Last week Euron Greyjoy’s fleet ambushed and destroyed Yara and Theon’s much smaller fleet. Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene were taken prisoner. Obara and Nymeria Sand weren’t so lucky. It seemed like it was only yesterday and season five when fans of the books and showrunners were telling us the Sand Snakes were skillful warriors. Apparently, Euron’s rage was more than a match. This week Queen’s Justice saw a different rage unfold.
After last week’s previews and internet hype Cersei’s justice turned out to be much ado about nothing. Queen’s Justice was filled with long winded speeches. Cersei’s long winded speech only proved what we already knew- Cersei is a very vindictive person. We didn’t need a long winded speech to remind us of Cersei’s low character. We also didn’t need the reminder of how Ellaria killed Cersei’s daughter. The queen’s justice turned out to be planting a long, deep wet kiss on Tyene.
Fortunately, Queen’s Justice was about more than just long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days and fellating brothers (It seems Game of Thrones‘s showrunners is trying to even the sex to fellatio/cunnilingus ratio). Battles were fought and won and lost.
While Tyrion’s plan of using the Unsullied and Dothraki forces to take Casterly Rock was being put into action, Jamie was busy storming the walls at Highgarden. In the end, Jamie’s victory proved to be the most vital while the fall of Casterly Rock was nothing more than bump along the road for the Lannisters.
Yes, Casterly Rock fell. It was a more abbreviate battle than we are use to seeing in Game of Thrones. As Jamie Lannister tells Olenna Tyrell it will be difficult for Daenerys to keep the castle. From a military, and historical perspective, Jamie is correct. Even if he hadn’t moved the stores out of the castle making it difficult for an army to survive, Daenerys’s army would still have had a difficult time keeping the castle. In order for an army to survive in an enemy’s castle or other structure it has to control the surrounding country. Her army controlled nothing and to make matters worse her fleet is all but gone.
These victories shouldn’t be attributed to Cersei. After the death of daddy, Jamie has proven to be the military brains of the Lannister family. Tyrion may have been the unsung hero in the Battle of Blackwater. In Queen’s Justice, Tryion demonstrated the limits of his military and strategic mind when he fell into Jamie’s trap. Cersei is only interested in revenge. Jamie, the veteran of countless battles showed that he can not only learn from his mistakes, but apply these lessons to the battlefield.
The bigger question planted in Queen’s Justice is where Jamie’s allegiance lay. The easy answer is with Cersei and the Lannisters, which at this point is only Cersei. Jamie was still defending Cersei during his conversation with Olenna. After Olenna’s revelation that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey and not Tyrion his allegiance to Cersei may falter. It was, after all, Cersei who kept perpetrating the lie that Tryrion had killed Joffrey.
What will happen if, and that’s a BIG if, Jamie jumps ship? Odds are he won’t betray Cersei. However, Jamie’s character has been changing since his time with Brienne. He showed compassion towards Olenna when Cersei wanted to parade her through the streets and then behead her in front of the masses.
A Lannister victory would not be guaranteed if he were to betray Cersei. Cersei has shown she is good at court intrigue, manipulating people, and betrayal. There has been no evidence that she has a military mind. The only thing she has going for her is a giant dragon slaying crossbow. Anton Chekhov once wrote if you see a gun in the first act of a play it will be used in the second act. We’ve seen the gun. It’s only a matter of time until we see it being used against Daenerys’s dragons.
After the events in Queen’s Justice it seems all Daenerys has left are her dragons. In previews for episode four, Daenerys says she’s tired of the silly games. We can assume she is going to move on King’s Landing using her dragons. After the loss of House Tyrell and the possible loss of Dorne, Daenerys is running short of allies in Westeros. Her fleet is also gone. Using the dragons would go against Tryion’s advice, but there’s not much else she can do.
There are a lot of people in Westeros that still remember her father and his dragons. It feels like the Mad King is mentioned in almost every episode. How will the people of Westeros react when she uses dragons against the Lannisters? Any hope she would have had of gaining new allies will be lost. Possible allies will flock to Cersei and Jamie. Daenerys though isn’t acting like she would care if the dragons won the throne for her.
Daenerys has done a 180 since her quest for the Iron Throne began back in season one. Gone is the humble woman who wanted to serve the people. In her place is the queen who enjoys the many titles read out loud to Jon Snow and Davos Seaworth. We can chalk her attitude up to the many reason she gave Jon as to why he should kneel in front of her. Except all those reasons were there when she was still wanting to serve the people and break chains. Her attitude and using dragons is not on the steps of how to win friends and influence people.
Theories abound that Jon and Daenerys will win the throne together. At this point that theory should be called into question. Jon and Davos are being held captive in all but name at Dragonstone. They’ve been given permission to mine for dragon glass, but that doesn’t mean they will be allowed to leave. The next few episodes should prove some of the most interesting episodes in the series.
Meanwhile across Queen’s Justice…
Sansa still runs things in the North. There is not telling when Jon will return. Every day he stays away from Winterfell is more time for Littlefinger to manipulate Sansa. Littlefiner tells her exactly how the great game is played. Littlefinger may not be moving the pieces on the board so he is on the throne, but moving the pieces so Sansa is on the throne. Who better to serve by her side than Littlefinger? From there it’s a hop, skip, and a poison drink from to the Iron Throne.
Game of Thrones fans want to read into everything and dissect everything that occurs in each episode. Melisandre said she must leave now that she brought the fire and ice together. But has she? Jon and Daenerys did not leave Queen’s Justice on a high note. Melisandre has also been wrong in the past (Cue burning little girl at the stake and Stannis Baratheon as king).
She also says Lord Varys will die in Westeros. As we learned last season all men must die. So, why is Melisandre stating the obvious such a shocker? Maybe it’s how Varys will die or why. Betrayal?
Finally, it didn’t take the rest of the season for Bran to reunite with Sansa. It may take until season eight for a family reunion of remaining Starks.