Game of Thrones: “Valar Dohaeris”

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Airdate: 3/31/13

Season three of Game of Thrones opened right where season two left off with Sam (John Bradley) running for his life. Only this time it was after the White Walkers attacked the Night’s Watch at the Fist of the First Men. Everything the show did with the Battle of Fist was prefect, from only giving us the sounds so we are forced to image the horror ourselves to having us blindly run through the storm with Sam to Lord Commander Mormont (James Cosmo) warning us that “if we don’t get back to the Wall before winter comes everyone you have ever known will be dead.”

Welcome to season three.

North of the Wall
As the bleeding members of the Night’s Watch start to make their way back to the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) make it to Mance Ryder’s camp. Ygritte seems to have moved on from tormenting Jon with dick jokes to death jokes. But, as Mance (Ciaran Hinds) simply put it, “the girl likes you.” That is how Jon’s nervous and slightly confused conversation with the famed King beyond the Wall goes. Through he is supposed to be there only as a spy, Jon makes a convincing argument that he is there because he wants to fight for the living referencing back to the Lord Commander allowing Craster to give his newborn son to the White Walkers. With the thought of getting to actually touch his walking dick joke and be free, Jon seems pretty keen on joining the Wildlings. 

King’s Landing
The first scene in King’s Landing is a good old unnecessary sex scene in Littliefinger’s brothel between a nameless, naked –duh — whore and the newly knighted Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn). Pod did come in and awkwardly break it up because Tyrion (Peter Dinkelage) needed to see Bronn.

Tyrion spends most of the episode in scenes with Cersei (Lena Headey) and Lord Tywin (Charles Dance) filled with wine, banter and Lannister family relations. Cersei is amused at how far Tyrion has fallen since saving the city, but losing all the credit. Unluckily for Tyrion, his bad luck doesn’t stop there. Since he lost his position as Hand, he finally decides to request his birthright from his father: Casterly Rock. Though Tyrion is Tywin’s heir because Jaime can’t inherit anything being a member of the Kingsguard, Tywin refuses to accept Tyrion as his heir. And to make it even worse he says he better not catch him with a whore ever again.

Speaking of Tyrion’s whore-girlfriend, Shae (Sibel Kekilli) has a small scene in a beautiful location with still-a-Lannister-captive Sansa (Sophie Turner). Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) tells Sansa he is working on his plans to take her away from King’s Landing with him. Though it seems like a good thing to Sansa, who was also cutely worried and maybe a little happy to hear Ayra is alive, Ros (Esme Bianco) tells Shae to look out for Sansa, especially around Littlefinger.

We also get our first look into how the Tyrell’s are adjusting to life at court. Margaery (Natalie Dormer) has already started to butt heads with Cersei by being a normal, nice human being. She visits an orphanage in Flea Bottom, while Joffery (Jack Gleeson) is too scared to come out of his litter.

Dragonstone
Davos (Liam Cunningham) barely survived the Battle of Blackwater Bay and has been stranded on a rather desperate looking island. Luckily, he is saved by one of Salladhor Saan’s ships. He tells him that going back to Dragonstone might not be the safest for them because Melisandre (Carcie van Houten) is pretty much ruling for Stannis (Stephen Dillane). She is also burning non-believes in the courtyard, so not good. Against Salladhor’s warning Davos plots to kill her. When he is taken to speak to Stannis, she refuses to leave. Davos pulls a knife on her after she brings up his son, who died in the battle and she has him arrested.

Astapor
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally got a ship and some ambitious after her rather disappointing story line last season. After looking down at her comically small in the show kalasaar throwing up all over the deck, Dany admits that she needs a larger army because she can’t wait for her dragons to be fully grown. Jorah (Iain Glen) suggests the Unsullied, a group of elite slave-soldiers they could buy in Astapor. This would be the start of Dany’s never-ending crusade against slavery. She likes the idea of an army, but not the slave part.

Dany and Jorah met with a slave trader named Kraznys (Dan Hilderbrand) and his translator Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) to talk about buying 8,000 Unsullied. He is the first character we have met to speak Valyrian and it sounded pretty cool. I think the show should have added to a line to let everyone know that Dany speaks Valyrian and could understand all the insulting things Krazarys was saying about her and the mean stuff to Missandei, who is definitely not 10-years-old and almost has her tits out.

Dany is voicing her reluctance to Jorah about buying slaves when she has a mother-like connection with a little kid by the bay. The kid rolls a ball to her and she is almost attacked by a hooded man from behind. This was a pretty big WTF moment for me because it wasn’t in the books. I shared Dany’s freaked out look and realization after we see the blue mouth of the kid. The Warlocks of Qarth aren’t going to let her get away so easily. I guess that is replacing Xaro Xhoan Daxos’ plot to kill her from the books since she locked him in a vault last season.

It turns out the hooded man was actually trying to save her, not kill her. And it turns out to be Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney). Yay, Ser Barristan! I was wondering how the show was going to pull that off and I liked it. Barristan isn’t disguised and Jorah recognized him imediately, but him calling him the head of Robert Bartheon’s Kingsguard and Barristan reminding him he was the head of King Aryes’ first shows they are not going to get along very well.

Overall, good start. It was slow for a few characters. Robb (Richard Madden)’s army did nothing more than arrive at Harrenhal to see that the Mountain had killed everyone there. The scenes with the Night’s Watch was by far the best part of the episode. It kept the eerie and alone feeling from the books. The confusion of nervousness of Jon’s first meeting with Mance and possible romance with Ygritte was portrayed very well. And of course seeing every character from Tyrion and Sansa to Ros and Talisa after almost a year was awesome. I don’t know if I’m going to put grades on Game of Thrones posts because I might just give every one an A+.

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