Straight from the mouths of showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Season Three of the immensely popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” is the one they have been waiting to make. Weiss said in a YouTube video released December 2, 2012, “… if we made it through Season Three, and we could do Season Three right, then it would be all worthwhile.” If that is not enough to get fans of the series excited, perhaps the recent release of a teaser trailer for the upcoming season managed to get the collective blood pumping. Of course, being that the series is based on the literary works of George R.R. Martin under the series title “A Song of Ice and Fire,” surely no one is as excited for the forthcoming doom and boom as the ravenous readership; after all, they have insider information and know that “A Storm of Swords” (the third book in the series and roughly the first half of which serves as the storyline for Season Three of the adaptation) is arguably the best entry in the series. If not that, it is undoubtedly the most heartbreaking.
“Game of Thrones” has been away from television sets (or computer screens, seeing that it is one of the most pirated and streamed shows on television) for quite some time now. So perhaps in lieu of looking forward, analyzing the trailer and spoiling too much of the season, a look back through the events of the past two seasons would be beneficial. Naturally, this will include spoilers for said seasons, so those who have not completed the already released seasons or read the books ought to tread lightly.
Season One contained enough nudity and gore to keep the lumbering, slobbering masses sated — not to mention a top-notch medieval murder-mystery for the more intellectually-inclined among viewership. The King’s Hand (right-hand man) was murdered, twice: once as Eddard Stark (Sean Bean, “Mirror Mirror”), the victim in a cruel twist of fate and narrative. King Robert himself was slain in an “accident” at the hands of his serpent-like wife in the interest of her incestuous brood to take the throne. The Stark children, our de facto protagonists, were split up with eldest Robb leading an army to avenge his father, Eddard’s bastard-born Jon isolated on the Wall with the rest of the Night’s Watch, prim Sansa held captive in King’s Landing (the capital of Westeros), tomboyish Arya escaping the city as a boy and youngest Bran and Rickon holding down the fort in Winterfell.
All the while, our other protagonist, Daenerys Targaryen, rightful heir to the throne of Westeros, is exiled across the Narrow Sea and dealing with the hardships of an arranged marriage to the concentration of testosterone that is Khal Drogo, a barbaric Dothraki (whom she eventually grew to love). Not to mention her power-hungry and vaguely incestuous brother Viserys, and the betrayal against her husband and unborn child at the hands of a vengeful witch-healer. Of course, Daenerys gained three dragons and a depleted following out of the deal, so it was not all drought and famine (that comes in Season Two).
Speaking of Season Two, it picked up right were Season One left off, as any good television show would. Good news: the lasciviousness and brutality remains! Robb Stark continues to beat the Lannisters back in his rebellion against the throne in the name of his deceased father. That is, until his mother, Catelyn, releases his prized prisoner, the Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister. Sansa remains trapped in King’s Landing and betrothed to the monstrous Joffrey (who takes part in perhaps the most disturbing scene of the show yet). Arya continues north in hopes of rejoining her mother, but is sidetracked and ends up cupbearer to the powerful and wise Tywin Lannister, the simultaneous dealer of death through the mysterious assassin Jaqen H’ghar. Bran and Rickon Stark (and indeed all of Winterfell) fall prey to the traitorous and conflicted machinations of Theon Greyjoy, former ward and captive of their father. The last of the Starks, Jon, heads north to meet Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, and his massive army of wildlings, and falls in love with one of them, the redheaded Ygritte, while heading undercover.
In addition to Mance, Joffrey and Robb, two other self-proclaimed kings have sprung up: Stannis and Renly Baratheon, brothers of late King Robert. Of course, Westeros just ain’t big enough for the two of ‘em. So, with the help of his new religion’s magic (and an awkward birthing scene), Stannis murders his brother, leaving four kings vying for the throne, in addition to Daenerys, who spends the entire season in the medieval Vegas that is Qarth searching for her dragons, the most precious three things in the world to her, which she somehow lost.
The season culminates in the Battle of Blackwater, which Tyrion Lannister, the fan-favorite Imp, wins over stoic Stannis and his trusty band of pirates through genius plotting and “pig shit” (read: lots of green fire and computer-generated effects). All of this leaves the kingdom of Westeros in complete turmoil and our beloved Starks (and Tyrion) scattered, shattered and seemingly hopeless. Enter Season Three.
On March 31st, Easter Day, “Game of Thrones” will rise again, presumably sexier and more vicious than before — not unlike Jesus before it. Be sure to tune in to HBO (which I know all us college kids have) to witness the third coming of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic and have your still-beating heart ripped from your chest, raped, dashed against a wall and sufficiently “dracarys’d.” “Valar Morghulis.”