Anyone who has watched ‘Game of Thrones’ through the end of the first season knows that this is one franchise not afraid to kill its darlings. Seemingly integral characters can meet their demise at any time, and in a war between five kings, tons of people can find the God of Death in one fell swoop.
And anyone who has read the books knows there’s a cast of characters waiting in the wings for audiences to meet, fall in love with, and then again be crushed at the time of their likely deaths.
This 9 1/2-minute long featurette outlines 11 new and important characters that we will meet and learn much about in this third season. For show-watching purists, though, I should warn you, the following video contains minor spoilers for the path of the upcoming season.
Since it’s always helpful in an epic tale with a cast of hundreds, here is a summary of each new character.
Olenna Tyrell, Margaery Tyrell’s grandmother and the matriarch of the Tyrell family. She is a formidable counter to Tywin Lannister’s stronghold on King’s Landing. He does not trust Jon Snow.
Missandei is a slave in Astapor who serves as a translator for Kraznys when Daenerys comes to purchase an army of slaves known as the Unsullied.
Mance Rayder is the leader of the Wildlings and King-Beyond-the-Wall, although normal airs of royalty observed in the southlands do not apply to him. Jon Snow has been ordered to trick Mance into believing Jon’s a traitor to the Night’s Watch, as Mance is himself.
Tormund Giantsbane is a famous wildling raider, and one of Mance’s trusted lieutenants, if such ranks applied.
Orell is a warg who fights with the wildlings and has the ability to send his consciousness into an eagle and report back his findings once back in his human body.
Jojen and Meera Reed are brother and sister of House Reed, swearing loyalty to House Stark and helping rule the Crannogmen, a reclusive swamp people. They’re adept at hiding in the forests, tracking, and hunting. Jojen also has the “greensight” as Bran does — the ability to dream in the past, present, and future.
Blackfish Tully is uncle to Catelyn Stark and a serious and talented warrior who happily pledges allegiance to House Stark.
Edmure Tully is Catelyn’s younger brother who is prone to act on impulse, but has a good heart.
Thoros of Myr is a priest originally from Myr, relocated to King’s Landing, and left once Gregor Clegane (The Mountain, brother of The Hound) began ransacking the countryside. He is a part of the Brotherhood Without Banners, and outlaw group of knights who fight against Lannister rule.
Beric Dondarrion, leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, travelling the countryside to bring the king’s justice to Gregor Clegane.
‘Game of Thrones’ airs Sunday nights on HBO.