Season 3 of Game of Thrones was commissioned on 10 April 2012, following a major increase in audience figures between the first two seasons. It consists of ten episodes and began filming on 10 July 2012. It concluded filming on 24 November 2012. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss returned as executive producers and show runners.
The season premiered on 31 March, 2013.
Season 3 is mostly based on the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.
Season 3 spans several months on a world where the seasons can last for years at a time. Autumn has fallen across the world, with winter not far behind. The people should be preparing for years of snow and ice, but the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros instead remain gripped by civil war. Would-be king Renly Baratheon has been assassinated, altering the alliances in the war. The cruel boy-king Joffrey Baratheon has won a great victory by securing an alliance with House Tyrell, with his supporters defeating his uncle Stannis in an epic battle. Joffrey now commands the largest armies in the realm and his triumph appears inevitable.
King Robb Stark remains in the field, however his homeland, the North, is partially under ironborn occupation. Robb needs to decide on a course of action to win an overall victory. He must also win back the allegiance of House Frey, whom he has offended by breaking his marriage pact to them. King Robb has won every battle he has fought, but as with old King Robert, the Starks will have to see if good soldiers make good kings.
Stannis Baratheon may be defeated and most of his army destroyed or scattered, but he is not out of the fight yet. Having retreated to his headquarters on Dragonstone island with his handful of surviving soldiers, Stannis’ status as the last legitimate heir to his older brother Robert still casts a shadow over Joffrey’s claim to the throne. With the priestess Melisandre at his side, Stannis can still influence the course of the war by striking where least expected.
The lives of many others still hang in the balance. Bran Stark and his protectors must cross the frozen wastelands of the North to reach the Wall, while Arya must brave the war-torn Riverlands in search of her mother and brother. Brienne also has the thankless task of taking the captive Jaime Lannister home across hundreds of miles of battlefields and carnage. Theon Greyjoy must face the consequences of his actions at Winterfell. And in King’s Landing both Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark must brave the currents of a much more dangerous court in order to survive.
On the eastern continent, Daenerys Targaryen has fled the political viper-pit of Qarth. Her dragons are growing and her fame is spreading, but to take the Iron Throne she will need supporters and an army. Both may be found in the corrupt cities of Slaver’s Bay… for a price.
Beyond the Wall, the White Walkers are on the move, threatening both the Seven Kingdoms and the lands of the Free Folk. While the Night’s Watch faces the threat of the White Walkers in the field, Jon Snow must infiltrate the wildling army of Mance Rayder and discover the King-Beyond-the-Wall’s plans.
|21||“Valar Dohaeris“||March 31, 2013||4.37|
|Jon is brought before Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, while the Night’s Watch survivors retreat south. In King’s Landing, Tyrion asks for his reward, Littlefinger offers Sansa a way out, and Cersei hosts a dinner for the royal family. Dany sails into Slaver’s Bay.|
|22||“Dark Wings, Dark Words“||April 7, 2013||4.27|
|Sansa Stark is introduced to Olenna Tyrell and is incautious when questioned about King Joffrey Baratheon. Shae asks Tyrion Lannister for help protecting Sansa. Jaime Lannister provokes Brienne into a duel but finds himself recaptured. Arya Stark crosses paths with the Brotherhood Without Banners and is recognized by their new prisoner Sandor Clegane. Ravens bring dark news to the King in the North atHarrenhal; his brothers are still missing and Hoster Tully has died. Jon Snow learns about wargs from theFree Folk. Bran Stark is surprised to meet new allies in the barren North.|
|23||“Walk of Punishment“||April 14, 2013||4.72|
|Tyrion gains new responsibilities; Jon is taken to the Fist of the First Men; Daenerys meets with the slavers;Jaime strikes a deal with his captors.|
|24||“And Now His Watch is Ended“||April 21, 2013||4.87|
|The Night’s Watch takes stock; Varys meets his better; Arya is taken to the commander of the Brotherhood;Daenerys makes an exchange.|
|25||“Kissed by Fire“||April 28, 2013||5.35|
|The Hound is judged by the gods; Jaime is judged; Jon proves himself; Robb is betrayed; Tyrion learns the cost of weddings.|
|26||“The Climb“||May 5, 2013||5.50|
|Tywin plans strategic unions for the Lannisters. Melisandre pays a visit to the Riverlands. Robb weighs a compromise to repair his alliance with House Frey. Roose Bolton decides what to do with Jaime Lannister.Jon, Ygritte and the Wildlings face a daunting climb.|
|27||“The Bear and the Maiden Fair“||May 12, 2013||4.84|
|Dany exchanges gifts with a slave lord outside of Yunkai. As Sansa frets about her prospects, Shae chafes at Tyrion’s new situation. Tywin counsels the king, and Melisandre reveals a secret to Gendry. Briennefaces a formidable foe in Harrenhal.|
|28||“Second Sons“||May 19, 2013||5.13|
|King’s Landing hosts a wedding, and Tyrion and Sansa spend the night together. Dany meets the Titan’s Bastard. Davos demands proof from Melisandre. Sam and Gilly meet an older gentleman.|
|29||“The Rains of Castamere“||June 2, 2013||5.22|
|Robb presents himself to Walder Frey, and Edmure meets his bride. Jon faces his harshest test yet. Brandiscovers a new gift. Daario and Jorah debate how to take Yunkai. House Frey joins with House Tully.|
|30||“Mhysa“||June 9, 2013||5.39|
|Joffrey challenges Tywin. Bran tells a ghost story. In Dragonstone, mercy comes from strange quarters.Dany waits to see if she is a conqueror or a liberator.|
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