Episode 21 – Valar Dohaeris – Newbie Recap
By Winter Is Coming on in Recap.

Jon Snow in the S3 premiere

You’ve read my take on “Valar Dohaeris”, coming at it from the perspective of someone who has read the books. But what about newcomers to the series? What did they think of last night’s episode? Our newbie recapper, Oz of Thrones, gives us his thoughts on the Game of Thrones season 3 premiere.

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show here). We ask all the series veterans to refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

Disclaimer: Please be advised that I, nor no one else in House Oz, has read the genius that is GRRM’s ASOIAF. This decision was made in conjunction with Ozzette and our collective decision to be surprised by the show, and venture into the paperwork upon the conclusion of the great GoT. I avoid the future story lines and spoilers at all costs, and although I sometimes fail, I am quick with a mouse in surfing away from ravens who hold such valuable info. With that being said, understand that I may not always get the names and places absolutely correct, especially with the expectation of so many new characters and exotic locales this season. I will almost certainly make mistakes, as the complexity and character development in this show are second to none. But a man will do his best…….

Finally, after what seemed like a 5 year summer, we finally get to return to Westeros for Season 3. It is quite refreshing to not have to dodge my TV to avoid some little girl named “Boo Boo” or a bunch of bearded men who are now making millions because they started a business making duck calls. GoT is back, and as far as I’m concerned, it can just stay on year round. Lets go…..

We begin where we left off at the end of Season 2, only with some horrible commotion that may or may not have been an unseen battle between the Nights Watch and the White Walkers with their army of blue eyed walking dead. Sam is most likely running further and faster than he ever has before, and who can blame him? About the time he is about to get a blade buried somewhere on his body, he is saved by Ghost and Jeor Mormont, who sets the axe wielding walker on fire. The remaining Night Watchmen and Mormont head back to wall with Sam to warn the others of what is coming.

Jon Snow and the Wildlings have arrived to the wildling camp to finally meet the King Beyond the wall, Mance Rayder. You can tell when Jon enters the camp that the Wildlings are a different breed than all others that inhabit Westeros. There seem to be no rules as Jon is pelted with stones and verbally abused all the way to Mance’s tent. Oh, and there was that really big man that walked by also. Normal factor = 0. Apparently, there are giants beyond the wall, and oddly enough they are shy (unless you make them angry). Jon enters the tent of Mance and mistakes a man named Tormund for the King and precedes to bend the knee to him, which provokes a good laugh from the other occupants of the tent. Mance interjects and tells Jon to rise and that no one kneels beyond the wall. After a very tense Q&A between the two that involved Jon explaining his reasoning for wanting to join the wildlings, Mance tells Jon that they will need to get him a new cloak. The King beyond the wall didn’t necessarily put out the welcome mat for Jon, but it definitely could have been worse.

And then there were boobs. Bronn is about to have some fun with a yet unnamed brothel employee when he is interrupted by Podrick at Tyrion’s request. To the surprise of Tyrion, a knock on his door ends up being Cersei. Of course, Tyrion is hesitant to let her in after being told that she was the one who ordered his murder on the battlefield. It turns out that Cersei is more concerned with a scheduled meeting between Tyrion and their father, Tywin, fearing that he will lie to his father about her. However, the meeting between father and son goes horribly bad when Tyrion asks to be made Lord of Casterly Rock for all he did for Kings Landing leading up to and during the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Up until this point, viewers of the show knew that Tywin did not care a great deal for his half-man son. But it was not until this exchange between father and son did I realize how much Tywin loathes and despises Tyrion. Having said that, and knowing how good Tyrion is at playing the game, he likely knew this would be his fathers response and is now preparing plots and schemes (woops… sorry. Those are the same thing).

Davos Seaworth is alive! Matthos Seaworth is not. Davos manages to catch a ride on his old pirate friend Salladhor Saan’s ship and requests to be dropped off at Dragonstone to meet with Stannis and get him away from Melisandre. Salladhor warns Davos that if he defies the Red Woman, Stannis will burn him. Davos does just that and blames Melisandre for the defeat. She blames him for not allowing her to go to Blackwater. Davos then charges at Melisandre and is placed in the dungeon by Stannis. Stannis now appears to be all in on betting on the power of the Red Woman for his next run at the Seven Kingdoms. I hope Davos does not spend the season in a dungeon, as he is one of the classiest men in Westeros. But, the good guys seem to finish last (see above, Tyrion Lannister).

In a couple of brief scenes, Sansa discusses the possibility of getting out of Kings Landing with Littlefinger, and Robb arrives with his army at a desserted Harrenhall. Both of these scenes were very short and seemed only to be included to set up future events in upcoming episodes.

We get a little bit of King Joffrey as he is carried in his King Cage through the streets of Kings Landing when he notices that Margeary stops at an orphanage for children who have lost their fathers in battle. This makes for an awkward conversation at dinner between Margeary, Cersei, Loras, and Joffrey. It makes you wonder if what Margeary did at the orphanage was sincere or merely an act to see how Joffrey would react. My guess is that she will find out soon enough, and hopefully before she gets the royal spanking from Joffreys crossbow.

And finally, Dragons! Dany and her caravan are sailing to a city called Astapor and the Dothraki on board could seriously use some Dramamine. When they arrive, they meet with a slave trader who can offer the Khaleesi an army of 8,000 men that are referred to as the Unsullied. And these are no ordinary soldiers. The slave trader demonstrates this fact by cutting off a nipple of one of the Unsullied, to which the soldier makes no movement or shows no sign of pain. Dany has to make a decision on the Unsullied by the next day. As she and Jorah Mormont make their way through the city, Dany is attracted to a little girl playing with a ball as the two are shadowed by what appears to be a jedi knight. The girl rolls the ball to Dany and makes a motion for her to open it. But before she can, the jedi knocks the ball from Dany’s hand. She falls to the ground only to be faced with a giant scorpion from hell emerging from the ball. As it goes to strike her, the scorpion is stabbed by the jedi, who reveals himself as Ser Barristen Selmy, former knight of the Kings Guard who was relieved of duty by Joffrey for being “too old.” The little girl then begins to look like Pyat Pree’s daughter and escapes. Ser Barristen asks for forgiveness from Dany, and requests that he be allowed to serve her.

Episode 301 Personal Awards
Favorite Scene: Jon meets Mance
Favorite Quote: “You must be proud to be as funny as a man whose balls brush his knees.” –Tyrion to Cersei in regards to her joke about him not needing much room.
Foul Mouth Award: This week, it goes to the slave trader in Astapor. Although it was in a foreign language, it still counts if it appears in subtitles.
WTF is that? Award: Tie between the Giant and the Scorpion from Hell.

Burning Questions: How did Sam manage to not get attacked when the Walkers and Wights strolled past him? And what was the deal with Sam and his responsibility to send the Ravens? Did he have Ravens hidden in his coat? Why is Sansa now considering leaving Kings Landing with the help of Littlefinger when she could have escaped unnoticed during the Battle with the Hound? And where is Theon? Was he handed over to the Stark’s men, or is he headed back to the Iron Islands with a sack on his head? And someone please tell me, who set Winterfell on fire? I assume it was Theon’s men, but it was never fully explained. (By the way, did you notice Winterfell burning in the opening credits? Nice touch.)

Overall Thoughts: You can identify a good episode when you are sitting on the edge of your seat even when there is no combat taking place. What the episode lacked in violence and battle scenes, it easily made up for with drama and dialogue. Now, I wish it was Sunday again.

Please let me know your thoughts on Favorite Scenes, Quotes or otherwise, and thanks for checking out my maiden voyage on WinterisComing.net. I hope you enjoyed. Until next time, may there be peace in your realm. –Oz of Thrones


101 Comments

  1. Lord Greenseer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Hodor

  2. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    HODOR.

  3. jasonw
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    And someone please tell me, who set Winterfell on fire?

    No spoilers for you.

  4. Macejko
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I’ll go against the majority saying that this was a really, really weak episode. First, they cheated us with not showing the battle teased so greatly at the end of the last season, and then it was just downhill. Yes, it had some good and entertaining moments (giant, dragons, dialogue between Tywin and Tyrion), but overall it lacked passion in directing. It felt like Daniel Minahan just doesn’t give a damn.

  5. GeekFurious
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Why is Sansa now considering leaving Kings Landing with the help of Littlefinger when she could have escaped unnoticed during the Battle with the Hound?

    Because at the time she thought she was still going to marry Jof. Plus, what crazy person goes with the Hound anywhere?

    Oh wait…

  6. Littlejanet
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The mom on ” my mom watches game of thrones” thinks that the White Walkers let Sam live because they are like the Borg. A lone individual is not a threat.
    Also, remember back at Crasters? Sam had a bunch of ravens in cages on the sledge. I don’t think it counts as a spoiler,per see, to share that, in the books, Sam does release the ravens when the White walkers attack – he just forgets to attach any messages to them first.

  7. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious: Because at the time she thought she was still going to marry Jof. Plus, what crazy person goes with the Hound anywhere?

    Oh wait…

    Sansa didn’t go with the Hound because she hoped Stannis would win the battle and free her.

  8. James
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    FYI, regarding “getting character names wrong”: there is a fantastic SPOILER FREE character reference sheet at Television Without Pity: http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?showtopic=3213004&st=0&p=14848579&#entry14848579. To wit:

    Ok as mentioned in the pinned post up there, this is a spoiler free thread. It includes only information that can be acquired from watching the show from HBO static to closing credits. What that means is this thread should contain no book knowledge (aside from proper spelling of names/places), no trailer/promo knowledge, no HBO site knowledge, no DVD/Blu-Ray Bonus Feature knowledge.

  9. Chris Umber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

  10. MockingTheFlayedLion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    The way I see it Sansa didn’t escape during the battle because she thought Stannis was going to win.

  11. thisone
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’ll leave right away because I’ve read the books, but please continue with the Personal Awards — that was fun :)

  12. sean
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    As much as I love hearing from non-readers; there’s no need for a synopsis, we all saw it!

  13. zod
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    NomadicDirewolf,

    They will show what happened to Theon in the show.. no need to spoil it for him..

    edit: Nevermind, you just edited your answer. ;)

  14. Hellfell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Chris Umber:
    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

    Good thing you turned off his video at 5 minutes. He calls Tywin/Tyrion conversation the worst scene of the episode.

  15. Kasie Strickland
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    No, Joffrey had already agreed to marry Loras’ sister.

  16. Chris Umber
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hellfell,

    He What? Wow…. I know he disabled his comments because some MORON spoiled him… but I feel like he could use a little feedback, otherwise he’ll just continue to live in his own little world.

  17. GeekFurious
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Kasie Strickland:
    GeekFurious,

    No, Joffrey had already agreed to marry Loras’ sister.

    Yeah, I had just watched 21 hours of GOT and was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it all. :)

  18. Patchy Face
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    isn’t this site for NON book readers? I like to lurk here because interested by reactions but will not post any real opinion or book facts here – we have plenty of other places to do that. Please keep it clean for the newbies!

  19. The Kingplaya
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Chris Umber,

    Yeah, f**ing hated it. I liked him first season(thought he was the best and the most enthusiastic reviewer actually), but now he seems to have lost all the enthusiasm and love for the show. Maybe it’s because of all the hate he got lost season from sansa fans but he just nitpicks on the smallest things. I think about unsubscribing…

  20. Dolorous Ned
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Chris Umber:
    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

    I watched the whole thing, but his recaps seem more and more like a waste of time. He just keeps ranting about minor points without ever thinking them through. I even admit the timeline of both books and show can be quite a mess,.. But, seriously, in his expectations video he’s whining because he found an incomplete list of the cast and thinks there won’t be any new characters… and he doesn’t even acknowledge he was wrong when it’s evidently not the case. And ranting about the epic Tyrion/Tywin scene, because their relationship has’nt changed since season 1… Well, showing that is exactly the point of the scene, what’s the problem?

    The guy was fun in Season 1, but I’m not sure this is the right show for him…

  21. The Pain Yak
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The Kingplaya:
    Chris Umber,

    Yeah, f**ing hated it. I liked him first season(thought he was the best and the most enthusiastic reviewer actually), but now he seems to have lost all the enthusiasm and love for the show. Maybe it’s because of all the hate he got lost season from sansa fans but he just nitpicks on the smallest things. I think about unsubscribing…

    Whatever enthusiasm Larry seemed to have for the show seemed to mostly bleed away by Season 2. Watching his Season 1 reviews is fun because of how involved he seems to be in every plotline, getting visibly worked up by things that are happening in the show. By Season 2 he starts making reviews that amount to a glorified synopsis or even just a lengthy ‘I was disappointed by this episode’ without much sensible explanation as to why.

    I unsubscribed after last season and, briefing checking in on his Season 3 Episode 1 review, I was quickly reminded of why I did so.

  22. Nipplesonabreastplat
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Having read the books AND watching the premier last night, I think Oz did wonderfully! The show, IMO, was weak, but weak is/was better than nothing at all. Oz doesn’t understand exactly what he shouldn’t understand…because these issues were never discussed on the show. As readers, we have no holes in the story..we know everything! Oz has a great writing style and he’s funny as hell!!

  23. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Boojam, why are you including book spoilers? (The last part of your post.)

    Why are book readers in this thread making comparisons with the books? Book readers have their own recap to do it. And when a show-only watcher muses on a question, they aren’t necessarily asking for answers, they may want to speculate and have other show-only people speculate too.

    I’m a book reader, and I’m not saying we can’t comment in this thread, but we don’t need to be comparing it to the books here. This isn’t the place. *bangs head against the wall repeatedly*

    EDIT: It seems Boojam’s post was deleted. Still, I think the rest of my post stands. We don’t need explicit comparison with the books in this thread.

  24. Marco
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Who was the headless NightWatchMan? Was it the guy who was a real a-hole to the new recruits, especially Tarley in season 1? That’s whose head it looked like.

  25. Yago
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Seriously people, don’t comment here if you’ve read the books. Let the show-only people have their discussion.

  26. BK
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hey book readers, DON’T POST ANYTHING.

    It’s not that hard to do. Just shut up.

  27. Marco
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Question about the GIANTS?. Are there female GIANTS too? or do they hookup with normal sized wildling girls?

  28. Hellfell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    kevin1989,

    Put your post into spoiler tag, man. It’s not cool!

  29. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve moved all book related discussion to our other recap. Let’s keep this thread clean of any book references. Thank you.

  30. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I assume the deletions are due to a very active and careful mod staff. Thanks!

  31. Marco
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    telobsidion:
    Boojam,why are you including book spoilers? (The last part of your post.)

    Why are book readers in this thread making comparisons with the books? Book readers have their own recap to do it. And when a show-only watcher muses on a question, they aren’t necessarily asking for answers, they may want to speculate and have other show-only people speculate too.

    I’m a book reader, and I’m not saying we can’t comment in this thread, but we don’t need to be comparing it to the books here. This isn’t the place. *bangs head against the wall repeatedly*

    EDIT: It seems Boojam’s post was deleted. Still, I think the rest of my post stands. We don’t need explicit comparison with the books in this thread.

    As a non book reader, I’m ok with book comparisons as long as its limited to Book 1 and 2.

  32. Dan Spicer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    From watching the show, there are two suspects who could have burnt Winterfell. I am kind of leaning one way, but will wait for the show to hopefully elaborate.

    Where is Theon? One of two scenario’s could have played out, but I remember the scene in the season finale between Robb and Lord Bolton and I kind of am leaning that way.

    I enjoyed the Tywin/Tyrion scene, and tried my hardest to read what Tywin was writing. Something about, “ripe for the picking…” I wonder if they will show someone reading the letter later, since they made a point of a camera close up of the wax seal on it.

    The bug in the ball was a bit anachronistic looking; kinda like a Transformer; should have just made it a more regular looking scorpion, but bigger. My wife was happy to see, “that nice old knight that got fired a long time ago.”

  33. Patchy Face
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Hey All – new short over on HBO On Demand re: Dany’s quest for and dilemma with the Unsullied. Good and about 4 minutes long.

  34. Oz of Thrones
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Nipplesonabreastplat,

    A man is flattered by your remarks. Thank you for the kind words. This is my virgin entry, and I am very interested in readers thoughts. Thank you again, my dear Nipples.

  35. Silverstormm
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Chris Umber:
    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

    Agree. I think Larry needs to discuss each episode with another non book reading fan to maybe get a little perspective.
    He rants about Tywin & Tyrion being back at square one and calls it ‘regression’, it isn’t regression Larry it’s the shows way of demonstrating to the viewers that no matter what Tyrion does Tywin will never change his mind about him. He will use Tyrion when convenient but that’s all.
    Watching his review I had the overwhelming feeling that he just doesn’t see the bigger picture and has an idea in his head of how things ought to pan out and when they deviate from his expectation he becomes very negative ala’ “the whole episode was boring and disappointing”. How he can think that is beyond me.

  36. Nipplesonabreastplat
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,

    Looking forward to reading ALL of your reviews…You are most welcome.

  37. Laura
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Great recap!!

  38. realitytripz
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Excellent review. I have to say that I unsubscribed from Larry too. He just doesn’t have the enthusiasm he once did. His reviews are more annoying than anything else.

  39. Targaryen
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Dany’s dragons are growing. But I wonder how large can they really be. I saw the bones in the dungeons of Kings Landing, but it is hard to gauge how large they will become.
    Also, her empathy seems to be her downfall. She is worried about having slaves in her army. She wants to play with a little girl and almost paid the price for it with a scorpion. She really can’t trust many outsiders other than that Knight guy. And he seems he wants to hook up with her.

  40. Valyrion Blackfyre
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Chris Umber:
    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

    Yes, I’ve seen the review. The time thing he was talking about is just stupid. Also, he says that it wasn’t the case with the first episodes in previous seasons which is so untrue: in season two there is a scene where Stannis sends his message to every corner of the realm and the very next scene we are in Robb’s camp and it is obvious he already got Stannis’ message . So it is easy to conclude that the Stannis scene happens way before the Robb scene and there is a large time gap between those two. Hence, he has no case!
    I used to be entertained by his reviews, but it appears that if something is not happening according to his rules, it is a huge mistake.
    Anyway, I think I’ll quit watching his reviews for the show – he’s not worth the time.

  41. Red Priestess
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    NEWBIE RECAP.
    Thank you.

  42. Red Priestess
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    So yeah, decided to give LW’s review a go as well and I must agree with the rest of you lot that he’s indeed focusing more on (irrelevant) negativity.
    Tyrion/Tywin scene being awful according to him, while it was such a treat to watch these two interact and see the usually so confident and witty Tyrion being brought down to an insecure boy that almost begs for his father to see how far he has come. That’s not ‘degression’, as LW calls it, it’s an amazing scene full of pain.

    As far as ep 21 goes, I really -really- loved it. Although I must admit that I found the black screen – fighting noises thing severely underwhelming. It reminded me of season 1 where Tyrion blacked out during an actual battle. Sure, budget issues are related here but still, it was a big anticlimax.

    Apart from that, I really enjoyed the episode and the opportunity to delve deeply into the political intruigue that’s going on in King’s Landing. Can’t wait for next week and see what the other half of the cast is up to!!! :D

  43. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about that. I put it in spoiler tags but I guess you’re right that book readers shouldn’t post in here. Especially as the spoiler tags can be a bit temperamental on WiC.

    My recommendation to non-book readers is not to read anything online because there are a lot of idiots out there who like to spoil the plot. But hopefully it won’t matter and this will be a safe haven for you. Sorry again!

  44. pntrlqst
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see people were as upset with Larry’s review as I was. I think the simple truth is Larry was inevitably going to be disappointed with this show the minute episode 110 was over and Robb hadn’t stuck a sword through Joffrey’s face. Larry’s enjoyment of the show seems to be entirely based on the “good guys” getting revenge against the “bad guys.” His disapproval of the Tywin/Tyrion scene is just him rejecting the idea that a “good guy” character and a character he likes (Tywin) aren’t pals. He can’t stand to think that there may be some antagonism between the two, and he has no foresight to see where that might lead. His dismissiveness of that scene was bothersome.

  45. Dan
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Littlejanet,

    It is a spoiler because the non-book readers might decide to read the books at some point, and you just spoiled a part of it for them.

    I’ve read all the books and like reading the reactions of non-book readers but I find it is best if I just stay out of the conversation. If I was Winter I would zap your comment and any other one that mentions anything about the books or future events.

  46. saluk
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t really understand what happened at the beginning. So the white walkers and the rangers fought? And the ranger won, so no more white walkers? Or there’s another group somewhere else? Totally lost there. Seeing ghost again was cool though.

    The rest of the episode was amazing. I was a book reader for seasons 1+2 but I think it’s going to be fun to watch season 3 fresh. It’s so different watching and not knowing what’s coming. Barristan Selmy back! Davos is alive but continues to misuse his misplaced loyalty! Tyrion’s wit no match for his father’s looming shadow – how long will he remain loyal to his family? Margary destroys Joffrey’s jaw as he doesn’t know what to make of her and simultaneously puts fear into the heart of Cersei! Dragon fishing!

    For me it was easily the best season opener and managed to keep most of the momentum from the end of the last season.

  47. Red Priestess
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I like how in one of the non-book reviews it says that any comments containing ‘the books’, not preceded by ‘I haven’t read’ is basically evil.

    Just wish that people would respect the fact that there are places where non-readers are allowed to go and share their lovely naievety with the rest without interference. The internet is a big place, and if a non-reader really wants to know something… it’s far too easy to find. You need ninja-like reflexes to avoid any kinds of spoilers these days!

    So yeah, just a pity that there’s the ‘need’ from readers to help out the poor ol’ non-readers with helpful hints that they actually (no offense to anyone) don’t really want or need…

  48. Red Priestess
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    saluk:
    I didn’t really understand what happened at the beginning. So the white walkers and the rangers fought? And the ranger won, so no more white walkers? Or there’s another group somewhere else? Totally lost there. Seeing ghost again was cool though

    Seems they did yeah… Though comparing the massive undead army against the Night’s Watch people in terms of numbers makes it weird. Never seen a whole bunch of the watchers together. Wonder how many of them there even are, considering that it’s not the most popular of jobs to have….

  49. lightning lord
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Great episode my favourite moment came right at the start, ghost kicking ass.

  50. Dogmayor
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Marco,

    No, it wasn’t the Alliser Thorne. Alliser is the master-at-arms at castle black and at the end of the first season Lord Commander Jeor Mormont sent him to Kings Landing with the severed hand of the wight that attacked him. We haven’t seen Alliser since then.

  51. Red Priestess
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Also, just reviewing the ep.. Does the wilding guy with the bones totally look like King Robert with his skull taken off? Or is that just me? >.>

  52. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    BK:
    Hey book readers, DON’T POST ANYTHING.
    It’s not that hard to do.Just shut up.

    Actually, this non-book reader feels bad for probably the majority of book readers who are polite and keep their occasional comments spoiler-free. They get a bad rap because of several either deliberate or accidental spoiler-givers, and are often treated rudely even when they are respectful of our little non-reader space. So to the silent majority of well-behaving book readers– read and enjoy! You are welcome here. And if you REALLY want or need to post, please be more careful than you possibly imagine about spoilers. :-)

    Even something innocuous like, say, “I think you’ll really enjoy Mance Rayder’s character development,” is a spoiler. For all we know, he dies next episode. This series has shown us that important characters die.

    Thanks for reading.

  53. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Re: burning questions

    How did Sam manage to not get attacked when the Walkers and Wights strolled past him?

    In S2E10, the White Walker on horseback looked directly at Sam. Evidently, he decided the sniveling fat boy wasn’t a threat and that pressing on to the Fist of First Men had priority. What isn’t clear is if it was the presence of the Night’s Watch there or something about the place itself that prompted his decision.

    And what was the deal with Sam and his responsibility to send the Ravens?

    Sam is one of the stewards of the Night’s Watch, an administrative clerk. Commander Mormont’s whole reason for leading his men north of the Wall is a reconnaissance-in-force to verify claims that the White Walkers have in fact returned. Ergo, communicating this finding to the rest of the NW still at the Wall ASAP is a top military priority lest the recon party be wiped out first. Indeed, this is so important that Sam is assigned no other tasks at all.

    Did [Sam] have Ravens hidden in his coat?

    I agree that the scene would have made more sense had we ever been shown a cage with ravens among the gear the expeditionary force is schlepping around the land beyond the wall. What we did see in S2E10 is that Sam did not actually participate in collecting the dung needed to keep the fires up top burning in the absence of firewood, instead blathering on and on about Gilly. Perhaps Sam simply wasn’t at his post when the White Walkers and their army of wights showed up?

    Why is Sansa now considering leaving Kings Landing with the help of Littlefinger when she could have escaped unnoticed during the Battle with the Hound?

    Escaping during a battle isn’t exactly a foolproof plan. Besides, IMHO she didn’t trust the Hound. In S2E10, we also saw her smiling in relief after Joffrey et al. went through that public charade of tossing her aside as lady-in-waiting to permit the boy king’s betrothal to Margaery. Immediately afterward, she was accosted by Littlefinger and put her pokerface back on. They both know the other is playing the game, they just each believe they’re better at it than the other. In S3E1, Sansa’s ears perk up when LF divulges that Arya is still alive. That, however, does not mean she trusts his motives in offering her safe passage out of the city.

    And where is Theon? Was he handed over to the Stark’s men, or is he headed back to the Iron Islands with a sack on his head?

    In S2E10, Robb Stark finally gave his senior bannerman Roose Bolton permission to send his bastard son to liberate Winterfell, provided that all Ironborn except Theon be permitted to go home. Bolton replied that was a deal he was sure the islanders would take.

    And someone please tell me, who set Winterfell on fire? I assume it was Theon’s men, but it was never fully explained. (By the way, did you notice Winterfell burning in the opening credits? Nice touch.)

    If it was indeed the Ironborn, it would have take some considerable time to set all those fires *after* Theon’s speech at the crack of dawn. This implies the Bolton men were not prepared to risk their lives defending the seat of House Stark, which has ruled the North for *thousands* of years – far longer than any dynasty ever did in our real world. Also note that young Robb Stark and the more experienced Roose Bolton were at loggerheads with regard to military tactics throughout S2 and, that Robb routinely sent Roose out of his tent whenever Talisa decided to drop in.

  54. Boojam
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry usually post on Westeros.
    I am not sure what thread to use here.
    ?

  55. jasonw
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Boojam,

    well they all get kinda jumbled but, book readers normally post on the first recap and then the non book readers post on this one.

    This is for people who have not read the books to get them a place to discuss without us book readers telling them what happens

  56. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Boojam,

    Such things happen, and I must say the format here isn’t the best for discussion. This is the show-only thread, for “newbies”. There’s another recap further down the main page.

    http://winteriscoming.net/2013/03/episode-21-valar-dohaeris-recap/

    You may find that discussion more useful.

  57. juego de tronos
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    a very good recap for the newbies!

  58. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    A few comments/notes/impressions from this non-reader:
    - I’ll agree this episode started a bit slowly, though it did heat up. I have no problem with it, though– I’m sure they’ve got to set up a lot of background while tying up some loose threads from last season.
    - I never read or watch previews because I’m so insane about spoilers, but I did decide to watch the little 2-minute “last season on GoT” recap at the beginning of the episode. And of course, I regretted it immediately. The fact that they took the trouble to show the scene with Stannis and Davos on the ship showed that he was probably still alive. Likewise, showing Barristan’s dismissal implied that he was soon going to be relevant. Serves me right…
    - Like others, I’m confused about the burning of Winterfell. If it was Theon’s men, why didn’t the surrounding armies try to stop it? And I just can’t think of anybody else who would’ve done it. I suspect we’ll learn of Theon’s fate next week (for all I know it’s in the preview that I didn’t watch…). We’ll also probably see Osha/Hodor/Bran/Rickon and of course Arya. Hard to resume every thread in one 55-or-so minute episode.
    - So, how is Ros out and about? I thought she was being held by Cersei because she thought she was Tyrion’s love interest. I must have missed something.
    - Wow, that scene with Tyrion and Tywin. Brutally powerful. I guess Tywin won’t be getting a Father’s Day card this year.
    - I’m having a hard time believing Jon Snow can successfully infiltrate Mance’s army and become a double agent because, well, he just seems kind of clumsy and naive. He almost blew it on day 1. I loved the kneeling thing (and to the wrong guy). For any of you pencil-and-paper role-players, it’s like he failed his cultures (or streetwise) roll. LOL.
    - The new-look royal dinner table is going to be fascinating, I think. The interactions amongst these characters will be fun to watch. Good ol’ Cersei might miss the days where she could toy with harmless Sansa. Margaery appears perfectly capable of having her own agenda, playing her own games, and using her own power. Looking forward to those two royal women having some sharp dialog.
    - In that same vein, I’m equally looking forward to seeing the interaction between Jorah Mormont and Ser Barristan. You have to think Jorah’s going to get just a tad…jealous…of another old kick-ass guy swearing his life to protecting Miss Stormborn. Would have been funny if Jorah had attempted to stop Selmy from knocking the sphere away from Danaerys.
    - Is it just me, but when they showed the group of retching Dothraki on the boat, did anyone else think, “where did all of these peeps come from?” I thought Danaerys had like, three allies left.
    - Poor Davos. Out of the frying pan and into the fire– maybe literally. It was nice to see Stannis practically gushing at being reunited with his old dear friend, though dead.
    - Agreed on the Jedi Knight comment! Actually, it totally reminded me of the little elephant-man guy who was shadowing Luke and the boys on Tatooine.

  59. HellFell
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Trent,

    - So, how is Ros out and about? I thought she was being held by Cersei because she thought she was Tyrion’s love interest. I must have missed something.

    Ros was held captive by Cersei (who thought Ros was Tyrion’s lover) during Blackwater Battle because she promised Tyrion to kill her if something happened to Joffrey. In the end, nothing happened to Joff, Tywin saved the city, Tyrion was stripped of his power so Cersei had no use for captive Ros and she released the whore.

    That’s why Tywin says in 3.01 “The next whore I find in your bed I’ll hang” meaning that he knew (was told) about Ros but still has no clue about Shae – the real Tyrion’s lover.

  60. Selmy
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Where is ”We do not Sow”? But anyway, fantastic episode, I like this season’s pacing which will concentrate on less characters per episode.

  61. Winter Is Coming
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Selmy:
    Where is ”We do not Sow”? But anyway, fantastic episode, I like this season’s pacing which will concentrate on less characters per episode.

    He’s busy with personal stuff this year, so isn’t able to do it. He said he will try to stop by in the comments from time to time though!

  62. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin:
    Re: burning questions

    How did Sam manage to not get attacked when the Walkers and Wights strolled past him?

    In S2E10, the White Walker on horseback looked directly at Sam. Evidently, he decided the sniveling fat boy wasn’t a threat and that pressing on to the Fist of First Men had priority. What isn’t clear is if it was the presence of the Night’s Watch there or something about the place itself that prompted his decision.

    And what was the deal with Sam and his responsibility to send the Ravens?

    Sam is one of the stewards of the Night’s Watch, an administrative clerk. Commander Mormont’s whole reason for leading his men north of the Wall is a reconnaissance-in-force to verify claims that the White Walkers have in fact returned. Ergo, communicating this finding to the rest of the NW still at the Wall ASAP is a top military priority lest the recon party be wiped out first. Indeed, this is so important that Sam is assigned no other tasks at all.

    Did [Sam] have Ravens hidden in his coat?

    I agree that the scene would have made more sense had we ever been shown a cage with ravens among the gear the expeditionary force is schlepping around the land beyond the wall. What we did see in S2E10 is that Sam did not actually participate in collecting the dung needed to keep the fires up top burning in the absence of firewood, instead blathering on and on about Gilly. Perhaps Sam simply wasn’t at his post when the White Walkers and their army of wights showed up?

    Why is Sansa now considering leaving Kings Landing with the help of Littlefinger when she could have escaped unnoticed during the Battle with the Hound?

    Escaping during a battle isn’t exactly a foolproof plan. Besides, IMHO she didn’t trust the Hound. In S2E10, we also saw her smiling in relief after Joffrey et al. went through that public charade of tossing her aside as lady-in-waiting to permit the boy king’s betrothal to Margaery. Immediately afterward, she was accosted by Littlefinger and put her pokerface back on. They both know the other is playing the game, they just each believe they’re better at it than the other. In S3E1, Sansa’s ears perk up when LF divulges that Arya is still alive. That, however, does not mean she trusts his motives in offering her safe passage out of the city.

    And where is Theon? Was he handed over to the Stark’s men, or is he headed back to the Iron Islands with a sack on his head?

    In S2E10, Robb Stark finally gave his senior bannerman Roose Bolton permission to send his bastard son to liberate Winterfell, provided that all Ironborn except Theon be permitted to go home. Bolton replied that was a deal he was sure the islanders would take.

    And someone please tell me, who set Winterfell on fire? I assume it was Theon’s men, but it was never fully explained. (By the way, did you notice Winterfell burning in the opening credits? Nice touch.)

    If it was indeed the Ironborn, it would have take some considerable time to set all those fires *after* Theon’s speech at the crack of dawn. This implies the Bolton men were not prepared to risk their lives defending the seat of House Stark, which has ruled the North for *thousands* of years – far longer than any dynasty ever did in our real world. Also note that young Robb Stark and the more experienced Roose Bolton were at loggerheads with regard to military tactics throughout S2 and, that Robb routinely sent Roose out of his tent whenever Talisa decided to drop in.

    I remember you…you are the book reader that likes to pose as a newbie right?

  63. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: I remember you…you are the book reader that likes to pose as a newbie right?

    FWIW, I remember him too and I don’t think he’s a book reader. I think he’s a devoted fan who watches/re-watches very carefully, probably takes notes, and analyzes it to the nth degree, which is all fine by me. I’m sure he’s happened upon some correct inferences in his time.

    TBH, I sometimes skip his posts because I’m afraid he’s going to be “too right” and will get me looking for things I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of! I think he sometimes spoiler-protects his theories in case he’s right (or maybe that’s somebody else– please excuse if I’m mistaken).

    Don’t worry Nagga…consider it a compliment. And if you are indeed a book-reader, then please bugger off. :-P

  64. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: He’s busy with personal stuff this year, so isn’t able to do it. He said he will try to stop by in the comments from time to time though!

    Well, you did a fine job, Winter Is Coming. I especially liked the Awards, Questions, and Thoughts. It’s a great way to start the discussion!

  65. Pau Soriano
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Trent: Well, you did a fine job, Winter Is Coming.I especially liked the Awards, Questions, and Thoughts.It’s a great way to start the discussion!

    It actually wasn’t Winter but We do not Sow substitute Oz of Thrones ;)

    PS: Regarding the other subject, trust me..

  66. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    HellFell:
    Trent,

    Ros was held captive by Cersei (who thought Ros was Tyrion’s lover) during Blackwater Battle because she promised Tyrion to kill her if something happened to Joffrey. In the end, nothing happened to Joff, Tywin saved the city, Tyrion was stripped of his power so Cersei had no use for captive Ros and she released the whore.

    That’s why Tywin says in 3.01 “The next whore I find in your bed I’ll hang” meaning that he knew (was told) about Ros but still has no clue about Shae – the real Tyrion’s lover.

    Ah, makes sense– thanks, HellFell. I’d be pretty uncomfortable in Kings Landing if I were Ros, knowing I was believed to be leverage against Tyrion. For that matter, I’d be pretty uncomfortable if I were Shae, knowing that if Cersei found out about her, she’d (Shae’d?) be in trouble. When you think about it, Tyrion is putting three lives in danger (him/Shae/Ros) by staying in Kings Landing.

    Speaking of which…isn’t it a bit peculiar that somebody with as many spies and connections as Cersei can’t figure out that Shae is Tyrion’s main squeeze? And (loosely related), what about that handmaiden that Shae pulled a knife on in Season Two after she was helping Sansa hide her bedsheets? I guess she was scared of Shae, but…gotta think she’d tell somebody Anyway, T&S are playing Russian Roulette, IMO. I think I would’ve taken her advice to run off to Pentos and eat, drink, and, um, “frolic.”

    And finally– I gotta think that Tywin’s warning about “the next whore I find” is foreshadowing Shae’s eventual discovery.

  67. Trent
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano: It actually wasn’t Winter but We do not Sow substitute Oz of Thrones ;)

    Sigh…my bad. Just scrolled up and saw, “By Winter Is Coming on April 1, 2013″ and put 2 and 2 together.

  68. Nagga's Kin
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    No, I haven’t read the books, I just pay close attention to the show. Bite me for having a brain.

  69. Neumena
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    saluk,

    I don’t think the Night’s Watch defeated the White Walkers at all. Given the state of the NW when they find Sam, it’s pretty clear they’ve taken a beating, though some of them have escaped the hoards of the undead for now and are planning a quick retreat.

  70. Grijnwaald
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Whoop whoop!!

    An Englishman checking in to say, that was bloody amazing! Baristan Selmy you fuckin beauty!! RIP Brave Northern soldiers :’(

    Also poor Tyrion, he gets nothing but shit from his family, he should take em all out.

  71. Justin Kramer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    What happened at Harrenhall? all those dead northerners, were they prisoners that were killed or was there a battle there, also why was it in ruins?

  72. Grijnwaald
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    May I just say, I appreciate all you book readers for keeping a cork in it whilst reading this, it must be so frustrating to watch us lot babble on and bark up the wrong tree!

  73. Chris Carland
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if this one was explained.
    In the first season Sam was named Maester Aemon’s Steward. One of the duties of his steward is t0 be the MailMan in charge of the Ravens.

  74. Oz of Thrones
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Chris Carland,

    I do recall that. And I remember the Ravens being at Crasters. What I did not recall was seeing them further North, so when Mormont asked if they had been sent, a man was quite confused. Thanks for the comment!

  75. Caulker
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    This was truly a great episode, and a boss curtain raiser for the third season! Watched it tonight (monday) when it aired here in Finland and omfg was i entertained! Very intresting to watch GoT as someone who has read the 1st and 2nd books but not the third, fourth and so on…

    Ciaran Hinds as Mance – Awesome!
    Davos is alive! – Awesome
    friggin giants – awesome
    Barristan Selmy – ooohh yeaaah!!

    Hope to get more Arya in the next ep tho.

  76. JoopStroop
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Chris Umber:
    Anybody seen Larry’s review yet? He goes for 22min but I turned it off after 5…
    He’s under the false assumption that all the story lines, from The Wall to Kings Landing to Astapor, need to somehow be happening at the same time. So he’s mad that the stuff north of The Wall seemingly takes place minutes after the season 2 finale . While Dany’s story line is seemingly days or weeks later. That’s made him mad. That. He calls it continuity errors!
    What?? What rule is there they they have to be all happening at the same time?? A soon as his very first point is one that I don’t even consider a point to begin with, he loses credibility for me. Don’t get me wrong I like the guy, he’s so enthusiastic, but sometimes I just think he builds up these ideas in his head of what he thinks should happen…. and when they don’t, it’s the shows fault for not conforming to his plans.

    I stopped watching his stuff half way last season after I realized I didn’t enjoy them anymore. During the first season, they were as if I would watch/read it again for the first time, his enthusiasm and passion were amazing. Something changed. I honestly feel that he went ahead and read the books/looked up what’s going to happen. You can’t fake that enthusiasm! Since last season he’s just been trying too hard to sound professional and trying to analyze its technical components or flaws such as continuity etc. I may be wrong, but compare his season 2 reviews with http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTCC2WM8RvM and you may realize the difference, these guys are awesome and I’m watching them instead now.

  77. Lord Greenseer
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Y’all need to read the books. These threads are hilarious.

  78. Vlad
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Lord Greenseer,

    Lord Greenseer,

    Lord Greenseer:
    Y’all need to read the books. These threads are hilarious.

    Okay, Einstein. If I wanted to read the books, I would have read the books already.

    This is my first time posting here, but I’ve been reading you for a month, almost every day. I must say that this place is amazing!

    I wanted to ask two things from the first episode that were somewhat confusing to me:

    1. What happened at Harrenhal? I presume, Tywin left the castle to The Mountain, and ordered him to clean up the mess i.e. kill the captured Northsmen in order to make room for Littlefinger. Then Robb comes hoping to fight the Lannisters, but finds only corpses. Is my interpretation ok?

    2. I don’t remember seeing Sam with ravens. How did anyone expect that he would be able to inform The Wall, since, I presume, he didn’t have time to go back to the camp? Or was he supposed to not leave the camp, and that’s why they were mad at him?

    Needless to say, the episode was epic. 10/10

    Greetings from Macedonia

  79. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Vlad,

    1. Yeah. That was my take on it.

    2. It wasn’t very clear. Sam had a duty to return with Grenn and Edd once the horns sounded and do what he was responsible for. Sam didn’t. Also, Mormont likely wasn’t keeping track of where each and every one of the 300 rangers was when the horns sounded.

  80. Impi
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    So now that the term has been introduced in the show, can we start calling non-book readers Unsullied?

  81. Lord Selwyn
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    telobsidion:
    Vlad,
    2. It wasn’t very clear. Sam had a duty to return with Grenn and Edd once the horns sounded and do what he was responsible for. Sam didn’t. Also, Mormont likely wasn’t keeping track of where each and every one of the 300 rangers was when the horns sounded.

    Except that when I watched that scene in Season 2, it looked like Grenn and Ed ran away, presumably back towards the Wall, but that poor old Sam simply couldn’t keep up with them and got left behind. I thought the stuff about Sam, his rescue (Ghost?) and the way he met up again with Mormont and the rest of the NW was poorly explained.

    I’ve read the books but I try to ignore them completely when watching the show, because I want to see how the show measures up as a TV series in its own right , whether the various plot lines make sense and draw me into that world, and whether the characters get me in.

    Once we got away from the Wall, I thought the episode was very good, as it has set up lots of interesting things for the future. The dynamics in Kings Landing were superb – the Lannister internal family stuff, Tywin with his ‘I have seven kingdoms to rule and three of them are in outright rebellion’ while almost ignoring Tyrion, and then the Lannisters vs Tyrells. Add in Littlefinger’s machinations and you can feel the power balances subtly shifting and hear the hidden daggers getting sharpened!

    Loved the rapidly growing dragons – instant BBQ fish, anyone? (Though I did wonder how the Dothraki could possibly be still seasick when the sea was virtually a millpond with only a couple of little ripples as ‘waves’!)

  82. Dave
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t read the But I guess this episode was directed towards readers because I had no fucking clue what was going on. As awesome as it was here’s my problems.

    1. Season 2 ended with sam in the middle of all those wights and then starts with him running and no one around?..
    Also he was supposed to be sending ravens? I thought he was supposed to be hunting for poop to burn.
    2. What happened at harrenhal? The burnt down castle.
    3. When does all of this occur? The opening scene appears to pick up moments after season 2′s finale, but every other scene is greatly spread out it would appear. Slightly confusing.
    4. Did I miss something about the old knight Selmy being extremely loyal to the targaryeans in season 1? I didn’t really get that.. Could’ve been because it hadn’t been touched on since season 1.

    I love this television show and plan on reading the books starting this summer so don’t get me wrong. I just felt a lot of this episode was unclear and left to assumption.

  83. argilac's antler
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    2. What happened at harrenhal? The burnt down castle.

    Robb says outside the castle that he’s been wanting a fight, that his men been wanting a fight, but the Lannisters have been running the other way instead of fighting them for quite some time now. So I assume the Mountain killed all the prisoners (most of which were Northmen) and left with all his troops, abandoning the castle.

    Which makes Arya, Gendry & Hotpie leaving last season a very good thing. I remember some people stating it was dumb of her to leave that such a young girl would be safe at Harrenhal even under the Mountain’s supervision. But then again, that’s the same dude who beheaded his own horse just for losing a jousting competition and gunning for the guy who won. Also the same dude who apparently lit women and children on fire according to the sad, old peasant that spoke to Ned in season 1.

  84. telobsidion
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Lord Selwyn,

    It was pretty clear to me that they were running back towards the Fist. It was right there in the direction they were running taking up the whole screen. That’s what the massive wall of rock they were running towards was.

  85. Grijnwaald
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    To the people asking about the state of Harrenhal, it was partialy burned/melted by dragons quite some time ago If you remember Arya talking about dragon fire in season two. As for the prisoners, I guess they are the prisoners rounded up by the Lannisters from all the battles. Was it 500 I heard Lord Karstark say?

  86. Adam
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    And someone please tell me, who set Winterfell on fire? I assume it was Theon’s men, but it was never fully explained

    No spoilers of course, but rest assured it will be explained!

  87. Kael of the Lake
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Great first recap oz, I like the way you did it and you seem to focus on things that matter.

    Your Burning Questions are truly meaningful and I’m quite surprised because none of my friends (not readers) at the end of season 2 was able to point some things out. I would suggest that, apart from expressing them in here, don’t try hard to get to the answers, some of them may be great surprises or shock moments.

    Again, very neat recap.

  88. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Boojam:
    Sorry usually post on Westeros.
    I am not sure what thread to use here.
    ?

    The rule of thumb is – if you feel like you need to add a phrase “In the books …”, you should do it in the book readers post and not here. Same goes to everyone who feels the need to reassure the people here of future events and such.

    This story is best experienced completely unspoiled. Dear fellow book readers, let’s not be assholes.

  89. Red
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    So I start by saying… did anyone else thought the quality of the HD video was not that good? It looked a bit fuzzy to me.

    More gripes, this first episode didn’t feel like much. Again, 30 seconds of a fight with the White Walkers wouldn’t be too much to ask, would it?

    The egg with surprise green monster inside. Didn’t feel like “fantasy”, felt more like “sci-fi”. Shame, FX guys, shame!

    Finally, the encounter between Jon S and Mance R was a letdown. Too goody-cheesy. “I fight with whomever fights the White Walkers” (paraphrasing of course). Come on…

    On to the good stuff. The giant. Nice! The one dragon diving down, burning the fish and munching it. Neat! (But, I thought he was going to offer it to mommy…).

    And what is the deal with Margeary? I think she’s someone to watch out for. I get her as a will-do-anything-for-my-purposes person. But what is her purpose? Serving the King? Bull… I think she wants to become Queen Regent. I think she even said so during season 2, to what’s his name Baratheon, the dead one.

    One last thing, Ser Bannister. Would he have gone alone to search for Danaerys? One would think he has knights of his own. That was a bit weak, just as much as how is it that he knows where to find her and does so so quickly. There seems to be an issue with timing, here. But anyway, suspension of disbelief once again. Back to Ser Bannister, it would be good to see another rising character.

  90. gotgotgot
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I am still not liking Jon Snow very much or his storyline. I find myself just simply not caring, maybe because I am just more into the other characters.
    I didn’t like not being able to see any battle at the start. Budget I get it. But still is annoying.

    I continue to love Tyrion and his scenes are just great. Cersei is also so good to watch.
    OK OK all of the Lannisters are great!

    I don’t really care much about Sansa, she is just too whiney for me, also I can’t stand Shae, but I do like Ros very much.

    Dragons! Always fun to see dragons.

    I enjoyed the episode overall. But I do think it was kind of weak for a premiere of the season I think HBO should of spent money on showing the battle. I think that would of made the episode way better.
    Also trying to follow each characters story but only getting a few minutes of each (or NONE at all of others) is really annoying. It just makes having to wait a full week for the next episode very painful.

    I guess in a way it is good to be eagerly awaiting the next episode… But it does make it that much more difficult to get into each of the storylines or get enough of each one to satisfy you for a week.

  91. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Dave,

    1. Season 2 ended with sam in the middle of all those wights and then starts with him running and no one around?..
    Also he was supposed to be sending ravens? I thought he was supposed to be hunting for poop to burn.

    They never do really “show” the ravens, but by what Mormont says, it suggests that was Sam’s job. And that he should have taken off and ran with Edd and Grenn when they heard 3 blasts, to get back to send the ravens. He didn’t.

    2. What happened at harrenhal? The burnt down castle.

    Season 2, Episode 8, Tywin leaves Harrenhall in the “care” of Gregor the Mountain. Gregor being Gregor, he killed just about all of the prisoners and left. Robb comes and finds it empty but for dead bodies. If you look at the maps, Robb’s pretty far south now if he’s near Harrenhall.

    3. When does all of this occur? The opening scene appears to pick up moments after season 2′s finale, but every other scene is greatly spread out it would appear. Slightly confusing.

    True. Jon Snow’s scene also seems to happen just shortly after he kills Halfhand; Danys seems to pick up a few weeks after, given she’s on the ship that she references them perhaps being able to buy with Xaro Xhoan Daxos’s treasures at the end of Season 2. Harrenhall might be pretty close to right after, as we didn’t see it after Week 8 last year. Tyrion appears to have been in King’s Landing recuperating for at least a couple of weeks. Stannis has been in Dragonstone for a period of time. It’s unclear to me just how long Davos was rotting out on that rock before the ship found him.

    4. Did I miss something about the old knight Selmy being extremely loyal to the targaryeans in season 1? I didn’t really get that.. Could’ve been because it hadn’t been touched on since season 1.

    The Kingsguard are sworn to protect the King, period. It doesn’t matter what king it is. When Selmy left in Season 1, he spat at Cersei about his being replaced by Jaime Lannister, because Jaime had betrayed Aerys and killed him, saying he was being replaced with “the man who profaned his blade with the blood of the King he had sworn to defend.”

    By all accounts killing Aerys was a good move, as Aerys was nuts, but the principle of it bothers Selmy. He served Robert faithfully as well, but as soon as he was dismissed by Joffrey, he presumably then went to go find Danys. Given she spent a good portion of last season in the Red Wastes and then in Qarth, it’s not surprising it would have taken Selmy ages to get to her.

  92. EASY
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Targaryen:
    Dany’s dragons are growing. But I wonder how large can they really be. I saw the bones in the dungeons of Kings Landing, but it is hard to gauge how large they will become.
    Also, her empathy seems to be her downfall. She is worried about having slaves in her army. She wants to play with a little girl and almost paid the price for it with a scorpion. She really can’t trust many outsiders other than that Knight guy. And he seems he wants to hook up with her.

    Their was apart in season 1 I think when they were talking about the Dragons of old and that Aegon the Conqueror’s dragon Balerion the black dread was big enough to swallow a horse or something whole and his wings would black out a city.

  93. Shaya Collins
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I was already a happy camper when the episode began with captivating Jon Snow. So it goes without saying that all of his moments were my favorite ones. And I’m curious as to how it will play out him becoming part of the Wildlings. I do hope his story line will be bigger this season and we get to watch more of him trying to make it on his own.

    I also loved the dragons. I had goose bumps when they appeared, and I have to agree with Kit that they have done an amazing job with making them look so realistic and animated. I’m looking forward to Dany’s story line this season.

    Other than that, the episode felt very slow but I still enjoyed it. As it was already said in this review, the dialogues and more intimate interactions between the characters made up for it. And as the saying goes, it’s the calm before the storm.

  94. Trent
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Impi:
    So now that the term has been introduced in the show, can we start calling non-book readers Unsullied?

    I like it!

  95. Rukagaku
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    the group at television without pity has been called that for a while, they have a massive thread over there. I think they were dubbed that by a Bookwalker.

  96. I Know of Fear
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Red,

    I have to disagree about the meeting between Jon and the king beyond the wall. Jon was accused of wanting to play the hero and was trying to play into that assumption in order to avoid divulging his real motives. Of course he isn’t a good liar and his line about fighting for the living made him sound like LionO from Thundercats but was good enough to convince Mance for today.

    Also, I was surprised by the Tyrell siblings. The brother swore to avenge Renly so I wonder why he has joined forces with the Lannisters. And his sister Marge has turned about to be more cunning than I suspected, spreading propaganda to the masses and manipulating the king. I hope those two don’t get in over there heads with whatever game they are playing, because I’m not sure it’s the same game as everyone else.

  97. Red
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that he Tyrell are not short of funds, so what I think is this: Margeary doesn’t really care (either way) for Joffrey, and wants to plant a seed of being a good queen. Then, she waits until everybody kills each other, and she comes back with her army and gains full control. Now, is that going to happen? Probably not, but I think that’s her plan.

    I Know of Fear,

  98. Moët
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader, but I love your review! Thank you!

    Favourite line:
    Tormund- “What do we want with a baby crow?”

  99. Lloyd Irvin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  1. [...] Episode 21 – Valar Dohaeris – Newbie Recap – WinterIsComing.net on April 1, 2013 at 10:46 [...]

  2. [...] that way, and have made the decision not to read the books for the time being.  In other words, my burning questions are more for discussion purposes for the “Unsullied”, and not necessarily for the [...]


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