Game of Thrones: Season 7, Episode 2 "The Queen's Justice" Review
Westeros isn't getting any bigger.
In “The Queen’s Justice”, the third episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season, we see the union most fans have been waiting for: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen finally share the same hall. And while there’s much to celebrate on that front, we’re also reminded of the Lannister’s venomous tactics they employ to get what they want. Another episode, another round of deaths in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Queen’s Justice.”
This episode was a return to the original writing that got so many fans hooked so long ago. Five to six devoted sequences within the episode that each get 10-ish minutes to shine, allowing the viewer to build the characters in their own head. This was best seen in the opening segment as Jon Snow meets Tyrion on the shores of Dragonstone. Jon considers himself the “Northern Fool” for stepping on the shores of what could be considered enemy territory of “The Foreign Invader,” but Tyrion is there to ease the tension of this significant introduction.
Tyrion and Jon haven’t seen each other since their time together on The Wall in season one. Their greetings to one another goes to show that there’s still a warmth between the two, even after all this time. In the scenes that follow, even with the ones that feature both Jon and Dany, it’s this idea of peace driven by Tyrion that’s the most compelling. He’s always been a thinker, and in Jon Snow Tyrion sees a necessary piece to his Westerosi-shaped puzzle.
We leave these three (plus Varys and co.) with a feeling that there’s a strong alliance to be formed. With neither willing to yield any sovereignty to the other, it’s about dealing with the other obstacles that need to be dealt with first. For Dany, that’s the Lannisters. For Jon, it’s something much worse.
And speaking of the Lannisters, they don’t show any signs of stopping. In the three episodes of season seven we’ve seen so far, Cersei’s military forces have had two decisive victories. And we’re talking the kind of victories that leave very few people alive to tell the tale. In this week’s victory, Highgarden was completely sacked for its vault, and Lady Olenna showed herself the door by way of poison. Of course, not before letting Jaime Lannister know it was she who poisoned his son, Joffery on the day of his wedding.
That must have been such a delicious moment for her, even if it was a fleeting one. On top of that, Jamie now knows without a doubt it wasn’t his brother Tyrion that killed Joffrey. This may not be that big of a shock to him, but it’s information that he can present to Cersei in hopes that one day their brother may re-join the fold. Though, it may be fair to say that things are already past that.
Back home in Winterfell, the region thrives under Sansa’s temporary rule. Then, just as if they hadn’t been seven years apart, Bran returned to Winterfell. He’s different now, and kind of creepy, but I guess becoming the Three-Eyed Raven comes with a toll. Their reunion was a sweet one, but even Sansa got up and took a breather from Bran’s monotone interactions at least once. But hey, Arya is still out there and on her way home. Hopefully she’ll help even out the strange upon her return.
Other scenes worth noting were the battle for Lannisport and Casterly Rock. You know Casterly Rock, the place they’ve been mentioning for seven seasons but have never actually shown? Well, we get to see it in full, and Black Worm makes short work of the defenses by way of Tyrion’s secret passageway once meant for sneaking whores out of his room. Tell me of a more earned victory than that? Though, it’s only a small victory. Not only were most of the Lannister troops on their way to Highgarden, but Euron Greyjoy was ready to pounce once the Unsullied got their temporary win. Could this be the end of Grey Worm? It’s very possible.
Cersei also put Ellaria Sand into a deep dungeon with her daughter, Tyne chained right across from her. Of course, that’s not enough torture--oh no. Tyne is poisoned with The Long Farewell, a concoction that’s been used several times during the show, most notably on Cersei's only daughter, Marcella by Ellaria. This is payback for that--Ellaria watching her own daughter suffer the effects of the poison only yards in front of her own face. The Dornish may be fading permanently out of the script as the door shuts on that dungeon.
And lastly is Samwell and Jorah, the new (very unexpected) friends of Oldtown. Fully cured of greyscale thanks to Sam, Jorah looks to reunite with Dany on the other side of Westeros. Sam is admonished for his actions, but also congratulated on a job well done. From the very little we saw of the procedure in the previous episode, it sure did look like a tedious task. Many viewers believed greyscale to be the end of ol’ Jorah Mormont, but the tough bastard doesn’t go down that easily, especially when he’s got the help of Westeros’ biggest nerd on his side.
So far, the seventh season of Game of Thrones has continued on a pattern that’s been unlike preceding seasons. Sure, death has always existed in the show, but usually when one character falls, another is introduced to fill their void. In the seventh season, deaths of major characters are as rampant as ever, but Westeros is as small as it’s ever felt since nobody new is being brought into the fold. Could it be that we’ve met all the players on the board?
Either way, things are coming together nicely in a sense that only a handful of major players will stand when the time comes to face The Night King and his faceless army. Jon Snow spent this entire episode warning of what’s coming--how none of these petty faction wars will matter in a few months time. While we can’t wait for that ultimate throwdown, these next few months of watching Westeros whittle itself down even further is surely going to be entertaining.
Overall Score: 9/10
Review by Henry Kulick