If you say you’re not feeling any twinge of excitement for season three of HBO’s Game Of Thrones, you’re lying or have yet to discover the sensation. Season three promises to be the best and bloodiest yet with –if faithful to the books- some of the most exciting character developments and discoveries of the series. It can be said that other than the odd episode –such as last year’s ground breaking and green fire spewing “Blackwater”- season two was arguably a letdown for the legions of fans this series has. But, from the looks of it, this season may have taken a turn for the better.
Here are ten things to look forward to or hope for this season.
BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD. (Although if haven’t read the books yet, I have half of mind to tell you it’s your own damn fault.)
10. Less Ros
Listen, fans worldwide, I apologize on creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s behalf for their monumental misstep in the creation and casting of the character Ros. She was firstly the most popular prostitute is Winterfell, then traveled her way to Kings Landing, and has now become Littlefinger’s most prominent expository tool as well as the biggest sign that unnecessary exploitation of women’s bodies is ahead. She’s a nuisance; the actress cannot act, and considering the hefty amount of original characters to work with, seems counterproductive to allow her scene chewing to continue any longer. Fingers crossed for little to no Ros.
9. Bran and the Reeds Siblings
Two of the biggest casting news of the upcoming season has been those of the characters Jojen and Meera Reed, sister and brother who meet Bran while he’s on the road running away from Winterfell. Meera is tough as nails in the book and constantly aiding Bran, and Jojen is wise and influential to Bran’s choices-but to say too much is to spoil. We all bore witness to Issac Hempstead Wright breaking our stone cold hearts as the little Lord of Winterfell lost his home, people he loved, and had to grow up in a short, aggressive period of time. This season we’ll see a tougher, more road worthy Bran who will begin to learn what’s in his own capabilities. And considering the younger Starks have always been the heart of the show, it should be a treat to see.
8. Dany and the Unsullied
Let’s be honest, season two Dany sucked with a butchered storyline. She lost her people, almost lost her dragons and turned “where are my dragons” and “with fire and blood” into drinking game staples. However, book three had her turning into a more prominent, powerful figure with her finally obtaining a larger army (you see that in the trailer), and no longer allowing anyone to fool her. Hopefully with this hardened turn, and hopefully an improved Emilia Clarke, this season will deliver what it failed to in season two.
7. Arya on the Road
We all loved Arya being her tough, survival savvy heroine in season two as she went head to head with Tywin Lannister–although many a fan is still scratching their heads at the necessity for said scenes other than expository means. However, after running away from the camp with Gendry (played by the always welcome Joe Demspie) expect to see some more road weariness, more fights for their lives, and even less naivety of Arya’s part. Arya Stark has one of the most fascinating and surprising transformations in the series (that goes well beyond the surface level tough girl shtick the showrunners have stuck her with), and season three is where it will all really begin to heat up. They’ll face unknown dangers, possible familiar faces, and dire circumstances. Maisie Williams continues to showcase growing talents and range, and we’ll see how those coincide with Arya’s great next steps.
Sansa gets an unfortunate reputation amongst the fans and followers of the books and television series. Many blame her for father’s death yet forget the monumental hand Ned had in his own outcome. Because Sansa doesn’t wield a sword, doesn’t engage in antagonizing lords or have a trio of dragons sitting atop her shoulders, fans tend to brush her off as being weak, despite evidence proving the exact opposite. They’re missing her rapidly growing intelligence and the way she adapts to her situation despite living in a day to day fear of imminent threat or danger. We very rarely get to see this side of the character on the television series, but this season should ideally see a change with an amped up storyline that shows a plethora of new developments; there are new alliances, friendships and plans for her future. Sophie Turner is brilliant and under-appreciated, and if all goes well, her performance should be nothing short of heartbreaking.
5. Jon and Ygrette
As long as the phrase “you know nothing” is used sparingly we’re in the clear. Jon’s been somewhat of a dud for the past two seasons, but with the arrival of the hot tempered Ygrette who knows how to push all of his buttons, we’ve begun to see a more interesting, less wet blanket, version of Jon Snow. Now, well beyond the Wall, displaced from his Brothers of the Night Watch and playing the role of the traitor, expect a more engaging character. Him and Ygrette make for one of the more wholesome pairings on the show (low bar yes, but still) and from the trailer, it seems we’ll be getting plenty of them. As well, it also looks like we’ll be getting a lot of battle scenes, which Kit Harrington has proven to excel at.
4. Kings Landing Madness
At the end of season two, a couple of BIG things happened. Tywin became the Hand of the King, Tyrion just about lost his nose, the Hound ran away and Joffery experienced his first victory in battle that’s gone straight to his head despite failing to contribute to the actual win. Expect craziness because it’s coming. Cersi may believe this is all playing into her hands, but she’ll soon come to realize she has less power than anticipated. Tyrion has been stripped of everything and will rely on his wit to relieve his bitterness, and Tywin has plans beyond everyone’s knowledge and control. No one trusts anyone and no one should.
3. The Women of Westeros
Despite the fact that women are arguably (definitely) the star players of the series, they don’t always get highlighted as such. Cersei and Arya are portrayed well considering their well-defined characteristics, but the showrunners often have difficulty with Sansa and Catelyn and allow them to fall by the wayside despite being just as strong willed if not as abrasive. Hopefully this will change with a season jam-packed with strong women characters. On top of the ones we’ve already met who will hopefully see more screentime, there will also be the expanded roles of Ygrette, Brienne and Margery. This season is all about the women, and how despite living in a world where men hold the power, they’re often the ones manipulating the pieces and dealing the deathly blows.
2. Jaime and Brienne’s Excellent Adventure
When you first met Jaime as he’s engaging the horizontal shuffle with his sister and crippling young boys, you didn’t expect him to become one of your favorite characters, and you probably expected to feel guiltier. Well, you did and you didn’t, and season three will only make that love grow. Why? Brienne Tarth. Brienne brings out every single characteristic that makes Jaime such a wonderfully layered character, as well as some you’d never imagined you’d see. The duo is in for a rough go of it this season, but they’ll make for a hilariously entertaining pair as they do so.
1. Tyrion and Being Morally Ambiguous
Peter Dinklage is an astounding talent who breathes life into an already much-faceted character. Tyrion is almost a universal fan favorite, yet the book fans could tell you that they’ve mildly de-clawed him for viewer’s enjoyment. Tyrion isn’t necessarily a bad person, no one in the series (give or take a few) are inherently evil–but he also isn’t the moral light of the Lannister clan. He doesn’t take well to being slighted, has past familial damages that make him unwilling to trust easy, and he will do whatever is needed to succeed and to survive. That’s what makes him such an intriguing character–he’s far from perfect, inflicted by many flaws and yet the character is so utterly engaging. Season three ideally would showcase a Tyrion who is worse for wear after being rung through the ringer and whose previous beliefs are being questioned and weakened. We watch the show for the gray areas. And who wouldn’t love to see Dinklage play up the dark side of his character a bit?
See? Some nutty stuff ahead: Death, love, bloodshed and nudity, expect it all and expect them doubled. Until March 31st, which I know seems like a far ways away, but it really isn’t; read the book!
What are you most excited for?