The Atlantic

Game of Thrones: All the Queens’ Men

Three Atlantic staffers discuss the third episode of the seventh season.
Source: HBO

Every week for the seventh season of Game of Thrones, Lenika Cruz, David Sims, and Spencer Kornhaber will discuss new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners were made available to critics in advance this year, we'll be posting our thoughts in installments.

Lenika Cruz: Three episodes into this season, I’m still getting used to just how much more quickly things are unfolding on Game of Thrones in this final stretch. This week, “The Queen’s Justice” gave us plenty of major plot developments: Dany and Jon met! Jorah was cured! Bran and Sansa reunited! The Unsullied took Casterly Rock! The Lannisters took Highgarden! Lady Olenna was executed! Dorne is done! Euron is the worst! A lot of exclamation points, I know, but most of those moments were genuinely Big Deals that collectively struck a nice balance of being either a really long time coming or effective surprises.

The show wisely started out with that momentous meeting of ice and fire that’s long been essential to the mythology of the series: Daenerys and Jon coming face to face for the first time at Dragonstone. That entire first scene got a chance to truly breathe, giving Daenerys and Jon the space to introduce themselves, to feel each other out, to clash a little. We’ve spent six full seasons with each of these characters; we know them and what they’ve seen, overcome, and learned. We even know that they’re blood relatives.

But they don’t know each other. So I thought the writers did an artful job of conjuring up an authentic-feeling meeting between the King of the North and the Rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms that didn’t just offer a recap of their lives thus far. Not only that, but the writers also painted

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
China Is Cutting Tariffs—For Everyone Else
Lobster is Maine’s top export. Like many Americans with something to sell, Maine’s trappers benefited from positive turns in China’s economic development. The movement of tens of millions of people out of poverty and into the middle class increased d
The Atlantic13 min read
The End of an American College
Small schools across the United States are facing budget short falls and low enrollment—leading some to shut down in the middle of students’ higher-education experience.
The Atlantic6 min read
Kyle Kashuv Becomes a Symbol to Conservatives Who Say the Left Can’t Forgive
The 18-year-old gun-rights activist and Parkland-shooting survivor is being touted by the right as the latest victim of “cancel culture.”