Sunday, July 30, 2017

Game Night: A First Reaction To “The Queen’s Justice”

This post contains spoilers for the Game of Throne’s episode “The Queen’s Justice”

Game of Thrones enacts revenge as well as any show on television, but the series is outdoing itself in Season Seven. The year began with Arya’s vengeance against House Frey and the second episode ended with Euron’s surprise victory over Yara Greyjoy. In “The Queen’s Justice,” Game of Thrones enacted some of its most poetic justice, even if it came at the expense of some important characters.

The one constant Lenna Headey has delivered throughout seven seasons of Game of Thrones is her ability to make Cersei’s Lannister an enjoyable villain. The coldest dispenser of power south of the Wall, Cersei unwittingly delivered payback to the murderers of two of her children. By killing her enemies with poisons like those that were used to kill her own children, the show carried out Cersei’s justice brilliantly. The double murder of the remaining Sand Snake and Lady Tyrell was some of the most well-done writing that the show has ever delivered. While the death of the acerbic Queen of Thrones is a loss to Game of Thrones, her character’s end was done in a manner that was befitting to Diana Rigg and Cersei.

Cersei went beyond sheer revenge in “The Queen’s” Justice.” Despite long odds, she thwarted Tyrion Lannister’s attack on her family’s castle and demolished two of the houses that were in open rebellion against her. This is also a major victory for Game of Thrones. The show managed to swiftly sidetrack the assumed easy victory over Cersei at King’s Landing and create a more interesting route for Daenerys Targaryen.

Jon Snow and Daenerys are now reluctant allies who need each other despite having separate goals. One episode after Jon would not judge the children of wayward Northern lords due to the crimes of their fathers, Daenerys was asking the same of him in light of her own father’s madness. Their dispositions are also different, creating a more interesting dynamic between the two monarchs. The austere introduction for Daenerys was merely countered with “This is Jon Snow. He’s king in the North.” By Jon not quickly bending his knee and pledging allegiance, the show provides room for a more uneasy alliance throughout the rest of this season.

“The Queen’s Justice” was the most fluid and best-written episode yet in Season Seven. The brilliant plot twists and the sweet revenge from Cersei are strong moments that allowed the Lannisters to get their groove back. Most of the truly shocking moments of Game of Thrones have typically happened in the last two episodes of each season. By not relegating big scenes to the last few episodes, Season Seven has been the least predictable and one of the most enjoyable in the series. 

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