Hey everyone, it’s Doctor Improbable again, now here to inform your brains about what’s happening on Game of Thrones! The third season of this show is based off the first portion of Storm of Swords, so if you want to be that smug asshole in your group of friends who knows how it’s going to end- or at least who dies- you’ll have plenty of time to read the book between this and the fourth season. Spoilers: you’re gonna be real mad.
We open just north of the wall, where Sam Tarly and his neckbeard are ruining things for the Night’s Watch by not sending ravens off to tell the rest of the world about the White Walkers. Ghost saves his ass from one of them, and Commander Mormont yammers on about how Death and Destruction are coming south of the wall.
Meanwhile, still in the frigid north, Jon is brought to see Mance Rayder, king of the wildlings. On the way, Ygritte gives him the usual grief about him being ignorant and foolish. She really knows how to woo a man. (Then again, Jon has mommy issues thanks to Catelyn Stark.) Anyway, he bows before Mance, which earns him some heart guffaws from the crowd, as the wildlings aren’t really into protocol and the like. The Lord of Bones asks what his motivation for joining up with them is- he clearly doesn’t trust Jon. Our Lord Snow claims that after he saw Craster sacrifice his son to the White Walkers and Mormont did nothing to prevent it, he was moved to side with those who fight for the living. Very noble, I’m sure. They’re still wary of him, but allow him to join.
Oh, hello boobies! Bronn’s working on disrobing a woman with his teeth, but is rudely interrupted by a messenger from Tyrion. C’mon brah, don’t cockblock. Our favourite little person, meanwhile, is talking to our least favourite queen. Cercei and Tyrion have a bit of their usual back-and-forth, as Tyrion believes she tried to have him killed. Note- this wasn’t as clear in the show, but in the book Cercei sends Pycell to basically drug Tyrion into a coma and death after his wounds at Blackwater. Anyway, after they quip a bit, Tyrion speaks with the newly knighted Bronn, who demands more money for his services. Oh Bronn, you know what Biggie says- mo’ money, mo’ problems.
Davos wakes up marooned on a rock. He fortunately is rescued and brought to Salladhor Saan, who is pissed Stannis lost Blackwater and all his ships and fortune with it. He also tells Davos that Melisandre continues to hold a firm grip on Stannis’s…opinions. This displeases Davos, who is jealous he hasn’t got a full hand with which to grasp Stannis’s…mind, and who swears to kill the Red Witch.
The banner of the Direwolf flies! Robb reaches what I assume is Harrenhall, since it looks rather burnt down, except I don’t know if that really makes sense. Listen guys, I’m sorry, I had a long trip today through the hell that is Indiana and I haven’t started re-reading SoS yet, so forgive my lack of accuracy. I don’t know how non-book readers keep track of anything on this show. Anyway, Catelyn is sad to find her father’s bannermen slain. Robb has her put in a cell, on account of everyone is still real salty that she let Jaime go. They come across a man barely clinging to life, who Robb aims to question and his wife Lady Talissa aims to nurse, since that’s like, her one personality trait.
Tywin is at his books when Tyrion comes to chat. He not-so-subtly ribs his father for taking his position as Hand of the King away from him, and flat out asks for the seat at Casterly Rock- which, to be fair, is his by right, as Jaime gave it up when he joined the Kingsguard. Not to mention, Tyrion did a pretty swell job cleaning up after Joffery and managing Stannis’s invasion. Tywin, however, is not impressed. He insults Tyrion for being a whoremonger and an imp and also for killing his mother, and says he’ll never lay claim to Casterly Rock. Oh, shit. Tywin just lost a lot of my goodwill he had earned from his interactions with Arya, though since those never happened in the book I guess that’s only fair. Anyway, it is no wonder Tyrion has so many issues with a father like that. I’ll avoid the obvious Dean Winchester reference. (Wait, does that still count?)
Sansa is trying to get Shae to make up stories about the ships in the bay with her. Shae isn’t very good at being imaginative. Littlefinger creeps his way over and tells Sansa that Catelyn misses her. He also offers her escape when he has a chance. We don’t really get her reaction (recall that The Hound already tried to take her away after Blackwater), but whatever that girl that Petyr keeps as a slutty pet is named (she’s not in the book so I can’t remember) tells Shae to watch out for Sansa.
Aboard a ship filled with seasick Dothraki, Daenerys beams with pride as her growing dragons fly alongside her ship. She believes herself to be a great leader for getting the horse people across the sea, though Jorah points out she has a long way to go. Also what the hell, I thought they killed off like her entire Khalisaar in the show?
Davos makes his way back to Stannis, who makes a point of insulting him. Davos proclaims his fealty to the One True King, but Melisandre says that Stannis lost the Battle of Blackwater because Davos forced her to stay behind. Davos tries and fails miserably at stabbing her. Temper, temper.
Joffery is being carried through the city in a box because he’s a chicken shit coward. Margery (who is now his fiancé instead of Sansa) stops, gets out of her own little caravan, and tromps through the city without fear. She goes to an orphanage and tells the children to be proud their fathers fought for Joff and King’s Landing. Later, at dinner, she and Cercei each attempt to undermine each other while Joffery shamelessly sucks up to his wife-to-be. Cercei, trying to foster mommy issues in her incestuous whelp, is jealous of Margery’s youth and intelligence. Danger and bitchery is afoot! Women, amirite?
We end over in the east, Dany having landed in the land of the Unsullied, an unmatched force of soldier-slaves. Though not keen on the idea of using slave labour, the 8000-strong band of fearless, relentless fighters is crucial for her eventual invasion of Westeros. It’s yet unclear how she’s going to pay for them (spoilers: treachery!), but she needs them on her side. After viewing the soldiers, she and Jorah walk through the city. A girl rolls her a ball; when Dany tries to open it, a cloaked figure knocks it away from her and kills the obviously poisonous bug inside of it, saving her life. The shadowy figure reveals himself to be Barristan Selmy, ex-head of Robert Baratheon’s kingsguard. He begs forgiveness and swears to protect Daenerys as the true queen. Jorah is displeased; there is room for only one misplaced father figure in the girl’s heart!
This episode probably felt a little slow, especially for those of you who have some iota of memory and know how last season ended. I hope msot viewers have either re-watched the first two seasons or read the book, because I don’t have time to keep watching episodes that make sure we’re all caught up. Get to the actoin, people! Also, maybe it’s just the fact that HBOgo is crap on my Internet connection right now, but it looks like the CGI for the dragons is actually pretty good! I suspect next week we'll have to re-establish the status quo for the other half of the cast- Arya, Bran, the Greyjoys, etc. Hopefully once that's done we can get the ball rolling. Anyway, everyone stay tuned, because shit’s gonna get really real this season.