The third installment of "Game of Thrones" could be one of the most exciting seasons of television we will ever see. Truly, it's impossible to overstate how many punches it will pack into 10 episodes.
Helen Sloan / HBO
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on "Game of Thrones"
Here's what we're most excited to see when HBO's epic fantasy finally returns Sunday. But beware -- if you don't want to know any details about the upcoming season, bow out now.
Daenerys Targaryen's babies are all grown up! Those adorable little spark burpers are now full-fledged fire-breathers capable of razing entire villages. Harnessing Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion's power will be one of Khaleesi's biggest challenges as she conquers Qarth en route to reclaiming the Iron Throne.
2. Olenna Redwyne!
Diana Rigg will be magnificent as the "Game of Thrones" acid-tongued equivalent of Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey." If anyone can put nasty King Joffrey in his place, it's the Queen of Thorns, Margaery Tyrell's cunning and opinionated grandmother. The arrival of the Tyrells at the Kings Landing should also prove to be a godsend for Sansa, who's in a precarious position now that Joffrey has broken their engagement to marry Margaery instead. The prickly matriarch will welcome Sansa into the Tyrell ladies circle, mostly to demand the intel on the little monster her granddaughter is about to marry. But Sansa will also figure in her scheme to forge an alliance between the Tyrells and Starks.
It's impossible to tease what's to come without spoiling it for everyone, so we will only say this: Among the royals of Westeros, wedding receptions tend to end very badly. And we're not talking about hangovers. Plan to spend the good part of Monday morning gabbing about it around the office water cooler.
Another vow -- to the Night's Watch -- will play an important role in Jon Snow's double-agent storyline beyond the Wall. "The interesting thing to play throughout the season was whether he sticks to his vows or whether he likes the idea of being free, and everything the wildlings can offer him," Kit Harrington told The Clicker at the Seattle premiere of "Thrones." And he acknowledged, "it's pretty tough" to resist Ygritte. And you know, it's awfully cold up north. Brrr.
5. Road Trip!
Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth's trek to Kings Landing -- Catelyn Stark's desperate strategy to exchange the Kingslayer for her daughters (she's unaware it's a singular swap) -- is fraught with peril. But this odd couple, forced to form an uneasy alliance, have such insane chemistry that they could easily carry their own spinoff. One scene in particular will have everyone high-fiving. Plus: Bears!
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