Game of Thrones, perfect Easter viewing.

It's hard to think of a show in recent times that has attracted the anticipation that surrounds Game of Thrones' third season.

GOT3_Peter Dinklage as Tyrion LannisterIt’s hard to think of a show in recent times that has attracted the anticipation that surrounds Game of Thrones’ third season.

It is the most illegally downloaded show in Australia, a backhanded compliment to the fact that almost everyone without Pay TV has also heard what a fantastic show it is.

Foxtel will be screening it on Showcase within 2 hours of its US debut on Monday at 4:20pm AEDT.

It also gets a replay at 8:35pm, plus there is the +2 channel (6:20pm / 10:35pm).

Together with fast-tracked Doctor Who on ABC1 on Sunday, fantasy fans will be in heaven this Easter weekend.

Based on the chart-topping fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in and around the chaotic realm of Westeros, where wits cut deep as swords and only the cunning survive. The Emmy® and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series begins its third season Monday, April 1 at 4.20pm (8.30pm primetime) exclusively on showcase for Foxtel.

The ferocious battle for King’s Landing may be over, but the war for Westeros is just beginning.

As the Lannisters struggle to hold the Iron Throne, mighty forces are gathering to the north and east, vying for dominance over the seven kingdoms. Loyalties will be tested and bitter rivalries will come to a violent head, with various players meeting cruel fates.

Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the ten-episode third season of Game of Thrones picks up in the aftermath of Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) naval assault on Kings Landing. Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) has taken up the role of the King’s Hand after saving the city from certain destruction, while his cruel and twisted grandson Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) continues to sit on the iron throne, now betrothed to the widow Margeary Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). Unbeknownst to the people of Westeros, the real hero of King’s Landing, Jofferey’s dwarf uncle Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), has been shunned and relegated from power by his sister and lord father.

The Lannisters, however, are not the only house with hard times ahead. Robb Stark (Richard Madden), the self-proclaimed king-of-the-north, must deal with failing alliances, tragic personal loss and an unforeseen invasion from the vicious Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide), lord of the Iron Islands. Robb’s half-brother, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), has found himself trapped among a massive army of wildlings, lead by the revered Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds), hell-bent on scaling the great wall and invading the seven kingdoms.

Meanwhile, far to the east, across the narrow sea, Daenerys Targaryan (Emilia Clarke) and her three young dragons attempt to liberate an army of slaves in a city built on dreams and dust. With such an army, she is determined to sail west and claim her rightful seat on the Iron Throne.

With a score of contenders hungry to rule the seven kingdoms, the stability of the realm is holding on by a thread. Who will emerge victorious? And who will pay the ultimate price?

Game of Thrones cast is led by Emmy® winner Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harrington, Michelle Fairley and Emilia Clarke, among other returning regulars. Joining the cast this season are Ciarán Hinds (Rome) as wildling leader Mance Rayder; Diana Rigg (The Avengers) as “The Queen of Thorns” Olenna Tyrell, grandmother to Margaery and Loras Tyrell; Tara Fitzgerald (Sirens) as Selyse Baratheon, Stannis’ estranged wife; Tobias Menzies (Rome) as Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s brother; Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes) as Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully, Catelyn’s uncle; Richard Dormer (Jump) as Beric Dondarrion and Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr, leaders of the Brothers Without Banners outlaws; and Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean) as Orell, A wildling raider and “warg” with the ability to enter the mind of animals.

Other new characters include Nathalie Emannuel (Misfits) as the slave Missandei, Ellie Kendrick (21 Jump Street) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually) as the swamp siblings Meera and Jojen Reed, Kristofer Hivju (Blade) as wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane and Anton Lesser (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Maester Qyburn.

The first two seasons of Game of Thrones inspired critical praise. The Sydney Morning Herald called the second season a “tremendous achievement”, while The Gold Coast Bulletin labeled it “Television’s most ambitious drama…rewarding and breathtaking”. The Age also praised the second season as “marvelous entertainment” and “as impressive on the screen as it is on the page”, while Empire magazine colourfully termed it “a bloody phenomenon”.

Filmed in Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco, Season 3 of Game of Thrones is executive produced by David Benioff (Troy, 25th Hour), D.B. Weiss (the novel Lucky Wander Boy), Carolyn Strauss (Boardwalk Empire), Frank Doelger (John Adams) and Bernie Caulfield (Big Love). George R.R. Martin is among the co-EPs.

Episode #1 Synopsis
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; Directed by Daniel Minahan
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.

Easter Monday, April 1 at 4.20pm

7 Responses

  1. If only the show was as good as people say it is. First season was alright, but the second was quite bad so I don’t have high hopes for the third season. Almost ruining the books for me.

    At least Mad Men is back a week later.

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