So, eager to hear a little bit about what the first episode will reveal to those watching? HBO teases the season premiere episode “Valar Dohaeris”, and runs through a lengthy list of notable returning and new cast members, in a press release they’ve sent to the media. As there’s spoilers herein, to some degree, we’re just going to put everything under the cut… so click on through!
EMMY®- AND GOLDEN GLOBE-WINNING HBO SERIES
GAME OF THRONES RETURNS FOR THIRD SEASON MARCH 31
As Blackwater Bay cools, the victors consolidate their power and rebuild King’s Landing. But new challengers for the Iron Throne rise from the most unexpected places. Characters old and new must navigate the demands of family, honor, ambition, love and – above all – survival, as the Westeros civil war rages into autumn.
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series returns for its ten-episode third season SUNDAY, MARCH 31 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time.
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.
Returning series regulars on GAME OF THRONES this season include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon).
Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), James Cosmo (Commander Jeor Mormont), Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell).
Returning recurring cast members on GAME OF THRONES this season include: Natalia Tena (Osha), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Oona Chaplin (Talisa Maegyr Stark), Julian Glover (Maester Pycelle), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), Esmé Bianco (Ros), Gemma Whelen (Yara Greyjoy), Hannah Murray (Gilly) and Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark).
New cast members for the third season include: Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Clive Russell (Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully), Nathalie Emannuel (Missandei), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Philip McGinley (Anguy), Tara Fitzgerald (Selyse Baratheon), Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully), Anton Lesser (Qyburn), Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) and Noah Taylor (Locke).
Episode #21: “Valar Dohaeris”
Debut: SUNDAY, MARCH 31 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: March 31 (10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m.) and April 1 (11:15 p.m.), 2 (11:00 p.m.), 3 (10:00 p.m.), 4 (10:00 p.m.) and 6 (10:15 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 1 (9:00 p.m.), 4 (11:00 p.m.), 5 (midnight), 7 (1:40 p.m.) and 19 (10:00 p.m.)
Jon is brought before Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, while the Night’s Watch survivors retreat south. In King’s Landing, Tyrion asks for his reward. Littlefinger offers Sansa a way out. Cersei hosts a dinner for the royal family. Daenerys sails into Slaver’s Bay.
Written for television by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Daniel Minahan.
Among the critical praise for the second season of GAME OF THRONES, Newsday called it “the best show on television,” while the Los Angeles Times termed the series “a cinematic feast” and “masterful.” The Wall Street Journal hailed the show as “magnificent” andUSA Today called it “near perfection.”
In Sept. 2012, GAME OF THRONES received six Emmys®, tied for the most of any program, including Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series (tied with HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), Outstanding Costumes for a Series, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
In Sept. 2011, the show received two Emmys®, for Outstanding Main Title Design and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Peter Dinklage, who also received a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor; produced by Chris Newman, Greg Spence.
So, at last, confirmation on some of the returning actors—particularly Alfie Allen and Ian McElhinney, and confirmation of Noah Taylor as Locke (that took long enough). Plus some omissions of note…