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Binge Mode: ‘Game of Thrones’ | Season 3

Get ready for ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 by binge-watching all 60 existing episodes with experts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion

(HBO/Ringer illustration)
(HBO/Ringer illustration)

Get ready for Game of Thrones Season 7 by binge-watching all 60 existing episodes with The Ringer’s experts, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion, as they deep-dive one episode at a time to parse the theories, history, characters, and themes that enrich one of the defining stories of our time. Season 3 is below. Click here for more seasons.

S3E1: “Valar Dohaeris”

Game of Thrones Season 3 begins with “Valar Dohaeris” and another expansion of the map, with Jon meeting the King-Beyond-the-Wall and Dany first docking in Slaver’s Bay. But it’s not yet time for battles; instead, characters from the far north to King’s Landing to the east are using words, not swords, to determine who falls and who stands. The Binge Mode podcasters are back to discuss that theme of politics as combat and the backstory of the White Walkers — and to crown the first episode champion of the season.

S3E2: “Dark Wings, Dark Words”

The new season’s landscape continues to emerge in “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” and Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion dive in with analysis of the episode’s central theme: reality checks. They also explain the history of warging before crowning a pair of powerful women as the episode’s dual champions.

S3E3: “Walk of Punishment”

Game of Thrones has never been accused of letting its characters win too easily, and in “Walk of Punishment,” the show’s heroes are struggling with the emotional toll of mounting losses. Binge Mode analyzes the theme of the fragility of strength and provides the backstory of the Unsullied before crowning a first-time winner as the episode’s champion.

S3E4: “And Now His Watch Is Ended”

Dracarys, friends, dracarys, and welcome to a fun and fiery episode of Game of Thrones. Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion break down the various forms of freelancing — Dany’s great coup included — that appear in “And Now His Watch Is Ended,” before detailing the history of the Brotherhood Without Banners and awarding a shrewd bargainer with the champion’s purse.

S3E5 : “Kissed by Fire”

How does a character who concluded the show’s pilot episode by throwing a young boy out of a tower gain the audience’s sympathy? By spilling his guts in “Kissed by Fire” in one of Game of Thrones’ most affecting monologues. Binge Mode reviews that scene and more in a discussion of this episode’s central theme — hard choices — before explaining the history of the Karstark family and crowning a new, lordly lover as the episode’s champion.

S3E6: “The Climb”

Trickery is afoot in “The Climb” as long-term strategizers throughout the Seven Kingdoms are making their plays for late-season drama. On this episode of Binge Mode, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion analyze the complicated machinations surrounding making deals and setting traps, before they relate the history of the Tullys, Freys, and Riverlands and award a new group with the champion’s purse.

S3E7: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”

If Season 3 of Game of Thrones offers one lesson, it’s that thinking with your heart (or your other head) is a recipe for death and disaster. Binge Mode examines the reasoning behind and impact of such decision-making in “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” before providing the backstory of Slaver’s Bay and crowning a rehabilitated rescuer as the episode’s champion.

S3E8: “Second Sons”

“Second Sons” sees Game of Thrones host a wedding — no, not that one, but it’s coming soon. In the meantime, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion are here to explore this episode’s theme of committing. They also relate the backstory behind dragonglass, before awarding one of its wielders with the champion’s purse.

S3E9: “The Rains of Castamere”

You screamed at this episode. You cried at it. Your mouth hung open, dumbfounded, as the events of “The Rains of Castamere” unfolded onscreen. Now, though, you can seek a measure of emotional recovery via Binge Mode, which studies the theme of ruthlessness and the practice of guest rights before crowning the Seven Kingdoms’ best letter-writer as the episode’s champion.

S3E10: “Mhysa”

Game of Thrones seems to have a season-ending pattern, and Binge Mode follows suit, with another repeat episode champion in a season finale. But that’s not all that comes up in “Mhysa,” and Mallory and Jason analyze the central theme of homecoming and consider the history of the Nightfort. Valar morghulis, and on to Season 4.