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'Game of Thrones' kicks off the season with dragons, death and drama

Keith Bernstein/HBO

Winter is here -- finally!

After a 10 month break from dragons, White Walkers and the Wall, "Game of Thrones" returned Sunday night to remind viewers of everything they've been missing and more.

The season three premiere packed plenty of drama -- from army building to army buying -- and it packed loads of corpses. In fact, the body count tipped 200. (Not that all of those bodies that Robb Stark found matched the episode's lone nipple-slicing scene for pure gross-out value. Yikes!)

Here's a rundown of the some of the important points from the highly anticipated and not-at-all-disappointing episode:

  • Jon Snow is alive and well -- and darned lucky. As Ygritte warned him during his beyond-the-Wall trek, if the Wildlings main man Mance Rayder didn't like him, he was as good as dead. As it turned out, Mance likes him just fine -- at least for now.
  • Daenerys dragons, which are still downright adorable, aren't the only mythical creatures roaming around now (well, in addition to direwolves and White Walkers). Thar be giants too -- or at least one among the Wildlings.

  • Speaking of Daenerys, she needs 8,000 soldiers to assist in her bid for the big chair, and she's ready to lead them.
  • As for the show's most important character (that would be Tyrion Lannister, in case you didn't know), he's lost a little of his gumption (thanks to the events of last season) but none of his wit. When his sister snips that he's not half as clever as he thinks he is, he's quick to shoot back, "Still makes me more clever than you.
  • Oh, and Joffrey? Well, the boy king is still annoyingly … himself.

If you missed the action Sunday night, catch a replay the "Game of Thrones" season premiere Monday night on HBO.

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