Game of Thrones
Season 3 Episode 1: Valar Dohaeris
BEWARE: HERE BE SPOILERS
We pick up right where Season two left off, with Sam Tarley of the Night’s Watch beyond the Wall, nearing a dead body of one his brothers in black who is now a White Walker. Sam is saved by the remainder of the Night’s Watch who must now hurry back to the Wall to warn them.
Jon Snow meets the King Beyond the Wall, Manse Rayder, once a former member of the Night’s Watch himself. In a dangerous but brilliant setup by the Halfhand who Snow had to kill while both were captured by the Wildings in order for the plan to work, Jon Snow infiltrates his way amongst the Wildings to be “on the side that fights for the living”, after the events he had seen while staying with the Crastors regarding a newborn baby boy being left in the wild for the White Walkers, and the commander of the Night’s Watch not only doing nothing about it but knowing about it for many years.
Tyrion, alive though wounded from the battle at Kings Landing on the Blackwater with Stannis Baratheon’s army, is neglected by his father and is given no credit, nor respect from anyone whatsoever for his battle plans and active defense in the battle. In an attempt to speak to his father, now the Hand of King Joffrey, his sister Queen Regent Cersei pays him a visit in fear of what Tyrion will tell their father about her and Joffrey while Tyrion himself was Hand of the King. Tyrion thus states, “it’s not slander if it’s true.”
Tyrion’s visit with his father, Lord Tywin, doesn’t go as well as he had hoped though. All he seeks is gratitude and a reward for his battle strategies, as well as actively fighting in the battle when the King Joffrey cowered with the women. He simply asks for his birthright, which is to be awarded Casterly Rock since this older brother Jamie cannot have the land nor marry under the oath of being part of the Kingsguard. Lord Tywin is NOT amused and not about to give it to Tyrion, he then berates his son regarding his drinking, his love of whores and even went as far as blaming Tyrion for the death of his mother as if her dying during his birth was his fault.
Ser Davos, the Onion Knight and right hand man to Stannis Baratheon during battle, was assumed dead after the Battle at Blackwater, but is found alive on a rock in the middle of the sea, horribly burned and blistered from far too much time in the sun. He is rescued and taken back to Stannis per his request so he can kill Melisandre, the red woman always by Stannis’ side. He attempts to kill her, but like many before him, he fails and is sent to the dungeons.
Robb Stark can’t catch a break. As if there wasn’t enough inner turmoil within the King of the North and his army already since his mother, Catelynn, sent Jamie Lannister free from their imprisonment AND he went off an married a nurse while he was betrothed to a daughter of his weary ally Walder Frey, who WILL NOT be pleased to hear of that. He and his army, which is slowly but surely dwindling down, arrive at Harrenhal in search of Lannisters to battle, but come to find that all Harrenhal has to offer them are hundreds of dead Northerners with only one survivor.
Sansa Stark is still in Kings Landing, and though no longer betrothed to Joffrey, knows she will not be let go. Lord Baelish, a.k.a. Littlefinger, promises to get her out somehow. His whore confides to Sansa’s handmaid/Tyrion’s whore girlfriend that Littlefinger shouldn’t be trusted with Sansa.
Meanwhile, we get to see some more of Joffrey’s new bride to be, Margaery Tyrell, former wife of another contender for the Iron Throne and the deceased King Robert Baratheon & Stannis Baratheon’s brother, as well as former lover of Margaery’s brother Ser Loras, Renly Baratheon. She puts a on a smile and walks through the portion of Kings Landing that is most commonly referred to as Flea Bottom, for obvious reasons. While inside an orphanage she hands out toys, words of encouragement and false tales about how their King Joffrey saved Kings Landing and will now save them. Her over-acting of happiness and good deeds is noticed by Cersei who is cold to Margaery, and Cersei can see that Margaery has some influence over Joffrey since he is now being mean to his mother Cersei and is no longer on her side.
Daenerys Targayen is traveling by sea, her dragons flying in the air following her and are now about the size of mountain lions but not quite big enough to help her in battle yet; she is in search of an army for when she returns to Westeros to claim her rightful place in the Iron Throne. She arrives at Astapor interested in purchasing a ‘slave’ army called the Unsullied per Ser Jorah’s advisement. After a quick survey of the Unsullied and indecision, they wander alongside a marketplace, she is following a little girl while a hooded figure follows them. The little girl gives Daenerys a ball to which the hooded figure knocks it out of her hand to reveal a Scorpion-like creature pop out to sting and more than likely kill her. The hooded figure kills it, the little girl turns out to be an assassin sent to kill Daenerys by warlocks the dragons burned in Season two. The hooded figure reveals himself to be Barristan Selmy, the Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon’s Kingsguard who was stripped of his duties by Joffrey in Season one, a most powerful ally and addition to her army.
All in all, I feel this was a great way to start the Season since these are the characters most viewers were interested in getting updates on first and foremost and in episodes to come we will see more of Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Arya Stark, Asha Greyjoy (the deceased Theon Greyjoy’s sister), Bran Stark’s travels with his brother Rickon, Hodor & the wilding woman Osha, as well as new characters being introduced to the fold. Since I’ve read the books it is hard to give away anything else that may or may not be seen.
Some have complained that it was slight slow start, but in order to get to the rest of the stories you must first built a foundation, much like any other of the Game of Thrones premieres, yes it is heavy with dialogue and little action but it will get there, trust me on that.
George R.R. Martin has gone on record by saying the end of Season three will leave people shocked, and if the ending is what I think it is, then definitely hang on to the edge of your seats and pay attention to Season three very closely and if you haven’t learned anything from both Season one and two yet, then I will give you the words of advice fellow Game of Thrones fans gave me prior to reading the books and watching the series: Do not get too attached to any character!!!