Game Of Thrones season 7: episode 3 questions answered

If the previous Game Of Thrones seasons aren’t that fresh in your mind, here’s some background info relevant to The Queen’s Justice…

Warning: contains spoilers.

For anyone with only a fuzzy recollection of previous events in Game Of Thrones, here’s a reminder of a few things that are useful to remember about this week’s episode, The Queen’s Justice

Why does Tyrion call Davos the Onion Knight?

It’s his nickname. A former smuggler, Ser Davos Seaworth was made a knight and gifted land by Stannis Baratheon as thanks for smuggling onions and other food to Storm’s End (the Baratheon family seat) while it was under siege by House Tyrell during Robert’s Rebellion. Davos’ shipments stopped the people of Storm’s End from starving.

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‘The Onion Knight’ started out as a derogatory term the upper classes used to denigrate Ser Davos, but he embraced it and adopted the onion as his family crest – much as Tyrion found strength in embracing his dwarfism and Jon Snow in embracing his status as a bastard.

Apparently Flea Bottom shares an accent with Newcastle, so now we know.

What happened at the Battle of Blackwater?

Stannis’ fleet tried to take King’s Landing and the Iron Throne, and very nearly succeeded, but Tyrion (then Acting Hand of King Joffrey) defeated them by having his army unleash wildfire (the napalm-like flammable green stuff Cersei used to explode the Sept of Baelor) all over them. Davos’ beloved son Matthos was killed in a wildfire blast.

How did Tyrion get his facial scar?

In the Battle of Blackwater, Tyrion was betrayed by Ser Mandon, one of Joffrey’s Kingsguard, who attempted to kill him in the chaos of battle. Podrick Payne, now squire to Brienne, saved Tyrion’s life and killed his attacker.

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It’s suspected that Joffrey gave Ser Mandon the instruction to repay his uncle for his hostility and that famous slap across the face.

Why was Missandei tight-lipped about the Island of Naath’s reputed beauty?

She was kidnapped from Naath at the age of five and sold into slavery. Its beautiful palm trees and butterflies aren’t her most vivid memory of the place.

What happens to Stark men when they travel south?

Ned Stark was beheaded at King’s Landing after being falsely accused of being a traitor. Robb Stark was murdered and had his Direwolf’s head sewn to his body at the Twins. Historically, Lord Rickard Stark and his son Brandon were burned alive by the Mad King Aerys Targaryen at King’s Landing. As a point of contrast, Benjen Stark was killed/resurrected North of the Wall, so perhaps they’re simply an unlucky bunch.

Which “terrible mistakes” was Melisandre referring to in her chat with Varys?

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She sacrificed young Shireen Baratheon to the Lord of Light at the stake, which earned her more hatred from Ser Davos and banishment on pain of death by Jon Snow. She also killed Renly Baratheon and sacrificed many more due to her mistaken belief that Stannis Baratheon was the Prince Who Was Promised. He er, wasn’t.

Why doesn’t Varys seem to like Melisandre?

After being sold as a child to a sorcerer who cut off his genitals and burned them in an act of dark magic, he hates witchcraft of any sort. Understandable.

Is Daenerys really the last Targaryen?

No. Her nephew Jon Snow is also one, unbeknownst to everyone but Bran.

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Who were those people who dragged Theon Greyjoy from the water?

Soldiers on one of the few surviving Kraken ships from the Iron Islands, aka, his people.

Is Yara Greyjoy still alive?

So far, as a prisoner at King’s Landing. Will Theon mount a rescue attempt, mirroring his sister’s own failed rescue attempt when he was a traumatised prisoner of Ramsay Bolton and refused to come with her?

Remind me what happened to Cersei’s and Jaime’s mother?

Joanna Lannister bled to death after giving birth to Tyrion, something for which Cersei has never forgiven her little brother.

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Why did Cersei give Tyene Sand the kiss of death?

Poetic justice. Ellaria Sand (who hates the Lannisters because they killed her lover Oberyn) laced her lipstick with ‘The Long Farewell’ delayed-reaction poison before kissing Myrcella Baratheon goodbye as she left Dorne for home in the season five finale. Ellaria took the antidote just after poisoning the girl and Myrcella died just as her ship was reaching King’s Landing.

Cersei had Qyburn source the same poison which she delivered in the exact same way to Ellaria Sand’s daughter Tyene, as revenge.

Did Cersei wipe her mouth properly before celebrating with Jaime?

We must presume she did.

Remind me how Jaime Lannister lost his hand again?

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Back in season three, when Catelyn Stark had secretly released Jaime and tasked Brienne with taking him to King’s Landing to exchange for her daughters, Brienne and Jaime were captured by a group from House Bolton led by a man called Locke. After repeated attempts to bribe Locke with the promise of gold, he chopped off Jaime’s sword hand as punishment and as a reminder that Tywin Lannister would never deal with the likes of him. Once back at King’s Landing, he was fashioned a Lannister gold prosthetic.

Mark Gatiss! What was he doing there?

He plays Tycho Nestoris, a sort of bank manager for the Iron Bank of Braavos, to whom the Crown is in enormous debt. He’s come to ensure that the Lannisters are true to their family words and repay their debts.

What are Grumpkins and Snarks?

Mythical creatures from Westerosi folktales and fairy stories, told to the Stark children by Old Nan when they were little. In season one, Tyrion dismisses talk of White Walkers and Wights by lumping them in with other fictional scary stories told to make kids behave.

What’s the deal with Bran being the Three-Eyed Raven?

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As he tells Sansa, it’s complicated but essentially: the Three-Eyed Raven is a greenseer (a human who has dream visions of past, present and future events). After his fall at the hands of Jaime Lannister in season one, Bran’s greensight developed and eventually guided him to the underground cave where the Three-Eyed Raven lived among the remaining Children of the Forest. Bran was taught how to use his powers but when he led the Night King to their location by accidentally allowing him to touch his arm in a vision, the Three-Eyed Raven was killed and the role was inherited by Bran. He’s still piecing together all the info that was passed on to him, but is now a sort of omniscient human Google for the Seven Kingdoms.

The Heart Tree, with the carved face on its bark (supposedly done by the magical Children of the Forest), against which Bran was sitting in Winterfell’s Godswood is a weirwood tree. In the books, it’s suggested that such trees can be used as a kind of CCTV camera viewing point for those with Greensight.

Is it significant that we’re told Maester Luwin kept a copy of every raven scroll ever sent to Winterfell?

It could well be.

What’s the significance of the Maesters’ neck chains?

Maesters, trained at the Citadel in Old Town, are the academics of Westeros. Each great house has its own maester, who wears a heavy chain made of links in different kinds of metal to signify their various skills. Like a scouting badge, maesters earn different links for demonstrating different expertise.

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Who turned up to destroy the Unsullied fleet outside Casterly Rock?

Euron Greyjoy’s navy, working in collaboration with the Lannister army. That’s the second such blow for Dany’s rebel alliance in as many weeks.

Was that Ser Bronn we saw alongside Jaime outside Highgarden?

It was! Ser Bronn returns. (Incidentally, his words also returned when Tyrion quoted his line about ‘impregnating the bitch’, this time in reference to Casterly Rock and not the Eyrie.)

Remind me what happened at the Whispering Wood?

Robb Stark proved himself a great military tactician (despite later making a fatal error in his personal life that cost him and his family their lives when he broke his promise to marry a Frey girl) during the Battle of the Five Armies. With two Lannister forces to defeat—one led by Jaime at the Whispering Woods and the other by his father Tywin—Robb led Tywin to believe he was sending his entire host of twenty thousand to do battle with his troops, but really split his host, sending the vast majority not to Tywin but to Jaime’s soldiers, whom he took by surprise and defeated, taking Jaime as prisoner.

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Jaime pulled the same trick by leading Tyrion to believe his entire host would be defending Casterly Rock but in fact leaving just a skeleton army there and sending the majority to take Highgarden and kill Olenna Tyrell.

Why is Jaime carrying Joffrey’s Valyrian steel sword and not his own?

Tywin Lannister had Ned Stark’s Valyrian steel broadsword Ice melted down to make two Lannister swords, one for Jaime, one for Joffrey. Jaime gifted his to Brienne of Tarth so she could keep the vow she made to Catelyn Stark to protect her daughters, hence Brienne naming the sword ‘Oathkeeper’ (thus Ice was indirectly returned to the Stark family).

After Joffrey’s death, Jaime took up his son/nephew’s sword, perhaps sentimentally but also because Valyrian steel is the absolute business. Joffrey had been presented with the sword on his Name Day, christened it ‘Widow’s Wail’ and used it to slice up the rare books his uncle Tyrion gave him as a gift. Olenna was right on the money about that lad.

What was the quote Olenna recited to Jaime before drinking her wine?

“And now the rains weep oer his hall”, a line from The Rains of Castermere, sometimes known as The Lannister Song. It’s an account of the young Tywin Lannister’s ruthlessness against his enemies and was the signal used for the slaughter to begin at the Red Wedding. It was playing as Jaime sought out Olenna at Highgarden.

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Why and how did Lady Olenna poison Joffrey?

Why: to protect her beloved granddaughter Margaery from marriage to a monster like Joffrey.

How: she had Ser Dontos (the fool whose life Sansa saved from Joffrey) give Sansa an amethyst necklace, one jewel of which contained a rare poison. Sansa, unaware of its contents, wore the necklace to Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding, and Lady Olenna removed the poison crystal from it under the pretence of straightening Sansa’s hair and placed it in Joffrey’s cup. As she took the poison from around Sansa’s neck, Olenna told her in a moment of supreme irony, “War is war but killing a man at a wedding? Horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing?” Quite.