The Imp, The Bastard, The Mother of Dragons: Game of Thrones Season 3 PremiereApril 1, 2013
The Imp, The Bastard and The Mother of Dragons are back to continue their stories of bloodshed on HBO.
After a longer hiatus than I would have liked, Game of Thrones is back on TV to fill the Sunday night void left empty thanks to the season finale of The Walking Dead. We get to see the continuation of Jon Snow’s trek north with the Free Folk and the King Beyond the Wall, Tyrion’s recovery after the Battle of the Blackwater, and Danerys on her trek to claim an army to invade Westeros. Season 3 is said to be the first half of the book A Storm of Swords, but considering the amount of information and events that take place within that book, I think that would be way too much just for one season. Personally, I am happy they are doing it this way so we don’t get a rushed season, and get all the important bits in.
This first episode of season 3 does manage to fit a lot of story into the hour and not make it feel like they passed too much by. We first get a quick look and reassurance that the Nights Watch are still alive for the time being after the attack from the White Walkers (aka snow zombies) and that once again Sam messed up by not sending the crows for help. I know Sam’s character will grow over the season, but for now we have to put up with the fact that he is a bumbling coward that’s in way over his head.
Jon Snow is now being led into the belly of the beast, introduced to a new character Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds) The King Beyond the Wall and the leader of the Free Folk. On that trek through the camp we see the massive army of the Free Folk, the hatred the people have towards Jon as a man of the Black Watch, and most impressive and dangerous of them all, Giants! There was not much more of Jon in this episode expect for the ten or so minutes that is dedicated to catching up with him, but they set his path pretty firmly and let us know what to expect this coming season.
One of my favorite characters from the books is back, and I’m very excited to see his story arc played out in full. Davos Seaworth is saved from a tiny rock in the ocean and brought back to try and talk some sense into Stannis. Unfortunately it doesn’t go well due to the fact Melisandre is controlling the whole situation and Davos gets tossed in a cell. Expect to see a lot more of Davos this season, and trust me when I tell you it will be awesome.
With every episode, Tyrion is gaining more and more fans and he damn well deserves them. After a brush with death by the blade of one of Queen Cercei’s men, Tyion is determined to claim power and make sure nothing like this happens again. He prevails in talking down the Queen, alluding to the fact he knows she sent the man to kill him during the Battle of the Blackwater. Bronn almost gets a shot of some action too, but gets stopped short. Tyrion then tried to assert some dominance over his father with the request of Casterly Rock… this did not work out so well, leaving Tyrion at a loss.
We briefly check in with the other Stark children as well… but to be honest I don’t care for Sansa, and Robb is too busy being a downer. There was not much to them this episode except just to let us know they are still around, and to remind us to care about their characters (even if it’s just a little bit).
We also get a look at what King “If I had a chance to slap you around I would” Joffrey and his future bride Margaery Tyrell were up to. Margaery seems to have a kind heart and it seems to be rubbing off on Joffrey. It is also driving the King further from his mother with some uncomfortable dinner table talk which closely resembled a duo of teenaged girls picking on the girl who liked AJ instead of Nick (nobody liked AJ). With this we get to see Margaery’s true nature as just not some pretty face, but also someone just as manipulative as the Queen herself.
Now for the good stuff, dragons, knights, and eunuchs!
Danerys is across the poison sea looking for a great army she can buy to help her regain her rightful place on the Iron Throne. This episode gives the chance to introduce two major things to her campaign. The first is an extremely loyal, brutal, eunuch slave army of 8,000 that will fight to the death, with or without nipples. The second being someone that I have been waiting to come back into the light, Barristan Selmy. We last remember him being the Captain of the Kingsguard, and being tossed away by Joffrey. What better way to assist the kingdom while getting some well deserved revenge on the little jerk who cost you your job? Now, this part of the story does deviate from the books quite a bit and we don’t get to see him as Whitebeard…or any beard at all, but it is good to see him on the screen again. One thing that we got to see was a attempt at Dany’s life by a little girl assassin. They play it off as the warlocks trying to get revenge for what happened in Qarth, but personally I hope this is a brief look at the Faceless Men that will play a major role in later on.
Overall I was very happy with this episode and having this as my Sunday night fill of blood and glory. This season will introduce a large portion of the supernatural/fantasy elements that they have been hinting at previous seasons, but only seeing small portions of. There will be more than enough dragons, giants and wargs (hell yeah) to make us happy this season. So, I urge those who may have found this episode boring with mostly talking and not much action to keep watching because it picks up fast. Or, to those who have never seen a single episode, I encourage you to grab the blu-rays and watch them or HBO GO (HBO’s version of on demand) them all and get caught up for this season.