GAME OF THRONES SEASON THREE IS FINALLY UPON US. The long, arduous months of waiting are behind us and ahead of us, nine more glorious episodes.

Sex, dragons and intrigue; the first episode most certainly did not disappoint. While there was a sort of ‘this-is-what-everyone’s-been-up-to’ vibe throughout the show, it didn’t feel like anyone was being skimmed over or marginalized (in fact, it was kind of useful, if you haven’t got around to re-watching season two yet), and we even got a glimpse at a few new characters.

For people who have read the book (we’ve got as far as A Storm Of Swords, obviously), you’ll know that this…


…is Missandei, a reasonably likeable character, even though she’s being played by a former Hollyoaks actress.

Which has happened before, so that's not to say it's a bad thing.

Which has happened before, so that’s not to say it’s a bad thing.

And this…


…is King Beyond The Wall, Mance Rayder. Who I was extremely excited to see brought to my telly, but he hasn’t blown me away, not just yet. I was sort of disappointed that his introduction wasn’t quite the same as in the books; when Jon Snow enters the tenty-teepee thing, he bows to Tormund Giantsbane, because he assumes Mance is only a minstrel. Which you would, given that at the time he’s (as my brother so aptly put it) shredding out a belter on the lute.

Alas, in the show – no lute. No singing. I recognise that not every little detail can be carried over from the books (and I think it’s ridiculous that people get really angry when things are changed just a little), but this was a scene in the book that really stuck with me. I thought it added a quirky, endearing aspect to this character who had been talked up so very much. I liked the scene, is all. Is all.

Another scene they changed that made me just a tad mopey was at the very beginning, with Sam and the white-walker. No Sam the Slayer?! Maybe later? I don’t know, I just thought it was a really important part of the story-line, but perhaps they’re just switching up the order a little bit. Maybe a bigger show down later on? I am excited to see.

And, urm, why was Ghost there? When Jon is far away over the wall?


Right. Back on target, because I’m making it sound like I didn’t love the season premier and I REALLY, REALLY DID. Particularly any scene with Margaery, who remains my most beloved and favourite of characters. Such a sly little fox. Crafty. Oh, I just love her. I did a blog about this love once, so I won’t repeat myself.

Another favourite character has made his return as well, again, just a little bit altered from the book, but understandably so. Lovely Barristan Selmy is back, fighting for a different (better) royal family. I met Ian McElhinney once. He cuddled me, and I made a strange squeaking noise, which he very politely ignored. Lovely Barristan.

Over all, the show has managed to keep the charm that has attracted fans for the past two seasons. Just the right balance of fantasy, gore and sex, with characters who are actually believable – they have fears, ambitions and DRAGONS.

Okay. That last one isn’t the most believable aspect of the show, but I’m so relieved that they haven’t been ruined by over done CGI (they’re perfect, even sort of cute), that they are real to me. It’s all real to me.

That’s all that matters.