Game of Thrones Review by John Keegan

Game of Thrones 7.03: The Queen's Justice

Game of Thrones 7.03: The Queen's Justice

Written By:
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Directed By:
Mark Mylod

If there was any doubt that the series is rushing headlong towards its conclusion, this episode should put those doubts to rest.  If anything, there is a wonderful tension in watching entire Houses fall one by one as the endgame unfolds, even as it becomes clear that winning the wars in Westeros will not be as straightforward as the players would like to believe.

 


 

The Family Reunion: Neither Daenerys nor Jon know that it’s a family reunion, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is.  And it’s a scene that plays out with as much complication as it should, because neither of them have any reason to concede to the other and they don’t know nearly as much about the situation as the audience does.  That’s equal parts frustrating and fascinating, as Dany starts to show what kind of ruler she can be, and the accumulated experiences of both leaders display themselves.

 

Considering how well Tyrion and Varys maneuver and help govern when it comes to Jon and those in Dany’s immediate court, it’s shocking to see how Tyrion’s strategies are repeatedly thwarted.  It’s all in service, it seems, to the notion that Dany needs to employ new tactics to the war for Westeros, since everyone else is simply playing the game as they always have, but it does start to make Tyrion look less effective over time.  Hopefully it is only a temporary setback.

 


 

Cersei Gets Hers: In more ways than one, Cersei gets pretty much everything she wants in this episode.  She secures Jamie’s loyalty (at least in the short term), dangles just the right carrot for Euron to continue doing his best Evil Jack Sparrow impression for her, and twists the vengeance knife beautifully when it comes to Ellaria Sand.  And then she lures Dany’s forces into a trap at Casterly Rock as she wipes House Tyrell off the map.  Suddenly, she’s not so surrounded by the enemy.

 

Or so it seems.  While I doubt that Highgarden is going to stage a response, I have to wonder about Dorne.  Ellaria may have taken control of Dorne, but that was a questionable situation.  More to the point, we never actually saw the Dornish forces on-screen, so where are they?  Wouldn’t someone else take command of Dorne and have an even greater desire to act against the Lannisters?  It will be disappointing if nothing comes of that, since Dorne is a far more important player in the source material and has been reduced, in many respects, to a footnote in the adaptation.

 


 

Queen of the North: It’s wonderful to see Sansa taking on a leadership role; one can see the brutal lessons of the past several seasons informing her every move.  Considering that many have noted how Sansa is acting a lot like a mixture of early Catelyn and Cersei, one might say that Sansa is showing how someone who has learned a lot from both can take those lessons and make something positive out of it.  She’s even incorporated what she’s learned from Littlefinger, though it’s unclear if she’s keeping him around to absorb whatever last bit of “wisdom” she can from him or because he’s still got hooks into her.

 

Her reunion with Bran is awkward on both sides.  Sansa never expected to see any other surviving family, so it comes as a shock.  Of course, he also looks and acts very differently from the child she knew.  And Bran is clearly not going to be playing Lord of Winterfell anytime soon, as he is embracing his role as the Three-Eyed Raven.  Undoubtedly, he will eventually serve as the means of revealing the full truth of Jon’s heritage. 

 


 

Sam and Jorah: While Bran digs into certain aspects of the past and present, Sam is doing the same.  Having very quickly cured Jorah (seriously, the timeline of the series is almost impossible to track at this point), he has gained at least enough respect from the Archmaester to get a bit more access.  At least, that’s my interpretation; I suspect Sam will discover that he’s been tasked to cleaning up scrolls and books that have information pertinent to his interests.

 

Let’s Save Some Money: I’m not just talking about Cersei’s masterful ploy to get the Iron Bank to back her instead of Daenerys, which makes what should be an easy Targaryen victory and gives a ton of advantage to the Lannisters.  But it seems like the producers are teasing the audience by having a lot of major engagements take place off-screen or in short bursts.  The action at Casterly Rock is short and sweet, capped by a CGI naval rout, and then we get only the most perfunctory sight of Jamie’s assault on Highgarden.  Granted, the real action takes place in the conversation between Jamie and Olenna, but it still feels like major events are being handled off-screen.  Hopefully it means the money is being saved for explosive events to come.




Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • The long-awaited meeting between Jon and Daenerys at Dragonstone
  • Cersei’s revenge is terrifying but amazing to witness
The Bad:
  • How can we arriving at the middle of the season already?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Game of Thrones by - 7/31/2017 7:41 AM62 views

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