TV REVIEW: Game of Thrones – Season 3 Episode 8 ‘Second Sons’

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Arya discovers what The Hound wants with her, the day dawns on the day that Sansa has been dreading and Daenerys takes on a mercenary army known as the Second Sons.

Almost every episode of Game of Thrones this season has spread the narrative across as many stories as possible, Second Sons pares the players back to the bare minimum and the show benefits from the change.

Daenerys takes on the Second Sons and holds her own against their sexually aggressive talk. The Mother of Dragons wants to bring this mercenary group into her army; the Captains have other ideas, but so too does Darion, one of their number. Daenerys has got stronger and stronger this season and, with the Unsullied behind her now, she is getting even more powerful. The chink in her armour though, was Mesande correcting her use of Dolthraki. This was a fantastic moment that served to underline Daenerys’ newness to her role and to her power.

Sansa and Tyrion finally marry, and he finally lets his guard down with her; refusing to share her bed until she wants him too. Tyrion was abused throughout his wedding day by both Joffrey – who decided to give Sansa away – and his father, but even through his drunkenness he treated Sansa with tact and respect. It is hard to believe this is the same Imp from season 1 of Game of Thrones and he has certainly matured and become kinder through the years. Although Sansa warns her husband that she may never want him in her bed, it is easy to see that she will eventually warm to the new, gentler Tyrion.

Arya discovers that The Hound is taking her to where her mother and brother are, but what are the bets that they will have moved on by the time she gets there? Nothing in Westeros seems to work out the way it has been planned. As well as this, Davos is freed from his cell after Gendry and Melisandre return home. Melisandre means to sacrifice Gendry for the sake of his royal blood and, after a demonstration of her cruelty, she shows Davos the power of blood. Samwell and Gilly encounter a White Walker and, in the single most thrilling moment of the season so far, take it on. Is this setting the tone for the finale? We sure hope so. The tension was ramped up to 11 for about 90 seconds and the scene was totally gripping. More of this please!

Second Sons is perhaps the best episode of the season so far, by focusing on key characters and events, the episode felt unified and strong. It is clear that the other storylines will come back next week – what happened with Jaime and Brienne?! – but the threads are finally pulling together and the season is taking shape.

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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One comment

  1. Great review. Can’t believe we have to wait for 2 weeks for the next instalment!

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