As I sit here, starting the episode a third time, making sure every detail stands out, I keep hoping the ending changes….but alas, it doesn’t. It shouldn’t cause it is really important.
The Most Awesome of Things
Everyone, for four seasons, we have had Diana Rigg grace this show with her presence. She has given us so much to love and been so important for so long. She has been able to guide the show along and be a means of a turning point. She wasn’t just comic relief, she was a pillar that has always given us a strength or confidence in a time when we, as grieving audience, needed some. In her final moments, she died, as she lived: Always getting the last word on her enemy. She took a lot from Cersei in killing Joffrey, but larger picture, she set the pieces on the board that led to Tommen being a king that gave up under the pressure. She took two of her children and I do hope Cersei finds out it was her. Even Cersei will know, Olenna Tyrell, Queen of Thorns, still won.
Ice and fire have met, finally, and in typical Dany fashion, she got all up on her high horse and thought she is already queen. The scene was amazing because we have been waiting for Dany to get here and meet all of the Westerosi characters, especially the important ones. My favorite part of this was when Dany recounted her entire life because really, she has gone through some shit, but she finally admitted her strength, but also her biggest weakness, she’s had the faith only in herself. Dany’s problem has always been she trusts her instincts to play the game,while never fully understanding, no caring about, the rules. This mistake was fatal when she didn’t leave an army to defend the free people at Astapor and the same mistake have cost Ellaria Sand her daughters, her freedom, and Olenna Tyrell’s life.
I question who has had to show more range of emotions in an episode than Lena Heady does on a constant basis. Cersei, villain or not, is a tragic character and even when she’s executing some horrendous plan, there is some part of her you can understand why she’s doing it. One part is because from her perspective, she’s fighting for her side, and winning, but also she’s seeking personal vengeance. Her lack of care about someone seeing her with Jamie is truly her boldness getting the better of her. Such brashness hasn’t worked for Dany in the past and while it is working for Cersei now, as she reminded us, it didn’t end up working for Oberyn in the end, why would she be any different?
Tyrion really showed back up in this episode for the first time in a while. It’s been a while since we’ve had him be able to remind us why we love him. He handled the two very different personalities well and made sure the wheel could spin while they plan the next rotation.
The Good Stuff
Sansa wears power very well but we are still not getting a reason why Littlefinger is there. Just how long before he tries something with her that will justify Sansa killing him? How long is he going to put up with her disregarding him? I do hope Sansa get’s to stay Queen of the North. The reunion with Bran was fine but they have both gone through about six life changing events in such a little bit of time that the reunion wasn’t ever gonna be the moment we wanted andI think this is to prepare us that the reunion with Arya
Sam Belongs here. Is he growing on me? No, but accepting him seems like it will be important. My issue with him always comes down to how much sense it will make if he is writing the accounts of A Song and Ice and Fire but is constantly away from the action. How can he remain interesting? I’m not convinced the grayscale thing made sense, part of me wishes they explained it a bit better than “Oh, well the skin was cut off.” It’s not gonna be an important detail, but it does show that as fewer episodes arise, we need to accept the newer pace and things might not always get the explanation.
What I love about the Iron Bank stuff is that while we are so focused on the story ahead, we can’t forget that the game of politics is also very real in this world. I think that Cersei will ransack the Tyrell’s gold to TRY and pay back the bank, but the Iron Bank does a really important job of grounding the show in something resembling a reality to make the stakes seem real.
Is Jamie now just a villain? Has he found his place? I still think he is the little brother that will kill Cersei, but at this point, he’ll need to die with her. The importance of him was to show that he’s not in control of his own destiny, and if he’s truly the valonqar of Maggy the Frog’s prophecy, he is more right than he knows.
Lastly, Melisandre and Varys was interesting because they are two people who you can never really get the right sense on. It was interesting for Melisandre to say they both have to die in Westeros. When she said that, I got a chill.
The Queen’s Justice, In Summation
“Imagine the steps you get in walking from Dragonstone’s shore to castle. Melisandre seems like she’s about take some walks and selfies in the woods of Volantis. With all new characters meeting Davos needs to meet Michael Buffer most of all. To be fair Khaleesi…you are technically a child, just one that really has been through some shit. Jon and Tyrion can only speak at great heights. Dany’s Westerosi wig is better than any from last season of Drag Race, if for no other reason, no visible wigline. Sansa remains queen of the shade. To Sansa’s credit, Bran really did a terrible job of explaining his new gig. Jorah could still clean up at the Eagle in Oldtown. Grayscale is actually easy to cure, everyone is just overdramatic. It’s personally acceptable to sit Shiva for a ficticious character and that is where I’ll be for the next 30 days.”
Before we go, this episode’s most important contribution to the show is that it’s fully changed the pace. People getting from place to place is gonna seem faster, some things of meaning, might not matter as much. Unlike the past, this isn’t because the show is setting up for the end of the season, it’s setting up for the end of the show.