“What do I want? A little bloody gratitude would be a start.” – Tyrion Lannister
The first hour of “Game of Thrones” catches up with many of the characters finding out what their value is to those around them. This, in the case of Tyrion and Davos, turns out to be far less than they thought their service had earned.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has grown a great deal since the beginning of the series. First seen as the black sheep of the family who did little but drink wine and bed whores, last season saw Tyrion step into a position of power and successfully defend the capital against Stannis’ army. “I bled in the mud for our family,” Tyrion tells his father before asking for his inheritance as his reward. A request his father denies, telling his son that he is an embarrassment to the family that is responsible for killing his mother during birth. Charles Dance does a terrific job as Tywin Lannister, coldly believable as the toxin that has poisoned his whole family.
In our other extended check-in this first episode, Davos Seaworth returns from the dead to find his king, Stannis, falling further under the spell of the Red Priestess. Last seen being blown to sea in the battle of Blackwater, Davos is rescued and makes his way back home (minus about half a hand) to find his king conducting human sacrifices. His reward for attempting to stop this madness is to be locked in the dungeons by his longtime friend.
It is not doom and gloom for everyone, however, both Daenerys and Margaery are already preparing for their new roles as women of power. Margaery, as the future queen is already winning the favor of her new subjects (and a few shifty glances from her mother-in-law). And Daenerys is purchasing an army, ready to storm the capital and reclaim her family throne.
A fairly sprawling premier for Game of Thrones, no characters get too much story this week. Many characters, including Arya, Bran, Theon and Jamie, do not even appear at all. Up in the North, we only get a few minutes with Jon Snow, who finally meets the much discussed Mance Rayder and sees his first giant. The Night’s Watch, meanwhile, are racing to warn the rest of the world about the return of the white walkers. A great start to what looks to be “Game of Thrones” most interesting season yet.