Game of Thrones is back after months of waiting, and the third-season opener roars in with a vengeance. The premiere picks up a short time after the second-season finale (here's a quick refresher if you need it), and while we don't check in with every character this week, we are reunited with a few Stark children, Daenerys, Joffrey, and more. It's very true to the Game of Thrones spirit, what with fantasy creatures, body parts being cut off, and many characters resolving to take their next big step.
There are some spectacles this week, but there's more setup than big events. Still, it's an exciting way to kick off season three, and there are, of course, lots of things I'm still thinking about (like nipples). Let's get to it after the jump.
- Jon Snow is fighting for the other side. Well, sort of. After promising Qhorin Halfhand to do whatever he has to do to infiltrate the wildings (and killing him to follow those instructions as best he could), Jon Snow is now in the wilding camp. He seems to have earned their trust for killing Halfhand, and he makes the acquaintance of the awesomely named Mance Rayder. Personally, I raised my eyebrows the most when Rayder points out that Ygritte and Jon like each other. Duh and — oooooooh!
- Also: giants! Jon Snow sees his first giant, and so do we! No surprise: they're big.
- Robb is still pretty mad at his mother: There's no question that Robb loves his mom, but he's still angry at her for letting Jaime go free. He's not about to let her off just because she's his mother, though, and he orders a cell (but a nice one) for Catelyn when the army passes through a pillaged town. At least it's nice to see him happily married to Talisa . . . for now. I'm scared about what's going to happen to Robb when Frey finds out Robb won't marry one of his daughters after all.
- There's a new queen in town. Is Margaery sweet? Or manipulative? . . . Or both? Joffrey's new betrothed spooks him when she wants to stop and meet with the people of King's Landing (shudder). She's angling herself to be a beloved leader rather than a feared one — the latter has been Joffrey's route (and you know how well that's worked out for him). I can't tell if she's really a good person or just really good at making people like her, but I'm starting to like her. I also love that Cersei seems so threatened by a new woman influencing her son more than she does.
- I think that guy did need that nipple! Naturally, Game of Thrones has to kick off season three with something disgusting, which is obviously that horrible nipple scene. It is a good judge of what kind of endurance Daenerys's potential new soldiers have. They seem ready to conquer Westeros.
- Tyrion's dad sucks. We knew Tywin resented Tyrion's existence before, but I was shaken by how nasty he is toward his own son when Tyrion asks to have Casterly Rock. There are a lot of terrifying people on this show, but I now think of Tywin as one of the most evil characters, as a father who doesn't love his son and treats him so horribly. No wonder Cersei is so awful.
What did you think of the Game of Thrones premiere?