A Post of Fire and Ice: The Queen’s Justice

1 Aug

Halfway through season 3, “The Queen’s Justice” provided some real satisfaction to the fan who has become invested in the Game of Thrones universe. After “Stormborn”, Daenerys and Jon Snow met- the fire and ice that give the series its title. Sansa reunited with her brother Bran, whom she hadn’t seen since he was a child. And Olenna Tyrell had a truly good death.

This episode was notable for how funny it was. Usually, as Vulture noted, humor on Game of Thrones has been a quip or a vulgar comment, but rarely has it made me laugh out loud. However, there were moments in this otherwise tense episode, full of poison lips and stymied military plans, that were clever- a testament to the writing of David Benioff and Dan Weiss. When Daenerys is announced by all of her powerful titles by Missandei, Ser Davos Seaworth triumphantly introduces Jon Snow thusly: “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North”.  Later on in the episode, Tyrion- always a source of wit and wisdom- tries to pass off an observation of his own as ancient wisdom, and Daenery catches him.

The humor in the episode underscores the strength of the writing. When Jon Snow and Daenerys meet, the scene isn’t hurried- rather, we see how these two very different, very unlikely rulers have assumed the mantle of leadership. Daenerys is haughty, presuming her titles and Jon’s ancestral oath to her house. Jon speaks to her of White Walkers and armies of the dead. We see that neither of them has learned how to politick, how to use rhetoric to convince a sceptic of their course of action, despite blunders in Meereen and Castle Black, respectively. As battles are lost across the continent, Daenerys will surely rethink her reliance on Tyrion- perhaps she’ll heed the words of the Queen of Highgarden, who told her to be a dragon. Jon Snow, meanwhile, needs to tread carefully. He’s a Northerner in a precarious position in the south, still too concerned with what’s noble than with what will work.

Sansa and Bran’s reunion was brief, but touching. One of my hopes as the series winds down, and I think may fans share it, is to see a reunion of surviving Stark children. Once Jon returns from Dragonstone- assuming he returns- all but Arya will be at Winterfell again. But will the Stark children become a family once again, or have their varying paths lead them so far from home that they won’t be able to relate to each other any more? Bran and Sansa already see a huge difference in one another. Arya is now a cold-blooded assassin. Bran has one mission to accomplish- tell Jon Snow about his true parentage. It is most likely this reason, and not homesickness, that brought him home.

The final scene of “The Queen’s Justice” is, again, a master class in acting, writing and directing. Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell communicates so much with a single look, such as the satisfaction of using her final moments alive to tell Jaime Lannister that she murdered Joffrey. And Nikolai Coster-Waldau, just as he did in the season 6 finale with his sister Cersei, conveys anger and disappointment in one withering stare. Olenna’s final scene was the ultimate mic drop. What a way to go.

 

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2 Responses to “A Post of Fire and Ice: The Queen’s Justice”

  1. Antonio August 5, 2017 at 7:17 am #

    a very interesting blog…congratulations!
    best regards from Italy 🙂
    (I read you live in magic California)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Post of Fire and Ice: The Spoils of War | The Lebanexican - August 7, 2017

    […] Also, it must be noted that every time poor Dickon Tarly’s name is mentioned, I laugh. I was glad to know that, in the universe of the show, it is considered a pretty ridiculous name (Bronn sure thinks so). I wrote about the show’s approach to humor more when writing about “The Queen’s Justice”. […]

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