The Queen's Justice is the best episode of Game of Thrones to date – it gives us what we need, not what we want

This article contains spoilers for Season 7, Episode 3 of Game of Thrones

Grace Dent
Tuesday 01 August 2017 07:48
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This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones

One of Game of Thrones’ greatest messages to the world, often missed amongst the dragons, dwarves and bloodlust, is that it’s wiser to make peace your impetus than power.

“Who cares who sits on the Iron Throne if all they rule over is skeletons?” Jon Snow asks Daenerys Targaryen in the latest, and, to my mind, possibly greatest ever episode of Game of Thrones. I can think of none during which I’ve purred louder the whole way through.

Yes, those in love with battle scenes and mind-bogglingly costly effects will argue episodes like “Hardhome” or “Battle of the Bastards” are jewels, but “The Queen’s Justice”, full of Cersei, Daenerys and Olenna’s gentle, beautifully hewn soft-spoken fury is television at its sleekest nadir.

The long-awaited face-offs between key characters, the tit-for-tat child-killing, the incestuous blow jobs and the curing of Ser Jorah: “The Queen’s Justice” shimmied along, not a spare ounce of fat on its script or direction. Sansa sets eyes, finally, on her long-lost little brother Bran only to realise he is a gibbering, eye-rolling, three-eyed raven intent on discussing her rape; here is an end of days landscape where all joy is precarious.

Winter has come and only Jon Snow is remotely serious about having the boiler serviced. Jon has arrived in Dragonstone, making the grotty old place 100 per cent prettier with merely his lovely eyes and messy bun. As a strident feminazi, it pains me to admit I dreamed Daenerys (fire) would set eyes on Jon (ice), be instantly smitten and the remaining 50 minutes become a Ten Things I Hate About You flirtatious run-up to rutting. The spurious concept of “finding Prince Charming and everything being OK” is clearly viciously hardwired into women who read Elaine Showalter, as well as millions of fans worldwide.

Thank God – as it would have been tedious – we were denied this. Instead Jon arrived in Dragonstone bearing difficult truths about Daenerys’s world vision. He spelled out that the battle for the Iron Throne – involving the Lannisters, Greyjoys, Tyrells and Starks as well as plotting flotsam like Littlefinger – is little more than glorified deckchair rearranging on the Titanic.

For us omniscient viewers, who have met the Night’s King and his depressed legion of rotting nags and zombie giants, it was painful to hear how ridiculous Jon’s claims sound to fresh ears. In Dragonstone’s throne room, Jon looked as small and un-kingly as Ronnie Corbett in Sorry asking mother for a late curfew.

In this light, Jon’s shtick about what he’s seen in the North sounded as feasible as a Saturday morning city centre evangelist shouting into a tannoy. Daenerys has sent Jon off to mine dragonglass as, it seems, she can’t think what the hell else to do with him. That’s the opposite of a big romance. I love Game of Thrones more than life itself as it never gives me what I want but it continually gives me what I need.

And on the subject of womanly needs, no woman actually needs a man like Euron Greyjoy. Euron is a sexy psychopath and he wants to put a ring on it. Cersei’s greatest folly would be to marry Euron in haste then let him bring his unique brand of diplomacy to the Seven Kingdoms, but we sense that she might.

Euron is the sum total of every mistake a worldly girl will ever make finding a husband stuffed neatly into one magnetic knicker-chucking frame. He is hulking, reckless, twistedly romantic and the loosest of loose cannons. He could cause a riot at a Quaker Meeting House. He’s clearly not washed his armpits for five or more years and probably has crabs, but regardless he steals, chews and burps out every scene he’s in, spurting testosterone.

A massive d***head Euron may be, but Cersei sent him on a quest to prove his love and – bang! – he brought her back Ellaria, who poisoned her daughter. All this turned Cersei on so much she had to rush down and have vigorous sex with her brother Jaime just for old time’s sake. In Game of Thrones this is as close to perfect, dreamy movie love as we get.

Lord, never let it stop. One man who does believe in Happy Ever After in Westeros, despite all the evidence, is the huge romantic clot Jorah Mormont who has been magically “cured” of greyscale.

I simply don’t buy that Samwell Tarly poking about in a dark dungeon with a fish-knife, without so much as a tube of TCP, stripping off scabs willy-nilly, will cure this ancient and frightening malady. Samwell Tarly is not a doctor. If he was, he might have worked some magic on his wife’s terrible depression. I buy this storyline as much as I do his roughly picking up an ancient tome in the library and finding a dragonglass map.

Still, if it saves the Seven Kingdoms, I shall turn the blindest of eyes.

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