A Binge Guide for Season 7, Episode 3 – “The Queen's Justice”
by Greg Enslen
Episode Number: S07E03
Original Air Date: July 30, 2017
Time: 63 minutes
Synopsis: Jon and Daenerys finally meet. Cersei gains a new ally. Sansa receives an unexpected visitor. Sam is confronted for his actions.
The animated map during the credits shows several important locations: King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Pyke, Winterfell, the Wall, and far to the south, Oldtown.
The King in the North, Jon Snow, and Ser Davos Seaworth arrive at the castle of Dragonstone after traveling from Winterfell. They are greeted by Tyrion Lannister and Missandei, advisers to Daenerys Targaryen. Jon knows Tyrion from his visit to Winterfell and the Wall when Jon traveled north to the Wall to join the Night’s Watch. As they head up the walkways to the castle, Tyrion asks after Sansa Stark, to whom he was briefly married. And on the cliffs above, Varys and Melisandre discuss Jon Snow and her history with him.
Inside the castle’s throne room, Missandei introduces Daenerys Targaryen and uses her full list of names, which by this point has grown quite long. When it is Davos’ turn, he simply introduces Jon as the King in the North. The King and Queen begin discussing the historical relationship between the Starks and the Targaryens and Daenerys insists that Jon “bend the knee” and pledge loyalty to her. But he says they have much bigger problems then Cersei and who sits on the Iron Throne: an Army of the Dead is marching south and will attack soon enough.
Daenerys has trouble believing him and insists Jon bend the knee, but he refuses and she says he is in open rebellion. Before the conversation can degrade even further, Varys asks Daenerys to dismiss her guests, and she provides rooms for Jon and Davos. When they are gone, Varys gives them devastating news—nearly the entire Greyjoy fleet has been sunk or captured, along with the Greyjoys, Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes.
Later, on the cliffs above the sea, Jon Snow and Tyrion discuss a future alliance. Later, in the map room, Tyrion asks Daenerys to allow Jon Snow his request—allow him and his men to mine the island for dragonglass. Daenerys sees no harm in it and, approaching Jon on the walkway to the beach, approves his request with a smile.
Notes: Jon Snow has not seen or spoken to Tyrion Lannister since S01E03, when Tyrion was visiting the Wall. This is also the first time the character Jon Snow is shown outside of the North—in all previous episodes, he’s either been at Winterfell or locations to the north. Davos Seaworth returns to Dragonstone for the first time since S04E03, after which Stannis Baratheon’s forces vacated the island.
Quotes: Missandei: “You stand in the presence on Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, the rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.” Davos Seaworth: “This is Jon Snow... he's King in the North.”
One of the remaining Greyjoy fleet ships fishes Euron Greyjoy out of the water. He swears he tried to save their leader and his sister, Yara, but the men on the boat don’t believe him.
Euron Greyjoy rides through the streets of King’s Landing, leading several people with ropes behind his horse. He has captured Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria and Tyene Sand. At the Red Keep, he presents Ellaria and Tyene to Queen Cersei Lannister as a “priceless gift.” Cersei is impressed and agrees to marry Euron after “the war is won,” announcing that he would lead her navies and Jaime would lead her armies.
Below the Red Keep, Cersei has justice in mind. She has Ellaria and Tyene chained on opposite walls of a dungeon cell and kisses Tyene on the mouth, then wipes away the poison—it is the same poison Ellaria used to kill Marcella. Tyene falls to the floor, and Cersei tells Ellaria that she will have to watch her daughter die and rot away in front of her without being able to help her.
In her chambers, Cersei is excited and kisses Jaime Lannister passionately. In the morning, Cersei climbs from the bed and answers her door, not caring who knows about her and Jaime. Her handmaiden tells her a visitor from Braavos has arrived. It is Tycho Nestoris, and he and Cersei meet to discuss the Lannister’s debt. Cersei promises to repay it very soon.
Notes: Euron rides his horse into the throne room, just as Tywin Lannister did after winning the Battle of the Blackwater in S02E10. Cersei uses the poison “the Long Farewell” to poison Tyene Sand. Ellaria used this lethal poison to kill Cersei’s daughter Myrcella in S05E10. Cersei meets with Tycho Nestoris, the representative of the Iron Bank. We last saw him in S05E09.
Filming Locations: Euron parades his captives through the streets of King’s Landing—and most of the scenes in King’s Landing are shot in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The ancient walled city and streets are used in many scenes this season.
Sansa Stark, Maester Wolkan, Lord Royce and Petyr Baelish discuss the castle’s preparations for the coming winter and the coming war. Sansa asks good questions and makes smart decisions about how they should prepare. Petyr congratulates her, advising her to consider all possibilities if she wants to avoid future surprises.
There is a visitor at the gate—it is Bran Stark and Meera Reed. Sansa rushes to greet her brother, who she thought was dead. They repair to the godswood to catch up, and Bran tries to explain that he’s now the Three-Eyed Raven and has no interest in being Lord of Winterfell, even though technically he is the eldest male heir still alive. Proving he has the sight and alarming his sister, Bran tells her that he could see her on her wedding day and that she looked beautiful in her white wedding dress, something he could not possibly know.
Notes: Bran has returned to Winterfell for the first time since S02E10. And this is the first time Bran and Sansa have appeared together in a scene together since S01E01, the first episode.
Quotes: Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish: “Fight every battle everywhere, always, in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything that happens will be something that you've seen before.”
At the Citadel, Archmaester Ebrose examines Ser Jorah Mormont and finds that he has been cured. Jorah, keeping Samwell’s secret, says he must have been cured by “the climate.” Ebrose tells him he’s free to go—and asks Samwell to come to his office. Before he leaves, Jorah thanks Samwell. Later, Ebrose asks Samwell how he managed to complete a delicate surgery, one that had been tried by other, more experienced healers who failed, then assignments the task of copying a table full of manuscripts and scrolls.
Casterly Rock and Highgarden
The Unsullied arrive at the ancestral home of House Lannister and make their way under the castle using the secret passages and sewers that only Tyrion Lannister knows. But they find the castle nearly empty—and looking out at sea, Grey Worm sees that the Unsullied ships have been surrounded the Iron Fleet ships of Euron Greyjoy.
Meanwhile, to the south, the Lannister army attacks Highgarden in the Reach and wins the battle. Jaime enters the castle and finds the Queen of Thorns. Knowing that she is to die, Olenna Tyrell complements Jaime on his battle tactics. He explains that she will be given a painless poison, and she drinks it down quickly. But before she dies, she has one last piece of news to share—it was she that was planned King Joffrey’s death by poison. “Tell Cersei. I want her to know I did it.”
Notes: This is the first time Casterly Rock appears on the show, although it has been mentioned on many previous occasions. This is the first time the castle of Highgarden appears on the show. Jaime is carrying Widow’s Wail, Joffrey’s old sword. Olenna confirms the shows hints that she was responsible for having Joffrey poisoned—it had been hinted at before, especially when she and Littlefinger discussed blackmailing each other with the information.
Filming Location: According to an article in the UK Telegraph, Filming Locations for Game of Thrones Season Seven, Highgarden is really Castillo de Almodóvar del Río in the Andalusian province of Córdoba, Spain.
Great episode, and things are moving quickly. The last episode ended with Jon and Davos leaving Winterfell for Dragonstone, and here they are arriving at the start of the episode. Not sure if they motorboats now, but I can tell the show is picking up the pace.
Jon and Davos are suitable impressed with Daenerys and her coterie, but I’m not sure if she’s as impressed with him. She pleads her case and he pleads his and they come to an uncomfortable “wait and see” arrangement as Daenerys deals with other issues. I liked Jon and Tyrion talking about the things that happened at the Wall—it was a nice moment, along with their competitive brooding atop the cliffs at Dragonstone. And Daenerys did the right thing, taking a first uneasy step towards finding new allies by allowing Jon and his men to mine the dragonglass.
Sadly, things aren’t going well for Daenerys on other fronts as she quickly starts to lose any advantage she had at the start of the season. Her navy is gone, as is any element of surprise as she takes too long getting her “war” going and everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms has time to plan and anticipate her moves. Even the assault on Casterly Rock was a failure as she sent her Unsullied army there to find that the Lannister army had moved on to take Highgarden and remove another ally of Daenerys’, Lady Olenna and House Tyrell.
The Queen’s Justice is vile. Cersei forcing a mother to watch her daughter die—and share a room with her rotting corpse—was one of the most depraved things they’ve shown on this show. Just the idea of it is so evil, it’s hard to see how Cersei will top it in the future. It’s the kind of thing that Ramsey Bolton would hear about and say “damn, that’s mean.”
Cersei may also be getting cocky, flaunting her relationship with her brother and being cavalier with a representative of the Iron Bank. But Jaime’s clever use of the Lannister armies seems almost too good to be true, as if he could completely anticipate every move that Daenerys and her Hand, Jaime’s brother, would make. I found that difficult to believe, as I did the Unsullied—and the Iron Fleet, for that matter—to travel all the way around the other side of Westeros so quickly and without being seen by their enemies.
Oh well, clearly they are cramming ten pounds of potatoes into a five-pound bag with this season, where single episodes seem to contain as much story as entire seasons did early in the show. And the race to get the players into position means they are skipping interesting things on the show. In this episode, we could have seen: Jon and Davos’ sea journey to Dragonstone; Euron’s punishment of his niece, Yara; an entire episode of just Euron taunting Jaime in front of a crowd of people; more brooding competitions between Jon and Tyrion; the battle for Casterly Rock; or the battle for Highgarden.
All in all, things are coming along fine if perhaps a tad too quickly. I hope the producers find a way to slow down and enjoy the journey without dropping too many storylines or wrapping them up too quickly. Olenna Tyrell got the ending deserved, but at this pace, many other characters may not.
The title refers partly to Cersei’s revenge on the person who was responsible for killing Myrcella.
Nudity and Violence:
Turned On—Cersei gets frisky with Jaime—we see his butt at 31:00—and gets out of bed naked the next morning (31:20).
Notes: All sites accessed November 26, 2017.
HBO Game of Thrones episode synopsis. https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season-07/3-the-queens-justice/synopsis
Game of Thrones Wiki, several pages. http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Game_of_Thrones_Wiki
UK Telegraph, Filming Locations. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/arts-and-culture/filming-locations-game-of-thrones-season-seven/
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