Game of Thrones Season 7 Ep 3 Recap – The Queen’s Justice
“The Queen’s Justice” premiered on July 30, 2017 and is the third episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones. Overall it is the sixty-third episode of the series. It was written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Mark Mylod.
FIRST IMPRESSION(S): Classic GRRM Game of Thrones storytelling puts the newest pieces in place as the Great Game continues to unfold.
‘The Bastard of Winterfell’ is reunited with ‘The Dwarf of Casterly Rock’ at the ancestral birthplace of the ‘Mother of Dragons’. It’s not often that fan favorite characters meet onscreen and have such lengthy and meaningful discussions. How fascinating it is to watch the cerebral power struggle between two rulers (in this case a King and Queen) in tandem with the diplomacy of their respective advisers/Hands – especially when [dt_tooltip title=”fealty”]From the Latin fidelitas (faithfulness). A feudal tenant’s or vassal’s sworn loyalty to a lord.[/dt_tooltip] comes into question. We’re also treated to a very surprising ending and end to a longstanding character.
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SCENE 1: Arrival at Dragonstone
Jon Snow and Davos, accompanied by soldiers, arrive by boat at Dragonstone greeted by Tyrion, Missandei and the Dothraki guard. They address each other as Bastard of Winterfell and Dwarf of Casterly Rock with a handshake and a reminder when they last saw one another atop [dt_tooltip title=”The Wall “]The Wall is a colossal wall of solid ice that stands over 700 feet tall and stretches for 100 leagues (300 miles) along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, defending the realm from the wildlings who live beyond and the White Walkers who apparently dwell in the far north.[/dt_tooltip] where Tyrion was taking a pee off the edge. Jon introduces Davos as Tyrion introduces Missandei, who requests Jon and his party surrender their weapons. They unwillingly comply.
As they all walk to the castle, in an act to seemingly break the ice, Davos inquires as to where Missandei’s accent comes from, in which she replies the island of Naath. As Davos speaks about the island with praise she does not seem in any way charmed. Jon and Tyrion catch up with talks of Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa. Jon acknowledges his awareness of the fate of previous Starks who traveled south to meet the Mad King, acknowledging he is indeed not a Stark. The dragons Drogon and Viserion swoop over them, startling only Jon and Davos to Tyrion and Missandei’s amusement.
The Cliffs Overlooking the Beach
Overlooking this scene is Melisandre the Red Priestess of the Lord of Light, who is confronted by Varys as to why she did not greet Jon and Davos. She points out how she parted on bad terms with Jon and Davos because of the terrible mistakes she made. She says that now that she has “brought [dt_tooltip title=”ice and fire”]Game of Thrones is the television adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, an award-winning series of best-selling epic fantasy novels by American author and scriptwriter George R.R. Martin. The series currently comprises five published novels with two more anticipated to bring the series to a conclusion. The fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, was published on 12 July 2011.[/dt_tooltip] together” she will end her previous habit of “whispering in the ears of kings”. She speaks of her intention to travel to [dt_tooltip title=”Volantis”]One of the Free Cities located to the east of Westeros. The southern-most and oldest of the Free Cities, it lies on the southern coast of Essos, where the mighty Rhoyne River meets the Summer Sea.[/dt_tooltip] as Varys suggests she shouldn’t return to Westeros as it would not be safe for her here. She responds that she must return to Westeros one last time to die there…just as Varys will. Her statement leaves Varys with a deep look of concern.
Daenerys Holds Court
In the throne room, Missandei introduces Queen Daenerys by her many titles as Davos simply introduces Jon Snow as King in the North. Daenerys insists Jon is a mere lord as there has been no King in the North since Torrhen Stark bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror in fealty as an oath – which lasts for [dt_tooltip title=”perpetuity”]forever[/dt_tooltip]. Jon refuses to bend at the knee upon the request of Daenerys which causes her to accuse him of breaking faith. Jon reminds her how the Mad King burned to death both his grandfather Rickard Stark and uncle Brandon. Daenerys apologizes and asks not to be judged for her father’s actions as children should not be punished for the crimes of their parents. This is interesting as in Episode One, Scene Three of Dragonstone, Sansa and Jon have a tense disagreement as Sansa argues that the Umbers and Karstarks be stripped of their lands and titles as punishment for supporting Ramsay Bolton. Jon advocates forgiveness insisting the children not be punished for the crime of their fathers and has Ned Umber and Alys Karstark reaffirm their loyalty to House Stark.
Daenerys persuasively insists Jon bend at the knee to reunite the allegiance between their two houses. Jon firmly insists he is not held to the oaths of his ancestors and is only there to seek her help. He compares the fighting between the Houses to children squabbling over a game while the Army of the Dead is on the march. As Daenerys is skeptical, Tyrion vouches for Jon’s honesty. Daenerys describes in detail how his father sent assassins to kill her as a baby, how she was enslaved, raped, and defiled. Daenerys recounts her ability to get her through this coming through faith in herself and not the gods. She speaks also of her miracle of birth, hatching dragons through fire, and the Dothraki crossing the Narrow Sea for her. She firmly believes it is her destiny to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Jon stands firm in saying that she will rule over a graveyard if all the kingdoms do not unite together against the common threat of the Night King and the army of the undead.
Davos supports Jon’s character by informing Daenerys of how Jon united the Wildlings with the North, fighting the White Walkers together. As Davos begins to mention that Jon took a knife to the heart, Jon gives Davos a look of ‘let’s not get into the coming back from the dead thing yet’. Through Jon’s continued refusal to bend the knee and the questioning of her Queenship, Daenerys tells him that he is in open rebellion. Varys enters and whispers a message to Daenerys in which her demeanor immediately changes as she asks Jon to forgive her manners and orders Missandei to have Jon and his men drawn baths and provided with food in their sleeping quarters. Jon asks if he is her prisoner in which she replies ‘not yet’.
As Jon and his men leave the throne room Varys fills Daenerys in on all of the details that have occurred in the Narrow Sea in the previous Episode Two: Stormborn, Scene 11 (final scene).
SCENE 2: On the Narrow Sea
Theon Greyjoy is fished out of the sea and pulled aboard the deck of a surviving ship of Yara Greyjoy‘s fleet. The [dt_tooltip title=”Ironborn”]Natives of the Iron Islands off the west coast of Westeros.They are a fiercely independent seafaring people who chafe at the rule of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.[/dt_tooltip] men question Theon as to what happened to Yara. As Theon tells them she has been captured by Euron Greyjoy, he pleas that he tried to save her. An Ironborn man replies you wouldn’t be here if you tried.
SCENE 3: At King’s Landing
We find Euron Greyjoy parading Ellaria Sand, her daughter Tyene, and Yara Greyjoy through the streets as the crown screams profanely at Euron’s captives pelting them with rotten fruit. Reveling in every moment Euron presents them before Cersei. Ellaria spits at Cersei’s feet. Cersei is quite impressed by what Euron has accomplished, declaring him a true friend to the Crown, and forging an allegiance with Euron. Jaime looks on with contempt. Euron expresses that he only wants Cersei as a reward in which she responds that he shall have what his heart desires when the war is won. Cersei declares Euron Greyjoy shall command the naval forces and Jaime Lannister shall lead their army. Jaime and Euron whisper privately as the crowd cheers, exchanging threatening words. Euron lets on to him knowing about the sexual relationship between Jaime and Cersei by asking Jaime for sexual advice in regards to Cersei.
In the Prison Cell
Afterward we see Ellaria and Tyene chained to opposite walls in their cell with gags preventing them from speaking. Cersei tells Ellaria of how she remembers Oberyn Martell‘s battle with Ser Gregor during Tyrion’s second trial by combat as Ser Gregor Clegane and Qyburn stand watch. She meticulously describes how Ser Gregor crushed the Red Viper’s skull as Ellaria screamed, all as a result of Oberyn’s overconfidence taunting Ser Gregor when Oberyn clearly had the battle won. She speaks of her memories of her only daughter Myrcella, who Ellaria murdered with a poisonous kiss.
Cersei torments and provokes Ellaria repeatedly, speaking in praise of Tyene’s beauty and how she must be Ellaria’s favorite daughter. She considers Ser Gregor killing them in the same manner in which he killed Oberyn (crushing his skull) but for Cersei that would be too fast. Cersei removes Tyene’s gag from her mouth proceeds to kiss Tyene with the Long Farewell, the same poisonous kiss in which Myrcella was murdered by Ellaria. Ellaria is further taunted as Cersei openly inquires with Qyburn as to the uncertainty of how long the poison will take to kill Tyene as Qybrun hands Cersei the antidote. As Cersei drinks the antidote she does confirm with Qybrun that although slow, death is certain. Cersei explains sadistically that Ellaria will be forced to eat to survive so that she may watch her daughter die slowly, even going so far as to ordering that the torches be changed every few hours to maintain sufficient light.
Encounter with Jaime
Afterward Cersei heads to her private chambers as Jaime has just removed his golden hand. As Jaime sees Cersei he attempts to put it back on and she stops him. She passionately engages him in what ultimately results in sex. They awake next morning to a knock on the door. As Cersei rises to answer the door, Jaime tells Cersei no one can see them in bed together, in which Cersei smugly replies that she is the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and she will do as she pleases. As the servant catches a glimpse of Jaime in their bed, she informs Cersei that the visitor has arrived from Braavos. Cersei tells the servant, “Good, we will need fresh sheets for the bed.”
Discussion with the Iron Bank Representative
Tycho Nestoris from the [dt_tooltip title=”Iron Bank of Braavos”]A bank in the Free City of Braavos and arguably most powerful financial institution in the Known World, with clients across Essos and Westeros, including the government of the King of the Andals and the First Men who rules over the Seven Kingdoms.[/dt_tooltip] meets with Cersei, first declining a glass of wine she has poured for him (presumably to smooth him over), and then offering his condolences for the death of her son Tommen Baratheon. He congratulates her on being the first ruling Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and thanks her for destroying the grip of the Faith Militant. He reminds her of her considerable debts to the Iron Bank. He states that her vaults are empty and she is engaged on a war on several fronts. She calls the Iron Bank out for their strategy to bet on the strongest faction. She declares Daenerys as a revolutionary rather than a monarch and stands firm that Lannisters always pay their debts unlike Dothraki and former slaves (the Unsullied). Cersei promises to pay their debt in full within a fortnight and asks Tycho to stay in King’s Landing as her guest. Tycho’s facial expression shows he is pleased and accepting of this proposition.
SCENE 4: The Conversation on the Cliff at Dragonstone
On a cliff overlooking the sea, Jon expresses his displeasure to Tyrion about being a prisoner on the island while the Night King and White Walkers are coming for them all. Jon explains that he knows the thought is hard to fathom and that Tyrion probably doesn’t believe him but Tyrion states that he does believe him. Tyrion says he trusts the eyes of an honest man confirming he knows that Jeor Mormont saw the White Walkers as well. Jon confesses that he feels like a fool for coming south. Tyrion encourages Jon to ask other people about Daenerys’ character. Tyrion asks Jon if there is something he can do to help Jon.
The Chamber of the Painted Table
Tyrion is speaking to Daenerys about Jon’s desire to mine the dragon glass beneath Dragonstone. He tells her he would have advised Jon to not come to Dragonstone but yet he is here and convinces her to let Jon mine the dragon glass to encourage a more productive relationship with possible allies. This will give Jon something to do while they turn their attention toward Casterly Rock. Daenerys mentions to Tyrion that she couldn’t help but notice Davos speaking of Jon taking a knife to the heart for his people, in which Tyrion responds,”You must allow them their flights of fancy. It’s dreary in the North.”
Jon confronts Daenerys on the Stairwell
Jon approaches Daenerys on the outer stairs leading up to the castle as she watches over her dragons. Jon remarks that the dragons are an amazing thing to see. She explains that she named her dragons Rhaegal and Viserion after her brothers Rhaegar and Viserys Targaryen who she says are both gone now as Jon has lost two brothers as well. After Daenerys begins to speak in familiar logic, Jon reveals how obvious it is to him that she has been talking to Tyrion. Dany tells Jon she will allow him to mine the dragon glass and forge weapons from it. She will also provide resources and manpower. He asks he if she believes him about the Night King and the army of dead in which she replies, “You better get to work Jon Snow.”
SCENE 5: Low on Food at Winterfell
Back at Winterfell, Maester Wolkan reports to Sansa and Little Finger that they have approximately 4,000 bushels of wheat for supplies in which Sansa knows that isn’t enough food for the approaching winter. She orders granaries to be built to stockpile food for a possible famine and also orders Yohn Royce to have armor currently being forged to be outfitted with leather for warmth. As they continue to walk, Little Finger tells Sansa that ‘command’ suits her. As they walk they discuss the threat of Cersei. He tells her either one of two things will ultimately happen. The dead will either win effectively ending all their troubles or life will win out. In a slow, dramatic tone he urges her to fight every battle, everywhere, always, in her mind, everyone is her enemy, everyone is her friend, every possible series of events is happening all at once. If she lives that way nothing will surprise her. Everything that happens will be something that she has seen before.
Reunited At Last
At that moment a guard summons her attention to the gate where she is reunited with her brother Bran Stark, accompanied by Meera Reed. Sansa is brought to tears as she hugs Bran who seems relatively expressionless and emotionless. We later find them having a talk at the [dt_tooltip title=”heart tree”]A heart tree is the center of a Godswood. It is a Weirwood tree that has a face carved into the wood of the trunk. Heart trees are sacred in the religion of the Old Gods of the Forest, and the closest thing to a “shrine” that the religion possesses. Bran is sitting at the heart tree at the Godswood at Winterfell.[/dt_tooltip] in the center of [dt_tooltip title=”Godswood”]Wooded areas, enclosed within a castle’s walls, that have been set aside as places of worship and meditation dedicated to the Old Gods of the Forest. They are centered around a single heart tree, usually a weirwood tree with a face carved into the trunk. Note: The Red Keep also has a godswood but no weirwood tree[/dt_tooltip]. Sansa tells him he is rightful Lord of Winterfell as the last true-born son of Ned Stark in which Bran replies he can never be lord of anything, for he is the Three-eyed raven. He tells her he can see everything that is happening, has ever happened, and likely that ever will happen – even demonstrating this power by recalling the details of her wedding night to Ramsay Bolton. Shocked by this, and by also the thought of him knowing the events of that night, she takes off visibly upset.
SCENE 6: Jorah Re-Examined at Oldtown
Jorah Monmount, previously afflicted with grey scale, is re-examined at the Citadel by Archmaester Ebrose. Ebrose uses a metallic rod to test Jorah’s pain sensitivity to its touch. Ebrose concludes that the infection is no longer active, unusual and unlikely. Ebrose is suspicious that Jorah was treated with something, by someone, as Jorah claims that he knows nothing of that. Jorah tells Ebrose he assumed it was the rest and the climate that suddenly caused him to feel better. Ebrose tells Jorah he is free to go as this chamber is for the infected, which he is no longer. Ebrose walks off but not before requesting a private discussion with Samwell Tarly later. Sam asks Jorah where he will go in which Jorah replies back to Daenerys as his place is with her. Jorah expresses his gratitude to Sam for saving his life as Sam expresses his gratitude for all the times Jorah’s father has saved Sam’s life. They shake hands and we are treated to a scene in which this is the first human skin-to-skin contact Jorah has made in some time.
Sam is chastised by Ebrose for illegally operating on Jorah as the procedure carried a high level of risk that could have infected him and caused an outbreak. Sam feels shame until Ebrose begins to praise him for being successful at such a difficult operation. Ebrose is curious how Sam was able to pull it off as Sam simply replies he read the books and followed the instructions. Sam is congratulated only to be assigned to make copies of rotting scrolls and manuscripts. Ebrose tells Sam his reward is not being immediately expelled from the Citadel.
SCENE 7: Back at the Chamber of Painted Table
Daenerys impatiently speaks in the counsel of her advisers Tyrion, Varys, and Missandei, advocating that she and her dragons set out to hunt Euron Greyjoy’s Iron Fleet. Tyrion shoots down her idea emphasizing the danger to her life in addition to the fact that Euron’s fleet could be anywhere or in more than one place. Missandei makes the case that it would take only one arrow (to kill her). Daenerys asks about the status of Casterly Rock in which Varys informs her the Unsullied will be there soon. Missandei asks what they will face. Varys states that they know Daenerys’ army is coming and Tyrion backs that up with his knowledge of Cersei insisting that they will be ready.
As Tyrion speaks we are treated to scenes depicting various scenarios in the Westerlands, one in which the fortified walls of Casterly Rock are impossible for the Unsullied to compromise. He explains that during his days as a whore-monger he built a waterway passage into Casterly Rock to sneak them in. His father Tywin assigned Tyrion to build the sewers. We see a different scenario in which the Unsullied compromise the seemingly impregnable Casterly Rock through this secret passage Tyrion constructed, engaging and overtaking Cersei’s guardsmen. As Grey Worm surveys the dead soldiers he knows that there should have been more enemy guards to fight there.
SCENE 8: The Lannister Army at the Reach
South of the victory of the Unsullied led by Grey Worm, we see Jaime Lannister, Randyll Tarly and Bronn lead the Lannister army along with rebel forces towards Highgarden. Olenna Tyrell observes all of this from a castle balcony. The soldiers of House Tyrell are slaughtered with ease. Jaime finds Olenna sitting quietly in her study. Jaime informs her that the battle is over in which Olenna admits that battle was never the forté of the Tyrell army. As they talk of the details of both Daenerys’ and the Lannister’s strategies, Jaime pours two glasses of wine and sits at the table with Olenna. Jaime tells Olenna that the Lannisters predicted the attack on Casterly Rock, which is now worthless with its dried-up gold mines. They purposely left a smattering of soldiers to appear occupied, and then took the lion’s share of the army to head to where they are now to attack House Tyrell. He confesses they emptied anything of value before they fled and nothing remains at Casterly Rock aside from his childhood sentiment. It was a set-up.
Olenna asks if Jaime will kill her with his sword, Widow’s Wail, which originally belonged to Joffrey Baratheon. Olenna talks of how she went to extreme measures to protect her family and has no regrets, especially in relative comparison to the despicable acts of Cersei. Olenna tells Jaime that Cersei is a disease and she does regret her role in spreading it. She tells Jaime that Cersei will be the end of him. Jaime tells her the time has come for her to die as Olenna asks Jaime how will he kill her. Jaime empties the contents of a flask of poison into her wine. She asks if there will be pain in which he replies there will not. Olenna swiftly downs the glass of wine.
As Olenna waits for the poison to take effect she reflects on the horrific details of Joffrey’s poisoning. She admits her role in his poisoning, although the horrific effects were not her intention as she has never seen [dt_tooltip title=”the strangler”]A rare and extremely deadly poison, which kills swiftly by making a person who has ingested it unable to breathe. Oberyn Martell described it as, “Dissolved in wine, it makes the muscles of a man’s throat clench tighter than any fist. The victim’s face turns purple as the little crystal seed from which his death was grown, and so they call it the strangler.“[/dt_tooltip] and she tells him to make sure Cersei knows she did it. With obvious restraint Jaime silently walks off leaving Olenna to her death.
The implication is that she will die by poison, however the scene ends prior to any visual indication of the poison taking effect. We never actually see her die, which is unusual for a main character’s death in Game of Thrones.