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article imageReview: 3rd season of Game of Thrones begins with battle for respect Special

By David Silverberg     Apr 2, 2013 in Entertainment
The HBO hit show Game of Thrones returned Sunday night with ambitious warriors and royals hungry to form alliances, win respect and amass armies. WARNING: Spoiler alert for fans who didn't see the March 31 episode.
The continents of Westeros and Essos are in turmoil as conflicts from Season Two begin to sow new seeds.
Jon Snow is brought to Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, as the “pup” that killed Qhorin Halfhand, the infamous ranger of the Night Watch. Rayder thanks Snow in a half-hearted way, asks him why he'd be a traitor to join his ragtag crew of scavengers and fighters. Snow admits he wants to be on the right side of this battle.
In this scene, we also get a glimpse of a giant working with this camp. It's a stunning entrance, adding a nice dash of magic and wonder to an episode with very few new characters.
Over at King’s Landing, Margaery Tyrell adds a soft touch in comparison to the cold-hearted attitude of the Lannisters. Miles away from the cowardly Joffrey, who travels through the streets of the city stuck in a box, Margaery literally isn’t afraid of getting her feet dirty. She skips through muddied water to visit an orphanage of children who lost their parents in the recent battle. It's obvious Margaery and the Queen will butt heads, as one displays soft power while another remains steely and calculating.
Turning to the former hand-of-the-King, Tyrion is hoping for “a little bloody gratitude” for his deeds at Blackwater, approaching his father to demand respect. And some land. Tywin denies his son any gifts, disparaging him for killing his mother during childbirth. You can tell Tyrion is hurt deeply by the words, as we see another excellent acting turn by the talented Peter Dinklage.
Meanwhile, Robb Stark saw the destruction of Harrenhal and the slaughter of two hundred Northmen, and is now looking even even harder for a fight. He's no softie; he says his mother is traitor for releasing Jaime Lannister, and makes sure soldiers keep a watchful eye on her.
Finally, we learn more about Dany and her dragons, and those creatures are now growing fast and frying fish and swallowing them in one smooth move. She's considering buying 8,000 hardcore eunuch warriors to fill out her army as she moves across the Narrow Sea to claim the Throne she rightly believes is hers. We get another glimpse of warlock magic trying to ensnare her, but a new friend comes in to save her life.
The first episode of the third season provided powerful tension without being cliche. We see where this season will progress, especially with Robb's newfound coldness steeling his nerves, and Tyrion's demotion perhaps fostering a new menace to wreck havoc on a family who disrespects him. It will be interesting to see how Jamie plays a role in this season, as he was MIA in the first episode.
Stay tuned, GOT fans!
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