Previously on GoT: Samwell Tarly played “let’s flay the Northerner” with Jorah Mormont. Jon Snow decided to RSVP to Tyrion Lannister‘s invite and go to Dragonstone. Bran Stark found out about everything that has ever happened, and yes, that includes the last time you had sex in a public bathroom, you nasty ho. And Euron Greyjoy‘s Iron Fleet wrecked Yara Greyjoy‘s nicer, sexier Iron Fleet like a child gleefully crushing his little sister’s lesbian sand castles.
We open on Jon Snow and Ser Davos Seaworth arriving at Dragonstone because clearly, Westeros has invented teleportation since season 3.
Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister are like “whaddup, bro,” before Davos meets Tyrion and they make things super awkward by talking about how they were on opposite sides in the last war. Missandei takes over in full tour guide mode.
The Stark men’s weapons and boat are taken away, which makes Jon and Davos very uncomfortable, but that’s life. Davos tries to make conversation with Missandei, which goes about as well as an old man chatting up a young stranger usually does.
Jon and Tyrion are having a much more successful conversation about their achievements and tribulations since their last encounter when Drogon, the big scary black dragon that always gets all the screen time, flies right by them.
Way, way up the cliff, Melisandre is interrupted in her moody observation of the procession by an unusually sassy Varys. The ex-Master of Whisperers is convinced that the Red Woman has some nefarious plans for at least one of the monarchs present today.
But poor Mellie hasn’t forgiven herself for sacrificing little Shireen Baratheon for nothing, and isn’t interested in sticking around long enough for more drama to be had because of her. She’s leaving for Volantis right away.
Varys is feeling extra frisky today and goes so far as to imply someone might arrange for Melisandre’s unfortunate demise if she were to come back to Westeros. But Mellie isn’t afraid – she already knows she’s destined to die in Westeros, and hey, bee tee dubs: so is Varys, apparently.
This is it, y’all – the moment we’ve been awaiting for six long years: Jon Snow is meeting Daenerys Targaryen. Missandei drops her friendly tour guide attitude and goes into full-on intimidation voice.
Davos Seaworth realizes he has to introduce his king too and is all, “oh this is Jon. He’s cool and stuff.”
Jon and Daenerys are pleasant with each other for 0.2 seconds, and then shit goes south. Jon Snow refuses to bend the knee, Dany refuses to acknowledge him as King in the North, Jon tells her her quest for the Iron Throne is pointless…
Jon Snow brings up the Night King and the army of the dead and now Daenerys thinks he’s both insolent and crazy. Talk about a good first impression. She goes on this inspiring (albeit very oddly timed) hyper-feminist speech about overcoming rape and hopelessness and shitty odds through faith in herself and how she deserves to rule over the Seven Kingdoms because of that.
Davos is like “Jon Snow is a total badass too he even got stabbed in the ummmm never mind that’s confidential” but clearly all this posturing isn’t helping either side. It sounds like shit’s about to hit the fan but then Varys saves the day by interrupting the conversation with news of the Greyjoy attack.
Speaking of, Theon Greyjoy has been fished out of the water by one of the few good Greyjoy ships left. No one here really cares about him or likes him, clearly, and saying he tried to save Yara (except not really) doesn’t help his case.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, the cooler Greyjoy sibling is unfortunately being dragged through the streets of King’s Landing by her uncle Euron, along with Ellaria Sand and her daughter Tyene.
The angry, brainless mob throws food and things at the girls while praising Euron. I wonder if they even know who any of these people are.
Euron reaches the Red Keep and dumps Ellaria and Tyene in front of the throne for Cersei Lannister to do with as she pleases. Cersei is satisfied.
Cersei’s all “you’ll get what we want when we win the war, so, probably never, you dumbass,” but Euron isn’t giving up just yet. In fact, while everyone is applauding him, he quietly asks Jaime for some very crude pointers on sexy times with Cersei.
Cersei takes Ellaria and Tyene down to the dungeons, where she has them chained up facing each other. She talks about death and revenge and anger for a bit, and I’m worried she’s going stab Tyene in the face or have the Mountain squish her skull too. But nope, the Evil Queen has a much more poetic end in mind for the Sand Snake.
Cersei was wearing Ellaria’s own poisonous lipstick concoction, the one she used to kill Cersei’s daughter Myrcella. Tyene is doomed to die just like Myrcella did, except Ellaria will be kept alive to watch her die and then decompose.
Throughout all this, Cersei is just the calmest person ever, like we’re at a spa and she’s trying to get Ellaria to open up her chakras.
Y’all, I’m cracking jokes and stuff, but this is the saddest, most heartbreaking scene so far this season. And Indira Varma knocks it completely out of the park with her wordless acting. Haunting stuff.
Cersei comes back upstairs after leaving her enemies to die, finds Jaime polishing his gold hand, and immediately starts polishing something else of his. I wonder who does the sucking sound effects in TV shows.
The next morning, there’s a knock on their bedroom door. Rather than hide their relationship like she used to do, Cersei puts on a robe and just opens up. Not a single fuck is given.
Cersei’s page informs her that a visitor is here from Braavos. Also, notice how the girl kinda looks like Cersei. I guess black clothes and pixie cuts are the latest King’s Landing fashion now because of her.
Tycho Nestoris, the envoy from the Iron Bank of Braavos, starts the meeting with Cersei by slyly congratulating her on killing everybody who stood between her and the throne. She’s all, “the Sept of Baelor explosion was totes an accident.”
Tycho plays around Cersei’s give-no-fucks attitude with expert, if a little gross, diplomatic banter. Cersei knows what he wants to hear, though, so she talks shit about Daenerys’s chain-breaking in Essos and reminds him that “Lannisters always pay their debts.” Which, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m starting to think that phrase refers exclusively to murder now, never money.
Cersei convinces Tycho to hang out as a guest at court for a couple weeks, after which she promises he’ll have his money. Tycho is positively aroused.
Back on Dragonstone, Tyrion complains to Jon Snow that he makes it difficult for Tyrion to look cool brooding over failure. Brooding is what Jon Snow does best, after all.
The two old buddies talk about how impossible it is for Jon to convince people of the Night King’s threat to humanity. The King in the North is feeling like a failure, but Tyrion makes him see that Jon is requesting the wrong things – and maybe he should aim a little lower, to begin with.
So Jon reprioritizes and has Tyrion ask Dany for access to the dragonglass supply on the island. Of course, the Khaleesi is a little bit busy right now raging over the loss of the Greyjoys and the Sands. But still, she listens to his confused explanation of dragonglass properties.
Tyrion tries to convince Daenerys to take steps towards a potential alliance with Jon, despite their differences. She remembers how Davos said something about Jon taking a knife to the heart and is very intrigued.
Dany and Jon meet again in less formal circumstances and try to look at things they have in common. “You lost two brothers as well?” she asks.
Even though they still don’t agree on pretty much anything, Dany listens to Tyrion and gives Jon what he wants – the dragonglass, plus her help handling it.
Up in Winterfell, Sansa Stark is consulting with Yohn Royce and Maester Wolkan about the stronghold’s condition while Littlefinger silently follows them around, being his usual creeper self.
Sansa’s all “bring food supplies over from the bannermen’s houses so we can all have food when everyone comes to Winterfell” and also “equip these suits of armor with leather for cold resistance” and just generally being a total HBIC.
With Royce and Wolkan off to attend to her commands, Petyr finally opens his mouth and praises Sansa for her HBIC-ness. He gives her some advice – fairly useless stuff at first, but then he starts being all weird and mind-gamey.
Interrupting this weird-ass, one-sided conversation is an unexpected arrival at Winterfell. It’s Bran! Ugh. I thought we were gonna get a Sansa-Arya reunion. Sansa gets understandably emotional and hugs Bran and this would be the sweetest scene ever if Bran wasn’t being a total soulless robot right now.
The two of them talk beneath the weirwood tree like Catelyn and Ned used to, but the conversation is just highly dysfunctional. Sansa tells Bran he should be the new Lord of Winterfell now, as he’s the last male Stark alive. Bran is all “can’t, Three-Eyed Raven, I see everything.” Then he adds a layer of creepy to his four layers of weird and tells her how he saw her on her wedding night, getting raped by Ramsay Bolton.
In Oldtown, Archmaester Ebrose is examining the “miraculously” healed Jorah Mormont. Ever the good man, Jorah doesn’t give Samwell’s involvement away, even though it’s fairly obvious.
Jorah plans to return to his queen, most likely to be rejected a fourteenth time. He thanks Sam for saving his life. And just in case Sam hadn’t been awesome enough already this season, he holds out his bare hand to shake Jorah’s – the first human contact Jorah’s had in weeks, maybe months.
Ebrose grills Samwell about his secretive actions, then praises him for succeeding in his endeavor. Rather than punish him or reward him, the Archmaester just immediately moves on and sticks Sam on another nasty task. Sam should just consider himself lucky he’s not being expelled, Ebrose warns.
Daenerys wants Euron Greyjoy’s fleet taken down – and not by other ships. By her dragons. But Varys, Missandei, and Tyrion all disapprove, saying she shouldn’t risk her own life for this. In the meantime, however, Grey Worm and the Unsullied are finally reaching Casterly Rock. Tyrion narrates the tactical details as the battle rages on-screen, a nice touch.
Tyrion reveals that he had a secret passageway leading into the castle built into its sewers, for prostitution-related purposes. That’s the passageway Grey Worm and a few of his men use to infiltrate the walls and open the front doors from the inside.
Sadly, there’s a catch. Contrary to what Tyrion expected, most of the Lannister army wasn’t here at all. There were only a small number of soldiers at Casterly Rock. And as Grey Worm realizes this may have been Cersei’s doing, his fleet gets attacked by… you guessed it… the magical boat teleporter, Euron Greyjoy.
So where’s the Lannister army? With Jaime, Randyll and Dickon Tarly, and Bronn (hey Bronn!). At Highgarden.
With Randyll Tarly and most of the Tyrell bannermen on Jaime’s side instead of Olenna Tyrell‘s, the battle is done within minutes, probably. Jaime walks into Olenna’s room, where she already knows it’s over and is okay with it.
Cersei planned for Casterly Rock to fall, at least temporarily, and by taking down the Unsullied ships, she’s forcing Grey Worm and his army to sooner or later abandon the empty castle and expose themselves to the Lannister forces. And in the meantime, she’s also eliminating the Tyrells once and for all and will be stealing their massive wealth to repay Tycho Nestoris with. It’s all falling into place for Cersei and her brother/lover. Or as I should say, everything’s coming up roses. Get it?
Jaime talked Cersei out of the many brutal, humiliating deaths she concocted for Olenna and has instead settled for a simple dose of poison in a glass of wine, which the Queen of Thorns accepts and downs in one gulp.
Once the poison has been had and Olenna’s fate is sealed, she drops the mother of all bombs on Jaime like she’s talking about the weather. “BTW, remember your son Joffrey? The one who died horribly from poison at his own wedding?”
Jaime is just speechless as she tells him she was the one behind it all along – oh, and that he should probably let Cersei know.
With that, Jaime strides out and leaves the badass, always-classy, last-word-having Olenna to die peacefully on her own. R.I.P. the Tyrells.
That’s it for episode 3, folks. Some ups, some downs – mostly downs really, but it’s Game of Thrones, what do you expect?
R.I.P.: Olenna Tyrell. Tyene Sand, probably. Ellaria Sand, maybe? Lots of Unsullied. Lots of Lannister soldiers. Lots of Tyrell soldiers. Just soldiers in general.
MVP: Gotta hand it to Cersei Lannister for killing, like, seven birds with one stone and completely fucking the good guys over. Grey Worm and Tyrion get honorable mentions, and so does Olenna even as she’s dying.
Notably absent: Arya Stark. The Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners. Tormund Giantsbane. Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne. Gilly. Ghost. Dolorous Edd. And fucking Gendry.
Come back next week for more recappy gold!