Game of Thrones S7E03 Explained
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 begins with Jon Snow landing on Dragonstone. He’s met by Tyrion, who he hasn’t seen since Season 1 – and Jon notes that they’ve both picked up some scars. Tyrion was wounded at the Blackwater, and Jon was attacked by an eagle. They’ve both suffered less visible wounds as well – Tyrion’s betrayal by Shae, Jon’s loss of Ygritte, and his death. Jon and Tyrion are a bastard and a dwarf, both looked down on by society.
They’ve suffered, but survived, and have both risen high – and their bond helps make this meeting possible. Davos and Missandei are here, and he mentions her homeland of Naath. The Naathi are a peaceful people who worship butterflies , but they’re preyed on by slavers – Missandei was stolen from home as a child. In the books, Daenerys offers to take Missandei back to Naath , but she prefers to stay with
Daenerys. Davos says Dragonstone has changed, and it’s true –last time he was here, Davos served Stannis, and Melisandre was burning men alive on the beach. Now Dany is in charge, and Mel’s staying outta the spotlight. She watches from a cliff, and talks with Varys. Mel says that now that she got Jon and Dany together, her job’s done, and she’s leaving
For Volantis. Maybe there she’ll meet up with other red priests, who could help in the war for the dawn. Mel will return to Westeros, though, because she believes that she’ll die there. We also know that Mel believes that she’ll meet Arya again. Could the two be connected?
Maybe Arya will kill Melisandre. It’s also possible Mel will play the role of Nissa Nissa – that she’ll be killed by the hero Azor Ahai to set his sword afire. This might be Jon, with Longclaw. Mel also says that Varys will die in Westeros, but it’s unclear how that’ll go down. Maybe he’ll betray Dany and get roasted by a dragon like she promised.
We then get one of the most anticipated moments in Thrones – the meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. These two have been the protagonists of the story since Book 1, but they’ve been a world apart the entire time. Now ice and fire finally meet. And they don’t get along.
Dany wants Jon to submit to her, because his ancestor Torrhen Stark swore the north to House Targaryen three hundred years ago. Jon points out that the last Targaryen king was Dany’s father Mad Aerys, who the realm fought a war to get rid of. Dany argues it’s not her fault her dad was crazy, and Jon says it’s not his fault his ancestor made an oath.
What they should really worry about, Jon says, is the army of zombies and white walkers marching on the seven kingdoms. Dany doesn’t know nothing about the army of zombies and walkers, all she cares about is winning her throne. And so Dany and Jon agree to disagree for now. Dany learns that Euron destroyed her fleet, and we briefly see Theon criticised by his
Men for surviving. This story just keeps finding fresh new ways to make Theon suffer. At the capital, Euron rides in with his captives – his niece Yara, and Ellaria and Tyene Sand. It’s a little weird that the common folk love Euron so much. The ironborn, and Euron in particular, have a bad reputation as raiders and pirates . But,
As Euron suggests, the commons don’t really care who’s who so long as they get a show, and a show Euron gives. He’s theatrical and crude and cruel, playing the crowd, blowing kisses, and calling people twats. He rides up to Cersei and gifts her Tyene and Ellaria. In return, Euron wants to marry Cersei.
And Cersei says he’ll get his heart’s desire after the war. The vague term heart’s desire might give Cersei room to back out of this later. In the books, by the way, it’s Daenerys that Euron wants to marry. “When the kraken weds the dragon”, he says, “let all the world beware” . But in the show, the Greyjoys and the Lannisters make alliance – Euron will lead the navy, while Jaime leads the army.
There’s a rivalry between these two, which could maybe undermine Jaime and Cersei’s relationship. In the books, Jaime eventually rejects Cersei partly because she cheats on him . Maybe Cersei will get close to Euron, and that’ll make Jaime snap. In the dungeons, Cersei confronts Ellaria, the woman who murdered her daughter Myrcella. In revenge, Cersei poisons Ellaria’s daughter Tyene, and makes Ellaria watch her daughter
Die and rot to dust. In the books, Ellaria is a voice for peace , but in the show, she’s another perpetrator, and now a victim of the bloody chain of vengeance that killed Oberyn and Elia and Myrcella before her. After murdering the Snakes, Cersei’s in the mood for twincest, so she goes has sex with brother Jaime.
There’s a bit in the books where during sex, Cersei says “I want”, and Jaime thinks she means she wants him. But later he realises Cersei actually meant she wanted Arya Stark dead – cause Arya’s wolf had just hurt Joffrey. The situation’s similar here. Cersei throws herself at Jaime, and he probably thinks it’s cause she loves him.
But Cersei’s passion right now may have more to do with the Sand Snakes she’s torturing. Maybe, as in the books, show-Jaime will realise that Cersei doesn’t love him so much as she loves herself and loves hurting others. The next morning, Cersei lets a maid see Jaime in her bed, so she’s no longer trying to hide her incestuous relationship. Cersei and Jaime have long dreamed of loving each other openly , but in Westeros, incest’s
Seen as an abomination , so this is probably a bad PR move. Cersei then gets a visit from Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank. Cersei’s regime is in lots of debt, and the Bank wants its money back. If Cersei won’t pay, Tycho threatens to fund Daenerys instead – figuring she may be a better investment. But Cersei argues Dany’s unreliable, and that Dany’s anti-slavery stance is bad for
The Iron Bank’s profits – Tycho seems to agree. Which is interesting. Cause the Iron Bank is based in Braavos, and Braavos was founded by ex-slaves as an anti-slavery city. Its rulers oppose “slavery in all its forms” . So would the Iron Bank of Braavos invest in the slave trade?
Maybe they’re doing it secretly – the Bank is famously shadowy . In fact there are rumours of a connection between the Bank and the Faceless Men , the assassins who Arya trained with who are also based in Braavos. So there’s all sorts of possibilities going on in the books. In the show, though, the Bank’s role is to bankroll Cersei. She tells Tycho that Lannisters pay their debts, and the Iron Bank will get its due.
At Dragonstone, Jon complains to Tyrion that no one believes him about the white walkers. It’s a common thing in sci-fi and fantasy for a hero to have to convince people of a supernatural threat – the Reapers are coming, Skynet will happen, the Demogorgon, Voldemort. It’s funny in Thrones, though, that people are sceptical of white walkers while literal dragons circle above. Dany’s storyline is full of magic.
She’s survived fires, hatched dragons, fought warlocks and witches, had prophetic visions. Is it so hard for her to believe in some frosty zombies? Maybe, as Tyrion hints, she doesn’t want to believe, because she’s so focussed on her Throne. So for now, Dany won’t go north, but she does want Jon on side. So Tyrion suggests she give him Dragonstone’s dragonglass – the stuff that kills white
Walkers. Dany also brings up a comment Davos made about Jon’s resurrection, which Tyrion dismisses as fancy. Jon’s death and resurrection was probably the biggest plot point in Thrones Seasons 5 and 6, if not in the whole series, yet it’s had almost no impact on the story. People barely ever talk about the fact that Jon rose from the dead, he’s Game of Thrones
Jesus, but he’s mostly unchanged. So what was the point of the resurrection? Characters in the books who get resurrected change dramatically – the same will probably be true of book-Jon. Jon and Dany speak alone for the first time ever. Dany mentions that one of her dragons is named for her dead brother Rhaegar.
And Rhaegar just happens to be Jon Snow’s father, though he doesn’t know it yet. Dany says we enjoy what we’re good at, and Jon says he doesn’t, which again connects to Rhaegar. Cause in Season 5, Barristan tells Dany that while Rhaegar was great at fighting, he didn’t enjoy it . Jon is also good at fighting, but he apparently doesn’t like it either – like father, like son.
The connections between Jon and Rhaegar are hinted at over and over this episode – like when Jon says that he’s not a Stark, just before a dragon swoops above – because Jon is truly a Targaryen, Daenerys’ nephew. So – they’d better not fall in love or anything, eh? Up at Winterfell, Sansa prepares the north for the war to come. Maester Wolkan mentions that Luwin kept copies of every raven message – and Littlefinger
Looks worried. He’s probably thinking of the message he got Lysa to send to Catelyn saying the Lannisters killed Jon Arryn – which was a lie designed to cause conflict. If Wolkan or Sansa find this letter – they’d have proof of Petyr’s betrayal. That particular letter was given to Catelyn sealed, then was burned, so there may not be a copy of it, but there’s still lots of other dirt on Petyr to uncover – like
The fact that he lied about this dagger, and betrayed Ned. Littlefinger has built a Jenga tower of lies and if the Starks can grasp one piece, it will all come tumbling down. Petyr gives a weird speech about thinking strategically about everyone everywhere always , which might sound impressive if he was a man with an actual plan right now. The fact that Yohn Royce has become a prominent character all of a sudden may hint that Littlefinger
Will soon be replaced as representative of the Vale. And then Bran turns up. Sansa and Bran haven’t seen each other since Episode 1, when they were both children. Now, Sansa’s a political leader, and Bran is– kind of a tree god? Last season, the three-eyed raven died and gave Bran all his power, the magic of the old gods – which is a sort of a hive mind of all of the dead greenseers and children
Of forest and wargs connected in a network of weirwood trees – containing this knowledge of the past and future. Bran now sees everything everywhere – kind of like what Littlefinger claimed before, but Bran has it for real. He sees everything, and it’s messing with his head. Bran acts all distant and robotic with Sansa, and insensitively brings up her marriage to
Ramsay. The reason why he’s acting weird is that he’s just had all spacetime downloaded into his skull, and he’s struggling to handle that. In the words of the actor, “Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it’s quite difficult for Bran to have … personality” . Not to mention, Bran
Spent his adolescence in a tree with a wizard, so between that and the Internet in his head, it’s no surprise that he comes off as awkward. But he needs to sort this shit out fast. He needs to learn to use his power, so he’s ready to face the walkers and the Long Night. At Oldtown, Sam’s treatment has successfully cured Jorah of greyscale, and Jorah now has a future again.
Which is nice and all, but it takes away a layer from his character. In the books, there’s this guy called Jon Connington who gets greyscale, and the knowledge that he’s gonna die makes him really purposeful and focussed on his goals . With greyscale, he’s got nothing to lose, which makes him a dangerous and tragic figure. Jorah could’ve been the same, but now that he’s cured, he’s just back to square one. At least he’s finally got a new shirt.
In the books, Jorah’s father Jeor speaks his last words to Sam, and says to tell Jorah that he forgives him his crimes, and wants him to join the Night’s Watch . Maybe Jorah will take the black at some point in the show, but for now Jorah’s plan is to return to his dear Khaleesi. Sam gets dragged to the headmasters office and gets a firm talking to from Dumbledore. He’s pretty mad that Harry broke all the rules, but he did save the day, so Dumbledore
Lets him off the hook. Sam does, however, have to transcribe a bunch of old books – which are almost certainly gonna contain some kind of important secret about white walkers or Valyrian steel or Azor Ahai. Something to help in the war for the dawn. Meanwhile, however, there’s another war at hand.
Dany has learned that Euron Greyjoy took out Yara and the Sand Snakes. So she wants to hunt down Euron’s fleet on dragonback. This is one of the big advantages of having dragons – you can scout with them, find out where enemy armies are. Dany’s ancestor Aegon the Conqueror did this a lot when he took Westeros. But Missandei’s concerned that an arrow could kill Dany from dragonback.
You’d think that with some good armour she’d be pretty safe – and the benefits of scouting would be huge – but Dany is convinced, and stays put. Meanwhile, Grey Worm’s Unsullied attack Casterly Rock, the seat of Lannister power. This is the first time we’ve seen the Rock in the show, and it is smaller than the book version – it’s built into a rock over half a kilometre tall. Full of tunnels and chambers and mines, the Rock is the best-defended castle in Westeros
, and the only one that can’t be destroyed with dragonfire – cause soldiers can hide within. But fortunately, Tyrion has a plan. As in the books, Tyrion worked on the sewers and drains of the castle, and in the show, he built a secret tunnel so he could bring women inside. The Unsullied use this tunnel to get their forces into the castle – kind of like how
Dany took Meereen. Tyrion says that while Lannisters fight out of fear, the Unsullied fight “for freedom”, “And that is why they will triumph” . Which sounds nice, but is it true? The Unsullied were raised as children to be slave soldiers. They were castrated, psychologically broken, made “absolutely obedient” . Daenerys did “free” them, but do they know what that means?
If they were truly free, would they choose to fight and die for this foreign queen in this foreign land? It’s nice rhetoric on Tyrion’s part – but the Unsullied may still be slaves if not in name. Anyway the Unsullied take Casterly Rock, but Jaime pulled a switcheroo – most of the Lannisters weren’t at the Rock.
Jaime led his main army into the reach. In Season 1, Robb Stark sent a small northern army to distract Tywin Lannister while his main force snuck up and captured Jaime. Now in Season 7, Jaime’s strategy is similar, leaving a small Lannister army at the Rock to get mulched while his main force attacks Dany’s allies in the reach. Euron’s ironborn sink Dany’s fleet so they can’t follow.
This is exactly the sort of thing Dany coulda seen coming if she used dragons to scout. Or if she used spies under Varys the Spider . Or if she got Mel to foresee the future. One way or another, Dany really should have detected the Lannisters marching south, and the ironborn semi-circumnavigating the continent again. But she gets caught by surprise, again, and the Tyrells have no help against the Lannisters. They would have the support of the Tarlys, if they didn’t change sides for Cersei.
And they might have had the support of the Redwynes and Hightowers and other reachmen – but they’re not seen here. Maybe they changed sides too, or something? Whatever the details, the point is that Jaime takes Highgarden, the seat of Olenna Tyrell. Olenna points out that Jaime carries Widow’s Wail, Joffrey’s old sword, which happens to be Valyrian steel.
Valyrian steel can kill white walkers – might come in handy. But mostly Olenna reflects on her life. She’s had a long one. She’s seen seven kings and now one queen on the Iron Throne. She was once betrothed to a Targaryen prince. And under her guidance, House Tyrell grew strong.
She says she did terrible things for her family – but that Cersei beat her in the end because she did even worse things – murdering Olenna’s whole family with wildfire. Such is the game of thrones. Olenna tells Jaime that Cersei is monstrous, a disease – and Jaime tries to rationalise away her evil. Olenna observes that Jaime loves Cersei, and pities him for it.
She says Cersei will be the end of Jaime – which does support the valonquar theory, that Cersei and Jaime will die together – go watch that video. Anyway Jaime has Olenna drink poison – a dignified death, and an appropriate one. Cause Olenna reveals that she was behind the poisoning of Joffrey. So even at the very end, the Queen of Thorns sinks one last barb into Cersei – she lets her know that she killed her cunt of a son.
Olenna dies as she lived, inflicting sick burns. So this was a huge episode – the death of the Sand Sneks, the return of Bran, the curing of Jorah, the fall of the Rock, the death of Olenna, and the meeting of ice and fire. If you’re curious about these details from the books – like Jon Connington, and Cersei and Jaime’s breakup, and the book versions of Bloodraven and Ellaria and Euron – you’ve got to go check out the Game of Thrones books.
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