Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3 “The Queen’s Justice” Review
Spoilers Ahead on Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3
For all the anticipation in Jon Snow and Daenerys meeting, it’s Cersei who steals the episode. “The Queen’s Justice” is an euphemism for “Cersei’s Revenge” on her enemies. The Lannisters always pays their debts and Cersei pays back Ellaria in full.
Cersei’s chapters in the books, which are written from her perspective, puts the reader inside her toxic mindset. The scene between Cersei, Ellaria and Tyene receiving the kiss of death is brilliant at capturing that inner voice like in the books.
One chilling bit of dialogue is when Cersei talks about how she stays awake thinking about what she will do to her enemies. You see, it’s not enough for Cersei to dole out punishment to right a wrong, she inflicts suffering in the most cruel way her mind can machinate. She literally gets off on it which is what her bedroom scene with Jamie is essentially about.
Will Jamie tell Cersei that Olenna Tyrell confessed to poisoning Joffrey? Jamie does in fact realize that Cersei is like a disease as Olenna puts it. It’s highly doubtful Jamie wants to put more fuel on the fire by revealing this to Cersei.
It would be an interesting foreshadowing if “The Queen’s Justice” might also refer to a person, namely Jamie. In the same way that Jamie decided the Mad King’s fate for the good of the realm, perhaps history will come full circle where he will have to act as judge and executioner again.
The thing about Cersei playing the revenge game is that another Lannister might come back to repay what is owed. Tyrion’s Season 2 line to Cersei is unforgettable: “the day will come … your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.” Another possible way to interpret “The Lannisters always pays their debts” is like karma. It might not be instant, but what you put forth into the world has a way of catching up with you like what happened to Tywin.
One drawback to converging story lines is that some characters like Brienne and Bronn aren’t as prominent as before. Of late, Tyrion hasn’t been as prominent either for a lead character. Episode 3 puts him back in the forefront. It’s great to see Tyrion and Jon Snow reunite and call back to Season 1 events. Tyrion is like a bridge between Daenerys and Jon, bringing the two closer together.
The formality of Daenerys’ first scene with Jon is appropriate but isn’t exactly electrifying considering the build up. Their second scene together when Daenerys tones down her rigid regalness works much better. At this point, only Bran knows about Jon’s true parentage so it will be interesting to see how all the pieces will shake down.
“The Queen’s Justice” is representative of a typical Season 7 episode so far. Important scenes are given time to play out while other plot points quickly move forward especially in the final 15 minutes. The pace change within an episode feels abrupt at times. Since we are down into the final stretch with lots of ground to cover, expediency is to be expected.
The plots points that are most affected by the pace are the off-screen battle at High Garden and The Unsullied storming Casterly Rock. The invasion through a small, unguarded opening in a fortress is derivative so it was good to get a twist that Jamie used Robb Stark’s trick on the Unsullied. Because we aren’t meant to be invested in these battles, it’s perfectly fine to fast forward through them. However, it’s a bit of a shame that the first time we properly see Casterly Rock and High Garden it wasn’t that epic.
In the bigger picture, the odds which were stacked against Cersei are leveling off. Daenerys’s alliance with Ellaria, Lady Tyrell and Yara Greyjoy is over. And the Unsullied are on the other side of Westeros with no ships to sail back. If there’s a silver lining to this, it’ll push Daenerys towards working closer with Jon Snow and the North.
Down: Ellaria Ellaria is and always will be in the shadow of Oberyn. Her daughters would still be alive if she didn’t decimate House Martell and seek vengeance. Actress Indira Varma is fantastic at super emotional scenes and conveying everything through facial and body expression.
Up: Olenna Tyrell Leave it to Lady Tyrell to get in a final twist of the knife in her last monologue. Well played. Even in death she has a certain satisfaction. Olenna’s painless death is dignified for a quick witted, fan favorite character.
Up: Sansa Although her wedding night brings back a traumatic memory, Sansa is proving that she can lead and has her eyes set on playing the game on another level. Reuniting with Bran could give her access to the past, present and future, all of which she can use to her advantage.
Up: Euron Greyjoy Euron dropped some funny lines. He’s gleeful at tormenting and mocking. He’s also proven to be a very useful ally to House Lannister.
“The Queen’s Justice” continues moving big pieces around and in some cases takes them off the game board. As the show zeroes in towards the ending, the momentum is only going to ramp up. More and more loose ends are going to be wrapped up. Jon and Daenerys meeting is important to the end game. Whatever that ending might look like, it’ll be sure to involve dragons, white walkers and an undead army.