Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 1

Valar Dohaeris (31 Mar. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
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Jon is brought before Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, while the Night's Watch survivors retreat south. In King's Landing, Tyrion asks for his reward. Littlefinger offers Sansa a way out.



("A Song of Ice and Fire" by), (creator), 3 more credits »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


Beyond the wall, those of the Night's Watch that have survived try to go south to warn everyone of what is coming. Samwell is taken to task for not having sent the ravens. Jon Snow meets Mance Raydor, the King beyond the Wall and is accepted among them. In King's Landing, Tyrion's face has healed and Cersei pays him a visit worried about what he might say about her to their father. Tyrion enlists Bronn, now a knight, to protect him. He doesn't get much satisfaction from his father who promises him better living quarters but not much else. Lady Margaery is cementing her place at court. Sansa meanwhile may have a way out of King's Landing courtesy of Lord Baelish. Davos Seaworth has survived and is rescued. He returns to Dragonstone intent on stopping Melisandre but soon finds himself in the dungeons. Robb Stark arrives at Harrenhal to find all of its occupants dead. Daenerys arrives in Astapor looking for an army. Ser Jorah tells her the Unsullied are the best fighters in the world. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

31 March 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


There is no character named Mirelle in the books. See more »


At the dinner scene with King Joffrey and his mother, Lady Margaery comments, "They tell me a hundred wagons arrive daily now from the reach." There is an audio cut where "hundred" was dubbed in; she clearly mouths thousand. See more »


Cersei Lannister: You're a clever man. But you're not half as clever as you think you are.
Tyrion Lannister: Still makes me more clever than you.
See more »


Main Title
Written by Ramin Djawadi
Performed by Czech Film Orchestra and Choir
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User Reviews

Valar Dohaeris
2 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spring is becoming my favorite time of year, because with it comes (insert winter-related clichéd pun). Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on.

Before I begin, for full disclosure, I am an avid fan of the book series, so my views and opinions on the show are somewhat biased. As such, it's impossible not to notice when major events happen differently from the books I am a junkie for, but it's part of the reason an adaptation like this is interesting to watch.

The difficulty of adapting these novels into one-hour television entrées is readily apparent. The lack of any sort of episodic nature, central plot, or main protagonist, as well as a list of characters and locales a mile long makes even recapping the events of the episode an endeavor. But as the show enters the third season, it is apparent that the producers have more than hit their stride, having a clear understanding of when to hold back, and how to focus an episode not around every character, but themes and ideas. With the failure of Stannis' major assault of King's Landing in the explosive Battle of Blackwater Bay, the players have mostly been scattered, routed, or are taking breathers after a close shave. And it's this lull in the action that gives the producers perfect opportunity to hint at the season's narrative arcs, and by all indications it's going to be leagues beyond the thoroughly enjoyable yet oftentimes unmemorable season two.

The premiere, wonderfully titled "Valar Dohaeris" as a response to the season two finale, "Valar Morghulis" (readers will know what this means), begins with an atypical cold open (get it?) several hours from where we were left with the previous finale, in which the initial appearance of the shambling white walker army petrifies the admitted cowardly Samwell Tarly. Luckily, with the start of the premiere, he has found his feet and somehow escaped from the horrors surrounding him. Before he can catch his breath however, he's set upon by one of the frosty corpses brandishing an axe, only to be saved moments before his would-be beheading by an impeccably timed dire wolf lunge, and a torch from the small group of Night's Watch survivors. Although a glimpse of the battle at the Fist of the First Men (the mountaintop where the rangers made camp) would have been greatly preferable, the scene is tense, and provides just enough action to get the blood pumping before the ever-changing opening credits.

Meanwhile still north of the wall, Jon Snow finally reaches the massive wildling camp, under watch of the way too clean and pretty looking Ygrite (seriously, where's the dirt? You live in a hut), home of the mythical giants and equally mythical Mance Rayder, "the King Beyond the Wall." In meeting Mance, Jon is treated to another look into a world of alien freedom where, although given respect, no man is beholden to a lord.

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