It’s finally happened. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow have officially met and fanboys and fangirls around the world rejoiced. And maybe it didn’t go exactly as we hoped but all in all I'd say it was still pretty epic. Over in King’s Landing, Cersei’s revenge is red hot and served cold. But hold on! Before we get any further into tonight’s review, have you watched Game of Thrones “The Queen’s Justice” episode 3 of season 7 yet? If you haven’t then look away people, because there will be spoilers. Alright, you’ve been warned. Come on in and let’s discuss.
Jon Snow and Ser Davos Arrive At Dragonstone
Jon Snow and Ser Davos touched down at Dragonstone and is greeted by Tyrion, Missandei and some formidable Dothraki. Before Tyrion and Missandei can let Jon get anywhere near the Mother of Dragons the King in the North is politely asked to surrender his weapons — and his boat apparently. Now he could’ve refused but we knew he wouldn’t, and this kind of move is customary between nations who want to negotiate. However, it does leave #TeamJonSnow at a disadvantage and both he and Ser Davos know it, so they're basically winging it and hoping that Jon’s trust in Tyrion won’t hang them out to dry.
Jon and Tyrion are talking about Sansa and what they’ve been up to as they all make their trek up to the castle when the dragons make a spectacular entrance in the form of a fly by. This immediately causes Jon and company to hit the deck, eyes wide with disbelief and jaw on the ground, which of course Tyrion found amusing but could empathise with.
Notably absent from this epic landing is Melisandre. Though she’s hiding, she just can’t help but brag that it was thanks to her that fire and ice have finally come together. She plans to jet to Volantis and leaves Varys with a set of cryptic last words about their demise in Westeros. I wonder what she means, exactly? Varys definitely looked spooked.
Fire Meets Ice
This was the most highly anticipated moment of the entire series. The only one that comes close to it was watching Daenerys and her dragons sailing across the Narrow Sea. Dany wastes no time in getting to the pointy end, demanding in her queenly and icy detached way that Jon Snow bend the knee. We knew it was coming. It was a moment Game of Thrones fans have been waiting a lifetime and 6 seasons to see, and we died a little bit inside when it looked like things were quickly going downhill.
“I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.” These words clearly show Jon Daenerys’ mindset. Even though Daenerys surprisingly asked for forgiveness, there was no way she was not going to press her claim as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. There was no way Jon could bend the knee.
Both Daenerys and Jon feel the conviction of their claims and their duty to it and their people. They are both possessed of mystical powers and they are both pretty epic in their own right. They would be great together…as allies. Why can’t Daenerys be High Queen and Jon Snow continue to rule as King in the North, owing fealty as a vassal of sorts to Daenerys but with the right to ruling his people without interference?
The irony here is that Daenerys doesn’t seem to realize her demands and claims of perpetuity sound a little like slavery or indentured servitude. If she is not her father’s daughter shouldn’t she consider a different path to ruling Westeros?
Jon may have their dragonglass thanks to Tyrion, but they are a long way from a solution. I have a feeling desperate times will call for desperate measures, and the age old saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” will have a part to play before Jon will bend the knee. At least the night didn’t end with Jon Snow a prisoner, even though he is technically in open rebellion.
And if it feels a little like Tyrion is playing both sides against the middle, don’t be alarmed. He truly likes, admires, respects Jon Snow and believes Jon’s tale of the White Walkers. He also truly loves Daenerys and wants her to rule Westeros. If there is anyone who can get Daenerys to believe in the White Walkers and the Night King, Tyrion can.
It was agony watching Euron gloating as he paraded Yara, Ellaria and Tyene through the streets of King’s Landing. Though he promptly presented Cersei’s gift as promised his payment will have to wait until the end of the war and he’s thoroughly proven his allegiance to the crown. Oh, that Cersei. She’s so wily. And did you see those Lannister lions in the windows of the Red Keep? She’s a despot through and through and crazy as the Mad King, and that’s a powder keg of wildfire for sure.
Cersei’s reunion with Ellaria Sand was absolutely chilling. How many nights did she stay awake dreaming of having her revenge on Ellaria for murdering Myrcella? Leave it to Cersei to find the perfect way to serve up her revenge. With a kiss.
After a chilling trip down memory lane, Cersei reintroduces Ellaria to the Long Farewell. You may remember Ellaria using it to wreak vengeance on the Lannisters for the death of her beloved Oberyn. In a move of poetic justice or injustice depending on how you view it, Cersei places the kiss of death upon Ellaria’s daughter’s lips. Then she slowly wiped the poison from her own mouth, exactly as Ellaria did. All Ellaria and we could do was watch helplessly. Ellaria will be forced to not only watch Tyene die, she won’t be able to hold her, or to comfort her as she dies. And as if that weren’t bad enough, she will also have to watch her daughter’s body decompose. Life in prison with a cruel twist. And you know Cersei will do it. She has the kind of hate and fortitude revenge of that kind takes. Perhaps the Lannister motto should be changed to “Don’t Mess With the Lannisters” instead of “Lannisters Always Pay Their Debts”. Oh, the karma. Ellaria Sand killed the wrong Lannister. I wonder if she wishes she could take it back?
What plans does Cersei have for Yara? Or will she let Euron deal with his niece? Or will she ransom Yara? Is that how she’ll pay her debt to the Iron Bank in a fortnight? She also has to keep her eye on Euron since he seems intent on taunting Jaime Lannister into a place where he can kill him since he obviously sees Jaime as a rival to his own power.
Sansa, Littlefinger and Company
While Cersei’s flaunting her power shamelessly, Littlefinger is still trying to seduce Sansa. “Fight every battle everywhere, always, in your mind.” These are words Sansa needs to remember. Unfortunately for Littlefinger, his seduction will have to wait when Bran Stark arrives at Winterfell. Though he’ll be overjoyed when he learns Bran can’t become Lord of Winterfell due to his role as Greenseer.
Unfortunately for Sansa, Bran isn’t the little brother she remembers. It’s another Stark reunion that is a little heartbreaking. Bran seems strangely unaffected and a little off when he sees his sister again, and his powers of seeing everything as the Three-Eyed Raven is understandably upsetting. When Bran speaks of her “beautiful wedding” we know it was anything but for Sansa. It seems extremely sad that they must have this kind of interaction in a place as beautiful as the Godswood of Winterfell. And Bran doesn’t even know the whole story. Sansa will be even more horrified when he does know and she sees the look of pity in her brother’s eyes.
Sad too is the fact that Bran may know everything but he doesn’t even recognize Sansa’s pain. All he can think about is his duty as the Three-Eyed Raven and being ready for the Night King. His human emotions must be the trade off for the awesome power he now wields, though his determination to be prepared must in a big way be driven by his memory of what happened to Hodor.
If you notice, both he and Daenerys have both got a distant, detached look about their eyes. Does their power make them cold to human sentiment? Less human?
The only truly encouraging note tonight belonged to Sam who it appears seems to have cured Greyscale. He also didn’t get expelled from the Citadel for disobeying Archmaester Ebrose. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up with Greyscale for his troubles. That handshake with Ser Jorah was nerve wracking but it was a testament to Sam’s belief in his abilities as a maester.
The Fight for Casterly Rock
As expected Tyrion’s plan to take Casterly Rock worked, but it also failed. Cersei has no problem sacrificing men to win the war, she keeps outsmarting #TeamDaenerys, and she learns from the mistakes of her enemies, too. My faith is beginning to waiver in the Mother of Dragon’s team a little bit. Maybe she should listen to Olenna and be a dragon. Maybe she needs to forget about getting Jon Snow to bend the knee and think about joining forces with him instead.
Tyrion never planned that their family home would mean nothing to Cersei. It is here that he is blind. Cersei grew up in a different world than he did. She was adored and he was despised. She never doubted her place in the world as a Lannister, he always did, he was always reminded of it. So it’s no wonder that Casterly Rock would mean so much more to him than it did to her. It’s sad how these past demons have led him to fail as Hand of the Queen. Let’s hope he redeems himself before it’s too late.
For Olenna it’s game over. Cersei’s two pronged attack, Euron by sea to deal with the Unsullied and Jaime by land to attack Highgarden, was a success. As Olenna says, roses never could withstand lions. Yet even in defeat Olenna is OG. She condemns Cersei and admits to her role as the mastermind who killed Joffrey. Then she downs the poison that Jaime gave her like it was a shot of tequila. Theon could learn a thing or two from that tough woman.
Bet you any money Jaime regrets that the poison he gave her won’t have her dying an agonizing death like his son did. Olenna is lucky Jaime was the one dealing out vengeance and not Cersei.
In the End…
Cersei’s easily outsmarting our heroes at every turn. For now it seems that she has Jaime’s love and his support, but will his role as Kingslayer come back to haunt them both if Olenna’s words about Cersei get to him?
Daenerys’ army will have no food, no ships, no dragons, and no allies if Cersei’s plans all work. Daenerys and her band of misfits better get it together and fast. Jon should have let Ser Davos tell her about the dagger to the heart. Let’s hope Daenerys finds out that Jon Snow also has magic about him stat. She may have dragons and dominion over fire but Jon Snow came back from the dead and that’s no small thing.
And what about the Night King? How can Daenerys have brought the wonder of dragons back into the world and not believe in the Army of the Dead? Well, now Jon and his Northerners have dragonglass so at least that’s a step in the right direction, because even if Daenerys doesn’t believe in the dead, the north does. And so do we.
Check out this preview for next week’s episode of Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War” Sunday, July 30th on HBO.