rock, breaking the perimeter by sneaking in through a spot that Tyrion had put in place back when he was sneaking prostitutes into the Rock so Tywin wouldn’t know what he was doing. The Unsullied kill all of the soldiers at Casterly Rock somewhat quickly, leaving Grey Worm confused. There are supposed to be more, he says. Many more. He grabs a dying soldier, demanding, “Where are the rest of the Lannisters?!” Before he can get an answer, he is called over to look out over the bay. The Greyjoy fleet has arrived and is attacking the Unsullied ships.
Okay. Stop. STOP. STOP. What?!
Let’s review: last episode, the Unsullied left Dragonstone to head to Casterly Rock. While they were doing that, the Greyjoy fleet was somewhere between Dragonstone and Dorne, which is where they attacked Yara, Theon, and what’s left of Dorne. Euron then goes back up to King’s Landing, where he makes his glorious entrance with his captives, and Cersei appoints him the head of the royal fleet. We have to assume that it is at this point where Cersei then commands him to send the fleet to Casterly Rock. We know this because she now has her plan to take Highgarden, which is why she has Jaime redirect the Lannister troops.
So, how – HOW – HOW – could Euron Greyjoy’s fleet make it to Casterly Rock as soon as the Unsullied have taken the castle? It is geographically impossible
There are a couple bigger problems with this. First, the books and early seasons of the show made it seem as though traversing Westeros was taxing and took for-ev-er. Remember how Arya was stuck in the Riverlands for like AN ENTIRE SEASON? I understand and am completely on board with not showing us travel time, but in that case, the showrunners also need to demonstrate the jump in time as well. If Dany had said, “It’s been two weeks, have we heard from the Unsullied?” that would establish a time frame. If we got a sense that the Unsullied siege of Casterly Rock took days or weeks, maybe that would also help. Like maybe Greyworm could have said, “We have been here for X days/X weeks/ something something.” That way, the viewer can go, oh, that makes sense. They’ve been here awhile. But when we don’t have that, and everything is happening so quickly, the editing makes it seem as though the Unsullied showed up and took the castle in less than a day. If that’s the case, there is no way that Euron could show up when he did.
ALSO, WHY DOESN’T DANY JUST SEND A DRAGON EVERYWHERE?
Anyway. Where are the rest of those Lannisters, anyway?
Oh, hey, Jaime, what’s up? Looking fine in your regalia as you command the royal army. Jaime leads the troops to Highgarden, where they quickly take the city. With the Lannisters controlling Highgarden, they will have access to the th most wealth in Westeros, and Cersei will be able to pay her debts to the Iron Bank. Jaime confronts Olenna Tyrell, who is sitting patiently, resigned to death. She gives Jaime a speech about how Cersei is a monster, and he’s too far in love with her to get away from her now.
I have a lot of problems with this conversation, and the way that the writers are portraying Jaime this season. Is Jaime Lannister a good guy or a bad guy? It’s been a problem the writers have had for a long time. Let’s recall that he THREW A CHILD OUT THE WINDOW in the first episode. Then, time goes on, he’s shown to be an actual person, and people start liking him. Then we find out that he really killed the Mad King not simply to betray him but because the Mad King was going to destroy King’s Landing. So, maybe Jaime’s a hero! But now, the writers are kind of painting him as this dumb, lovestruck man who just do whatever Cersei tells him to do. We get glimpses of reluctance in his eyes, but it’s not in Cersei’s evil actions so much as her interactions with Euron. Umm, he knows she blew up the Sept and killed a buuuunch of people and just doesn’t care? Personally, I think Jaime is just as bad as Cersei. Cersei and Jaime are both selfish people who are ultimately only concerned about themselves. For Cersei, the motivation comes from the desire to rule and to establish a Lannister dynasty. For Jaime, the motivation comes from his love for Cersei and his desire to be with her, whatever it takes. Killing the Mad King might be heroic, but it’s also about self-preservation. I guess my ultimate point is: figure your shit out, writers.
I digress. Jaime tells Olenna that Cersei wanted to mutilate her but that he talked her out of that. He gives her poison in her wine, telling her that it’ll be painless. She drinks the whole glass, but before she dies, she confesses that she was the one who had Joffrey killed at the wedding. Jaime’s face during this scene is perfect, and I was really hoping he would pull out his sword and do something awful to her, but no. He just watches, wide-eyed, as Olenna asks him to tell Cersei it was her that killed her son.
Dragons, what did you think? Are you equally irritated by the logistical inconsistencies? Are you wondering why the Starks are such bad communicators? Leave your thoughts in the comments!