16 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 Moments You've Probably Totally Forgotten About
If I asked you to sum up the HBO's Game Of Thrones Season 3 in two words, chances are fairly good that those two words would be "red" and "wedding," in that order. Yes, the so-called "Red Wedding" was such a traumatic event for viewers that it has come to define what is arguably one of the strongest seasons of the show to date, casting a pall that everything that came before — and immediately after. So, what moments from Game Of Thrones Season 3 don't you remember?
To be sure, the Red Wedding wasn't the only memorable event in the season. A brief reflection on the 10 episodes brings up plenty of dramatic twists and turns, whether it be Jaime getting his hand cut off, or Dany roasting the slavers of Astapor, or Lord Commander Mormont dying in the mutiny at Craster's Keep, or Jon climbing the Wall, or Theon being tortured… endlessly. But there are too many characters and too many storylines to possibly remember everything with crystal clarity. So, before Season 6 debuts, let's take a moment to remind ourselves exactly what went down three years ago.
Here are 16 Season 3 moments that AREN'T the Red Wedding:
1. This Thing
What is that?! That, my friends, is a manticore, and it was sent by the warlocks of Qarth in an attempt to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen. Good thing Ser Barristan Selmy was there to stop it… and that's how we were first introduced to the old Kingsguard in Season 3.
2. This Humiliating Funeral
Every so often, Game Of Thrones manages to leaven its crippling levels of doom and gloom with some particularly inspired bits of comedy. In this scene, we're introduced to Catelyn's brother Edmure and their uncle Brynden, as Edmure tries again… and again… and again to light their father's funeral pyre, missing every time. (Of course, Brynden gets it in one shot.)
3. This Game Of Musical Chairs
Another welcome comedic bit, as the various politicians of King's Landing stop playing their game of thrones just long enough to play a petty game of musical chairs, each jockeying for the best position relative to Tywin Lannister.
4. This Backstory
How much do we really know about Varys? A lot more after this monologue, in which the Master of Whisperers told Tyrion about his upbringing in the Free Cities, including his kidnapping and castration by a sorcerer who needed his private parts for a spell. And what's in the box? Speak of the devil, it's the sorcerer himself!
5. This Dude
For someone who only actually appeared in four out of 50 episodes, Beric Dondarrion may (read: will) have huge ramifications for the future of the show. So far, he's the only character we've seen brought back from the dead (not as a zombie) after being slain in single combat against The Hound. Now that Jon Snow's been killed, resurrection is the topic on everyone's mind.
6. This Other Dude
The show's revolving door of nearly indistinguishable old-white-men-with-beards continued with Lord Rickard Karstark. Robb Stark was forced to make a tough choice when Karstark killed two young Lannister hostages for vengeance against his own sons who were killed in battle. Robb decided the price for this betrayal was beheading — a decision that alienated half his troops and was essentially the turning point that would eventually lead to his downfall.
7. This Ignoble Death
Oh, Ros. You were the first character created wholesale for the show, not originating from the pages of George R.R. Martin's novels, and you pretty much singlehandedly coined the term "sexposition" thanks to your multiple dialogue scenes set in brothels. And then you ended up tied to a bedpost, dead from multiple crossbow bolts courtesy of bratty boy king Joffrey Baratheon. I'm so sorry.
8. This Chance Encounter
In a rare sojourn away from her beloved Stannis, Melisandre traveled to the Riverlands to claim Robert's sole remaining bastard, Gendry, to use his royal blood for a spell. And who should she meet there but young Arya Stark? The typically unflappable Red Priestess seemed troubled by the budding sociopath and, as she left, told the girl that they would meet again someday. They haven't yet, so hopefully this is a dangling plot thread the show will pick up again somewhere down the road.
9. This Bear
Before Leo met Judy, Brienne and Jaime faced off against this fearsome grizzly — and they didn't even have a rifle or a knife, just a pathetic wooden sword. So where's their Oscar nomination, huh?
10. This Awkward Wedding
On the one hand, the nuptials of Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark is one of the only weddings in the history of Game Of Thrones that DOESN'T end in brutal murder. So in that sense, it's a step up from the rest. But it's also one of the most excruciatingly awkward scenes, as Joffrey cruelly swipes Tyrion's step stool, forcing Sansa to kneel to Tyrion can pin his cloak on her shoulders.
11. These Leeches
Melisandre gave Gendry the biggest case of blue balls in Westeros history when she seduced him, stripped him down… and then put a leech on his privates?! Nonononono. She then tossed the three leeches filled with king's blood onto a fire, naming them after the three "usurpers": Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy. Well, two out of three are now dead, so Balon better watch his back in Season 6.
12. This Daario
Hey guys, remember when Dany's boy toy Daario Naharis looked like this? Original portrayer Ed Skrein left the show after Season 3 to star in The Transporter Refueled instead, leaving Orphan Black's Michiel Huisman to take over the role. And so we traded in romance-book-cover Daario for rugged-mountain-man Daario.
13. This Ugly Aftermath
We were all so dazed after the Red Wedding, and this horrible sight went by so quickly, that it may not have fully registered. But yes: that is Robb Stark's decapitated corpse and Grey Wind's decapitated head stitched together in a disgusting mockery of the King in the North that the Freys paraded around outside after the Red Wedding. #DeathToFreys
14. This Murder
Honestly, it's kind of hard to keep track of Arya's body count at this point. But back in Season 3, she was a relative novice when it came to murder. She'd only killed one person before (that obnoxious stable boy way back in Season 1) but that was mostly out of self-defense and seemed more impulsive than intentional. Arya's brutal stabbing of this Frey soldier — who probably didn't personally have anything to do with her family's deaths anyway — is the first time she planned and executed a murder in cold blood.
15. This Sad Farewell
Bye-bye, Gendry! The last we saw Robert's hunky bastard, he was rowing off into the sunset after Ser Davos helped him escape from Melisandre's clutches. And that was two whole seasons ago now. For all we know, Gendry is still rowing, lost forever in the Narrow Sea.
16. This Crowd Surfing
The first two seasons of Game Of Thrones ended on epic notes: the first, with the birth of Dany's dragons; the second, with the appearance of the White Walkers' massive army. The third season was the first to end somewhat anticlimactically, with the final shot being a somewhat weird image of Dany literally crowdsurfing on the backs of slaves.
You've got a little over two more months to keep blowing off those cobwebs in your memory; Game Of Thrones Season 6 will premiere on HBO on Sunday, April 24.
Images: HBO (12); Giphy (3)