April 18, 2013
Episode 1: "Valar Dohaerys"
This most anticipated episode picks up from all the conflicts that ended the previous season. The title means "All Men Must Serve."
Picking up from the last scene in the last season, we see the Night Watch guys dispose of a member of the White Walkers who was about to kill Sam, who failed in his duty to send warning ravens. We see a Giant mingling with Jon Snow, Ygritte and the Wildlings. We see Catelyn Stark put in prison by her son Robb for freeing a Lannister.
We see the Red Witch still with her clutches firmly around the neck of Stannis Baratheon, much to the dismay of his loyal comrade Davos Seaworth. We see Cersei quite unsure what to make of Margaery's charity work with orphans. We see Danaerys narrowly escaping an assassination attempt as she was deciding whether to buy the Unsullied, an army of warriors who did not care if they had nipples.
No Arya yet. No Brienne of Tarth yet. No Jamie Lannister yet.
The absolute highlight of this episode was that scene where the imp Tyrion Lannister asked for his rights as the proper heir of Casterly Rock, but was firmly put in his place by his father Tywin with a scathing speech calling Tyrion an "ill-made spiteful little creature" who waddled about shamefully carrying the Lannister name. Very well-written and acted scene.
Episode 2: "Dark Wings, Dark Words"
Nothing really exciting happened in this episode. We get to see the characters we did not see in the first episode. No real big highlights in this one. Tyrion only in a minor scene with Shae. No Danaerys and her dragons too.
Theon Greyjoy gets tortured for what he did to Winterfell. Arya and her two companions meet the Brotherhood Without Banners. Later, Arya meet the Hound, who had been captured by the Brotherhood. Joffrey teaches Margaery how to use his crossbow. Bran Stark sees an older boy in a dream, then meets him in real life. Lady Brienne and her talkative hostage Jaime Lannister continue their walk towards Kings Landing, until they encounter trouble on the bridge.
The best scenes were those where Catelyn Stark tells Talisa her guilt about her inability to accept Jon Snow and the resultant misfortune this brought to her family.; and that one where Sansa Stark confesses to Margaery and her Grandmother Olenna about the cruelty of King Joffrey. This was a very female oriented episode.
Episode 3: "Walk of Punishment"
The action seriously picks up in this episode, after the two previous establishing episodes. Every scene was important. The ending was a scene with a shock level of unseen since the first season. You will definitely stick around to watch Episode 4.
At the funeral of Catelyn Stark's dad, Hoster Tully, we meet Catelyn's uncle, Brynden Tully and his expert archery skills; as well as Robb Stark's uncle Edmure Tully, who was such a loser. Catelyn continues to lament about her lost sons.
In Kings Landing, Tywin's children and staff jockey for position around his table. Tyrion gets assigned to the thankless job of Master of the Coin, since Baelysh is off to get married to Catelyn Stark's sister. Tyrion treats his servant Podrick (who saved his life) to a treat with three whores, but it turns out the virgin lad had tricks up his sleeve because the ladies did not accept any payment for the time they had with him!
Arya and Gendry join the Brotherhood guys, but their stout friend Hot Pie stays behind to become a baker. Mance Rayder and the wildings come across a grisly bunch of horse body parts in the snow. The surviving Night Watch are back in Kraster's place just in time for Sam to witness Gilly give birth...to a boy. Melisandre looks very anxious to leave Stannis Baratheon. A servant from his sister (?) helps Theon Greyjoy escape from torture and potential rape.
In a surprising decision, the Khaleesi trades one of her precious children to buy ALL of 8000 of the Unsullied, as well as those yet in training! This was much to the dismay of her advisers Jorah Mormont and Berristan Selmy (and I bet, everyone else watching this episode on TV).
As captives of the Locke gang, Jamie Lannister surprisingly speaks up to spare Brienne the indignity of rape. But for all Jamie's cockiness, he gets hit with a shocking surprise absolutely no one watching will expect. I will not spoil it here. You have to see it to believe it.