Fire finally met ice on Game of Thrones as Jon Snow (Kit Harington) arrived on the shores of Dragonstone. While he would not bend the knee to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), they are certainly on the path to a mutual, albeit embattled, understanding (and possibly more).
Elsewhere, Cersei (Lena Headey) got revenge, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) continued to prove how weak he truly is, and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) came back to Winterfell talking like that one friend who went and studied nihilism abroad in Germany for a semester.
As we’re nearly at the halfway point in the season (I KNOW), each episode continues to get more and more action packed. The chess pieces are moving rapidly, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest moments from “The Queen’s Justice.”
“Right now, you and I and Cersei and everyone else, we’re children, playing at a game, screaming that the rules aren’t fair.” — Jon Snow
Part of what sets Jon apart from the others vying for the Iron Throne is that he recognizes that the real threat is a supernatural one, not a mortal one. However, this knowledge does have a tendency to blind him to all else, and while the squabbles between Daenerys and Cersei may feel insignificant, it is still one of the many tasks at hand.
“So many men have tried to kill me. I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a broodmare. I have been chained and betrayed. Raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen.” — Daenerys Targaryen
It’s easy to roll your eyes when listening to Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) list off all of Dany’s various titles. We get it. She’s important.
Dany has long been a conqueror, and it’s been interesting to watch her realize that ruling over the seven kingdoms will be an entirely different challenge. The defeat by Euron Greyjoy’s fleet and what is sure to be a butchering at Casterly Rock has been and will be humbling, and it’s evidence that the tide is turning against her. However, remembering all the suffering she has endured on her crawl to the top is a harsh reminder to never, ever count out a dragon.
“She was mine, and you took her from me. Why did you do that?” — Cersei Lannister
Yes, Cersei is a monster. She has done horrific things in her quest for power, but she has also suffered considerably over the course of the show. While this absolutely does not justify her behavior, it does help us understand it in some small way. After the murder of Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free), Cersei lost one of the only things that ever really mattered to her, and with that, one of the last slivers of her humanity. That humanity peeks through for an instant while she threatened Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), but it leaves as quickly as it came when it’s revealed that she has devised a truly cruel method of torture to inflict the same kind of torturous pain upon Ellaria that she experienced.
“I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel I’m failing at brooding over failing.” — Tyrion Lannister
In an often frustrating episode, it was a joy to watch Jon and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) reconnect on good terms after their journey to the wall in season one. It’s clear that Tyrion will have have to use all of his powers of persuasion to broker peace between Dany and Jon, let alone the larger war at hand. Tyrion has long been the smartest man in Westeros — aside from, perhaps, Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) — but this may not be a war won by smarts. As much as they’d like to keep the high road, this is going to be a war won by brute force. Chances are good that there will be much more brooding by both parties before the war is over.
“That the woman who murdered my mother, father, and brothers is dangerous? Thank you for your wise counsel.” — Sansa Stark
With Jon heading South, Sansa (Sophie Turner) has finally been given the chance to stretch her legs as a ruler, and our girl is taking to it like a Tully fish to water. As the eldest remaining Stark and the only one left in Winterfell, the training wheels are off as Sansa begins to plan how her people will survive what is sure to be a long and brutal winter.
While it’s heartening to see her ordering grain and insisting that leather is added to breastplates, the most encouraging bit was seeing her so ably dismiss Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) yet again. He may be a viper in the North’s bosom, but Sansa is keeping him at arm’s length.
“Yes. I need to speak to him [Jon].” — Bran Stark
A seemingly simple phrase, absolutely packed with implication. While the viewers (and readers) may know of Jon’s true Targaryen parentage, no one in Westeros does, except for Bran. While he’s no one’s favorite Stark child, it’s clear that his visions as the Three Eyed Raven will surely turn the tide of war, especially the reveal that Jon has the best claim to the throne. This knowledge desperately needs to be shared, so Jon needs to get back to Winterfell as soon as possible. More life changing reveals, less creepily reminding your sister about the night she was raped, Bran.
“Tell Cersei. I want her to know that it was me.” — Olenna Tyrell
While it is always sad to see a fan favorite go, it is safe to say that Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) went out exactly like she lived: as the baddest b*tch to ever walk the Seven Kingdoms. While Jaime managed to negotiate a quick and painless death for her, the Tyrell patriarch still took her last minutes to remind him that he is weak, his son was “a c*nt,” his sister-lover is a disease, and that the Lannister name will never amount to anything anymore. As she gulped her poison and died with a smug smile on her face, it was clear that the likes of Westeros’s OG will never be seen again.