5:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones': Ranking the Highlights From That Epic First Meeting
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the third episode of Game of Thrones' seventh season, "The Queen's Justice."]
The Red Wedding and the Ned Stark beheading stand out as the two most anticipated moments in Game of Thrones history, at least as far as scenes that already existed in the books bursting to life on the show. As for scenes that haven't yet been written in the pages of George R.R. Martin's saga on which Thrones is based? You just witnessed the most anticipated one by far.
Sure, we're all waiting with bated breath for the Wall to come down, paving the way for the Night King and his White Walkers to finally invade Westeros. But in terms of specific character interactions, the first meeting between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has to rank right at the top of the list of anticipated scenes. In a show filled with so many star players, Jon and Dany stand out as the show's two most recognizable "heroes." The ice and fire stories are now finally merged, signaling the true beginning of the end.
With so much riding on this moment, it's easy to imagine how the meeting could have failed to live up to expectations. Thankfully, it did the exact opposite. From Jon's arrival at Dragonstone to his tense conversation with Daenerys, the scenes between these characters were loaded with range: touching at points, downright hilarious at others, bone-chilling and rich with potential all throughout. Here are the seven best moments from the scene, ranked in order of excellence.
7. Destiny Above
The Dragonstone sequence is already a winner before Jon sets foot inside the audience chamber and meets the Dragon Queen herself. First, he meets her children: Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal, soaring high above Dragonstone. It's an awesome moment that leaves the viewer feeling almost as stunned as the King in the North... almost.
6. The Opening Titles
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) adds so much to the entire scene, with only a few lines. Later in the scene, he speaks at length about Jon's qualifications. But at the start, he's at a bit of a loss, especially after Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) announces all of Dany's various titles. Rather than match the massive list of accomplishments, he offers only: "This is Jon Snow. He's King in the North!" It's on the short list for funniest moments of the season thus far, for sure.
5. History Lessons
For the book-first fans, it's always a delight when Thrones addresses key moments in Westeros lore, and even more delightful when those moments are somewhat obscure. Who had a "Torrhen Stark" reference on the bingo card for this week, for instance? And how about the references to the Mad King burning Jon's grandfather and uncle alive, the incident that spurred Robert's Rebellion into full-blown action? As invested as we are in the main narrative, the show exists in one of the densest universes of any fantasy franchise — hence why there are roughly five million successor shows currently in development.
4. Child's Play
Sansa (Sophie Turner) cautioned Jon against acting too much like his late father and brother as the new King in the North. Looks like he didn't exactly heed that advice, given Jon's sales pitch to both Daenerys, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and the rest of the room. Calling everyone a child? Not the best way to win new recruits to your war against the White Walkers. On the other hand, it's actually refreshing to see Jon acting so matter-of-factly about the true fate facing Westeros, not to mention incredibly fun to see Dany so thoroughly annoyed with her current guest of honor.
3. Bend the Knee
If the war for the Iron Throne doesn't matter, then why doesn't Jon Snow bend the knee? "There's no time for that," is his reply. Which, of course, is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say, because it would require very little time at all to physically bow at his new queen's feet. Thankfully, the show anticipated this exact argument, affording Tyrion the opportunity to call out Jon on his poor time management skills. It didn't exactly solve the issue, but hey, at least it was acknowledged.
2. The Queen's Speech
No need to rehash it, simply best to repeat it: "I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me; I don't remember all of their names. I've been sold like a broodmare. 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, until me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms — and I will." Can I get a "yaaaaas Khaleesi," please?
1. "Get to Work, Jon Snow"
As enjoyable as it was to watch Jon and Dany clash over their conflicting priorities, it's even more satisfying to see them on the same page. Their final scene in the episode, in which they strike an agreement to work together on creating weapons forged from dragonglass, is hopefully just the first of many times we'll see the King in the North and the Breaker of Chains collaborating with one another. Is it also a hint at a future for the pair beyond their respective responsibilities? The Dragon Fleet is all but decimated after this episode, but thanks to Jon's arrival in her life, Daenerys has at least one new ship in her corner.
Bonus Points: Return to Cloud City
Daenerys was only involved in spirit, so it doesn't quite count. That said, Jon and Tyrion reuniting for the first time in years was absolutely fantastic, and brought to mind memories of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian's reunion in The Empire Strikes Back.
Watch the video below for the Game of Thrones cast's preview of season seven's battles.
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