Game of Thrones is back
Spoiler alert: this talks about plot points of season 3 episode 1
Spirits soared higher than those ever-growing dragons as Game of Thrones finally returned to our screens - and just a matter of hours behind US audiences.
So what did we learn? And was the episode all it was cracked up to be? There is, as ever in the land of Westeros, much to discuss (Spoiler alert: for those that haven't watched the episode yet, firstly, what are you waiting for?, secondly, come back tomorrow for a full-length recap, and thirdly, what are you waiting for?)
Daenerys escaped Qarth - notably by sea in her new boat - but couldn't quite get out of the reach of the pesky warlocks. Did they not see her dragons? Some people never learn.
Speaking of dragons, the sole remaining Targaryen heir is hungry for the iron throne and those dragons, while majestic, just aren't growing fast enough (they sure are good to watch though). It's time to search for an army methinks. Preferably the kind that willingly removes sensitive body parts without question (the hint is at the top: ouch!).
Stannis Baratheon is licking his wounds, with the help of the red witch, after his failure to reclaim King's Landing. Davos, who miraculously survived the battle of Blackwater, heads back to the side of his friend foolishly hoping to usurp Melisandre. He instead gets a huge serving of I Told You So. I hate to say it Davos, but I told you so. To be fair I was shouting at the screen so perhaps you didn't hear me.
In what will surely go down as one of television's great put downs, Tyrion cops a serve from his father Tywin. "You ask that? You who killed your mother to come into the world? You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust and low-cunning. Men's laws give you the right to bear my name and display my colours since I cannot prove that you are not mine. To teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about wearing that proud lion that was my father's sigil and his father's before him. But neither gods nor men will ever compel me to watch you turn Casterly Rock into a whore house."
I guess it was too much to ask for a job well done. On the positive side, at least he kept his nose.
But what next for Tyrion? He will finally be released from the burden of pleasing his father but, as he said, he rather likes his life at King's Landing. Hopefully the eunuch Lord Varys has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Robb Stark frankly is almost too dull to talk about. Not even banishing his mother Catelyn to a cell is enough to keep him interesting. I hope his new love is taking note though, what a guy!
Daenerys has already attracted one committed, perhaps overly so, male guardian but the series return saw her pick up another. Can we expect friction ahead?
Sansa has also unwittingly picked up a guardian in the shape of Lord Baelish. I don't know about you but the chief pimp of King's Landing doesn't strike me as the ideal protector for a naive teenager. I can't wait to find out what Catelyn will make of this, but for now, ick.
Sansa's younger sister Arya has also attracted a creepy male assassin/guardian, of sorts. She has shaken him off for now but one wonders for how long.
Joffrey's new love interest takes her place by his side. Both Joffrey and Cersei don't know what they are getting in for with this one. Poor Margery doesn't know either but it looks like she might have the people on her side. This will be a fun one to watch.
Missing in action
Brienne and Jaime Lannister are presumably out wandering the woods together, hopefully she is slaying cruel men. Slowly, of course.
Last but not least
Jon Snow has been adopted by yet another group. To be honest I don't really care about his call for vengeance right now, he seems too out of his depth to be taken seriously, but I do want to see Ygritte having more fun with him. Let's face it, he's in desperate need of a good time.
Oh, and the giant was really cool.
Sydney Morning Herald