Game of Thrones season premiere recap: Family Feuds

The fantasy hit returns for season 3 with a fishing dragon, a snow giant and some wildly dysfunctional feudal family feuds
Ep. 01 | Aired Mar 31, 2013

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) walk and banter in the season premiere.

HBO

"The [Hand of the King] badge looks good on you," Tyrion says. "Almost as good as it looked on me."

Tywin gives his son grief about enjoying a whore (not Tyrion's secret lover Shae -- his dad doesn't know about her). The comment also suggests that Cersei, who's so worried about being tattled on, likely tattled on Tyrion's most minor of sins (unless Tywin found out some other way).

Tyrion whines about how his father never visited him while he was recovering his battle. "Maester Pycelle assured me your wounds were not fatal," Tywin says, which is just World's Worst Dad material.

Tyrion starts ratting off his accomplishments last season, growing uncharacteristically defensive. He is so desperate for his father's love. And everything he says sounds reasonable and accurate to us. But then Tywin fires back this: "Jugglers and singers require applause. You are a Lannister."

Boom! You cannot win an argument with Tywin, especially when you're trying to draw affection from him. Cersei might have been right -- Tyrion is not half as clever as he thinks.

Tyrion gets to the point: He wants his birthright, dammit -- the Lannister family's wealthy fortress of Casterly Rock. Now that thought stops Tywin.

What Tywin says next, while he rejects Tyrion's claim, is totally brutal. He calls his son an "ill-made spiteful little creature full of envy, lust and low cunning" and "since I cannot prove that you are not mine, to teach me humility the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion ... Go. Now."

Marriage counselors will tell you the most damaging thing you can express in any relationship is contempt for the other person. Tywin's speech is full of contempt.

When Tywin adds one more thing, I like how Tyrion turns his back on his father as soon as he realizes it's yet another threat about hiring prostitutes. It's a small measure of defiance, but it's all Tyrion can get away with.

Outside: Here's Sansa Stark. She's hanging out with Tyrion's secret lover Shae, who serves as Sansa's handmaiden. They're playing a game that makes up stories about the people on departing ships, vessels that Sansa wishes she were on. Pragmatic Shae genuinely likes Sansa, yet isn't a fan of inventing stories. "Why should I make up a story when i know the truth?" she says. And then Sansa delivers my favorite line in the premiere: "Because the truth is always either terrible, or boring."

Why I love this line: It's initially quite funny. It shows character growth -- how cynical Sansa has become after the horrifying events of the last two seasons. Yet it also sticks with you because it's profound (though, sure, totally pessimistic).

Then perv Littlefinger comes over to perv on her. He promises, like a middle-age guy trying to pick up the small town girl working at the Dairy Queen, to take her all away from this someday. Littlefinger's helper Ros gets a moment with Shae. Ros is able to recognize Shae as a fellow girl-for-hire via some secret whore handshake or something.

Sea: Okay, Thrones, the season 3 poster promised us a flying dragon. So let's have it: Where are our dragons!?

Ah, there they are.

NEXT: Dragon teppanyaki

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