Review/Recap: Game of Thrones Season 3 Premiere [Spoilers]
Daniel Kendi ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Editor
Game of Thrones returns with dragons, giants, direwolves, and more White Walkers! After a long wait, HBO’s hit series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series is back. The first episode of the third season gets us right back into the world of Westeros and kick-starts what will be the most shocking season yet!
The episode begins right where the last season ended. The Night’s Watch at the Fist of the First Men have been attacked by the White Walkers. Sam Tarly is attacked by one of them, but is soon saved by Jon Snow’s direwolf Ghost and the rest of the Night’s Watch. Lord Commander Joer Mormont decides to take his people back to The Wall. They need to prepare for the coming danger and cannot warn the other Night’s Watch members. Unfortunately they cannot warn the rest of the Night’s Watch from where they are, because Sam forgot to send the ravens: his only job.
Meanwhile, Jon Snow has arrived at Mance Rayder’s camp with Ygritte and the other wildlings that captured him. As he walks through the camp, he sees a giant and is teased by young wildlings for being a “crow.” They throw rocks at him as he walks by and into Mance Rayder’s tent. After mistaking a man named Tormund Giantsbane for the King beyond the wall, he finally meets the man he has heard so much about. Mance comments on the sexual tension between Jon and Ygritte and reminds him that there is no oath of celibacy beyond the wall. He then asks Jon why he would leave the Night’s Watch to join the wildlings. After telling Mance about the White Walker he saw at Craster’s Keep and explaining that he wants to “fight for the side of the living,” Jon is accepted as a wildling.
We then move on to King’s Landing, where we have a quick amusing scene between Ser Bronn and Tyrion’s squire Podrick before moving on to see Tyrion himself. Tyrion has been hiding in a locked room by himself ever since he was wounded in the Battle of Blackwater. He is afraid for his life and disappointed that his father hasn’t come to visit him. After an interesting shot of Tyrion’s scars in a mirror, he is visited by his sister Cersei. He reluctantly lets her in the room after she explains, “If I wanted to kill you, do you think I’d let a wooden door stop me?” When she enters the room she also makes a comment about Tyrion’s scars, joking that she heard he had lost his nose (an inside joke for A Song of Ice and Fire readers). The two of them talk for a while about Tyrion and his decision to have a meeting with his father. Cersei threatens her little brother not to tell “lies” about her and Joffrey to her father. Then the best lines of the episode are spoken when Cersei says, “You’re a clever man, but you’re not half as clever as you think you are” and Tyrion replies, “Still makes me more clever than you.” We then see a quick scene where Bronn convinces Tyrion to pay him more to protect him now that he is a knight.
Ser Davos Seaworth is found alive on a rock in the bay, and is brought onto the ship of his friend Salladhor Saan. Davos convinces Saan to take him to Dragonstone to see Stannis Baratheon. Saan warns Davos that Stannis has secluded himself from the world and only sees Melisandre. She meanwhile has been burning people alive who she believes are “servants of darkness.” When Davos arrives in Dragonstone he attempts to kill Melisandre and help Stannis get back to his senses. Instead, he is captured and considered a servant of darkness.
At Harrenhal, Robb and the armies of the north arrive to find a hundreds of dead Stark bannermen. Robb puts his mother Catelyn in a cell for her treason of letting Jamie Lannister escape. Roose Bolton explains that he has one of his best hunters after Jamie. Robb and his new wife Talisa then find a survivor of the battle, a maester named Qyburn.
Back at King’s Landing, Tyrion explains to his father the lengths he has gone for his family. Despite this, Tywin does not recognize the great role that Tyrion played in the defense of the city. Instead, he chastises Tyrion for bringing a whore into his bed. Tyrion then explains to his father that he is the true heir to Casterly Rock since his brother Jamie is a member of the Kingsguard and cannot own land. Tywin refutes his son’s claims and instead calls him a disgrace to the family name.
We then move on to Sansa, who has a meeting with Littlefinger. He explains that he can smuggle her out from King’s Landing soon, but she had to be careful to tell no one. In another part of the city, King Joffrey and Lady Margaery Tyrell are traveling by caravan. Margaery gets out of her carriage and heads into an orphange to speak with the children. She explains to them that their fathers were brave for fighting in the Battle of Blackwater and tells them to come to her if they ever need anything. Joffrey is astounded by her acts of kindness and comments on it later at dinner.
Daenerys Targaryen has arrived in Slaver’s Bay of Astapor with Ser Jorah Mormont, her Dothraki warriors, and her three dragons. The dragons have grown even larger now and can fly around and feed themselves on their own. She meets with the owner of a group of slave soldiers called the “Unsullied.” Their strength and loyalty is demonstrated, but Daenerys is not pleased with the methods these soldiers use to train. She then finds a little girl in the market who turns out to be an assassin in disguise trying to kill her. The girl tries to kill Daenerys with a scorpion but is stopped by a cloaked figure. The girl escapes and the cloaked figure reveals himself as Ser Barristan Selmy, a former member of King Robert Baratheon’s Kingsguard. Selmy tells Daenerys that King Robert is dead, and swears allegiance to her as a member of her Queensguard.
While this episode was not exactly the strongest of episodes, it got the show back rolling and started what will be the greatest season yet. It would have been nice to have a little more action, but we did get some amazing dramatic scenes between our favorite characters. As always Peter Dinklage steals the show as Tyrion Lannister and had some amazing scenes with Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister and Charles Dance’s Tywin Lannister. Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) showed up for the first time and gave us a look at the King beyond the wall. It will be interesting to see how his relationship with Jon Snow develops. And, once again Jon (Kit Harrington) and Ygritte’s (Rose Leslie) chemistry is as amazing as it was last season. The most interesting characters in this episode were Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). The revelation that Davos alive was great itself, but his continuing relationship with Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) gives us a great look at the Baratheon side of the war. Finally, Margaery Tyrell had one of the best moments in the episode when she showed Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) what kindness is like. The look on Joffrey’s face as Margaery went into that orphanage and then left surrounded by adoring kids was priceless. Her character hasn’t been a big part of the show until now, so it will be interesting to see what exactly her intentions are.
Overall this was a solid episode that was a little underwhelming, but started what will be the greatest season yet. While we didn’t get to see every character from the show this week, look forward to seeing The Queen of Thorns, Bran, Rickon, Arya, the Tullys, Brianne, Jamie, and more next Sunday at 9 PM!