Season three isn't coming, it's here!
Game of Thrones finally returned tonight, easily taking the prize as the best gift we received in our Easter baskets this year! And after a long, long wait, the HBO fantasy hit's premiere episode, "Valar Dohaeris," had a lot to live up to and a lot of ground to cover. Which it did in its usual epic fashion, giving us dragons, new characters and nipple-cutting. (So. Gross.)
So let's break down the season three premiere by character, shall we?
Jon Snow: The fan favorite found himself deep in enemy territory in the season opener as Ygritte (Rose Leslie) introduced him to the wildlings' leader Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), who was once a member of the Night's Watch. "If Mance Rayder likes you, you'll live another day," Ygritte tells him. "And if he don't..."
Thankfully, we don't find out what would have happened as Mance takes a liking to Jon because he killed Qhorin and he liked his reason for joining their side: The Lord Commander allowed Craster (Robert Pugh) to sacrifice his children to the White Walkers. "I want to fight for the side that fights for the living," Jon says and he's pretty convincing. Maybe too convincing for a spy.
Davos (Liam Cunningham): Poor, poor Davos and his horrible taste in "kings." Though he remains loyal to Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who has been hiding out at Dragonstone since his epic defeat at Blackwater, he finds himself a prisoner after he tries to attack Melisandre (Carice van Houten).
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): The new season is already off to a rough start for Tyrion, who is sporting a new scar on his face thanks to Blackwater. Not only was he stripped of his title (Hand of the King), his father Tywin (Charles Dance) also harshly denied him his request of Casterly Rock. "I will let myself be consumed by maggots" before letting Tyrion take over Casterly Rock, calling his son "an ill-made, spiteful little creature," one that "killed" his mother. Tywin then threatens to hang Shae (Sibel Kekilli) if he finds out Tyrion continues to see her. Way harsh, dude!
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner): The Lannisters' favorite prisoner is looking to get home and hearing offers from people, namely Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), about doing so. Fortunately, Shae is looking out for Sansa with him as we all know he can't be trusted. Also working in Sansa's favor is that Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) is too distracted by his new fiancee Margaery (Natalie Dormer) to pay her much attention anymore.
Margaery is quite clever and calculating, making sure to have Joffrey see her visiting orphans in King's Landing. She's basically a medieval politician's wife and it's awesome. Also awesome? Watching Cersei (Lena Headey) react, drink in hand, to her gentle, philanthrophic and very smart future daughter-in-law, who seems to have her brat of a son wrapped around her finger.
Robb Stark (Richard Madden): The King in the North, his new bride Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), who is still in the dog house after freeing Jaime Lanniser (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), return to Winterfell and survey the aftermath of Theon Greyjoy's (Alfie Allen) slaughter of over 200 men. Bummer times.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): Though she is less than thrilled with The Unsullied's intense and cruel methods (an Unsullied earns their shield by killing a newborn in front of its mother), Daenerys needs the soldiers, 8,000 to be exact, if she wants to take back the Iron Throne. And at least she won't mutilate them like their current owner, who cut off one of their nipples to prove a point. (Ewww!) Oh, and Lord Barristan Selmy, the Lord Commander of Robert Baratheon's Kingsguard whom Joffrey fired last season, meets up with Daenerys and pledges to join her Queensguard.
"We have to warn them…before winter's done, everyone you've ever known will be dead." —Commander Mormont
"If I wanted to kill you do you think I'd let a wooden door stop me?" —Cersei to Tyrion
"I think what you want most of all is to be a hero." —Mance Rayder
"You're a clever man, but you're not half as clever as you think you are," Cersei tells Tyrion, to which he responds, "Still makes me more clever than you."