Valar Dohaeris (TV)

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Valar Dohaeris
Game of Thrones
Episode # Season 3, Episode 1
Airdate March 31, 2012
Director Daniel Minahan
Episode chronology
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"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 premiere continues where the second season left off, with the Lannisters consolidating their power at King's Landing in the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater. Meanwhile, Jon meets the "King beyond the Wall," and Daenerys leaves Qarth for Slaver's Bay.

The episode's title translates to "all men must serve" in the High Valyrian language in 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 attack the Night's Watch force and leave only a small number of survivors. 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). The Lord Commander reprimands Samwell for failing to send ravens south to warn of the incoming army and orders the survivors to head back to the wall.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington), still a prisoner of Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and the wildlings, arrives at the wildling camp and is escorted to meet with Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds). When brought to his tent, Jon initially mistakes Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) for the King Beyond The Wall, but Mance reveals himself to Jon and questions Jon’s motives for deserting the Night's Watch. Jon earns Mance's approval by describing his horror and disgust after discovering that Craster gave his baby sons to the White Walkers, and that the Lord Commander knew but did nothing.

In King's Landing

In King's Landing, newly knighted Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn) has returned to Tyrion's (Peter Dinklage) service, for a much higher fee. Tyrion, who has been scarred since the Battle of Blackwater, has been shut in recluse ever since his father arrived to take the glory for the defeat of Stannis’ army. Tyrion's sister, Cersei(Lena Headey), visits Tyrion and questions what he will say to their father upon seeing him. When meeting with Lord Tywin (Charles Dance), who has taken over the role of Hand of the King, Tywin reluctantly agrees to Tyrion's request for recognition of his accomplishments during the Battle of the Blackwater. However, when pressed by Tyrion to name him heir to Casterly Rock, the Lannister ancestral home, Tywin refuses, and viciously insults Tyrion, calling him an embarrassment and a penance that he must suffer.

Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) approaches Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who is still being accompanied by Shae (Sibel Kekilli). Petyr informs Sansa that he is in negotiations to take a role that would remove him from King's Landing. He offers to smuggle her out if Sansa can keep quiet about the plan. Ros (Esme Bianco) is careful to tell Shae to watch out for Sansa's well-being, especially when dealing with Lord Baelish.

King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Lady Margaery(Natalie Dormer) travel through Flea Bottom in a caravan where the lady stops and exits her carriage and goes to an orphanage to comfort the children. Joffrey, meanwhile, hides in his carriage with the windows shut. At dinner with the Tyrells and Cersei, Joffrey trades veiled insults with his mother.

In Blackwater Bay and at Dragonstone

Davos(Liam Cunningham) is stranded on a rock in the bay outside King’s Landing after his ship was destroyed in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. He is picked up by a ship belonging to his old friend, the pirate Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati). Davos recounts seeing his son, Matthos, die. Salladhor tells Davos that Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is in seclusion at Dragonstone, and that Melisandre (Carice van Houten) is burning people alive at his castle and she is the only one Stannis will speak to. Davos convinces Salladhor to drop him off there, intending to stop Melisandre influencing Stannis by assassinating her; he is given an audience with Stannis where he is shocked to discover his king and friend is indifferent to his survival and refuses to send Melisandre away. Melisandre insinuates to Davos that it is his fault the battle was lost, since he convinced Stannis to leave her behind and thus prevented Melisandre from using her magic to influence the battle's outcome. When she mentions his son, Davos loses his temper and tries to attack her, though the guards restrain him and Stannis orders him thrown in the dungeons.

At Harrenhal

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) has arrived at Harrenhal, where he wishes to fight Lannister troops. Upon entering the castle, however, it is discovered that Gregor Clegane has left it abandoned and over 200 Stark prisoners are found slaughtered and mutilated. Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) gives sympathy to a still-grieving Lord Karstark (w:John Stah|lohn Stahl) who expresses his frustration that Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) let Jaime Lannister go. Bolton assures Karstark that Jaime will be found soon, as his best hunter is after them. Robb stumbles across a survivor among the dead, a man named Qyburn (Anton Lesser).

Across the Narrow Sea

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has arrived at Astapor in Slaver’s Bay and is considering buying renowned eunuch slave soldiers, the "Unsullied". She and Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) witness a brutal demonstration of their fortitude, but Daenerys is horrified to hear of the gruesome training they endure, and their "graduation" by killing an infant in front of its mother. Upon walking throughout a nearby market, a warlock, masked as a young girl attempts to assassinate Daenerys with a manticore, but is thwarted by a cloaked Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney), who swears his allegiance to her.


"Valar Dohaeris" introduces the Irish actor Ciarán Hinds as the Wildling leader and Night's Watch deserter Mance Rayder, one of the latest Season 3 roles to be cast. The producers explained that casting Mance was a great challenge because he was someone who had become "King beyond the Wall" not by birthright but by convincing all the tribes to unite under his leadership. They had to find an actor with the charisma required to portray this. Unusual for a production such as Game of Thrones, the first scene Hinds filmed was the first one where his character appears: the meeting with Jon Snow at his tent.

The season premiere also marks the first appearance of guest stars Kristofer Hivju as the Wildling Tormund Giantsbane, Nathalie Emmanuel as the slave 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 has played a White Walker in the first season and was recast as the huge Ser Gregor Clegane in the second, appears in the episode as the giant seen in the wildlings 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 sequence.