|No. of episodes||10|
|Transmission dates||31 March 2013 to 9 June 2013|
|Production dates||10 July 2012 to 24 November 2012|
|DVD/Blu-Ray release||18 February 2014|
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 will return as executive producers and show runners.
The season premiered on 31 March, 2013.
Season 3 is based on A Storm of Swords, the third novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin. However, whilst the first two seasons roughly corresponded to the first two books, the third novel were divided between the third and fourth seasons. The third novel adapts almost two thirds of the novel.
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, whilst 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.
The series has again been filmed primarily in Northern Ireland, and has also returned to Iceland and Croatia. The production also added Morocco to the locations roster.The production expanded to three production units, adding a new "Raven" unit to the existing "Dragon" and "Wolf" units.
Production in Croatia continued to use the walled medieval city of Dubrovnik to film external scenes for King's Landing, and Iceland was again used to film scenes set in the frozen lands that Jon Snow and the Night's Watch encounter Beyond the Wall. Production in the new location of Morocco filmed Daenerys Targaryen's new storyline in Slaver's Bay as well as some King's Landing exterior shots.
The scene from the episode "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" during which Brienne of Tarth is thrown into a bear pit at Harrenhal involved a real trained stunt bear, Bart the Bear. Due to are various legal restrictions on international transport of large animals such as bears, parts of this scene were technically filmed in Los Angeles in the United States. However, aa the in-episode guide explains, the sets and actors were still in Northern Ireland, and never filmed in Los Angeles. Rather, a stunt man in a green-screen suit stood in for the bear on-set in Northern Ireland so the actors would have the proper eye-line, and the actor-bear was filmed in his sanctuary in Los Angeles, while his trainer walked him through the required motions for the scene. The actor-bear's footage was then digitally integrated into the shots with the human actors. Thus, no part of any "location" or set filmed in the United States was present on-screen, only the bear's body. The production team usually spoke of production extending across four countries in Season 2, so Bart's brief appearance wasn't counted.
Filming in Season 1 included locations in Northern Ireland and Malta, but filming did not return to Malta in subsequent seasons. The Targaryen storyline in Pentos was filmed in the Maltese presidential palace (as well as a few other scenes for King's Landing). Maltese officials were reportedly annoyed that a nude scene was filmed in the palace (Daenerys's bath in the first episode), which may have influenced why production did not return to that country.
Season 2 expanded to film in Croatia and Iceland, and filming continued in those two countries through Season 3 and Season 4. In Season 3 production expanded to Morocco, but did not return to Morocco for Season 4.
The result is that the production on Season 3 was a monumental, international effort involving units and cast members which were filming simultaneously in four separate countries. The series has filmed in five countries overall, but filming in Malta ended before production expanded to the other three countries. This number increases to six if one counts the footage of the actor-bear used in Season 3. Because filming did not return to Morocco in Season 4, this makes Season 3 the most widespread international filming project that the TV series has engaged in to date.
- Main article: Season 3 cast
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (9 episodes)
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister (7 episodes)
- Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister (8 episodes)
- Emilia Clarke as Queen Daenerys Targaryen (8 episodes)
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow (8 episodes)
- Richard Madden as King Robb Stark (7 episodes)
- Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont (8 episodes)
- Michelle Fairley as Lady Catelyn Stark (8 episodes)
- Aidan Gillen as Lord Petyr Baelish (4 episodes)
- Charles Dance as Lord Tywin Lannister (8 episodes)
- Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth (4 episodes)
- Stephen Dillane as King Stannis Baratheon (5 episodes)
- Carice van Houten as Lady Melisandre (6 episodes)
- Natalie Dormer as Lady Margaery Tyrell (6 episodes)
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Prince Bran Stark (6 episodes)
- Sophie Turner as Princess Sansa Stark (8 episodes)
- Maisie Williams as Princess Arya Stark (9 episodes)
- Alfie Allen as Prince Theon Greyjoy (6 episodes)
- John Bradley as Samwell Tarly (8 episodes)
- Oona Chaplin as Queen Talisa Stark (6 episodes)
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry (8 episodes)
- Jack Gleeson as King Joffrey Baratheon (7 episodes)
- Rose Leslie as Ygritte (8 episodes)
- James Cosmo as Lord Commander Jeor Mormont (4 episodes)
- Jerome Flynn as Ser Bronn (4 episodes)
- Conleth Hill as Lord Varys (5 episodes)
- Sibel Kekilli as Shae (6 episodes)
- Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane (8 episodes)
Selected guest starring cast
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei (8 episodes)
- Ian McElhinney as Ser Barristan Selmy (8 episodes)
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth (7 episodes)
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane (7 episodes)
- Michael McElhatton as Lord Roose Bolton (7 episodes)
- Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed (6 episodes)
- Mackenzie Crook as Orell (6 episodes)
- Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr (6 episodes)
- Philip McGinley as Anguy (6 episodes)
- Hannah Murray as Gilly (6 episodes)
- Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow (6 episodes)
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm (5 episodes)
- Finn Jones as Ser Loras Tyrell (5 episodes)
- Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed (5 episodes)
- Tobias Menzies as Lord Edmure Tully (5 episodes)
- Kristian Nairn as Hodor (5 episodes)
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne (5 episodes)
- Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell (5 episodes)
- Clive Russell as Ser Brynden Tully (5 episodes)
- Noah Taylor as Locke (5 episodes)
- Luke Barnes as Rast (4 episodes)
- Esmé Bianco as Ros (4 episodes)
- Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett (4 episodes)
- Richard Dormer as Lord Beric Dondarrion (4 episodes)
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn (4 episodes)
- Art Parkinson as Prince Rickon Stark (4 episodes)
- Mark Stanley as Grenn (4 episodes)
- Natalia Tena as Osha (4 episodes)
- Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle (3 episodes)
- Dan Hildebrand as Kraznys mo Nakloz (3 episodes)
- Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder (3 episodes)
- Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis (3 episodes)
- John Stahl as Lord Rickard Karstark (3 episodes)
- Ian Beattie as Ser Meryn Trant (2 episodes)
- David Bradley as Lord Walder Frey (2 episodes)
- Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie (2 episodes)
- Kerry Ingram as Princess Shireen Baratheon (2 episodes)
- Robert Pugh as Craster (2 episodes)
- Josef Altin as Pypar ("Mhysa")
- Tara Fitzgerald as Queen Selyse Baratheon ("Kissed by Fire")
- Patrick Malahide as King Balon Greyjoy ("Mhysa")
- Lucian Msamati as Salladhor Saan ("Valar Dohaeris")
- Peter Vaughan as Maester Aemon ("Mhysa")
- Gemma Whelan as Princess Yara Greyjoy ("Mhysa")
- David Benioff: executive producer.
- D.B. Weiss: executive producer.
- Carolyn Strauss: executive producer.
- Frank Doelger: executive producer.
- Bernie Caufield: executive producer.
- Guymon Casady: co-executive producer.
- George R.R. Martin: co-executive producer.
- Vince Geradis: co-executive producer.
- Vanessa Taylor: co-executive producer.
- Chris Newman: Producer
- Greg Spence: Producer
- David Benioff & D.B. Weiss: episode 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10.
- Bryan Cogman: episode 5.
- Vanessa Taylor: episode 2.
- George R.R. Martin: episode 7.
- Daniel Minahan: episodes 1 and 2.
- David Benioff: episode 3.
- Alex Graves: episodes 4 and 5.
- Alik Sakharov: episode 6.
- Michelle MacLaren: episodes 7 and 8.
- David Nutter: episodes 9 and 10.
|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 at Harrenhal; his brothers are still missing and Hoster Tully has died. Jon Snow learns about wargs from the Free 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" (formerly "Autumn Storms" and "Chains")||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. Brienne faces 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. Bran discovers 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.|
Season 3 of Game of Thrones will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the United States on February 17th, 2014. The set will include all ten episodes of the season and a number of extra features.
HBO announced the release date for the media release considerably earlier than normal. They offered fans a chance to vote for alternate packaging designs on their Facebook page. In addition to the standard edition, fans could choose between a repeat of the alternate packaging from Season 1, featuring the sigils of Houses Stark, Lannister and Targaryen; character-based images, featuring Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen; or a new set of house sigils, featuring House Baratheon (as led by King Stannis), House Tully or House Tyrell.
HBO have released a range of promotional images and posters to market the third season.
The episode "The Rains of Castamere" won the 2014 Hugo Award for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form". The Season 2 episode "Blackwater" won the same award the year before. Season 1 was nominated differently: instead of selecting a single episode for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form", all of "Season 1" was nominated in the separate category "Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form", and it won the award. Afterwards it was decided to shift to nominating an individual episode from each season in the "Short Form" category. Therefore the win by "The Rains of Castamere" makes this the third year in a row that Game of Thrones has won the top award it was nominated in at the Hugo Awards.
- ↑ Tower of the Hand ratings feature, April 3, 2012
- ↑ "Filming on Season Three Begins Today", Winter is Coming.net, 10 July 2012
- ↑ Winter is Coming
- ↑ Inside TV (10 April 2012). Game of Thrones renewed for Season 3. Entertainment Weekly.
- ↑ Winter (July 2012). Season Three to Premiere on March 31 2013. Winter is Coming.net.
- ↑ Northern Ireland Screen article about season 3
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Cinematographer Eyes Irish Project", North Shore News
- ↑ Winter is Coming
- ↑ WinterIsComing.net, January 28th, 2013.
- ↑ "Taylor Out Nutter Returns", Westeros.org
- ↑ Winter is Coming
- ↑ HBO's Facebook page
- ↑ Winter is Coming
- ↑ Game of Thrones Wins Hugo Award.