Television Review: Game of Thrones - "Valar Dohaeris" (03.01)

There be giants in these hillsGame of Thrones season 3 kicked off on Sunday. After letting the months of anticipation wash away, I re-watched the episode last night and this show is just as phenomenal as ever. Game of Thrones is set to become HBO’s marquee drama and that in and of itself is a huge mile stone. The epic series has brought the fantasy genre into the forefront and in doing so proved that good writing and acting trumps genre stereo types.

I’ve watched the episode a few times now, and each time the story gains a new dimension. I’ll try and stay spoiler free and in retrospect there really is very little to spoil. There were only a handful of character who got screen time - Tyrion, Cersei, Samwell, Jon and Dany all got their stories advanced. Here are some of the onscreen battles I am looking forward to this season.

First and foremost the father/son tug-of-war between Tyrion and Tywin. Both actors have done a great job of portraying two very different characters. The first scene will undoubtedly not be the last, and it is top on my list of things to look forward to. The short scene that the two shared clearly set out the chess game that will become a joy to watch.

Jon and Ygritte sitting in a tree: The audience has seen the writing on the wall all over season 2: Jon and Ygritte are going to end up together. The palpable sexual and romantic tension between the two has been building, and hopefully the fans get their wish. The back and forth between the two is likely to sow a romance that Game of Thrones has yet to really highlight.

Cersei vs everybody: The second season of Game of Thrones highlighted the lengths that Cersei will go to for the love of her children. Now that is going to be challenging as Cersei has some real struggles this season. She has to compete for the affection of her son, the approval of her father, and the vacancy left in Jamie’s absence may lead to some interesting companions. Cersei is a strong character, but without Jamie there to balance her out, Cersei may become her own worst enemy.

Dany and Sir Barristan the Bold: this pairing has the potential to show us how much Dany wants to be a Targaryen. Barristan Selmy has all the dirt history on the Targaryen reign, and he will hopeful prove a more deserving counselor than Mormont.

Lastly, Samwell vs everything: Samwell without Jon will have to find some inkling of courage if he is to survive this trek beyond the wall.

Next episode will give us some Arya, Brienne and Jamie. Can’t wait for Sunday!!