Ah, the spoiler: People love to hate on them, but people are also fickle and like to read them. It’s kind of like that moment in “Brokeback Mountain”:
People also really like the hit HBO television show “Game of Thrones,” which is based off the fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin. It’s an extremely engrossing story of kings, queens, swords and spells, tyranny, justice and adventure.
It’s also extremely crowded with characters (I once read there are more than 1,000 named characters), and twists and turns. And now that the third season has begun, fans unfamiliar with the novels are wondering what will become of their favorite characters.
Essentially, the third season will encompass at least half of the third book, “A Storm of Swords.” The novel is considered by many fans to be the best and most compelling in the series, which is why the third season is getting so much hype and attention.
If you can’t wait to see what happens to the majors of the cast this season, then continue reading. Keep in mind that this will encompass the entirety of “A Storm of Swords,” so some of these things might not happen until season four.
I’ll say it again: There be spoilers ahead. Tons of them.
Who: Joffrey Baratheon
What: King of the Seven Kingdoms
How: Joffrey is the definition of sadistic, and people love to hate him. He’s easy to hate. Turns out, he’s easy to kill, too, because he’s poisoned at his wedding feast in front of his entire court.
Who: Cersei Lannister
What: Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms
How: I hate to disappoint you, but Cersei survives “A Storm of Swords.” Nothing to see here.
Who: Jaime Lannister
What: Lord Commander of the Kingsguard
How: Jaime is one of those characters people love to hate and hate to love. He’s a great character, and portrayed quite well by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. But does he survive the third book? He does, but minus an appendage. Dun, dun, dunnnnnn!
Who: Tyrion Lannister
What: Master of Coin (in the book he takes this role after being acting Hand of the King)
How: Tyrion is a survivor, so what do you think? Of course he survives the third book! But he takes out some people along the way…
What: Hand of the King
How: Tywin is the kind of character you don’t want to ever cross, and the kind of character you know is a total jerkface, but you like him anyway. He’s a man of honor and respect, even if he hates Tyrion and always looks so serious. Remember what I said about Tyrion taking out some people in the third book? Tywin is one of those people, and you’ll read why later on in this post.
Who: Robb Stark
What: The King of the North
How: Robb, Robb, Robb… In the show’s second season, we see Robb disrespect House Frey by marrying Talisa Maegyr, after he swore in the first season to marry one of the Frey daughters. Well, the Freys never forgot, and Robb is reminded of that at a separate wedding celebration in the Frey’s castle. He and most of his men are murdered for the transgression. Even Grey Wind, Robb’s dire wolf, doesn’t make it out alive — he’s killed and his head is sewn onto Robb’s body as a sign of disrespect to the remaining Starks and their bannermen. The event becomes known as the Red Wedding.
Who: Catelyn Stark
What: Lady of Winterfell
How: Sadly, Catelyn is also murdered during the Red Wedding. Yet, her story doesn’t end there, because her body is found floating down a river by the Brotherhood Without Banners, and … Magic happens. You’ll see.
Who: Sansa Stark
What: Princess of Winterfell
How: Sansa might not be Joffrey’s No. 1 choice for queen anymore, but she still has to endure his treatment throughout most of “A Storm of Swords.” And, she becomes a member of the Lannister family anyway because she’s forced to marry one of them. When Joffrey is murdered, though, Petyr Baelish (Littlefinger) rescues Sansa and helps her escape King’s Landing amidst the confusion.
Who: Bran Stark
What: Prince of Winterfell
How: Bran survives the third book but has a great adventure along the way. Overall, his story becomes one of the more interesting ones in the entire series, so most fans hope the translation onto the small screen works out.
Who: Arya Stark
What: Princess of Winterfell
How: Arya is my favorite character in the series, so my pulse races when I read about her because I’m afraid Martin will kill her off like he’s done to half of the Stark family already. Suffices to say, Arya makes it through the third book.
Who: Rickon Stark
What: Prince of Winterfell
How: Rickon is almost an afterthought in the books (so far), so, yeah, he survives “A Storm of Swords.”
Who: Jon Snow
What: The Bastard of Winterfell and member of the Night’s Watch
How: Jon is forced to make some tough decisions throughout the third novel, but he gets through it relatively unscathed (physically speaking).
Who: Stannis Baratheon
What: Lord of Dragonstone
How: Stannis doesn’t die, but he does gain an unlikely ally in the third novel.
Who: Theon Greyjoy
What: Lord of the Iron Islands
How: We don’t see much of Theon in the third book, except for some of his skin. It sounds gruesome (and it is) but Theon’s fate is worse than death, some say. But, his title (mentioned above) should be a hint at what happens to his father.
Who: Balon Greyjoy
What: Iron King
How: We don’t see it happen, but Balon dies by falling to his death. No one pushed him, unless you count the wind.
Who: Yara Greyjoy (her name in the book is Asha, but the show’s writers changed it to avoid confusion with the Wildling woman, Osha)
How: Yeah, she’s still breathing.
Who: Daenerys Targaryen
How: The woman’s got three dragons, several personal guards and a growing army at her back. Of course she survives “A Storm of Swords.”
What: Free Woman
How: Ygritte’s story is kind of a sad one, because it ends on a sad note. She dies while attacking Castle Black.
What: Master of Whisperers
How: Varys is a great character, and one many of the books’ fans think plays a much larger role in the game of thrones than we already see. He outlives many others in “A Storm of Swords,” and even indirectly helps Tyrion kill Tywin.
Who: Talisa Maegyr (though, in the book, her name is Jeyne Westerling)
What: Queen of the North
How: Talisa is a loving and caring woman, one who always puts herself after others. It’s one of the reasons Robb fell in love with her and ended up forsaking his own life for that love. In the book, Jeyne isn’t present at the Red Wedding and survives. How Talisa’s story will go in the show is unknown.
What: Tyrion’s whore
How: The Shae we meet in the show is very different than the one we meet in the books, but I expect her fate to remain how it is in the novels: She is choked to death by Tyrion after he finds her in bed with his father, Tywin.
Who: Samwell Tarly
What: Member of the Night’s Watch
How: Samwell is a fan favorite: He’s aloof but charming and more courageous than he knows. He’s admirable, and thankfully he survives the third book of the series.
Who: Sandor Clegane
What: Former member of the Kingsguard
How: Sandor has a soft side, and we’ve seen it in the first and second season when he comforts, saves and attempts to rescue Sansa. After he deserts the Kingsguard at the end of the second season (and second book), he runs into another Stark. The two hang out for a little bit but eventually part ways after the Hound is injured in a scuffle with his brother’s men. He is left to die underneath a tree. It’s unknown if he actually is dead, though.
Who: Roose Bolton
What: Warden of the North
How: Roose is a character most will come to hate, and for good reason. With that said, he does survive the third book.
Who: Margaery Tyrell
What: Queen of the Seven Kingdoms
How: When we first met Margaery, she was married to Renly Baratheon, and eager to become the queen. She eventually got her wish after Renly was assassinated and her house sided with the Lannisters. She then married Joffrey and, after he died, she married Tommen Baratheon. She survives “A Storm of Swords.”
What: Red Priestess
How: Those who haven’t read the books don’t know much (yet) about Melisandre, other than she’s mysterious, mystical and full of surprises. And, now you know that she survives the third book.
Who: Mance Rayder
What: The King Beyond the Wall
How: We just met Mance but we know he means business since he’s gathering an army to, apparently, attack The Wall. Although there are casualties on his side during the battles to come, he isn’t one of them.
Who: Petyr Baelish
What: Lord Protector of the Vale
How: Petyr is a lot like Varys in that many fans think he has a larger role to play in the game of thrones than he lets on. The people and things he knows are too numerous to count, and after Joffrey’s death, he escapes suspicion and with his life.
Who: Jorah Mormont
What: Jorah the Andal
How: The caption under Jorah’s picture is a bit misleading, but, yeah, he eventually tries to put the moves on Dany and it causes some drama and yada yada, this and that, blah blah. He lives through it all, though! (His emotions notwithstanding.)
Who: Jeor Mormont
What: Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch
How: Papa Mormont is killed during a mutiny by members of the Night’s Watch, I’m sad to report.
Who: Davos Seaworth
What: Hand of the King
How: Davos narrowly escapes the Battle of the Blackwater with his life at the end of season two, and we catch up with him as he’s being rescued in season three. Despite being blamed for what happened to Stannis’ men during the battle, Stannis keeps Davos alive.
What: Lord Protector of Stokeworth
How: Bronn’s heroic actions during the Battle of the Blackwater earned him knighthood, but also made him more expensive for Tyrion to employ. Despite his knack for stepping into trouble, Bronn survives “A Storm of Swords.”
Who: Brienne of Tarth
What: Maid of Tarth
How: Only introduced last season, Brienne took people by surprise being the only female warrior we’ve seen in the show so far. She’s got a demanding presence, even in the books. Though her travels with Jaime get exciting, she does survive the third novel.
So, there you have it: All of the major characters’ fates spoiled in about 2,000 words. Which characters actually die in season three remains to be seen, of course, but I’m certain we’ll see the Red Wedding take place. Surprised by any of them? I know I was.