Sunday, January 27, 2013

Game of Thrones Season 3 character shots!

HOLY CRAP team, Game of Thrones S3 is so close I can almost taste the boobs and leather. HBO have kindly deigned to bestow upon us some truly badass images - some of known characters, some of unknowns, all of them awesome and costumed to within an inch of their lives.

Join me after the break for a character walkthrough! (I'm not spoilering S3, but there will be S1 and S2 references). Also if you're like me and reading everything you can get your hands on Throne-wise, you should totally compare this article (me with my not-having-read-the-books) versus Vanessa's far more informed one (having read the books).

1. Queen of Thorns - Olenna Tyrell

The glorious Diana Rigg, seriously pimped out and poised to become a force to be reckoned with in S3. Lady Olenna is Margery and Loras Tyrell's grandmother, dubbed the Queen of Thorns, and I for one want to throw her,Varys and Pycelle into a pit and see who emerges.

2. The Blackfish - Brynden Tully

This grizzled old salt is the brother of Hoster Tully, currently the reigning Tully at Riverrun, and Catelyn Stark's uncle. He looks like I imagine Alice Cooper to look these days. I for one am happy to watch the ranks of tough old dudes swell. Clive Russell looks to be perfecting his Imma-not-taking-your-crap face in the image above.

3. King Beyond the Wall - Mance Rayder

With a noggin like a cliff-face and proudly wearing what looks to be the entire pelt of a bear and it's family, Ciaran Hinds is guaranteed to scare the crap out of one and all and prove himself as a god among Eskimos.

4. The Red Woman - Melisandre

A more familiar face this time around, and the conduit for one of the many truly WTF moments of S2. GoT has a knack for casting women who are beautiful but look completely like nothing you've ever seen. Carice Van Houten gives me pleasant young Angelica Houston flashbacks. Eagerly paying attention to see where Melisandre's talons land next.

5. Sansa Stark

And on a similar note, Sophie Turner's Sansa is growing into something truly epic. I've heard mention before about Tyrion and Theon being the main characters with a definite arc, but I'd have to argue that Sansa's story is starting to get really - really - interesting. And you only need to check in on her character in early S1 to appreciate how drastically she's changed. And on a slight diversion, that dress is awesome. 

6. Red Priest of R'hllor - Thoros of Myr

Member of a guerrilla group composed of the men sent by Eddard Stark to track down and kill Gregor Clegane (The Mountain). Not going to say much about this shifty-looking character, on account of his details all being spoilery, but rest assured he's worth watching, and played with an intensely furrowed brow by Paul Kaye.

7. Beric Dondarrion

This one is also a part of aforementioned guerrilla group, and similarly can't be delved into deeply. He's a dead ringer for Davos Seaworth, which is going to be confusing. Handily, this ones sporting an unhygenic looking eye patch. Beric actually appeared in S1, played by a young and sprightly David Michael Scott in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene.
Interestingly, the GRRM version of this character is devastatingly blonde and handsome. No offence, Richard Dormer, but - hm.

8. Margaery Tyrell

And if we didn't already have enough balls-of-steel ladyfolk already, Margaery Tyrell, newly betrothed to the Joff, has her sights on Cersei's crown - and quite possibly the smarts to pull it off. She's also more than equipped to deal with the Joff brand of crazy. Natalie Dormer has been Anne Boleyn-ing in The Tudors for three years prior to this, so she seems very at home with the corsets and crossbows side of things.

9. Stannis Baratheon

Stannis is both repulsively sexless and dry as an old bone, but damn he's riveting. His sheer willpower and devotion to the idea of justice is compelling. He's referred to as fair and just repeatedly, but the idea jars with the total un-likeability of the character to a point where you can only marvel at Stephen Dillane's portrayal. I remember rumors making the rounds about Gerard Butler playing this role, which is now laughable.

10. The Kingslayer - Jamie Lannister

Oh how the handsome have fallen. I have such trouble summoning up anything but fondness for this character - murdering and crippling and sisterbanging and all. We last saw him bundled together with Lady Catelyn Stark and Brienne of Tarth, being smuggled away from the Northern army with the intent of trading him for the Stark girls, and damn it if I don't adore the way he banters with these two ladies. Season 2 felt a bit light on the Jamie, so I'm hoping S3 ups his appearances.

11. Catelyn Stark

And speaking of Lady Catelyn, here she is, in all her fishy glory (house Tully have fish as their sigil, as demonstrated above). She got increasingly complex as S2 rolled on, culminating in a final desperate bid to get her daughters back which involved going against her son, the current King of the North. She has these wonderful moments - where she's grappling with a guy with a knife to protect her son, or bashing the crap out of Jamie with a rock - that reinforce that GRRM writes the most convoluted, flawed and brutal women in fantasy.

12. Cersei Lannister

The glorious Lena Headey, in one of my two favorite performances in GoT thus far. Cersei is ruthless and very powerful, though her substantial blindspots - how to effectively rule, mainly - mean that she is very nearly as much of a cause for grief as Joffrey. We last saw her in S2 on the verge of ending her own life on the Iron Throne. Didn't pan out that way, but it was a huge thrill to watch Cersei in her battle corset with a goblet of wine sneering at Sansa and lounging around like a big blonde lush. My god Lena Headey is good.

13. Brienne the Beauty - Brienne of Tarth

I'm confident Brienne is going to come into her own in S3 - she didn't get to show much vulnerability in S2, and her stilted, ultra valiant man-act is effectively blocking us from getting more of a sense of her as a person. Beyond the painfully stoic way she interacts with her male counterparts, that is. It's a miracle of makeup that they managed to morph the epically beautiful 6'3 model into something so incredibly awkward looking. But all that aside - badass. Will beat the crap out of all of you.

14. The Imp - Tyrion Lannister

What can possibly be said about Peter Dinklage's Tyrion that hasn't already? An award winning, showstopping performance, and every scene with him is a gem. His interactions with Bronn and Cersei, particularly, are a pleasure. S2 saw him wreak havoc as an amazingly effective and savvy Hand of the King, and then unceremoniously ousted by his father, who replaces him. The court effectively turned against him, Tyrion's next move is anyone's guess. And speaking of Tywin -

15. Tywin Lannister

The badass that makes all other badasses look like My Little Ponies. Whilst he's obviously being set up as one of the main antagonists, I'll admit completely looking forward to him clamping down on Joffrey and terrorizing the Small Council. This is a man who will not double-talk, or sidestep, or take prisoners. He was introduced to us in epic style in S2 with a single take, gutting and skinning a deer scene between him and Jamie, and we collectively went a bit weak. Charles Dance is a scary bugger at the best of times, but as arguably the most powerful man in Westeros, not to mention with a formidable trio of children, Tywin is the King chess piece, whether he's wearing a crown or not.

16. Arya Stark

And speaking of which, Arya and Tywin's scenes in S2 were probably my favorites. Virtuoso performances on both parts, and the dynamics were ever-shifting and fascinating. Maisie Williams has proved her value many times over in this series, despite the increasing unlikelihood of her being taken for a boy (she's barely a year younger than Sophie Turner (Sansa), which wigs me out). Similarly her scenes with Jaqen H'ghar (a wonderfully sleepy-eyed yet arousing Tom Wlaschiha) were so loaded with portent you could almost see the neon sign above his head marking his importance later on. We last saw Arya parting company with Jaqen, where he offers a token that gives her safe passage to Braavos. She is heading north with Gendry and Hot Pie to find her brothers army.

17. The Mother of Dragons - Daenerys Targaryen

S2 was a little anticlimactic for Daenerys, considering where we left her in the conclusion of S1. She got to show off her ruthless side and her immunity to fire, and her bewildering journey through the House of the Undying was one of the few truly disorienting moments in the series. But she's still sadly distant from the rest of the action, and I'm sort of itching to see her in scenes with characters back in Westeros. The end of S2 saw her outsmarting the warlocks and an ambitious merchant and securing the funds to buy a ship to get her to Westeros, so fingers crossed this comes about.

18. Talisa Maegyr

And in a move set to delight (not) the GRRM fans, Talisa is one of the first substantial deviations taken by the HBO team. The girl who comforts/nurses Robb to health and manages to sleep with him in the process in the books is Jeyne Westerling, replaced by Talisa of Volantis in the series. Considering that Jeyne appeared to be a fairly passive female character, and Talisa more strong willed, I feel like her and Robb's decision to marry feels more like a mutual decision as opposed to Robb feeling obliged. This is also a huge plot point - making Robb an oathbreaker to the Frey house, who he was honor bound to marry one of the daughters of.

19 + 20: Jojen and Meera Reed

I really don't know how they're going to wind these two into S3, since the point where they enter in the books has already been and gone. But regardless, they are the children of Howland Reed, a longstanding supporter of Eddard Stark, and he sends them from Greywater Watch to Winterfell in a show of support for Robb's bid for the throne. According to the books, anyhow. How they'll be wound into the current tapestry remains anyone's guess.

21: Bran Stark

Still crippled and deeply resentful, Bran is on the run (so to speak) at the conclusion of S2, having fled before Theon's attack on Winterfell. He has Rickon, Hodor the giant and Osha the wildling with him - and his dreams of running with the wolves are getting more and more frequent. No idea where he's going from here - the books are diverging from the series again so I'm looking forward to getting legitimately surprised.

22: Ygritte

Ygritte is a wildling of the North, taken prisoner by the Nights Watch and then escaping when Jon Snow lets his guard down. She's wiley and smart, and teases the overly serious Jon Snow for the duration of her captivity, and it comes as no real surprise when she gives him the slip. We don't know overmuch about her at this early stage, beyond the fact that she appears to have some form of playful attraction for Jon. Where she goes from here depends greatly on Jon Snow and Mance Rayder, destined to meet up in S3.

23: Jon Snow

A party favorite with the ladies and halloweeners alike, Kit Harrington stomps and scowls his way through his role with appropriate prettiness. I'm hoping to see more of a progression for Jon in S3 - he's been relatively one-note thus far, though his acute discomfort in Ygritte's presence has been extremely enjoyable. In the closing scenes of S2, we saw his superior Qhorin demand that Jon fight and kill him, effectively painting Jon as a traitor in the hope he might infiltrate the Wildlings and learn their plans. This goes off without a hitch, and a very upset Jon Snow is bundled off to see the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder.

So that was epic. Two months, guys, TWO MONTHS. Two months of wild speculation. Any thoughts on the characters and actors of S1 and S2? Or what the future holds for them? Tell me below! I am fully amped for a nerd discussion.

Also, now that you're fully amped and Thronesing, go read Vanessa's rundown of the characters as an enthusiast of the books. Spoiler: It's awesome.

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