So, how was your Nerd Christmas?
Yes, after a long wait, Game of Thrones—the excellent fantasy soap opera adapted from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series—has returned for yet another season. I have no interest in the books, and I’m not usually a fan of the fantasy genre. But, damn, this a good show. Let’s recap! Since this show’s cast is so large, I’ll link names to the Game of Thrones Wiki. I have to look everyone up anyway.
We open up Season 3 where we left off, with Samwell Tarly trapped in a sea of white walkers marching south. It appears that Tarly is going to be yet another character killed off until, of course, he’s saved by a dog.
Dogs—the five direwolf pups found in the debut episode of the show—are frequently the deus ex machina of Game of Thrones. Dogs have rescued Lady Catelyn and Brandon, Arya and even the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch so far. It’s good to see they’re going to keep saving our favorite characters from death into the third season.
I realize Jon Snow’s a popular character—he’s attractive and he’s relatively a good person—but these Night’s Watch stories sure are boring. He meets up with Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, and Snow’s infiltration of his forces is going to be a major plot point in Season 3 of Game of Thronezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …. oh, sorry. Anyway, see?
Things quickly pick up. There’s an excellent interaction between Tyrion Lannister and Bronn; their pairing was the highlight of Season 2. Bronn gets off a clever sexy one-liner (albeit with a prostitute)—”Don’t you want to leave something to the imagination?” “I’ve never had much imagination.”—before he’s interrupted with a message from Tyrion’s squire. How do you manage to just barge in on someone in a brothel? Wouldn’t you be stopped? No? If so, why don’t the police (here, in our real world) just use this tactic to bust them up?
Bronn, made a knight after his heroics at the Battle of the Blackwater, cries poverty and extracts a raise from Tyrion. Prediction: Bronn will be the favorite character of every Game of Thrones recapper in America. He was kind of poor, and then got a raise. It’s what every freelance writer in America wishes he could successfully do! I don’t think there are newspapers in Westeros, so maybe sellswords like Bronn are the freelance writers of the continent.
As Robb Stark‘s forces take the castle at Harrenhal, we learn that Tywin Lannister has been retreating his forces in order to bide time. He left Harrenhall unguarded, but also slaughtered 200 Northmen before hand. The best part of this scene is the death of a character I believe was called “Sir Jeremy.” I looked, and I don’t think we’ve seen him before. (He was rather unmemorable if we did.) In a show that kills off major characters seemingly on a whim, a guy we’ve never heard of before gets the dramatic, slowed-down Game of Thrones music. How are we supposed to be upset?
Next, Sansa and Shae play a weird game that’s like punch buggy or spot-the-license-plate but for depressed people: Sansa sees ships, then makes up sad stories about their destination and crew’s motives. There’s some backstory about Sansa trying to escape with Littlefinger, the Mayor of Baltimore.
Then, we get the good stuff, by which of course I mean: Dany and her easily GIF-able dragons!
That dude who’s in love with Danaerys says the dragons are getting big, which… eh, whatever, let’s do another dragon GIF.
But what’s great about Game of Thrones is it reaches new depths of depravity each episode. We meet someone much more evil than even Cersei. It’s a slave-master who makes his slave warriors kill babies in front of their owners in order to get a shield. Also, he cuts off a slave’s nipple for reasons he only sort of explains. I shall link this mildly disturbing GIF for decency reasons, but it’s much easier to watch than the one of that Louisville player shattering his leg.
The episode ends just as Dany is saved from being killed by a CGI effect!
Aw, she wasn’t saved by a dog like everyone else.
All in all, not a very exciting episode, but I’m hooked again. Go forth, and be inspired by Bronn to ask for a raise.