GIF Of Thrones Recap: ‘Valar Dohaeris’

Senior Pop Culture Editor
04.01.13 621 Comments

Like last year: please contain all discussions of books three, four, and five to the SPOILER SECTION in the comments, otherwise you will be banned and everyone will hate you. You’ll be a Joffrey, without a Margaery.

For as gigantic of a series as Game of Thrones is, and there’s nothing else quite like it on TV, it could be much bigger. Thank the old gods and new it’s not. Much like the season two premiere — when many of the show’s characters were privately and publicly wondering what the red comet meant for them, giving it a unified feel despite the stories taking place hundreds of miles from one another — “Valar Dohaeris,” an excellent start to a sure-to-be excellent third season, also had an overarching theme, one that’s right in the title. “Valar Dohaeris” translates to “All Men Must Serve,” and to serve is to try to impress those with more power than you, whether they be your father (Tyrion), your people (Margaery), or the world (Daenerys). (Also, both season premieres mentioned baby killing.)

That all-encompassing truth made the episode feel tighter, more compact, than it otherwise could have been, as did the decision to not check in with everyone. We don’t see three of the Starks, Arya, Bran, and Rickon, nor Jamie, Brienne, or the Hound, among others, with most of the action contained to in-and-around King’s Landing, Slaver’s Bay, and Beyond the Wall, with small trips to Harrenhal and Dragonstone. Granted, that’s more worldwide exploration than a show like Mad Men has done in five seasons, but it never felt scattered, and spending all that time with Dany, and no time with Brienne, is necessary for you to feel the full impact of the Unsullied.

Plus, #dragons. “Valar Dohaeris” set the table for season three — now I’m ready for the full charred fish meal.

Winterfell’s burning. (Via)

Samwell is Britta, Britta is Samwell. (Via)

That is the most Jon Snow-iest of faces. The Crow extra is still with the Free Folk beyond the wall, where he meets Mance Rayder, as played by the excellent Ciarán Hinds. People ragged on Dany’s Qarth-The-Greatest-City-That-Ever-Was-Or-Ever-Will-Be plot as the worst thing about season two, but with the exception of Ygriette, I think Jon’s stuff stunk up the joint. Things should be very different this year, with Jon potentially feeling at home amongst the free folk, where his being a bastard isn’t something to be ashamed of, while still having to spy on the “enemies” for the Night’s Watch. (Jon’s motivation is different TV vs. books, a change I’m none too fond of. Thoughts?) (Via)

Apparently Rachel got lost and took Drew Thompson to King’s Landing. Typical Rachel. (Via)

This GIF is even better out of context. Bronn: The Vagina Whisperer. (Via)

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