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GoT S7E3 review | The Queen’s Justice just is

Justice is a tricky word in the Game of Thrones world. It is a two-way street, meaning both wronged parties are equally deserving of comeuppance. An eye, for an eye. Which, yes, isn’t really true justice as much as jaundice — a diseased way of approaching fairness and equity, right? But that’s why you can’t afford to view the series with a jaundiced eye. Although, if you still haven’t learnt that GRRM’s whole point may be to cauterise prejudice (or bias) in us through sheer bestiality, you may be watching the wrong show. And if you want to read something without spoilers, you’ve clicked on the wrong review (Shout out to the beardless Tyrion Lannister from Season 4).

The Queen’s Justice is such a perfect title. A monarch is a judge, jury and executioner unto his or her own. There’s no doubt ‘Queen’ Cersei (no, the quotes aren’t a typo, though they’d be more fitting for Daenerys Targaryen, who is after all the “rightful” Queen of the yada yada) suffered intensely as she watched Jamie’s ship glumly drift into King’s Landing without her daughter Myrcella. But (or is it ‘and’?) she has no qualms about meting out the same strand of misery to Ellaria Sand and Tyene in a protracted scene punctuated by Indira Verma’s gagging screams and Lena Headey’s sheer awesomeness (now we know why the poison’s called ‘The Long Farewell’). What enables her to contort the idea of fairness so brutally? Glad you asked. Power. Of the unchecked sort, that makes one “a monster”.

 

She has no more need for propriety anymore, now she’s ‘Queen’. No need to fear society and its perception of her as incestuous, which leaves poor Jaime looking like a resigned Milquetoast, which is all he’s been capable of looking like lately. Not like any of his better half’s retributive power trickles down to him as Euron mouths some eminently perverse taunts to his face. Total emasculation. Either Jaime’s a saint or he’s just weak. I mean, who goes out of their way to show mercy to a vanquished enemy, only to have her to taunt him with the dying admission that she killed his son, and then simply turns and walks away stoically without so much as a knee-jerk lashing out? Methinks his amputated hand had carried all his spunk. And all that cumbrous Lannister armour comes across as a perfect symbol for the weight of morality he seems to be lugging. I also love how Cersei’s puffy gown makes her look like a child just looking to have her way. And how Dany takes immediate umbrage at being indirectly called a child by Jon Snow. The show’s self-referencing game is on point.

Kudos to the show for finally calling out Jon Snow’s dumb brooding face, courtesy some stinging satire from Tyrion, who seems to be rubbing off on his ‘Queen’ Dany too (“Are you trying to present your own statements as ancient wisdom?” Boom). And can Jon Snow please pay actual attention to the logistics of war rather than simply looking torn and emo all the time? I mean, look at Sansa, she’s been regent Queen in the North for barely as long as it took Jon to ship all the way down to Dragonstone, and she’s already doing the walk and talk to deliver very specific critical instructions to her aides. Command does suit her, as Petyr Baelish says fawningly before launching into another of his life lessons in the middle of the courtyard. I am willing to forgive the showrunners all this cryptic psychobabble so long as they are foreshadowing something significant (especially so with the Varys-Melisandre ramble).

In this case, it was not-so-fore-shadowing the imminent arrival of Brandon Stark, trueborn heir to Winterfell. But of course, he will be encumbered by no such mundane titles that distract him from perceiving multi-dimensionally and speaking in tongues as the Three-Eyed Raven.

Samwell Tarly and Jorah Mormont are best buddies now, even if stilted ones, after the life-saving efforts the former took, a great personal risk to himself, to make the latter battle-ready for when Winter comes. At what point does a man get too old to fight in wars, though, even if he does look like Lawrence of Arabia? But of course, it doesn’t matter how physically frail you are when you can fight all your battles in your mind.

Cue Tyrion’s elaborate narration, from across the continent, of the Unsullied’s triumph at Casterly Rock. He really does fight all his battles in the mind, as Littlefinger recommends. But apparently, not as effectively as desired. Here’s the thing, right. As former Master of Coin who has handled the royal finances (read Lannister donations from the proceeds of the Casterly Rock mines), why would Tyrion have so horribly miscalculated the significance of his ancestral holdout? It doesn’t really look to be boding well for the Dany camp. Well-laid plans going awry, allies going out of commission, prize Dragons effectively useless as military weapons because of her morality, and now she has to deal with all this stupid mumbo-jumbo about Whitewalkers and Rumpelstiltskins. But make no mistake, as the ever hilarious man with Fleabottom accent Davos Seaworth has said repeatedly, Winter is coming, and it’s coming for us all.

And this is why Cersei is now blazing the scoreboard right now. She understands reality and its players rather well, it turns out, for all her Patriarchal father’s disdain for her intelligence. She knows how to be a politician when she appeals to her subjects — the doltish masses who are good only for spitting and throwing garbage en masse at beaten prisoners. She knows how to be firm with an insistent suitor, never mind how big a bouquet of roses he has won for her. She has the economic and diplomatic savvy to — not just hold her own, but — clinch a deal with a Braavos bank official. And way to kill, like, five birds with one stone with the Highgarden move, Cersei. You deserve all the justice you crave, you crazed Queen.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:54:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/got-s7e3-review-the-queens-justice-just-is/article19403600.ece

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