Great Game of Thrones last night, huh? Yeah, it sure was good. But I'm afraid I have to put my annoying "guy who read the books" hat on and tell you one maybe possibly deflating thing about last night's excellent episode. So, if you are one of those types who do not want to know anything about what's to come, click away right now.
While many exciting, interesting things happened last night — some great stuff with Varys, a cruel twist for Theon, a mutiny in the North — the undeniably biggest moment of the episode was seeing our fair-haired heroine Daenerys go all tough and kill a bunch of slavers. Particularly the head guy, who was burned alive by one of Dany's dragons. Yes! We finally got to see a dragon do some dragon sh-t last night, setting that bald jerk ablaze and satisfying all of our Sunday night bloodlust. It was a terrifically staged scene, thrilling and stirring and beautifully acted by Emilia Clarke.
Now you might be thinking that this is the beginning of some extrended dragon action. It wouldn't be your fault, what with HBO's dragon-centric marketing campaign for the third season and the triumphant closing scene of three dragons flying overhead as Dany marches away with her new army. There's just one minor problem: In the books, Dany's storyline gets kinda boring. Yes, I'm afraid that the general consensus among fans of the book series is that everything that happens after Dany becomes leader of the freed slaves is a meandering letdown, an entire plot line that feels like filler while the author George R.R. Martin stalls, trying to figure out how to bring Dany back into the world of the rest of the characters. I'm sure there are some who disagree, but everyone she meets after this point has about sixteen Xs and Zs in their name and are really hard to tell apart and the story just sorta sputters along until, possibly, at the end of the fifth book (that's two books and, per the announced plans, three TV seasons away), things seem to finally change. So, as much as you might be excited about what happened with Dany last night as a new beginning for everyone's favorite Khaleesi, as a word of warning, temper your expectations.
Of course the show doesn't always strictly adhere to the books, so they could figure out a way to make her story more interesting, but I wouldn't keep my hopes up. Unless they invent a lot of new stuff, last night's dragon-ing is about the only thing those critters are going to do until whatever season covers the second half of the fifth book. I know it's a bummer to hear and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but people were so excited about Dany and those damn dragons last night that it feels like the responsible thing to do. To issue a gentle warning that, if the books are any indication, we're in for a world of snooze from Daenerys for the next long while.
I know this is an awful thing to hear, but it feels necessary to say. Yeah, the dragon thing was really cool. It's really cool in the books, too! But after that? Well, start to pull your focus back toward Westeros because that's where all the action is for the foreseeable future. And believe you me, there is some action coming. Huge, thrilling, sad, scary stuff is on its way. But none of it is happening across the Narrow Sea. Things could be different on the TV show, but just in case they aren't, try not to fall in love with Dany if you already haven't. Because, I'm afraid, she's very likely going to let you down.