If you are still getting over last week’s episode, don’t expect any chance to catch a breath in this week’s Game of Thrones. Westeros has hit a next phase of war, with Cersei (Lena Headey) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) battling for supremacy. Poor Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is standing between them yelling “What about the White Walkers?” …just a shame nobody will listen.
Joking aside, Winter is finally here and the war between the Targaryen Mother of Dragons and the Lannisters has also arrived. Jon Snow finally meats Daenerys with a plea for Dragonglass, while she is more focused on him bending the knee and swearing an oath of allegiance. While this is taking place, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) arrives at King’s Landing with his promised present for Cersei.
I’m sure for some, the deaths we are seeing in these first episodes of season 7 are hard to take. In true Game of Thrones fashion nobody is safe. What we are seeing though is Cersei get the strategic strength that she has lacked before, especially with the arrival of Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss).
The arrival of this character dealt with a problem that I knew Cersei had, and that is lack of gold. With his arrival to claim debts for the Iron Bank, we get to see how the money lenders of Westeros are seeing the war. After this episode it is more than likely that Cersei has all the funds she needs to prepare to take out Daenerys.
It will be interesting to see how the Mother of Dragons will take the losses we see this week. While the loss of the Sand Snakes and her warships may be a cutting blow, her biggest loss is arguably Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg).
This is where Cersei now has the upper hand, even with the dragons. It is arguably also where Daenerys could be in for an awakening, especially with her weakened army now fragmented with the invasion of Casterly Rock. This is why The Queen’s Justice is an important episode, because it shows just how strong the Lannisters really are, but also their weaknesses too.
One thing this episode proves is just how good Game of Thrones can be. While we may have lost Diana Rigg from the show, her character didn’t go down without a fight (in her own way). Her cutting remarks to Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) were designed to cut deep, and cut they did. It will be interesting to see if they hurt Cersei as much, my guess is that they will.
The reason for this is because of what we see in Headey’s performance as Cersei in the cell when she confronts the Sand Snakes. Not only does she get her vengeance but there is a moment when she lets the walls of protection down she has built up, and we see tears in her eyes. She is a wounded mother who will have her vengeance on those that have wronged her. The real question is where will this vengeance stop?
This is an important question because of Jaime’s belief that the sister he loves is liberating Westeros, and everything will be okay when she finally defeats her enemies. What will happen when she becomes the thing he despises and shows the cruelty last seen from the Mad King? Will he become the King (Queen) Slayer once more? There are signs that this may take place.
The Queen’s Justice is a very good example of Game of Thrones at its best. Not only is the “Queen” of the title Cersei, but also Daenerys, and of course Olenna Tyrell the Queen of Thorns. With the return of Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to Winterfell, all we need is the return of Arya (Maisie Williams) to complete the set, which will be an interesting reunion for sure.
Game of Thrones airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic at 9PM on Mondays.