Air Date: Sunday, March 31

Us Rating: ** 1/2

Swooping dragons! A lumbering giant! Game's visual majesty remains unparalleled. But the fantasy's return teems with nobles belaboring their quests to rule mythical Westeros -- a letdown after June's stunning cliff-hanger.

PHOTOS: The Game of Thrones cast on TV and in real life

The action kicks in, though, via the females. Conniving queen Cersei (Lena Headey) has met her match in smarmy Lady Margaery (Natalie Dormer). And in scenes hot with anticipation, princess Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) snaps up an army of slaves. If only Game of Thrones moved at her pace! (HBO, 9 p.m.)

This article originally appeared on TV Review: Game of Thrones Is a Letdown After Season 2 Finale, But Women Bring the Action