For millions of fans, the third season of Game of Thrones could not come fast enough. The hit TV show returns to HBO in the United States and Canada on Sunday, March 31st. A day later, viewers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand will also get their chance to see what will now happen to the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens and the many other characters.
According to the official preview of the first episode, released by HBO:
As season three begins, the Lannisters hold absolute dominion over King’s Landing after repelling Stannis Baratheon’s forces. Yet Robb Stark, King in the North, still controls much of the South as well, and has yet to lose a battle. In the Far North, Mance Rayder has united the wildlings into the largest army Westeros has ever seen. Only the Night’s Watch stands between him and the Seven Kingdoms, but nobody knows what happened to its Lord Commander and the force he led beyond the Wall. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen – reunited with her three growing dragons – ventures into Slaver’s Bay in search of ships to take her home and allies to conquer it.
Some tidbits about Season 3:
- it will be based on the novel A Sword of Storms, which is considered by many to be the best of the A Song of Fire and Ice series.
- the cast of named characters is now at 257. Among the major new characters coming in this season are Mance Rayder, the fearsome King Beyond the Wall (played by Ciarán Hinds), Baeric Dondarrion, who seems to be good with a burning sword (played by Richard Dormer), Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s brother (Tobias Menzies), and Lady Olenna Tyrell – also known as the Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg).
- although they are still just making 10 episodes this year, viewers get to see a little more action, as the average length of each episode has gone up from an average of 52 minutes to about 57 minutes
- George R.R. Martin is set to make a cameo appearance somewhere in this season
Christopher Orr was able to preview the first four episodes, and writing in The Atlantic, tells readers “Thus far, the third season appears to be better than the second, though it falls short of the near-perfection of the first. That this season looks to be an improvement on the last should come as no surprise, given that the third book is considerably better than its predecessor.” Click here to read the full article.
You can read this interview with David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the show’s creators, here.
You can also check out this Quick guide to Season 2 from HBO.
Medievalists.net will be back with reviews of each episode. Check out our reviews from Season 1 and 2 here.