Game of Thrones refresher: Season 3 recap


The battle for the Iron Throne is shaping up. With two of three Baratheons out of the mix, the old lineage is nearly out of the Game of Thrones.

Magic and evil are now realities on Game of Thrones. At the same time, an unlikely underdog has risen to some considerable power. But does it matter considering what lies beyond the wall?

While Ned Stark’s death in Season 1 was a shock, Renly Baratheon’s death in Season 2 had everyone shaking their heads. Season 3 is when perhaps the worst gut punch of the entire series landed.

Season intro

First of all, we know the White Walkers are more than legend. Sam nearly soiled himself at the end of Season 2. More importantly, however, the battle for the throne is heating up. Daenerys has dragons, a Dothraki army, and a ship. The Starks are posturing for an attack, but the Lannisters have proven to be in charge after dispatching Stannis Baratheon’s armada at Blackwater.

Episode Highlights

Valar Dohaeris. A+. <ul><li>Jon Snow sees a giant and King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder</li><li>Margaery outmaneuvers Cersei for Joffrey’s control over the kingdom</li><li>Daenerys avoids assassination and meets her future Unsullied at Astapor</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E1

B+. <ul><li>Jon Snow learns of Wargs, and Bran learns he actually is a warg</li><li>The torture of Theon Greyjoy begins with missing fingernails</li><li>Olenna Tyrell confirms her daughter is marrying a monster</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E2. Dark Wings, Dark Words

It’s difficult to believe Theon is only just beginning his problems. It’s almost as if his fall from grace is in direct opposition to Daenerys’s rise to power. At this point, the Tyrell family also looks to be playing the Game of Thrones intelligently.

S3E3. Walk of Punishment. A+. <ul><li>At Slavers Bay, Daenerys negotiates for the Unsullied and Missandei</li><li>A terrifying spiral of horse heads are found by Mance Rayde and Jon Snow</li><li>Jaime saves Brienne from rape, but ends up getting his sword hand amputated</li></ul>. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones. S3E4. And Now His Watch Is Ended. A+. <ul><li>The Tyrells outplay Cersei for Joffrey, and The North via Sansa</li><li>Craster’s Keep mutiny; Mormont assassinated; Sam, Gilly, & baby escape</li><li>Daenerys commands the Unsullied, has all her dragons, looks unstoppable</li></ul>

Theon is nothing but a toy for Ramsay Snow. Multiple fake breakouts, physical torture, and psychological torture have destroyed Theon. Meanwhile, Robb Stark doesn’t have implicit command of troops, and he’s losing mightily to the Lannisters.

There is also an interesting chess match going on for control of The North. Sansa is being used as a pawn, a bride to be married, kind of like Daenerys was originally. Finally, Tyrion discovered Littlefinger’s problems as Master of Coin, and the massive debt owed to the Iron Bank of Braavos.

A+. <ul><li>Jon Snow proves his loyalty to Ygritte by dining at the Y</li><li>Robb Stark executes Rickard Karstark, loses soldiers, and needs the Freys</li><li>The Lord of Light gives a second life to Beric</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E5. Kissed by Fire

C. <ul><li>Robb Stark apologizes to Walder Frey and an alliance is formed</li><li>Tyrion learns it was Joffrey who tried to have him killed</li><li>Jon and Ygritte scale the wall, proving an attack is possible</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E6. The Climb

S3E7. The Bear and the Maiden Fair. A+. <ul><li>Theon Greyjoy and Varys now have something in common</li><li>Daenerys threatens Yunkai and demands freedom for slaves</li><li>Jaime saves Brienne from a fight with a bear</li></ul>. Game of Thrones

Also ongoing is the growing support structure around Daenerys. It’s easy to overlook Grey Worm emerging as leader of the Unsullied, Missandei becoming more than a translator, and Ser Barristan Selmy flexing on Ser Jorah Mormont. Additionally, Daenerys begins asserting her power and mission plan.

Similarly, there is building tension in the west via arranged marriages. Foremost is Joffrey and Margaery, linking Lannister to Tyrell. Then there is Tyrion and Sansa, linking Lannister and Stark, which blocked a Tyrell and Stark marriage. Of course, Loras Tyrell and Cersei can’t be ignored for another Lannister/Tyrell union. Finally, Edmure Tully gets sacrificed, by marriage, to an anonymous Frey woman.

Second Sons. A+. <ul><li>Sam kills a White Walker with dragonglass!</li><li>Melisandre’s magic spells doom for Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, and Joffrey</li><li>Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark official wed, but do not consummate</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E8

S3E9. The Rains of Castamere. A++. <ul><li style=. Game of Thrones

A+++. <ul><li>Lords Walder Frey and Roose Bolton gloat over blood sausage</li><li>Ramsay Snow taunts <s>Theon Greyjoy</s> Reek with a blood sausage</li><li>Yara Greyjoy plans to rescue her brother</li><li>Cersei Lannister is disgusted by her brother Jaime upon his return</li><li>Ygritte shoots Jon Snow with three arrows then cries</li><li>Daenerys becomes “mother” to thousands at Yunkai</li></ul>. Game of Thrones. S3E10. Mhysa

End of season recap

Ouch. Red Wedding. After that, it’s difficult to remember much else. Good thing the season finale was so amazing.

What’s important to remember is how far down the Stark family has fallen at this point (despite Arya’s fierceness), and how powerful the Lannisters appear to be (even if Shae is a weakness for Tyrion). Meanwhile, a power to the east keeps gaining troops, wealth, and advisors — who defeated the Second Sons without a fight — to go along with the dragons.

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House Rankings

  1. Lannister – Crown-holders, Tyrell marriage plans, growing alliances
  2. Targaryen – Dragons, Unsullied, money, and basically ruling Essos
  3. Tyrell – Controlling the crown, hearts, and minds of the poor
  4. Frey – The Red Wedding has elevated their status
  5. Baratheon – One man left in the hood
  6. Greyjoy – One left with no manhood
  7. Stark – Kids spread about the land, Sansa is now a Lannister
  8. Martell – Staying in the south
  9. Arryn – Still not playing the game

Next. Season 8 Preview. dark

Game of Thrones returns to HBO Sunday, April 14 at 9/8c.