Game of Thrones Season 3, Episode 1: Valar Dohaeris, or We’re Serving Realness

So, where were we? A shrieking comes across the blackness, and oh yes, Fat Sam Tarly in heaps of trouble. Luckily he has Ghost and a few dozen friends to save his bacon. Wait, Ghost? Anyway, Sam blew it with the ravens, so the Unhappiest Campers are headed for the wall to warn everyone about the endless army of ice zombies that have a huge head start. Good plan.

Meanwhile to the north, John & Ginger are flirting their way through yurtsville on their way to see the wildling king Mance Rayder. And look, 15 foot tall giant, no biggie. John takes crowd abuse way better than Joffrey, but he’s not a genetic psycho or a little bitch.

They don’t kneel for anyone beyond the wall. Phrasing? Anyway, John passes his interview with a few hitches, but apparently everybody’s pretty nervous about the endless army of ice zombies.

And in warmer climes, Bronn is paying for some hotness (first nudity!), until Pod shows up with the same apologetic face he has on whether he’s delivering a summons or putting a spear through someone’s skull. And Tyrion, moping in his crappy basement apartment, gets a visit from Cersei, who delivers a bit of fan service with a crack about his nose. (Or Nose Not-in-the-book, as I shall be calling it henceforth.) Actually she just wants to hand out some veiled threats, since she seems to think her dad hasn’t figured out about Joff and/or gives a shit.

Bronn arrives and considers taking out his frustrations on the pompous meatballs of the Kingsguard, which fun gets spoiled by Cersei swanning out the door. And we get another long-awaited Striding With Tyrion scene, which incidentally reveals that Pod is nearly as tall as Bronn. The rebuilding after the Blackwater is proceeding nicely, and Bronn feels he deserves a raise. I’m sure the local talent agrees.

Davos Shorthandoftheking has opted to spend his downtime after the battle dying of exposure on some guano-spattered rock. That plan gets spoiled by a chance rescue by his pirate chum, who tries talking a bit of sense to him, having forgotten that Davos’ singular virtue is his loyalty to Stannis. So Davos is on his way to Storm’s End, where he will try to talk sense to Stannis. I may weep.

Back in CGIreland, we catch up with Robb Stark, who is talking nonsense with Lord Flaymate as his vast army descends on Harrenhal, last known location of Arya and stronghold of… a whole shitload of dead bodies. Even Flaymate and Dogfoodhands are put out by the sight. We revisit some old grievances, Robb remembers to lock his mom up, and Nurse Not-in-the-book tends to a survivor. I’ll remember who Qyburn is sometime around 6am I’m sure.

We return to King’s Landing, where Tywin is a dick and Tyrion is a dope to expect anything else. Actually, Tywin is a colossal dick, and to some degree Tyrion is giving him a last chance to be anything but. Ah well.

Down by the sea, we find Sansa trying to pass the time with Shae, who is being prickly and grumpy. How I did not miss you, Fucking Shae. And Baelish shows up, sounding crafty and Irish, and starts working his rotten wiles on Sansa (who appears to be a foot taller than last season). Ros attempts to chat up Shae, who is having none of it.

A little further across the sea, we have some pretty sweet CGI with Dany’s dragons playing at being pelicans. Mmmmm, blackened sea bass. And apparently riding horseback all your life doesn’t prep you for seasickness. Pity the poor lost Khalasar.

Lovely reunion between Davos and Stannis, who barely glances at the man who cheated death to rejoin him. Instead, he allows Melisandre to browbeat him with nonsense until he draws steel on her, and it’s off to the dungeons. Stannis is also a colossal dick.

Back to King’s Landing, where Margaery smirks her way through a charm offensive at a war orphanage. Cersei does not approve, but she lacks the common touch. Joff doesn’t want to be reminded of his humiliation during the riot he caused, but too late. Marge continues with her poised patter and Cersei absently fondles something sharp.

Time for some shopping! Dany’s in the market for mercenaries, and we get a charming lost-in-translation scene with a crusty slave trader who doesn’t know that Dany understands Valyrian. Of course, nipple amputation transcends all languages.

And the Guild Navigators try to kill Dany with a huge bug and the little girl zombie from the original Night of the Living Dead. Luckily Ser Barristan Selmy is somehow on the scene with a dagger and a pledge of loyalty and service. Old guys dig Dany.

We’ll have to wait to see how the remaining Stark kids are doing, which is fine because they crammed a lot into this first ep. Anyway, excited for the new season, pleased so far, can’t wait to see how tall Bran has gotten. See you next week.

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