A week or so ago I was having a conversation about Game of Thrones at a dinner party and while one side of the table declaired the show’s genius, the other side derided it for being overly violent and predisposed to kill too many people.
I actually couldn’t be bothered getting into the discussion, not least because none of the other people involved had read the books, or followed the series closely enough to remember key points (such as the fact Danny’s name is not, in fact, Khaleesi, and Walder Frey died at the end of last season after consuming a rather gruesome pie).
My only comment was this: “Can we all just agree Danaerys is hot?”
It was a joke, but it also reflected my disappointment that so many of the show’s subtle nuances and genius are lost on a lot of people watching it. To whit, the awesome power of the women of Westeros and the great strides this season are making in furthering strong female roles is fantasy.
The latest episode of Game of Thrones was The Queen’s Justice, brought the long awaited meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow.
Am I the only one that found it astonishingly anti-climactic?
Much of The Queen’s Justice centred around these two and I found it quite disappointing. Seeing Tyrion and Jon reunited was spectacular, but Danny’s stubbornness and (dare I say it) Emilia Clarke’s occasionally wooden delivery did not make for the best scenes.
I found myself watching and, for the first time, genuinely thinking ‘It’s a good thing she’s hot’.
This is a severe disservice to both the actress and the character, but there it is. Perhaps it was the inevitable anti-climax of the meeting. I say inevitable, because after so much build up there was really little way they could live up to expectations.
Fair play to them, I never expected the twist that they wouldn’t even try.
I was expecting explosive drama.
What we got was a lot of stilted dialogue and a very predictable outcome that can be sumarised in five lines:
Danny: “Bend the knee, bitch.”
Jon: “Bite me. We must defeat the Night King!”
Tyrion: “Come now, let’s all be reasonable.”
Jon: “Fine, give me dragon glass. You have a shit ton and not only did you not know it was there, you don’t know what it’s for. You won’t even miss it.”
Danny: “Fine. Take your stupid glass. But I’m still Queen of everything and you’re still a delusional weirdo.”
Elsewhere The Queen’s Justice Proved Interesting…
The episode’s name isn’t actually taken from Daenarys at all, but Cersei. With Ellaria Sand and her daughter, Tyene, delivered to the Queen’s tender mercies by Euron Greyjoy, Cersei elicited her revenge for the death of her only daughter.
And what a revenge it was.
Chaining the pair up facing each other, Cersei killed Tyene in the same way Ellaria killed Myrcella, leaving Ellaria to not only watch her daughter die, but her corspe to slowly rot.
I can’t help but feel this would have been a lot more effective had the Sands in general not been so terribly underused.
Elsewhere, Jaimie was busy solidifying the massive gulf that is forming between him and his sister by dispensing with Olenna Tyrell in the most painless and honourable way possible.
After taking the humaine poison Jaimie chose as her method of death (shooting down Cersei’s desires for more inventive and painful punishments), Olenna reveals the truth: she, not Tyrion or Sansa, was responsible or Joffrey’s death.
Rather than exacting bloody revenge for the murder of his son, Jaimie turns and walks away. His pain and shock are clear on his face. Regardless, he will not condemn an unarmed old woman to anything other than a merciful death.
The disparity in their reactions only serves to emphasise the fact that there will (despite his protestations to the contrary) come a point where Jaimie can’t stand by and do nothing.
I was half way to declaring it last week, but I’m not fully on board with the prediction: Jaimie’s going to be the one to kill Cersei, most likely with a knife to the back.
Whether he takes his own life after the fact is debatable, but I have a feeling it’s been inevitable since Cersei started down the same path the mad king took when she blew up the Sept of Baelor and has been growing increasingly power mad ever since. Arya turning away from King’s Landing and heading North last week almost confirmed it for me, but this week has really clinched it. Cersei not only forced herself on a reluctant Jaimie (mirroring his own actions following the death of Joffrey), she also threw caution to the wind and allowed it to be come common knowledge that her brother was sharing her bed. At the same time we say them both handle the punishment of two people who had respectively killed two of their children extremely differently.
Given that Cersei herself is responsible for Tommen’s death and Jamie is still at her side, it’s evidently going to take a lot to get him to turn on her.
My suspicion is that it will involve Brienne and a lot more wildfire.
Elsewhere in Westeros…
Sam has successfully healed Jorah, who is now on his way back to Danny. Once again demonstrating that he’s quite possibly the most compassionate man alive, Sam offered Jorah his bare hand as a sign he was not only complete cured, but also still a human being and nothing to be afraid of. A stark contrast to the way he winced when Jorah’s grayscale encrusted arm shot out of that cell in the first episode of the season.
I’m seriously hoping something about the greyscale leads to an epiphany that ultimately defeats the white walkers, because otherwise (as enjoyable as it has been to watch) that whole subplot has been a long winded and pointless waste of time.
Sansa, meanwhile, continues to step up to the plate and prove herself a capable leader. Bran finally returned home and was rather disturbing, both for his distant and peculiar presence, and also the fact the inevitable has happened: Isaac Hempstead Wright is now all grown up and looks far older than his character should be (even accounting for the fact we’re not sure precisely how long has passed in Westeros since the start of season one).
There was no sign of Arya this episode, which disappointed me as she’s epic, but it does mean we should get a great reunion between Sansa, Bran and Arya, the only remaining Stark children, next week.
I have to say Euron’s little monologue to Yara as he rode through King’s Landing, dragging her by a collar around her neck, was quite spectacular. I found the character thoroughly unlikable an annoying until this episode, in which he suddenly became an absolute joy to watch! Not sure which was better, the look on Jaimie’s face after their little chat or Euron’s perspective on poor Theon which perfectly echoes my opinion of him right up until season 3.