Game of Thrones recap: "Valar Dohaeris"

Apr 1, 2013 at 5:25 a.m. ET

One battle has been fought and won, but there are plenty more on the horizon.

Game of Thrones season 3 premiereThe Game of Thrones season 3 premiere didn't skip a beat.

GoT seemingly picked up right where it left off with Jon's fumbling, frightened friend, Sam. When we last saw him, he'd been abandoned by his faster brothers of the Night's Watch and, possibly, left for dead. When we meet with him, again, he's wandering aimlessly and afraid through a blizzard. One White Walker almost has his way with him when Jon's old dire wolf and the rest of the Night's Watch come scrambling to his rescue.

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Game of Thrones season 3 premiere

And what of The Bastard himself, Jon Snow? Last we saw of Jon, he was tied to a long line of captives and being taken before the king beyond the wall, Mance Rayder. Among the captives was Qhorin Halfhand. Halfhand convinces Jon that the only chance he stands at surviving is if he kills his fellow Night's Watchmen. So, the two pretend to scuffle and Jon sticks Halfhand through with his sword. His perceived treachery earns Jon a place among Mance's kingdom of Wildlings. Meanwhile, it still seems like Jon might have a bit of a thing for the red-headed wildling, Ygritte. She definitely loves him! But, what of his vows to the Watch?

Speaking of vows, in the wake of the fighting on King's Landing, a new girl is put before the eyes of Joffrey. Margaery Tyrell is beautiful and silver-tongued and wants to marry Joffrey. Because of Ned's supposed treasonous ways, the council finds Sansa's engagement null and void and within a flash, Joffrey is betrothed to Margaery. So, what of Sansa? She thinks she'll still have a place in the court at King's Landing. However, Littlefinger warns her against that. Joffrey won't want to "share his toy," so she'll just end up as his mistress. He offers to help her escape back to Winterfell. But, under what terms? Littlefinger isn't exactly the most selfless person in existence... and he's always up to no good.

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Just like Sansa, Tyrion Lannister has found himself in a new role, too. After he led the soldiers to triumph against Stannis Baratheon, his father usurped his role as The King's Hand and sent Tyrion (and his brand new scar) to a smaller, better hidden room on the premise. The demotion is hurtful enough for the imp, but it's made worse by his father's lack of visitation. He's been cooped up and recovering for weeks and his father has yet to come see how he's doing. When Tyrion seeks out Tywin for a little father-son bonding, Tywin unleashes on Tyrion. Reminder: Tyrion, Jaime and Cersei's mother died while giving birth to Tyrion... a tragic moment Tywin will never forget and never forgive Tyrion for. Tywin also swears that Tyrion will never, ever gain control over the family property but, if he's lucky, he may let him retire somewhere nice and quiet and out of the public eye. Tywin is full of hate and embarrassment toward his son. Poor little Halfman.

In other news: Stannis is alive. Despite most of his men going down in a literal blaze of glory, Stannis remains unscathed, licking his emotional wounds in a cave somewhere. Each day he's in hiding, he comes more and more under the trance of his witchy woman. What will she pull from up her sleeve (or skirt) next?

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Game of Thrones season 3 premiere

A different kind of magic haunts and helps Daenerys Targaryen. After calling on her dragons to toast Pyat Pree that was set on holding her captive, she set sail for Slaver's Bay to buy an army. Her dragons and her power continue to grow and, by selling one of her dragons, she'll be able to pay for a massive fleet of soldiers who go through all sorts of incomprehensible tests in order to prove their abilities as warriors. While her magic has helped her become the mother of dragons, another kind of magic follows her. While at Slaver's Bay, she has an encounter with a deadly creature and an eerie kid that looks strangely similar to Pyat.

We leave the game after Dany is rescued from the creepy insect-like creature by Barristan Selmy, a famous knight from her father's kingsguard who went on to serve Robert Baratheon. He apologizes for serving the usurper (Robert) and asks Dany to forgive him and let him serve her queensguard. Does he mean it? Time will tell.

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A collection of random thoughts:

  • Tyrion is still my man. If I had to place anyone on the iron throne, it would be Halfman. I think he'd be the fairest, not only to his family but to the others. I love the Starks, but they've had too much harm come to them. If they end up on the throne, revenge is all they'll be after.
  • Margaery is just too good to be true. Her PR stunt in the orphanage with the children: Did she mean that or was she just trying to show how much better she is than Joffrey? Or, is she just angling to make the people love her more in her family's own desperate attempt at the throne?
  • Why don't Shay and Tyrion just leave? What exactly is stopping them from gathering up some of Tyrion's money and possessions and buggerying off? I can't imagine Tywin stopping them.
  • Joffrey isn't getting slapped nearly enough.

All in all, the season premiere kicked off with a rebel yell and I'm stoked for the season ahead. It's all fun and games until someone loses a head. And even then, it can be fun... it just depends on the head.

Images courtesy of HBO