“Game of Thrones” Recap: Valar Dohaeris

Greetings, TV lovers! I am back from hibernation (which is ironic, since winter is coming) to bring you this season’s Game of Thrones recaps! There is a lot to keep track of in these crazy realms, so hopefully you are all caught up on seasons one and two, and ready for more political intrigue, new allegiances, and lots of dirty guys and gals in armor.

After the obligatory here-is-what-you-missed-while-you-were-hiding-under-a-rock recap of season 2, the premiere, entitled “Valar Dohaeris” allows us to relive Daenerys’ rage filled fire at her dragons’ warlock captures, and we heard them shrieking and ripping things to shreds. Score. Those blue-mouthed weirdos scare me.

Beyond the Wall:

Then there is fat friend, Samwell Tardy, running through the snow away from the white walkers. He is attacked by a zombie white walker, but Jon Snow’s wolf saves him! Huzzah. The Lord Commander, Mormont, helps out by lighting it on fire. We learn that poor hapless Samwell hasn’t sent out the ravens like he was supposed. Idiot. I still like him though!  I also like me some Jon Snow, and we catch up with him and Ygritte at the wildlings adopted ‘king’ who used to be a night’s watchman (aka Aberforth Dumbledore – Ciaran Hinds! Approve). Jon sees a giant hauling wood in the camp, a first for him and the viewers. Once faced with the not-king, Mance Rayder, Jon tells him about the white walkers and says he has come to fight and wonders if he has chosen a fighting side. This goes over well, and he is accepted.

In King’s Landing:

Cersei pays Tyrion a visit. He is still recovering from the battle and has a deep scar across much of his face. Cersei tries to weasel of out him why he wants to meet with their father later that day. The two trade barbs but she doesn’t get any information. We soon discover that Tyrion wants to leave King’s Landing and take up residence in Casterly Rock, the Lannister ancestral castle/home. Since his older brother Jamie joined the king’s guard and gave up his inheritance, Tyrion insists it is his by right. Tywin thinks very differently, slandering Tyrion, his dwarf stature, his preference for wine and whores, the whole deal. Tyrion stomps off.

We catch up with Sansa and Shae, sitting on a dock watching the ships sail in and out of the harbors. Baelish (accompanied by red-headed prostitute Ros) comes over to talk to Sansa of escape and tells her that Aria and her mother are alive, while Ros and Shae speak sarcastically to one another. Ros drops the act and asks Shae to watch out for Sansa – especially as she relates to Baelish.

King Joffrey and queen-to-be (supposedly) Margery are being carted around King’s Landing in caged boxes like the spoiled royalty they are. Margery, however, makes a surprise visit to an orphanage, angering Joffrey since he feels they will be attacked by their unhappy subjects. Cersei is likewise irritated when they all speak about it later during a tense dinner.

Camp Baratheon:

Poor beardy Davos, missing his fingers on his right hand, washes up on some rocks after last season’s Battle of Blackwater Bay. He catches the attention of a passing pirate ship, where he knows the captain well. Davos wants to return to Stannis, who is holed up licking his wounds after badly losing the battle. He only sees the Red Woman, and she is feeding him proverbial poison (as those who birth smoke monsters are wont to do). Davos stubbornly makes his way back, only for Stannis to throw him in the brig to be burned at the stake. Good times!

Camp Robb Stark:

Robb’s army comes upon a city where all its inhabitants have been murdered by the army of horrible Theon Greyjoy, who you will recall pillaged Winterfell and “murdered” the youngest Stark boys (who really escaped). We don’t see Theon in this episode, but his presence is known. Also, Robb is still pissed at Catlin for letting Jamie Lannister go in exchange for Sansa and Aria – he orders her to be confined at the pillaged city.

Daenerys and the Dragons:

The dragons are getting big! They are flying around the ships that carry Daenerys, her bodyguard Jorah, and some poor barfing Dothraki warriors. There is a cool sequence of a dragon fishing, cooking the fish by breathing fire on it, and eating it all in one motion. Of course, Dany still needs an army, and is searching nearby ports for warriors. They land at a port, Astapor, famed for its staunch fighters called The Unsullied. The guy selling them to Dany needs an interpreter, who lies about what he is saying (which is filled with insults) and then demonstrates the warrior’s strength and fortitude by slicing off one of their nipples (!!!) right there. The man makes no sound. Gross. Dany and Jorah walk along and talk about the disgusting display, when Dany’s eye is caught by a little ragamuffin girl. The girl rolls a ball to her and Dany opens it – inside is a killer magic scorpion! A suspicious dude in a dark hood, who had been following Jorah and Dany, takes action and saves Dany from being poisoned – the girl is a warlock. Guess they are still pissed Dany set them on fire. Her savior is Barristan Selmy, who we haven’t seen since season 1 when he was being kicked out of the king’s guard by Joffrey (yeah I don’t remember that either. Thanks, GoT Wiki!). Selmy pledges allegiance to Dany as the true queen while Jorah stands around looking useless. Isn’t he supposed to be her bodyguard and save her from evil scorpions? Either way, fade to black!

Thoughts: a solid opener! Some good set-up, and we were introduced to a bunch of new faces. I did miss my favorite, Aria – where she at? I am sure we’ll catch up with her next week. And with Jamie and Brienne, who I find to be a delightfully odd pair. I am sure Tonks is keeping the littlest Starks safe with Hodor, too.  I’d like to see more of Jon Snow and the wildlings beyond the wall, but with such a massive cast it is hard to spend much time with anyone. I could do without seeing Stannis ever again – his plotline feels tired and he bores me.

Rating: 6 out of 10 dire wolves. Points deducted for nipples. Ew. And no Aria.

Next week’s episode is called “Dark Wings, Dark Words”. More dragons, yay! 

Written by: Amy Imhoff

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