Game of Thrones Season Three Recap: “Valar Dohaeris”
Welcome back my friends, to the show that is testing our limit of how many story lines and characters the human mind can handle in one television show. For the book readers, calm your frothing at the mouth. Though the series hits its roller coaster ride stride in this installment more than any other, this episode, like every story, dives in slowly, making sure you remember who is who and where we last left them. If this episode felt like it was “checking in,” that because for a good half of it, we mostly were.
Among the stories that did not move forward so much as they informed us where they stood, were Sam and the Black Brothers Jon has left behind. The show relegated to the cold open a quick reminder of the real threat facing the kingdom of the White Walkers, and Old Bears Mormont’s plan to hightail it back to the Wall. then poof, we moved on. Starks in general seemed to be passed over quickly. We saw nothing of Arya, though we did see what became of Harranhaal now that’s she left. Robb shows up to discover the place looking worse that usual–accompanied oddly by Catelyn–in the books it makes sense, because we only see things through her eyes. With that no longer necessary, she just feels stuck in places she doesn’t belong. Tywin left the place to The Mountain That Rides, and apparently his idea of interior decoration requires a couple of hundred dead bodies in a courtyard. Then we moved on.
We saw nothing of Bran. Sansa is apparently sitting around playing games. “Because the truth is always terrible or boring.” Sansa is a fool, but we knew that. I wonder how confusing it is to the audience that only last episode we saw her refusing to leave with Littlefinger, only for her to be practically begging to go now. I’m afraid the truth is Sansa’s life is either always terrible or boring. Ros and Shae’s heart to heart was probably the most interesting part of the check in. Ros is mentally moving on from her role as a whore and her move upwards into a position of power. Shae may have moved up in the world, but she seems less willing to mentally make that leap and fake it till she makes it. Her unwillingness to play Sansa’s games show a stubborn close mindedness to the possibilities that could be there. The most interesting bit though was Ros’ tactical admission that Littlefinger is as obsessed with Sansa as he once was with her mother. Of course, Sansa is clueless that she even has this power over him…
As for those whose stories did move forward, power was the name of the game.
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