Of Dwarves and Dragons: Game of Thrones Returns
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Game of Thrones returned to HBO last night for the beginning of Season 3. Edging its way into the content of George R.R. Martin’s third Song of Ice and Fire book, this is the season fans have been simultaneously excited and nervous about since the show first began. Needless to say, expectations were almost impossibly high for this season premiere. Thankfully, Game of Thrones delivered another fantastic episode, though one filled more with tension than action.

For those of you who missed it, don’t feel like you need to be left in the dark. Here’s a spoiler-filled recap of what we saw.

Jon Snow Becomes a Free Man

As you should remember from Season 2, Jon Snow is taken captive by the “Free Folk” after capturing a redheaded hottie in the frozen lands beyond the Wall. In a fit of passion, he murders Qhorin Halfhand, who is only the most badass of Rangers, which earns him a visit to Mance Rayder, the guy who leads the Free Folk.

Jon asks Mance to join his merry band of free men. Mance is understandably skeptical at first, but Jon ultimately wins his favor by telling him the story of Craster’s child sacrifice and the Watch’s refusal to do anything about it. He delivers a passionate monologue about wanting to fight for the side that has the guts to stand against the terrifying blue-eyed freaks that roam the wilderness.

That’s enough to keep Mance from killing Jon outright, but we’ll have to wait to see how long the Free Folk plan on keeping him around for.

Tyrion Has a Chat with Daddy

Everyone’s favorite smartmouth dwarf, Tyrion Lannister, is not having a good time. Not only did he almost perish in an assassination attempt that left his face permantently scarred (an act he’s positive his lovely sister was behind), but he also lost his position as Hand of the King when his father returned to King’s Landing. This leaves him completely powerless, which is a lot he’s not all that fond of.

So he goes to his father, Tywin Lannister, and asks for the inheritance he believes is rightfully his: Casterly Rock. Tywin, a guy who’s probably never smiled in his entire life, is unimpressed. He denies Tyrion’s request, blames “The Imp” for the death of his mother, and rubs salt in his wounds by forbidding him to bed any more “ladies of the night.” Which is a bummer, because his girlfriend is sort of in that occupation.

Oh, and Tywin promised Tyrion a wife as a reward for his bravery in the Battle of Blackwater. Keep that in mind; it’s going to be important. I promise.

 

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Davos Makes Bad Decisions

After his ship was burned in the Battle of Blackwater, Davos washes up on an inhospitable rock out at sea, where he is eventually rescued and returned to his good buddy Salladhor Saan. Salladhor warns him that he should probably stay away from Stannis Baratheon, whose witchy counterpart has taken up a fondness for burning men alive. Sound words of advice, right?

But Davos is a stubborn man. He returns to Stannis, only to make an attempt on the life of the witch Melisandre. This lands him a stint in Stannis’s dungeon, proving he should have listened to his pirate friend Salladhor all along.

Margaery Hangs Out with Orphans

Margaery Tyrell, King Joffrey’s wife-to-be, is spotted wading through feces to spend some time with a group of unfortunate orphans. She tells these impressionable youngsters that their fathers fought bravely in the Battle of Blackwater, and that King’s Landing is safe as a result. She even goes so far as to ensure that their needs will be met, and that she can be personally contacted if they need anything.

Joffrey catches wind of this and praises her charitable efforts over dinner while a shamefaced Cersei pretends to approve. Now, Cersei is pure evil, and it’s always nice to see her squirm a bit, but the lack of control she has over her son is getting ridiculous, especially with Tyrion out of the picture. She needs to reign in his ego before he gets the whole family assassinated. Or not. Westeros certainly could use a few less Baratheons and Lannisters.

Dany Might Be Getting an Army. Or an Assassination. Whichever Comes First.

Daenerys checks out some battle-hardened soldiers called the Unsullied in hopes of recruiting them to her cause (AKA purchasing them) to win back the Iron Throne for House Targaryen. The catch is that the Unsullied are basically slaves, trained from a very young age to be ruthless killing machines obedient to a fault. As children, they’re put through rigorous training that only a fraction of them will ever survive. To prove they’ve eradicated all emotional weakness, they must murder a newborn baby in front of its mother.

Dany is offered 8,000 Unsullied. This math isn’t difficult on this one; that equals 8,000 murdered babies.

While considering whether or not her slave army is worth the guilt that comes with thousands of dead babies, she’s assaulted by a little demon child with a scorpion, only to be saved at the last second by a random cloaked stranger. Although, this stranger isn’t random at all; this is Lord Barristan Selmy, a man who was once loyal to Dany’s father. Of course, he turned his loyalty to Robert Baratheon and double-crossed Aerys during that whole rebellion thing, but that doesn’t stop Dany from allowing him to rejoin House Targaryen.

I suppose he’s a safe bet for now, after that brat Joffrey stripped him of his title in the first season (now you remember him!) He certainly doesn’t have any reason to remain loyal to House Baratheon. But we’ll see. Sides change quickly in the Game of Thrones, and we can never be sure who’s going to end up where.

 


By
Josh Wirtanen
Editor / Social Media
Date: April 1, 2013
 

 

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