Game of Thrones is set to return to TV screens for a fourth season in April. This means that there is still plenty of time for new fans to catch-up and existing fans to rewatch the show. Season 3 of the hit HBO fantasy drama series is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Game of Thrones Season 3 is based on the first half of George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords which is the third novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. Season 3 follows the same format as previous seasons with a 10 episode run but this time episodes run up to 5 minutes longer to help fit everything in.
If you haven’t watched the show before then we would highly recommend you don’t start with Season 3. Game of Thrones is a complex show with a huge cast that demands you start at the beginning and pay attention. There is so much going on in every single episode that it can leave you exhausted just trying to keep up.
Most TV shows follow the same small set of characters each episode or series but Game of Thrones is quite different. There are over 30 main characters to follow and well over 100 if you include the supporting characters too. In Game of Thrones you soon learn to expect the unexpected and that none of the characters, including the main ones, are safe. There are always plenty of twists and turns and it’s refreshing to see a show that’s not afraid to shock – just wait until you’ve seen episode 9 The Rains of Castamere, we’re not sure that we’ll ever recover!
Set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos the show follows different groups of characters in their quests to claim the Iron Throne and control the Seven Kingdoms. Following a decade-long summer it’s time for the return of winter. There’s also a looming threat coming from the North beyond the Wall from the Wildlings as well as mythical creatures known as the White Walkers.
Season 3 picks up right after the events of Season 2 and there are too many things happening to mention them all. The Lannisters are recovering after The Battle of Blackwater where Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) launched an assault on King’s Landing. Beyond the Wall the Night’s Watch are attacked by the White Walkers with the survivors heading back to warn the Seven Kingdoms. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targeryen (Emilia Clarke) has arrived in Astapor with her dragons and is looking for soldiers for her army.
Elsewhere Jon Snow (Kit Harington) meets Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), the King beyond the Wall. Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) is charged with escorting Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to King’s Landing. Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is held captive. Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) are heading North with the help of Osha (Natalia Tena) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) while the other Starks are heading for Riverrun.
All your favourite characters that survived Season 2 return. Our favourite character on the show by far is Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) with his fantastic dialogue. He appears in all but one of the episodes and is on fine form but he does feel a little underused this season. Another character who doesn’t get the screen time we expected this season is King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). Everyone loves to hate Joffrey and we’re hoping he gets the slow painful death he deserves in a future season.
Despite the large cast Season 3 isn’t afraid to bombard you with plenty of new faces too. Look out for famous faces such as David Bradley, Mackenzie Crook, Richard Dormer and Tobias Menzies. The standout addition to the cast this season though was Diana Rigg who is fantastic as Olenna Tyrell, the grandmother of Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer).
Extras included with Season 3 include deleted scenes, episode commentaries and documentaries. The features include a look at the new cast members, the politics of marriage and the Wildlings. It’s all presented wonderfully using plenty of imagery from the season.
The third season of Game of Thrones is the strongest season so far and you only have to look at the ratings to see how popular the show has become. It’s not the easiest of shows to watch but if you’re prepared to give it the attention it deserves then you’ll not be disappointed.