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Recap / Game of Thrones S7E3: "The Queen's Justice"

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At Dragonstone, Jon and Ser Davos make landfall. There to greet them is Tyrion, Missandei and several Dothraki. Tyrion and Jon greet each other warmly before Tyrion and Missandei welcome them all and escort them up to the castle proper. Tyrion and Jon trade some banter about having not seen each other since the show's third episode, noting they both have scars from their journeys but they're both still here. Tyrion asks Jon if Sansa is doing well and Jon confirms she is, but gives Tyrion a look when Tyrion quips, "Does she miss me terribly?" Tyrion assures Jon that the marriage to his sister was a sham, says Sansa was more clever than she let on, and Jon agrees. Jon reveals that his bannermen did not want him coming south and Tyrion responds he would have advised Jon against it as well — after all, every time a Stark comes south, something bad happens to them. Jon replies he's not a Stark. At that exact moment, Drogon flies overhead, almost braining Jon with his claws.
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Above, Varys finds Melisandre watching. She has decided that discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to meeting Ser Davos Seaworth (who, you may remember, promised to kill her for her role in the death of Shireen Baratheon). She announces that she's played her part; she brought ice and fire together. However, she tells Varys that she will return at least once more to Westeros, for she is fated to die here — as is he.

In the Great Hall of Dragonstone, Daenerys awaits Jon and Davos on her throne. She is introduced as the "rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains." Ser Davos replies, "This is Jon Snow. (Beat) He's King in the North." Dany has come to demand that Jon bend the knee and swear fealty to her, as his ancestor Tohrren Stark did during the Conquest. Jon isn't really having any of it; his real concern is for his people, and Dany doesn't seem interested in fighting the White Walkers — or in believing they exist. Dany's not happy Jon has come to "break faith" with House Targaryen. Jon's not happy the Mad King Aerys burned his grandfather and uncle alive. They briefly reach common ground when Dany offers her sincere apologies for what her father did to Jon’s family on behalf of House Targaryen and asks that she not be judged for her father's sins, which Jon agrees with. However, Dany still insists he bend the knee. Jon refuses and insists they need to help each other because the dead are coming to kill them all, while Dany wants to defeat Cersei. It gets into a pissing contest with Daenerys pointing out all the Awesome Moments she's had (un-extinct-ing dragons, for example) and Ser Davos pointing out all the Awesome Moments Jon has had (coming Back from the Dead — well, maybe we'd better not mention that). The meeting is largely going nowhere, so it's just as well that Varys hustles in with news; Jon and Ser Davos are ensconced in guest chambers while Daenerys learns of her forces' rout at the hands of Euron Crow's Eye.

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Somewhere on The Narrow Sea, Theon gets hauled onto the deck of a ship, soaking wet, experiencing hypothermia and shivering uncontrollably. The Greyjoy sailors ask what happened to Yara, and realize she's been captured by Euron. Theon attempts to say he tried to save her, but the sailors know that if he had tried, he'd be dead, and leave him to wallow while they get back to work, sailing for who knows where.

Euron Greyjoy leads a victory parade through the streets of King's Landing, with Yara, Ellaria Sand, and Tyene Sand bound behind him as captives. Cersei welcomes him warmly, promising that he will get the reward he desires (i.e. her)... once the war is over. Euron takes this opportunity to ask some questions of Jaime about how best Cersei likes to be fucked.

Cersei has Ellaria and her daughter Tyene locked up in the dungeon. She goes to talk with Ellaria, venting her anger and grief over losing her daughter Myrcella, asking a gagged Ellaria why she killed her. She goes down a list of things she could do to Ellaria... but ultimately decides to kiss Tyene. Cersei is wearing the same poisoned lipstick, the "long farewell," that Ellaria used on Myrcella. Ellaria's fate will be to watch Tyene die, and thereafter to stare at her corpse for as long as she (Ellaria) remains alive. Cersei leaves, and the two women, gagged and chained to opposite walls, strain to reach each other, six inches at most separating them.

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We now know something interesting about Cersei: after doing this, she goes straight to Jaime and drags him to bed. The next morning there's a Bedmate Reveal to one of the castle staff, as Cersei has decided that she doesn't need to hide her proclivities anymore (Jaime protests, though halfheartedly). The attendant came to tell Cersei that Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos, has come to visit. He wants to inquire after the crown's debts, which are enormous and still growing; additionally, the Iron Bank itself is suffering a bit of a downturn now that the slave trade has been completely abolished by the dragon queen. Cersei points out that the Iron Bank has a habit of backing its debtors' enemies if they believe that this will get them their investment back (in the books, Nestoris was last seen consorting with the person he thought had the best chance of overturning Cersei), and then points out that she (Cersei) happens to be Daenerys' enemy. The two come to an understanding.

Tyrion travels out to a cliffside at Dragonstone to brood on his failure to predict Euron's ambush of the Greyjoy Rebel fleet. Jon is already there, and Tyrion quips that he's already doing a better job. Jon asks if Tyrion believes his tale about the White Walkers, and Tyrion admits he does... but points out that Daenerys has legitimate reasons to play it safe, regardless of whether she believes him. Asking her to drop everything on his word is simply unreasonable. Tyrion then asks if there is anything not unreasonable that Jon can ask for... and, one Answer Cut later, he's suggesting that Daenerys give Jon access to the mountains of dragonglass here on the island. She can use more allies, and in this case can create goodwill with one at the cost of something she does not currently have a use for. Daenerys asks what Ser Davos meant when he mentioned Jon came Back from the Dead, and Tyrion demures, pointing out that it's boring in the North and embellishments are bound to happen.

Daenerys is alone outside when Jon comes to chat with her. She is watching Rhaegal and Viserion, and tells Jon that they were named after her brothers. She notes Jon has lost two brothers himself. Dany agrees to let Jon have all the dragonglass he wants. She does not admit whether she believes him.

At Winterfell, Sansa oversees rationing for the winter. At normal provisioning levels, Winterfell has enough food stores for a year at most (which the winter will almost certainly be longer than); if it's the center of a protracted military campaign (and it will be, given the Lannisters to the south, the Greyjoys to the west and the White Walkers coming out of the north), less. The planning is interrupted by the arrival of Bran Stark, brought by a (lineless) Meera. When Sansa sees Bran, she runs and hugs him but Bran is a bit preoccupied. In the Godswood, Sansa wishes Jon were with them and Bran agrees, adding that he needs to speak with him. As Bran is the eldest (trueborn) heir of Lord Eddard Stark, Sansa attempts to cede the lordship to him, but Bran declares that he can't be lord of anything; he's the three-eyed raven. Sansa has no idea what this means and does her best to understand. In an attempt to demonstrate what he means, Bran — in a very calm voice — describes Sansa's wedding to Ramsay... and wedding night. Sansa is freaked out by this and leaves him in the godswood, shaken.

In a cell at The Citadel, Archmaester Ebrose is inspecting Jorah Mormont, who has been cured of grayscale! It's a miracle! Or rather, Jorah claims that the rest and treatment provided by the Citadel did wonders overnight. No illicit midnight operations here, oh no. Ebrose clearly isn't buying it, but dismisses Jorah and then asks to see Samwell in his office. There, Sam admits that he went behind Ebrose's back and administered the treatment. Ebrose acknowledges Sam's skills; most maesters don't even try that method because its success rate is so low. As a reward, he does not expel Sam. As a punishment, he orders Sam to copy a bunch of rotting scrolls and books in his office: "Careful of the paper mites. They like flesh as well."

Turning the spotlight back on Dragonstone, Daenerys and the remains of her war council (Varys, Missandei and Tyrion) stand about the Painted Table, discussing their options. Without the combined Greyjoy-Tyrell-Martell task force besieging King's Landing, the Unsullied will have a hell of a time taking Casterly Rock. Tyrion describes (and the footage depicts) the standing garrison his father built, and the defenses he commissioned, and the loss of life when Storming the Castle. Fortunately, it's all an Imagine Spot, as Lord Tywin didn't design everything about Casterly Rock: he left the sewers to Tyrion, who secretly designed a way into Casterly Rock so he could sneak women in without his father knowing. Grey Worm leads a commando team within, opening the gates and letting the Unsullied flood in. In the end, Grey Worm stands over a captured castle... but with Euron's fleet savaging Daenerys' out to sea, and the recognition that the Rock was under-garrisoned. This leads to the question of where the other Lannister armsmen are.

The answer is Highgarden. Jaime leads a host, with Bronn and Lord Randyll Tarly at his back, to take over House Tyrell's ancestral seat. In the solar, Lady Olenna waits for him. She asks if they fought well, and Jaime allows that they did, given how outnumbered they were. She asks Jaime if he plans to keep supporting Cersei until the bitter end, given how destructive she is, and Jaime points out that the smallfolk won't care how peace was achieved, as long as it was. Olenna sadly notes that his love for her will destroy Jaime, and that before the end, he will come to regret facilitating Cersei's rise to power. The Queen of Thorns then inquires after her manner of death. Jaime admits that he had to talk Cersei out of the most vengeful ones, and instead offers her a vial of painless poison. She drinks it, and then admits that she would've picked a different one for Joffrey had she known quite how ghastly it would be. It takes Jaime a moment to realize what she just said, and then he looks at her in disbelief. "Tell Cersei," she asks Jaime. "I want her to know it was me." Jaime leaves in a Tranquil Fury, furious about having unknowingly given his eldest son's killer a merciful death. He leaves Olenna sitting calmly in her chair, waiting for the credits to roll.

Tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The episode states that the Iron Bank of Braavos is involved in the slave trade. Braavos is established in the books — and the 'Histories and Lore' features released on DVDs of the television series — as an abolitionist city which has fought wars to curb the slave trade and forced the city of Pentos to shut it down. In the novels, the Braavosi also refused to deal with Cersei after her refusal to pay debts and they instead dealt with Stannis and Jon Snow, and rather than slam Robert for his profligacy, Tycho Nestoris praised King Robert as a superior client to Joffrey and Tommen Baratheon, and the latter's regents.From the Books 
    • The show also does this to the smallfolk of King's Landing. They are shown cheering Euron Greyjoy and celebrate the arrival of traitors while Euron and Jaime give Working Class People Are Morons speeches. The novels make it clear that the smallfolk despise the Lannisters, that they refused to attend Tywin's funeral — as they remember he ordered the Sack of King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion — and that many of them even put on anti-Lannister puppet shows, and that Cersei maintains her authority by tyrannically attacking them and that "the mob" are not as easily swayed. Or maybe, they all want a quick end to the destructive wars they have been witnessing as long as Robert's Rebellion.
    • The episode also continues with the adaptational villainy of Jaime, who is still loyal to Cersei and aids in her conquest of Westeros, compared to the books where he's all but abandoned her and burns her requests for help. (And that's when she hasn't even used wildfire on Kings Landing.) While he does use his position to soften Cersei's crueler impulses — such as giving Olenna a painless death — it's still a far cry from his book counterpart completely cutting off ties with Cersei.
  • Adult Fear: Ellaria is faced with her daughter Tyene being threatened by a vengeful psychopath who fully intends to kill her, and is reduced to desperately and futilely begging for mercy for her child from a woman who will show her none (as well as being faced with the knowledge it's her own fault her daughter is in that situation in the first place). Afterwards, she is left chained and gagged inches out of reach from her fatally poisoned daughter, left with the knowledge that Tyene will die but not when, powerless to say or do anything to help or comfort her daughter in her final hours. It's made even worse by the terrified, plaintive whimper of "Mama!" that Tyene lets out when she realises what Cersei has done to her; she's a terrified child begging for reassurance from her mother and there is nothing Ellaria can do to comfort her, a fear any parent can relate to.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Both Jon and Dany:
    • Jon Snow says the war in the South doesn't matter compared to the White Walkers, the same thing he said when he served the Night's Watch and invoked to stop serving Stannis. The fact is that by taking Winterfell, Jon is able to far more effectively mobilize for the Long Night, as seen in the first episode of the season. This was also an argument that Ser Davos pointed out in "High Sparrow", where he chided Jon for not supporting Stannis and marching against the Boltons (which he eventually did anyway). Likewise, knowing what he knows about winter rations, from his conversations with Stannis at the Wall, he should know that food imports and resources of men and manpower would be needed, and the North would need some allies from the South. Also, Cersei, like Ramsay Bolton, is an enemy potentially more dangerous than the Army of the Dead because she will sting Jon, and Dany, and everyone else even if so doing means that the White Walkers overrun the Seven Kingdoms.
    • Daenerys said at the end of Season 6 to Yara Greyjoy, that she would consider her support for independence, albeit with the major concession that she and the Iron Islands give up their Rape, Pillage, and Burn ethos. Now leaving aside the Exact Words nature of that statement (she said she would "consider it" and not "grant it") and the fact that Dany, and Tyrion, might have been manipulating Yara to use her ships to transport her men and materiel to Westeros, that was still a tactic of negotiation she could use especially since she made a point that she would act accordingly if people came to her first and asked her help. Now Jon does the same and she regresses to her Season 2 characterization by bringing up about her faith and her belief in herself and intimidating and awing her opponent.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When she realizes Cersei intends to kill Tyene in retaliation for Myrcella's murder, Ellaria desperately tries to beg for her daughter's life. Unfortunately, the fact she's been gagged and that Cersei is not inclined to show mercy does her no good. Cersei even uses it to mock her by noting she can't understand what Ellaria is saying.
  • All for Nothing: Jon invokes this to Daenerys, pointing out that the fighting to rule the Seven Kingdoms will mean nothing if the Night King and his undead legions get past the Wall.
    Jon Snow: You'll be ruling over a graveyard if we don't defeat the Night King.
  • Antagonist Title: The episode title basically summarizes Cersei's wrath against Ellaria, Olenna and Daenerys.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Dany dismisses Jon's story about the Night's King, White Walkers, and army of the dead as nonsense. In the same conversation, she boasts that she's achieved many things everyone thought impossible, like proving the dragons still exist. Tyrion himself admits it's true but laments that it's likely neither of them want to believe it. Jon Snow himself admits that it's hard to get people to believe.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: The Archmaester lectures Samwell for treating Jorah against his orders, risking infection not only for himself but potentially the whole Citadel... before praising him for performing a surgery that far more experienced maesters tried and failed.
  • Asshole Victim: The punishment Cersei gives Ellaria and Tyene is utterly horrific but it's hard to say they don't deserve it for killing Myrcella, Trystane, and Doran.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Jon (who unknowingly is a Targaryen rather than a Snow) tells Tyrion he's "not a Stark", only for Drogon, a Targaryen dragon, to swoop dramatically into frame.
  • Badass Army: After suffering from Badass Decay all through Seasons 5 and 6 thanks to the Sons of the Harpy and Daenerys's time in Meereen, the Unsullied get to return to the levels of badassery they displayed in Season 3 in storming Casterly Rock. Even if it turns out to be a pyrrhic victory, Tyrion notes that they are fighting against an enemy who's better armed and supplied, defending one of the strongest fortresses in Westeros.
    Tyrion: They will face the bulk of the Lannister forces: they will be outnumbered, they will have less armour and fewer weapons. But my sister's armies fight for her out of fear. The Unsullied will be fighting for something greater. They will be fighting for freedom, and the person who gave it to them. They will be fighting for you and that is why they will triumph.
  • Badass Boast: The meeting between Jon and Dany eventually degenerates into an hardships-overcome-measuring contest. Dany delivers hers with Targaryen aplomb. Jon, being more modest, lets Davos deliver his, and even stops him when it comes to the best part — that of him dying.
  • Badass Decay: House Tyrell is toppled mostly offscreen after at least some of their bannermen betray them and Jaime leads an attack on Highgarden
  • The Bad Guys Win: The episode features Cersei's forces greatly crippling Dany's.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The last episode made it seem like Arya would be the next Stark to arrive at Winterfell. Bran beats her to it.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Discussed and subverted.
    Jon: You've been talking with Tyrion?
    Dany: He is my Hand.
    Jon: He enjoys talking.
    Dany: We all enjoy what we're good at.
    Jon: I don't.
  • Berserk Button: Dany takes offense when Jon calls her a child, although he said everybody — himself, Dany, Cersei and everyone — are like children playing at a game when compared to the threat of the Night King.
  • Binding Ancient Treaty: Dany invokes the oath sworn by Torrhen Stark to Aegon I submitting Stark authority and the North to the Targaryens in perpetuity. Jon points out that oath was broken by her father Aerys II when he killed Rickard and Brandon Stark.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Jorah tells the archmaester that his greyscale just went away by itself. He isn't fooled for a minute.
    • Theon pretends he tried saving Yara, only for the Ironborn captain to say if that was true, Theon would be dead.
    • Cersei claiming the destruction of the Sept of Baelor was a 'tragic accident' when Tycho Nestoris commends her for doing away with the Faith Militant. Presumably the official story is that the wildfire stashed there years ago by the Mad King spontaneously detonated.
      Tycho Nestoris: The Iron Bank appreciates how you cast off the yoke of superstition, freeing the Crown from elements who sought to subvert the rule of law.
      Cersei Lannister: The destruction of the Sept of Baelor was a tragic accident.
      Tycho Nestoris: Indeed.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Bran Stark is starting to display signs of this as the Three-Eyed Raven. He apparently shows little to no understanding of human morality, and seems to treat the part where Sansa got raped in her wedding night as a minor detail compared to how pretty she looked.
  • Book-Ends: The first and last thing Tyene said on the show was "Mama."
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Jon Snow is right about the White Walkers but Tyrion and Dany have invested too much suffering, time and money to come to Westeros only to be told that there's another bigger war north of them, and that their current conflict is meaningless, which naturally hits Dany's Berserk Button. Tyrion clearly starts believing it, but both he and Dany are too caught in their current predicament to suddenly come around to it. He convinces her to let Jon mine dragonglass in the meantime, since it's worthless rock to them and will help build bridges should they need his aid.
    Jon Snow: You'll be ruling over a graveyard if we don't defeat the Night's King.
    Tyrion Lannister: The war against my sister has already begun. You can't expect us to halt hostilities and join you in fighting...whatever you saw beyond the Wall.
  • Bound and Gagged: Played for horror with Ellaria and Tyene who can't curse, beg, or scream due to their gags.
  • Buzzing the Deck: Drogon pulls the fantasy version of this trope, swooping so low over Jon and Davos that they fling themselves to the ground in alarm.
    Tyrion: (helping Jon up) I'd say you get used to them...but you never really do.
  • Call-Back:
    • Jon and Tyrion reminisce about the last time they met. Davos and Tyrion discuss the Battle of Blackwater which Stannis came inches from taking the capital.
    • Tyrion tells Daenerys and her court that his father put him in charge of all the sewers and drains of Casterly Rock, something he first told Varys way back during Stannis' siege.
    • He then follows up by mentioning that a friend once told him "give me ten good men and I'll impregnate the bitch", a conversation he had with Bronn about the defenses of the Eyrie.
    • Jaime mentions the Battle of Whispering Wood to Olenna and how he tricked Tyrion by using one of Robb's strategies against him.
    • Cersei and Jaime having sex with the latter being initially unwilling hearkens back to a scene from Season 4 where their roles were reversed.
    • Cersei sentences another woman to A Fate Worse Than Death just like she did to Septa Unella in the previous season finale.
    • Cersei forces Ellaria to watch her daughter Tyene die and see "that beautiful face collapse to bone and dust." In the season 6 premiere, after her daughter Myrcella's death, Cersei talks about how she can't stop herself thinking about Myrcella's "beautiful little face starting to collapse."
    • When Sansa wishes Jon was at Winterfell for Bran's return, Bran agrees and mentions he needs to talk to him about something.
    • Olenna calls Joffrey a cunt after Jaime reminds her that he had named his Valyrian steel sword "Widow's Wail"; this echoes Sandor Clegane's opinion that only cunts name their swords, an opinion likely shaped by his time as Joffrey's sworn shield.
    • Dany asks Tyrion if he's trying to present his own sayings as ancient wisdom (by adding "a wise man once said"). Tyrion tells her, "I'd never do that... (beat) to you," since he did just that when talking to Missandei and Grey Worm in the last season.
    • Daenerys looking thoughtful when Jon states he doesn't enjoy his talent at killing and warfare, despite being good at it is reminiscent of her reaction to Barristan Selmy telling her that despite being a peerless warrior, Rhaegar Targaryen took no pleasure in killing. (There's [[Foreshadowing a reason]] for that).
  • Came Back Strong: Cersei informs Ellaria that Gregor Clegane survived the fight with Oberyn and is stronger than ever.
  • The Cameo: Bronn along with Randyll and Dickon Tarly are seen marching with Jaime on Highgarden, but none of them have any lines.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Tyrion's status as the lord of all the drains, sewers, and cisterns of Casterly Rock also gave him a means to sneak people in and out of the city, which he uses to get the Unsullied inside to open the gates.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Euron Greyjoy enters the throne room mounted on a horse after his sound triumph over the enemy, something done by Tywin Lannister after vanquishing Stannis.
    • Cersei tells Ellaria that she breast-fed Myrcella, refusing to give the child to the wet nurse, something that Elia Martell also did with her children and was related by Oberyn with emotion.
    • Tyene is stated to be Ellaria's favourite daughter, which explains why the other Sand Snakes were taunting Tyene about being a Mother's Girl in the previous episode.
  • Creepy Child: Sansa is understandably freaked out when Bran starts talking about the night she was married to Ramsay Bolton as if he were talking about the weather.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Apparently, this was what Cersei had planned for Olenna, but Jaime talked Cersei out of it and instead gives Olenna a painless poison. Olenna takes it, and then tells Jaime that she was the one who killed Joffrey and to make sure Cersei knows it.
    Olenna: How will it happen?
  • Cruel Mercy: Unlike her daughter, Ellaria is spared from death. Instead, she will be chained and forced to both watch Tyene die, helpless to comfort her at the end, and see Tyene's corpse decompose in front of her, and Cersei will make sure she will live for as long as possible.
    Cersei: Your daughter will die here in this cell, and you will be here watching when she does. You'll be here the rest of your days. If you refuse to eat, we'll force food down your throat. You will live to watch your daughter rot. To watch that beautiful face collapse to bone and dust. All the while contemplating the choices you've made. (to Qyburn) Make sure the guards change the torches every few hours. I don't want her to miss a thing.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Lannister army overruns Highgarden offscreen and implicitly without much trouble. By Olenna's own admission, her men aren't the best soldiers out there, and they were heavily outnumbered.
    • Once they're inside its defences, the Unsullied make short work of Casterly's Rock's Lannister garrison.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Daenerys loses all her Westerosi allies when her Ironborn fleet is destroyed by Euron Greyjoy, her Dornish allies are either killed or taken prisoner, and Highgarden is sacked by the Lannisters with the help of House Tarly. Meanwhile, her Unsullied army has seized Casterly Rock, but their fleet has been burned and Jaime made sure that Casterly Rock was left bereft of supplies, which will force them to march overland to get back to Dragonstone, leaving Dragonstone practically defenseless except for her dragons and her Dothraki khalassar.
    • Jorah Mormont tells Samwell he experienced this after contracting greyscale, until Dany told him to go and get healed. And now, thanks to Sam, he has been cured and will live. They part, with Jorah presumably making straight for Dragonstone.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone is really snarky during the parley between Jon and Dany, but Ser Davos is the Lord Paramount of Snark:
    Daenerys: The last King In The North was Torrhen Stark, who bent the knee to my ancestor, Aegon Targaryen. In exchange for his life and the lives of the Northmen, Torrhen Stark swore fealty to House Targaryen in perpetuity. Or do I have my facts wrong?
    Ser Davos: I wasn't there, Your Grace.
  • Defiant to the End: Olenna Tyrell. While Jaime doesn't attempt to make her beg for life (in contrast to his sister with Ellaria and Tyene Sand), she goes out quite willingly and gleefully tells Jaime exactly who killed Joffrey, now that he can't do anything to punish her for it.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The Lannister triumph feels like this:
    • Cersei convinces the Iron Bank of Braavos to support her based on vague promises and the potential threat Daenerys might pose to them (her disruption of the slave trade being an example, which itself relies on a Retcon), rather than any convincing arguments. Even though Cersei does have a plan to pay them, she doesn't share it, and Tycho should have no reason to believe her when he knows her family doesn't have the gold.
    • Jaime and the Tarlys easily overwhelm and take over Highgarden. As depicted in this very episode, besieging a castle is no easy feat, especially since the Lannister-Tarly force has no apparent siege equipment with them and cannot bypass the defenses as Tyrion is able to do with Casterly Rock. Furthermore, earlier episodes established that the Tyrells possess the largest army of Westeros — enough to turn the War of the Five Kings in Tywin's favor — yet it seems their main castle is at best lightly defended, and Olenna Tyrell even claims Tywin could have conquered them whenever he wanted with just as little effort.
    • Euron Greyjoy is able to catch up to and burn the Unsullied fleet by the time they've finished seizing Casterly Rock, even though he had to attack Yara's fleet then sail in the other direction to deliver the Sand Snakes, then turn back around to get to Casterly Rock, solely to undermine Dany's advantage and level the playing field.
    • Likewise, the episode has Jaime behave as if the taking of Casterly Rock is no big deal, dismissing its legacy and memory as mere sentiment now that its gold mines have run dry. Not only did Tywin state that Money Is Not Power in the Histories and Lore, but earlier seasons established quite heavily the enormous political and social consequences of losing a seat, demonstrated by Stannis holding Storm's End during the Rebellion, and Robb Stark losing Winterfell to Theon's betrayal (and earning the name "The King Who Lost the North").
    • Furthermore, Cersei faces no blowback or uprising for murdering the High Septon, the Most Devout, Queen Margaery, Lord Mace Tyrell, Hand of the King Kevan Lannister, as well as hundreds of other nobles and the people living around the Great Sept of Baelor. No one even blames her for the death of King Tommen (or if they do, they're not foolish enough to say so).
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Not knowing about the gold mines running dry, Tyrion never expected that Cersei would abandon Casterly Rock as a worthless target, instead shifting the bulk of the Lannister forces to take Highgarden from Olenna and seize their food and wealth.
    • Olenna laments that her prize mistake was being unable to imagine what Cersei would be capable of.
    • Played for irony when Littlefinger tells Sansa to plan every contingency in her head; "that way nothing will surprise you". Then Sansa's long lost brother comes back from the dead as a Creepy Child seer, something even Littlefinger would find difficult to predict.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: Cersei cuts through Tycho Nestoris's attempts to offer the Iron Bank's condolences over Tommen's death, given that she no longer cares about her younger son and is aware the Iron Bank is more interested in business.
    Tycho Nestoris: My condolences, Your Grace, on the death of your son. From all reports, he was a fine young man.
    Cersei: The Iron Bank didn't send you here to offer condolences.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: See Diabolus ex Machina above, a lot is made so that Cersei can be a threat (no uprising or dissent in her team) and Dany is now the underdog.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Jon at one point trots out his old tune, "I'm not a Stark." Cue Drogon swooping past to remind us that he's a Stark and a Targaryen.
    • Dany tells Jon that she is "the last Targaryen." Later, the two of them observe Rhaegal and Viserion together, and Dany tells him about how she named them after her brothers, not knowing that Jon is really her nephew (he's also unaware, of course).
    • Jon objects to Dany's phrasing that his family House Stark broke faith with House Targaryen, remembering what her father did to his grandfather and uncle. Daenerys then asks for forgiveness for her father's actions and to not judge her based on the sins of her father. Which is ironic as Jon was doing the same thing from in episode "Dragonstone" where Jon refuses to punish the current leaders of House Karstark and House Umber for the actions of their relatives.
    • Cersei finds herself promising marriage to Euron Greyjoy, a crude berserker who's good at war and carousing — just like her last husband King Robert who she went to such trouble to get rid of.
  • Drugged Lipstick: An Invoked Trope by Cersei. She had Qyburn replicate the "Long Farewell" toxin, which she uses to kill Ellaria Sand's daughter Tyene, just as Ellaria had done to Myrcella.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Both Dany and Jon feel that the other isn't giving them their due respect during their first meeting, creating a fair amount of tension.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Samwell seems to have this reaction to having to transcribe rotting parchment records after having saved Jorah's life. The Archmaester takes note of this, and says his reward is that, despite going against a direct order, he's not being immediately expelled from the Citadel.
  • Dying Alone: Olenna is left alone in her chambers to die of the poison. She doesn't much mind.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Olenna makes sure that Jaime knows that she was the one responsible for Joffrey's horrible death, and then dies peacefully.
    • Davos tries to bring up Jon's as a way of showing his dedication to his people, but Jon stops him. The White Walkers are already a hard sell, so adding resurrection isn't going to help matters.
  • Entitled Bitch: During Jon and Dany's meeting, Dany starts to come across as this. She pushes as much as she can to have Jon bend the knee to her without promising something in return and when he points out that he doesn't know her nor does he have any reason to swear loyalty to her, she goes as far to declare that as long as he is King in the North, he is in open rebellion. Note 
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Cersei is genuinely saddened and righteously outraged when she talks about how Ellaria murdered Myrcella. She gets so carried away with emotion she asks Ellaria why she did it before remembering that she's gagged.
    • Also applied to Ellaria herself, who also committed her fair shares of crimes, yet is visibly terrified when seeing her daughter Tyene being poisoned in the same way she killed the young princess.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Olenna notes that she did terrible things to protect and ensure her family's prosperity, but states the things Cersei has done are far worse than anything she ever dreamed of doing.
    Olenna Tyrell: I did unspeakable things to protect my family, or watched them being done on my orders. I never lost a night's sleep over them; they were necessary. And whatever I imagined necessary for the safety of House Tyrell, I did. But your sister has done things... I was incapable of imagining.
    • Subverted when Cersei refuses to have Ser Gregor crush Tyene's skull; she's simply got a more Karmic Death in mind.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Lady Olenna remains calm throughout her whole confrontation with Jaime and taunts him for his loyalty to Cersei.
    • Melissandre has foreseen her own death, which may come soon, and seems to be at peace with it.
  • Fan Disservice: Cersei going down on Jaime after having psychologically tortured Ellaria and poisoned Tyene, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because it implies Cersei has come to gain sexual satisfaction from making her enemies suffer.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Ellaria's punishment in a nutshell; forced to watch her daughter slowly die with no way to hold or comfort her in her last hours, before being kept alive to watch Tyene's body decay, with the promise of being force-fed if she tries to starve herself to die. Makes her begging for the Ironborn to kill her on the spot from the previous episode sound more merciful.
  • Forced to Watch: Ellaria is chained up in a dungeon and forced to watch her similarly chained and gagged daughter Tyene succumb to slow-acting poison.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • When boasting to Jon Snow of the indignities she suffered to become the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys comments about "being raped". Evidently, her fondness for him aside, she never did forget what Khal Drogo did to her on their wedding night.
    • Likewise, when Ser Davos rises in Jon Snow's defense, he accidentally blurts out that Jon "took a knife in the heart" for his people, and Jon has to stop him midway through saying he "gave his life". He and Jon quickly cover this up. It doesn't slip by Daenerys, but Tyrion doesn't think they meant it literally, and apparently didn't hear the second part.
  • The Ghost: Averted. Casterly Rock and Highgarden were, up until now, the only "capitols" of the Seven Kingdoms that had yet to appear onscreen (or, for that matter, "on-page" in the book continuity). This episode gives us both of them at once.
  • History Repeats:
    • As Cersei becomes The Caligula more and more, her apparently getting turned on after killing people (running into Jaime's arms after getting revenge on Ellaria) mirrors the Mad King, who raped his Queen after watching people be burned alive. Additionally, in both cases the ruling couple are also brother and sister.
    • Grey Worm once again brilliantly carries out his command only to have his mission compromised by one of Tyrion's Awesome, but Impractical schemes just as during his time as Hand in Meereen.
  • Hollywood Tactics: When the fighting for Casterly Rock gets into close quarters, the Unsullied insist on continuing to fight with their spears against Lannister swordsmen, even though at close quarters such a weapon is useless (as shown by several Lannister soldiers cutting down Unsullied spearmen with ease); tactically it would have made more sense for the Unsullied to discard their spears and draw swords of their own to go hand-to-hand with the Lannisters.
  • Humble Hero: Jon apparently didn't add his former title (White Wolf,998 Lord Commander) and refrains Davos from saying he came back from the dead, having the scars to prove it, when the latter lists Jon's accomplishments.
  • Hypocrite : Daenerys demands that Jon bend the knee to her due to his ancestors submitting to Aegon Targaryen, but then asks him not to blame her for the actions of her father, who gave the Starks extremely justified reasons for breaking faith with House Targaryen.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Ultimately ends up getting Deconstructed here. In the previous episode, Tyrion advised Dany against raining hellfire upon King's Landing with her dragons and superior forces on the basis that she would come off as a foreign invader. It turns out "holding back" and going along with Tyrion's plan resulted in all of her Westerosi allies either getting killed or captured, her fleet destroyed, and the Unsullied cut off from her.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Daenerys' intractability comes across this way. She has every reason to believe that the impossible (i.e. the White Walkers) might be true, as she herself admits, but she distrusts Jon's motives. She also (as mentioned above) demands he honor the oaths his forefathers swore, while dismissing other houses forefathers' (completely legitimate) concerns about a Targaryen on the throne.
    • Olenna is shown to know that the Lannister mines have gone dry, which begs the question why she failed to tell Tyrion this. Tyrion committed a large force to what he thought was a valuable target, an action he might have reconsidered if he knew they were secretly broke.
    • Jon Snow, King in the North, marches unilaterally to meet the Young Conqueror of Slaver's Bay over the heads of his own supporters and his main tactic of negotiation was apparently his own word, with no other strategy of diplomacy and negotiation, a situation so stupid that Tyrion even calls him out of it, hanging a Lampshade on Good Is Dumb.
  • I've Come Too Far: Some of Jaime's dialogue with Olenna about his continuing support for Cersei comes across as this; his exhausted, sad tone suggests that at least a part of him knows Cersei is insane and her obsessive pursuit of power is dragging him and all of Westeros to hell with her, but he feels their relationship has gone on too long for him to turn on her now.
    Olenna Tyrell: If she's driven you this far, then it's gone beyond your control.
    Jaime Lannister: Yes. It has.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Some of Cersei's dialogue towards Tyene comes across as this, as she compliments the girl on her "perfect Dornish beauty" and muses that it wouldn't be right to have Gregor crush Tyene's "lovely face" the way he did her father's.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Jaime knew Tyrion had a plan to take Casterly Rock but not how, so he just made it that Tyrion's victory is hollow and short-term by emptying the stronghold of supplies and besieging them by the sea with Euron.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Grey Worm nails a Lannister mook with a thrown spear so forcefully the unlucky bastard flies a good meter and ends up pinned to the door behind him.
  • Implausible Deniability: When Archmaester Ebrose is examining Jorah's now greyscale-clean flesh, he comments that it looked like the treatment Sam had used. Jorah deadpans that he doesn't know anything about that and he just woke up feeling better, attributing it to rest and the climate. Ebrose obviously doesn't believe it for a second, and neither Jorah nor Sam expected him to.
  • Internal Reveal: After drinking the poison, Olenna reveals to Jaime that she was the one responsible for Joffrey's death.
  • Insistent Terminology: Most of Jon and Dany's conversation revolves around the proper titles (Dany calling Jon "Lord") and modes of address discussing each other, much of which is very much Serious Business even if Jon wishes it wasn't.
  • Ironic Echo: In the last episode Nym and Obara were mocking Tyene for talking about her mama all the time. Guess what's the one word she desperately says to Ellaria after Cersei gives her the poisoned kiss?
  • Irony: Olenna's maiden name is Olenna Redwyne. She dies from drinking a poisoned cup of red wine.
  • I Shall Return: Melisandre is setting sail for Volantis but she will return to Westeros because she has foreseen that she would die in the country, as would Varys.
  • It's a Long Story:
    • Bran repeatedly says it's difficult to explain his being the Three-Eyed Raven as he chats with Sansa.
    • When Tyrion and Jon meet again since they last met both say this phrase in regards to how they respectively got the title of the Hand of the Queen and of the King in the North.
      Tyrion: And I was drunk for much of it.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Tyene can only say "Mama!" after realizing she's been poisoned by Cersei.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • As sadistic and cruel Cersei's taunting against Ellaria is, she isn't saying anything factually wrong.
    • While Archmaester Ebrose still punishes Sam despite saving Jorah's life, he makes a good point that Sam could have possibly infected himself and others at the Citadel and Sam's "reward" of not being expelled (along with writing copies of a heavy load of books and scrolls) is actually quite reasonable since, if the operation went wrong, Sam could have 1) started a pandemic, 2) gotten killed, or worse, 3) expelled. From The Books 
    • For all his brusqueness and questionable morals, Tycho Nestoris raises a fair point that Euron's loyalty to Cersei only extends so far.
    Cersei: My armada owns the Narrow Sea-
    Tycho: Euron Greyjoy's armada.
    Cersei: Euron Greyjoy is loyal to me!
    Tycho: For now.
    • During that same conversation, Cersei points out to Tycho that Dany has a track record of not keeping her word, and a very bad effect on long-standing economies without doing much to fix them.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Jaime and Cersei know Tyrion will have Dany's forces attack Casterly Rock. Tyrion knows they know this, and suspects they will do everything in their power to stop the attack. With the knowledge that a secret passage into the Rock is built into the sewers, they take Casterly Rock with minimal Unsullied casualties. Whether or not Cersei and Jaime know of the secret passage is not shown, but while they let Tyrion take Casterly Rock, Euron Greyjoy's fleet destroys their transport fleet and Jaime leads the bulk of the Lannister forces to Highgarden instead, leaving the Unsullied with an empty victory, and trapped in a castle they can't hold.
  • Kick the Dog: Euron gleefully indulges in this with broken and unresponsive Yara, taunting her about how Theon abandoned her to her fate.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Cersei tormenting Ellaria in revenge for what the latter did to Myrcella.
  • Killed Offscreen: Olenna Tyrell does not succumb to the poison she ingests on screen, nor does Tyene Sand, though in the latter case it's supposed to take a while.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Cersei invokes this when she poisons Tyene in the same manner as Ellaria poisoned Myrcella.
    • Olenna's death in a sense. She is killed with poison handed over by Jaime, the father of the boy king she had previously murdered with poison. The irony is that Jaime had no idea she was the actual killer, something which she makes sure to tell him just before expiring.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Tycho Nestoris compares Cersei to her late lord father for her direct and cunning skills negotiating with the Iron Bank, and Olenna evokes the Rains of Castamere when Jaime and Cersei best her.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Varys apparently didn't inform Daenerys, or for that matter Tyrion (who should have known about it on account of the fact that Ned surrendering his badge was the reason why Jaime attacked him in the streets of King's Landing) that Ned Stark not only protested Robert's plan to assassinate her but gave up his post for that, and Dany still has a grudge against Ned for going along with Robert's orders to assassinate her.
    • For some inexplicable reason, Olenna Tyrell did not bother to tell her allies that she's aware that the pecuniary wealth of the Westerlands is gone. This leads to Tyrion making the catastrophic mistake of thinking Casterly Rock to be a valuable military target, instead of just a sentimental one now that its mines have run dry.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Olenna tells Jaime point blank that Cersei will be the end of him.
    Olenna: She's a disease. I regret my role in spreading it. You will, too.
  • Mama Bear: Despite having gone off the deep end and not reacting much when Tommen died, Cersei clearly at least still feels this towards her deceased daughter Myrcella, delivering some Laser-Guided Karma onto Ellaria and Tyene in revenge for killing her while delivering a cold monologue about it.
  • Meaningful Echo: Jon claiming that he doesn't like what he's good at, i.e. swordplay and fighting, echoes what Ser Barristan told Dany about Prince Rhaegar ("Rhaegar hated killing"), Jon's biological father.
  • Mercy Kill: Of a sort. Both Jaime and Olenna know she won't be leaving that room alive. Cersei had several brutal and cruel deaths planned for Olenna, but Jaime decides to simply give her a painless poison instead, saving her from whatever gruesome end Cersei had in store for her. Olenna then goes out informing Jaime just who killed Joffrey, to make the kindness of his mercy kill ring hollow.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Bran arrives at Winterfell not too long after Jon left for Dragonstone. Thankfully, Sansa is still there to greet him.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Jon gives Tyrion a look when Tyrion quips of Sansa, "Does she miss me terribly?" prompting Tyrion to quickly make a point of telling Jon that his marriage to Sansa was a sham that wasn't even consummated.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Tyrion's speech and the montage of how he plotted out the taking of Casterly Rock is played like this. Complete with Tyrion quoting Bronn's "Give me ten good men and I'll impregnate the bitch". But then it turns out that Jaime outfoxed him.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Jaime arranging a painless poison for Olenna over Cersei's plans for her are repaid by her drinking it and then telling him that she's the one who caused Joffrey such a horrible death, after Jaime's completely powerless to punish her for it.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Daenerys seems to suffer from this trying to convince Jon to bend the knee. She states Westeros had "Centuries of peace and prosperity" when the Targaryens ruled and acts like her father was the only bad Targaryen king in three hundred years. She seems to forget the civil wars Westeros had like the Dance of the Dragons or the Blackfyre Rebellions (mentioned in the show and Histories and Lore) or her ancestors like Aegon "The Unworthy" or Maegor "The Cruel", plus the other "unwise kings" Tywin mentioned to Tommen. Olenna Tyrell herself told Dany that Westeros was never really peaceful, either before, during or after the Targaryen era.
  • Not Hyperbole: Inverted. Davos says that Jon took a knife to the heart, and Tyrion dismisses it as a flight of fancy.
  • Not So Stoic: Cersei loses her composure and angrily snaps at Ellaria when bringing up Myrcella's assassination, even though Cersei is trying to appear cold and calculating to the Dornish captive. This happens to be a subject much too personal for Cersei, as she had argued before in the series that Myrcella had all the virtues and grace she herself lacked, far from machinations and the intrigue of her life, making the girl Cersei's pride and joy.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Jon's face when Drogon flies overhead. Given that Dany has been out of the country for most of their lives, this makes Jon still one of the only Westerosi to so much as see one of the dragons (the only notable others being Jorah, Tyrion, Yara, Theon, and presumably Olenna, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes).
    • Varys' reaction when Melisandre tells him they are both destined to die in Westeros.
    • Ellaria Sand's reaction when she sees the resurrected Ser Gregor, and again in the dungeons when she realizes Cersei means to kill Tyene in the same way she murdered Myrcella.
    • Grey Worm looks this way when he sees the Greyjoy fleet with the Silence at the vanguard decimating the ships that transported the Unsullied to Casterly Rock.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: There's a moment when Cersei is lecturing Ellaria and mentions how the latter killed her daughter Myrcella, and quickly asks her why would she do that, her voice clearly breaking. It's there when it becomes visible that Cersei is still deeply in pain for her daughter's death.
  • Out-Gambitted: Jaime does this to Tyrion. He expected Tyrion to take Casterly Rock but left it with only a token defense and had Euron Greyjoy encircle it by sea to burn the fleet, while Jaime attacked Highgarden and eliminated another of his allies.
  • Paper Tiger: The Tyrells are surprisingly retconned to be this. Despite their renowned and unmatched wealth, which in turns allows them to field the largest army, Olenna concedes that they are militarily worthless, after their former vassal House Tarly and a combined Lannister host manage to take Highgarden with ease. She also implies that Tywin Lannister could have conquered Highgarden whenever he wanted.
  • Precision F-Strike: Olenna bluntly calls Joffrey a cunt in her final diatribe. The expression on Jaime's face indicates that he can't really disagree with her assessment of his son.
  • Properly Paranoid: Littlefinger tells Sansa to always consider every fight that may come rather than focusing on just one happening now, to avoid being surprised by any of them.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even though their union turned into a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, it doesn't change the fact that Daenerys was still initially raped by Drogo and she remembers it this way.
    • When Daenerys declares she will ride her dragons to personally burn down Euron's fleet, both Tyrion and Missandei argue against it, pointing out that not only could the fleet be anywhere, but for all the power of the dragons themselves, one precise arrow could kill Dany by hitting her on her perch atop a dragon (as one of her female ancestors suffered, although she survived).
    • Furthermore, as she's the only person the dragons will possibly allow to ride them, she can't send loyal but ultimately expendable followers to do it in her place.
    • Even though Samwell did complete a Dangerous Forbidden Technique without a hitch, this doesn't mean that he's going to be given praise and sped ahead in his training as a maester. He broke the rules, and he has to learn how to be one of them like anyone else, slowly. He is praised, but it's only by virtue of the fact that he didn't fail or, worse, infect himself or even the entire Citadel that he's not expelled immediately.
    • Tyrion is a skilled tactician, as the Battle of Blackwater proved, but no strategic planner — no matter how talented — is going to make a good decision based on flawed, incomplete information.
    • Cersei might be surrounded by enemies, but she still controls the most powerful house, has internal lines of communication, a veteran army, and control of the sea lanes. She is not going down easily.
  • Reasonable Authority Figures:
    • Archmaester Ebrose praises Samwell for his efforts in curing Jorah's Grayscale, noting that even maesters who have forged the Healing link have failed in that procedure, whereas he succeeded and saved Jorah Mormont's life. However, at the same time, had anything gone wrong, he could have infected himself and put the entire Citadel at risk. Therefore, he gets no reward, but he doesn't get a punishment either, instead essentially being told to keep going about his duties.
    • As Hand of the Queen, this is basically Tyrion's job description, and he lives up to it here. He wants to help Jon, but he understands why Dany doesn't want to. So he tries to find a middle ground.
      Tyrion: [Daenerys] protects people from monsters, just as you do. That's why she came here. But she's not about to head north, to fight an enemy she's never seen, on the word of a man she doesn't know, after a single meeting. That's not a reasonable thing to ask! So...do you have anything reasonable to ask?
  • Retcon:
    • The Histories and Lore videos about Braavos has Tycho Nestoris talking of Braavos' anti-slavery history and the Bank's support of it. Nestoris acknowledging Cersei's comments indicates that, at the very least, the Iron Bank is involved in the slave trade despite the Braavosi laws.
  • The Reveal: This is the first time we see Casterly Rock, the famed ancestral seat of House Lannister. Ironically, in its first appearance it's abandoned by Cersei and Jaime as it is strategically useless to them except as a decoy target to separate the Unsullied from Daenerys.From The Books 
  • Saying Too Much: Davos almost reveals that Jon was brought back to life after being killed, but Jon stops him, knowing that Dany doesn't believe him about the White Walkers so mentioning another impossible feat won't help his case.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Justified; it was built by Tyrion to sneak prostitutes in, after his father put him in charge of the sewers of Casterly Rock.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Now that she's queen, Cersei makes no attempt to hide her relationship with Jaime.
  • Shame If Something Happened: When Melisandre tells Varys she's leaving Westeros, he approves and tells her it might not be safe for her to return.
  • Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story: House Martell's storyline gets its closure in this episode by making all of its struggles tragically pointless: Oberyn's thirst for revenge for his sister and her children leads to his death at Gregor's hands. Ellaria not only kills an innocent princess to trigger a war with the Lannisters, she also murders Oberyn's own entire family simply because they refused to have any more blood spilled. All of this and for what? To get thrown inside the Black Cells and be sentenced to a fate worse than death and contribute nothing to Daenerys' cause while the Lannisters are still standing and Oberyn's killer is alive and stronger than before.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!:
    • Varys once again tries to gloat over a magic user, only for Melisandre to reveal that she has seen Varys' death, in the lands of Westeros.
    • The Archmaester's reaction to Samwell's sadness at having to keep doing menial work is to remind him that he's lucky not to be expelled immediately for his actions in using the Dangerous Forbidden Technique to cure Jorah of his greyscale.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Daenerys invokes this when she apologises for the crimes her father committed against House Stark, asking Jon not to judge her for what her father did.
    Daenerys Targaryen: [contrite] My father...was an evil man. On behalf of House Targaryen, I ask your forgiveness for the crimes he committed against your family, and I ask you not to judge a daughter by the sins of her father.
  • Smart Ball: Cersei displays Tywin-esque levels of cunning for once, and even gets praised for it.
  • Smug Snake: Tyrion is a bit too pleased with himself and his plan to take Casterly Rock, adding some cheap jabs at the late Lord Tywin. He exposes it in a proud, almost conceited manner as if it were a strategic masterpiece, but Tyrion is grossly outplayed by Tywin's children and the outcome is a catastrophic failure for Tyrion's side.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Qyburn. His voice never raises above its usual whisper, but there's far too much relish in it as he assures Cersei the Long Farewell means certain death, but how long it takes to kill depends largely on the strength of its victim's constitution.
  • Spiteful Spit: Ellaria spits at Cersei's feet when brought before her by Euron. Cersei makes her regret it.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Cersei to Tyene, with a helping of Drugged Lipstick to make it a Kiss of Death.
  • Taught by Experience: Jaime's advantage over Tyrion is that he has more field experience, using Robb Stark's tactics to turn Tyrion's strategy into a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Despite having been named commanders of the Lannister army and navy respectively, Jaime and Euron clearly have no respect for each other. Jaime has nothing but contempt for Euron, bluntly telling him that the people cheering for him as he paraded his captives through King's Landing would be just as happy to see his head on a spike. Euron retorts by pointing out they'd be just as happy to see Jaime's on one as well before asking Jaime what Cersei prefers sexually, almost goading Jaime to attack Euron before the Lord Reaper, delighted at having provoked him, points out that Jaime should save it until they're somewhere less public.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: While Dany and Tyrion can't commit men to help Jon in fighting the White Walkers, they can offer him the dragonglass and men to mine it, since the obsidian is useless to them and would seal their alliance. This was all that Jon wanted.
  • Title Drop: Melisandre notes that she's happy to bring "Ice and Fire" together, referring to the title of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
  • To the Pain: Cersei's speech to Ellaria is a mix between this and Evil Gloating.
    Cersei: Qyburn here is the cleverest man I know. Clever enough to learn what poison you used to murder Myrcella. The Long Goodbye, was that it?
    Qyburn: The Long Farewell.
    Cersei: That's the one. How long does the poison take?
    Qyburn: Difficult to say — hours, days. It depends on the subject's constitution.
    Cersei: But death is certain?
    Qyburn: Oh yes, Your Grace, quite certain.
    Cersei: Your daughter will die here in this cell, and you will be here watching when she does. You'll be here the rest of your days. If you refuse to eat, we'll force food down your throat. You will live to watch your daughter rot. To watch that beautiful face collapse to bone and dust. All the while contemplating the choices you've made. Make sure the guards change the torches every few hours. I don't want her to miss a thing.
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: In the previous episode, Yara's fleet set sail for Dorne while the Unsullied went to Casterly Rock, which is on the other side of the continent. Euron Greyjoy attacked Yara's fleet in the Narrow Sea, captured her, and then set sail for King's Landing. In this episode, he arrives in King's Landing, stays a bit for parades and pleasantries, then somehow sails all the way to Casterly Rock — on the other coast, meaning he had to go all the way around the bottom of the continent — in the time it takes for the Unsullied to arrive and seize the lightly guarded castle using a secret entrance which allowed them to get through the gates.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Tyrion remarks that Jon Snow looks way better brooding than he does.
    Tyrion: I came down here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You're making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel like I'm failing at brooding over failing.
  • Übermensch: Dany's speech to Jon is about how she defined her own morality and formed her own path independent of all the norms of society and religion, and made the world answer to her:
    Daenerys : I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a brood mare, I’ve been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen. The world hadn't seen a dragon in centuries, until my children were born. The Dothraki hadn't crossed the sea, any sea. They did for me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.
  • Underestimating Badassery: As Sansa said in the season premiere Cersei always find a way to kill her adversaries. The attempt at minimizing collateral damage (as per Tyrion's strategy) ended up costing Dany's Westerosi allies. Now, Cersei has enough power to also be a trouble for the North.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: For the second time now, Tyrion detailed his strategy (the one for taking Casterly Rock) to his allies (and to the audience). The fact he spoke it out loud pretty much doomed the idea, as seen when the Unsullied found they were surrounded by Euron's fleet.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Daenerys' meeting with Jon in a nutshell. After everything she's faced since her dragons hatched, Daenerys has gotten used to getting what she wants, mostly after liberal use of dragonfire; Melisandre's vague prophecy about the 'prince that was promised' only served to further inflate her (admittedly justified) Awesome Ego. Enter Jon Snow: King in the North, former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and one of the few people alive who has killed a White Walker, came face-to-face with the Night King, and lived to tell about it. Each has their own goals: Daenerys wants the Iron Throne, Jon wants to defeat the Night King. Each expects the other to see reason and agree to help their cause. Naturally, they end up butting heads.
    Daenerys: You know I'm never going to let Cersei stay on the Iron Throne?
    Jon: I never expected that you would.
    Daenerys: And I haven't changed my mind about which kingdoms belong to that throne.
    Jon: I haven't, either.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means:
    • Jaime argues to Olenna that the people won't care how Cersei brought peace as long as she does it. Olenna knows someone like Cersei won't ever stop, regardless of how many supposed enemies she eliminates.
      Olenna Tyrell: She's a monster. You do know that?
      Jaime Lannister: To you, I'm sure. To others as well. But after we've won, and there's no one left to oppose us, when people are living peacefully in the world she built, do you really think they'll wring their hands over the way she built it?
    • Tycho Nestoris references this as well when he seems to condone Cersei's actions in exterminating the Faith Militant to bring matters back under control.
      Tycho Nestoris: Sometimes, tragedies are necessary to restore order and rational leadership.
  • Villain Respect:
    • While Cersei's obviously trying to press Ellaria's buttons by reminding her of Oberyn, the compliments she pays him are likely sincere.
    • When Highgarden is taken by the Lannister forces, all Olenna can ask is "Did we at least fight well?" Jaime assures her they did "as well as can be expected," and what follows is a dialogue that showcases their respect for each other (despite Olenna's barbed comments about everyone else with the Lannister name), even to the point where Jaime was able to talk Cersei into giving Olenna a painless poison to ingest. Though upon taking it, Olenna takes one last snipe at Jaime, revealing that it was she who poisoned Joffrey, and that she wants Cersei to know it was she.
  • Visual Innuendo: Tyrion's "I'll impregnate the bitch" voiceover is accompanied by an overhead shot of the Unsullied with their round shields swarming through the gate and into the narrow tunnel that leads into Casterly Rock.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Jon and Tyrion's dynamic:
    Tyrion: The Bastard of Winterfell.
    Jon: The Dwarf of Casterly Rock.
  • Wham Line: Several, at different points.
    Melisandre: Oh, I will return to Westeros, dear Spider, one last time. I have to die in this strange country...just like you.
    Grey Worm: Where are the rest of the Lannisters?
    Olenna: I hate to die like your son. Clawing at my neck. Foam and bile spilling from my mouth. Eyes blood red. Skin purple. Must have been horrible for you, as a kingsguard, as a father. It was horrible enough for me. A shocking scene. Not at all what I intended.
  • Wham Shot: Grey Worm wonders where the rest of the Lannister forces are. The camera then pans to show Euron Greyjoy's fleet curb-stomping the Unsullied's transport ships, followed by a shot of the Lannister and Tyrell forces marching on Highgarden.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the previous season Jaime indicated that Edmure Tully's wife and son were being held in Casterly Rock and that he would be allowed to join them once he had surrendered Riverrun to the Lannister army. In this episode Casterly Rock is occupied by the Unsullied army, but no mention is even made of what happened to the hostages.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The allied Ironborn that fish up Theon chastise him for abandoning Yara, pointing out that had he tried to save her then he wouldn't be on their ship now.
    • Jon gives one to Daenerys, pointing out she has no right to demand his fealty after the atrocities her father committed against his family.
    Daenerys Targaryen: You've come all this way to break faith with House Targaryen?
    Jon Snow: [incredulously] Break faith?! Your father burned my grandfather alive! He burned my uncle alive! He would have burned the Seven Kingdoms!
  • What the Romans Have Done for Us: Daenerys proudly boasts that Westeros never had it so good as it did during the 300 years of Targaryen rule, although she admits that her father was evil and she apologizes for the wrongs committed by him to House Stark.From the Books 
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: While delivering her Hannibal Lecture to Ellaria, Cersei notes that Oberyn would have defeated Gregor had he not succumbed to this trope.
    Cersei: Oberyn looked beautiful that day, he really did. No one moved like him, no one had such skill with the spear; even Ser Gregor couldn't stop him. If only he hadn't taunted him. He could have walked away and left poor Ser Gregor to die... but that wasn't your lover's way, was it? Now he's buried somewhere, and here's Ser Gregor, stronger than ever.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: After being labelled as a Redshirt Army due to suffering many onscreen casualties, the Unsullied get to show their prowess as a Badass Army by successfully seizing Casterly Rock from the Lannisters in a daring attack. Turns out they were lead into a trap, since the bulk of the enemy army has since abandoned this position to conquer a vital allied stronghold and they are now surrounded by a Greyjoy fleet that destroyed their ships.
  • You Fool!: Olenna to Jaime about his love for Cersei. "You poor fool. She'll be the death of you."
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Jon when he tells Daenerys and Tyrion about the Night King and the White Walkers. Tyrion does seem to believe him, noting that it makes no sense why someone like Jon would come to Dragonstone and risk his life and position for something like that if it's not true.
  • Your Head Asplode: Discussed. Cersei notes that she contemplated having Gregor crush Ellaria and Tyene's skulls like he did Oberyn's, but decided that, while poetic, it would be too quick a death for them.
    Cersei Lannister: [addressing Ellaria] I thought about having Ser Gregor crush your skull the way he crushed Oberyn's. It would be poetic, I suppose, but fast, far too fast. I thought about having him crush your daughter's skull. She's so beautiful. The thought of this lovely face cracking open like a duck egg... no it's just not right, is it?

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