Valar Dohaeris (TV)

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Valar Dohaeris
Game of Thrones
Episode # Season 3, Episode 1
Airdate March 31, 2013
Director Daniel Minahan
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Valar Morghulis
Season 2"
"Dark Wings, Dark Words"
List of Game of Thrones episodes

"Valar Dohaeris" is the third season premiere of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 21st episode of the series. Written by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and directed by Daniel Minahan, it aired on March 31, 2013. The episode won an award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects at the 2013 Emmy Awards.[1]

The premiere continues where the second season left off. Samwell Tarly is rescued by his surviving brothers. Jon Snow meets the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Tyrion Lannister comes out of seclusion to confront his father. Margaery Tyrell sets out to win the love of the smallfolk. Cersei Lannister worries she is losing control of King Joffrey. Petyr Baelish offers Sansa Stark a chance at escape. King Robb Stark finds Harrenhal abandoned. Davos Seaworth returns to Dragonstone to save King Stannis from Melisandre. Daenerys Targaryen inspects the Unsullied slave-soldiers of Astapor.

The episode's title translates to "All men must serve," in the High Valyrian language of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, which the series adapts. The title mirrors that of season 2's finale, "Valar Morghulis" – "All men must die."


Beyond the Wall

The White Walkers and their army of wights overwhelm the Night's Watch force on the Fist of the First Men. During the subsequent blizzard, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) is attacked by a wight, but is saved by the direwolf Ghost and Lord Commander Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo) with his few dozen survivors. The Lord Commander reprimands Sam for failing to send ravens south to warn of the incoming army and announces they must make it back to the Wall to warn Westeros of the coming threat.

Meanwhile, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is escorted through the wildling camp by his captors Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and the Lord of Bones (Edward Dogliani). As they enter the camp, Jon is dumbfounded by the sight of a real-life giant (Ian Whyte) and jeered by the wildling children. When he enters the tent of the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Jon kneels to Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), mistaking him for Mance Rayder. The real Mance (Ciarán Hinds), an unassuming man sitting in a corner, questions Jon's motives for deserting the Night's Watch. After several unsatisfactory answers, Jon earns Mance's approval by describing his disgust that Lord Commander Mormont did nothing to stop Craster sacrificing his sons to the White Walkers.

In King's Landing

Newly-knighted Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn) returns to Tyrion Lannister's (Peter Dinklage) service for a much higher fee. Tyrion has been reclusive since being badly scarred in an assassination attempt during the Battle of the Blackwater. He fears his sister Cersei (Lena Headey) was behind the attack, and she makes it clear that she fears what Tyrion might tell their father, Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), who has taken up office as Hand of the King.

During his meeting with his father, Tyrion presses his father to reward his contributions and acknowledge his birthright as heir to Casterly Rock, since his brother Jaime set aside his claim when he joined the Kingsguard. Tywin agrees that Tyrion will receive a suitable chamber, position, and (eventual) wife, but neither gods nor men will compel him to "turn Casterly Rock into [Tyrion's] whorehouse." When Tyrion asks why, Tywin showers him with hatred and abuse, blaming him for his mother's death and calling him an embarrassment and a penance he must endure.

Meanwhile, Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) informs Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) that he is negotiating a project to take him away from King's Landing. He offers to smuggle her out if she can keep quiet about the plan. At the same time, Baelish's assistant Ros (Esme Bianco) warns Sansa's handmaiden Shae (Sibel Kekilli) to watch out for Sansa when dealing with Baelish.

Elsewhere, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Lady Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) are returning from Baelor's Sept via Flea Bottom when Margaery stops the procession to visit an orphanage and distribute bread and toys. Joffrey remains hidden in his palanquin, and seems genuinely confused when Margaery emerges with the orphan's adoration.

That night, Joffrey and Cersei dine with Margaery and her brother Ser Loras (Finn Jones). Cersei criticizes Margaery by pointing out her charity work took place on the same streets where rioters recently killed several of the royal party. Trying to portray himself as brave, Joffrey argues that there was no danger and Margaery knows what she was doing. Defeated, Cersei agrees that Margaery knows what she is doing, but her tone hints at doubts about the Tyrell motives.

In Blackwater Bay

Having miraculously survived the loss of his ship, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) is rescued from a rocky spar in Blackwater Bay by his old friend Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati). Salladhor tells him that King Stannis (Stephen Dillane) has retreated to Dragonstone, but will see no one but the priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who is burning her dissenters alive. Davos insists on returning there to kill Melisandre.

Upon his arrival, Davos finds Stannis brooding and blames Melisandre for leading him astray. Melisandre argues that it was Davos who argued she be sent where her magic could not protect the thousands who burned to death, including Davos' own son Matthos. At the mention of his son, Davos flies into a rage and tries to stab Melisandre, but the guards restrain him and Stannis orders him thrown in the dungeon.

At Harrenhal

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) arrives at Harrenhal, but finds Ser Gregor Clegane has been abandoned the castle and slaughtered 200 prisoners of war. Lord Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) gives sympathy to a still-grieving Lord Rickard Karstark (John Stahl), who remains frustrated that Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) let Jaime Lannister go. Bolton assures Karstark that his best hunter is after Jaime as they speak. After consigning his mother to a cell, Robb discovers a lone survivor named Qyburn (Anton Lesser).

In Slaver's Bay

After fleeing Qarth, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) arrives in Astapor on Slaver's Bay. Her three dragons are growing fast, but they are not yet large enough to conquer Westeros alone, so she must have an army. Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) notes that the elite eunuch-soldiers of Astapor, known as the Unsullied, are renowned as the finest in the world, but Daenerys stresses they are slave-soldiers, an important distinction. However, without any better idea, Daenerys agrees to consider it.

An Unsullied dealer named Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand) gives them a brutal demonstration of his soldier's fortitude, with his slave girl Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) translating for him. However, Daenerys is horrified to learn the final test of an Unsullied is to kill an infant slave in front of its mother and pay the owner. Kraznys says he has 8,000 for sale, but she must decide quickly.

Ser Jorah argues that they should purchase the Unsullied, since she will treat them better than most. As they walk, a hooded figure in black begins following them. Then a warlock disguised as a young girl attempts to assassinate Daenerys with a venomous manticore, but is thwarted by the hooded figure. Removing his hood, Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) begs her forgiveness for failing House Targaryen during the War of the Usurper and hails her the true queen, asking for a place in her Queensguard.


"Valar Dohaeris" introduces the Irish actor Ciarán Hinds as the Night's Watch deserter and King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder, one of the last Season 3 roles to be cast. The producers explained that it was a great challenge to find an actor with the charisma to portray someone who became "King-beyond-the-Wall" not by birthright, but by convincing all the tribes to unite under his leadership. Unusual for a production such as Game of Thrones, the first scene Hinds filmed was also his character's introduction: the meeting with Jon Snow at his tent.

The season premiere also marks the first appearance of guest stars Kristofer Hivju as the wildling leader Tormund Giantsbane, Nathalie Emmanuel as the slave translator Missandei, and Anton Lesser as the wounded prisoner Qyburn. The three castings were announced at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2012.

After being absent for the entire second season, Ian McElhinney returns as Ser Barristan Selmy. Actor Ian Whyte (7 ft 1 in /2.16 m), who played a White Walker in the first season and the huge Ser Gregor Clegane in the second, appears in the episode as the giant seen in the wildling camp.

Oona Chaplin and Rose Leslie, who play Robb's wife Talisa and wildling Ygritte respectively, have been upgraded to the main cast and are now both credited in the opening titles.

Main cast members Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), are not credited and do not appear in this episode.

Character List


Differences from the books

The episode captures roughly A Storm of Swords chapters 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 23.

The follwing scenes do no appear in the books:

  • Sam being rescued by Ghost
  • Robb Stark's presence in Harrenhal
  • Cersei confronting Tyrion before he meets with Lord Tywin
  • Petyr Baelish offering to help Sansa escape
  • Ros warning Shae to protect Sansa.
  • Margaery Tyrell in Flea Bottom.
  • The Tyrells dining with Joffrey and Cersei

In the books Barristan Selmy rescues Daenerys in Qarth, not in Astapor.[2] In the books it is Dontos Hollard who offers his help to Sansa on the command of Petyr Baelish.[3]

Cersei mentions rumours that Tyrion lost his nose, an obvious reference to the more serious injury Tyrion suffers in the novels.

References and notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Valar Dohaeris. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Valar Dohaeris. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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