Up North, Jon meets the King Beyond the Wall. In King's Landing, Tyrion seeks his reward after the Battle of Blackwater and Cersei entertains the royal family. Elsewhere, Daenerys journeys into Slaver's Bay.
The burnt remains of Winterfell rise in the opening credits, reflecting the events of the previous episode.
The phrase "valar dohaeris", the title for this episode, is High Valyrian meaning "all men must serve". It is the traditional response to the phrase "valar morghulis", which was the title of the previous episode, the season 2 finale. "Valar morghulis" means "all men must die" in High Valyrian and is used as a greeting in certain parts of Essos. Along with Dothraki and Skroth, High Valyrian is one of the fictional languages created for the show by David J. Peterson based on what George R.R. Martin envisioned for his "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels which "Game of Thrones" is an adaptation of.
Margaery Tyrell: Loras, isn't the Queen's gown magnificent? The fabric, the embroidery, the metalwork. I've never seen anything like it.
Cersei Lannister: You might find a bit of armor quite useful once you become queen. Perhaps before.
Tyrion Lannister: Why do you care what I want from him?
Cersei Lannister: Because you've slandered me to father before.
Tyrion Lannister: Slandered? When?
Cersei Lannister: You told him I had my guards beat that servant girl at Casterly Rock.
Tyrion Lannister: You did have your guards beat her. A girl of nine, I believe.
Cersei Lannister: I was nine, too.
Tyrion Lannister: She lost an eye, if I remember correctly.
Cersei Lannister: If I remember correctly, she never stole a necklace again.
Tyrion Lannister: It's not slander if it's true.
Tywin Lannister: Tell me what you want.
Tyrion Lannister: I want what is mine by right. Jaime is your eldest son, heir to your lands and titles, but he is a Kingsguard, forbidden from marriage or inheritance. The day Jaime put on the white cloak, he gave up his claim to Casterly Rock. I am your son and lawful heir.
Tywin Lannister: You want Casterly Rock?
Tyrion Lannister: It is mine by right.
Tywin Lannister: We'll find you accommodations more suited to your name and as a reward for your accomplishments during the battle of Blackwater Bay. And when the time is right, you will be given a position fit for your talents so that you can serve your family and protect our legacy. And if you serve faithfully, you will be rewarded with a suitable wife. But I will let myself be consumed by maggots before mocking the family name and making you heir to Casterly Rock.
Tyrion Lannister: Why?
Tywin Lannister: Why? You ask that? You, who killed your mother to come into the world. You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature, full of envy, lust, and low cunning. Men's laws give you right to bear my name and display my colors since I cannot prove that you are not mine. And to teach me humility, the gods have condemned me to watch you waddle about, wearing that proud lion that was my father's sigil and his father's before him. But neither gods nor men will compel me to let you turn Casterly Rock into your whorehouse. Go now. And speak no more of your rights to Casterly Rock.
Barristan Selmy: I've been searching for you, Daenerys Stormborn, to ask your forgiveness. I was sworn to protect your family. I failed them. I am Barristan Selmy, Kingsguard to your father. Allow me to join your Queensguard and I will not fail you again.
Mance Rayder: Why do you want to join us, Jon Snow?
Jon Snow: I want to be free.
Mance Rayder: No, I don't think so. I think what you want most of all is to be a hero. I'll ask you one last time, why do you want to join us?
Jon Snow: We stopped at Craster's Keep on the way north. I saw...
Mance Rayder: You saw what?
Jon Snow: I saw Craster take his own baby boy and leave it in the woods. I saw what took it.
Mance Rayder: You're telling me you saw one of them? And why would that make you desert your brothers?
Jon Snow: Because when I told the Lord Commander, he already knew. Thousands of years ago, the First Men battled the White Walkers and defeated them. I want to fight for the side that fights for the living.
Ygritte: First time you've seen a giant, Jon Snow? Well, don't stare too long, they're shy. And when they stop being shy, they get angry. And when they're angry, I've seen them pound a man straight into the ground like a hammer on a nail.
The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
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