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Monday, April 15, 2024

Winter is coming.

Actually, you could say it’s coming to an epic end. The final episodes of the third season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” based on George R.R. Martin’s book “A Storm of Swords,” are supposed to be longer, crazier and more action-packed than ever, shot in such locations as Iceland, Morocco and Croatia. In fact, so many new characters and plot lines have appeared it’s not a guarantee that you will even see half of them in each episode during the third season.

On Sunday, for the first time this season, there was a pause in airing due to concern that Memorial Day would affect the number of viewers — more than 5 million each week and increasing. This has left fans jonesing with an insatiable craving to know what the next — and last — two episodes will contain. This one-week hiatus not only provides an extra week to anxiously wait for Sunday and linger on previous episodes’ content, but it also gives reprieve for those of you who are still catching up. Oh, and of course it’s to continue to loathe Joffrey with every word that leaves his puny, horrendous mouth. You think you hated him before, but you haven’t seen anything yet.

If the first season introduced us to a plethora of sex, violence and corruption, this is the season of new relationships and weddings. The Lannisters will do anything in their power to keep family lines honorable and remain the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to royalty, even though two of Tyrion Lannister’s children are infamous for incest. Not to mention that despite the overwhelmingly central characters in the first two seasons — Ned Stark as the dominant male in season one and Tyrion taking over the screen in season two — the third season causes us to juggle more lesser-known characters and storylines than ever before.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this influx of new characters, such as Unsullied Grey Worm, Jojen Reed with his powers through dreams, sassy grandmother Lady Olenna from Highgarden and the “Boy,” who has made it a hobby of torturing Theon Greyjoy, has proved challenging to keep track of. Let’s be honest: There are way too many names to keep up with at all times. Khaleesi confronts a new territory and new leaders to take over every episode. But she is such a badass and has dragons — those creatures that were supposed to have died off long ago — by her side at all times. Who would mind keeping up with her anyway?

If you are playing catch-up with “Game of Thrones,” I won’t spoil who exactly has gotten married, killed or allied with other characters this season. Some things are for certain, though: There is always a war going on. Always. You will never stop hating Joffrey. Never. Jon Snow remains gorgeous, although he is no longer traveling with the “crows” — which, if you ask me, was the best way to ensure his survival — and has taken on a red-headed lover. Jealous. And all the Stark children are still spread throughout the kingdoms, always shrouded by the glimmering hope that they will one day reunite under their fearless mother Lady Catelyn Stark and live happily ever after.

The last two episodes, “The Rains of Castamere” and “Mhysa,” will be sure to conclude the third season with unexpected and shocking reveals that will leave us void of nails to further bite off as we watch every episode. Until Sunday, the anticipation creeps like a White Walker hunting a newborn.

I know I’m not the only one excited for season four.

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