Before April 17, 2011, my preferred game of choice was one of play money, plastic infrastructure and miniature thimbles. Unfortunately for my friends on Illinois Avenue, that was the day the potent combination of George R.R. Martin and premium cable brought a new game into my life: A Game of Thrones.
For the uninformed, George R.R. Martin is the author of the five-novels-and-counting fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire that HBO’s hit show is based on. I am merely one loyal member of Khal Martin’s innumerous horde, a contingent that has been salivating at the prospects for this season as Game of Thrones begins to tackle the consensus fan favorite A Storm of Swords.
Let me reassure you if you are among the millions of people that only watch the show – in the future this column will deal exclusively with the HBO series. However, as someone who has trouble describing A Storm of Swords without excessive hyperbole, I feel obligated to share some of Martin’s masterpiece with you. Well, at least as a framing device.
Using quotes from Martin’s text, let’s check in on some of the show’s main characters and preview what’s in store for them this season.
After spending last season fighting off blue-lipped warlocks and poorly developed storylines, self proclaimed rightful heir of Westeros and ally of flying reptiles everywhere, Daenerys Stormborn AKA Kahleesi AKA THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS will have a return to form in Season Three as she looks to procure an army full of eunuchs. Can you take over Westeros with 20,000 clones of Varys? Let’s find out!
LOL. A random cousin of Queen Margaery and self-admitted enthusiast of douchey-King Joffrey’s pronounced oral region, our girl Megga is ludicrously misinformed about Sansa Stark’s emotional state post-breakup. I think we can safely classify “avoiding permanent matrimony with young Joffrey Dahmer” as a positive for Ned Stark’s eldest daughter. But can Sansa continue to survive in King’s Landing? Or will a new alliance provide the hope of escape?
Miraculously save the day and then wake up scarred and powerless? Talk about a buzzkill. After admirably serving as Hand of the King in Season Two, Tyrion has been forced to relinquish the title back to his father and things are not, as they say, looking up. Tough times await Tyrion. Can he still rely on his prostitute girlfriend and mercenary and eunuch BFF’s? Fingers crossed!
Brienne & Jamie Lannister:
Just some cute banter between the show’s most fun odd couple: Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is escorting Jamie as her prisoner back to King’s Landing, having promised Lady Stark she would do so in hopes of then facilitating the return of Sansa. Aside from being a staunch proponent for incest and regicide, Jamie isn’t really that bad. Mark my words, this season will shed a different light on one of Westeros’ most misunderstood figures.
The last time we saw Catelyn Stark, her son Robb, the King of the North, had placed her on house-arrest after she released the North’s most valuable prisoner, Jamie Lannister. If you find yourself grounded by your own children, you’ll also find yourself without my respect. I’m not sure if a fictional character like Catelyn Stark considers that a devastating absence, but it certainly won’t do her any favors in this column. This season we will find out the full repercussions of her actions and finally meet some relatives on her side of the family. Neat!
Crafty little Arya. Finally free from captivity and snappy exchanges with Tywin Lannister, she sets out in search of her family with her two friends, a confident, can-do attitude and a nice new piece of bling courtesy of her assassin friend (everyone should really have one) Jaqen H’ghar. But like pretty much every journey anyone has ever undertaken on Game of Thrones, Arya doesn’t quite end up where she intends. This season she will find herself reunited with a very unexpected companion and witness to one of the most thrilling duels in the show’s history.
Sounds like another beautiful day! Last time we saw Jon Snow, he was a Virgin Bastard Hostage being held Beyond the Wall by an army of Wildlings. In case you’re new to Game of Thrones or just generally struggle with straightforward concepts, that is not good news. This season we will finally meet Mance Rayder, the man leading the Wildling army, and also see if Ygritte can get past first base with her sexually reserved captive.
If Tyrion won the war and is miserable, imagine how Stannis Baratheon feels. After failing to recognize the age-old axiom regarding wildfire repellant and naval combat, Stannis retreats home discouraged and on the ropes. This season we’ll find out which of his men survived the Battle of the Blackwater and meet Stannis’ charming wife Selyse, who probably has a few questions for her would-be King hubby. Like, hey, did you impregnate your mistress with a menacing shadow creature that subsequently killed your brother? Just the usual.