HBO/Sky Atlantic, 15 April 2012
As Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) plots at King’s Landing, various pretenders to the throne prepare their forces…
Tyrion (the brilliant Dinklage) proves himself adept at plotting with the best of them at court in King’s Landing in a largely humorous series of scenes that nonetheless advance plot and character nicely.
Character, again, is the focus of scenes in Winterfell (a discussion of the once-prevalent role of magic in the world) and beyond the wall, where Jon Snow’s emotions get the better of his common sense. Self-appointed ‘King’ Renly is exposed as playing at soldiers, while on the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy (creepy Patrick Malahide) looks set to make a huge tactical mistake, powered by hubris and revenge.
It’s all good stuff, but such is the sprawling nature of this story (and the geography of Westeros), some characters and locations are left out (no doubt to be picked up again next time). Any true epic can tolerate (and arguably needs) a few quieter moments, but this instalment does feature a well-paced and quite shocking (bye bye Yoren) battle at its climax…
Verdict: Perhaps not the most eventful episode, helped hugely by a climatic battle.
Episode 3 ‘What is Dead May Never Die’: 7/10
Brian J. Robb