Game of Thrones
returned for season 3 with an episode that checked in with many of the
major characters as they prepare for new lives. If there's a common
theme throughout all the stories, it's about people doing what they can
to get what they want. Tyrion Lannister wants respect, Daenerys
Targaryan wants an army, Margaery Tyrell wants power and Sansa Stark
finally wants to get the hell out of King's Landing.
There's not a whole lot of action in the season 3 premiere, but Game of Thrones
isn't really concerned with premieres and finales. It's one long story. This episode is more about getting us back into the world of Westeros.
Daenerys and the Unsullied
Daenerys has her ship and her dragons are growing nicely (they can catch and cook their own fish in a single movement), but now she needs an army. This brings her to Astapor, home of the Unsullied, a group of fearless slave soldiers.
The Unsullied are pretty bad-ass. The training is so rigorous only one out of every four applicants survives. They must also kill a baby to join and they have their testicles and nipples cut off. Needless to say, I never want to be a member of the Unsullied.
Daenerys plans to buy 8,000 of these slave soldiers to mount her attack on King's Landing, dealing with a total d-bag slave trader named Kraznys who makes fun of her in a language she can't understand, having the translator clean it up. Kraznys needs to get eaten by dragons ASAP.
Finally, Daenerys is almost killed by a girl with black lips and her magic ball that contains the creepiest killer scorpion with a face I've ever seen. Luckily she's saved by none other than Barristan Selmy. If you don't remember who that is, he was the head of the Kingsguard under Robert Baratheon and, before him, Aerys Targaryan. But he was dismissed once Joffrey came to power, so now he's crossed the sea to find Daenerys to swear his allegiance to her.Tyrion Wants Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Tyrion Lannister is still holed up in his tiny tower, recovering from the Battle of Blackwater. At least he still has his servant, Podrick, and his bodyguard, Bronn (though Bronn wants a raise).
Tyrion meets up with his father to discuss his future. Tyrion thinks he is the rightful heir to Casterly Rock, the Lannister home. Tywin basically says over his dead body, spouting a whole lot of hateful bile towards his own son. I can almost see the gears turning in Tyrion's head as he now begins to plot the demise of his own family from within.Margaery Tyrell, aka Mother Teresa
Margaery Tyrell, the most ambitious woman since Lady MacBeth, decides to win over the people of King's Landing with kindness by visiting an orphanage and handing out toys. Thank God she's arrived, because this woman knows how to play the game of thrones.
Later at dinner she compliments Cersei's fashion sense and she even laughs at Joffrey's jokes. Cersei seems to see right through Margaery's naked ambition, but dumb little Joffrey is totally falling for it.The Stark Family
Arya and Bran are MIA from the season 3 premiere. Sansa hangs out with Shae and then tells Littlefinger that she's finally willing to go back home, though he's unsure if he'll be able to help her since taking the king's property is treason. Meanwhile, Robb Stark takes Harrenhal, which is now just a giant morgue filled with the decaying corpses of the Mountain's victims. I feel bad for Littlefinger, because he now owns Harrenhal and that was supposed to be a real coup, but it's a total fixer-upper.Davos Lives
Thankfully Davos Seaworth survived the Battle of Blackwater and was rescued by his pirate friend Salladhor Saan. Davos is desperate to get back to Stannis Baratheon and kill Melisandre, because he believes a red priestess who burns people alive for not believing in her god is a bad thing. Davos makes it back to Dragonstone, but when he tells Stannis about how evil Melisandre is and then tries to kill her, he's arrested and thrown in a dungeon. Poor Davos.North of the Wall
Samwell is rescued by Jeor Mormont and the rest of the Night's Watch, who are now rushing back to the Wall to warn everyone that the White Walkers are coming and they're gonna kill everyone.
Finally, Jon Snow arrives at Mance Rayder's camp where he sees a giant. And I'm talking about a real giant who's about three times bigger than any man. It's pretty awesome.
Jon meets Mance Rayder and is able to convince him that he's willing to be on their side. Jon is pretty convincing at this double agent thing, and just as interesting is that Mance knows Jon Snow is Ned Stark's bastard. Man, does EVERYONE in the Seven Kingdoms know that Ned Stark cheated on his wife? No wonder Catelyn always looks so pissy.
Next week on Game of Thrones
: It's everyone who wasn't in this week's episode, including Arya, Bran, Jaime, Brienne and the arrival of Diana Rigg as Margaery's grandma, who interrogates Sansa about what Joffrey is really like. Man, she is SO the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey
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(Image courtesy of HBO)