UK TV review: Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 3
Paul Greenwood | On 01, Aug 2017
Warning: This contains spoilers. Not seen Episode 3? Click here to see how to catch up.
Chills. Actual chills.
Granted, that might have been something to do with the unseasonably nippy July morning air, but more than likely it was to do with the sizzling encounters that opened this delicious third episode of Game of Thrones Season 7.
The King in the North met the Mother of Dragons for the first time, amid much eyebrow-furrowing and brooding stares, as each sized the other up. Although, in truth, Jon’s first encounter with Tyrion (who finally got to offer some wise counsel, after two weeks of doing almost nothing) in many a long year actually held as much promise and was a nice reminder that friendship and respect still exists in Westeros. It’s possible there were as many handshakes in this episode as there have been in the entirety of GoT so far. Three, to be exact.
Daenerys wanted Jon to “bend the knee”, but he’s far too “oop North” for that. In an episode that puts a great deal of stock in various people coming up with sayings that a wise person may or may not once have uttered, “something something something about how those wanting to rule most should be the very last ones allowed so to do.” There’s just something about Dany now, something too ambitious and imperious that marks her out as potentially unfit to rule. Perhaps a more reluctant King in the North is heading towards that throne instead? Who even is the rightful king anyway? Dany? Jon? Gendry?
Jon just wants access to her cache of dragonglass, the better to stab white zombies with, as still they talk about the army of the dead marching south, an army clearly stuck somewhere on an M6 contraflow. For all the knowledge and counter-espionage that seems to exist in this place, couldn’t someone somewhere plant some sort of tracking device on them?
Bonkers Euron is still having loads of fun, presenting Cersei with the spoils of his plundering last episode. It’s only a matter of time before he walks up to Cersei and licks her face, such is the relish with which he’s going about his evilness. Speaking of the Mad Queen, her revenge on Ellaria Sand is a thing of chilling savagery, yet once again you can just about see it from her point of view, given how her own innocent daughter was taken from her. Revenge on murdered offspring is a recurring theme, as the altogether more sane Jaime courteously takes out the sure-to-missed Queen of Thorns.
As much power as Dany seems to hold, Cersei keeps winning the tactical mind-games and the battles. This is after the merest glimpses of skirmishes at much-storied locations (Casterly Rock, Highgarden) that we’ve never visited before, and perhaps never will again. Some lovely-looking armies showed up that we then didn’t get to see in action – hopefully, a sign that the special effects guys are keeping their powder dry for a massive onslaught to come, a la Season 6.
Episode 7 reunites Stark offspring at Winterfell, at long last, but just as we’re expecting to see Arya return from her pie-making adventures, there’s Bran, who doesn’t seem as happy to see Sansa as she is to see him. Instead of the boisterous wee brother she last saw him as, he’s gone all mystical and trippy. One sibling is a heinously-wronged bigamist, one a three-eyed bird-boy who can influence events of the past, and the other a psycho assassin. You think your family is crazy? Honestly, Christmas day round theirs just doesn’t bear thinking about.
Game of Thrones Season 7 is simulcast on Mondays at 2am on Sky Atlantic, and then repeated at 9pm, with each episode available on-demand following their 2am broadcast. Don’t have Sky? It’s also available to watch online in the UK through NOW TV, a contract-free streaming service that gives you access to Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky 1, FOX UK and other pay-TV channels, for £7.99 a month – with a 14-day free trial.