Game of Thrones is undoubtedly one of the best ever TV shows made (well, except the last season). Superb character arcs, memorable characters, jaw dropping action sequences, etc. it has it all. It is one of those rare shows that does justice to the novels and David Benioff and DB Weiss must be applauded for it. I can make this statement wholeheartedly since I am reading the books as well as watching the shows right now.
Currently, I am in the 3rd season and reading the 3rd book. So I thought, I would pick one scene from each of the three seasons that sets your heart racing and whistle at the end of it. Umm, if you haven't watched the show then there are spoilers ahead. So turn back. Or, if you don't mind, read on.
Season 1 - Daenerys becomes the Mother of Dragons
Daenerys Targaryen is one of the best ever written characters in the GoT series. Sold by her brother Viserys in exchange for a crown to leading an army, her character development is one of the best in the series.
In this scene, Khal Drogo, Dany's husband has just died and preparations are being made to burn his body. To make matters worse, Dany's had a stillborn child just a few days back. On the pyre, she lays the dragon eggs that she had got as a wedding gift from Ilyrio. Many people say that they are just ornamental and dismiss the notion that dragons can actually hatch from it.
But then when Drogo is burning along with the eggs as well as the maegi Mirri Maz Duur, Dany starts walking to the pyre. Ser Jorah, her trusted advisor tries to dissuade her along with other members of the Dothraki but Dany pays scant heed. She commands them to stay put and they do so as they are sworn to her. They are all devastated and rightly so, as walking into a raging fire means certain death.
Dany meanwhile is the embodiment of poise and serenity as she is walking. She is engulfed by the fire but she doesn't even utter a single sound. The Dothraki and Ser Jorah resign themselves to losing her and are tied to the place. But in the morning when the sun rises and the fire has died out, Dany is alive, covered in soot and ash, and the dragons suckling at her breast. The Dothraki and Ser Jorah fall to their knees in supplication and that is when Daenerys of House Targaryen, the Khaleesi of the Dothraki becomes the Mother of Dragons.
The impending death of Dany (for us and her people) and her people's helplessness at preventing it sets us on edge, but when we see Dany alive and well with the dragons to the accompaniment of Ramin Djawadi's score, it literally gives us goosebumps.
Season 2 - Catelyn Stark swearing to Brienne
This could seem like a bit of an odd choice considering there are war scenes in this season. This scene is one that lives true to the adage "Discretion is the better part of valour". It tells us to take a moment and think with a calm and cool head. And it is also awesome because of the two characters that are really strong, but a bit underrated (in my opinion) - Catelyn Stark and Brienne of Tarth.
Lord Renly has just died and Brienne and Catelyn are present when it happens. Since they are the only people when it happens, suspicion falls on them naturally. Brienne is distraught as she is part of Renly's Rainbow Guard but Cat helps her escape. Once they have made their escape, Brienne plans revenge on Stannis and vows to kill him right away. Cat makes her see sense by telling Brienne that she is alone while Stannis has his own guard around him.
Brienne is without a purpose and feels that Catelyn has courage. Not battle courage, but womanly courage. The showy courage that is not born out of adrenaline and skill but a silent one of steely resolve and fairness. Brienne asks Catelyn to promise that when she gets the chance to kill Stannis, Catelyn would give her leave to do so. Catelyn agrees and Brienne promises to serve her even at the cost of her life.
But after Brienne has taken her oath, things become interesting. Catelyn swears another oath. She says, "I vow that you shall always have a place in my home and at my table. And I shall ask no service of you that might bring you dishonor. I swear it by the Old Gods and the New".
First of all Catelyn didn't need to make that promise. However, she did and what a promise it is! Catelyn knows Brienne to be a woman of honor and will do anything that is asked of her. But Catelyn didn't want Brienne to feel that she is tasked with something that goes against her value systems. It takes guts to make a promise like that and shows Catelyn for what she is - a voice of reason and a woman of honor.
Season 3 - Daenerys takes over the Unsullied
Dany again, then. You might ask me if there aren't other strong characters. There are, but then Dany is a bit better than them. That's how Martin has written her.
In the course of her travels, Dany has reached Astapor from Qarth. She wants to raise an army to take over the Iron Throne and in the quest to do so she reaches Astapor. She gets to know of the valour of the Unsullied and wants to buy them. Kraznys, one of the ruling elite of the city shows Dany around with the help of Missandei, a slave translator. Dany sees that Astapor has slaves and they are mistreated by the likes of Kraznys. She itches to free them.
Throughout Kraznys speaks derogatorily of Dany and Ser Jorah in Valyrian and Missandei, out of fear doesn't translate it. Dany is mightily impressed with the Unsullied but doesn't like the idea of using slave boys to fight for her. Ser Jorah convinces her that it is a lesser evil than letting an evil person sit on the Iron Throne. She grudgingly agrees and asks the price of the Unsullied. She then understands that she doesn't have enough for all the 8000 Unsullied. So she agrees to give Kraznys her biggest dragon, Drogon, in exchange for them.
Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan plead with her not to do so but you know how Dany can be. She refuses and the day comes when Dany arrives with Drogon in the cage. All the other people in the city too come to see the dragon for themselves. She hands over Drogon and then gives commands to the Unsullied in Valyrian. Missandei is stunned at this. Meanwhile Kraznys is unable to control Drogon and tells Missandei to convey to Dany that Drogon is not listening to him.
Dany replies in chaste Valyrian and says that a dragon is not a slave to listen. Kraznys is shocked and asks her how does she know Valyrian. Dany says that Valyrian is her mother tongue. She orders the Unsullied to kill their masters but spare the children. Turning back to Kraznys, she then says "Dracarys", which is Valyrian for Dragonfire. Out comes a burst of fire from Drogon's mouth and Kraznys is set on fire. Meanwhile there is pandemonium everywhere with the Unsullied following Dany's orders and Drogon starts setting fire to everything. At that moment, Dany with the fire raging behind her is destruction personified.
The reason this scene is mind-blowing because it accomplishes many things at once - Dany gets a fierce army, she kills the cruel masters, Drogon gets his first big fireball and, oh, unadulterated satisfaction. Satisfaction at seeing scum like Kraznys burn. Beat that.
Well then, do let us know what your top three scenes from Seasons 1 to 3 are. Geros Ilas, until next time.