Tonight is the long awaited release of the third season of HBO’s A Game of Thrones. Just in case you didn’t watch the marathon they had going on HBO last night, I just wanted to write a quick refresher over the last two seasons so all the details are fresh for the season premiere tonight.
In the Seven Kingdoms
Everyone’s favorite bundle of joy – King Joffrey – is still ruling over King’s Landing. Even though he still has quite a bit of power, what little his mother Cersei hasn’t taken from him, people from all sides are trying to kick him off the Iron Throne. Renly has been taken care of by whatever the heck that was that Melisandre gave birth to, so Stannis is the only Baratheon (legitimate Baratheon anyway) making a claim to the Throne. But, at the end of Season 2, his army suffered a pretty big setback in Blackwater Bay against Tyrion and the King’s men. Tyrion is also recovering a little bit, after being betrayed by one of the King’s men during the fight
With the beheading of Ned Stark, Joffrey managed to tick off the Northmen enough that they formed their own formidable army, which has been pretty successful so far against Tywin Lannister and the King’s forces. But while the Northmen are off winning battles further south, Theon Greyjoy tries to steal a little glory of his own and seizes Winterfell. Even though Theon goes on this rogue mission to seize Winterfell, the rest of his men don’t support him, so as a publicity stunt, he hangs the supposed corpses of Bran and Rickon Stark. Eventually, Theon’s men turn against him and leave Winterfell, burning and pillaging it when they leave. But Bran and Rickon have managed to escape Winterfell and are heading towards the wall in hopes of meeting up with John Snow
Meanwhile, Catelyn is off trying to win some support for Robb’s cause. While on her journey, she manages to capture Jaime Lannister and holds him hostage in hopes of getting her daughters back from King’s Landing. Even though Robb has promised to marry one of Lord Frey’s daughters, he decided to marry Talisa. This makes his mom pretty angry too, since they need the Freys support for the war. Arya has gradually gotten farther away from the rest of the groups, as she escapes Tywin Lannister’s forces at Harrenhal. The last we see of her, she receives a gift from Jaqen, the man that killed some of the King’s men to help her out. He tells her that this coin can help her find him again, if she ever needs him.
On the Wall
John Snow and a member of the Night’s Watch travel further North to try and find some lost rangers from the Watch, which included John’s uncle. On the way, they are captured by wildlings, and John’s companion, Qhorin Halfhand, recognizes that the only way they can get out of this mess is if John acts as a mole in the wildling army. Halfhand forces John to kill him so the wildlings will actually believe John is no longer loyal to the Night’s Watch. The wildlings are now taking John to meet the leader of the wildlings – Mance Rayder.
In the East
Dany and her three newborn dragons were still struggling to survive. All but a few of the Dothraki army deserted her after her husband, and leader of the dothraki, Khal Drogo died. When she eventually stumbles onto the city of Qarth, the merchants there try to take advantage of her. One man tries to marry her in hopes he can get his hands on the dragons and a warlock there tries to take the dragons from her. But the dragons finally show that they can do something besides squawk and help Dany get out of Qarth.
What to Expect
Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that this season (if the show is anything like the book) will be the best yet. Keep in mind that the second book, which the second season covered, is probably one of the weakest books in the series. That being said, the second season of the series was still great, so that sets expectations for this season extremely high. The book this season will be based off of is so action packed that the writers of the show decided to span it out over two seasons. As you can tell, I’m pretty excited.. which is why I paid the ridiculous price for HBO just so I could see these episodes. It should be worth it.