Duplicity and treachery…nobility and honor…conquest and triumph…and, of course, dragons. It’s ‘Game’ on for Season 3 of this epic, Emmy(R)-winning HBO series based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin. In Season 3, family and loyalty are the overarching themes as many critical storylines from the first two seasons come to a brutal head. Meanwhile, the Lannisters maintain their hold on King’s Landing, though stirrings in the North threaten to alter the balance of power; Robb Stark, King of the North, faces a major calamity as he tries to build on his victories; a massive army of wildlings led by Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) march for the Wall; and Daenerys Targaryen–reunited with her dragons–attempts to raise an army in her quest for the Iron Throne.
A Song of Ice and Fire:
It is interesting to see that Benioff and Weiss have cut Martin’s third book, A Storm of Swords, in two: season three is the first half; season four will be the second.
(Beware! Spoilers after the jump)
Game of Thrones – 3×01 Valar Dohaeris
Some Night’s Watch men, Samwell Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont among them, survive the White Walkers’ attack and pledge to return to the Wall to warn the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow is brought before Mance Rayder, the “King beyond the Wall”, and pledges his loyalty to the Wildlings. A disgraced Tyrion Lannister unsuccessfully solicits recognition by his father Tywin, the new Hand of the King. Margaery Tyrell engages in charity work with the orphans of King’s Landing. Ser Davos Seaworth is rescued by Salladhor Saan after the Battle of the Blackwater and returned to Dragonstone. There, he unsuccessfully tries to kill Melisandre so as to break her hold on Stannis Baratheon, and is imprisoned. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen arrives in the city of Astapor to buy an army of brutally-trained slave soldiers, the “Unsullied”. She is saved from an assassination attempt by the warlocks of Qarth by Ser Barristan Selmy, the former Kingsguard commander, who pledges his loyalty.
Cersei: “You’re a clever man, but you’re not half as clever as you think you are.”
Tyrion: “Still cleverer than you.”
Game of Thrones – 3×02 Dark Wings, Dark Words
Brienne escorts Jaime across the Riverlands to King’s Landing. Seizing one of her swords, he engages her in a fight, which is interrupted by Bolton armsmen. Robb plans to attend Catelyn’s father’s funeral in Riverrun, angering the vengeful Lord Karstark. Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie also make for Riverrun, but are waylaid by a rebel group, the “Brotherhood without Banners”, and are taken to an inn, where the captured Hound reveals Arya’s identity. Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna, the “Queen of Thorns”, convince Sansa to tell them about Joffrey’s flawed character. Theon Greyjoy is tortured by unknown captors. Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor encounter the siblings Jojen and Meera Reed, children of the Stark bannerman Howland Reed. Jojen, who has been sharing Bran’s strange dreams, tells Bran that he is a warg, able to enter the body of animals.
Mance Rayder: “I like you, but if you’re playing us false, it won’t be hard to kill ya.”
Game of Thrones – 3×03 Walk of Punishment
Robb and Catelyn attend her father Hoster Tully’s funeral in Riverrun. Tywin Lannister sends Littlefinger to marry Lady Arryn in the Vale and makes Tyrion the new Master of Coin. Arya and Gendry leave Hot Pie at the inn and follow the “Brotherhood without Banners”. Mance Rayder sends Jon Snow with a band of Wildlings to scale the Wall. The surviving men of the Night’s Watch arrive back at Craster’s Keep, where Sam witnesses Gilly giving birth to a son. Theon Greyjoy is freed from torture and captivity by an unnamed benefactor. Melisandre leaves Dragonstone. Daenerys agrees to buy all 8,000 Unsullied and the translator Missandei for one of her dragons, against Ser Barristan’s and Ser Jorah’s advice. Jaime persuades his captor Locke not to let Brienne be raped, but Locke cuts off Jaime’s sword hand.
Bronn: “What’s the problem with borrowing money?”
Tyrion: “We can’t pay it back.”
Bronn: “What’s the problem with that?”
Tyrion: “This is why I don’t lend you money.”
☞ Heads, hands and armies [The Age]
Game of Thrones – 3×04 And Now His Watch Is Ended
Jaime steals a sword and tries to fight his captors, but he is immediately defeated and recaptured. Bran, with the aid of Jojen Reed, continues to chase the three-eyed crow. At Craster’s keep, the surviving Night’s Watch, starving, come into conflict with their host. Craster and the Lord Commander are slain in the struggle and Sam flees with Gilly and her son. Arya and Gendry are taken to the secret cave of the Brotherhood without Banners where they meet their leader, Beric Dondarrion, who later sentences the Hound to trial by combat with him. Theon Greyjoy is betrayed by the cleaning boy, who returns him to the prison for torture. Daenerys meets with Kraznys to complete the trade of a dragon for the Unsullied army. She tests the Unsullied, then orders them to sack the city, killing their former masters and reclaiming her dragon.
“I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen of the blood of old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue”
Game of Thrones – 3×05 Kissed by Fire
With the help of Littlefinger, the Lannisters discover the Tyrells’ plot to marry off Sansa Stark to Loras Tyrell. To prevent the union, Tywin Lannister plans to marry Sansa to Tyrion, and Cersei to Loras, despite Cersei and Tyrion’s protests. Stannis confesses to his wife, Selyse, about his infidelity, only to realize that his wife has always known and approves it. His daughter, Shireen, sneaks into the dungeon to visit Davos and teaches him to read. The Hound defeats Lord Beric in trial by combat and is released, angering Arya Stark. Gendry decides to stay with the Brotherhood, and Thoros and Beric plan to ransom Arya to her brother, Robb Stark. After being delivered to Roose Bolton, Jaime confesses to Brienne why he killed the Mad King. At Riverrun, despite many objections, Robb Stark decides to execute Lord Karstark after he murdered two captive Lannister boys. With the Karstarks abandoning him, Robb plans to make a desperate alliance with Walder Frey. Jon Snow struggles to earn the Wildlings’ trust while holding back the important information. Later, he and Ygritte have sex. While on the march, Daenerys Targaryen’s Unsullied select Grey Worm as their leader.
“Every time I come back a bit less, pieces get chipped away.”
☞ Game of Thrones: season three, episode five – Kissed by Fire [The Guardian]
☞ Recap: Everybody Screws Up in This Week’s Game of Thrones [Wired]
☞ A heady mix of family honour and family jewels [The Age]
Game of Thrones – 3×06 The Climb
In King’s Landing, Tywin Lannister coerces Olena Tyrell into agreeing to marry Loras to Cersei. Sansa tries to get acquainted with an awkward Loras, while Tyrion and Cersei discusses the repercussions of their matches. Tyrion eventually confesses to Shae and Sansa about the upcoming marriage. Baelish tells Varys that he has caught Ros as Varys’ informant and has given her to Joffrey, who kills her. In Riverlands, Melisandre buys Gendry from the brotherhood, to Arya’s disgust. Robb Stark tries to appease Walder Frey by agreeing to Frey’s demands and marry Edmure to Frey’s daughter. Roose Bolton plans to send Jaime to King’s Landing, but refuses to give up Brienne. At an unknown location, the mysterious boy continues to torture Theon. In the North, tension arises in Bran’s company on their trek north, while Jojen sees Jon Snow in his vision. Beyond the Wall, Sam continues his flight with Gilly and her infant son, while Jon and Ygritte discuss their relationship and climb the Wall.
“The wall is 700ft high, made of ice – and on a warm day you can see it weeping”
☞ Game of Thrones: season three, episode six – The Climb [The Guardian]
☞ Raven On: Game of Thrones S3E6 recap [The Age]
☞ An Ice Climber Fact-Checks the Epic Ascent of the Wall in Game of Thrones [Wired]
Game of Thrones – 3×07 The Bear and the Maiden Fair
In the North, Jojen tells Bran they must go beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed raven, to Osha’s horror. Jon and Ygritte’s relationship deepens, much to Orell’s displeasure. Theon is castrated by his torturer. Talisa reveals to Robb that she is pregnant. Arya runs away from the Brotherhood, only to be captured by the Hound. Melisandre reveals to Gendry that his father was Robert Baratheon. Margaery comforts Sansa about her upcoming marriage, while Tyrion and Bronn discuss the match. Later, Shae tells Tyrion that she will not continue their relationship once he marries Sansa. Tywin counsels Joffrey and discusses Daenerys, with Tywin dismissing the danger she might pose. Daenerys reaches the city of Yunkai and receives an emissary. Roose Bolton departs Harrenhall for the Twins, while Jaime says farewell to Brienne and departs for King’s Landing. On the road, Qyburn reveals why he lost his Maester’s chain and informs Jaime that Locke refused Brienne’s father’s ransom. Jaime returns to Harrenhall to find Brienne in a pit fighting a bear. He leaps in and saves Brienne and departs once more, this time with her.
Beric: “Who is your one true God?”
Game of Thrones – 3×08 Second Sons
King’s Landing hosts Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding. Cersei intimidates Margaery in the Sept of Baelor, and Joffrey walks the bride down the aisle. At the wedding feast Tyrion gets drunk and causes a scene. In their bedroom, Tyrion tells Sansa they will not consummate their marriage until she wants to. The Hound reveals to Arya that they are heading for the Twins to ransom her to her brother. Stannis releases Davos. Melisandre and Gendry arrive at Dragonstone, where she seduces him and extracts blood from him with three leeches. Stannis casts them into the fire naming three usurpers. Daenerys finds out Yunkai employed a mercenary company called the “Second Sons”. One of the lieutenants, Daario Naharis, kills the other leaders and pledges his and the company’s loyalty to Daenerys. Sam and Gilly are attacked by a White Walker, whom Sam destroys with the help of the dragonglass dagger.
“Isn’t it a man’s duty to be drunk at his wedding?”
☞ Game of Thrones recap: Season three, episode eight – Second Sons [The Guardian]
Game of Thrones – 3×09 The Rains of Castamere
Sam and Gilly arrive at the Wall. During a thunderstorm, Bran enters Hodor’s mind to calm him down. Nearby, Jon refuses to kill an innocent man, so Tormund orders him killed. Bran uses his warg ability to save Jon, and Jon kills Orell then escapes, leaving a furious Ygritte behind. Osha, Rickon and his direwolf depart for the Last Hearth, while Bran and his remaining company plan to head beyond the Wall. Daenerys sends Jorah, Daario and Grey Worm to infiltrate Yunkai and open the city gate for her army. Robb arrives at the Twins and apologizes to Walder Frey, who feigns acceptance. Edmure marries Roslin Frey. During the wedding feast, Catelyn, Talisa, and most Starks’ men are murdered by the Freys’ men, and Roose Bolton stabs Robb in the heart. Arya also arrives at the Twins and witnesses a part of the massacre. She is knocked unconscious and carried away to safety by The Hound, once he realizes what is going on.
“And who are you, the proud Lord said
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws.
And, mine are as long and sharp, my Lord
as long and sharp as yours.
And so he spoke, and so he spoke,
that Lord of Castamere,
but now the rains weep o’er his hall,
with no one there to hear.
Yes, now the rains weep o’er his hall,
and not a soul to hear.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords
And the reactions to the Red Wedding?
And of course if you had read the books before watching the bloody TV show you have known what was coming anyway. — JB
☞ Game of Thrones recap: Season three, episode nine – The Rains of Castamere [The Guardian]
☞ GoT recap: It’s a nice day for a red wedding [The Age]
☞ Killing your favorite characters [John Birmingham’s Cheeseburger Gothic]
☞ @RedWeddingTears Collective grief, rage and hilarity from #GoT fans [Twitter]
Game of Thrones – 3×10 Mhysa
House Frey receives the Seat of Riverrun, Roose Bolton is appointed the new “Warden of the North”, resulting in a victory of House Lannister. Arya and the Hound witness Frey soldiers parade Robb’s decapitated corpse around the keep with the head of Robb’s wolf. While coming upon four Frey men discussing the murder, Arya slips off and kills one of the soldiers and is then assisted by the Hound who dispatches the others. Meanwhile House Greyjoy begins a new military campaign to recapture Theon who is being held at Dreadfort by Lord Bolton’s bastard son Ramsay. In King’s Landing, Tywin chastises Tyrion for not having impregnated Sansa and reiterates the importance of family. Jamie and Brienne arrive in the capital, and Jamie immediately goes to see Cersei. In the North, after meeting with Sam, Maester Aemon sends out ravens to alert the whole of Westeros about the arrival of the White Walkers. Sam gives Bran and his entourage information about a passage to North of the wall. Ygritte shoots three arrows and hits Jon when she catches up to him. Jon manages to escape and seeks help at Castle Black. At Dragonstone, Davos allows Gendry to escape and Stannis receives the raven flown message about the White Walkers. And across the narrow sea, slaves of Yunkai receive Daenerys as their “mhysa”, meaning “mother” in Ghiscari.
Tyrion: “Monsters are dangerous, and just now kings are dying like flies.”
☞ Game of Thrones recap: season three, episode 10 – Mhysa [The Guardian]
SERIES VERDICT: ?????