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