The third season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered in the United States on HBO on March 31, 2013, and concluded on June 9, 2013. It was broadcast on Sunday at 9:00 pm in the United States, consisting of 10 episodes, each running approximately 50–60 minutes. The season is based roughly on the first half of A Storm of Swords (the third of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, of which the series is an adaptation).
The series is adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. HBO renewed the series for a third season on April 10, 2012, nine days after the second season’s premiere. Production began in July 2012. The show was filmed primarily in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco.
The story takes place in a fictional world, primarily upon a continent called Westeros, with one storyline occurring on another continent to the east, Essos. Like the novel, the season continues the storyline of The War of the Five Kings: after the death of Renly Baratheon, all four kings in Westeros believe they have a claim to the Iron Throne, besides Robb Stark, who seeks vengeance for the death of his father, Ned Stark, and independence for the North.
The season also features other storylines: Daenerys Targaryen begins her rise in power in Essos; Ned’s illegitimate son, Jon Snow, goes undercover beyond the Wall; the other Stark children struggle to survive up and down Westeros, but Robb is killed; Jaime Lannister returns to the capital; and all of Westeros is informed of the reawakened threat of the Army of the Dead.
Tywin removes Tyrion from his position as Hand of the King and insists he marry Sansa, whilst Joffrey is engaged to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), in the aim to secure an alliance between the Lannisters and Tyrells.
Jon Snow is still beyond the Wall and meets Wildling leader Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) and learns a battle is to come with the White Walkers. Jon also falls in love with Wildling Ygritte (Rose Leslie).
Robb goes against his previous promise to marry Lord Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) daughter Roslin, instead choosing to wed Talisa (Oona Chaplin). This backfires, as at Roslin’s wedding to another man, Robb, Catelyn and pregnant Talisa are brutally slain – in a plot conceived by the Lannisters and the Freys in a bloody slaughter which became known as the Red Wedding.
Arya witnesses the deaths of her mother and brother and flees with Sandor Clegane – known as The Hound – (Rory McCann). Roose Bolton is rewarded for his role in the slaughter of the Robb, Catelyn and Talisa and bestowed the title of Warden of the North.
During this, Bran Stark has learnt he can project his consciousness into the body of a direwolf, Brienne and Jamie continue to travel southward and Daenerys demonstrates the power of her dragons and gains an army of 8,000 specialist warriors known as the Unsullied.
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