5. The Death of the Old Bear
There is certainly no shortage of character deaths in A Storm of Swords, but the murder of Lord Commander Jeor Mormont ranks among the most senselessly violent in the entirety of A Song of Ice and Fire. There is no political motive for his death, much less anything like a complex moral reasoning; Mormont is murdered by his own men for no other reason beyond hunger, frustration, and lust.
The men of the Night’s Watch sink to their absolute lowest here, destroying not only the hierarchy of command, but the bond of brothers for which they are known. It will be undeniably painful to watch Mormont die not in defense of the Wall, but in defense of Craster and his unsavory ways.
The dramatic tension is sure to be spectacular, however, and the scene does help to advance both Samwell’s story and his strength of character. And the Old Bear will not be easily forgotten; though his death is abrupt and cruel, Mormont’s absence creates ripples that will be palpable for several seasons, affecting the Night’s Watch and the realm itself far beyond the tenure of the 998th Lord Commander.
4. The Behanding of Jaime Lannister
In a series brimming with characters who are lovely of face and ugly of soul, Jaime Lannister ranks near the top of the “Despicable” list. Brutal and cruel when free, Jaime manages to preserve his calculated arrogance even in captivity. But season 3 will challenge the Kingslayer with the ultimate physical (and emotional) catastrophe: Jaime will lose his right hand – his sword hand – and with it, his perception of himself.
Forced to cope with pain and indignity, given no choice but to depend on Brienne of Tarth (his ugly-faced and kind-hearted polar opposite) and made to see his world through the eyes of a victim, the reviled Jaime Lannister will begin a gradual transformation into both one of the most genuinely moral, as well as morally complicated characters in Game of Thrones.
Plus, don’t forget the epic fight between the bear and Brienne (and later Jaime) which we glimpsed in the trailer – the bonding effect this fight has on Jaime and Brienne is transformative for both characters, pushing their grudging acceptance into genuine respect. No one involved is ever quite the same after the battle of the bear pit, and we don’t think that Game of Thrones will be, either.
3. The Unbecoming of Theon Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy, wherefore art thou? The would-be Prince of Winterfell unceremoniously fell to his own men at the end of season 2, and the details of his current fate are unknown – especially as, in the books, Theon is not seen again until the fifth installment. Alfie Allen will be back for season 3 of Game of Thrones, however, and we imagine that Theon’s off-screen experiences in the books will make for terrifying television.
Speculation is heavy that Iwan Rheon (whose character has been named only as “Boy”) will take the role of Roose Bolton’s psychotic bastard (neither of those is an insult, they’re true!) Ramsay, a key player in Theon’s downfall. If so, Game of Thrones will use Theon to up the ante of the psychological drama it already portrays; it may be watch-through-your-fingers material, but however bleak, we can’t wait for our first sneak peek. (It rhymes with…)
2. The Seven Deaths of Beric Dondarrion
Beric is one of the most mysterious characters in the saga, and although he was briefly seen in season 1 (portrayed by David Michael Scott), he’s been re-cast ahead of season 3 (he’ll now be played by Richard Dormer).
In the third book, Beric is resurrected by Thoros of Myr, and each time he is slain he returns even more altered than before. Even though his role in A Storm of Swords is fairly minor, we are very much looking forward to seeing him on screen because while Martin keeps him a vague presence in the books, the series will have to actually show him walking and talking – and this will give us a better understanding of his state of mind and motivations. And of course, they’ll need to build him up for the ultimate sacrifice, which leads us to…
1. The Red Wedding
The one event all book fans are dying (tasteless pun intended, sorry about that) to talk about, and the one we’re most afraid of spoiling for the show fans, the Red Wedding is commonly perceived to be the biggest, most shocking event of the entire ASOIAF saga.
Sure, Martin isn’t shy of killing off beloved characters, but at the Red Wedding we lose two of the series’ major players at once – an event which throws off the entire game. No one saw it coming; as if Robb’s death wasn’t shocking enough, Catelyn’s followed straight after! And if we thought seeing Ned Stark’s rotting head on a spike was bad, just wait until the gruesome, haunting image of Grey Wind’s head sewn onto Robb’s body… for not to mention what happens to Catelyn.
Perhaps the worst part about all of this is that once again, poor Arya is present for the death of her family members, and we’re sure Maisie Williams will knock this one out of the park. But hey, there’s a silver lining: we can’t wait for all the hate tweets and the petitions to bring back Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley – and especially to see how many fans will declare that they’re NEVER watching the show again, only to return eager and ready for more bloodshed in season 4.
Now it’s your turn! Share the moments you’re most anticipating in the third season of Game of Thrones in the comments – or tell us if you think some these moments might be saved for season 4, or won’t happen at all!