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Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3: In Depth Analysis 2nd half

Updated on July 3, 2018

Initiating Leadership

In the norther territory, the climate continues to drop as Sansa takes to her new found leadership & instructs her smiths to insulate the armor. They surmise that this winter is probably going to be the longest ever yet they currently only have a years worth of grain. It’s going to take a unified effort for the north to even hope to survive. Littlefinger begins his work on Sansa once again by whispering compliments in her ear to which she is already immune to his methods. However, he does manage to break through her ice wall; by explaining to her that a war is being fought everywhere at once and you had better not place all your eggs in just one basket. He seems to be hinting that Cersei and the army of the dead can be dealt with simultaneously, while tempting her with ideas that she is suited for much larger scale ruler ship. At this point the fans have to wonder: what exactly is Littlefinger’s strategy for taking the crown?

Meanwhile Sansa has an unexpected visitor at the gate. Oh look it's brother Bran, the broken boy. Whatever might she ask him? How about, where the hell has he been? What happened to Summer & Hodor? Did you hear about what happened at the Twins? How are you still alive? Nope, none of that, Bran just says way too matter of factly that he has seen everything & knows everything now. It is obviously a bit much for Sansa to grasp and she is rightfully taken a back. Bran neglects to tell her that Benjen & Arya are alive & well. With all that info, he could have at least told her something important about the WWs, or Cersei, instead he just says he needs to tell Jon something and disturbs her by reminding her of her marriage to Ramsay. Way to go Bran; savior of the universe. He’s like the autistic kid that just stares at the TV all day. I think Meera would have done a better job of explaining what happened.

the Royal Bank Account

Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank of Braavos entered King’s Landing to collect the debt attributed to the crown. Cersei reminds him that unlike barbarians, a Lannister always pays their debt. Likewise, he reminds her that war is expensive. She assures him that her cause is the best investment compared to Daenerys, who ruined the slave trade, and he is very much inclined to agree. Now that the Tyrell army has fallen, and their ever important food supplies have been taken by the Lannister’s, it seems as though the Lannister’s are well prepared for this war after all, and that Dany is really going to have to scramble to win this game of musical chairs.

What is a mother of dragons to do?

partial depiction of city of King's Landing
partial depiction of city of King's Landing | Source

Further emphasizing the situation, is the fact that Cersei now has the leader of Dorne: Ellaria Sand and her daughter completely at her mercy. Cersei revels in mentally & emotionally torturing those two; for killing her own daughter: Myrcella. For Cersei revenge is more than just an eye for an eye, it’s more like an entire head for an eye. She simply must outdo her rivals. Anyway you slice it, Cersei absolutely loves giving people a taste of their own medicine, and in this case that medicine is the long farewell.

A Miraculous Recovery

A bright and promising day greets a man once thought to be knocking hard at death's door. Instead, Ser Jorah Mormont, a humble and loyal knight,has been given perhaps a new outlook on life, courtesy of one Samwell Tarly. Amazingly, Sam was able to remove every single bit of advanced greyscale ( a horrifying disease that turns skin to stone) on his own with just some crude utensils and ancient instruction. One would think that Jorah’s skin underneath the greyscale would now be extremely sensitive, but alas that is not the case. Archmaester Ebrose was expectedly a bit perplexed by Jorah’s sudden transformation. I was under the impression based on the books that this was a magical curse which would likely need a magical cure, which would have proved to be very interesting yet, for some reason the writer’s took a practical approach. I mean grayscale doesn’t seem quite as deadly or intriguing if you can just chisel it away and it stays gone. Ebrose pronounces Jorah a free man but remains the wiser despite Jorah claiming it was simply the climate that led to his recovery. Sam could have just told Ebrose that he had the courage to do what no one else would and saved a good man’s life but instead our dear Sam remains ever humble. Ebrose realizes there is more to Sam than just what’s on the surface, and that he really does have a talented mind. Regarding Ser Jorah, there is little doubt that he will certainly be indebted to Sam for saving him. His travel destination from here isn't hard to guess, as he is dedicated to one cause: serving his Khaleesi.

Does Jaime belong on a white stallion?
Does Jaime belong on a white stallion? | Source

A Queen's Defeat

To put a dramatic conclusion to this episode,we witness Jaime’s capture of Highgarden,the unequivocal defeat of the Tyrell forces, and Lady Olenna’s final farewell. Jaime, not without mercy gives her poison which is presumably not the same Cersei used on Ellaria’s daughter. Instead this poison is instant and painless. As much as I’d like to say this is a fitting end for the queen of thorns, it definitely is not. Even though she goes out gracefully, she had so much more potential. It always felt like her and Varys had a distinct advantage at manipulating the nobles and courtrooms. I picture her watching as Cersei was placed in chains, and being at the forefront of a successful coup d’état. I just don’t feel like the show utilized her enough, simply by planting seeds in Daenerys head, and herself thinking she is beyond clever advice from smart men.

It does not sit well with me to see her go out on such a low note. I thought the whole point of the Dornish-Tyrell alliance was that they would merge their armies yet that never happened. I think the show does a really poor job of depicting where the armies are located. For instance: last episode Tyrion mentioned using the Tyrell & Dornish armies together to siege KL. He mentioned picking up the Dornish and delivering them but the Tyrell chess piece remained on KL, so were we expected to believe that the Ty army stayed in KL after Olenna left, and the other Tyrell’s died? Was the bulk of their army in KL or HG? We simply don’t know, but it was confusing.

Olenna delivers her final retort
Olenna delivers her final retort | Source

Strategic Analysis

So now, if Dany won’t be able to depend on the other Tyrell banner men (who will no doubt jump over to Randyll Tarly and Jaime via proxy), nor soldiers from Dorne, nor Yara’s crew of Ironborn sailors(who are basically leaderless with Theon proving himself unworthy), nor the Dothraki who have are seen as a foreign invasion and have no experience fighting men in armor, nor the Unsullied spearmen who are stranded in a caste with no food, who can Dany rely upon to beat Cersei’s army? It calls back to Tyrion telling Jon “You figure what to do about my missing fleet and I’ll figure out how to help you fight the dead men.” It just really boils down to team fire & team ice desperately needing each other.

have to really applaud Cersei she really does her best when her back’s against the wall, as they say there is no more dangerous animal than a cornered one. She was all business with the banker and now that she has the food supply of the Reach lands, the gold of the Iron Bank, the best fleet in Westeros, a strangle hold on King’s Landing, A dragon killing crossbow, One of the most fierce & smartest military commander’s in history (Randyll Tarly), the equivalent of a brilliant mad scientist in Qyburn, and undead 8ft Juggernaut as a personal bodyguard, what could possibly stop her? Well…maybe a zillion and 1 Ice Zombies.

Critical Overview

There was a lot of good tension in a single meeting that fans have been highly anticipating for years. It did not disappoint in terms of fireworks. We had more enjoyable reunions between characters that have a shared history and emotional bond. Jon & Dany both had a strong effect on the other with Dany really pondering what it meant that Jon took a dagger in the heart for his people. We really had some high stakes drama this time around.

There were definitely surprises, and intrigue. The show continues to build Cersei to be this mega power, and I have to say it's working out very well, really makes it seem like our favorites are going to have to push and scrape and reach super deep to win. Great drama.The acting was superb. The actor that plays Davos continues to shine. Lena Heady ups her game, and we got to commend Diana Riggs on her excellent performance. The cinematography was exceptionally well done. I'm very thankful the show finally gave us a look into Casterly Rock & Highgarden, which were both well represented. Hopefully we get to see more of the Rock & even White Harbor since they keep mentioning it.

On the flip side, the swerve was a little too much of a stretch. Hopefully they will cover it up with some exposition, otherwise it's just too difficult to fathom the take over of Highgarden as smooth as it went.

Now that Bran's at Winterfell that opens the flood gate to tons of possibilities. So more exciting things to look forward to as the show continues to do a tremendous job of teasing us with "will she or won't she" in regards to Dany attacking King's Landing.

Final Opinion: Overall a nice episode, despite a few hastily strewn together plots.

Show v Book comparison of Casterly Rock: Which do you prefer?

Cast your vote for Episode 3: the Queen's Justice

Which scene did you like the best this episode?

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Thanks for reading.

As always feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, questions and more in the comments.


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