A full two seasons have flown by. Game of Thrones Season 3 begins with surviving members of the Night’s Watch struggling back to the Wall after a shocking defeat at the hands of the White Walkers. Disunity and rebellion is in the air. Conflict boils over between an old ally of Stannis, Davos Seaworth, and Melisandre. Davos conspires to have her poisoned but she is unaffected and Davos is arrested. Poor Davos cops a bit of a pasting in this GOT Season 3 recap. Melisandre then doubles down on her bet that Stannis is the prophesied leader Azhor Ahai by seeking out the blood of a king. We find out in Game of Thrones Season 3 that Stannis isn’t the only person who thinks he is Azhor Ahai.
Having left Qarth, Daenerys visits the slave city of Astapor to buy a slave army. Upon arrival she finds herself having a crisis of conscience and eventually buys a 8,000 soldiers for one of her young dragons.
The war is progressing in several different directions. The ruins of Winterfell have been seized (along with Theon Greyjoy) by northern forces loyal to the Boltons. Theon is tortured extensively and visually. These are some of the hardest scenes to watch in Game of Thrones Season 3 and sets up the barbarity of the Boltons later on. Bolton soldiers also capture Jamie and Brienne, torment them and eventually cut Jaime’s sword hand off.
The King beyond the Wall, having taken Jon’s pledge of fealty, sends him and a band of warriors over the wall to attack the Night’s Watch while it is weak. Jon by this point has fallen in love with Ygritte, his one-time captive. This is THE love story of Game of Thrones Season 3 so naturally George R R Martin curses it.
Arya and Gendry continue their habit of being captured, this time by the an unaffiliated rebel group. Arya’s identity is revealed by Sandor Clegane who is drinking himself silly after fleeing the bloodshed at King’s Landing. Bran and co. have a chance encounter with the children of their late father’s bannerman, Howland Reed. They begin a journey together with Meera and Jojen, the latter of whom can see the future and tells Bran he is a Warg.
Tywin is busy rearranging the capital; sending Little Finger to marry Lysa Arryn and making a recently recovered Tyrion Master of Coin. Margaery is winning the hearts of King’s Landers with her charitable works and good looks. Olenna Tyrell, the formidable Queen of Thorns, learns about Joffrey’s horrible character.
North of the Wall the surviving members of the Night’s Watch make it to Craster’s Keep, where they set upon one another and their host. The Lord Command and Craster are killed in the fray and Sam Tarly escapes with Gilly and her newborn. To test the loyalty of her new army, Dany turns her newfound Unsullied against their former slave masters. She reclaims her dragon and frees the remaining soldiers, who join her.
Robb’s army is suffering blows after he executes Lord Karstark who had murdered two Lannister prisoners. The Karstarks depart back north and Robb must now rely on his promised marriage to a Frey to get more bannermen. Arya and Gendry watch the leader of the rebels Beric Dondarrion die in trial by combat to Sandor Clegane, only for the former to be resurrected by the Red priest Thoros of Myr.
Arya runs away from the rebels but is quickly (you guessed it) captured by Sandor. Melisandre visits the rebels and buys Gentry off them, revealing to him that his father was Robert Baratheon. Robb strikes a deal with Walder Frey after revealing that he has taken his own wife, despite their previous arrangement: Robb’s uncle Edmure will marry a Frey. Meanwhile, Dany is declaring war on other slave cities like Yunkai. Brienne and Jaime’s relationship deepens when he saves her from a bear pit in Harrenhal.
Tyrion and Sansa are married at Tywin’s insistence, much to Joffrey’s humour. Tarly and Gilly make it to the Wall, but not before being set upon by a White Walker. Tarly kills it with dragonglass, setting up the scene for future GOT battles between men and the undead. Dany finds a love in Naharis of the Second Sons and takes the city of Yunkai. The freed slaves call the Targaryen ‘mother’. Osha takes Rickon to the Last Hearth and Bran, Hodor and the Reeds go North. Meanwhile Jon has travelled south over the Wall and narrowly escapes being killed by his Wildling companions: he rides to Castle Black to warn his brothers-in-arms (but not before Ygritte puts a few arrows in him).
Northern bannermen converge on the Frey’s castle, the Twins, for Edmure’s wedding. There, the Starks are set upon by Freys and Boltons. The trap, laid by their apparent bannermen, was done because of Robb’s infidelity and promises of Lannister gold. Robb and Catelyn are graphically murdered. In a single gruesome night at the Red Wedding, the entire Northern resistance collapses. Arya and Sandor reach the Twins as the massacre is occurring but escape unharmed.
Lord Bolton is named Warden of the North and Walder Frey receives his own rewards. Jaime makes it to King’s Landing to be reunited with Cersei. Tarly and Bran’s parties cross paths and the young Stark is given dragonglass. An alert is sent out to the Seven Kingdoms that White Walkers have returned to the earth. Heeding that call, Stannis sails north to aid the Night’s Watch, but not before Davos (recently freed) releases Gendry from his cell.
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