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Game of Thrones Review: Unsullied, Undeterred

by at . Comments

Well, that was awesome.

While the opening trio of Game of Thrones Season 3 episodes have been solid, they all suffered from this show's enviable curse: too many great characters, too many intriguing storylines.

As a result, the installments mostly just dropped in here and there, providing us with updates on the whereabouts/actions of Jon Snow (slowly integrating himself with Mance Rayder), Robb Stark (still frustrated by the lack of any real battles), Tyrion (still being awesome) and company.

But, man, "And Now His Watch is Ended" managed to do a lot more than merely spend time with these residents of Westeros and beyond. It delivered action after action after unbelievably cool and surprising action.

Daenerys Targaryen on Season 3

We must start with Dany.

Following the deal she struck on last Sunday's "Walk of Punishment," it wasn't hard to predict this general outcome. There was simply no way Dany was simply trading one of her dragons - one of her children! - for a contingent of slaves. I don't care how well they can take a nipple slice.

But still - thanks to the production, the edits, the performance of Emilia Clarke - watching it play out was simply mesmerizing. Dany has always been a fascinating character, someone evolving into a leader, someone learning to control her rage and unleash it only at the proper times... but she's also felt very far away from the machinations and plans surrounding King's Landing. Her journey there is taking quite the circuitous route.

Now she has her army, though. Eight-thousand strong and ready to serve their Khaleesi. I fear the show will once again abandon her trek for a couple weeks, but at least we'll have this outstanding closing scene to hold us over until then.

Elsewhere... Craster is dead! And Jeor Mormont! And holy snowballs I didn't not see any of that coming.

It's almost as if the show had purposely been lulling viewers to sleep with (non) action beyond The Wall until now. The momentum of each episode simply slowed down every time Jon Snow talked to Mance or Sam struggled with each step home.

But it's safe to say that all changed with a mutiny that took out both friend and foe. Sam, Gilly and baby are now on the run to... who knows where? However, unlike past storylines involving these characters, I can finally say I'm fully invested in finding out.

I'm also more invested than I ever imagined being in the relationship between Brienne and Jaime Lannister. It may have taken over two seasons, and it may have taken him losing a hand, but the vulnerability of the King Slayer has finally come through. This is a man who pushed someone off a ledge because he feared people would learn he was banging his sister... and yet now I find myself feeling sorry for him.

It's obviously a theme on Game of Thrones that people are complex and that no one can be pained in black or white. But heading into this season, I would have pegged Jaime as one of the most clearly defined. He's pure egotistical evil, right? Or maybe he's actually a lot like his smaller brother, someone who has lived a life of luxury, who relies on wit and charm when in danger, and who is finally facing a world where his last name only gets him in trouble.

We've seen how Tyrion has responded to these circumstances. He's grown into a legitimate hero. He uses his brains instead of his brawn. Does Jaime have it in him to do the same? And, heck, will he even have a choice now that Brienne is in his corner and not about to take any BS or whining?

Also of note:

  • Margaery remains a mystery. She knows exactly how to manipulate Joffrey and now she's trying to line up Sansa with a husband. A husband she knows to be gay, of course. She's making a good impression on the poor, she certainly seems to have nothing but good intentions... yet it's hard to imagine there isn't some game afoot here. Cersei can see it, just sucks for her that Tywin can't see her as anything other than an overconfident nuisance.
  • Arya is awesome. That's pretty much it. We didn't spend a lot of time with her and The Brotherhood Without Banners and the Hound, but the interrogation of the latter was a fun scene.

Easily the best episode of a young season and one of my favorite overall to date. What did everyone else think?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (192 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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my take on the page and the happy girls is simple..he instead of treating they like a vessel for his own pleasure,did what the other men don't..he had time and spent it paying attention to them..so the girls were not working,they were having as much fun as he. they likely had orgasms,maybe for the 1st time, @ least with a man or customer,which would never happen,even with tryion who has genuine affection for his secret lover..(someone here was asking what the deal was)..therefore the gesture of no $$$. and they of course are saying your welcome anytime...

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i was certain that the dragon would either leave the evil slave master or simply be ineffective to his commands. what was really cool for me was that she was playing the guy all along knowing exactly what he saying..ok, the dragon frying his ass was really cool too;they are already scary looking..as adults they will be incredable...the whole of her message about slavery and her compassion for these men was very well written. her increasing comradere' with a new possibly?? right hand woman was awesome too. the site of all of them in formation with the dragons was incredable(if i was in hs,or college i would want a poster of that)...i think theons father is behind his torture..that is how he would determine his motive and toughen him at the same time....theon i think is not in for more torture,but will see his father walk in..yes?..of course i dont't know for sure,but it feels right at this point. happy for (i can't remember his name)the heavy infatuated boy and the daughter with child of the other evil guy,now dead...

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Yep, she's a Targaryen alright...

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Excellent episode - talk about over emphasis on the theme of revenge.

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brilliant episode .. best one for a long time. Loved the Dany storyline.

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How has no one talked about Theon? I don't understand what happened.

Yama1291

Well played Game Of Thrones, well played. The set up was so very slow for three episodes but it looks like your plan is working out after all. R.I.P. Lord Commander. Now we know how much the vow is worth to some of the crows.. I hope for Snow to cut them down one by one! Dany lived up to her promise and Mormont kept his trap shut. All is well.

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Oh an RIP Lord Commander. His death was one of the sad ones this season. I really liked him and he was much needed by the Night's Watch. Gilly and Sam were good. Sam was braver in the show than the books and Gilly was stronger.

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Dany's scenes were mindblowing. I knew they were coming and still was blown away. The look on Jorah and Missandei's faces when they realized what she was doing killed me. She really did this whole thing on her own and proved that the Khalessi is bad ass and doesn't need anyone to tell her what needs to be done. Take note of that Barristan and Jorah. Advise her but remember SHE is the queen. I loved Olenna's bits this week. She's quickly become a fave. Margaery is still an enigma. I think she just wants to be a beloved queen even if it means manipulating the creepy monster to get what she wants. Sad that they took the 'Willas Tyrell' option out of the show instead suggesting that Sansa marry Loras which we all know Loras to be gay. Miss Jon and Robb this episode. They need to focus more on those two and less on Theon considering what will happen this season with both of them. Their storylines are more critical since Theon is technically not including in the books again until book 5.

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especially by one of his own... So Jon Snow, when u coming back? didn't miss him much though. Sam, run !!!!! To where, I don't know ! Lol.
Arya and The Bros with the Hound, very interesting !!!!
Tyrion and Varys, loved that scene just because the man gets to act on his revenge against the man who castrated him. Perfect !
Finally, Jamie and Brienne's scene was interesting. Just because I've never liked the man, but now, we get to see a different side of him and I actually might like him after that !
I just finished watching the episode, and I wanna watch it again ! Amazing !