“Before Winter is over, everyone you’ve ever known will be dead”
Oh, how time stands still when you’re waiting for “Game of Thrones” to come back. But season 3 is here folks, and off to a solidly ominous start. Heroes have risen and fallen. Villains have schemed and robbed their way to safety. New threats are rising, and ancient evils are making themselves known. All of our old favourites are back, but the future promises that we’ll see plenty of bloodshed before the still raging War of Five Kings is over. Winter is still coming. And things are looking grim.
Picking up immediately following the second season’s terrifying closing, Jon Snow’s Sam (Gamgee) Tarly is running his ass off to get back to his brothers in black and away from the White Walkers. Luckily, the other rangers have survived the attack, and start hauling ass back to the Wall. Meanwhile, Jon Snow is still with the Wildlings, and finally meets their leader, who welcomes him to their cause. North of the Wall is still the most dangerous place in the world it seems, as the evils of old are waking and marching south.
“Death by fire is the purest death.”
Back in Kings Landing, Tyrion is recovering from his victory over Stannis’ siege, but he finds himself completely stripped of all power and authority by his father. We all hate to see Tyrion‘s life in shambles, and even his ultimate bromance with Bronn seems to be on the rocks. At the same time, King Joffrey’s new fiancée Margaery is making a strange impression with her whimsical attitude, and dedication to the poor. On a simple box-cart trip through the city she basically adopts like thirty kids. The Queen is less than impressed.
Sansa Stark, the last (and least likable) of Ned’s kids to remain in the capitol, is anxiously awaiting her chance to escape back home (since she stupidly didn’t let the 7-foot tall killing machine escort her away last season), and has caught the unsettling attention of the scheming pimp Littlefinger.
Robb Stark continues his campaign against the Lannisters, even though he can’t seem to catch up to them for an actual battle. The whereabouts of his two youngest brothers are a mystery, and we don’t see Bran or Rickon (or the lovable Hodor) at all this week. We also hear no news on the state of Winterfell, as the last time we saw the Stark’s home, it was in flames and all its residents slaughtered, likely at the hands of the very men sent to rescue them.
Lastly, following the unsuccessful siege on Kings Landing, Stannis is back at his home, letting himself be further infected by his Red Woman’s whispers, and burning nonbelievers. Luckily, his right-hand man Davos is found to have survived his explosive exit from the battle, and is still hoping to talk some sense into the would be king. And across the Narrow Sea, Dany and her dragons are out shopping for an army of slaves, when an old enemy and an old friend suddenly come out of hiding.
“Even the bravest men fear death.”
“Game of Thrones” premieres have not been particularly action-packed episodes, but they’ve served their purpose in setting the tone for the season. This year is no different, and while there are no battles or beheadings, the tension is thick and the episode moves along nicely, ending far too soon. If the episode has a message it’s trying to convey about the coming times, it can be summed up as death, death, DEATH! War is still raging. Evil is still rising. Winter is still coming. The dragons are still growing. Westeros is a long way from anything resembling peace, and the scheming is only getting dirtier. The game of thrones continues, and it’s looking as intriguing and exciting as ever!