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Winter is Finally Here: Game of Thrones, Season 3

by Meagan Cole

While the majority of Americans are probably sick of winter invading what ought to be the natural transition into spring, at least for those on the east coast, the infamous motto of the Stark words, “Winter is Coming”, have longed to be heard once more. Trailers have tantalized fans for months, and the highly anticipated wait, complete with its own memes counting down the days, is finally over. HBO’s critically acclaimed, award-winning television show, “Game of Thrones” released its third season premiere Easter Day and will continue to air episodes every Sunday at 9 PM.

For those who don’t know, “Game of Thrones” began as a series of fantasy novels written by George R. R. Martin in the 1990’s, full of honor, duty, magic, and betrayal. There are currently five books available with two more still being published. Much like how Peter Jackson, the director of “Lord of the Rings”, is accredited with staying true to Tolkein’s work, the television series very closely and successfully follows Martin’s voice within the books; the first novel matches up with the first season and so on, making Season 3’s reference material “A Storm of Swords”. Of course, some liberties are taken for the sake of the director’s vision, for reasons like age and interest, and HBO is known for its provocative nature, but nothing is lost at such expense. It  keeps several thousands of viewers on the edge of their seats, however, brings about the spoilers.

Season 2 ended with the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, and the most respected Lannister in the fictional realm by realistic popular vote, regained control of King’s Landing after being attacked by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), the late king’s brother and rightful heir to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms unbeknownst to most characters. Meanwhile, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) started the war and the separation between houses, or noble families, by embarking on a murderous rampage for his own immature amusement, and yet, he refused to do anything “productive” outside of cutting off more heads and hiding behind his mother, Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady).

Another favorite, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) remains alongside her loyal knight and forever friend, Sir Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), and her khal won-over by the dragons she possesses. Early on, viewers saw the power Daenerys was capable of even before she bore the first three dragons in centuries via black magic. However, the second season finale only solidified that when someone got it into their heads to test the mother of fairy tale creatures; bad mistake.

The Starks are still separated, but things are certainly looking up for them, albeit temporarily. Arya (Maisie Williams) managed to escape her service at Harrenhal, Sansa (Sophie Turner) has been released from her betrothal to Joffrey, Robb (Richard Madden) is now married to a lovely nurse, Bran (Issac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson) stole away after Winterfell was taken over, and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is still above the Wall and not dead…yet.

Although viewers, not necessarily readers who have read much further than the viewers have seen episodes, are aware of who is alive, they are also highly aware that George R. R. Martin has a tendency to kill off characters without remorse. Several characters including the great Eddard Stark, played by Sean Bean, and Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) have already been stripped from stardom all according to the ruthless script. So ruthlessly, in fact, that theories have risen suggesting that Martin intentionally kills any character the readers are most emotionally invested in. It is known.

What is known exactly? Well, Daenerys is gaining more power as she obtains her very own army. Along with her dragons growing each day, she is a force to be reckoned with as she pursues reclaiming the Iron Throne stolen from the Targaryen family by Robert Baratheon decades earlier. Except, Daenerys is not the only army marching on the Seven Kingdoms. The White Walkers have been seen forming rank—a cold sign that winter is more upon their houses than ever before, especially for the men of the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings. Like the Starks before, the Lannisters are also trying to regain composure and regroup. Finally, the most obvious return in the history of “Game of Thrones” is that there will be sex and blood.