Oh boy! Where to start? Let’s just get stuck in…
The Bastard, The Dwarf and The ‘Last’ Targaryen
Marieke: Ah, it finally happened! Jon and Davos benefited from good winds to travel fast by boat to Dragonstone. Convenient! Davos returned to an old home of his, but it has changed. Jon unknowingly had a family reunion, but this aunt is not the one serving cookies and tea. There’s a lot of mistrust and suspicion between the King of the North and the rightful Targaryen heir. The scene where Missandei introduces Dany with a zillion titles and Davos’ reply (This is Jon Snow. -pause- He is king of the North) was utterly priceless and golden.
Tyrion is a key player here, because he trusts both Dany and Jon. Jon points out that he was chosen as king and has earned people’s trusts. Dany tells him that a child should not be judged by who their parents were (hey, familiar!). When Dany says she is the last Targaryen, I am sure everyone shouted ‘NO YOU’RE NOT, LOOK AT JON’ at the screen. Bran really needs to talk to Jon. I liked it when Dany told Jon about all the hardships she went through. It has not been easy on her either, but all animosity vanishes rightly so when it comes to the danger of White Walkers. Jon still is not able to convince people of their existence, and even though we are in the know, it must sound ridiculous to others without any evidence. It is a bit weird that Tyrion figures out Jon is at Dragonstone with another mission too and drags the existence of dragonglass out of him. Being a competent Hand, he convinces Dany to let him have it, because to them it is worthless and it makes her look a good Queen. The scenes of the King and Queen, unknowingly related, are great just because of the awkwardness. The dragons flying over scaring Jon and Davos to death are icing on the cake. I am also still here for the mutual respect between Tyrion and Jon. I love that even though Tyrion was a bit cynical (‘does she miss me?’) he only has good things to say about Sansa, and that he has to stress he has been good to her. Both see that there’s more to her than anyone originally thought. I wonder if any interaction between Khaleesi and Jon in the future will be after the parental reveal to Jon. They will surely look differently at each other then (they do not need to bang, though. They might?). Maybe this will also affect a certain dragon named after a certain brother/father?
Danielle: I think I was looking forward to the ‘Bastard of Winterfell’ and the ‘Dwarf of Casterly Rock’ meeting up again more than I was for Jon and Dany’s paths to cross, and it did not disappoint. I loved the humour peppered throughout each of their meetings, and the lingering evidence of the respect they built for each other way back in Season 1. Tyrion’s right though. His old acquaintance does brood far better than he could ever hope to. The mention of his ‘ex-sort of wife’, Sansa, was nice too, and far more subtle than one of Dany’s babies dropping in to say ‘Hi’ when the King in the North declared that he’s not a Stark. I think what I liked the most about this reunion was that there appears to be some mirroring going on between Jon’s arc and Sam’s. They’re both trying to convince people that the real threat is coming from the Far North, and finally in Tyrion and Archmaester Ebrose respectively, they’ve found people who believe them when they say that the White Walkers are more than just ‘grumpkins and snarks’. The Queen’s Hand urging his boss to allow her ‘guest’ to mine for dragonglass is a humongous deal, even if it’s also of strategic importance to distract him from waging a full-scale rebellion as well. Two birds. One stone.
Now, onto that much anticipated, face-to-face. First of all, can we put Davos in bubble wrap (with holes for breathing naturally), and keep him safe. Loved him cheekily showing an interest in Missandei, and then his frankly brilliant, anti-climactic introduction to the King in the North, after Daenerys’ titles were endlessly rattled off. I’m curious about why Jon doesn’t want people to know he took a knife to the heart though. Very curious. I actually adore the fact that her refused to kneel for her as, yes, his men did put their trust in him to lead. Refusing to become her subject just yet was brave, possibly dangerous, but right nevertheless. He doesn’t know her well enough to hand over that power for the time being, and boy was she annoying when she tried to press her superiority over the man who, unbeknown to her, is actually her nephew. There was definitely a thawing in relations by the time the two monarchs had that one-on-one though, as they pondered the improbability of their respective situations, and she eventually agreed to give him to give him the resources and tools to mine for that vital dragonglass. Perhaps too much of a thawing of relations? That was one lingering look Dany shot him as he walked away. I fear things may ‘develop’ between them before Bran has a chance to explain his real parentage to him.
Melisandre Takes a Gap Year
Marieke: All men, eunuchs and sorceresses must die too. Or that is what Melisandre tells Varys anyway. She cannot face Jon and Davos, because imminent death, but she also can’t just flee and disappear forever. She has to die in Westeros, and meet Arya again of course. Varys does not look too happy when Melisandre tells him he will die in Westeros too. He’s understandably generally unhappy about her, knowing his earlier encounter with sorcerers resulted in him becoming a eunuch. It was a respectful conversation, however, with an ominous ending. Either way, Melisandre played an enormously important part, she brought fire and ice together!
Danielle: This whole conversation was extremely revealing in light of Daenerys’ previous threat to burn her adviser alive if he ever crossed her. Tie those two scenes together, and I’m almost certain that Varys is going to jump ship at some point, knowing full well that it’ll probably lead to him being prematurely cremated. My guy would absolutely die for the good of the realm, particularly if he believed the woman he’s currently thrown his weight behind didn’t have the best interests of the common folk at heart. I’m curious about why Melisandre is heading to Volantis for a while though, before she returns to die on Western shores. Will she bring back a whole flock of red priests and priestesses with her as the darkness finally begins to gather? If that’s the case, Varys would probably jump in front of that dragon fire.
Marieke: Even though Pilou Asbæk has not made it into the opening credits yet, he is definitely making Euron a character to look forward to. Beaming with pride he parades Ellaria and her daughter and Yara through the streets of King’s Landing. Didn’t he bring Cersei the best of gifts? The woman who killed Myrcella, and the woman’s daughter too! Two for the price of one! He keeps Yara all to himself though, which makes him the creeper uncle. In the meantime, he still manages to annoy Jaime and he just keeps pestering him. He has set his eye on Cersei, well, on her power mostly and he is not letting that go. She sort of promised it when all the fighting is done, but Euron’s name is not Euron and he will no doubt keep pursuing the new mad Queen. If it weren’t for Jaime you would think they deserve each other, those crazy bunch of vengeful monarchs!
Danielle: I know I’m supposed to hate him, but Euron is such a charming and hilarious villain that it’s damn hard to. I nearly laughed so hard I cried when he called Theon a twat, and blew a kiss to the adoring woman in the crowd. That’s before he enters the throne room on horseback with his ‘gift’ for his prospective bride, soon standing by Jaime and asking him for sex tips. Asbæk’s delivery is perfect, and he’s obviously loving the role. That said, I do fear for that Yara is being sexually abused by her uncle, which is as disturbing as it is vomit-worthy. Euron and Cersei really are perfect for each other. I do wonder if she’s bitten off more than she can chew with him though, as she continues to fob him off and send him out to win the war for her before she’ll marry him.
It’s in Cersei’s Kiss, That’s Where it is
Marieke: So how is Cersei going to punish Ellaria? I think many viewers thought of scenarios and a lot will have included the Ser Gregor. But no. That is too swift. Not evil enough. Armed with a new shade of Maybelline, Cersei decides to return the lipstick kiss favour. Qyburn figured out which poison it was, and also provided an antidote. Ellaria will have to watch her daughter die the same way Myrcella died, but, she also will have to see the her body decay. A vision of Myrcella which Cersei could not let go in her mind, her worst nightmare. Ellaria has to witness it all, she will even be force-fed, so as not miss a minute of it all. Torches will be changed regularly. Cersei has lashed out in the worst way possible. And that is the end of Dorne.
When it comes to Jaime, you could wonder what is in Cersei’s kiss. It seems to be more lust than love, because the thing she loves the most is being a Queen and having her revenge. Jaime is falling head over heels again and is embarrassed to be seen with her in the morning. Cersei does not care anymore. She is the Queen after all! No doubt that there is a rift, and problems will arrive for our incestuous couple. It is a matter of time for Jaime to realise what is going on. Or maybe, someone will let him know… At the same time she is also skilfully kissing some Bravoosi arse, or at least winning Tycho Nestoris over. She offers him the full King’s Landing holiday package and ensures him that Lannisters always pay their debts. No doubt this already had to do with Jaime’s plan for the Lannister army. Tycho compliments Cersei that she is just like her father. I wonder what he would have thought of this turn of events….
Danielle: Cersei’s revenge was unutterably brutal. I mean I had little sympathy for Ellaria and Tyene, but killing someone’s daughter and forcing them to watch their body rot is damn cold. I have to say though, Indira Varma absolutely killed it here, in spite of the fact she had no dialogue to work with. It’s just a shame that the scripts haven’t offered up suitable material for her talents in the past. I actually have a crack theory Cersei has unwittingly poisoned herself, because she put her trust in Qyburn to get the antidote right, the ‘cleverest’ man she knows. We all know what Olenna said about listening to clever men, and how not doing so was key to her longevity. What really struck me about this scene, however, was how Cersei framed her daughter’s death in her big speech to her enemy as she prepared to kill Tyene. It was all about her suffering and what was taken away from her, and she spoke nothing of her child’s pain and discomfort, demonstrating that her children and even Jaime are merely extensions of herself.
Speaking of her twin, I’m starting to find him the most fascinating character this season. Before Cersei launched herself at him, he was sat alone nursing his stump and guzzling down wine. Had it been either his sister, or his brother, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but Jaime is the Lannister sibling who isn’t notably well on his way to liver disease. Scuttling to put his golden hand back on when she entered the room, he initially turns her down in his drunken haze, but eventually goes with the flow and and ends up accepting the ‘relief’ she’s offering him. (It’s not lost on me that Cersei was the only monarch to kneel in this episode.) The following morning he seems enthralled with his sister, but that doesn’t quite jive with the fact he’s ashamed of the maid seeing them together, or the fact that there was a time when he didn’t care who he told about the relationship. I think the drinking and his sudden carefulness about the incestuous relationship are indications that all is not well with him, and that he’s struggling with propping up his sister’s rule. I also believe he’s wilfully blind about who his sister really is, hence that moment of morning after bliss coming to an end the as soon as she woke up. Have to say, the fact her maid has the same haircut as her now is freaking hilarious. It must feed her narcissism no end!
Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few
Marieke: Tyrion was made out to be a well-skilled tactician, or at least, the man with a plan. He had a plan at Blackwater Bay, but also luck was ot his side. Across the Narrow Sea, he did know how to take on Slavemasters, but he also needed a good talking to from Grey Worm about them. Eventually, a dragon had to swoop in to save the day, along with the Khaleesi. Back in Westeros, Tyrion seems to have run out of luck, and perhaps out of some extra counsel. He is no doubt smart, but has totally forgotten that the woman he is up against is his sister. Who had guidance from his brother. All three have been raised by the same father. Cersei and Jaime know Tyrion through and through, and he is not able to outsmart them. They know how much Casterly Rock means to Tyrion, but also that now it is not of as much importance as it was before. I love how he used his father’s underestimation of him to create a safe place for himself (and for his sex workers), and it served as a successful Achilles Heel in the taking of the fortress. Sadly, Casterly Rock itself is Tyrion’s Achilles Heel, and only a small part of the Lannister army had been left there to defend it. Euron’s ships wrought havoc again, once the remaining Unsullied are inside, trapped. No way out, no food rations, and the large part of the Lannister army made its way to yet another of Danaerys’ allies. Oh Tyrion, how could you have not seen this coming, especially after learning about Euron?
Danielle: Tyrion really messed up, didn’t he? The issue here is that in spite of all of his ‘book learning’, he doesn’t have the real life experience as a soldier to wage a full scale war. Both Jaime and Euron do, and this is why his master plan fell down and also why Dany’s allies are being chipped away at. I think his real strength is in working towards alliances, as we saw with Jon, rather than battle strategy. I hope that there’s some reaching out to his older brother at some point, although I’m not quite sure how that would work.
The Thorn in the Lion’s Paw
Marieke: Go where the gold and the food is: Highgarden. That is where Jaime, Bronn (hey look it is Bronn just appearing not saying anything!), the Tarlys (traitors) and the Lannister army are heading. It is an easy win for the Lions, and Jaime makes his way to the Matriarch of the house, Lady Olenna, who’s waiting for him, still dressed in black like a Westerosi Queen Victoria. She wonders if the Tyrell army fought back adequately, and Jaime intimates they barely did that. They never stood a chance. The interesting part is that with this plan Jaime took a leaf out of Robb Stark’s tactical playbook. A slow learner he is, but fast enough for a brutal blow against the Khaleesi coalition.
His conversation with Olenna is rather respectful, he even managed to talk Cersei out of a horrible way of killing her. Olenna, who has nothing to lose because she already lost all she loved last season, has somewhat of the upper hand though. She has no fear, and after asking if the poison will be savage (nope), she downs the wine in one gulp. But not without telling Jaime that Joffrey really was a cunt (I cheered!), that his image of Cersei is not what he thinks it is (a peaceful realm with Cersei as the Queen? Oh Jaime, so naive!), but most of all, by telling Jaime it was her behind Joffrey’s killing. Cersei has to know that (I am surprised she did not out Littlefinger as her ally though!). Lady Olenna’s final revenge hits hard. Jaime’s eyes are the size of flying saucers. Tyrion is not guilty. Will he tell Cersei? And will Olenna’s thoughts about his sister have watered that seed of doubt Jaime does have about her? Bye bye Lady Olenna, you fierce grandmother everyone wanted to have. Don’t forget to give Tywin the finger in whatever world you will end up after death.
Danielle: I loved how this whole sequence was shot. From Olenna regarding the Lannister army in perfect formation from her balcony window, to Jaime striding victoriously through the courtyards at Highgarden as he goes up to meet the last remaining member of the Tyrell family, all the while a new arrangement of ‘The Rains of Castamere playing in the background. The real gem though was that tense ‘heart to heart’ between ‘Lord Lannister’ and Diana Rigg’s splendid character, which is almost certainly in my top 5 scenes in the show as a whole. I adore the irony of Jaime learning from his past military mistakes, as he directly referenced of Robb’s tactics at Whispering Wood, yet he seems destined to realise a similarly brutal end if he doesn’t untangle himself from his sister. In both cases, falling for the wrong woman would be the reason for their respective downfalls. He seems to know it too, readily admitting to Olenna that he’s probably already too far gone and has ceded control of things, further confirming my suspicion that he’s sunken into a depression.
It intrigued me that she effectively offered herself up as his confessor, and yet he still turned her down, even though she was not long for this world. What I gleaned from that was that he’s desperate to talk to someone, but that Olenna was the wrong candidate. Now that he knows for sure Tyrion wasn’t responsible for killing Joffrey, possibilities are starting to open up. Maybe events might move Brienne in his direction too, after all, she was the one he climbed into a bathtub with and told the real reason he killed Aerys. The Queen of Thorn’s parting words were just as brutal and effective as a knife to the gut though as she forced Jaime to relive his son’s death at the hands of the poison she administered. What does he do with that information now though? Obviously it doesn’t change the fact that his little brother killed their father, but Tyrion was put on trial for no reason at all at the behest of both Tywin and Cersei. What happens if he does tell his twin the truth and she simply replies, “I know.” Is he really too far gone to not be outraged on his younger sibling’s behalf in those circumstances? After all, he did disobey her wishes to free him in the first place. The major positive I take from this is that in spite of Olenna’s murderous confession, and her already having glugged down the poisoned wine, he chose to walk away rather than spend the last few minutes of her life taking out his anger on her. I doubt the same could be said of his sister. Perhaps there’s hope for him yet?
Bran the Stoner
Marieke: Wow that Three-eyed Raven job has really taken its toll on little Bran, hasn’t it? It’s almost like he discovered weed as a teenager. Being robotic and void of any emotion, this Stark reunion was not as sweet as it should and could have been. Sansa is over the moon, but Bran… Meh. Who cares when you can see past, present and future and are being chased by the Night King. But did he have to demonstrate his power by digging up that horrible piece of Sansa’s past? Oh you looked so beautiful in that white wedding dress right here next to the tree when you married that sociopathic rapist of yours! Nice going, Bran. Even Hodor had more social skills. At the same time, Sansa is making sure Winterfell will have enough supplies for the Winter. She shows some true Queen behaviour and on top of that she is not having any of Littlefinger’s advice. Please stay this way, Sansa!
Danielle: I really liked seeing Sansa take charge of things. She certainly seems far more capable than I expected. I do wonder if she’s making a mistake by insisting that the grain is stockpiled at Winterfell though. I, and many other people, have long surmised that the place was given its name because that’s where ‘Winter fell’ during the last Long Night. Should history repeat itself, and if the castle itself does fall, then large swathes of Northerners are very likely to starve to death. Nevertheless, she deftly swatted Littlefinger away as he urged her to be aware of the threat Cersei poses, and bafflingly tried to influence her approach to combating her enemies through some of the basic tenements of Quantum physics.
Moving on to Bran, I’d have to agree with Marieke about his newfound, robotic sensibilities. His whole demeanour is so damn creepy now, and I HATE the fact that he choose his sister’s rape to illustrate to her that he’s now all-seeing. Once again the writer’s have filtered that horrific event through the male gaze, after Theon’s face was focused on throughout the original scene. I actually find Bran’s aloofness concerning. With him wielding a great deal of power now, and seemingly oblivious to the feelings of those close to him, is it possible that he’s moving into much greyer territory?
What a Climate!
Marieke: Yay! Sam got rid of Jorah’s greyscale, who is so thankful he won’t out him to the archmaester who, in turn, is not stupid. A bit of rest and the climate, yes Jorah, that worked brilliantly, wink wink! It could not have come at a more important time, as Dany could use someone with some military skills… Meanwhile Sam does get some praise from the archmaester, but he is effectively going to be a human copy machine after being told to transcribe that pile of old scrolls. But being a keen learner from books, maybe the Archmaester has given him some valuable scrolls? A punishment and learning moment into one?
Danielle: We’ve had a little bit of a difference of opinion here about this, but I suspect that Sam hasn’t fully cured Jorah’s greyscale. Rather he’s just slowed it down. That could have catastrophic consequences if he does indeed head back to Dany’s camp as expected. I am a little worried that the camera lingered on that handshake between him and Sam too. PLEASE don’t let Sam get infected! He’s too pure! In the meantime he’s been tasked with copying those scrolls and manuscripts. I also reckon that it was a reward as much as a punishment for his actions, and that there’s bound to be some useful information in there which could really change the game. Go Sam!
Marieke: The surviving Greyjoy navy fished him out of the sea, looked down on him and stepped over him, whilst he laid on the ship floor. Not much progression for poor Theon/shades of Reek, he actually seems to have lost all respect now, if he had some to begin with. Back to the drawing board, Theon!
Danielle: I couldn’t help but feel for Theon here. He knows he failed Yara. He didn’t need to have the knife twisted further by the remaining men who are still loyal to her. Nevertheless, I still believe that now he’s hit rock bottom, there’s still plenty of runway for him to bounce back up again and rectify his mistakes. I suspect things are far from over for him.
Death of the Week
Lady Olenna going out fearlessly, and on a high.
MVP of the Week
Quote of the Week
Lady Olenna (about Joffrey): He really was a cunt, wasn’t he?
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: This is Jon Snow… He’s King in the North.
Marieke: A very strong episode which had it all: revenge, deceit, some nekkidness, war, first time meetings and reunions. The dialogues were better, but that also has a lot to do with Lady Olenna getting the best lines. Cersei versus Ellaria, Jaime versus Olenna, the siblings versus their little brother. The Lannisters dictate what is going on, and it is not the one at Khaleesi’s side with the upper hand. Jon meeting Dany was also tense and something fans have looked forward to since the start. I cannot believe we will pass the halfway mark next week, because it has only just started. I do wonder if a more major character than Olenna or Ellaria will meet his or her end soon, or that the big players are safe for now (as it sort of feels at the moment).
Danielle: What a difference a week makes! With Weiss and Benioff back in the driving seat as scriptwriters, Thrones returned to form with punchy, gut-wrenching and sometimes raucously funny dialogue in ‘The Queen’s Justice’. Likewise, the various storylines from one end of Westeros to the other slotted together neatly, adding to the impending sense that the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together, as some of the main players begin to turn their attentions to the real threat: the Night King and his army. Jon and Daenarys finally meeting was a massive milestone. I can’t help but hope that we’ll see more characters come face to face with each other. One’s who’ve met before, as well as those who are also strangers to one another.
Our Fezzy Score:
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