The third season of Game of Thrones encompasses the events of the first part of A Storm of Swords, the third book in George RR Martin’s ASOIF series. Episode 1 Valar Dohaeris (a high Valyrian phrase meaning “All Men Must Serve”) follows on from the final episode of Season 2 Valar Morhulis (again high Valyrian meaning “All Men must Die”).
The episode opens with Samwell Tarly running across the icy wasteland North of the Wall, struggling to find his Black Watch Brothers. He happens upon a headless body before being contronted by a white walker, eyes blazing blue. Samwell is no match for the creature and it seems his life is forfeit, only for a Direwolf to intervene, attacking the creature, before the rest of the Black Watch arrive to destroy it with fire.
Lord Commander Mormont had given Tarly one task, release the Ravens and warn the brothers on the wall about the walkers, but he failed to do this.
We have to warn them, or before winter’s done everyone you’ve ever known will be dead. – Lod Commander Mormont
Jon Snow meanwhile is slowly earning the trust of the wildlings. Having slain the ranger Qhorin Halfhand in single combat in Series 2 (although he has little choice after Qhorin himself insisted it was the only way they would believe he had turned against the Black Watch), he is led to a wildling camp (complete with Giants), there to meet with the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder. Mance was once a Ranger too, but he betrayed his oath and left the wall to lead the Wildlings to glory. Jon tells him he wants to join the wildlings because he was dismayed to find that Lord Commander Mormont sanctioned the sacrifice of new born sons to the White Walkers at Craster’s Keep.
I want to fight for the side that fights for the living. Have I come to the right place? – Jon Snow
In King’s Landing, Tyrion has recovered from his wounds sustained in the battle of Blackwater, but has awakened to find he is long longer the hand of the King. That position taken now by Lord Tywin Lannister, Tyrion’s own father. Tyrion is paranoid and summons Bronn to protect him, but he Sister Cersei arrives to taunt him before he arrives. She knows that Tyrion knows that she ordered Ser Mandon Moore to kill Tyrion during the battle, and is concerned that he might ‘slander her’ to their father as he has done once before. It’s not Slander if its true, he tells her as Bronn arrives and Cersei leaves with her Kingsguard.
Davos Seaworth was another victim of the battle of Blackwater. A captain and Knight serving the one true King Of Westeros, Stannis Baratheon. After spending days amongst the missing, presumed dead, he is rescued by Salladhor Saan, a sell sail who provided Stannis with 30 ships for the battle of Blackwater bay. Davos learns that Stannis is a broken man who speaks to no-one except the ‘red woman’, who has taken to burning their enemies alive. Davos’ loyalty to Stannis is strong ans fearing that Melisandre is leading him along a dark path, he insists he is taken to Dragonstone where he might carve out her heart.
Robb Stark’s army arrives at the walls of Harrenhal, where Gregor Clegane, sworn sword of Tywin Lannister and fearsome warrior had taken up a seat. They had anticipated a battle, but it seems they have arrived to late. Inside the walls he finds 200 Northmen, slaughtered like sheep. Roose Bolton and Lord Karstark remind us that Jaime Lannister, the King Slayer, is still free, released by Robb’s own mother, which puts Robb in a difficult situation. Jaimie was responsible for the deaths of Karstark’s sons and he want’s Justice. Robb has no choice but to find a suitable cell for he mother at Harrenhal.
Tyrion finally meets with his father, but doesn’t really get the response he had hoped for. He bemoans that fact hat his efforts to keep kings landing safe while Tywin held court at Harrenhal and King Joffrey quivered in fear behind the City walls, have been somewhat under-appreciated.
Jugglers and Singers require applause. You are a Lannister – Lord Tywin
Tyrion demands he is given Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister, to which he is surely the heir, and has been since Jaime Lannister donned the White Cloak of the Kingsguard and therefore renounced his claim.
I would let myself be consumed by maggots before mocking the family name and making you Heir of Casterly Rock – Lord Tywin
Tywin sends his son packing with a scathing rebuke where he calls Tyrion an ill made spiteful little creature, full of envy, lust and low cunning. He doubts that Tyrion is actually of his blood, but he cannot prove that, so will see to it that Tyrion is made comfortable as befits his name, but there is no chance of him being named the heir to Casterly Rock.
Sansa Stark is watching the ships leave the harbor with her Handmaiden Shae when Lord Peter Baelish comes to her. Two conversations occur here, one sets the scene for Sansa’s possible escape with Baelish from Kings Landing, while the other between Shae, and Bealish’s whore, warns Shae to make look out for Sansa around him, he is not all he appears to be.
On board ship in the Poison Sea, Daenerys is planning to build an army. Her dragon’s grow bigger, but they are not growing fast enough. Ser Jorah has promised her an army awaits them when they arrive in the city of Astapor. A slave army, says Dany as she looks over her Dothraki Crew, who are struggling to find their sea legs. Ser Jorah appears to mock them, but Daenerys tells him that these the first Dothraki to so cross the sea, they followed her and others will follow her too. Ser Jorah has his doubts though. The Dothraki respect strength above all. Other Dothraki will follow her when she proves herself strong, and not before.
Ser Davos arrives at Dragonstone and meets with King Stannis, but it is the Lady Melisandre who does the talking for Stannis. Hilighting where the power truly lies in this kingdom. The mocks Davos and makes him feel the burden of responsibility for Stannis’ defeat at Blackwater. When she brings up Davos’ dead son he looses the plot and attempts to attack her on;y to be restrained by the kings guards. Stannis orders him taken to the cells.
Lady Maergery and King Joffrey are being carried in their litters through the streets of Kings Landing, when Maergery orders he entourage to stop and she goes to an orphanage to speak directly to the children, winning their hearts and their trust while Joffrey decides it would be safer for him if he stays put. Later Queen Cersei pulls her up about this, warning her that the people of ‘Flea Bottom’ could turn on her at a moments notice. Joffrey steps in to defend her though, saying his betrothed has done this sort of thing before. Cynically, Cersei agrees.
Daenerys arrives to inspect her army. The slaver who is selling them is contemptible, speaking in a foreign tongue which he believes Dany does not understand. His words insult Dany with every breath, but his translator does a more diplomatic job of expressing his sentiments. To complete their training an unsullied must slaughter a newborn babe at his mothers breast. This is the norm and make sure that there is not weakness in the soldier. The baby’s owner is then paid for the inconvenience of the slaughter. There are 8000 unsullied soldiers for sale. Which means 8000 dead babies.
As Daenerys wanders the marketplace in the city an attempt is made on her life. A small child rolls a ball to her and asks her to open it open. As Dany twists the top to open the ball a stranger intervenes and knocks the ball from her hand. When the ball opens a viscous looking insect emerges, which the stranger then stabs with his knife. The child escapes and the stranger is revealed as Ser Barriston, former lord commander of Robert Baratheon’s King’s Guard, and Dany’s Father before him. Barriston Selmy, once the most feared fighter in all of Westeros and he seeks to join Dany and protect her family name once again.