REVIEW: Game of Thrones Season 3: And Now His Watch Is Ended (Spoilers)

Dragons are at the top of everyone's Christmas lists after a majestic episode of Game of Thrones.

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This show is going from strength to strength, and if its production values, cast and dialogue weren't impressive enough, viewers are being truly spoiled by the grand, high-class action on show.

But so are the actors. After an amazing arc in the first series, Emilia Clarke's Daenerys was reduced to petulant wailing about the whereabouts of her dragons in series two. But the fire and blood wrought by the Targaryen heiress last night confirmed that, though she's a tiny little woman in a world of brutish men, Dany is not to be messed with. As you'd imagine the slave traders of Astapor would confirm. If they hadn't been reduced to ashes in the thrilling climax, that is.

Dany's power looks to be growing but things aren't going so well for everyone else with Jaime sinking deeper into the mire (literally in one scene) after the loss of his hand. Playing a character many audience members have hated from the very start of Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is doing sterling work to make us now feel something kinder for the Kingslayer. But he's not alone in these bleak but revealing sequences, with Gwendoline Christie's performance as Brienne getting better by the week.

What has Daenerys been up to? (WENN)

There was a welcome return of the sharp-tongued Olanna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) while Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) decided to talk about his favourite historical murders in a bid to woo Margaery (the aspirational young Tyrell will clearly put up with a lot if it lands her the throne). And to Cersei's (Lena Headey) chagrin, Tywin Lannister's (Charles Dance) content for Margaery (Natalie Dormer) to manipulate her way to the top, if it keeps Joffrey relatively sane.

Theon's increasingly remorseful, with Alfie Allen finely capturing the insecurities of the character, but Iwan Rheon's creepy rescuer-turned-tormenter doesn't look likely to forgive the Greyjoy just yet. Scenes beyond The Wall, meanwhile, had felt a little lacking this season, more threatening death than depicting it. Or so it had seemed, until a nod sparked treachery and tragedy for the Night's Watch.

This was an episode that brought the big guns - or wings... - when it came to action, but didn't do so gratuitously. While some characters were motivated by revenge, others saw an opportunity for heroism, or a fresh start. And throughout - whether Dany was making your spine tingle with an exhilarating double cross, or Brotherhood leader Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) was threatening The Hound (Rory McCann) with justice, or Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) was explaining his rise from destitution to great power, and as a eunuch, no less, the cast are quite superb.

The key question, however, is this - just how dull would you have to be to dislike a show in which an intelligent young woman seizes control of her future by instructing her dragon to burn a slave trader alive? Can you even imagine a more awesome and epic scenario than that? Fortunately for us lucky viewers, George RR Martin, David Benioff and DB Weiss have got a LOT more up their sleeves...

Best scene - "I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen of the blood of old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue". Admit it. You cheered this fantastic scene.

Random moment - Margaery inventing the disease 'porridge plague' to trick poor, lonely Sansa.

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