Spring is Here, but Winter is Coming:

Game of Thrones Returns for Season 3

GoTGame of Thrones opened its third season Sunday night with “Valar Dohaeris.” The title of the episode translates to “all men must serve” from the language of Braavos.

Send a raven to all corners of the realm- Season three is off to a fast start and I’m already counting the hours until the second episode airs.

The 9:00 pm premiere was picked up by 4.4 million viewers, according to, which is a record for the original airing of any episode. After two replays at 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm, the show totaled 6.7 million viewers, despite competing with the third season finale of The Walking Dead.

The beautiful sights that we have grown accustomed to are back. The vast frozen land of the wildling camp, the beautiful view of Blackwater Bay from the heights of King’s Landing, and the scenic shores of Astapor in the east prove that we are in for a visual treat all season long.

As great as the scenery is, the plot is what keeps HBO as rich as a Lannister.

North of the Wall, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and the Night’s Watch, along with Jon’s direwolf Ghost, burn a white walker and realize that winter is FINALLY coming (We’ve been waiting for it since Ned Stark (Sean Bean) said the Stark words in the first episode of the series). The Lord Commander (James Cosmo) warns that, if the white walkers are not stopped, “Everyone you’ve ever known will be dead.”

Farther north, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) comes face-to-face with Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Ciaran Hinds plays the deserter of the Night’s Watch. He left the sworn brotherhood and headed north to join the wildlings because he didn’t agree with the vows that go along with taking the black. Rayder has united the Free Folk and plans to march to the Wall and go to the southern side.

Jon’s courtesies do not matter in the wildling camp. Along with giants that stand more than twice as tall as normal men, the Free Folk don’t like seeing a crow walk among them. Mance isn’t sure whether he should accept Jon into the camp, because “What you (Jon) want most is to be a hero.”

Traveling south to the capital, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has plenty to sort through in King’s Landing. The chess match he has been playing with his sister and Queen, Cersei (Lena Headey), continues, as she is concerned with what Tyrion wants to tell their powerful father.

Tywin (Charles Dance), the patriarch of the Lannister family, has always been ashamed of his dwarf son. The victory on Blackwater Bay has not changed a thing. Tyrion requests a few things from his father, and he gets a response that he will not forget. Tywin shows why the Lannister words are “Hear me roar.”

The two male lions provide the best scene of “Valar Dohaeris.” Dinklage, as he did the first two seasons, plays George R.R. Martin’s Tyrion as perfectly as possible. The emotion on his face and in his words, as well as his ability to make the audience cheer for him, is never more evident than it is in his meeting with his father. I was barely able to stay in my comfortable throne and keep from slicing Tywin’s throat open with Valyrian steel.

Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) is making her presence known in King’s Landing. In one trip to Flea Bottom, she made more of an impact than King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) has in two seasons on the Iron Throne.

Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) has been on an island since the battle, and he was finally rescued and brought back to Dragonstone, where Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) has been a broken man since he was defeated at King’s Landing. The only person he sees is the red woman, Melisandre (Carice van Houten). She has been burning anyone who speaks against the Lord of Light to death. Seaworth seeks to set Stannis straight.

The King in the North, Robb Stark (Richard Madden), arrives at Harrenhal with his army. They find the cursed city abandoned, and filled with dead northerners. He finds one man that is still breathing and will surely use him to find out what has happened.

On the other side of the world, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) are on a ship heading for Astapor. Her dragons are no longer cute little creatures. The greatest weapons that the realm has ever seen are growing fast and no longer need their mother to feed them. They will need to keep growing for the Khaleesi to rule the realm.

“The Whore of Westeros” will need an army as well, perhaps an army that has no need for unnecessary nipples. The Mother of Dragons may even find the greatest warrior of the Seven Kingdoms, who is revealed much sooner than he was in the book, “A Storm of Swords.”

If you read this on Wednesday at noon, there are only 105 hours left until the HBO series lights up televisions, laptops and social media across the realm like wildfire.