Season 2 of Game of Thrones will wrap up with an extended final episode this Sunday, and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are already looking forward to season 3, which will draw from A Storm of Swords.
Benioff and Weiss recently gave Entertainment Weekly a partial list of characters who will be introduced next season (including Jojen and Meera Reed, who were conspicuously absent from season 2).
Looks like the Reeds were just temporary casualties of Game of Thrones' huge cast, which runs the risk of turning off viewers who haven't read A Song of Ice and Fire.
If you hurl 300 characters at an audience, the story collapses under the weight of too many faces, too many names, and too many subplots. We need to be just as mindful of the audience members who have never read the books as we are of the readers.
With that in mind, here's the list the showrunners shared with EW (which is conveniently free of major spoilers):
- Mance Rayder: We've heard about him all season. A former member of the Night's Watch who became the "King Beyond the Wall," the leader of the Wildlings.
- Daario Naharis: A confident and seductive warrior.
- Jojen Reed; Meera Reed: A teenage brother and sister duo with special insights.
- Edmure Tully: A brash young member of the Tully family.
- Ser Brynden Tully (The Blackfish): Catelyn Stark's uncle.
- Lady Selyse Florent: Stannis Baratheon's wife.
- Shireen: Stannis' daughter.
- Olenna Redwyne (The Queen of Thorns): Margaery Tyrell's sharp-witted grandmother.
- Beric Dondarrion: A skilled knight who is the leader of the outlaw group Brotherhood Without Banners.
- Thoros of Myr: A red priest who follows the same religion as Melisandre.
- Tormund Giantsbane: A Wildling raider.
Which new character are you most excited to see when the show returns next April?