Opening credits? At the beginning of the show? How novel. I thought everyone liked to have at least ten minutes of show before the credits. Not Game of Thrones, though. And it’s got actual theme music and neat animation, too. As before, the key places in the credits are King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, and a hard-to-read place off to the east called “Vaes Dothrak.” By the time the camera gets over to the Dothraki area, it’s practically sideways, which makes it hard to read. I guess that’s kind of symbolic, though. You know, because the Dothraki are foreign to the rest of Westeros. Let’s go with that.
Incidentally, did you know this was directed by Tim Van Patten? He’s directed a lot of stuff, but I still unfairly think of him as the guy from “The Master” and “The White Shadow.” Too bad for him!
We start with a long procession of horses. This show represents Good Times for horse wranglers, I would think. There are probably whole ranches full of horses just waiting to get their big break in Hollywood. They’re the descendants of the horses that used to be in cowboy pictures back in the 1930s or whenever they made a lot of cowboy movies. These horses here are Dothraki horses, although I don’t know that they’re going to have different horses for these scenes. There are only so many cowboy ranches in Hollywood. [I think the Dothraki scenes are filmed in Malta, these are probably Maltese horses. Ireland stands in for Winterfell, and I doubt they transport them all that way. - Zach] Daenerys is among the riders, and she’s moping. Some guy who is neither Dothraki nor the advisor from the last episode advises her to eat some food and drink some water. That’s the medieval version of “Girl needs to eat a sandwich.” He hands her some horse jerky, which she doesn’t seem excited about. He has some stories of the Shadowlands beyond the Shire, and there are ghosts and an end-of-the-world story and I wasn’t really paying attention. Tell you what: if there are ghosts, I promise to come back to this episode and find out what he’s talking about. He tells Daenerys that things will get easier, which is supposed to be read on two levels. The horse-riding level and the married-off-to-a-barbarian level.
When they get to wherever they’re going (that map in the opening credits is not nearly specific enough for my taste) [Here's a better one. - Z], Daenerys is helped off her horse by that guy she was talking to and some young ladies in leather. To be fair, practically everyone is wearing leather. And it’s probably horse leather, what with the jerky. Viserys is there, too, because he doesn’t have anything to do other than hang out and wait for Khal Drogo’s army to go make him King. This new advisor appears to be an exile from Westeros. Or at least an escaped criminal, since when Viserys asks, “What did Ned Stark want you for? Buying from a slaver?” the answer is, “Selling to one.” Viserys doesn’t mind hanging out with slavers, apparently. In fact, he’s very free with the promises of rich rewards after he’s king.