The Queen's Justice: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 Recap

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team 


Ice and fire, together at last. Episode 3 wastes no time teeing up the fateful meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow. While their cautious first steps toward an alliance form the core of this week’s episode, “The Queen’s Justice” delivers several thrilling, didn’t-see-that-coming moments.

Jon’s crew lands on Dragonstone beach in the clear light of morning, with Tyrion Lannister ready to greet them. The two shake hands and do some light reminiscing, a promising start to a tricky diplomatic dance. Missandei charmingly insists that the landing party surrender their weapons, with Davos remarking that “this place has changed” since his days of advising sourpuss Stannis Baratheon. Tyrion assures Jon that his marriage to Sansa Stark was an unconsummated sham, because don’t worry bro, he’s not like other guys; he would never do that.

“Stark men don’t fare well when they travel south,” Tyrion notes. “But I’m not a Stark,” Jon replies—just as a Targaryen dragon nearly clips his ear overhead. You might know something, Jon Snow. In case any viewers had forgotten since last season’s finale, this episode drops several reminders that Jon “Starkgaryen” belongs on Dragonstone every bit as much as Dany.


On the cliffs overlooking the Narrow Sea, Melisandre and Varys have a Creepy Advisors’ Summit. “I’ve brought ice and fire together,” declares Mel, taking credit for other people’s actions as usual. Varys, who has a chilly history with fire worshippers, strongly suggests that the red woman leave Westeros. Mel cryptically replies that she’ll leave for now, but she’s fated to die in this strange country—as is Varys.

In the throne room, Jon and Davos listen as Missandei rattles off Daenerys’s ever-expanding list of titles, which no-nonsense Davos counters with “This is Jon Snow.” See, he’s unpretentious and humble! But not humble enough to bend the knee, like his ancestor Torrhen Stark did to Aegon the Conqueror (his, you know, other ancestor).


Daenerys didn’t return to Westeros to become Queen of the Six Kingdoms. She tests Jon by bragging about her dragons and her army, but like a true Northman he refuses to budge. Of course, neither of them knows yet that Jon is only half Northerner, and the other half is all dragon. How will the revelation of Jon’s true parentage affect future negotiations?

Jon pleads with Daenarys to table their power struggle, and support him in the coming war against the Night King and his army of the dead. She’s skeptical about a threat she’s never seen described by a man she’s never met, and the two reach an impasse. Sure, this woman magically hatched extinct dragons in a bonfire, but ice zombies? Jon, please!


Back in King’s Landing, a cocksure Euron Greyjoy parades his captives Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene through the streets while the riff-raff cheers him on. The Westerosi mob loves them a chance to throw garbage at prisoners, and Euron soaks up the applause like the rock star whose outfit he stole. He peacocks his way into the throne room, where he presents his gift to the Queen: “Justice,” in the form of Ellaria and Tyene Sand in chains.

Cersei accepts her gift in the most psychotic way possible. After revealing how she spends sleepless nights plotting ways to kill her enemies, Cersei has decided to recreate the murder of her daughter Myrcella by smacking a poison kiss on Tyene while Ellaria watches. Cersei slugs the antidote and preens away, leaving Ellaria to watch Tyene die and spend the rest of her life chained up across from her daughter’s decomposing corpse.

Even though Cersei’s possibly the worst person alive, there’s a guilty, visceral thrill in watching her get revenge (a wine-soaked Septa Unella’s probably still on the table in the next cell over). But for all her flexing, this scene reveals that Cersei hasn’t been able to drown her pain in Arbor Red. Midway through taunting Ellaria, she drops her guard for a split-second, asking her daughter’s killer: “Why did you do that?” Cersei, remember your last dungeon speech: because it felt good!

Enacting brutal revenge puts Cersei in the mood, and we’re treated to some classic Thrones twincest. She doesn’t even attempt to conceal the tryst from her handmaiden, who sports a Cersei-esque bob (the whole city may be afraid of Cersei, but at least her hair inspires the people). The next morning, the Queen’s in classic form, pouring wine at 9 a.m. and browbeating the head of the Iron Bank into granting her an extension on the Crown’s massive debt. And as we all know, Lannisters always pay their debts, eventually.


You might think the King in the North could shed layers on balmy Dragonstone like a Minnesotan wearing shorts in winter, but Jon’s bundled up in his best brooding fur when Tyrion saunters over for some cliffside backchanneling. Tyrion’s strategy, as always, is to smooth ruffled feathers and present both sides with a win-win. He reassures Jon that he takes the White Walker threat seriously and ascertains that Jon needs dragonglass.

Tyrion relays Jon’s request to Daenerys, reminding her that the King in the North is a valuable ally and that the obsidian is useless to her anyway. Dany calls Tyrion out on his smooth talking—“Are you trying to present your own statements as ancient wisdom?”—but takes his advice to heart. She meets Jon for an informal patio chat and very nicely permits him to mine Dragonstone for obsidian. He’ll be calling her “Aunt Your Grace” in no time.


Up North, Sansa half-listens to Littlefinger’s latest hoarse monologue about how to be a backstabbing weasel while she assesses Winterfell’s readiness for siege. Littlefinger needs some new material if he wants to impress his former protégé. Even more exciting than Sansa’s newfound leadership skill is the return of Bran, who shows up with Meera Reed and a thousand-yard stare.

Sansa weeps for joy, but Bran plays it cool. Instead of hugging his sister, he drones on about the responsibilities of the Three-Eyed Raven and implies that he had a vision of Sansa’s (second) horror-show marriage to Ramsay Bolton. Sansa is stunned and confused. Bran, you can just say “I learned how to see past, present, and future from an ancient wizard, who passed me his mantle of responsibility before he died, and that’s why I can’t be Lord of Winterfell anymore.” But the weight of his new role has completely flattened Bran’s personality, as if he’s unable to relate to anyone unless he’s hooked up to He’s seen some stuff, man.


In Oldtown, Archmaester Marwyn finds Jorah greyscale-free thanks to Sam’s clandestine treatment. Of course, Marwyn doesn’t buy Jorah’s “eating right and exercising” explanation, and admonishes Sam that he’s only not getting expelled because he did such a good job. What’s Sam’s secret skill? Reading and following directions, apparently.

Back on Dragonstone, Tyrion outlines a plan to take Casterly Rock by infiltrating the very sewers his father once commanded him to build as punishment. Naturally, Tyrion included a secret backdoor, which he used to admit women Tywin didn’t approve of. Now, the Tunnel of Love will be the keystone of an Unsullied victory over the Lannister garrison, allowing Grey Worm’s forces to slip into the lion’s den and unlock the front door.

It all goes as planned, and the Targaryen victory at Casterly Rock is swift, decisive...and meaningless, as Grey Worm realizes that the bulk of the Lannister army has already evacuated. Worse, the Greyjoy fleet has made it all the way around the continent in between episodes, and burns their ships, leaving Grey Worm’s army stranded.


Where did Jaime lead the Lannister forces under his command? To Highgarden, where they deal a final blow to House Tyrell in a battle so swift and one-sided we don’t even get to see it. As the lions pick through massacred Tyrell soldiers, Jaime makes his way to Olenna’s chambers for one last reckoning with the Tyrell matriarch.

Her line extinguished, her forces defeated, Olenna Tyrell is ready to die—though not before inflicting a final blow of her own. Jaime presents Olenna with a poisoned cup of wine as a merciful alternative to public execution. Ever pragmatic, she downs it without missing a beat. But as the poison hits her bloodstream, the Queen of Thorns inflicts one last prick: she was the one who poisoned Joffrey at his wedding feast. “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.” Queen’s Justice, indeed.


Only four episodes left! What other long-held secrets will be revealed? To find out, tune in to Game of Thrones, Sunday nights only on HBO.