TV Review: Game of Thrones 301 – Valar Dohaeris

Game of Thrones returns for its third season and it moves the pieces into place for about half the cast of characters, setting up some excellent intrigue.

Over across the Narrow Sea, Daeneyrs has finally gotten her boat, her dragons are flourishing and she has quite the lead on a start to her army. The slave soldiers are impressive, but I am happy to see that she is hesitant to take on the image of being someone who wields slaves; no matter the quality and skill. It is also interesting to see that her spat with the warlocks is by no means over as a young female warlock tries to assassinate her with a deadly scorpion. Daeneyrs has always been described as having enemies and threats at every turn and it is finally starting to feel that way. The final reveal that Barristan Selmy has been tracking down Daeneyrs is another positive step towards her reclaiming her throne. The show seems to be getting off on a much stronger with Daeneyrs this season after spinning its wheels a bit too much in Qarth last season.

It is also very exciting to see that Davos survived The Battle of Blackwater and that his fire to kill the fire god’s servant Melisandre has not faded. Stannis is even further disillusioned by Melisandre and Davos can’t even get through to his king. I loved the angle Melisandre takes to get Stannis back on her side, things went to hell when she wasn’t there, and he certainly seems to be getting closer to go off the deep end. I’m happy to have Davos back, so I hope he isn’t stuck in the dungeon of Dragonstone for long. The battle between Davos and Melisandre might be more compelling than Stannis’ attempt at the throne.

Margaery Tyrell seems to be settling nicely into King’s Landing as she is an excellent counter to Joffrey’s sinister streak. Helping the orphans of Blackwater and hoping to improve charity as a whole in the city, it is amazing that Joffrey might have even noticed what good she could be for his image. Though, I can’t imagine Cersei is going to let that last very long as she clearly sees Margaery’s power over her son. I see these two potentially getting into it down the line and maybe this will relieve some of the attention Cersei has focused on Sansa. Speaking of which, I hope Littlefinger’s offer to Sansa isn’t a part of some nefarious plan.

Behind The Wall Jon Snow meets the King North of the Wall, Mance Rayder, and seems to further wiggle his way into the good graces of the Wildlings. Jon makes a convincing argument and I am intrigued to see where this partnership goes. I am very excited to see Ciarán Hinds in the role of Mance as well, even if I think that the eventual run in with White Walkers might shake up the Wildlings leadership. It’s disappointing that the Walkers didn’t show up this week, who knows when they will be back again, but it might actually be sooner rather than later as the remaining members of the Night Watch head back to the Wall. Still can’t believe Samwell got out of the Walker’s grasp alive.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Robb at Harrenhal and how seeing all those dead Northerners will effect moral. All these missed connections, Arya just missing her brother and mother outside Harrenhal can be a bit too much to ask, but hopefully they don’t abuse that trick too much.

And poor Tyrion, being hidden away in the depths of King’s Landing as his father gives him zero credit for any of the good he has done. Tywin’s rationale for not giving Tyrion the credit he thinks he deserves at King’s Landing is sound, but denying him Casterly Rock is just cruel. Tywin lays into him, even threatening Shae’s life, and I cannot see too many positives ahead for Tyrion. Tyrion had fun almost all of season two and this new season does not seem like it is going to be nearly as fun for him.  Though I have to say, happy to have Bronn back.

A solid episode of Game of Thrones and we got to catch up with only about half of the cast. The fallout of Winterfell, Jaime & Brienne and Arya are all left out of this episode and I can’t wait to catch up with them next week. Still, Game of Thrones is off to a great start and I am looking forward to rest of the season.

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