If you’ve got 5 minutes to spare and need a refresher on the ‘Game of Thrones‘ saga, here’s a quick breakdown of Season 3. With any luck, you’ll know much more than Jon Snow by the time we’re done.
Season 3 opens as autumn is making its way across Westeros but, rather than make critical preparations for the long and deadly winter to come, most of Westeros is too busy taking part in the ‘War of 5 Kings’. The balance of power has now shifted in the Lannisters’ favour thanks to the defeat of Stannis Baratheon in the battle of Blackwater. However, it never pays to count out Stannis. While he disciplines the rebellious Sir Davos, Melisandre sets out to start Plan B.
She seduces Robert Baratheon’s bastard son Gendry and draws 3 samples of his royal blood. Stanis uses the blood to cast a curse on his 3 main rivalries: King Joffrey the disgusting, funky-looking Balon Greyjoy and handsome man Robb Stark (Not that Robb needs much help in the bad luck department). The King of the North is losing key territory and valuable allies, especially after alienating House Frey, choosing to marry the lovely Nurse Talisa instead of Walder Frey’s main daughters as promised.
By comparison, things are going just swimmingly for Tywin Lannister as he takes over as Hand of the King and begins consolidating his family’s power. Tywin takes advantage of the new alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, arranging for Cersei to marry Sir Loras and the still-captive Sansa to marry Tyrion. Needless to say, none of the brides or husbands-to-be are happy about this arrangement. But even as Tywin schemes and plots, Lady Olenna Tyrell makes it clear she has her own plans for protecting her family.
Meanwhile, Jamie Lannister is having a pretty terrible Season 3. He and Brienne are captured on their way to King’s Landing and Jamie loses one of his favourite appendages in the process. But all this suffering makes it clear that the king-slayer has a heart of gold. Opening up to Brienne in that hot bathtub made it clear. In the end, Brienne completes her mission of successfully escorting Jamie home to King’s Landing.
The only person who is having a worse season than Jamie is overall-jerk Theon Greyjoy. Waking up in a dungeon tied to a torture rack, things get bad, then worse, then truly unfortunate for the Iron Islander. At the very least, he’ll never eat sausage again.
Rob decides to make peace with Walder Frey by paying a visit to the twins and offering for his uncle to marry one of Frey’s daughters. Frey accepts only to turn around and murder Rob, Talisa, her baby, and every one as soon as the wedding is complete. This episode received the moniker ‘The Red Wedding’ for a very specific reason; a lot of blood.
Arya Stark continues her long, winding journey back home and crosses paths with the brotherhood without banners and their leader the unkillable Sir Beric Dondarrion. Arya then teams up with the Hound and makes her way to the Twins, unfortunately, they arrive just as her entire family is being massacred. Bad timing, Arya.
Things are only going slightly better for Arya’s younger brothers Bran and Rickon. They are joined by Jojen and he helps Bran come to terms with his strange dreams and explains the fact that he needs to be dragged all the way north of the wall to find the truth and the mystical 3-eyed raven.
Also, North of the Wall are the survivors of the White Walker attack on the Fist of the First-men make their way back to the less-than-hospitable Craster’s house. Sam decides to high-tail it back to the Wall with Craster’s daughter Gilly and her infant son. Along the way, he manages to kill a white walker, bump into teen-Bran and arrives back at castle back to make a warning out about the undead attack.
Jon Snow finds his loyalties to the Night’s Watch solely tested as he becomes captive of the Wildlings. He meets their charismatic leader Mance Rayder and falls in love with Ygritte. But when Rayder makes it clear he plans an assault on the almost defenseless Castle Black, Jon sacrifices true-love and escapes to warn his comrades.
Over in Essos, Daenerys is busy assembling an army worthy of the Mother of Dragons. She travels to Astapor to purchase the Unsullied but wins their undying devotion without spending a single coin. All she had to do was use her dragons… to her benefit. Danny then wins the favour of a mercenary group called the Second Sons and their self-serving leader Daario Naharis.
With her rank swelling, Dany sets about liberating the slaves of New-chi and spreading her reputation across the world. And that’s pretty much how Season 3 ends, with Danny’s army at full power.