At the end of last season, and even throughout this seasonâ€™s premiere, it seemed Daenerys had all the means to stroll in and take the Iron Throne without much difficulty. It seemed like good had a chance to triumph over evil, and swiftly with the support of the masses. Of course, this is Game of Thrones. Ned Stark would certainly want to have a word with anyone who thinks it would be easy for the good guys to win. And so the question Iâ€™ve had is this: what roadblocks will delay, prevent, deflect, or destroy Daenerysâ€™s seemingly simple path to success?Â
Our first obstacle happened last week, with Euron and his attack on Daenerysâ€™s fleet of Dornish ships. â€œThe Queenâ€™s Justiceâ€ introduced the second obstacle, and itâ€™s significantly more intriguing than Euron, which is the fact that Cersei is just better at the game than Daenerys. Sheâ€™s meaner, smarter, and more prepared than anyone gives her credit for. As Lady Olenna says, sheâ€™s a monster. But sheâ€™s the monster who is making Daenerys look like a fool.
â€œThe Queenâ€™s Justiceâ€ was an old-school talky episode, a welcome change of pace from last weekâ€™s episode filled with incoherent battles and symbolic wolf attacks. Game of Thrones is at itâ€™s best when the politicking is happening, when longer conversations that reveal truths and hint at secrets are the stars of the show. And we got plenty of that in this episode.
Two of secondary characters got a dedicated scene that brought up more questions than answers. Varys and Melisandre are both wild cards; we really have no idea what their long game is. Varys has no interest in loyalty for the sake of loyalty; he’s loyal to himself and to the people of the realm only, which was made quite obvious by Daenerys last week.Â Melisandre, always an outsider, seems genuine in her duty to the Lord of Light, but sheâ€™s done serious damage in the name of something holy. Varys has recorded distaste for magic, so itâ€™s unsurprising that he wants Melisandre to leave and never return. But she says she must come back to die in this foreign land, as he must as well. I donâ€™t know what that means, but first with her emphasis on the prophecy of the prince or princess promised, and now with ambiguous lines like this, Melisandre serves as an important conduit in the greater mythology of the Game of Thrones world.
And speaking of the prophecy, Jon Snow and Daenerys, both of who have been tapped as possibly â€œthe chosen oneâ€ finally meet and it goes as well as expected. I thoroughly enjoyed these scenes for a few reasons. One, itâ€™s rare to see two characters that have been around since the beginning, but have never really interacted, get to meet. And the strangeness of it all makes the contrast between characters heighten. It makes Daenerys seem irritatingly haughty and arrogant. It makes Jon Snow seem sort of dopey and frustratingly stubborn. But the biggest shout out goes to Tyrion, who brings life to scenes in a way that no other character on the show does. His dynamic presence goes a long way at giving these scenes some texture, even though he is mostly just acting as a mediator (or translator, because Jon Snow and Dany might as well be aliens to each other).
Sansa and Bran have a less productive conversation, entirely because, frankly, Bran is magical weirdo now. This should have been an epic reunion, but it wasnâ€™t at all, which is actually a refreshing way to paint reunions. There have already been a number of dramatic reunions between family, especially with Sansa. Realistically, Bran leaving as a child and returning as an adolescent is a significant change in itself. Even if he wasnâ€™t the Three-Eyed Raven, the rift that happens over the years can sometimes make reuniting less fulfilling than expected. It makes me wonder how the inevitable Arya reunion will go considering how startlingly different she is.
And finally the last conversation of the episode was between Lady Olenna and Jaime. Olenna has been essential to multiple characters as a sagacious mentor-figure, and she plays the part for Jaime even as he is only present to kill her. She tells him what we already know: Cersei is a monster and she will be his downfall. And she imparts wisdom until she swallows her poison, at which point she gets to go out with a bang, admitting her part in Jofferyâ€™s murder. Olennaâ€™s role (in cahoots with Littlefinger) has been heavily suggested for some time, so this doesnâ€™t really work as a big reveal. But it was a delightful moment of retribution for fan-favorite.
Above all else â€œThe Queenâ€™s Justiceâ€ showed how much can happen in an episode of Game of Thrones without a lot of bombastic effects. There was significant forward momentumâ€”after all in just this episode Bran made it to Winterfell, Daenerys agreed to give let Jon Snow mine for dragonglass, Jorah got cured of greyscale, the Lannisters took Highgarden, and Cersei got her revenge on Ellaria. We did, of course, technically have a battle scene, but the taking of Casterly Rock was purposefully diminished by having Tyrion narrate it as it occurred, an adept method of signaling to the audience that this was not the key scene to be paying attention to. If Game of Thrones can continuing balancing momentum with pace, we could be in store for a redemptive back half of the season.
- The line Cersei said about lying in bed going over everyone she wanted to kill was eerily similar to how Arya functions.Â
- I loved Sansa being awesome at ruling Winterfell. I also loved the bit when Tyrion said that Sansa was smarter than she let on and Jon responded with â€œSheâ€™s starting to let on.â€ #SansaForPresident
- Bran needs to talk to Jon and I canâ€™t help but wonder how much longer it will be before his true parentage is revealed.
- Although Tyrion was this episode’s MVP, Davos rescued Jon Snow from potentially the most embarrassing business meeting ever, since Jon basically forgot who he was for a minute.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
Interview: Henri Esteve on Grown-ish Season 3
An interview with Henri Esteve, who plays Javi on Freeform’s Grown-ish. He talks about his season three experience.
For All Mankind Season 2: Talking with Wrenn Schmidt, Krys Marshall, Jodi Balfour, and Sonya Walger [Exclusive]
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the hooks of For All Mankind is that it’s very much a story about the women of NASA. In Season 2, we explore the journeys of the women in the program, either through their own service or through their family affiliations. Four of those…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Season Finale [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale episodes.] How’s everyone after that finale? I will freely admit I got a little misty in episode eight as John told Sara why he loved her, and later that he wanted her despite what he might forfeit, and then at the end when he…
Rosy McEwen Talks The Alienist: Angel of Darkness [Exclusive]
Hands down, one of the best surprises of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness is that the serial killer this season has been front and center alongside the cast as a fully-formed character. We’ve watched Libby Hatch devolve from a prim, mild-mannered nurse to a woman in a rage hell-bent on…
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness Relationship Recap: John and Sara
[Warning: Spoilers for “Belly of the Beast” and “Memento Mori”] If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know two things — I lean way, way in on the characters I adore and I loathe love geometry arcs. So, I’m torn about where we are and where we…
Louriza Tronco Talks The Order Season 2 [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 2.] The Order’s second season is dark yet delightful entertainment on many levels, and one of its biggest sources of joy and snark is the sassy Gabrielle Dupres. Last season, she was assertive and deadly and fairly annoyed with the world. This season, she’s been…
Previewing Netflix’s Virgin River
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] Full disclosure: I have a Netflix account for my Mom, but I’m not a regular viewer. If I get a heads up on something, I’ll go look for it, but I don’t have a wander across its offerings, which, as I understand it, is how most…
Final Thoughts From the Killjoys Team [Exclusive]
This is the day of the week I’d normally hit you up with a Killjoys preview, but now that we’ve put the series to bed and released Team Awesome Force into the wild, I have one more treat for you–some final thoughts excerpted from my conversations with the Killjoys folks….
Michelle Lovretta Talks Wrapping Up Killjoys [Exclusive]
[Warning: Spoilers for the series finale.] To quote Miss Jackson, “That’s the end?” Yes, friends, it is. And like I promised you, everything would be, was, and is alright. I went to the Killjoys source, series creator Michelle Lovretta, who wrote the last episode, to break down that delicious finale….
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…