'Game of Thrones': Dragons, dialogue rule in 'Queen's Justice'

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Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," "The Queen's Justice"

You know the drill by now: This post contains plot details from Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. Also, monsters.

You can keep your dragons — I’ll take halfway decent banter over fire-breathing CGI critters any day.

Sunday’s episode gave us both, of course, as well as the meeting some fans have waited more than six seasons for, as Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the Bastard of Winterfell, arrived at Dragonstone to face Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), “rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men,” blah blah blah.

How is it that  Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) hasn’t been scooped up by the White House communications office? This is a woman who knows how to introduce a boss. Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham), on the other hand, might not want to quit his day job — he very nearly blew the lid off on Jon’s having been dead a while back. And don’t think that Daenerys didn’t notice something was up.

I’m afraid I was too busy enjoying Jon’s reunion with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), whom he greeted as “the Dwarf of Casterly Rock,” to be all that excited about his meeting with the woman neither Jon nor she knows might be his aunt. Anyway, it unfolded pretty much the way I thought it would, with her being all about the knee-bending and past grievances and he being all Night King-gloomy.

The guy with the inconvenient truth is always going to be a bit of a downer. Still, their dialogue was fun.

Tyrion continues to get most of the best lines, but like a good talk-show host, he tends to make the people around him sound more interesting. Even Jon.

So when the Imp, who made a point of noting the lack of consummation of his marriage to Jon’s (supposed) half-sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), said that “she’s smarter than she lets on,” Jon summoned up a dry reply: “She’s starting to let on.”

The alarming appearance of Dany’s swooping dragons also gave Tyrion an opportunity to try to put their new guest at ease.

“I’d say you get used to them. You never really do. Come. Their mother’s waiting for you.”

Later, I think Tyrion spoke for many of us when he attempted to explain to Dany how, exactly, dragonglass is used to dispatch White Walkers. “Unsure about the nomenclature,” indeed.

But you probably want to talk about the queen’s justice, don’t you?

Those Lannisters always pay their debts sooner or later, as Cersei (Lena Headey), for now at least queen of the Seven-ish Kingdoms, reminded the emissary (Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss) from the Iron Bank — in between paying off a couple of, um, debts to the people who’d killed two of her three children. (Though she might not have known the full extent of what she owed one.)

Tyrion isn’t the only Lannister who can turn a phrase, and one, “the thought of this lovely face, cracking open like a duck egg,” is likely to stay with me a bit longer than I’d like.

It’s not that Cersei doesn’t have reason to taunt (and torture) Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) by killing Ellaria’s daughter the same way Ellaria killed Cersei’s sweet Myrcella and then making the mother look at her daughter’s rotting corpse for however long she herself survives.

It’s just that it’s really, really hard to imagine eating a duck egg after this.

As Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) said, in her own wonderfully articulate last conversation with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Cersei’s a monster.

Westeros, though, is full of monsters. They no longer include the late Lady Olenna, a wonderfully monstrous character it’ll be hard not to miss. Having been spared by Jaime any of the more torturous deaths Cersei had planned for her, she chose to spend her final moments before his supposedly painless poison took hold describing in hideous detail how Jaime and Cersei’s son Joffrey had died.

“A shocking scene,” she murmured. “Not at all what I’d intended. You see, I’d never seen the poison work before. Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”

Poor Jaime. Between that and that icky conversation with Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), for which he also had no great comeback — because, really, what do you say to the guy who asks you for advice about what the sister you’ve been having sex with most of your life likes in bed? — he joins Ser Davos this week as the characters least likely to win  a war of words.

A few other thoughts about the third episode of the season:

  • Sansa’s reunion with Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was a bit on the somber side, and her  realization that he somehow had seen her raped  (“And you were so beautiful in your white wedding dress”) didn’t help.
  • Maybe the archmaester (Jim Broadbent) assigning Sam (John Bradley-West) all that clerical work after his medical triumph with Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) doesn’t seem like much, but let’s remember we began this season watching Sam empty chamber pots. Lots and lots of chamber pots.
  • Assuming that the missing Arya (Maisie Williams), too, is headed toward Winterfell — and after that fake-out with Casterly Rock and Jaime, I’m assuming nothing — what’s taking her so long? Everyone else on this show is moving this season at the speed at which 24‘s Jack Bauer used to get across Los Angeles.
  • If you ever wondered about the “joy” in Greyjoy (up until now, they’ve seemed a somber lot), I think it all went to Euron.