As HBO's Game of Thrones wraps its second season, Entertainment Weekly obtained (from showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff) the list of characters who will be introduced in the upcoming season. Besides a minimal amount of changes required for a TV narrative, the show has been very faithful to G.R.R. Martin's book series in its freshman season, but season two has developed into a more loose adaptation. Part of it is due to the cast, as Benioff told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s important to point out that we have the largest cast on television right now. We introduced dozens of new characters in season two. If you hurl 300 characters at an audience, the story collapses under the weight of too many faces, too many names, and too many subplots."
The bottom line is that going forward, the showrunners will be even more parsimonious on the number of new roles they introduce, which in turn means some storylines or subplots might disappear altogether, and others retold differently. The following list of characters will reveal (to those familiar with the third book) which of those storylines will be around in season three, and contains a very minimal amount of spoilers.
– Mance Rayder: We’ve heard about him all season. A former member of the Night’s Watch who became the “King Beyond the Wall”, the leader of the Wildlings.
– Daario Naharis: A confident and seductive warrior.
– Jojen Reed; Meera Reed: A teenage brother and sister duo with special insights.
– Edmure Tully: A brash young member of the Tully family.
– Ser Brynden Tully (The Blackfish): Catelyn Stark’s uncle.
– Lady Selyse Florent: Stannis Baratheon’s wife.
– Shireen: Stannis’ daughter.
– Olenna Redwyne (The Queen of Thorns): Margaery Tyrell’s sharp-witted grandmother.
– Beric Dondarrion: A skilled knight who is the leader of the outlaw group Brotherhood Without Banners.
– Thoros of Myr: A red priest who follows the same religion as Melisandre.