Game of Thrones 3×1 Recap

Welcome back Game of Throne watchers!  This is it, the highly anticipated Season 3 has officially started.  Was it everything you hoped it would be?  We recap it below; feel free to share your opinions in the comments sections!

House Stark

At the start of Season 3, we find the Stark family even more disjointed and distant as Winterfell now sits abandoned.  Did you notice the smoke at Winterfell during the opening credits?  Or how about the addition of Astapor (more on that later)?

The episode picks up moments after the Season 2 finale with Sam running as fast as he can in that shag carpet of a coat from White Walkers.  Sam finds one of his Night’s Watch brothers dead in the snow, CRADLING HIS OWN HEAD.  (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  Whoa, he’s holding his own head, that’s so badass.  And he looks like Jesus.) But there’s no time to dwell; the zombies are coming!  Thankfully, Ghost is there to attack the White Walker and the remaining members of the Night Watch set the creepy thing on fire.   It’s official; the White Walkers are coming.

Jon Snow makes it to the wildling camp called Frostfangs and it’s time for him to meet the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Raydar, but not before seeing his first giant.  After mistaking Mance for a wildling named Giantsbane and bowing embarrassingly, we finally meet the King Beyond the Wall and former Nights Watchmen.  Hello Cirian Hinds, welcome!  (Note:  Did anyone else watch USA’s Political Animals last summer?  He’s fantastic and I’m so excited to see him in this role!)  I’m already in love with Mance as he ever so observantly points out “The girl likes yah, yah like her back?” (Check yes or no).

Jon seems to prove himself to Mance (for now) when he reveals his search for freedom stems from the desire to fight White Walkers and the disdain he feels for the Lord Commander complicity with Craster’s baby-sacrificing ways.

Did you know notice Snow hobbling?  I tried to look for it but nothing stood out.  Kit Harrington hilariously broke his ankle after losing the keys to his London flat.  He fell from a window while trying to break in, inconveniently, right before filming was set to start.  His production schedule was pushed back as much as possible and body doubles we’re used for several walking or fighting shots.  I’ll be obsessively looking for clues to the injury all season, care to join?

Robb and Catelynn arrive at Harrenhal, the previous base for the Lannister army and brief home to Arya (there’s something sad about this, they almost had her!).  The soldiers are tired and frustrated, they want to fight, but the Lannisters continue to lead them on a wild goose chase.  The only opportunity for battle in the future would be at King’s Landing. Are we going to see the Stark vs. Lannister showdown soon?  I hope so.

At Harrenhal (now owned by Petyr Baelish), they find 200 dead Northerners.  Since Catelyn allowed Jaime to leave last season in exchange for Sansa and Arya, this only increases Robb’s rage towards his mother.  In his eyes, the blood of 200 men is on her hands.  Among the bodies, they find a survivor named Qyburn, something tells me he will be important later.

We catch up with Sansa at Kings Landing.  Her and Shae are watching the ships, Sansa is making up stories about the ships, where they’re going, and what it would be like to escape onboard.  Shae asks “why should I make up a story when I know the truth?” and Sansa replies “because the truth is always either terrible, or boring.”  Quite a change in Sansa, she’s no longer hopeful or optimistic.  Witnessing the evil at King’s Landing has changed her and now she’s just trying to survive.

Where is Bran?  Where is Arya?  I’m going to need an update on the rest of the Stark clan ASAP.

House Lannister

The Lannisters are back and badder than ever. We open with a touching scene between brother and sister, Tyrion and Cersei. Tyrion has clearly become a paranoid man, but who can blame him? His own sister attempted to murder him, she employs hundreds of spies, and his father hates him. Unfortunately, Tyrion didn’t realize the extent of that hate until he paid Lord Tywin a friendly visit. Tyrion tried to make it seem like the visit was driven by love, but really it was driven by greed. No surprises there – Tyrion is, after all, a Lannister. But Tywin cruelly reminded Tyrion that he is only his son by law, and that Tywin despises Tyrion and blames him for the death of his mother. Poor Tyrion. My heart broke for him as Tywin so callously dismissed him, but not without one last threat to Shae. Something tells me Tywin wouldn’t be as stupid as Cersei to collect the wrong whore.

I find myself once again admiring the work of Charles Dance. You may recall he similarly ripped into Jaime Lannister in Season 1, while ripping into a stag carcass. This scene last night felt oddly reminiscent of that scene, except this time the carcass was Tyrion. No one can deliver a powerful monologue quite like Mr. Dance.

Elsewhere in the Lion’s Den, King Joffrey and Queen Margaery find themselves in Flea Bottom [is this a reference to our beloved U.S. capital?!]. Margaery decided to stop her wagon to visit the children who are now orphans after the Battle of Blackwater. The scene was touching, and I sense she is somewhat aware of what the Lannisters are really like, and plans to do some serious damage control for their reputation and the throne.

The next time we see the Lannisters, Cersei planned a family dinner for herself and Joffrey, and Margaery and Loras. I must say, what an awkward family dinner! But this scene was fantastic. Not only did we have four major characters in one scene together [which is such a treat!], but we had King Joffrey freely making fun of Cersei and Margaery proving to be as perfect, if not more so, than Lady Sansa. I sensed tension and jealously brewing within Cersei. We all know Margaery wants to become Queen. Now, she is betrothed to the King of Westeros and the Queen Regent will soon no longer be needed. Cersei knows what Margaery is doing. Lord Tyrion may just be safe for now, as Queen Cersei just set her sights on a new threat.

The only Lannister we didn’t catch up with was Jaime, who is currently on route on King’s Landing with Brienne of Tarth. We need to find out what the Gorgeous Kingslayer is up to ASAP!

House Baratheon

Our favorite bearded captain, Davos ended up surviving the Blackwater Battle and is stuck on a pile of rocks. (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  OH HEYYYY, it’s that guy!  What is wrong with his face?  Is that fungus or really bad sunburn?)  Thankfully, he’s rescued by the pirate, Salladhor Saan.  From the pirate we learn that Stannis is licking his battle wounds at Dragonstone with his creepy witch lady.  They have been burning people alive for the Lord of Light.  Davos vows to takedown Melisandre and get Stannis on track (good luck).

Davos finally makes it back to Stannis (Commentary from GOT Viewing Party:  Stannis seems to have gotten a lot of gray hairs, no?) and wishes to discuss evil witch lady with him in private.  Tough luck man, us ladies are smarter than that. After pushing his buttons enough, Davos turns on Melisandre by drawing his dagger.  Stannis has Davos arrested.

What is this ladies game?  What does she get out of Stannis sitting on the Iron Throne?  Is our bearded captain going to be the hero that brings Stannis back?

House Targaryen

Say it with me now, DRAGONS!!!!!!!

Dany’s scenes were my favorite last night. The dragons looked incredible, her script was on point, and the special effects were amazing. Not only can the dragons swim (I was shocked!!) but they can catch gigantic fish, fry their food, and eat all in 5 seconds!  The dragons are growing quickly, and it’s no wonder considering their efficient diet. The Dothraki on ships was priceless – it’s like a ship full of babes!

Dany and her Khalasar soon landed in Astapor, another beautiful set location added to Game of Thrones. Dany is finally going to have to prove how far she will go to reclaim the Iron Throne. Dany found herself in front of The Unsullied – a eunuch slave army full of men who fear nothing, and apparently men that don’t need nipples. But The Unsullied are terrifying. Each one had to kill an innocent newborn baby in front of their mother to join the ranks.

Dany may appear to have the determination of a warrior, but she has the heart of a mother. She was noticeably bothered by the thought of 8,000 dead babies.  Now, she must choose whether to take on these fearless slave soldiers as her own, or dismiss them based on her maternal instincts.  Dany’s gentle heart again gets the best of her as a cute, young village girl rolls her a ball and playfully urges her to open.   Inside is a deadly scorpion, spider thing.  The girl smiles with her yucky mouth, revealing it to be a trick from the warlocks.  Luckily, Ser Barristan Selmy arrived just in time to save our Dragon from the deadly trick.

In Season 2, we saw Dany learn valuable lessons in trust. If she wants to survive Season 3, and become the Queen of Westeros, she needs to learn to keep her emotions in check. Her gentle heart proved to be her weakness in Season 1 when she trusted the evil witch which ultimately led to her losing Khal Drogo and her unborn child. If she keeps behaving as she did in last night’s episode, it could prove to be her ultimate weakness. To gain the loyalty of an army, even a slave army, Dany has to prove that she is strong and powerful like a true ruler, not weak and gentle like a woman. It’s time for Dany to embrace her ruthless side, and become the true Dragon.

I LOVED the scene where Barristan pledged his allegiance to Dany and I can tell that this will be a very pivotal move for her. This moment was also super emotional. It proves to her that there are still people who are loyal to House Targaryen in Westeros and that the Targaryen’s still have faithful servants in powerful places. If someone like Barristan Selmy supports her claim to the throne, who else in Westeros will do so? More importantly, will Barristan shed light on Jorah’s true reason for initially joining Dany?

One thing is clear, Astapor is a dangerous place and The Unsullied are terrifying. Dany needs to be smart and cunning to survive in this city. And, if she can prove that she is smart and powerful and become the leader of The Unsullied, can anyone stop Dany and her army from retaking the throne?

Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quotes of 3X1:
“If I wanted to kill you, do you think I’d let a wooden door stop me?” – Cersei Lannister to her brother, Tyrion

There you have it! Season 3 has officially started and we can’t wait to see where it takes us. Did anyone else find the timelines confusing? The wildling story picks up right after Season 2’s finale, so does everything going on at Kings Landing. But, Dany’s dragons seem to be years older than when we last saw them?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the third seasons premiere (no book spoilers please!) in the comments below.

Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon).  Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions.