The mythic drama's gathering storm casts shadows on its key players, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).
Season two left Arya (Maisie Williams) going on the lam again and looking for her family.
Still technically a prisoner of the Starks, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldauas) is making his way back to King's Landing as a part of a deal ordered by a rogue Catelyn.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Game of Thrones' resident wine-o, begins season three with less and less influence over son Joffrey.
Heading north from ruins of Winterfell, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was last seen heading for the Wall at the bequest of a dying Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter).
No longer betrothed to Joffrey, Sansa (Sophie Turner) flees King's Landing to find her family.
Far north, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) kicks off season three a prisoner of the wildlings and about to meet the King Beyond the Wall.
The widow Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) is persona non grata in her son's camp, having freed Jaime Lannister in a bid to get her daughters back.
Robb (Richard Madden) finished season two by skipping out on an alliance-friendly marriage to wed Talisa Westerling (Oona Chaplin), fracturing the Stark camp.
Sandor Clegane, code name "the Hound," swore an oath to protect Sansa at the end of season three.
Dragons in tow, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) got her mojo back at the end of season two, leaving Qarth in her rearview mirror in a newly acquired ship.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), no longer the hand of the king, ended season two with a severe deficit of power.
The contested King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) dropped Sansa for Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) at the end of season two.
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