Spoiler Alert! If you don’t know what the purpose of dragon glass is than you may want to finish watching Season 3 before you read this. You’ve been warned.
We’re a week removed from the season finale of Game of Thrones and it’s well passed time for me to jot down how I felt about Season 3. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to even attempt to comment on everything that happened this season, without writing a book that is. Instead I’m going to touch on the parts of Season 3 which I enjoyed the most. Overall, I felt like Season 3 inched along very slowly but when something big happened it was absolutely game changing. Yes, the Red Wedding. Holy Hells! But, I’ll get back to that in a bit. Whether you rep Team Stark or Team Lannister, both houses saw their share of hardship this season with the Starks unsurprisingly baring the brunt of it. Ah, again with the Red Wedding!
While Tyrion and Arya are my favorite characters I felt like Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth had the most interesting journey this season. I never cared much for Jamie until Season 3, at best I wanted him to not die because despite being a prick he was still very entertaining and I thought that it would have been a waste to kill him off. I felt very differently after he saved Brienne from being raped, revealed how he earned the moniker of Kingslayer, and saved Brienne again, from a bear no less. After those selfless acts it became very difficult not to like Jamie, at least a little bit. He became that much more empathetic after being humbled when his hand was chopped off, in what was a truly shocking scene. I seriously had to re-watch it just to make sure I saw what I thought my eyes had seen. I would have sooner expected Jamie to be killed before I expected him to be maimed. And ultimately, that’s what made it so powerful.
While we’re on the subject of Lannisters, let’s talk Tyrion. Tyrion was indisputably bad ass back in Season 2, he outwitted Lady Arryn, became Hand of the King, and saved King’s Landing, nearly being killed for his efforts. So of course I had high hopes for Tyrion in Season 3 and of course, no good deed goes unpunished. Tyrion spends the first half of the season in fear for his life after Ser Mandon tried to slice his face off. I felt like Tyrion was kicked around for much of Season 3. That is, until he’s forced into marrying Sansa Stark, then he starts to get more of an edge to him. Back in Season 2, I wouldn’t have expected Tyrion to threaten to castrate Joffrey on his wedding day, drunk or otherwise. Tyrion even threatens him again after Joffrey, being the charmer that he is, tells the Small Council that he plans to feed Robb Stark’s severed head to Sansa on his wedding day. That scene is absolutely priceless. I love how no one at the small council even says a word, not even Tywin, who deescalated the situation the first time. Joffrey looks around for support but only finds a stoic Tywin who sends him off to bed. I had been feeling very bad for Sansa throughout this season but she’s definitely in good hands with Tyrion, even if the marriage isn’t ideal on either end. Well it’s all said and done, I think Tyrion made out okay in season 3 despite being stuck in a difficult situation, trying to balance his love for Shae with his duty to his family. As for Sansa, sure she didn’t get to marry her dreamy Knight of Flowers, Ser Loras, but let’s face it, marrying Loras would have been it’s own can of worms. And she dodged a bullet by not being swept away by Little Finger, who totes gives off that creepy uncle vibe.
Of all of the characters added in Season 3, Olenna Tyrell is easily the best addition. She’s just as witty as Tyrion if not even more so. Hell, she even left him speechless after they met. Her blunt attitude is not only refreshing but hilarious and I always look forward to what she’s going to say when she comes on screen. Likewise, Margaery Tyrell was very fun to watch this season. Seeing her put her claws into Joffrey, as Cersei put it, was like watching a tightrope act. There were times where I thought she was going to find herself shot full of arrows, not unlike like Ros. Margaery, unlike Sansa, obviously did her homework before she came to King’s Landing. She’s ambitious, savvy and practically operates like a political Green Beret. She always knows the right thing to say and it makes her a joy to watch.
Of all of the happenings in Dragonstone the relationship between Ser Davos and Stannis’ daughter, Shireen Baratheon, was the most captivating. I’m typically not a sucker for the mushy stuff but it’s difficult to not stop and gush when Shireen visits Davos in the dungeon and teaches him how to read. Both Davos and Shireen are rare characters in Game of Thrones: Shireen is still very innocent and loyal, while Davos is honest to fault yet so far has managed to stay alive. Even though he seems to be allergic to self preservation with trying to kill Melisandre and freeing Gendry. Speaking of Melisandre, she and her Lord of Light have became that much more interesting after The Hound killed Beric and he was brought back to life by Thoros using the power of the Lord of Light. We had seen her use the power of the lord of light before with Renly but it’s still surprises me everytime it happens. While it remains to be seen how The Lord of Light and the Brotherhood Without Banners will play into the big picture, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.
I was pretty indifferent towards Jon Snow until this season but his relationship with Ygritte was definitely entertaining. From the moment when he breaks his vows and takes her to bed to their lovers’ quarrel which ended with him shot full of arrows, it was a fun ride to say the least. One of my favorite Jon Snow moments occurred in The Rains of Castamere after he kills Orell and rides off, leaving Ygritte behind. The expression on Ygritte’s face is priceless and it’s no wonder that she shot him the very next time that she saw him. On the other hand, It was a bummer that Jon got so close to seeing his brothers, Bran and Rickon only to be separated from them again. Bran’s journey starts to get more interesting towards the end of the season after he finds out that he can enter into the minds of men. I found it funny that the moment Rickon finally gets to talk is the same moment where he’s having to say goodbye. I wonder how much we’ll see of Rickon and Osha now that they’ve parted ways with Bran. Regardless, I’m looking forward to what happens with Bran, even if Jojen Reed kind of creeps me out.
If you rep Team Targaryen, then you probably enjoyed this season more than anyone because Daenerys kicks ass the entire way through. She’s easily the most beloved character in Game of Thrones, not only as a fan favorite but even in the Game of Thrones universe everyone she crosses paths with instantly falls in love with her. The world over people spontaneously decapitate their comrades in admiration of her beauty alone. It’s only appropriate that Season 3 would end with Dany crowd surfing in sea of freed slaves. Dany optimizes the “rags to riches” narrative: She went from only having 3 baby dragons, a handful of Dothraki, and the ever loyal Jorah Mormont. By the end of Season 3 she had added Ser Barriston to her ranks, she now leads an army of 8000 Unsullied with unwavering loyalty coupled with Daario Naharis and his 2000 Second Sons and even her own Rosetta Stone, Missandei. It’s safe to say that she made out very well. Daenerys even has claim to the most hype moment of Season 3. In And Now His Watch Is Ended, after taking control of the Unsullied, she orders them to kill their former masters, then she kills Kraznys with her dragon and then rides out of the city of Astapor like boss. It. was. epic. And easily stands as one of my favorite moments of the series thus far.
Now that we’re all feeling good let’s talk about Theon Greyjoy. Yes, Theon is terrible for betraying Robb and killing the shepherd’s two boys but damn did it get tiresome seeing him get tortured. Initially, I felt indifferent since Theon deserved a little comeuppance but after Ramsey Snow tricks him into thinking that he had escaped only to bring him right back to his torture room, it was got old pretty fast. Each time they cut to Theon it was just a matter of waiting to see what terrible thing Ramsey had in store for him. At least things ended with a light at the end of the tunnel with Theon’s sister, Yara, coming to his rescue.
Can Arya catch a break? No, obviously not. It was frustrating to watch how at every turn her journey home was interrupted and she kept getting kidnapped by one person or another. When she finally took off from the Brotherhood Without Banners, only to run right into the arms of The Hound I wanted to punch something. Thankfully The Hound is not such a bad guy and he at least made good on his promise to take her to her brother’s wedding, the Red Wedding.
What can I even say about The Red Wedding? I had the misfortune of knowing ahead of time that Robb would be killed at there but I figured it would be at the hands of a shadow baby like the one that killed Renly. My expectations couldn’t have been more wrong. The way everything came together was like watching a mafia hit; Blackfish left to take the most important piss of his life, Edmure was escorted out to bed his unexpectedly beautiful bride, then the door was shut and Rains of Castamere began playing. The entire dynamic of the room suddenly changed and only Catelyn seemed to notice. Then snikt! Talisa gets shanked in the belly, Robb and Catelyn get shot full of arrows while Walder Frey watched gleefully, sipping from his goblet. That would have been shocking enough had it ended there but then Catelyn attempts to convince Walder to spare Robb’s life. She tries to use his wife, Joyeuse, as a bargaining chip but good ole Walder Frey wasn’t even the least bit concerned about his wife and instead had Lord Bolton do the honors of stabbing Robb in the heart. On a side note, I knew Bolton was up to something when he let Jamie Lannister go free! But I digress. Mad with grief and as a final act of defiance, Catelyn slits Joyeuse’s throat before having her own cut.
Back to Arya. She was on the verge of being reunited with her family only to witness Robb’s men being slaughtered by the Frey’s. She then has a glimmer of hope when she spots Grey Wind only for him to killed right in front of her. And again, if that wasn’t bad enough, after The Hound rescues her from doing something foolish she sees Robb’s decapitated body with Grey Wind’s head attached to it being paraded around. Later, as she and The Hound are going wherever they overhear some of the Frey’s men bragging about desecrating Robb’s body. If there was any hope left in Arya up to this point, it’s far gone. She calmly approaches the group before viciously stabbing the guy who was quick to brag. The Hound finishes off the rest and they go about their business. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t damn gratifying to see Arya stab that chump like she was auditioning for Goodfellas. Not just that he had it coming, but I was tired of seeing Arya have her hopes crushed again and again. Now that Jamie and Brienne’s journey is over, The Hound and Arya are easily a shoe-in for the most entertaining odd couple.
Though there are still many question left unanswered, all in all, season 3 was pretty great and had some incredible and memorable moments. While the season finale was pretty anticlimactic, I couldn’t have imagined it topping Rains of Castamere. which is in a class all its own. Instead the finale served as more of a set up to Season 4 with Westeros learning about the threat of the White Walkers. I suppose the season finale did its job since it definitely left me wanting more. I don’t have many complaints about this season but what’s easily the worst thing about Season 3 is that it’s over and Season 4 is a year away!
And now my watch has begun…