Sunday night will be a night that would make Sophie's Choice look like a lighthearted one: the Game of Thrones season 3 premiere will be airing at the same time as the Walking Dead season 3 finale. It's a big decision for fans of both shows -- especially those who don't have the convenience of a DVR.
Here's a rundown of the two episodes that will be airing:
The season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones, "Valar Dohaeris," will pick up where the second season left off. In the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater Bay, the power dynamics change at King's Landing (and not to Tyrion's advantage). In the north, on the other hand, Jon meets with Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, while Daenerys leaves Qarth (finally) and heads to Slaver's Bay to pick up an army. Early reviews of the season 3 premiere have described it as slow: according to The Daily Beast's Jace Lacob, the episode lacked "energy and intensity, but provides a necessary foundation" for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, The Walking Dead will end its pretty good third season with a bang, as the confrontation between the Prison and Woodbury comes to a violent head. The Governor will launch an assault on the Prison, which will end with quite a few dead on either side. It will likely be the most intense episode of the series ever -- and definitely one full of watercooler moments.
So which one to watch first? Game of Thrones is the consistently better series, but it looks like the season 3 premiere won't be the most exciting. The Walking Dead, meanwhile, might be described as television's most inconsistent series, qualitatively, but its third season has been solid and the finale looks like it will be the most exciting episode of the series yet. So the choice is between an okay episode of a great show, or a great episode of an okay show.
The fact that HBO is repeating Game of Thrones twice after its initial airing seems to seal the deal, actually -- I'm planning on watching The Walking Dead's finale first, and then immediately switching over to HBO for some Game of Thrones.
What do you think? What's your plan for Sunday night's big decision?
Both episodes will be airing on Sunday, March 31 at 9/8c. The Walking Dead airs AMC, Game of Thrones airs on HBO.