Winning a throne was never going to be easy for Daenerys Targaryen. She might have dragons, the Unsullied and the Dothraki.
On the other side of the ledger, Cersei has Euron Greyjoy and his victorious fleet, while a battle hardened Jaime commands her armies.
She’s the ‘devil they know’ in King’s Landing and she has a thirst for vengeance that seems unquenchable.
And that brings us to “The Queen’s Justice”. By the episode’s conclusion it would appear Cersei is in the ascendency. And she’s taking great delight in meting out her brand of ‘justice’.
She has drawn first blood in the war for the Seven Kingdoms, with Euron Greyjoy delivering a decisive victory at sea, capturing his niece Yara along with Ellaria Sand and her daughter.
That news is just about to reach Dragonstone, where Jon Snow and Ser Davos Seaworth have made an appearance.
The Red Woman watches from a cliff top as Varys joins her. She announces she’s leaving for Volantis.
“I’ve done my part. I’ve brought Ice and Fire together”.
Hello!!! The book series is A Song of Ice and Fire! Love that nod to George RR Martin.
And later in the conversation:
“I will return, dear Spider, one last time… I have to die in this strange place, just like you.”
Varys looks worried. And he should. Because as we know, secondary characters on a Game of Thrones tend to meet untimely deaths.
Anyway back at the castle, Daenerys finally meets the King in the North and things get off to a rocky start.
She wants him to submit and he refuses to ‘bend the knee’ despite getting an apology for the Mad King burning alive his Grandfather and Uncle.
“My father was an evil man. I ask you not to judge a daughter by the sins of her father”.
She’s going to have to do better than that. Jon isn’t about to swear allegiance. Basically he has bigger things to worry about than who is sitting on the Iron Throne.
“I am not your enemy. The dead are the enemy. The army of the dead is on the march.
The army of the dead is real. The Wight Walkers are real. The Night King is real. If they get past The Wall and we’re squabbling among ourselves, we’re finished”.
It’s an impassioned plea and not even the stirring words of Ser Davos are enough to convince Daenerys of the danger that lies in the north.
Tyrion, however, does believe Jon. Because he trusts Jon, he offers to help him access the Dragonglass that lies beneath the castle.
He tells Daenerys:
“The reason I believe Jon Snow is because he’s here. All his advisors would have told him not to come. I would have told him. But here he is”.
As her three dragons fly overhead, Daenerys tells Jon he can have his Dragonglass and make his weapons.
It looks like she might be beginning to warm to him. If only they knew they had more in common than they thought.
The one person who can tell them of their ‘connection’ is Bran. And he’s just turned up at Winterfell, where Sansa has taken charge of preparations for a winter’s siege.
He’s just a little bit creepy when he tells her in the Gods Wood that he doesn’t want to be Lord of Winterfell.
“I can never be Lord of Winterfell. I can never be lord of anything. I’m the Three-Eyed Raven”.
“I don’t know what that means”.
Yeah Sansa, we’re not 100 per cent certain what that means either. Something about being able to see the past and the future and literally everything in between.
Meantime, in King’s Landing, Euron Greyjoy has returned as the conquering hero and he laps up the crowd adulation as he drags Yara, Ellaria and her Sand Snake daughter through the streets.
He rides in the throne room to present what he hopes will be a wedding gift for Cersei.
“I give you what no other man could give. Justice. Justice for your murdered daughter”.
Now, if Euron was hoping Cersei would automatically fall at his feet, he’s very much mistaken. She promises him a ‘proper’ reward, but only when the war is won.
If he’s unhappy with that long-term promise, he doesn’t show it. Instead he chooses to taunt Jaime about his sister-Queen. What does she like, how does she like it etc.
Pretty much everyone is now aware of their ‘special’ relationship and Jaime’s about to lose it. If he could flex that golden fist, he would.
While he clenches his jaw and fumes, Cersei heads to the dungeons where Ellaria and her daughter are chained to opposite walls.
She’s at her venomous best as she confronts Ellaria about the death of the gentle and loving Myrcella.
Cersei then kisses Ellaria’s daughter on the lips and smiles as she wipes away the lipstick. It then dawns on Ellaria what Cersei has done. It’s the same poison they had used to kill Myrcella.
“Your daughter will die here in this cell and you’ll be here watching when she does. You’ll be here the rest of your days. You will live to watch your daughter rot”.
The milk of human kindness has well and truly curdled in Cersei and she walks away as Ellaria and her daughter strain against the chains to reach other.
Her act of justice/vengeance has got Cersei a bit hot and bothered as she goes from the dungeon to Jaime’s bedroom for a night of passion.
She no longer cares what the world thinks when, the next morning, she answers a knock at the door in nothing but a casually pulled on robe.
“What are you doing? No one can see us like this”.
“I’m the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. I can do as I please”.
One of the servants informs her of a visitor from Braavos. It’s a representative of the Iron Bank, who wants to know how Cersei is planning to pay them back.
She reminds him ‘the Lannisters always pays their debts’ and requests a fortnight to ‘pay in full’. Overly confident or has she something up her sleeve?
At this point, I was hoping the Iron Banker would whip off his face and reveal a revenge-seeking Arya. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
From King’s Landing we head to Casterly Rock where the Lannister stronghold is making ready for an attack by the Unsullied.
As Tyrion narrates, we first see the Unsullied butchered and defeated, before Tyrion tells a different story of how he built a way into the fortress when he was in charge of the sewers.
In this scenario, the Unsullied are victorious, but the resistance was light. Grey Worm wonders:
“There are supposed to be more than this. Many more. Where are they? Where are the rest of the Lannisters”?
The rest of the Lannisters with Jaime at the lead are marching of High Garden, where they easily defeat the Tyrells.
He marches into Lady Olenna’s rooms, where she admits she underestimated Cersei and the monster she has become.
“She’s a disease. I regret my role in spreading it. You will too”.
The Queen of Thorns knows what’s about to happen. She’s to be executed, but the manner of her execution is a surprise.
And as she drinks it, she reveals to Jaime that she was responsible for Joffrey’s death in the ‘purple wedding’.
“Must have been horrible for you as a King’s Guard, as a father. It was horrible enough for me. A shocking scene. Not at all what I intended. Tell Cersei, I wanted her to know it was me”.
So, by the end of episode three it really does seem that Cersei hold all the cards.
She has the Iron Bank on side. The Tyrells are wiped out; Dorne’s power has been destroyed. Daenerys’ great fleet has been decimated and Tyrion has been outsmarted.
Where does that leave the Dragon Queen?
She still has her Unsullied, Dothraki horsemen and her dragons. Tyrion has been outsmarted, but Jorah Mormont is on his way to Dragonstone after being cured of Grey Scale by Samwell.
Three episodes into season seven and everything hangs in the balance and it’s really no clearer who will win the Game of Thrones.