"Game of Thrones" Season 3: Are you ready?

Let me preface this article by saying that I was late, very late, to hopping on the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon. Despite my roommates’ continued attempts to get me to watch HBO’s fantasy epic, I stubbornly held out. Finally, I gave in and I have never seen a more entertaining, captivating, gut-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat watching, and mystifying production than the first two seasons of Game of Thrones.

This medieval power-struggle with a supernatural twist quickly catapulted onto my personal list of favorite shows. Why I neglected such an acclaimed series in one of my favorite genres (fantasy) I don’t know, but I’m all in now.

Without further adieu, here’s five pressing story lines to know for season three, set to premiere Sunday, March 31.

1) It’s all about the characters

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 1.03.33 PMI’ve never seen a show with so many characters that illicit an emotional response. Some, I root for like a fanatic and others, I hate with a passion. The crazy thing is, anyone is expendable (those who read the books already know this).

I always appreciate productions that recognize the realistic fact that no one is safe regardless of their status as a main character i.e. Ned Stark. Balancing reality with entertainment is always a challenge and “Game of Thrones” pulls it off brilliantly.

Therefore it makes sense that many questions surrounding season three revolve around continued character development. Which existing characters will meet their end in season three? Who will we love to loathe, and whom will we learn to love? What new characters will emerge (the king beyond the wall for one) and how will we react to them?

 

2) Dragons!

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Ever since Daenerys Targaryen emerged from the burning funeral pyre flanked by three newborn dragons at the end of season one, I’ve been itching to see how the dragons, once fully matured, will factor into the struggle for the Iron Throne.

This burning desire (no pun intended) became even stronger after the baby dragons saved their mother from the warlock Pyat Pree in the House of the Undying. I can only imagine what these creatures will be capable of once fully grown.

 

3) “The Walking Dead” meets “Game of Thrones”

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 1.02.36 PMThe most suspenseful and mysterious aspect of “Game of Thrones” has been the clandestine activity of the white walkers. While the various families battle for control of the Iron Throne in the South, the White Walkers continue to organize in the North.

Unbeknownst to those who insist that the white walkers have been gone for thousands of years, their existence is very real and terrifyingly threatening, as evidenced by the army of white walkers we were left with at the end of Season Two. The image and scream of the white demon with piercing blue eyes will forever haunt my nightmares!

I’m extremely excited to see how this zombie-like danger continues to escalate in season three and if those in the south will begin to take the threat seriously. Winter is indeed coming!

 

4) The “game of thrones”

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 1.06.04 PMOne of the great things about this series is that the “game of thrones” is not a struggle between just two opponents, but a free-for-all akin to a golf tournament. Although the Lannisters emerged from the battle of Blackwater with undisputed control of the Iron Throne, in the bigger scheme of things, the “game” is far from over.

Will Robb (king in the north) and Catelyn Stark continue their planned conquest of King’s Landing that was derailed at the end of season two by various distractions?

Will Daenerys and her dragons finally return to Westeros and attempt to reclaim the Iron Throne for the Targaryen bloodline?

Can Stannis Baratheon and his magical priestess Melisandre bounce back from a crushing defeat in the battle of Blackwater to mount another attack on King’s Landing?

Grab your popcorn and get ready to watch. There’s no telling how long this game could last.

 

5) Tyrion Lannister

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 1.05.38 PMAs the best character on the show, I thought that our favorite “imp” deserved his own section. Tyrion’s narrative will surely be an intriguing one in this upcoming season.

While the Lannisters are in the cross-hairs of the many vying for the throne, Tyrion is in the cross-hairs of his own family members. Near the conclusion of the battle of Blackwater, Tyrion is nearly killed by a member of the Kingsguard under the orders of his older sister Cersei. Upon waking up from his brush with death, Tyrion learns that his father Tywin has resumed his duties as Hand of the King and that his pivotal role in defending King’s Landing was unacknowledged.

In the opinion of his family members, Tyrion is clearly a threat to their mission. Despite his expendability in the eyes of his kin, Tyrion wishes to stay in King’s Landing and continue to outwit his relatives.

It will be interesting to see how long Tyrion can live in this perilous situation. Something tells me his ability to out-talk and out-think others will continue to serve him well.

Screenshots by Emily Akin/Gavel Media

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