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.


Astapor: Dany is shopping for an army and meets a slaver named Krazny and his cute slave interpreter, who translates his High Valyrian for Dany. We get to see what he's really saying via subtitles. He's privately totally degrading to Dany, but isn't this sort of what we suspect every car salesman is thinking about our questions regarding gas mileage and warranties?

His army is called The Unsullied. Their brutal training is like that of Spartan warriors or Apple factory workers, except even more barbaric. They're all castrated. Only one boy in four survives the training and their final task is to kill a newborn slave baby "to make sure there is no weakness left in them." To add insult to injury, the owner of the grieving mom-slave is paid compensation for the child, not the mother herself. Slavery is bad.

"They fear nothing," Dany is told. "Death means nothing to them." Krazny demonstrates their fearlessness by slicing off one soldier's nipple arguing, hey, men don't need 'em! (And to answer the follow-up biology question that some of you might wonder after watching this scene: Men have nipples because during embryonic development we all start off as female). "This one is pleased to have served you," replies the nip-snipped solider.

Walking back to her ship, Dany is fuming. She hates the idea of buying slaves. She was sold to the Dothraki and knows how slavery feels. Sure, all that horse-lord rape eventually became totally fun for her, but that still doesn't make it right!

"A great injustice has been done to them, closing your eyes will not undo it," wise Ser Jorah says. Here I'll translate that one for Dany: "Quit being so damn picky." Also now wondering: Does Ser Jorah really smell like urine, or was that just an insult?

Dany takes interest in a cute girl who rolls a ball at her and urges her to open it. Come play with us, Dany, forever, and ever, and ever... Inside is -- yah, evil scorpion thing! She's rescued by this assassination attempt by a hooded figure. The girl shows us her grumpy yuck mouth -- she's a warlock. Apparently those guys are still annoyed at Dany after last season.

Who's this Obi Wan anyway? Ah, Ser Barristan Selmy! Welcome back. We last saw the former Kingsguard member angrily stripping off his armor in the throne room in season 1 when Joffrey decided to replace him for "failing" to protect his father. And now--

What the...that's it?! Where's Bran? Where's Jaime and Brienne? Where's Arya? Where's Hot Pie? Is he safe? Is he hungry for pies? And was he really named Hot Pie or is that a nickname?

Yes the premiere is over and The Show That Mounted the World still has more story to start. But EW has plenty more Thrones content for you to read. There's a super brief chat with the producers about tonight's giant surprise -- that's a pun! And there's our premiere ratings prediction post of Thrones vs. The Walking Dead vs. The Bible. And then there's our 17 Days of Thrones project, below, which has interviews with all the major characters and producers with interesting character insights and behind-the-scenes tidbits.

BEST SCENE: Tyrion vs. Tywin.

BEST LINE: "The truth is always terrible, or boring" -- Sansa (Yeah, I dropped the "either," so what? This way is better.)

[Box set giveaway fulfilled! Code phrase hint was hidden in middle of recap. I am sorry if you didn't win; wish I had more]


spoilerThis is the part of the season premiere recap where I say to please be courteous to those who have not read the books and avoid posting spoilers in the comments etc etc etc. Season 3 is full of twists and turns, light and dark, and obviously the best way to find out about these events is to either read them in Martin's novels or to see them on the show. But this time I'm shaking this disclaimer up and doing a two-way warning: If you haven't read the books and don't want to be spoiled, watch Game of Thrones live on Sunday nights, avoid social media until you've seen the episode, and avoid Thrones comment boards in general this season. I hate typing this because I suspect it will result in fewer people participating in the comments on these recaps and I enjoy seeing what you all have to say (well, most of you). But I'm really trying to maximize your Thrones-ian pleasure (and why does that sound like a condom ad?). Until next time, I'll try to remember the send the ravens. And for those who brave the comment board, let me know what you thought of the recap. The truth now. Even if it's terrible, or boring.


17. 'Game of Thrones' producers Q&A: Why season 3 is the most epic yet
16. Lena Headey on Cersei's season 3 fears
15. How Kit Harington conquered his injury to keep Jon Snow fighting
14: Gwendoline Christie on being ‘too pretty’ to play Brienne
13. John Bradley defends fantasy fans
12. HBO: 'Thrones' piracy is 'a compliment'

11. 'Game of Thrones' producers on casting Mance Rayder, Lady Olenna
10. Sophie Turner on fans bashing Sansa

9. Jack Gleeson on Joffrey's season 3 romance
. Maisie Williams talks Arya's season 3 adventures
7. Peter Dinklage on Tyrion's season 3 survival
6. Richard Madden teases Robb Stark's season 3
5. Emilia Clarke says Dany gets fast-paced season 3
4. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau talks Jaime's season 3 struggle
3. Rose Leslie: You know nothing about Ygritte's catchphrase
2. ‘Game of Thrones’ producers on season 3 dragons: They’re not cute anymore
1. EW Cover: 'Game of Thrones' wildest season yet! Jon + Dany, an ice and fire pairing

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