And we’re back in Westeros after what seems like many years of waiting! The show is back and we are reunited with our favorite cast.

Kicking it off, we are thrown right back into the snowy lands North of the wall. Sam Tarly gets his ass saved by Ghost after being chased down by a wight walker. Thank god he’s there, since Jon clearly is off with Ygritte. I feel like generally everyone should be worried about what is north of the wall, because that shit is crazy. But they aren’t, and the best thing the Night’s Watch can do is warn them and hope they listen. Jon makes his way up to the Wildlings with Ygritte, in order to meet Mance Rayder. The Wildling camp gives the impression of a nomadic tribe of people, hardened by the winter. They even have their own giants. He’s heckled and stoned for being a Crow of the Wall, but his intentions seem worthy enough for Mance. There are a few hints at the romance that is blossoming between Ygritte and Jon, but for the most part it’s Jon staring with his mouth in the shape of a befuddled o and Ygritte smirking and threatening his life. For now, it seems,  things are a lot less complicated in the North than in Westeros.

In King’s Landing, Tyrion is still healing from his scar at Blackwater. Having been forgotten in a small chamber after Tywin arrived to take back his place as the Hand of the King, he’s left very little for his youngest son. Meeting his father, Tyrion demands that he be given his birthright of Casterly Rock, since Jamie is a member of the Kingsguard, a group that can never marry nor inherit. Slapped away by his father with cruel words, we see just how bad Tywin can get with Tyrion. We’ve always seen his cunning side, his protective side, his frugal side, but this is the side that we’ve known has existed but were never shown. The hatred he has for his own son is hard to believe and yet not at the same time. All I can say is that I hope everything goes according to the book on this one.

In the streets of the city we find Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey. I have to say, despite knowing she’s ambitious and cunning as hell, I thought Margaery’s actions were clever. We all see Cersei aware of the threat she has. Sansa is easy to control, but Margaery is aware of the courtly life. Her kindness to the orphans bring up the people’s spirits, no matter her true meaning behind the actions. At the very least, the kids got fed that day. We see Joffrey, easy to manipulate as always, bend his attention to her as the Tyrells attempt to rise again from the ashes of their alliance with gay Renly (sorry, I had to).

On the docks, Sansa and Shea sit watching the ships pass by, and we see just how much Sansa wants to leave. She imagines lands far away and fantasizes their beauty in order to escape the ugliness she is presented in King’s Landing. When Petyr Baelish, Littlefinger, comes to see her, she’s all to eager at the idea of leaving the capital and going with him. Unbeknownst to her, but obvious to us, he’s got some ulterior motives. Man, wouldn’t you say Sansa looks a lot like her mother?

Somewhere on a rock, we find Sir Davos, fingertip-less and burnt by fire. He manages to wake up and call over the ships of Sallandhor. He’s warned by his friend not to return back to Stannis, as he’s been manipulated by Melisandre and is now burning disloyal soldiers alive with fire. Despite his friend’s warnings, he returns back to Dragonstone to his one true king only to be rejected by him. Stannis has aged and his judgement seems to be failing. He’s no longer the war hardy man he once was, and Davos knows it’s because of the mother of demons, Melisandre. Unable to speak his mind, he’s taken away by guards to be imprisoned.

A short trip down to Harrenhall and we find the remaining Stark armies, lead by Robb who comes back to a smoldering ruin. Robb imprisons Catelyn for releasing Jamie with Brienne, but not much is shown. As one of the more pivotal parts of the story, I was sad to see them show so little of it. But, there’s always next week. Plus, those of us who know, it’s probably best we drag this on as long as possible, delay the inevitable.

Finally, across the sea, we go to the slaving city of Astapor (which is also a new location on the intro map). Daenyrs sails across the ocean with her horde of Dothraki, Ser Jorah, and her three (much larger) dragons. The travel across the sea is pretty arduous for the horde, who have never been on ships, so they spend most of the trip seasick. Which is both hilarious to me and dangerous for Dany who probably needs her horde at their best when facing foreigners. So they arrive at Slaver’s bay and are met with a slaver of the Unsullied, a eunuch slave army who are brutally trained from childhood and must kill a newborn baby in front of their mother in order to finish their training and become a soldier. The Astaporian slaver is rude and demeaning to Dany in his own language, and demonstrates the Unsullied’s loyalty by cutting off one of the man’s nipples as he stands there motionless. Suddenly, I’m craving the crazy battle for the crown over in Westeros. But Jorah counsels Dany that it is a necessary evil, and that the Unsullied are great warriors. Distracted by a small girl, Dany narrowly escapes another assassination as the girl is revealed to be a servant from the warlocks in Quarth. Her life is saved by none other than Barristan Selmy, the kingsguard to her father and then to Robert.

Personally, I found the episode to be a lackluster one. Of course, I was excited for a new episode and this fed my need for one, but it felt very disjointed. The pick up from the end of Blackwater was a little slow, so I understand that they need to re-establish everything before they move forward. The massive amount of characters of the show need to be slowly reintroduced, which might put a hindrance on the pacing as far as the pilot goes. Next week, we get a look at the other half of characters, like Arya, Bran, some more Robb, Jamie, and Brienne. So stay tuned! Also give us your comments and opinions below! We love to discuss!

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