“Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it can never be used to hurt you.” Wise words from Tyrion, once spoken to Jon Snow after he took offence to being called a bastard. Jon took that advice on board long ago and responds in kind as the dwarf greets him on the beach of Dragonstone.
“The Bastard of Winterfell”
“The Dwarf of Casterly rock”
Having last spoken atop the wall many seasons ago whilst Tyrion was “pissing off the edge”, Jon points out that Tyrion has picked up some scars along the road. Oh the irony!
Ser Davos introduces himself to Tyrion who notes that they fought on opposite sides when Stannis attacked King’s Landing. “Unluckily for me” quips Davos. It’s interesting to see that the pair of them bear no grudges over the previous engagement, especially given that Davos’ son died from the wildfire!
Missandei is full of confidence today (I wonder why) and introduces herself fervently, before ‘asking’ Jon and his companions to hand over their weapons. Jon watches nervously as some huge Dothraki carry their boat away.
Tyrion says that he would have advised Jon against coming to meet Daenerys, as the northern lords and ladies did. After all, Stark men don’t tend to do well when they travel south – Ned and Robb both lost their heads when they left the north.
“True,” replies Jon. “but I’m not a Stark.”
Suddenly Drogon swoops a few feet overhead sending Jon & Davos ducking for cover.
“I’d say you get used to them, but you never really do.” quips the Dwarf, now bending to help Jon to his feet.
Atop the mountain, Varys questions Melisandre as to why she didn’t meet the men at the beach. She explains that they didn’t part on good terms, and admits that it was her own fault. Having done her part in having Daenerys and Jon meet, she doesn’t want to be a distraction and is heading to Volantis.
Varys warns her not to return, for her own safety. Her retort? “Nah, I plan on dying here.” Well, actually she said that she HAS to die here. “Just like you.”
Christ, what a way to scare someone. He already hates gods and magic (a remnant of their part in his castration and torture as a young man) and now there’s a fire worshipper telling him that he’s gonna die here. I guess that’s what happens when you threaten people! Either way, it seems like Melisandre has seen more in the flames than we know…
In the castle, Daenerys sits on the throne wearing a particularly smug grin as Missandei reels off her list of titles. Seriously, I’m liking Dany less and less as this season goes on. Having made it closer to her objective she no longer seems to care for much except seeing people bow down to her. Look at that smug face!
The usually articulate Davos isn’t on form today, leading with a lucklustre introduction. “This is Jon Snow”. Cue awkward looks around the room.
When he steps forward and corrects Daenerys referring to Jon as “my lord” she disputes his claim to the title of King in the North, pointing out that Jon’s grandfather once bent the knee to her own ancestor, swearing allegiance in perpetuity.
Unfortunately, that’s not why Jon is here.
Daenerys accuses him of breaking faith, which is kind of rich when you consider the fact that her father burned Stark men on more than one occasion. I’d call that breaking faith personally. Thankfully, Daenerys recognises these crimes and asks Jon for forgiveness, and not to judge her on the actions of her father. Sounds familiar right?
At one stage she states, “I am the last Targaryen Jon Snow.” Where the hell is Bran? You’ve got some explaining to do boy!
After a long and heated discussion, and even Tyrion casting aspersions on Jon’s story about the army of the dead, Daenerys gives an empassioned speech. Doubtless she has achieved an incredible amount and been through more than most people could imagine and she got through it all because she had faith in herself and her ability to rule. She isn’t here to be Queen of the ashes, but Jon can’t get his head around her unwillingness to join his cause.
The advisors of both rulers understand how crazy it sounds to drop everything and go to fight dead people in the north. That’s when Davos finally steps up, pointing out that Daenerys isn’t the only one to have overachieved. A bastard of Winterfell brought wildlings south of the wall, became Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, was elected King in the North not because he necessarily believed in himself, but because others did. Jon stops Davos short when he mentions that he took a dagger in the heart for his cause. They’ve told them enough inconceivable truths for one day. Although I must say, if it were me I’d be whipping out my scar riddled chest screaming “look yo I died once already I’m not crazy alright?!”
Lord Varys brings news and disrupts the tension. Dany promises her guests baths and food in their rooms. “Am I your prisoner?” asks Jon. “Not yet.”
The news that Varys brought of course was of Euron’s attack, and with that we find Theon being dragged aboard an ironborn ship. With most of the fleet destroyed and their plan foiled, they’ll presumably head back to Dragonstone, where it looks like Jon may be staying for a while. Hey, another reunion to look forward to! Jon WILL be pleased to see the man who betrayed his family and murdered his bannermen.
Meanwhile, Euron presents his gifts to Cersei. Ellaria and her daughter in chains for the Queen to do with as she pleases. In return Cersei agrees to marry Euron… when the war is won. Goading Jaime some more, Euron asks for his advice. “Does she like it gentle, rough? A finger in the bum…?” in front of the crowd there’s nothing Jaime can do, but my god this is building to something much bigger. Even in Game of Thrones the antagonists USUALLY get their comeuppance, and Jaime mentioned that if Euron’s allegiance turns out to be false, the same crowd cheering him now will revel in seeing his head on a spike.
Unfazed, Euron makes light of it like he does everything.
Later, Cersei exacts her revenge for what the Sand Snakes did to Myrcella. She talks of how she doesn’t sleep much anymore. Instead, she lays awake and thinks of ways to murder her enemies. Suddenly it’s evident why Cersei is wearing an uncharacteristic bright red lipstick. She kisses Ellaria’s daughter square on the lips, and wipes away the residue on her own face. “Qyburn is clever enough to learn what poison you used to murder Myrcella.” Qyburn hands Cersei the antidote which she quickly consumes.
Now Ellaria will have to stand and watch for hours, perhaps days, until her daughter succumbs to the poison. And Cersei doesn’t intend to let her suffering end there. They’ll force food down her throat if they have to, so she has to watch her daughter rot.
This is the second person Cersei has taken this sort of sick revenge on. As far as we know Septa Unella is still chained in dungeons of the Red Keep, being occasionally tortured by the Mountain. It’s not a far cry from what she tells Ellaria was Oberyn’s downfall – taunting Ser Gregor instead of finishing him off. It would be some sort of poetic justice if it came back to bite Cersei, especially considering that she confessed to Unella that she murdered Robert and slept with Jaime.
Seemingly excited by all this, Cersei’s next move is to immediately come on to Jaime. Weird. She enters the room and starts kissing him without a word. (He obviously doesn’t know that her lips were covered in deadly deadly poison just moments ago.) Embarrassed, Jaime goes to reattach his golden hand but she won’t let him. They obviously still care for each other and in a way it’s like Greyworm and Missandei’s scene last week in that they accept each other as they are.
She may be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms but it doesn’t stop Cersei from bending the knee. Both knees, actually. Jaime’s protests quickly fade.
The next morning, after Jaime lovingly stares at his sleeping lover/sister for a while, there’s a knock at the door. Cersei opens it, not caring that Jaime is in plain sight to her messenger, and learns that a visitor has arrived from Braavos.
A representative of the Iron Bank has arrived to talk about the Lannisters’ money situation. Given that Robert threw gold around like it was nothing, they’ve nothing left and yet they have immense amount of debt. The Tyrells have taken their wealth elsewhere so they can’t rely on that anymore. Cersei claims that her armada owns the Narrow Sea, except it’s not her armada and the Iron Bank knows it. It’s the second time in a few minutes that we’ve been reminded how easily things could change should Euron decide he doesn’t want to remain loyal to Cersei. Don’t forget, he did originally intend to propose marriage to Daenerys.
Winning him around, Cersei reminds the Braavosi that Daenerys has significantly weakened their economic prowess by abolishing much of the slave trade which they invest in. Not only that, but former slaves, Dothraki horselords and dragons aren’t particularly wealthy, and a Lannister always pays their debts.
She promises him repayment in a fortnight.
Tyrion meets Jon on the mountainside.
“I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You’re making it difficult – you look a lot better brooding than I do.”
Jon doesn’t have the same inclination for light hearted chatter and complains that he’s a prisoner on the island while the enemy to the north gets ever closer.
“It’s hard for me to fathom, it really is! If someone told me about the White Walkers and the Night King…” Jon has an “Oh shit” moment when he finally realises how he must sound.
Assuring Jon that Dany is here for good reason and that actually she and Jon have a lot in common, Tyrion points out that it’s not reasonable to think that Dany will drop everything and immediately persue this myth on the strength of a stranger’s word. Feeling belittled by the smallest man on the island, Jon starts off to brood elsewhere before Tyrion hints at his point again.
In the war room, the dwarf convinces Dany to allow Jon to mine the dragonglass. In doing so, they can start to build a relationship (not that sort, she’s his aunt so stop thinking it right now) and can still focus on their own war effort at the same time.
Daenerys didn’t miss what was said earlier, asking her advisor what Davos meant about Jon taking a dagger to the heart.
“You must allow them their flights of fancy. It’s dreary in the North.” While Tyrion still has a lot of doubt about the magic we’ve seen, he’s clearly thought about it. I wonder if he has a inkling of belief but simply knows it wouldn’t help anyone to let Daenerys know that.
Sansa is consulting with Ser Royce, Littlefinger and maester Wolkan, the most recent maester at Winterfell. She wants to check that they have enough food to last out the winter. Wolkan says that he will check the length of the longest winter in the past 100 years so they know what to plan for. How will he find out? Maester Luwin kept a copy of every raven scroll sent and received in Winterfell, what a trooper. Here’s where things get interesting. As Wolkan mentions this, Littlefinger shoots him a swift and unnatural glance.
Now, time for a theory as to why. It takes us right back to episode 1, wherein Maester Luwin delivered Catelyn Stark a letter from her sister Lysa, saying that the Lannisters had her husband killed. This sets Ned and Cat off to find out why. After an assassination attempt on Bran is foiled, Cat takes the assassin’s dagger which Littlefinger says was once his but was lost to Tyrion. Cat then imprisoned Tyrion leading to the dispute between the two families, and much of the Stark family’s demise.
In series 4, Lysa admits in front of Sansa that she and Littlefinger in fact orchestrated her husband’s death, so if Sansa finds a letter claiming otherwise then she might just put the pieces together.
ANYWAY. Sansa is really coming into her own, thinking ahead about how to get enough food, and calling out the blacksmith for not covering the breastplates in leather – they’ll need it when the weather gets colder. Once the others have gone away to do their duties, Littlefinger once again has a quiet word with Sansa, telling her that he plans for every eventuality and nothing is a surprise. What’s he telling her this for though? Is it really advice? A warning? Or just stroking his own ego? Only time will tell. They’re interrupted by a visitor at the gate.
Before you get too excited, no it isn’t Arya, it’s the gloomiest Stark sibling who nobody is ever really happy to see, Bran.
True to form, when Sansa gives him a massive hug, tears in her eyes, he just stares blankly forwards. I get that he’s seen a lot but come on, at least have something positive to say. Instead, in a quick visit to the godswood he chooses his conversation topics poorly. In fact the only good thing he does is refuse to be Lord of Winterfell. He does a terrible job of explaining what it means to be the 3 eyed raven and instead of talking about Jon’s parents, what Littlefinger did to their family or how they might be able to beat the white walkers, what does he say?
“Remember that first time you got brutally raped in your own home? You looked pretty that night.”
Sam is watching nervously as the archmaester prods Jorah’s scarred skin.
“The infection no longer appears to be active. One could almost be forgiven for thinking that the entire upper layer of diseased skin was debrided, and the underlying region treated with some sort of unguent.”
“I don’t know about that.” Jorah claims. (Us neither, those are some fancy words you’re using there archmaester)
Regardless, Ser Jorah is no longer infectious and is released. He shakes Sam’s hand, probably the first human contact he’s had in a long while. We know where he’s going to be headed now!
The archmaester gives Sam a dressing down for disobeying him. He could have infected the entire Citadel apparently. Nevertheless, as he points out, many experienced maesters have tried and failed to cure greyscale. How did he do it?
“I read the book… and followed the instructions.” Now that’s thinking outside the box.
He gets a rare moment of praise from his superior and is beckoned to the other side of the room.
“All these scrolls are rotting away. I need you to make copies of them.” Sam’s face drops. “You were expecting a reward? Your reward is not being immediately ejected from the Citadel! Watch out for the paper mites, they like flesh as well.” Never mind Sam.
In Dragonstone, after dissuading Daenerys from flying on Drogon to destroy Euron’s ships Tyrion turns his attention to Casterly Rock. The Unsullied will be arriving by now. We see montage of their assault on King’s landing, scaling the walls with ladders and exploiting a weakness Tyrion points out – an underground cavern which leads directly to one of the main guard towers. “Casterly Rock is an impregnable fortress, but as a good friend of mine once said, give me 10 good men and I’ll impregnate the bitch.” After a bit of espionage the gates are opened from the inside and the army pours in.
The Lannisters troops are tough, at least 10,000 strong and well fortified. But they fight out of fear of Cersei, whilst the Unsullied fight for freedom and their Queen. “And that is why they will triumph.” Tyrion proclaims. Sure enough the Unsullied do triumph, but as Greyworm picks his way over the bodies on the ramparts, he realises something isn’t right. “There are supposed to be more than this. Many more.” Oh dear.
He looks over the battlements to see the ships that brought them here destroyed, thanks once again to Euron Greyjoy.
Meanwhile much to everyone’s surprise, Jaime is leading the bulk of the Lannister forces South, followed closely by Bronn and the Tarlys who have joined their cause. They make short work of the Tyrells and take Highgarden. It’s a tactic used by Robb Stark against the Lannisters at the end of season 1 – allowing your enemy to think you’ll be fighting them in one location whilst you outmaneuver them. It marked a significant victory for Robb then as it does for Jaime now.
Whilst the Rains of Castamere plays, the lion makes his way to the tower where Lady Olenna has been waiting for him, knowing that her time has come. In an enlightening conversation between the pair, we find out that Casterly Rock isn’t actually worth much anymore as the gold mines are drying up. As the Lannisters take hold of the Tyrell wealth, the Unsullied are stranded with little food and none of the gold they were expecting. And it’s a long march home.
“How will you do it?” Olenna asks, wondering how she’ll be killed. “With that sword? It was Joffrey’s wasn’t it? What did he call it?”
“He really was a cunt wasn’t he.” Olenna is poetic as ever, but it does serve to remind us that Jaime has a valyrian steel sword, which is likely to have significance in the future.
Not as bloodthirsty as his sister, Jaime pours a vial of poison into some wine and passes it across the table. After checking that her death would be painless, Olenna downs it like a fresher desperate to impress. It’s only then that she makes her confession.
“I’d hate to die like your son, clawing at my neck with foam and bile pouring from my mouth. It must have been horrible for you as a father. Not at all what I intended – you see I’d never seen the poison work before.” A bitter conclusion to Jaime’s victory, finding out that the woman he just gave a merciful death was the one who murdered his own son in such a brutal fashion. Even in death Olenna has the last word.
“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”
So, some points to take away from episode 3:
- It probably won’t be long until Jon’s parenthood comes to light, and that will change things.
- Littlefinger may be in a spot of bother
- Notably absent – 40,000 Dothraki screamers. If they were to surprise the Lannisters in the field it would be an absolute blood bath.
- Where the fuck is Gendry?