The third episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 was packed with action, although not exactly the high-stakes battle scene kind (although there was some of that, too). It was more about powerful characters coming face to face and filling each other in on what we — the audience — have known for quite some time. If you're anxious to avoid spoilers, now's your cue to make like a dragon and fly away.
Jon Snow met Daenerys and told her about the Night King, Cersei doled out an ingenious and vile punishment for Ellaria Sand, and Olenna finally confessed to Jaime about murdering Joffrey. Aside from these more obvious developments, there were a lot of subtle callbacks, camera work and Easter Eggs making this episode possibly the best of the season so far. Here are all the things you might have missed in Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3, "The Queen's Justice."
If you haven't seen the Easter Eggs from Season 7 Episode 2 "Stormborn," you can check them out in the video below, or read the full article here.
1. This Is The First Time We've Ever Seen Jon Snow Without That Blue-Gray Northern Filter
"The Queen's Justice" wasted no time in jumping into the important stuff, kicking off with the long-awaited meeting between ice and fire. This is the first time Jon Snow has ever been South, and nothing emphasizes a Stark/Snow more out of his icy element than the absence of the perpetual blue-gray filter on his handsome face. This is the first time (other than in the trailers) where we've seen it before.
2. That Walking Dead Easter Egg
Whether it was intentional or not (it had to be intentional, right???) creators Benioff and Weiss managed to slip an extremely topical pop culture Easter Egg into the dialogue this episode. Frankly, it was about time someone drew attention to the fact that two of the most popular shows on TV right now — Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead — both have swarms of the walking dead. It was Tyrion that called them by name:
"Those... walking dead men."
3. Like Father, Like Son
While last week we saw Jon Snow pulling some classic Ned Stark moves against Littlefinger, this week we saw some far more subtle throwbacks to things we know about his father, Rhaegar. When Davos tells Daenerys that the Northerners and Wildlings support Jon Snow because they believe in him, Redditor GifHorsesMouth pointed out how it echoed what Jorah told Daenerys about her older brother back in Season 2:
Redditor Killabrewster found another poetic parallel between Barristan Selmy's description of Rhaegar Targaryen's simultaneous talent and disdain for killing, and Jon Snow saying the same about himself:
4. Will Bran Lead To Littlefinger's Downfall?
Now that Jon Snow is busy socializing with the Dragon Queen, Petyr Baelish has as much alone time with Sansa as he wants. In our very first shot of her at Winterfell, he is leaning slimily on a railing right in the camera shot. After she makes the rounds in the yards of Winterfell, he decides to offer her some unsolicited advice:
"Don't fight in the North, or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always. In your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything that happens will be something that you've seen before."
Immediately after he utters these words, Bran Stark the Three Eyed Raven rocks up at the gates of Winterfell. After his oddly zen greeting, he tells Sansa about his newfound gifts:
"I'm the Three-Eyed Raven... It's difficult to explain... It means I can see everything, everything that's ever happened to anyone. Everything that's happening now. It's all pieces now. Fragments. I need to learn to see better. When the long night comes again, I need to be ready."
Unlike the scheming Littlefinger, Bran can actually see everything — including the fact that Littlefinger is the one who betrayed Ned Stark back in Season 1. While Bran is pretty despondent and shell-shocked from all that he's been through and seems to have no interest in the fact that he's Ned Stark's last surviving son, once he gets his gift more under control, he might see the truth about Littlefinger's involvement in Ned's betrayal and want to see him brought to justice.
5. Foreshadowing Of Fallen Dragons...
Every time a character insists strongly that something is one way and couldn't possibly be different, a big red flag should shoot up out of the TV screen. Daenerys, you well-meaning amateur. You cannot just go flying your dragons wherever you think there might be trouble. Like Tyrion and Missandei pointed out, you are WAY too important to go marching into battle, and it only takes one arrow to kill you — or one really big arrow to kill a dragon(s). Of course, the fact that Dany was insisting so strongly that she should ride her dragons out to burn Euron's fleet seems like a dragon-sized hint that she's going to do almost exactly that sometime in the future.
Interestingly, Tyrion made a point of asking whether Daenerys had to be the one to ride with the dragons herself. While we haven't seen anyone else hop on Rhaegal or Viserion, fan theorists have long debated that possibility. There is one other Targaryen on Dragonstone now, who just so happens to be a master warrior. Even Tyrion has hinted that he'd love a dragon of his own. Will we see another dragon rider before the season is out? Will a major character wind up riding a dragon to their death?
6. 'I Am The Last Targaryen'
Ohhhhhh, the irony. Daenerys tells Jon that she is the last of her line, when in reality, she is talking to the son of her older brother. HBO released an official infographic at the end of Season 6 proclaiming the Bastard of Winterfell as the definitive son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. If only he knew as much as we did...
7. The Rains Of Castamere, Reprise
Jaime Lannister split his armies, allowing Team Tyrion/Dany a hollow victory at Casterly Rock but securing the true prize for himself and Cersei: Highgarden. As he informs Lady Olenna that the end has arrived, he explains he followed a strategy we've seen before: It was the same tactic Robb Stark used on him at the Whispering Wood.
Did you recognize the woeful tune that played while Jaime marched through the captured Highgarden? It was "The Rains of Castamere," the tune that gave the name to the episode containing the infamous Red Wedding. The Westerosi folk song tells the story of the destruction of House Reyne, which had been a vassal of House Lannister, right up until they decided to rebel against their liege lord Tytos Lannister. Tywin Lannister crushed the rebellion, decimating House Reyne forever.
The lyrics read:
And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that's all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that Lord of Castamere,
But now the rains weep o'er his hall,
with no one there to hear.
Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall,
and not a soul to hear.
Like the House Reyne before them, all the Tyrells are dead and gone now, courtesy of the Lannisters. But like the Stark's before them, Team Targaryen has suffered a major loss, but are hardly all gone. As Arya just enacted the Stark revenge for the Red Wedding at the beginning of the season, does the parallel between these situations mean that Daenerys will be dishing out her own fiery revenge sometime soon?
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the promo for next week's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Spoils of War."