Game of Thrones
“The Queen’s Justice”
July 30, 2017
In this very chatty episode, Jon and Daenerys finally meet and build up a lot of sexual tension and NEED TO JUST KISS ALREADY; Bran comes home and like every teenager that spends some time away from his family for the first time, thinks he knows everything; Sea Pacey becomes our new favorite character; everyone just flies around the entire continent like they’ve got Elon Musk’s hyperloop installed on Westeros and the writers failed to mention it to us; and The Queen of Thorns is given the greatest death scene that officially ends all death scenes. There should be no more death scenes for anyone ever. EAT IT, BITCHES.
Well, look who has popped over to Dragonstone for a visit, but King in the North himself, Jon Stone, and his buddy Davos of Onions. Jon is greeted on shore by Tyrion, Missandei and a whole mess of Dothraki, lest anyone get any ideas. Tyrion and Jon are like, “Sup bro?” and Jon introduces Davos to the man responsible for his son’s death, not that Davos seems to hold much of a grudge. (Davos’ son was on the show, right? and was killed at the Battle of Blackwater? ~checks internet~ Yep! R.I.P. Matthos, even if your father seems to have largely forgotten about you.)
Missandei cheerfully suggests that they hand over their weapons, which they do, before heading up the long walk towards the castle. On the walk up, Tyrion asks Jon about his erstwhile bride, Sansa, and assures Jon that their marriage was never consummated. Jon is all, “EW, DUDE, TMI.”
Jon notes that his bannermen think he’s crazy for coming to Dragonstone, and Tyrion sort of agrees: bad things happen to Starks when they travel South. Jon Snow reminds Tyrion that he’s not a Stark, just as a dragon swoops down to emphasize the point.
Melisandre and Varys watch as this group makes their way up that endless path to the castle, and Varys wonders why she’s not going down to say hey to her Northern buddies. But Melisandre, knowing full well that Davos really, really, really wants to murder her dead for that whole burning a child alive thing, is like, “Eh, my work is done here, I’ve brought fire and ice together. I’m going to chill in Volantis for a while.” When Varys advises her to not return to Westeros, Melisandre’s like, “Oh no, honey, I’m coming back to die here … JUST LIKE YOU WILL, BALDY.”
In the throne room, Missandei introduces her queen with all of her many titles, Daenerys Stormborn, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Wearer of Braids, Khalessi of the Great Grass Sea, Huffer of a Thousands Pouts, the Unburnt of the House Targaryen.
And Davos introduces Jon: Jon Snow, King in the North. He’s not really into honorifics.
When Daenerys thanks “her lord” for traveling so far, Davos is like, “Ah nah, don’t get it twisted, Jon is KING in the North, not just some mere lord.” But Daenerys has her copy of A World of Ice and Fire open and reminds everyone that the last King in the North was Torrhen Stark who swore an oath in perpetuity to the Targaryens.
So, you know:
Jon is like, I mean, no? Your dad burned my grandfather and uncle alive, so, thanks, but no thanks?
Daenerys admits that her father was a not great guy and asks Jon’s forgiveness for his crimes, asking that the daughter not be judged for the crimes of her father — which, considering how Jon just forgave a bunch of asshole Umbers and Karstarks against Sansa’s advice …
Jon is like, “UGH, WHATEVER. LOOK, I AM NOT BEHOLDEN TO MY ANCESTORS’ DUMB VOWS, AND ANYWAY, I’M NOT EVEN HERE ABOUT ANY OF THAT OR YOUR SILLY WAR WITH CERSEI. THERE ARE MOTHERFUCKING ICE ZOMBIES TRYING TO COME OVER THE MOTHERFUCKING WALL, AND I HIGHLY SUGGEST WE REDIRECT ALL OF OUR MOTHERFUCKING ATTENTIONS TO PREVENTING THAT FROM MOTHERFUCKING HAPPENING.”
But Daenerys is not hearing it, going on a long monologue about how Jon’s daddy’s best friend tried to have her assassinated in her crib, she’s been sold like a brood mare, she’s been raped and betrayed and defiled and yet, she’s still standing. You know why? BECAUSE SHE’S DAENERYS GODDAMN TARGARYEN, BITCH. She brought dragons back into the world, and Dothraki across the sea, and she is going to take back the Seven Kingdoms, which, if you do the math, includes the North, so Jon can take his silly little ghost stories and STUFF IT.
Davos is like, “Alright, everyone breathe. Look, I know ‘ice zombies’ sounds a bit … nutty. But just as destiny brought Daenerys back to Westeros, it also made Jon King in the North, the first man to make the Wildlings and Northerners allies. He didn’t become King in the North through birthright, but because the badasses in the North trust and believe in him. Jon has fought ice zombies himself, he’s given his life for his people, going so far as taking a knife in the heart …”
“AND ANYWAY, the point is, y’all have to work together on this ice zombie thing because if you don’t, errrrybody gonna die, and whomever is on the Iron Throne will be a moot point.”
Daenerys is like, “Alright, well, if it’s no biggie, then go ahead and kneel.” But Jon is like, “THERE’S NO TIME. And, also, too, my bannermen would be so angry at me if I did that, considering how hard my dad worked to overthrow your dad. So, no.”
And that’s when Daenerys sends Jon and Davos to their
cells rooms, while Jon wonders if he’s a prisoner. “Not yet,” Daenerys threatens.
Once they’ve been hurried away, Varys delivers to his queen some not great news about her fleet, namely that all of her new besties are either dead or captured — with one notable exception, Theonreek, who was rescued by some very unimpressed Ironborn.
Later, Jon has a good pout on a cliff which is where Tyrion finds him and commends him on his brooding. Jon huffs that he wants his ship back, he has White Walkers to go fight. But Tyrion is like, “Help me help you. If you can help me figure out what to do about my destroyed fleet, I will help you figure out what to do about these walking dead men.'”
Jon supposes that Tyrion doesn’t believe in the White Walkers, but Tyrion assures him that he trusts Jon. If Jon says there are ice zombies, there are probably ice zombies. That said, Jon can’t just expect Daenerys to pause her fight for the Iron Throne to go fight a war in the complete opposite direction against an enemy that she doesn’t even think is real just because some guy with dreamy curls and a bunch of furs whom she just met told her she should. That’s unreasonable. But … if there is some reasonable way in which Tyrion could help Jon with his cause …
Which is how Tyrion comes to ask Daenerys to allow Jon to mine the dragonglass on the island — give him something by giving him nothing, and maybe he’ll become a productive ally. Daenerys considers Tyrion’s proposal while wondering out loud about that whole “stabbed in the heart” thing. Tyrion poo-poos it as a flight of fancy, but I guess Daneyers will find out for herself once those furs come off and she sees a scar or twenty.
Jon meets Daenerys out on the castle wall, admiring her dragons whom, she explains, she named for her two dead brothers — hey, Jon has two dead brothers, too! Neat! Daenerys then admits that maybe it’s time everyone reconsider what they think they know: if dragons are a thing, maybe ice zombies are a thing, too. That said, she’s not going to stop fighting Cersei — or stop wanting the North back — but Jon can mine the dragonglass, and she’ll offer him any help he needs to get that job done.
Sea Pacey arrives back in King’s Landing with his gift for Cersei: Yara, Ellaria and that other Sand Snake, Whassherface. Sea Pacey rides right into Cersei’s throne room with his prisoners and is like, “HEY, GURL, HEY! Look what Sea Pacey brought you! Now how’s about we get you out of that throne dress and into Sea Pacey’s bed…” Cersei, who is amused because SEA PACEY!, puts him off until after the war is won.
Jaime, who is less amused by Sea Pacey, threatens to have Sea Pacey’s head on a spike soon enough. In response, Sea Pacey makes himself everyone’s new favorite character by asking Jaime for tips on sexing Jaime’s sister. Does she like a finger up the bum?
Down in the dungeons, Cersei, rocking some very 1980s hot pink lipstick, visits with her new playthings, Ellaria and Whassherface. There, Cersei soliloquies about how shitty it was for Ellaria to kill Myrcella, and how she thought and thought and thought about the best way to get revenge on Ellaria, and after exploring many possibilities, she landed on killing Ellaria’s only daughter the same way Ellaria killed hers. And with that, Cersei plants one Revlon’s “Stormy Pink” kiss right on Whassherface’s face. So now the plan is Ellaria is going to sit there and watch Whassferface die and rot and turn to dust for all of time. OK, BYE, THIS HAS BEEN FUN!
That bit of payback taken care of, Cersei, all hot and bothered, marches right upstairs and puts that poisoned mouth right around Jaime’s golden linus. (Yes, I know Qyburn gave Cersei a lipstick antidote right after she kissed Whassherface, but if I were Jaime, I might want to know where that mouth had been recently.)
The next morning, Cersei’s faithful-to-the-point-of-also-getting-a-Joffrey-haircut handmaiden, Bernadette alerts Cersei to the fact that she has a visitor from Braavos, spying Jaime in the bed as she does so, to Jaime’s chagrin. But Cersei don’t care.
Cersei then visits with Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank, who wants his dolla dolla bills back, please and thank you. After reminding Tycho that Daenerys ruined the Iron Bank’s slave business, Cersei promises to pay back the Lannisters’ considerable debt in two weeks, SO JUST CHILL ALREADY, GAH.
Up in Winterfell, our Queen in the North is being queenly and making plans for the very real possibility that Winterfell might have to shelter the entire North. Meanwhile, Littlefinger is following her around, littlefingering, reminding her to not ignore the real threat that Cersei poses. And Sansa’s like, “I shouldn’t underestimate the woman who killed most of my family? Cool. Got it.” Littlefinger then advises her to consider every enemy a possible friend, and every friend a potential enemy, and suggests that she try to anticipate every possible scenario to avoid being surprised: “Every possible series of events is happening all at once … everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before.”
Hearing his cue, Bran arrives.
But then Bran goes and makes what should be a happy Stark reunion all weird. Out in the godswood, Bran explains to Sansa that he won’t be taking over the job of Lord of Winterfell because he’s the Three-Eyed Crow now. Sansa’s all, “The fuck? You’re a bird?” And Bran is like, “It’s hard to explain. I can see everything that is happening and everything that has happened but it’s all in pieces and when the Long Night comes I need to be ready. To that end I’m going to hang out here and talk to trees and shit. By the way, you looked really pretty the night you were brutally raped by a psychopath.”
Great to have you back, buddy!
In the Citadel, Maester Autopsy examines Jorah, gives him a clean bill of health and declares him free to go, huzzah! After Maester Autopsy leaves the room, Jorah is all, “Welp, I’m off to go die for Daenerys!” He and Sam then have a moment, and Sam shakes Jorah’s hand, which is very touching.
Later, in Maester Autopsy’s chambers, Sam admits that he cured Jorah against Maester Autopsy’s express orders not to. But Maester Autopsy is like, “I mean, I want to be mad, but you did save a guy’s life, so …” before putting Sam to work on a thankless task that involves manuscripts and biting paper mites.
As for Daenerys and Tyrion’s big plan to sack Casterly Rock, it goes pretty well … at first. Tyrion has the Unsullied sneak in through an entrance he built into the castle’s sewer system so as to sneak in whores — it’s a ho-door, if you will.
And it worked! The only problem is, once inside, the Unsullied finds very few Lannisters waiting for them, and once they are distracted fighting the few that are there, Sea Pacey and his fleet set fire to the Unsullied boats, trapping them at Casterly Rock.
Meanwhile, Jaime, Bronn and those Tarly assholes have taken the majority of the Lannister forces and marched on Highgarden.
The Queen of Thorns knows it’s over and decides to have some REAL TALK with Jaime: calling Joffrey a “real cunt,” demanding that Jaime just admit he is in love with Cersei, and calling his sister a disease that she regrets helping spread.
Jaime is like, “Cool, are we done here?” before pouring a vial of poison into her wine. The Queen of Thorns asks if there will be any pain, and Jaime assures her that he made sure there will not. “Great,” says the Queen of Thorns while gulping it down, “because I’d hate to die like your cunty son, scratching at his throat, turning all purple. I’d never seen the poison work before, and it was HORRIBLE. By the way, be sure to tell Cersei … I want her to know it was me.”
AND THAT’S HOW YOU DO A DEATH SCENE.
So we’re moving pretty quickly towards the end here, what with Cersei and Daenerys’ war underway, and Dany not faring so well so far. Not that I or anyone should be worried about Daenerys in this war, she’s going to be fine once she embraces the advice the Queen of Thorns gave her: to put aside clever men with their clever plans and embrace her dragoness. Of course, it would have been a lot easier for Daenerys had she just ridden to King’s Landing on Drogon and took the throne, but it would be harder to stretch seven episodes out of that.
But also, Daenerys’ failures might be something more: it might be the fulfillment of prophecy. Some clever person out on the internets realized that the Azor Ahai fable seems to line up with Daenerys’ recent military failures. From A Clash of Kings, this is the story of Azor Ahai forging his great sword, Lightbringer:
It was a time when darkness lay heavy on the world. To oppose it, the hero must have a hero’s blade, oh, like none that had ever been. And so for thirty days and thirty nights Azor Ahai labored sleepless in the temple, forging a blade in the sacred fires. Heat and hammer and fold, heat and hammer and fold, oh, yes, until the sword was done. Yet when he plunged it into water to temper the steel it burst asunder.
Being a hero, it was not for him to shrug and go in search of excellent grapes such as these, so again he began. The second time it took him fifty days and fifty nights, and this sword seemed even finer than the first. Azor Ahai captured a lion, to temper the blade by plunging it through the beast’s red heart, but once more the steel shattered and split. Great was his woe and great was his sorrow then, for he knew what he must do.
A hundred days and a hundred nights he labored on the third blade, and as it glowed white-hot in the sacred fires, he summoned his wife. ‘Nissa Nissa,’ he said to her, for that was her name, ‘bare your breast, and know that I love you best of all that is in this world.’ She did this thing, why I cannot say, and Azor Ahai thrust the smoking sword through her living heart. It is said that her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack across the face of the moon, but her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. Such is the tale of the forging of Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.
He plunges his weapon into the water, and it fails.
He plunges it into the heart of a lion, and it fails.
All that’s left is to plunge his weapon into the person he loves most in this world, his wife, who willingly bares her breast. She sacrifices herself and in death cries out in agony and ecstasy.
Now, Daenerys doesn’t have anyone she is in love with (at the moment), but there is someone who loves her and declared his intention to die for her in this episode and he just got his discharge papers from the Citadel. If Jorah were to die in some grandiose act of self-sacrifice on behalf of Daenerys, it might serve as the final forging of Daenerys’ great weapon, and it would explain why Jorah has been kept around for this long, despite not having much of a role otherwise.
Danerys’ great weapon, of course, is the dragons. If the events play out as written above, it will be just one more piece of the Azor Ahai legend revealing itself through Daenerys. Interestingly enough, the birth of the dragons themselves plays on a version of the Prince Who Was Promised legend, but it is a reversal of sorts: instead of water, lion, wife, we had fire, lamb and husband:
Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are forged of fire, not water; of a lamb — Mirri Maz Durr, the witch who put Drogo in a vegetative state and who Daenerys burns alive as a punishment, is a Lhazar, a follower of The Great Shepherd, and dismissively called the “Lamb Men” by the Dothraki — rather than a lion; and through a husband, Drogo’s death and funeral pyre, rather than a wife’s death. If Daenerys is the Princess Who Was Promised, these are interesting reversals of the original legend of Lightbringer.
Before we leave this discussion of Lightbringer, I wanted to point out another recurring image, one that was explicitly mentioned in this episode: people being stabbed in the heart. To Jon’s chagrin, Davos mentions to Daenerys that Jon had been stabbed in the heart, and Daenerys fixates on this, bringing it up later in the episode. Of course, this is how Lightbringer was forged, by being thrust through Nissa Nissa’s “living heart.” And interestingly, this is similar to how the Night King was created in the first place: the Children of the Forest, in an effort to create a weapon to use against the First Men, stabbed a man through the heart with a piece of dragonstone and created the White Walkers.
The heart is a powerful symbol: it represents the seat of life within the body, it often represents the animating soul or spirit, and it obviously represents romantic love. As such, the symbolism of the heart is clearly an important cultural image in the Westeros/Essos universe: we have Heart trees; Heart’s Home, a castle in the Eyrie; Heartsbane, the greatsword of the Tully house; Daenerys has to eat a stallion’s heart to prove her child with Khal Drogo will be strong.
And then there are two very interesting heart references: In the first book, Game of Thrones, when Bran is lying in his coma, he is shown a place beyond the Wall that is called “the heart of winter”:
And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.
“Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.
Because winter is coming.
And then there is High Heart. In the books, High Heart is a hill in the Riverlands that the Children of the Forest considered sacred because of a grove of weirwood trees that grew there. But then the Andals invaded and chopped all the trees down because conquerors gonna conquer. However, legend has it that the hill is still haunted by the Children of the Forest, and the Westerosi that live in the area generally avoid the place.
Living on the hill is a woods witch, the so-callled Ghost of High Heart, who is a very interesting character. Arya meets her on High Heart in A Storm of Swords while traveling with the Brotherhood without Banners. There, the Ghost of High Heart proceeds to predict the Red Wedding, the Purple Wedding, the chaos that is happening in the Iron Island, and that Sansa will kill a great giant “in a castle built of snow.” (Looking forward to that one.) When she meets Arya, the Ghost of High Heart calls Arya a “blood child,” says that she “smells of death” and demands she go away. Melisandre basically plays this role in the series when she meets Arya:
This Ghost of High Heart is the same witch who, according to a story Ser Barristan tells Daenerys in A Dance of Dragons, predicted that the Prince Who Was Promised would be born from Daenerys’ parents’ line:
Ser Barristan went on. “I saw your father and your mother wed as well. Forgive me, but there was no fondness there, and the realm paid dearly for that, my queen.”
“Why did they wed if they did not love each other?”
“Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line.”
“A woods witch?” Dany was astonished.
“She came to court with Jenny of Oldstones. A stunted thing, grotesque to look upon. A dwarf, most people said, though dear to Lady Jenny, who always claimed that she was one of the children of the forest.”
ANYWAY. The point of all of this is that High Heart lies in the center of Westeros, in the “heart” of the continent, if you will, very close to the God’s Eye, a lake that contains a sacred island full of weirwoods, the Isle of Faces. This area appears, at least in the books, to still be full of powerful magic and a deep connection to the Children of the Forest … the same Children of the Forest who both bring about the Night King in the first place, and then predict (and help lead to) the rise of the savior who will save everyone from him.
And I think this is connected to this act of stabbing one through the heart: this idea that within the heart, there appears to be some sort of transformative magic. To pierce the heart is to release its energy, its power. What I find fascinating is this sacrificing of the heart, is that it is a piece of magic that creates weapons on both sides of this battle between light and darkness, as if there is some sort of balance between the two.
It’s a similar balance to Jon and Daenerys and their accomplishments to date: she rallied the Dothrraki savages, he did the same with the Wildlings; she became the leader of a number of cities, he became a leader of the Night’s Watch and the North; she has the magic of dragons on her side, he was brought back to life through magic. Just as destiny has lifted Jon and Daenerys up from lowly posititons into powerful leaders at the same time, it would appear that the Night King’s and the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised’s powers are also strenghtening in some sort of balance with one another. Perhaps in some sort of connection to one another.
In other subjects, one of the overarching themes of this episode is this issue of children suffering for the sins of their parents. Daenerys explicitly asks Jon to not judge her by her father’s madness; Jon, of course, just forgave a bunch of Northern heirs for betraying House Stark; Tyrion re-emphasizes this same point to Jon when he notes it’s a good thing they aren’t their fathers; and finally, Cersei literally kills Whassherface to punish Ellaria for her crimes — which was to murder Cersei’s daughter for her mother’s crimes.
The irony is that everything that is happening in these wars is because of the original sin that Jon’s father committed: falling in love with Lyanna Stark, “kidnapping” her and fathering Jon Snow. This entire fight over the Iron Throne that is raging between Cersei and Daenerys and has cost untold thousands of lives over the course of the telling of the story is because Jon Snow’s daddy broke his wedding vows and upended a marriage pact between the Starks and the Baratheons. The entire country of Westeros (and some parts of Essos) have been suffering for the sins of one father.
Meanwhile, the real war is coming down from the North and there is no one to blame, there is no sin to forgive that can stop it. Jon and Dany are both right to insist that the child not be punished for the sins of the father: it only creates a cycle of violence that becomes impossible to end and ultimately distracts from real problems. As long as these Houses keep bickering over whose father did what to whom, they won’t be able to consolidate their power against a real threat that doesn’t care who has claim to what kingdom. Tellingly, it’s the Lannisters who double down on this cycle of revenge by literally killing a child to punish her parent. And ultimately, it will be their undoing — they cannot forgive, and they have become unforgivable. Meanwhile, the Starks and the Targaryens are on their way to put aside their differences and forge an alliance that will have real and lasting consequences.
And this idea of there being these two wars, one of real consequence and the other a meaningless distraction is maybe best exemplified by Bran and Littlefinger in this episode. Littlefinger’s advice to Sansa is sound: to prepare for the coming war(s), Sansa should try to envision every possibility and game out every potential consequence. Littlefinger tells Sansa to do figuratively what Bran is doing literally: “Every possible series of events is happening all at once … everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before.” The difference is that Littlefinger is concerned with this small war for the Iron Throne, whereas Bran, like Jon, knows that the real danger is the Long Night, and he is trying to prepare for its eventuality.
The writers have given us frustratingly little to work with in terms of figuring out how Bran’s skill to see through time and interact with it will play in the battle against the White Walkers — if it does at all. Bran clearly has an important role to play: he is the only one on the show who knows who Jon Snow’s real parents are, a revelation that might change the dynamics of the fight against the White Walkers for Jon. But more importantly, Bran is the only character to have made physical contact with the Night King, a relationship that will certainly play a role later in the story.
As I have speculated before, this contact with the Night King might be what causes the Wall to fall: the mark the Night King left on Bran is what caused the magic protecting the Three-Eyed Raven to fall, it could potentially do the same for the magic that protects the Wall. If he is the cause of the Wall to fall, I could see an ending in which Bran goes back in time to before the Wall is built and stays there, becoming Bran the Builder, building the Wall and Winterfell. Oh, and hey, look, here’s a screencap of Bran the Builder from the “Complete Guide to Westeros” on the Season 1 Blu-Ray boxset of Game of Thrones and what do you know, but Bran appears to be carried on some sort of platform … you know, almost like his legs don’t work …
(H/T for the image from my pal Andrew Dansby who y’all should read over on the Chronicle because unlike some of us, he manages to get his recaps up on time.)
Finally (kinda), it did not occur to me since the first or second season, that Daenerys named her dragons for her brothers (and Drogo), which means that one of her dragons, Rhaegal, is named for Rhaegar. And Rhaegar is Jon Snow’s father.
Rhaegal is her green dragon. And whaddya know, but look who swoops down on Jon when he arrives at Dragonstone:
If Jon gets to ride a dragon, will it be the one named for his dad? Because that’d be kinda rad.
A couple of brief final points:
- Keep your eye on Cersei’s handmaiden, Bernadette. I thought that it was telling psychologically that Cersei is keeping her hair cut short and sassy. It is a small detail that suggests she understands that she no longer has to play on her sexuality to maintain her power. She is the queen now, bitches, and she does not have time for nor does she want to worry about fancy buns and braids and bullshit. What is most interesting, though, is that her very loyal handmaiden rocks the same haircut. We were intentionally supposed to notice Bernadette in this episode. Why remains to be seen, but I could see two potential reasons: 1. she could be the person whose face Arya takes to get close to Cersei, or 2. she could be loyal enough to Cersei that if something were to happen to Cersei, she might want to take a little revenge. What I’m saying is watch your back, Jaime.
- What, exactly, is our timeline for these past three episodes? Meaning, how is everyone getting around this damn country so fast? You are going to tell me that Olenna Tyrell managed to get from Dragonstone to Highgarden in a matter of what? Days? Weeks? She doesn’t ride a horse and carriages are slow as hell. How is Sea Pacey going from King’s Landing to the Narrow Sea back to King’s Landing only to end up all the way over in Lannisport to make trouble for the Unsullied? For that matter, do you know how far away Winterfell is from Dragonstone? It’s far! It’s very very far! Here is a map that Andrew (coming in again for me) just sent me minutes ago that shows everyone’s movements over the past couple of episodes. It is bonkers.
- What the hell is Melisandre doing in Volantis? So, Volantis is a city-state in Essos, the oldest and richest of the nine Free Cities of Valyria. While some worship the old Valyrian gods, most worship the Lord of Light. The Temple of the Lord of Light is in Volantis, and not only is it the largest temple to R’hllor, but the temple is said to be three times larger than the former Great Sept of Baelor.
From A World of Ice and Fire: “All who serve within this might temple are slaves, bought as children and trained to become priests, temple prostitutes or warriors; these wear the flames of their fiery god as tattoos upon their faces. Of the warriors, little enough is said, though they are called the Fiery Hand, and they never number more or less than one thousand members.”
What you should know about A World of Ice and Fire is that it is not always the most reliable text as it is written by an unnamed Maester who has his own biases, so who knows how much he is getting right here. But my best guess is that Melisandre is returning to Volantis to rally some Fiery Hand troops to come fight against the Night King, now that she’s found her Princess Who Was Promised.
As for Melisandre telling Varys that he is going to die in Westeros, too …
Game of Thrones airs on HBO on Sundays at 8/9 p.m. and I want a dragon named after me.