‘Game of Thrones’ 7×03 Review: Ice and Fire

Well, Olenna Tyrell is gone. I saw that one coming. She confessed to killing Joffrey before she died, and in death, she still somehow fucked over Cersei, who nonetheless seems to be on the winning streak to end all winning streaks right now.

I didn’t see that one coming. I didn’t see the winning streak coming, either, to be honest. Not that I’m not glad about it. Oh, I am. If this is all about getting rid of the peripheral characters and getting a few more brilliant performances out of Lena Headey before, you know ….then I’m all for that.

Because she’s winning too much. You know how this goes – whoever is winning at the beginning is bound to lose in the end.




All that was big, important stuff, and the stuff that gives this episode its title (“The Queen’s Justice”), but it wasn’t the thing that made us giddy, it wasn’t the thing we’d been waiting since literally the first episode – it wasn’t the thing that gave this series it’s title.

It wasn’t a song of ice and fire.

No, that was that was happened back at Dragonstone, when the last two Targaryens (even if they don’t know it) finally met. And boy, was that worth the wait.

Jon didn’t bend the knee. We didn’t expect him to – in fact, doing it would have made no sense for who Jon is and it would have been wildly out of character. Likewise, Daenerys just taking him at his word would have been wildly out of character for her, and yet, taking Tyrion’s advice and trying to meet Jon in the middle isn’t.

We knew these two were meant to get along, after all. We just didn’t know how they would get there.

And, now, with Daenerys losing all her allies, it seems like she almost needs Jon as much as he needs her. Now the question remains – will they form a strong bond BEFORE she finds out that he’s actually related to her or will that be the thing that actually brings them together?

Only four more episodes in the season. We’re bound to get some answers.

Let’s go over the State of the House(s) after this episode of Game of Thrones:

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE

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The long awaited reunion finally took place, and it was a sight for sore eyes. Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington have way too much chemistry for people who’ve never been allowed to share a screen, and I was surprised to find that I would have been fine with an hour long conversation. Alas, the show knows better and plot intruded, but this was still the highlight of a very interesting and charged hour.

Especially because it went exactly as it should have gone. Fanfiction is one thing, but this was never supposed to be an easy meeting – they were not supposed to fall in love (I just can’t – they’re related. Don’t ask me to ship it), to fall into each other’s arms or to recognize each other as kin. They were just supposed to do this – respect each other. That’s as good a start as any.

We know the story GRRM has been trying to tell for what feels like centuries. This is the song of ice and fire, and it starts and ends …with Jon and Daenerys. This is just the beginning of their chapter in this saga, and it might have come way later than we would have liked, but it came. Now we get to enjoy it.

A LANNISTER ALWAYS PAYS HIS DEBTS

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Oh, the Lannisters. On the surface it would seem clear – it’s Jaime and Cersei against Tyrion, and against everyone else. And yet the thing is, we know that Jaime possesses something Cersei does not: a conscience. He acts out of impulse, out of love, in every aspect of his life, so when he’s around Cersei, that is all he knows to do – protect her.

But, how would he react if he had to choose between Tyrion and Cersei. If he had to choose between her and saving all the people in King’s Landing? He’s already made that choice once, and it didn’t really turn out in the favor of the person sitting in the Iron Throne.

And, there’s still another person Jaime would sacrifice a lot for – Brienne, and even if she’s right now so far away as to not be a problem, if things continue as they are and Jon allies with Daenerys, well – might they one day be forced to meet in the field of battle? Because Jaime is many things, but a man capable of harming Brienne of Tarth is not one of them.

So, it seems the future of the Lannisters rests entirely on Jaime’s shoulders. There’s three of them – and only two can survive, at least for now. Who will those two be? My money’s on Tyrion and Jaime. It always has been. Lena Headey has been spectacular this season, and I’d be truly shocked to see her get out of it alive.

A Lannister always pays his debts, after all, and Cersei owes a whole lot to his little brother – both of them. It’s just that the pain she’s caused can never be settled with money.

WINTER IS COMING

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If you were to pick a horse in this race right now, you’d pick the Starks. It’s been a long, hard summer for them, but at last, winter is here, and if the Starks know something is how to thrive during the winter.

Starting with Jon, who goes to Dragonstone because he recognizes that is the only way, and then fails to convince Daenerys, broods a bit, and then, at the behest of Tyrion, doesn’t give up. His relationship with Daenerys has only started, and the alliance as fragile at best, but it is there. He did it. And it doesn’t even matter that he did it by being kind to Tyrion all those years ago more than he did it by convincing Daenerys now.

All if matters is that he did.

Then there’s Sansa, a competent rule if we ever saw one, a woman who, so far, has been able to take the good from what Peter Baelish has offered and ignore the bad. It might be that her destiny is just this – not the marriage that she envisioned when she was a little girl, but the role of the ruler that she never ever dreamed of. She’s already proven she’d be good at it.

And then there’s Bran, of course, Bran who isn’t really Bran anymore, in the same way that Arya isn’t really Arya, or worse even, because he can’t even muster enough emotion at seeing his sister again – or at least, he can’t express it, he clearly cares about her, but he’s too caught up in the future, in the past, in what’s in his head. He’s got a role to play in this tale, Bran, and it’s not the same as Jon or Sansa.

I just hope he gets to spend one final moment with his siblings before he’s called to do just that.

WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE

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Theon and Euron are battling hard for villain of the season, and the only reason why Euron wins so far is because Theon at least has reasons to be the way he is. Not that I’ve forgiven him for how he betrayed the Starks, no. I never will.

But right now Theon Greyjoy doesn’t exist – he’s Reek again, a shell of a man. Euron meanwhile, is coming off as the greatest adversary Daenerys has, and it’s getting on my last nerve. But, fine, I get it, narrative decide, things have to look bad for Daenerys now if they’re to look good later, whatever. Euron is just a plot device.

He’s a really annoying one, though. One that I hope doesn’t make it out of this season alive. And, considering Yara is, presumably, in a dungeon in King’s Landing somehow, I’m guessing it’s too much to ask that she kills him?

A girl can dream, though …

GROWING STRONG

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The Tyrells. I never loved them, I never hated them, I just …never cared enough. Olenna was the best of them all, by virtue of being the most interesting one, and she is good enough that I’m at least giving them a section in this review, unlike Dorne, who was only interesting for the 4.5 seconds Oberyn was around. (Pedro Pascal, I love you).

Basically, Olenna did everything right, and yet, she also did everything wrong in ways she couldn’t have foreseen. Killing Joffrey was necessary, yes, framing Tyrion not so much and it kinda feels like a lot of what happened after can be traced directly to that.

At the end, though, she might have set in motion a whole set of circumstances, that, though they might not directly benefit the Tyrells, they might benefit the realm at large. She gives Jaime important information, after all: she had Joffrey killed. This will mean nothing to Cersei, but it means a great deal to the person receiving the information, and as we discussed before, the future of House Lannister rests entirely on Jaime’s hands.

Players are leaving the board. Dorne, the Tyrells, some of the Greyjoys. We’re getting down to the final episodes, and only the main characters can remain. It’s a harsh truth, but there it is. Goodbye, Olena. Goodbye Ellaria, Tyenne and even Yara.

We don’t really have time for you.

This story is about Jon and Daenerys, about Tyrion and Sansa, about Bran and Arya, about Jaime and Cersei.

And I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

Other things to note:

  • Am I the only one who always plays close attention to the intro, just in case it changes? I also hum the song. I can’t help myself. Even if I’m re-watching, I never skip the intro.
  • The first Game of Thrones book came out in 1996. Fans have LITERALLY been waiting 21 years for this Jon/Daenerys meeting.
  • BUT IT’S ALL OKAY.
  • Except, of course, it’s not.
  • Tyrion, about Sansa: She’s much smarter than she lets on. Jon: She’s starting to let on.
  • Daenerys: I am the last Targeryen. Viewers: Well, actually …
  • Did you all catch Jon looking at Davos like: We do not tell people about the coming back from the dead shit.
  • Look, Euron, you’re despicable and all, but you’re not even close to Ramsay or Joffrey levels. Sorry. Keep trying.
  • I wish I cared about Dorne or about the Sands. I don’t.
  • Like, I hate Cersei, but I sorta cheered for the poetic way she took care of Tyenne and Ellaria.
  • WHY AM I BEING FORCED TO WATCH JAIME AND CERSEI HAVE SEX? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THAT? I’VE BEEN GOOD, I PROMISE.
  • Jon/Tyrion conversations are almost as good as Jon/Daenerys conversations.
  • SANSA AND BRAN!
  • Though Bran looked cold, man. It’s like he has no emotions left.
  • Sansa: I wish Jon were here. Bran: Yes, I hate to talk to him. ME: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!
  • Daenerys named one of the dragons after her brother Rhaegar, WHO IS ACTUALLY JON’S FATHER. *cries forever*
  • So Jorah now goes back to Dragonstone and mentions Sam saved him and Sam being Jon’s friend is a point in Jon’s favor?
  • Olena to Jaime: You poor Fool.
  • You were always good with the truths, Olenna.
  • It kinda feels like, even in death, Olenna won.
  • Also, little question before we go: Where in the world is Ghost?

NEXT, ON GAME OF THRONES


Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.



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