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"Game Of Thrones" - "Valar Dohaeris": We Think We've Climbed So High Upon The Backs We've Condemned

By TK | TV Reviews | April 1, 2013 | Comments ()


Game-Of-Thrones-Season-3-premier-review-616x345.jpg

Thank The Seven, we have returned.

Part of the genius of "Game Of Thrones" lies in their confidence in the show itself, in its actors and writing and story. The easiest thing to do with the premiere of a hugely popular series is to start things off explosively, with a bang, with revelations and action and to simply pull out all the stops. Instead, "Valar Dohaeris," the first episode of Season Three, began much as the finale, "Valar Morghulis" ended. It was a deceptively quiet episode, more a gathering of forces and wills than an action-packed opener. Perhaps what made it so fascinating is that, through a series of short vignettes with a handful of the major players, we are given a glimpse into what the larger themes and motivations will be for each of them. This wasn't just a series of short conversations, it was a preview into what struggles each character will face as we travel through this new season.

Before we get to anything else -- the smoking crater of Winterfell in the credits? Devastating and perfect.

As always, it begins in the North, where the Night's Watch is fractured and desperate and reeling from the encounter with it's terrifying new foes. Poor Samwell Tarly, destined to stumble when he is needed the most, is attacked by the dead, saved, only to be quietly and brutally castigated by the Lord Commander for his failures. As such, they are left alone in the white wilderness with an army of the dead to contend with. Meanwhile, Jon Snow finds an entirely new army when he is brought before the King Beyond The Wall (CiarĂ¡n Hinds). Among the Wildlings, Jon finds an entirely new lifestyle, of free folk and lawlessness, but also families and independence and a fierce, savage loyalty. And giants. Great, big giants. Jon's parlay with Mance Rayder was a fascinating one, a meeting of two men with similar pasts -- after finding no place in the world, they ended up in the Night's Watch, only to find that even there, the last stronghold for the outcasts of the world, they still don't feel like they belong. Yet this land, of giants and Wildlings and icy strength, this is the place where blood doesn't matter, where kings require loyalty but not subservience, where one looks a king in the eye and clasps his hand instead of kneeling. Is it as true for Snow as it was for Rayder that only there, in the white, wild north, they can find peace? It was a fascinating, if brief conversation, with brilliant dialogue written for Snow (even if Kit Harrington still struggles with delivery a bit), who used the sad truths of his life to add weight to his lies.

Meanwhile, Jon's half-brother Robb, yet another of the world's kings, finds his war taking a toll in more ways than one. His mother has broken his trust and shamed him with her release of the Kingslayer, and as such he is forced to treat her like a criminal. His people are being torn asunder, and his family scattered and lost. Worse, his enemy is merciless and relentless. That one scene contained more slaughter and anguish than most shows will have in a season. As Robb's bannerman lay dead and broken around him, new fuel was added to the fire of vengeance that rages through Robb's army. It's for that reason, among many, that Catelyn's release of Jaime Lannister hurts so much, and why Robb must give her no quarter if he hopes to keep his forces bound together.

To the south, Davos Seaworth is saved from a most unpleasant death in the aftermath of the debacle that was the Battle of Blackwater, only to find his king has sunk even further under the spell of Melisandre. Desperate, scarred, and sorrowful, Davos only wants his king to see the truth of his words and understand that the horrors that he inflicts upon his people -- burning the unbelievers -- are leading him down a dark and twisted path from which there can be no return. Yet such is the power of the Red Woman; to softly, seductively steer him further into a madness that was born out of his stubborn arrogance. Her final moments in their scene was an impressive, if horrible coup -- cementing her hold over Stannis Baratheon while widening the wedge between him and Davos, the lone brave voice of reason that seeks to bring him back from the brink. There's an understated chemistry between these three actors, each working with totally different characters and motivations, each with a sense of urgency and anger, yet each conveying their emotions in radically different ways. Between Dillane's stoic, steely demeanor, Davos' righteous pathos, and Melisandre's smoky, snake-like charms, watching their interplay has become a highlight for me.

One of the most enjoyable sequences was that of Joffrey Baratheon, the loathed boy king, and his replacement bride-to-be, Margaery Tyrell. It was a splendidly rendered series of events, nicely demonstrating everything you need to know about the respective characters. Sweet, charming, caring Margaery, stepping through the muck to sit with the poor and afflicted, giving them the care that they need, while Joffrey hides, terrified of the common folk who hate him so, despite the fact that he earned that hatred through his own actions. Even more intriguing was the soft, subtle battle of wits between Cersei and Margaery, a flurry of deft and deadly-sweet parries and thrusts as Cersei learns that her son has hitched himself to someone far more devious and cunning than she expected, someone remarkably like Cersei herself -- only one who uses a gentle kindness to manipulate those around her. The rivalry between them promises to be a thoroughly satisfying one.

It should come as no surprise that the two most powerful and affecting segments were the ones that featured Tyrion Lannister and Danaerys Targaryan. Each was full of trouble and heartbreak and fury, each ended with a feeling of despairing impotence. Tyrion, scarred and abandoned despite his heroics at Blackwater, is first forced to deal with the condescending arrogance of his dear sister (though he does seem to give better than he gets), while sequestered in his drab, ramshackle new quarters. Yet nothing was more harsh and scathing than his truly awful confrontation with Tywin Lannister. Charles Dance's withering, scornful, and worst of all hateful condemnation of his son was almost staggering. All of Tyrion's wit and cleverness, those things he uses as both weapons and armor, are of no use to him in the face of the vicious truth that his father presents him with -- that he will never end up in his good graces, he will never inherit the land and title that his so desperately wants. In the end, Tyrion is left with nothing -- no family, forced to pay his one friend, his authority ingloriously stripped from him, and a scar on his face to remind him of those things each day. Also? Charles Dance needs to be catapulted to the top of the "best villains on television" list, because his arrogant, vicious, merciless demeanor is just... breathtaking.

Across the Narrow Sea, Danaerys brings her people to new lands, the lands of Astapor where she seeks the army that will help her take back the crown. Her dragons have grown, and credit is due to the show's effects crew for a terrific demonstration of their new growth and abilities as the ships sail for Astapor. Once there, however, Danaerys finally discovers the truth about the legendary Unsullied, puported to be the greatest fighters in the world. That revelation is a nasty one -- the Unsullied are born out of everything that Dany hates -- cruelty, slavery, and torture. Yet there is the slavemaster, proudly demonstrating their unflinching power and their virtual immunity to pain (the nipple scene almost destroyed my evening completely), even as he disdainfully sneers at her behind the veil of language. Danaerys must now come to grips with the fact that to claim her birthright, she may have to do it on the backs of those bred like animals by the worst of humanity, bred to kill by doing the unthinkable. An army built on the deaths of thousands of infants. The realization is a stunning, horrific one that Emilia Clarke conveyed beautifully. Yet despite all of those horrors, Danaerys is not without hope, for at the end of the episode she finds herself an unlikely new ally in the surprise reappearance of Barristan Selmy.

And thus, we return to the land of a Song of Ice and Fire. Season Three shows us that there are new trials awaiting our favorite characters, even as we anticipate learning about the ones we have not seen yet. So many of them emerged victorious at the end of Season Two in one fashion or another, only to learn now that their futures are perhaps even more treacherous than before. Each of them learned that the peaks that they'd reached are nothing compared to what lies ahead now, that trust is a rare and unreliable thing, and that to go forward will result in more trouble. The world of "Game Of Thrones" is a harsh and unyielding one, where small men can be great and great men can be small, but where few are allowed a lasting satisfaction. The night is, as they say, dark and full of terrors, and that night looms ever closer.



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  • manting

    Not to be a dick but this "No Spoilers" policy for Game of Thrones is ridiculous when in reference to the books. Season 3 of Game of Thrones covers the 1st half of book 3- A Storm of Swords- which was published in 2000. Thats 13 years to read the book. 13 years. If you love Game of Thrones enough (or hate it enough) to post about it online then read the damn books. As good as the show is the books are better. I apologize to any illiterate poeple who might have been offended by my above statements.
    Im pretty sure the books have been reviewed on this website and spoilers were included (with a spoiler alert).
    Busted! http://www.pajiba.com/book_rev...

  • pfeiffer87

    What about the Sansa and Baelish scene? great review & recap though :)

  • John G.

    I'm not sure how I feel about revealing Selmy so early. It took a long time in the book, but now I'm not sure if it was necessary. It may work better to reveal him earlier.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Finally got to watch. I also loved the development for Margeary, and the slavemaster was pretty fantastic, as were Dany and Jorah's expressions when Semly revealed & explained himself.

    Charles Dance was fantastic, but, heresy of heresies, am I alone in thinking that Dinklage's delivery is getting to be rather one note? He gives great acting face, and he's got great lines, but he always seems to speak in the same rhythm/pitch.

  • Damn that was a good review, TK.

    I really liked it and can't wait for the new season. There's some major changes, but so far the writers have shown that though they may bug at first it'll all work out at the end, so I'm nothing but excited at this point.

    LOVED the Margaery/Cersei scenes, and I can't wait to watch that play out.

    Overall I guess it was a little slower than I wish it had been, but it was also a pretty brilliant way to set up the pieces for the rest of what's to come.

  • wojtek

    I am, of course, late to the party, but I wanted to say that Carice van Houten's delivery is just KILLER. That part could have been hammed up into high heavens, and she sells it so beautifully. I think that hint of an accent helps. I love her interplay with Stannis and Davos.

    Man, I'm so giddy this thing is back.

  • lonolove

    Why did they switch it from strangling puppies to stabbing babies? Is strangling puppies still a NO, or are we so jaded that the only thing that could shock us would be to murder infants? ...I'm not sure what this says about our society. :|

  • BendinIntheWind

    It wasn't changed, just abbreviated - *both* tasks are part of the Unsullied's training in the books. They kill the puppy when they are still very young, and the infant-killing is what later earns them their helmet.

  • lonolove

    Thanks for clarifying. I'm realizing my terrible mistake in reading so far ahead over the past year because I can't remember a goddamn thing beyond HUGE PLOT POINTS from A Storm of Swords...I guess I find killing puppies more memorable than killing infants. True Democrat. HaHA!

  • Makes sense. Children can be forced or coerced to do just about anything if you know which buttons to push, so killing puppies would be hard for them but ultimately possible if they're to be one of the Unsullied. And then when they're older... well, if they aren't down for some baby killing by that time, they clearly aren't the best of the best, so far as this bunch goes.

    I haven't read the book, yet, just to be clear.

  • BendinIntheWind

    No worries, not much by way of spoilers to find here. In the books there's just a bit more time to detail the Unsullied's training. The original commenter was referring to the fact that (in addition to the eventual baby-killing) each boy is given a puppy on the same day they are castrated. They're meant to bond with it and ordered to take care of it above all else, and then after one year, they must strangle it with their bare hands, otherwise the boy is killed and fed to the remaining dogs.

    It's hard out there for a eunuch.

  • Puppy-killing's a rumor as to how the Nazis trained their young to be soldiers.

  • Ah. That checks out.

  • Way harsh, but it makes a horrible, logical sense. I feel like I've heard that story before, too. Though I could just be remembering something about 300.

  • Insider

    wwwWOWwww, TK, I give you most sincere props when it comes to dedication of original thought to go through the extraordinary and detailed 'plot update' you have provided to us GOT fanatics - brilliantly well-played, sir!

    Each successive year, I prepare myself to the fullest for what will surely be Pajiba's next ingenious ploy to perplex their readers for what ultimately becomes yet another "gotcha!!" to the unsuspecting 'Fools of April' that are at first confused, then sickeningly nauseated at the frighteningly possibile lack of their very sanity, only to then be stunningly enlightened that the entire article they've just read is pure and calculated fabrication, an online 'Punked' towards the gullible, if you will, and a tradition that this site consistently pulls off better and more surprisingly than any other!

    Had I myself not possessed the privileged ability to actually watch GOT's much-touted premiere a scant 28 hours after its official HBO Network broadcast, which I have done and will again do so as soon as I finish this missive, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine my own rash and instinctual reaction to your superbly-constructed yet wildly fabricated "analysis" of a nonexistent 3rd season premiere of this highly-anticipated series! (And yes, that is a compliment, you sly, irascible jokester)

    I will now watch the new GOT episode with the added advantage of knowing every single sentence you've written is exactly what NOT to expect within its unfolding, and share amongst all of the true Pajibans my advanced ability of knowing all I have read here and in the other surreptitiously 'real articles' on this 'All Fool's Day' that this site has become quite the intellectual envy of others who have yet to get in tune with our selective and exclusive 'Frequency'..

  • What the fuck did I just read.

  • Jezzer

    Pretentious fucktwaddle, I do believe.

  • Tinkerville

    The scene between Tyrion and Tywin was brilliant on both fronts. When Tyrion's voice actually quavered I felt my heart breaking. It was even more gut-wrenching to see it played out on screen than to read it.

    Also, I unconsciously covered my arms tightly over my chest during the nipple slicing scene.

  • Kristen Mc

    Will someone please explain the Harrenhal scene to me? I clearly missed something. I know Tywin was holding it, and I am assuming we are just supposed to understand the piles of dead bodies was a message he was sending to Robb. I have read the books, and I know the castle changes hands a few times, but I was totally confused. Why would Qyburn be there? Can't they just spell these things out for me?!

  • The Stark army was pursuing the Lannister army when the Lannisters just up and moved from Harrenhal to King's Landing for the Battle of Blackwater Bay. The scene showed them arriving and reviewing the prisoners slaughtered by Gregor Clegane, who Tywin Lannister had put in charge of Harrenhal with Arya Stark as his cupbearer (who was subsequently freed by Ja'qen H'ghar's last obligation to her).

    Qyburn joined the Brave Companions (the group that was burning and pillaging the Riverlands in season 1 and led by Vargo Hoat in the books, who is reimagined as "Locke" for season 3). I'm going to guess they clashed with Gregor Clegane as they happened upon Harrenhal and Qyburn didn't do so well in the fight, but he is supposed to be there. I won't go into the overall details why yet (it's my theory, after all, but contains major spoilers), but it's to set up a crucial part of the Stark storyline that was in book 2 but didn't make it to the show until season 3.

    In all honesty, his presence there makes me think it's an ambush.

  • Kristen Mc

    I think I have an idea as to what your theory is, and I agree with you.

  • BRANDOR!

    I think that it was meant to show that Gregor left Harrenhal, and rather than hold the northern prisoners, he slaughtered them.

    I'm also a little confused about who has had control of Harrenhal...Tywin was there last season, then Joffrey granted it to Petyr Baelish for his role in something something...and Gregor was there and apparently slaughtered all of the prisoners? I've read the books, too, and I was always a bit lost with who ran that place.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I believe it's understood that any lands given by the king are not fully granted until the war is over. So Harrenhall is promised to Baelish, but he doesn't take control of it until it's no longer a necessary stronghold for the Lannister/Baratheon forces.

  • Kristen Mc

    Maybe it will be more clear in future episodes. Petyr got it for forming an alliance with Highgarden....in the show, anyway.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Bit of a minor question, perhaps, but is there a reason Dany's necklace had two teeth while she was on the boat, and just one when she was viewing the Unsullied in Astapor?

  • Malin

    I'm pretty sure the Khaleeshi may have more than one necklace, just as she has more than one outfit. They looked like similar, but different, teeth necklaces to me. Although I like Mrs. Julien's theory. Jorah would totally do that.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Jorah stole one to keep under his pillow.

    I thought the necklace was looped around itself in the scene at Astapor.

  • BendinIntheWind

    SO freaking happy to see the return of Barristan Selmy. I had hoped he would be the billowy cloaked figure from the trailers; glad we didn't have to wait.

    Really loving the added characterization of Margaery they've brought into the show. After her exchange with Littlefinger last season, when she declared that she wanted to be THE queen and not A queen, she's slowly become one of the most interesting characters to watch.

  • TK

    Just a quick reminder folks: NO SPOILERS.

    As you were.

  • hickoryduck

    I was forced to watch this for the first time. Obviously I'm missing something cause that was boring as hell.

  • The Heretic

    Is Obvious Troll, Obvious?

    Hmmm...

  • If you were forced to watch the show, you're obviously not going to have a good time to begin with. The "obvious" things you're missing are Seasons 1 and 2, which are available on DVD and other super legitimate means of Internet. It's not like you can't run to Best Buy or a friend to borrow them. HBO GO is also a possibility, which can be connected to Xbox and (I'm assuming) PSN.

  • Strand

    Really? Jumping straight into a slow-burn HBO drama, bypassing 20 episodes of character development with no context was 'boring as hell?' Gee whiz. It's not like this is a phenomenon's exclusive to anything but formulaic police procedurals right? I feel sorry for whoever had to force you to consume this like a petulant child with vegetables.

  • Milly

    That was a constructive comment. Perhaps you may wish to view the previous twenty episodes to become familiar with the characters and the tone.

    As for being forced? You poor wee thing, to suffer such first world problems.

  • hickoryduck

    I could watch the previous episodes, but after hearing months and months of my friends talking about how AWESOME!!!!11!!!1!!!!!! the show is, one would assume that the season premiere would have some display of that awesomeness, no?

  • CardinalChunder

    Yeah, GoT doesn't have the traditional TV series rhythm. Tuning in for the season opener, and assuming you're going to see one of the two biggest episodes of the season just doesn't work.

    As the review points out, it has a massive cast of characters in multiple locations, so there's quite a lot of viewer reorientation and getting characters into motion on the arc they're following that has to happen before you get to the red meat of the season. Season 2's opener was the same.

    Similarly, the climax of the first two seasons didn't happen in the finales. So far, that has happened in the penultimate episodes, while the finales have tended to deal with the fallout and tying up the season for the characters that aren't dead yet.

    Besides, even coming straight in and missing 20 hours of world and character development, not knowing who anyone was, what they were up to, or why you should give a shit, you still got fishing dragons, a giant, an ice zombie attack, a decapitated body holding its own head, the aftermath of a massacre in a massive ruined castle, some power politics and an assasination attempt by Manticore/creepy warlock kid, foiled by a badass of retirement age.

    There's no pleasing some people.

  • Strand

    By your 'logic,' you can start watching any film from the 45 minute mark and you expect to enjoy it as much as everyone else. Totally flawless. Do you also think that 50% of Citizen Kane is the best movie ever? How about the Fat Elvis phase of Community? Best comedy on TV!

    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Well, I didn't enjoy it at first either, and I'm still not entirely sure I need to keep watching, but, that said, you have to give the show time. There is a lot of information and you can't expect to follow without doing the homework. I remember trying to watch an episode of The Wire that was in media res. I had no clue what the hell was going on. Breaking Bad would be the same. Lost, too. Some shows require an investment, and then if it's not your cup of tea walk way.

    I watched all of season one last week during Comcast's cunning Watchathon. Just enough time to watch a bunch and whet your appetite. I wonder how many extra subscribers they'll get out of it. I've also read articles on the GoT wikis to improve my Pajiba literacy. I
    knew some names Mr. J didn't and he is following the show. Don't tell
    me I don't love you, Pajiba.

  • Kristen Mc

    I had been excited to finally see Tormund Giantsbane brought to life, but I found his portrayal disappointing in last night's ep. Hopefully it gets better. He is one of my favorites in the books.

  • He barely had four lines! Give it time!

  • Kristen Mc

    He was so gruff and serious! I always pictured him to be sort of jovial.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Charles Dance won me last season already. He just wasn't utilized quite so thoroughly as he was in this episode.

    (he also won me over when he read from Scary Spice's autobiography but that's another story)

  • Charles Dance is really a male Maggie Smith. Perfect at sneering and being all aristocratic and so deliciously condescending!

  • Mrs. Julien

    And hearing him read a "vanilla
    fu*kery" passage from 50 Shades was glorious. He also made a fantastic
    Maxim de Winter in a 1990s production of Rebecca. He always
    reminds me of this line from W.S. Gilbert : I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal
    primordial atomic globule. Consequently
    my family pride is something inconceivable.
    I can't help it. I was born sneering.

    It's like Dance was born to play autocratic aristocratic assholes and in Tywin he has his perfect role.

  • kirbyjay

    He was also the villain in season 2 of my guilty pleasure, Strike Back.

  • Flor

    Charles Dance reading the kinky fuckery passage made my private parts tingle and quiver. Not for the shit written, of course, but for his velvety sexy voice. Is it wrong that my inner goddess is all for including him in our freebie list, even though he could be our father?

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Oh god I totally forgot about him reading from 50 Shades. That was marvelous. He is such a good asshole.

  • Mrs. Julien

    WTF Disqus? Who am I? e.e. cummings?

  • I think we could have used a little *bang*. That said, I did enjoy Dance immensely, and agree that the Davos/Stannis/Melisandre triangle is one of the more interesting.

    Joffrey peeking out, then slamming his little windows shut was hysterical.

    As much as I enjoy watching the series come to life, there's a difficult balance that the show struggled with last season...and this episode. In trying to gather the myriad characters and storylines, they can never delve into either as much as I'd like.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    I also rather enjoyed him calling his mother "old" to her face.

  • That's what I call giving Cersei "the Baratheon treatment." Did you see that murder face she had?

  • MrsAtaxxia

    Lena Hedley gives such good bitch face, and it comes in so many flavors! I live for her.

  • Strand

    The funniest Joffrey moment for me was the pause while he was trying to recall the word 'charitable' with a straight face. The character's a little shit but the actor adds all these great Mr Burns-like quirks (re-cy-cle?)

  • The Heretic

    Solid episode, but I'm sad to see that they aren't including Strong Belwas, a great physical character, or disguising Barristan Selmy as Arstan Whitebeard (just add a ZZ top beard or something).

  • I literally finished book two (where the character is first re-introduced) hours before the season three premiere, and when I saw Selmy revealed as Whitebeard, I pumped my fist. I can't wait to read that in the book (after this season is over). I had my suspicions about such a Merlin-esque character showing up suddenly, so I was delighted to see it was much cooler than that.

  • Miss Kate

    Yeah, I was wondering how they were going to manage Selmy's reveal. Frankly, I'm glad we didn't have to wait for him to show up! With everything else going on on this show, I think they made the right decision to just get his appearance out of the way.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I loved the reveal in the books, but I think practically it just wouldn't be possible in a visual medium. With casting announcements and IMDB and even the opening credits, there's no way they'd be able to pull it off as a surprise. My only disappointment was the lack of a wooden-staff'd ass-whooping.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    Someone on Winter Is Coming suggested that with so many new characters being introduced Strong Belwas might be introduced in season five in the Meereen fighting pits.

  • Strand

    Parts of this episode were recreated faithfully like the nipple-cutting scene and the word-for-word shutdown of Tyrion by his father. Some additions were weirder, like Davos's poorly-conceived attempt at assassinating Melisandre. Hidden dagger with no patdown? they won't suspect a thing!

    I'm starting to warm up to Margeary. My casting reservation was mostly due to the fact that she's supposed to be Loras's virginal younger teen sister, not the 30 year old sexbomb Natalie Dormer. She's pulling in some great scenes though, and it makes the Margeary vs Cersei rivalry much more believable.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Watch again, the dagger was there for all to see.

  • Wednesday

    I'm a little warmer on Margaery after last night. I thought last season they sexed her up and made her too openly devious. Still, I can see why they would need to do that in the TV show simply because you can't have all the exposition it takes in the books to make her character make sense otherwise.

  • Milly

    I thought Cersei's line about Tyrion's nose was a cute wink to readers of the books (I have one book left).

  • Kristen Mc

    Just before she says that, I was complaining to my husband that in the book his nose is all but cut off (he hasn't read them).....Then Cersei said that, and shamed me for being a know it all.

  • Patricia Francisco

    If you think Aaron`s story is unbelievable..., last pay-cheque my friend's brother basically brought home $5859 putting in a fifteen hour week from there house and the're best friend's aunt`s neighbour done this for 8-months and made over $5859 in their spare time from their labtop. applie the instructions from this website, . http://www.GoogleProjectsGetPo...

  • Milly

    Hey! Referencing Aaron may spoil everything for those who haven't read the books. And even more so when you talk about his exploits of Master of Coin.

  • I agree about Margaery. I was confused by the show portraying her as someone who's manipulative; I always thought it was her mother and the Queen of Thorns were the manipulators while Margaery was a puppet a la Tommen or Myrcella. This is one of the better character clarifications the show's done so far, imo.

  • aquillia

    I really liked Margaery in the books and always thought of her as innocent, although at least self-aware about the machinations of power. I was not at all sure about Dormer as Margaery but so far I love the direction they've taken the character! Politically savvy, yes, but hopefully not to the point of insincerity. Really looking forward to Margaery vs Cersei this season...

  • PDamian

    The Margaery vs Cersei dynamic was beautifully set up in this episode. I didn't think a TV show would have the subtlety needed to show the delicate dance those two do in the books, but last night's ep was terrific, and as good an exemplar of hard vs soft power as any I've seen in any TV show. Cersei quite obviously has no understanding of soft power, and yet her instincts are good, and she can sense the forthcoming challenge. I look forward to Margaery's sub rosa, sweetly thrust shivs in future episodes. (The shivs are metaphorical -- lest anyone think I'm spoilin'.)

  • Kala

    I LOVE what they are doing with Margaery. I can't wait to watch her and Cersei plot against each other for the rest of the season. Cheers my black heart right up, it does.

  • Tinkerville

    Agreed. I think they're writing her brilliantly. I love that they're showing Margaery as someone who's calculating in her own right, but in a way that's vastly different than how Cersei views power. It brings a lot of what's implied about her character in the books to the forefront.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    When she got out of the litter and went into the orphanage I turned to my husband and said, "wow were these Highgarten kids raised right, they have some great PR." First Loras swoops in wearing Renly's armor and now Margaery is killing it on the soft power front. I love this character development from a political perspective.

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