Finally, the night that we've all been waiting for: The season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones!!! Based off the novel A Storm of Swords, HBO promised that this season is going to be the best one yet -- and so far, as episode 1 sets us up for everything to come, it still starts off with quite a bang.
There are so many different storylines to get through and so many different characters we have to catch up with that reintroducing us to them proved to be quite a whirlwind. Needless to say, they pulled it off rather flawlessly and gave us some surprises to boot. Although I've read A Storm of Swords, I'm going to try my best to not nitpick all the differences between the book and the show. We'll just take the show for what it is for right now. Let's get into it, shall we?
There are SPOILERS AHEAD. I'll repeat: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for those of you who have not seen "Valar Dohaeris." You have been warned. Winter is finally here!!
Honestly, nothing in this episode really stuck out or was extremely shocking; it was just great getting back into the world of Westeros and seeing our favorite characters again. We start right where we left off -- beyond the Wall with Samwell Tarly and the White Walkers. Poor dude's running for his life in a blizzard, petrified. He's attacked by one, but then saved, and of course reprimanded for not sending out a raven about the White Walkers' arrival (his only job!).
Then we catch up with Jon Snow beyond the Wall with the Wildings. We got to see the mythical creature promised in addition to the dragons and White Walkers: giants! And let's give a big welcome to Mance Rayder. Ciaran Hinds, who plays him, looks and sounds pretty fantastic as King Beyond the Wall.
Back in King's Landing, Tyrion Lannister's rocking his scar (which isn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be) from the Battle of the Blackwater. Tyrion also rekindles his romance (somewhat) with Bronn, who has the pleasure of giving us our first boob shot of the season at a whore house.
Tywin's taken over Tyrion's position as Hand, and Tyrion wants his reward for leading the army during the battle. Tywin may be the only one who can shut Tyrion up and hits him where it hurts the most, saying a reward in battle is a stupid request since he's a Lannister, and gives him an especially hard time with his reputation for screwing whores. Damn, dad of the year, that Tywin, but it's still such a terrific scene between two men who hate to be outsmarted.
Speaking of whores, Sansa and Shae, Tyrion's favorite whore (Tywin threatens to kill the next whore he catches Tyrion with), are interrupted by Petyr Baelish. Now that Joffrey's betrothed to another, Baelish is scheming to get Sansa away from King's Landing. Lady Margaery Tyrell, who's unfortunately betrothed to Joffrey instead of Sansa, doesn't mind running through crap and ruining her dress promising poor, dirty orphans she'll take care of them. That look of befuddlement Joffrey gives her while watching her with the kids was priceless. The dinner with him, Margaery, and Cersei was so awkward, I can't wait to see more of this power play as the season goes on.
Then finally, 40 minutes in, we get some dragon action! The dragon looks as badass and realistic as ever. Daenerys realizes she needs an army because the dragons aren't growing fast enough. She and Jorah and the remaining Dothraki sail to see the Unsullied. Death means nothing to them. The master cuts off a soldier's nipple to prove how they're immune to pain ... as he points out, men don't need nipples. Jeez, gotta love this show, huh?
And at the end, we also get to see yet another mythical creature -- a manticore! I'm going to have nightmares about it later. It tries to kill Daenerys but she is saved by the poor guy Joffrey cast off as being too old, Barristan Selmy. Seemed the creepy kid who gave her the manticore was a Faceless Man, too.
Still, we need to see some Arya, Brienne, and Jaime! Even so, that was the fastest hour of television I've ever seen in my entire life.
"First time you’ve seen a giant Jon Snow? ... Well, don’t stare too long, they’re shy." -- Ygritte
"You're a clever man, but you're not half as clever as you think you are." -- Cersei Lannister
"Still makes me more clever than you." -- Tyrion Lannister
"The truth is always either terrible or boring." -- Sansa Stark
"Death by fire is the purest death." -- Melisandre
"I would let myself be consumed by maggots before mocking the family name and making you heir to Casterly Rock." -- Tywin Lannister
What did you think of the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones?
Image via HBO