Game of Thrones (season 3)
|Game of Thrones (season 3)|
Region 1 DVD artwork
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||March 31, 2013– June 9, 2013|
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, consisting of 10 episodes. 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.
Like the other seasons, the third season consists of ten episodes. It 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 third season primarily centers on the Lannisters in King's Landing. After defeating Stannis Baratheon at the Battle of the Blackwater, they hold a firm grasp on the Iron Throne. They are threatened by their new ally House Tyrell, powerful and manipulative players of the game. Tyrion Lannister struggles with losing the power he had as Hand of the King, and feels his father doesn't appreciate the service he provided the family as Hand. Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister continues his attempt to return home, and begins to form a bond with his road companion, Brienne of Tarth.
The Starks find themselves losing the War. They have lost the support of Lord Walder Frey, after Robb Stark broke his vow to him by marrying Talisa Maegyr, and many members of Robb's army are losing faith in him. His relationship with his mother has also turned icy after her freeing of Jaime Lannister, though the reported deaths of her father and the younger Stark boys brings them closer. In reality, Bran and Rickon Stark are alive and continuing their journey north, with new strange allies in the Reed siblings. It was Theon Greyjoy who faked the Stark boys' deaths, and is now being physically tortured under an unknown person's command. However, a mysterious boy claiming to be sent by his sister plans to aid his escape. Arya Stark, on her journey home with companions Gendry and Hot Pie, finds herself entangled with The Brotherhood without Banners and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane. Sansa Stark remains in King's Landing a prisoner of the Lannisters, but is now being offered help by both the treacherous Petyr Baelish and the Tyrells.
At Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon appears a broken man after being crushed at the Battle of the Blackwater. His advisor Ser Davos is imprisoned after attempting to kill Melisandre, who still believes her god, the Lord of Light, will help Stannis return to prominence.
Beyond the Wall, Jon Snow joins Mance Rayder's wildling army, but with hidden intentions. His vows are tested more than ever by a growing romance with wildling Ygritte, as he finds that he will have to choose between her and the Night's Watch. The latter has been largely decimated by a White Walker attack, and a group of them is making their way back to the Wall. However, many of the rangers find themselves also questioning their vows, putting Lord Commander Mormont's and Samwell Tarly's lives in danger.
Across the Narrow sea in Astapor, Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to reclaim the seven kingdoms. She has a new companion in former King's Guard member Barristan Selmy, and is still advised by Jorah Mormont. She contemplates buying the Unsullied, an elite army of harshly trained eunuchs. They are controlled by a cruel master with an intelligent young translator, Missandei.
Game of Thrones rapidly became a critical and commercial success after it started airing in April 2011. A few days after ratings for the second season's premiere, "The North Remembers", hit a series high of 8.3 million viewers, HBO announced the show's renewal for a third season. Prior to that announcement, there had been rumors and reports that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss planned to shoot seasons three and four simultaneously. Benioff said that this would be very efficient, but impossible to write.
The third season is based on the first half of the novel A Storm of Swords. Benioff had previously said that A Storm of Swords would need to be adapted in two seasons on account of its length. Benioff and Weiss also noted that they thought of Game of Thrones as an adaptation of the series as a whole, rather than of individual novels, which gave them the liberty to move scenes back and forth across novels according to the requirements of the screen adaptation. According to Benioff, the third season contains a particularly memorable scene from A Storm of Swords, the prospect of filming which was part of their motivation to adapt the novels for television in the first place. The writing credits for the third season now state "Written for television by", instead of the usual "Written by" credit.
Season 3 saw the first significant use of the Valyrian languages, spoken in doomed Valyria and its former colonies in Essos. The constructed languages were developed by linguist David J. Peterson based on the few words Martin invented for the novels. Peterson had previously developed the Dothraki language, used principally in season 1.
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as main writers and showrunners for the third season. They co-wrote seven out of ten episodes. The remaining three episodes were written by Bryan Cogman, Vanessa Taylor, and the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin.
Daniel Minahan, Alex Graves, Michelle MacLaren, and David Nutter each directed two episodes. One further episode was directed by previous series cinematographer, Alik Sakharov, whereas another was co-directed by Benioff and Weiss, both making their directorial debuts, although only Benioff is credited for directing the episode.
The filming of the third season began in early July 2012, and concluded with the wrap of the unit filming in Iceland on November 24, 2012. Filming in Iceland, for scenes in five of the season's ten episodes, took place near Akureyri and Lake Mývatn. It lasted eight days, as opposed to nearly a month for season 2. Kit Harington (Jon Snow) broke an ankle in an accident in July, which required the Iceland shoots to be pushed back to give him time to heal, as well as the occasional use of a body double.
The production was again based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and continued to receive support from the Northern Ireland Screen fund. The production used various locations in Northern Ireland to film scenes in the North and the Riverlands. The production also returned to Dubrovnik in Croatia for scenes in King's Landing. Morocco, a new location, was used to film Daenerys' scenes in Essos such as the city of Astapor, for which locations in Essaouira were used. A scene involving a live bear was filmed in Los Angeles.
The U.S. indie rock band The Hold Steady recorded "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", a ribald folk song from Martin's novels. The recording is played over the end credits of episode three, and the song is sung by Brienne and Jaime's captors in the same episode. Set to music by series composer Ramin Djawadi, the recording was released on a seven-inch record on Record Store Day, April 20, 2013.
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (9 episodes)
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister (7 episodes)
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister (8 episodes)
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen (8 episodes)
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow (8 episodes)
- Richard Madden as Robb Stark (7 episodes)
- Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont (8 episodes)
- Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark (8 episodes)
- Aidan Gillen as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (4 episodes)
- Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister (8 episodes)
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth (4 episodes)
- Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon (5 episodes)
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre (6 episodes)
- Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell (6 episodes)
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark (6 episodes)
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark (8 episodes)
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark (9 episodes)
- Rose Leslie as Ygritte (8 episodes)
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy (6 episodes)
- Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon (7 episodes)
- John Bradley as Samwell Tarly (8 episodes)
- Oona Chaplin as Talisa Maegyr (6 episodes)
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry (8 episodes)
- Sibel Kekilli as Shae (6 episodes)
- Rory McCann as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (8 episodes)
- Conleth Hill as Varys (5 episodes)
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn (4 episodes)
- James Cosmo as Jeor Mormont (4 episodes)
The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 3. They are listed in credit order by the region in which they first appear.
- Beyond the Wall
- Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder (3 episodes)
- Robert Pugh as Craster (2 episodes)
- Mackenzie Crook as Orell Skinchanger (6 episodes)
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane (7 episodes)
- Mark Stanley as Grenn (4 episodes)
- Ben Crompton as "Dolorous" Edd Tollett (4 episodes)
- Luke Barnes as Rast (4 episodes)
- Burn Gorman as Karl Tanner (2 episodes)
- Hannah Murray as Gilly (6 episodes)
- Edward Dogliani as the Lord of Bones (1 episode)
- In the North
- Natalia Tena as Osha (4 episodes)
- Iwan Rheon as Boy; later revealed to be Ramsay Snow (6 episodes)
- Thomas Sangster as Jojen Reed (6 episodes)
- Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed (5 episodes)
- Kristian Nairn as Hodor (5 episodes)
- Art Parkinson as Rickon Stark (4 episodes)
- Peter Vaughan as Maester Aemon (1 episode)
- Josef Altin as Pypar (1 episode)
- Charlotte Hope as Myranda (1 episode)
- On the Iron Islands
- In the Riverlands
- David Bradley as Walder Frey (2 episode)
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth (7 episodes)
- Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion (4 episodes)
- Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr (6 episodes)
- Clive Russell as Brynden Tully (5 episodes)
- Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (5 episodes)
- Noah Taylor as Locke (5 episodes)
- Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton (7 episodes)
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn (4 episodes)
- Ben Hawkey as Hot Pie (2 episodes)
- John Stahl as Rickard Karstark (3 episodes)
- Philip McGinley as Anguy (6 episodes)
- Tom Brooke as "Lame" Lothar Frey (2 episode)
- Tim Plester as "Black" Walder Rivers (2 episode)
- Alexandra Dowling as Roslin Tully (née Frey) (1 episode)
- In King's Landing
- Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell (5 episodes)
- Julian Glover as Pycelle (3 episodes)
- Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell (5 episodes)
- Esmé Bianco as Ros (4 episodes)
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne (4 episodes)
- Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant (2 episodes)
- Paul Bentley as The High Septon (1 episode)
- Will Tudor as Olyvar (1 episode)
- In Slaver's Bay
- Ian McElhinney as Barristan Selmy (8 episodes)
- Dan Hildebrand as Kraznys mo Nakloz (3 episodes)
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei (8 episodes)
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm (5 episodes)
- Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis (3 episodes)
- At sea and Dragonstone
- Lucian Msamati as Salladhor Saan (1 episode)
- Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Baratheon (1 episode)
- Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon (2 episodes)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|21||1||"Valar Dohaeris"||Daniel Minahan||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||March 31, 2013||4.37|
|Some Night's Watch men, Samwell Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont among them, survive the White Walkers' attack and pledge to return to the Wall to warn the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow is brought before Mance Rayder, the "King beyond the Wall", and pledges his loyalty to the Wildlings. A scarred Tyrion Lannister unsuccessfully solicits recognition by his father Tywin, the new Hand of the King. Margaery Tyrell engages in charity work with the orphans of King's Landing. Ser Davos Seaworth is rescued by Salladhor Saan after the Battle of the Blackwater and returned to Dragonstone. There, he unsuccessfully tries to kill Melisandre so as to break her hold on Stannis Baratheon, and is imprisoned. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen arrives in the city of Astapor to buy an army of brutally-trained slave soldiers, the "Unsullied". She is saved from an assassination attempt by the warlocks of Qarth by Ser Barristan Selmy, the former Kingsguard commander, who pledges his loyalty.|
|22||2||"Dark Wings, Dark Words"||Daniel Minahan||Vanessa Taylor||April 7, 2013||4.27|
|Brienne escorts Jaime across the Riverlands to King's Landing. Seizing one of her swords, he engages her in a fight, which is interrupted by Bolton armsmen. After he receives the news of the sack of Winterfell and the disappearance of Bran and Rickon, Robb diverts his attentions from the war against the Lannisters to attend Catelyn's father's funeral in Riverrun, angering Lord Karstark, who seeks vengeance for his sons who were killed by Jaime. Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie also make for Riverrun, but are waylaid by a rebel group, the "Brotherhood without Banners", and are taken to an inn, where the captured Hound reveals Arya's identity. Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna, the "Queen of Thorns", convince Sansa to tell them about Joffrey's flawed character. Theon Greyjoy is tortured by unknown captors. Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor encounter the siblings Jojen and Meera Reed, children of the Stark bannerman Howland Reed. Jojen, who has been sharing Bran's strange dreams, tells Bran that he is a warg, able to enter the minds of animals.|
|23||3||"Walk of Punishment"||David Benioff||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||April 14, 2013||4.72|
|Robb and Catelyn attend her father Hoster Tully's funeral in Riverrun. Tywin Lannister sends Littlefinger to Lysa Arryn, Lady of the Vale and makes Tyrion the new Master of Coin. Arya and Gendry leave Hot Pie at the inn and follow the "Brotherhood without Banners". Learning of the massacre at the Fist of the First Men, Mance Rayder sends Jon Snow with a band of Wildlings to scale the Wall and attack the Watch while it is weakened. The surviving men of the Night's Watch arrive back at Craster's Keep, where Sam witnesses Gilly giving birth to a son. Theon Greyjoy is freed from torture and captivity by an unnamed benefactor. Melisandre leaves Dragonstone for parts unknown. Daenerys agrees to buy all 8,000 Unsullied and the translator Missandei for one of her dragons, against Ser Barristan's and Ser Jorah's advice. Jaime persuades his captor Locke not to let Brienne be raped, but Locke cuts off Jaime's sword hand.|
|24||4||"And Now His Watch Is Ended"||Alex Graves||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||April 21, 2013||4.87|
|Theon Greyjoy is betrayed by the cleaning boy, who returns him to the prison for torture. After a failed escape attempt, Jaime realizes that without his sword hand, he is lost, but Brienne, knowing what he did for her, urges him to not give up hope. Varys tells Tyrion how he became a eunuch, and that he now has in his power the magician who castrated him. Bran, with the aid of Jojen Reed, continues to chase the three-eyed raven. At Craster's keep, the surviving Night's Watch, starving, comes into conflict with their host. Craster and Lord Commander Mormont are slain in the struggle and Sam flees with Gilly and her son. Arya and Gendry are taken to the secret cave of the Brotherhood without Banners where they meet their leader, Beric Dondarrion, who later sentences the Hound to trial by combat with him. Daenerys meets with Kraznys to complete the trade of a dragon for the Unsullied army. She tests the Unsullied, then orders them to kill their former masters, reclaims her dragon and frees the Unsullied, who all decide freely to follow her as her new army.|
|25||5||"Kissed by Fire"||Alex Graves||Bryan Cogman||April 28, 2013||5.35|
|With the help of Littlefinger, the Lannisters discover the Tyrells' plot to marry off Sansa Stark to Loras Tyrell. To prevent the union, Tywin Lannister plans to marry Sansa to Tyrion, and Cersei to Loras, despite Cersei and Tyrion's protests. Stannis confesses to his wife, Selyse, about his infidelity, only to realize that his wife has always known and approves it. His daughter, Shireen, sneaks into the dungeon to visit Davos and teaches him to read. The Hound kills Lord Beric in trial by combat and is released. However Beric is seemingly resurrected by the power of the Lord of Light. Gendry decides to stay with the Brotherhood, and Thoros and Beric plan to ransom Arya to her brother, Robb Stark. After being delivered to Roose Bolton, Jaime confesses to Brienne why he killed the Mad King. At Riverrun, despite many objections, Robb Stark executes Lord Karstark after Karstark murders two captive Lannister boys as payback for his sons. With the Karstarks abandoning him, Robb plans to make a desperate alliance with Walder Frey. Jon Snow struggles to earn the Wildlings' trust while holding back the important information. Later, he and Ygritte have sex. While on the march, Daenerys Targaryen's Unsullied select Grey Worm as their leader.|
|26||6||"The Climb"||Alik Sakharov||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||May 5, 2013||5.50|
|In King's Landing, Tywin Lannister coerces Olena Tyrell into agreeing to marry Loras to Cersei. Sansa tries to get acquainted with an awkward Loras, while Tyrion and Cersei discuss the repercussions of their matches. Tyrion confesses to Shae and Sansa about the upcoming marriage. Baelish tells Varys that he has caught Ros as Varys' informant and has given her to Joffrey, who kills her. In Riverlands, Melisandre buys Gendry from the brotherhood, to Arya's disgust. Robb Stark tries to appease Walder Frey by agreeing to Frey's demands and marry his uncle Edmure to Frey's daughter Roslin. Roose Bolton plans to send Jaime to King's Landing, but refuses to give up Brienne. At an unknown location, the mysterious boy continues to torture Theon Greyjoy. In the North, tension arises in Bran's company on their trek north. Beyond the Wall, Sam continues his flight with Gilly and her infant son, while Jon and Ygritte discuss their relationship and climb the Wall.|
|27||7||"The Bear and the Maiden Fair"||Michelle MacLaren||George R. R. Martin||May 12, 2013||4.84|
|In the North, Jojen tells Bran they must go beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed raven, to Osha's horror. Jon and Ygritte's relationship deepens, much to Orell's displeasure. Theon is emasculated by his torturer. Talisa reveals to Robb that she is pregnant. Arya runs away from the Brotherhood, only to be captured by the Hound. Melisandre reveals to Gendry that his father was Robert Baratheon. Margaery comforts Sansa about her upcoming marriage, while Tyrion and Bronn discuss the match. Later, Shae tells Tyrion that she will not continue their relationship once he marries Sansa. Tywin counsels Joffrey and discusses Daenerys, with Tywin dismissing the danger she might pose. Daenerys reaches the city of Yunkai and receives an emissary. Roose Bolton departs Harrenhall for the Twins, a heavily fortified pair of castles that serve as the seat of House Frey, while Jaime says farewell to Brienne and departs for King's Landing. On the road, Qyburn reveals why he lost his Maester's chain and informs Jaime that Locke refused Brienne's father's ransom. Jaime returns to Harrenhall to find Brienne in a pit fighting a bear. He leaps in and saves Brienne and departs once more, this time with her.|
|28||8||"Second Sons"||Michelle MacLaren||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||May 19, 2013||5.13|
|King's Landing hosts Tyrion and Sansa's wedding. Cersei intimidates Margaery in the Sept of Baelor, and Joffrey walks the bride down the aisle. At the wedding feast Tyrion gets drunk and causes a scene. In their bedroom, Tyrion tells Sansa they will not consummate their marriage until she wants to. The Hound reveals to Arya that they are heading for the Twins to ransom her to her brother. Stannis releases Davos. Melisandre and Gendry arrive at Dragonstone, where she seduces him and extracts blood from him with three leeches. In a magical ritual, Stannis casts them into the fire naming three usurpers: Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon. Daenerys finds out Yunkai has employed a mercenary company called the "Second Sons". One of the lieutenants, Daario Naharis, kills the other leaders and pledges his and the company's loyalty to Daenerys. Sam and Gilly are attacked by a White Walker, whom Sam unexpectedly destroys with the help of the dragonglass dagger.|
|29||9||"The Rains of Castamere"||David Nutter||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||June 2, 2013||5.22|
|Sam and Gilly arrive at the Wall. During a thunderstorm, Bran enters Hodor's mind to calm him down. Nearby, Jon refuses to kill an innocent man, so Tormund orders him killed. Bran uses his warg ability to save Jon, and Jon kills Orell then escapes, leaving a furious Ygritte behind. Osha, Rickon and his direwolf depart for the Last Hearth, while Bran and his remaining company plan to head beyond the Wall. Daenerys sends Jorah, Daario and Grey Worm to infiltrate Yunkai and open the city gate for her army. Yunkai soon falls to her forces. Robb arrives at the Twins and apologizes to Walder Frey, who feigns acceptance. Edmure marries Roslin Frey, but during the wedding feast, Walder Frey's men murder Catelyn, Talisa and most of the Stark bannermen, while Roose Bolton kills Robb. Arya also arrives at the Twins and witnesses a part of the massacre, but the Hound knocks her unconscious and carries her to safety.|
|30||10||"Mhysa"||David Nutter||David Benioff & D. B. Weiss||June 9, 2013||5.39|
|House Frey receives the Seat of Riverrun, Roose Bolton is appointed the new Warden of the North, resulting in a victory of House Lannister. Arya and the Hound witness Frey soldiers mocking the desecrated remains of Robb Stark. Arya stabs to death one of the men, marking the first time she kills a man, while the Hound kills the others. Yara Greyjoy begins a new military campaign to recapture Theon, who has been penectomized at Dreadfort by Lord Bolton's bastard son Ramsay Snow and begs for death in light of Snow's continued torture. Tywin chastises Tyrion for not having impregnated Sansa, and for placing his own desires over the needs of family. Jaime arrives in the capital with Brienne, and is reunited with Cersei. In the North, after crossing paths with Bran and guiding him beyond the Wall, Sam arrives back at Castle Black, where he and Maester Aemon send out ravens to alert the whole of Westeros about the arrival of the White Walkers. Ygritte catches up to Jon and tearfully shoots him full of arrows. Jon manages to escape and collapses before the gates of Castle Black, where Sam orders him to be cared for. At Dragonstone, Davos allows Gendry to escape and Stannis receives the distress call from the Night's Watch. After word from both Melisandre and Davos he now plans to move north and aid the Watch against the invading darkness. And across the Narrow Sea, the freed slaves of Yunkai receive Daenerys as their "mhysa", meaning "mother" in Ghiscari.|
Review aggregator Metacritic has a score of 91 for season 3, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 25 reviews. While the season 3 finale ("Mhysa") was generally well received, IGN's Matt Fowler stated, "Season 3 may have stumbled slightly with its finale, but up until then it was thrilling and traumatic." Overall, he gave season 3 a 9/10 rating.
Awards and nominations
For the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the third season received 16 nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series, Peter Dinklage for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Emilia Clarke for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Diana Rigg for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the episode "The Rains of Castamere". That episode also won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Game of Thrones won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama for the 29th TCA Awards, and also received a nomination for Program of the Year. For the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast was nominated for Best Drama Ensemble, Peter Dinklage was nominated for Best Drama Actor, and the series won for Best Stunt Team.
The third season premiered on March 31, 2013 in North America on HBO, in Mexico and the rest of Latin America on HBO Latin America and in Brazil on HBO Brasil. The day after, it premiered in the United Kingdom on Sky Atlantic, in the Netherlands on HBO Netherlands, in Australia on Foxtel, in New Zealand on SoHo, in the Nordic countries on C More and on HBO Nordic, in France on Orange Cinéma Séries, as well as in Hungary on HBO Hungary and Romania on HBO Romania. The third season premiered in India on HBO Defined on April 8, 2013. In Greece and in Cyprus, the third season premiered on NovaCinema 1, NovaCinemaHD on April 2, 2013.
DVD and Blu-ray
The third season was made available for purchase as a digital download on the iTunes store, in Australia only, in parallel to the U.S. premiere. However, on May 14, 2013, Foxtel blocked the Australian iTunes store from making the episodes available soon after they screened in the U.S. Season 3 was reported to be the most pirated TV show via torrents during spring 2013, estimated to be 5.2 million downloads via BitTorrent.
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- The A.V. Club reviews for "Mhysa"
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- Game of Thrones – official US site
- Game of Thrones – official UK site
- List of Game of Thrones episodes at the Internet Movie Database
- List of Game of Thrones episodes at TV.com
- Game of Thrones: Season 3 at Rotten Tomatoes