Queen’s and King’s have come and gone and finally we’re here. The moment we’ve hungered for since the inception of this fabulous series and thanks to tonight’s episode:
Our bellies are full.
Let’s get to it shall we?
BEWARE: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW-YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
The episode begins with Jon and Co. arriving at Dragonstone. Some weird time travel speed-thingy has been going on with thrones since the last two episodes of Season 6. Is it just me or have people have been making their way across Westeros and Essos with Barry Allen-esque velocity?
Whatever, I digress.
As he and Davos walks up the black sand beach, KitN is greeted by our favorite Lannister. They share quips about the adventures they shared traveling north, clearly pleased to see each other. The mood shifts from pleasantries to tense when Missandei is introduced as well as the Dothraki. The Queen’s crew is thorough, basically ordering a strip-search before the make their audience with her royal highness.
Cut the the trek up to the palace, Tyrion casually asks about Sansa’s health (bein’ her ex-husband and all). A hella awkward moment happens where Jon throws him the side eye Jon confirms she’s doing fine and and is a lot smarter than she was when he knew her. Dragons fly overhead with a loud shriek, interrupting the rendezvous, just after a suspicious moment where Jon says aloud “I’m not a Stark.”
Pan to Melisandre on a cliff looking quite Keira Knightly circa Pride and Prejudice, Varys turns up and the two exchange ominous prophetic clap-backs.
The intense music in the background only confirms that things don’t look very promising for either of them, but not before they close a few deals.
KiTN and co. enter the throne room, a vast chamber made completely of black stone. Very intimidating to the eye (one can’t help but wonder if this was done on purpose by Aegon the conqueror). Missandei begins to introduce our platinum haired monarch and one can feel the second-hand discomfort through the screen as the Queen’s title drags on and on. Things only confirm the thoughts no doubt going through Jon’s head moments later when they begin to converse. That this ‘Queen’ is just some rich girl with a pair of oversized Habanero-breath lizards, proclaiming to be ruler of the world. She makes her demands because her whack-job father was king and now I’m supposed to ‘bend-the-knee’?
Instead of expressing these sentiments Davos replies with Jon’s name.simply.
Beautiful writing. A simple reply was all it took to showcase the stark contrast between the two personalities.
Jon decides to cut the chase, already weary of the pomp and circumstance. This is where we see Daenerys’ sentiments on the Winterfell’s favorite son. That he’s some dirty, savage northman who shows up speaking of Artic zombies and refuses to put sum respek on my name.
Can’t really blame her when she hears of the white walkers. When Jon tells his tale of their threat, she scoffs and naturally right? We often forget and this episode again reminds us how odd the events that have taken place must sound to the characters who weren’t there for each twist and turn; and how much our omniscient POV gives us the opportunity to comprehend the grand scheme. Observing characters attempting to convince each other of things we know are gospel truth, is equal parts hilarious as well as irritating.
Davos comes through at the clutch with an impassioned argument on KitN’s behalf, saying just enough to raise a few brows when Dany and Tyrion hear that wait, that can’t be right… did he just say he… was killed?
Jon stays Kendrick humble but just long enough to keep it 100 with the Queen. Tells her he’s there for one thing and one thing only, Cersei can wait. They’re interrupted when Varys comes in with Dark words. Informs Dany that her once stacked team has been annihilated in an embarrassingly short span of time. Ouch.
Enter Euron, boastful as ever dragging Ellaria et al. through the streets as he celebrates his victory. It’s a moment reminiscent of Cersei’s Walk of atonement back in season 5 and indicative to the grizzly fate of Oberyn’s beloved.
The Queen’s elation when the two captives are dropped at the foot of her throne is barely hidden. We see the trio next in the cell and we instantly know that the queen’s fury is ripe. She takes out Tyene, identically to how Myrcella met her untimely end. But not before we see a moment of pure and honest emotion. She asks Ellaria (who’s gagged) ‘why did you do that?’ Perhaps this is the last bit of humanity we’ll ever see from Cersei as she mourns her daughter while simultaneously avenging her death . Moments like these from her a few and very very far between and gone just as quickly as it comes. She regains her bitch-face, informing Ellaria that she’ll rot in the cell while she watches her daughter’s body decay.
I told you we shouldn’t sleep on Cersei.
Speaking of sleeping, Jaime and his evil twin have once again regressed to the kind of siblings that need fresh linens for the bed. The Queen’s blood lust and physical lust apparently walk hand in hand. However the Iron bank could care less what goes on between the sheets. Cersei’s all like: “Gimme a few days, the way my bank account is set up…” And Braavos’ federal reserve is all like: “Fuck you, pay me.” They want their money so they can throw it behind the most obvious winner. Let this be a reminder that Wall Street’ll never change, kids.
Opportune moment number 9843884 of the season happens when Jon and Tyrion chat some more. KitN reminds Tyrion he isn’t pleased with how things have fared up to now. Going as far as to throw out the word ‘prisoner’. Time’s being wasted while Dany declares Dragonstone her personal flex-zone. Jon gets down to the nitty gritt, informing Tyrion of his need for Dragonglass. No flies on baby Lannister, he takes this info to his sovereign, using it as a bargaining to get the Queen’s logic to kick in. She has something he needs and she desperately needs an ally. Win win, right?
Up at the tippy top things only get chillier when Sansa, now fully in charge and wearing the cloak of responsibility quite well, realizes food rations are getting low in the northern capital. Little Finger’s still creepin’, trying to plant seeds but Stevie Wonder could see that. What we didn’t see was the biggest ‘Oh Shit!” moment of the season thus far:
BRAN. Yes another Stark in Winterfell! *cue ugly cry*.
He then takes up the awkward task of having to explain to Sansa what it means to be the Three-Eyed-Raven. Another example of how we’ve been spoiled as third party observers to the happenings within the realm and how absurd they sound to characters hearing about them after the fact.
Over at the citadel, Jorah follows through on Dany’s last demand and finds himself a cure for his scaly condition courtesy of Sam. Sam’s bibliophilia has once again come through at the clutch, showcasing his unique ability to follow instructions. He’s given a pat on the back but told to make like Pam Beasly and get to copying. Hey, an upgrade to scrubbing chamber pots if you ask me.
The plot thickens when we see Greyworm and the squad roll in deep to the rock. Casterly Rock, the Lannister stronghold. This begins as a rather impressive moment and Tyrion’s narration adds to the scene without taking away from the visuals. It was important for us as an audience to hear Tyrion’s expectations to fully provide an understanding of why things don’t pan out according to plan. He uses his misfortunes at the hand of his father to reveal to us he single-handedly engineered the plumbing in his childhood home. It becomes more about what doesn’t happen. It’s a good plan in theory but what’s been showcased time and time again this season is the underestimation of Lannister cunning. The unsullied are now on the wrong side of the continent. The ultimate bait and switch. Jamie intelligently forsakes the rock–he’s got bigger fish to fry. High Garden is up for the taking and the Lannister’s gotta pay their debts.
A perfect segue to the reunion of two characters whose meet up’s been a long time coming. Jaime in chess-like fashion takes out the Queen (Olenna Tyrell). She concedes defeat, admitting Highgarden has never been known for their martial skill. But not before she plays her last trump card. It looks as if she’s been defeated as she drinks the poison the Kingslayer places in front of her but as she sucks back the last drop she drops a bomb on Jamie.
She killed Joffrey and he should tell his friends aka Cersei. NBD, Just thought she’d like to know. And as the credits roll, it’s clear to everyone: the audience, Jaime and Olenna herself that she’s won the scene.
This weeks episode delivered. Not only do we see numerous loose strings tied up, they’re being done with finesse. The pace is moving with the quickness but skillfully done so the viewer isn’t confused or distracted. With more and more characters meeting their end and less and less episodes in the series, things are only going to get more crucial and we’re reminded of one very important thing:
Be sure to check out a sneak peak of next week’s episode below!