Sunday's Game of Thrones premiere started slowly, but Jon Snow was able to position himself well for what will be quite the chess match this season.
The Night's Watch brother infiltrated the wildlings north of the Wall, which at the very least should provide him with insight into their world. Not bad for a bastard! Who else advanced? Who suffered a setback? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "Valar Dohaeris":
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Jon Snow (Kit Harington): Entering the enemy camp is one thing, but actually convincing the wildlings of his loyalties is another. Ygritte (Rose Leslie) seems ready enough to accept him after he killed his fellow Night's Watch brother last season (and besides, she totally fancies the bastard, right?). King Beyond the Wall Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds), however, is far cannier, and Jon is smart to reveal his dissatisfaction with the Night's Watch ethics as the reason why he wants to turn his cloak. Let's hope he doesn't get tripped up by his lies!
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): Dany survives yet another attempt on her life, and the upside is that her savior is Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney), the best freaking knight from King Robert's kingsguard who was relieved of that duty by the so-called heir Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). Having Barristan as part of her queensguard is a coup. Not only is he loyal and upstanding, but he has knowledge of the Targaryen reign and the current political climate across the Narrow Sea.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten): We can all agree that the red woman is hella annoying, but Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) doesn't seem to think so, and he's the one claiming to be king. Once again, her talk of the Lord of Light stirs him to burn "traitors" alive and then to turn on his wisest counselor. We can see who's really calling the shots on Dragonstone.
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Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer): This young lady's dreams of becoming queen are coming together nicely. Now that she's affianced to the teen king, she's set in motion a shrewd PR campaign to make King's Landing love her (and by extension, Joffrey) through her charity work and carting in wagonloads of food (stomachs rule!). It doesn't hurt that Joffrey has taken notice of her charms either.
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance): The Lannister patriarch not only helped win the Battle of Blackwater, but he's now resumed his role as Hand of the King.
Robb Stark (Richard Madden): The King in the North isn't used to suffering defeat, but even more of his Northmen have been slaughtered and his own bannermen are losing patience over the fact that Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) is on the loose thanks to his mother's soft heart.
Davos Seaforth (Liam Cunningham): For a former smuggler, the Onion Knight doesn't seem to understand stealth and duplicity. If he only kept his murderous intentions and opinions to himself (no matter how exasperating Melisandre can be), maybe he wouldn't be rotting away in a jail cell right now.
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Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): The Imp has been injured in battle, suspects his sister wants to kill him, has lost his job to his own father, and now dear old dad has denied him his reward/inheritance. Where's Tyrion's whore when he needs her?!
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley): Poor Ser Piggy had a near-miss with a wight, but instead of sympathy or medical attention, Sam only gets a guilt trip from Commander Mormont (James Cosmo) for not sending the ravens.
Bonus Episode Highlights:
Spot the whore! Whore count: 3. First, Bronn (Jerome Flynn) is having a bit of well-earned fun with a whore before Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman) so rudely interrupts with a summons. Then, right-hand whore Ros (Esme Bianco) accompanies Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) to King's Landing, where she warns former whore-turned-companion Shae (Sibel Kekilli) to watch out for Littlefinger's intentions toward young Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
"Still makes me more clever than you." -- to sister Cersei, after she says he's not half so clever as he thinks he is.
What were your favorite moments from the Game of Thrones premiere? Who are you worried about? Who would you like to see die?