The Game Changes
My 7 Favorite Moments from Game of Thrones, Season 3
As Game of Thrones entered its third season, the War of the Five Kings was well underway, and the field was always shifting. Renly Baratheon was dead, while his brother lost his chance at the Iron Throne. Sansa was still a prisoner in King’s Landing, but no longer engaged to King Joffrey. The North was in chaos thanks to the Ironborn, while Daenerys sought an army to take the Iron Throne. On top of that, the White Walkers were not only real, but they getting stronger with each passing day, yet no one in the Seven Kingdoms noticed.
Season Three gave us some of the show’s best moments, and by the end of is, a good chunk of the cast would be written off the board. With five days remaining until the beginning of the end, here are my 7 favorite moments from Season Three.
#7- Sam Kills a White Walker, “Second Sons”
I talked about this in my counterpart to this post, so I will just say why I like it. I like Sam. He could stand to lose some pounds, sure, but he’s got one of the biggest hearts of anyone on this show. And when people need him the most, he’s always stepped up. And he ends up being more of a fighter than people give him credit for. I hope he and Gilly get to spend the rest of their days together, oaths or not.
#6- Jaime Loses his Sword Hand, “Walk of Punishment”
After being held captive by Robb Stark for more than a year or so, Jaime Lannister found himself a free man. Catelyn Stark entrusted Brienne of Tarth to get him to King’s Landing in exchange for Sansa’s freedom. At the start of Season Three, though, the pair were captured by Bolton soldiers. When Jaime tried to defend Brienne from being assaulted, the soldier’s leader responded by cutting of Jaime’s sword hand.
The loss of his sword hand marked a key moment in Jaime’s character development. Much of his identity was tied with him being the best swordsman in Westeros. While he did re-learn how to use a sword, everyone knew that he wasn’t as strong as before. This experience greatly humbled Jaime, though, setting him on the road from being the arrogant jerk he started off as to the hero he would become.
#5- Podrick the Sex God, “Walk of Punishment”
Podrick Payne may not be the smartest, strongest, or bravest fighter in Westeros, but his good-nature and honesty have won him a lot of good friends. After saving Tyrion’s life during the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion decides to thank him by giving him a reward: getting him laid at a brothel. To Tyrion and Bronn’s surprise, he comes back with the money he gave Pod: they did it for free.
I found this scene to be both hilarious and fascinating at the same time. Somehow, Podrick is so good at pleasing women that they refused payment. It also reminded of the only other guy in fiction that I know of that can satisfy women to that extent. Granted, he ends up doing it in his sleep, but he’s good-natured like Podrick.
#4- “Chaos is a Ladder” “The Climb”
Littlefinger and Varys are the two biggest spymasters in the entire show, with eyes and ears virtually everywhere in the show. Yet they both have different motives behind their actions: Varys works for the good of the people of the Seven Kingdoms, while Littlefinger works to gain power for himself. As the two verbally spar in the throne room over the nature of the realm and chaos, Littlefinger delivers a monologue on how “chaos is a ladder” that anyone can use to gain more power. Not everyone succeeds, but those who do will be rewarded for the climb.
We all knew Littlefinger was the last person you’d want to trust, but his motives were never made clear before now. This monologue showed how he has used the War of the Five Kings to gain more power for himself: by causing trouble, then letting everyone else tear each other apart over it. This ends up foreshadowing future revelations that Littlefinger is responsible for more of the events of the show than people realize.
What makes this scene so great is what happens towards the end. As Baelish continues his speech, we then cut to the dead body of his prostitute Ros, killed by Joffrey for spying for Varys. This scene is then immediately followed by the sight of Ygritte and Jon Snow’s group climbing up an abandoned section of the Wall. Driving the metaphor home with a literal example of a difficult climb was an amazing story-telling decision.
#3- Olenna Tyrell’s First Appearance, “Dark Wings, Dark Words”
After Margaery becomes engaged to Joffrey, her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, comes to King’s Landing to help oversee the preparations for their wedding. One of the first things she does, though, is speak with Sansa to learn more about what Joffrey’s like. After initial hesitation out of fear of being overheard, Sansa comes out and admits the truth: Joffrey’s a monster. Olenna is unsurprised, just disappointed
From the moment we first see her, I had one thought about Olenna Tyrell: “Man, she is sassy as hell. Holy cow, I like her!” Cunning and witty to a fault, Olenna’s everything that Cersei Lannister wishes she could be: someone who’s good at the game of thrones. I can’t tell how many times a sharp remark from her made me smile. She may not have been on the show as much as others, but she was one of the best players the game had to offer.
#2- Jaime Admits the Truth, “Kissed by Fire”
Throughout Game of Thrones, Jaime Lannister was more commonly known by his moniker “Kingslayer”. He got it for breaking his Kingsguard oath and killing King Aerys Targaryen, but his reason was left unclear. After being humbled by his time in captivity and the loss of his sword hand, Jaime admits to Brienne the truth.
When it became apparent that Robert’s Rebellion was going to succeed, the Mad King ordered his pyromancers to place wildfire underneath King’s Landing. He planned to burn everyone and everything in King’s Landing; he thought he would be reborn from the ashes as a dragon. Jaime, horrified, chose to put an end to the Mad King before he commit genocide.
For me, this moment made me rethink my opinion of Jaime. Don’t get me wrong, his winning personality and sleeping with his sister wasn’t doing him any favors. A knight breaking their oaths is a serious crime in Westeros. But given that Aerys was planning to kill hundreds of thousands of people, I think that Jaime was justified in killing him, saving all those people in the process.
From then on, my initial hatred of Jaime turned into a grudging respect as he began to transition from being the villain we first saw into someone willing to defy his sister to do what’s right and protect the Seven Kingdoms. If Westeros survives the Great War, I hope people will come to see him as a hero. He’s made a lot of mistakes, but he’s more of a knight than most of the people in the show.
#1- The Red Wedding, “The Rains of Castamare”
I don’t think I need to explain anything about this choice, or what happened. Even before I started watching the show, I had heard about the infamous Red Wedding. There have been references to it and parodies in pop culture by who knows how many people. Whenever I see something similar about to happen in fiction, I call it “A Red Wedding Scenario”. This was easily the most important scene from Season Three.
What’s more, the impact of this scene would have a long-reaching impact on the show and House Stark. They lost Winterfell for years, and any members that weren’t already running had to go into hiding. It would be another three seasons before the Starks got their justice for this horrific event, and it would be glorious.
Do you agree with my picks? What were your favorite moments from Season Three that didn’t make it on this list? Let me in the comments below!
Click here to see my six favorite deaths from Season Three. The number one pick will not surprise you.
Awesome list! I would have included Jaime rescuing Brienne from the bear pit too. It’s another important step in his turnaround.