You gotta hand it to “Game of Thrones” showrunners/writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. The George R.R. Martin books are not easy to adapt. They’re great stories, with an epic overarching conflict in the works, but they’re also massive tomes with an obscene amount of characters and plots and subplots. For every recurring character from a previous book, it seems like Martin introduces three more in the next book. Fortunately for those who can’t keep up with all the names and faces, Martin also has the habit of killing off his characters by the dozens, the good guys and the bad guys. To say that Martin doesn’t respect your need to have the heroes win all the time is an understatement.
With Season 2 of “Game of Thrones” winding down (the season finale is this week), it’s time to look forward to Season 3. Which means, yes, more characters! (But don’t worry, fans, if Benioff and Weiss follow Martin’s books, Season 3 will see a healthy trimming of a lot of existing characters. Dum-da-dum-dum-duuuuuuuuuum.)
Talking to EW, the showrunners revealed a list of characters that will be introduced in the coming season, though it should be noted that this isn’t everyone, and others will be introduced who aren’t on the list. Which makes sense, since the list barely scratches the surface in terms of important players to the story:
– Mance Rayder: The Big Bad of Season 3, if you will. A former brother of the Nights Watch who went native beyond The Wall, and has now returned with bad intentions — and a giant army.
– Daario Naharis: A sellsword who enters Daenerys’ service. Apparently as beautiful as he is untrustworthy (and dangerous). He gets Daenerys all afluttered.
– Jojen and Meera Reed: Mysterious inhabitants of Westeros’ swamplands, who arrive to assist Bran Stark on his travels, which will no doubt take up all of Season 3. This whole storyline has the potential to be unGodly dull, so hopefully they’ll trim it by the scissors.
– Edmure Tully: Catelyn Stark’s brash, young brother, and would-be Lord of Riverrun.
– Ser Brynden Tully (The Blackfish): Catelyn Stark’s uncle, an old school soldier.
– Lady Selyse Florent: Stannis Baratheon’s wife.
– Shireen: Stannis’ daughter.
– Olenna Redwyne (The Queen of Thorns): Margaery Tyrell’s scheming, condescending, and bitch of a grandmother.
– Beric Dondarrion: A former knight, and leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, aka outlaws that roam the land. Arya Stark eventually falls in with them.
– Thoros of Myr: The priest with the flaming sword. Should be fun.
– Tormund Giantsbane: A Wildling raider chief
It’s interesting that the Reeds are being introduced in Season 3. They were supposed to show up in Season 2’s adaptation of “A Clash of Kings”, but I guess the showrunners wanted to save them for later.
“Game of Thrones” Season 3, of course, will adapt “A Storm of Swords”, which brings much of the “War of 5 Kings” storyline to a close (not to mention bloody ends), and sets up a bigger conflict in the coming books. I’m very curious how the show will proceed after Season 3, since I suspect much of Season 4 will compress books 4 and 5 in the series, since there are gigantic chunks of book 4, “A Feast for Crows”, that are just utterly pointless to the overarching story.
And if Benioff and Weiss did that, what will they do for a Season 5, since Martin is unlikely to have written book #6 by then? Dude tends to take his time with the books. As in, a lot of time.