Season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones kicked off awesomely, if you ask me! A Storm of Swords, book 3 of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, is without a doubt one of my favorite books of all time, regardless of genre. It goes without saying then that I was almost uncomfortably feverish anticipating the season 3 premier. I wasn’t sure how the show would deal with various ideas and plot threads, but if episode 1 was any indicator, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are making some savvy decisions.
Normally, Dustin Luke Nelson, Justin Daugherty, and I will be doing roundtable-like recaps (or some kind of feature) after each episode over on the Sundog Lit. blog, but I was too excited not to get started right away!
To begin with, starting with last week’s premier, I’m glad the producers and FX teams aren’t wasting time/effort on Tyrion’s nose. It sounds like a minor detail, but the littlest Lannister lost his nose at the Battle of Blackwater in the books (as well as sustaining even more aesthetic damage) and I wasn’t sure how the show would or could pull it off believably. I read somewhere recently that, for all intents and purposes, Peter Dinklage is the face of the show and the face must have a nose! His wicked scar is good enough for me.
I was also really wondering how the show would address Ser Barristan Selmy’s character and when they revealed him. In the books, he is introduced in Astapor as Arstan Whitebeard (book 2?), a servant of Strong Belwas, and only later is he identified as Ser Barristan. The suspension of disbelief is easier in the books, but it wouldn’t have made any sense at all for Ser Barristan’s true identity to go unnoticed, especially by Jorah Mormont.
Speaking of Strong Belwas, he’s noticeably absent from the show in season 3, which is a shame because I really like him in the books! He’s not scheduled to appear in the show this season (at least according to the chatter on the interwebbings), so it’s probably safe to assume he’ll remain MIA for the HBO series. This isn’t entirely surprising given how many characters populate Martin’s books — the number is kind of staggering.
Meera and Jojen Reed of Graywater — very notably absent in season 2, in my opinion — made their appearance in last night’s second episode of season 3, which is good because I honestly have no idea how Bran’s story arc could advance without them.
One thing that the show is acing as far as I’m concerned (that we were given hints of toward the end of season 2) is Margery Tyrell’s character. In the books, her cunning is evident from the time the idea is proposed of her marrying Joffrey. Like the Lannisters, she’s a highborn, and it’s crystal clear she’s got a mind for how the game of thrones is played! In fact, Lady Margery always seems to be just a step ahead of Cersei’s conniving, and you get a few inklings of this right away in the season 3′s premier.
Things are heating up!