Game of Thrones returns to HBO this weekend, and it’s been a long wait for the new season. If you don’t have time to re-watch Season 2 to remind yourself of what went down before the Season 3 premiere on Sunday, March 31st, here’s where things left off at the end of Season 2. before the premiere on Sunday, March 31st.
Season 2 left us at the end of one failed battle to defeat the Lannisters and take King’s Landing, leaving Stannis Baratheon licking his wounds and doubting the witch who promised him a throne. Joffrey still holds this throne, if not the respect of his followers, having left them on the field of battle and joined his mother in hiding. In spite of the fact that he is responsible for the Lannisters’ win, Tyrion finds himself banished from the Red Keep and back on the wrong side of his family’s favor. Jaime Lannister, meanwhile is making his way back home escorted by Brienne at Catelyn Stark’s bidding.
Speaking of the Starks, Robb Stark, still holding to his title of King in the North, has broken his word to Walder Frey (whose assistance guranteed his win against Tywin's army) and married Lady Talisa, and he's furious with his mother for releaseing their best bargaining chip. Arya, who has escaped King's Landing and Harrenhal both, now escapes the Lannisters thanks to an unlikely ally, Jaqen, who turns out to be one of the Faceless Men – an assassin feared across the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa, having slowly learned the reality of her Prince, is cast aside by Joffrey in favor of Margaery Tyrell, but refuses to flee King’s Landing and return to Winterfell in spite of being urged to do so. In some good news for the Stark family, Theon Greyjoy’s attempt to take Winterfell fails, and although it leaves many dead, Bran Stark is not among them, having somehow escaped the fire believed to have taken his life.
Meanwhile, across the sea, Daenerys Targaryen has been trying to find help in the odd city of Qarth and finally comes into her own, winning back her stolen dragons (who start to show their power by torching the warlocks who stole them at Dany’s command). Unfortunately, it turns out her alleged ally Xaro Xhoan Daxos has both betrayed Dany and lied about his riches – he finds himself locked in his empty vault while she turns her eyes towards Westeros and the throne she hopes to reclaim.
Beyond the wall to the north, far from the drama of the kingdoms, Jon Snow has gone north and falls into the hands of Wildlings. The season ends as the Night’s Watch has found an army of creepy Whitewalkers on the march. Winter is coming in a serious way.
So that’s where things stand going into the long-awaited Season 3. The Lannisters are still holding on to the Iron Throne, but only one of those who threaten it has been defeated. Game of Thrones was one of our top dramas for 2012, and it looks like Season 3 is going to be even better.