The Ultimate ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Recap to Help You Brush Up Before Season 8

Season eight of Game of Thrones is quickly approaching, and to continue our recaps to get you caught up before winter finally comes (maybe), we’re giving you a summary of everything you need to know that went down in season three. You’re welcome.

jon snow
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North Of The Wall

Samwell Tarly, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and the Night’s Watch witness the White Walkers and their army of the dead marching and immediately race back toward the Wall to warn the others. On their way south, they stop at Craster’s Keep once again, where there’s an uprising against Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. A few bad seeds decide they’re going to kill Mormont and Craster and live in his keep with all his food and his daughter-wives. Sam escapes with Gilly and her newborn baby and heads south for the Wall. On their way, they run into a White Walker who wants to take Gilly’s son. Sam stabs the White Walker with a dragonglass dagger, killing it and giving us our first bit of insight into dragonglass being a valuable weapon.

Jon Snow is brought to Mance Rayder, where he puts on his act, trying to convince the King Beyond the Wall that he has abandoned the Night’s Watch and wants to join the Wildlings. Jon pledges his loyalty to Mance, who sends Jon and a group of Wildlings to climb the Wall and attack Castle Black. While traveling north to the Wall, Jon Snow and Ygritte quickly fall in love with one another, and Jon foregoes his vows by having sex with her in a cave.

Jon and the Wildlings climb the Wall and arrive in the North, and Sam and Gilly arrive at one of the abandoned castles on the Wall. Preparing to make their journey to Castle Black, they run into Bran, Jojen, Meera, Hodor and Bran’s direwolf Summer. Recognizing the direwolf and the fact that Bran is unable to walk, Samwell quickly pieces together that he’s Jon Snow’s younger brother and helps the group make their way beyond the Wall.

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In The North

Theon Greyjoy has been captured by Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s evil bastard son. Ramsay has begun torturing him in gruesome and horrible ways, until finally he decides to cut off Theon’s penis and mail it to his family in the Iron Islands.

Bran, Rickon, Osha and Hodor are traveling North to the Wall to deliver Bran and Rickon to their half-brother Jon Snow and on the way they encounter Jojen and Meera Reed, the son and daughter of Howland Reed, one of Ned Stark’s closest and most trusted friends. Jojen reveals that he has the power of Greensight and was sent to help bring Bran north of the Wall, where he will become the Three-Eyed Raven. None of it really makes sense to Bran, but he understands a bit of what Jojen is talking about because he too has been having visions in his sleep of things that hadn’t happened yet, but ended up coming true like the beheading of his father.

Jojen explains to Bran that Bran has the ability to warg, which means he can enter the mind of animals like his direwolf. They then determine that they’ll all be safest if they split up and decide that Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor will go North of the Wall, while Osha and Rickon will head to the Umber’s castle, called The Last Hearth.

After safely climbing the Wall, Jon reveals to the Wildlings that he is still loyal to the Night’s Watch when he refuses to execute an innocent farmer. Jon races off to Castle Black, leaving Ygritte heartbroken.

sansa and john
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In King’s Landing

Sansa Stark is free of her betrothal to King Joffrey, but she’s not free of Joffrey himself. Joffrey continues to torment her even though he’s now betrothed to Margaery Tyrell. Littlefinger approaches Sansa and vows to help her escape King’s Landing because of the fierce loyalty he has toward her mother, Catelyn Stark, from when they were children growing up together at Riverrun.

Lady Olenna Tyrell, Margaery’s grandmother, has made plans now that Sansa is single and ready to mingle for her grandson Loras Tyrell (Renly Baratheon’s lover) to marry Sansa and get her out of King’s Landing. Sansa is excited about the prospects, but Tywin, knowing that this would cost the Lannisters one of their most valuable prisoners, quickly thwarts the plan by forcing Sansa to marry Tyrion.


Macall B. Polay/ HBO

Meanwhile In Essos

Daenerys has left Qarth and is traveling with her Dothraki to Slaver’s Bay. She reaches Astapor, a slave city, and begins negotiations with the masters to buy an army of Unsullied soldiers. The Unsullied are castrated as children and raised to be the fiercest and bravest warriors in the world.

Against the wishes of her advisors, Daenerys agrees to trade one of her dragons for all of the Unsullied soldiers, but as soon as the trade is made, she turns her dragon loose on the masters, burning them. She then gives the Unsullied their freedom, offering to let them all leave if they want, but they all choose to fight for Daenerys and elect a soldier named Grey Worm as their general.

Daenerys and her army continue their conquest of Slaver’s Bay, moving now to the city of Yunkai. 

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In The Riverlands

Brienne is traveling to King’s Landing with her prisoner Jaime Lannister in an attempt to trade him to the Lannisters in exchange for Sansa and Arya Stark. Along the way, the two of them are captured by Bolton soldiers. The Boltons are bannermen of House Stark, so Jaime and Brienne both think they’re going to be taken back to Robb Stark, but instead they start marching them toward Harrenhal. It becomes clear very quickly that these men aren’t loyal to Robb Stark when they beat and assault both Jaime and Brienne. Jaime convinces them to leave Brienne alone by pretending that her father is incredibly rich and will pay a huge ransom for her if she goes unharmed. Their leader, a man named Locke, decides to leave Brienne alone, and instead cuts off Jaime’s right hand.

Locke marches Brienne and the maimed Jaime to Harrenhal, where they expect to find Tywin Lannister but are instead greeted by Roose Bolton who is supposed to be one of Robb Stark’s bannermen. Bolton agrees to send Jaime back to King’s Landing to his family, in the first sign that the Boltons have now joined forces with the Lannisters, but he refuses to allow Brienne of Tarth to leave and holds her prisoner at Harrenhal.

On the road to King’s Landing, Jaime learns that Locke tried to ransom Brienne to her father, like Jaime told him to do, but felt that the offer her father made was too cheap, all because Jaime lied to him about how wealthy Lord Tarth was. Jaime feels immense guilt and decides to ride back to Harrenhal to rescue Brienne and bring her with him to King’s Landing.

Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie, having escaped from Harrenhal, are marching through the Riverlands on their way to Riverrun, the castle Arya’s mother grew up in, when they are apprehended by The Brotherhood Without Banners. The Brotherhood is a group of outlaws sent by Ned Stark to apprehend Ser Gregor Clegane, who’s one of Tywin Lannister’s most brutal and ferocious soldiers. They’ve already captured Ser Gregor’s brother, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, and Sandor reveals to the Brotherhood Arya’s true identity as one of the Stark children. Sandor Clegane is released by the Brotherhood after defeating their leader in a trial by combat.

One of Robb’s bannermen, Lord Karstark, is furious at Robb and Catelyn for not allowing him to execute Jaime Lannister for killing his son, and decides to get his own revenge by killing two Lannister boys Robb was holding prisoner. As punishment, Robb then beheads Lord Karstark, which causes all of the Karstark men to abandon him, leaving his army severely depleted. In an act of desperation, Robb returns to Walder Frey, seeking his mercy and allegiance once again. Robb apologizes for breaking his promise to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters, and offers his uncle Edmure Tully (Catelyn’s brother) in exchange. He’ll marry one of Lord Walder’s daughters and she’ll become the Lady of Riverrun.

Melisandre arrives in the Riverlands and buys Gendry from the Brotherhood in an act that leaves Gendry and Arya speechless. Gendry wanted to join the Brotherhood and fight alongside them, but instead they betray him and sell him to a red witch. Arya thus decides she can’t trust the Brotherhood and runs away, only to be quickly captured by Sandor Clegane, who plans on taking Arya to the Twins to ransom her to her family at her Uncle Edmure’s wedding.

Robb and the Starks all arrive at the Twins for the wedding of Edmure Tully to Roslyn Frey. Robb apologizes for his betrayal yet again, and Walder Frey accepts his apology, but at the wedding Walder Frey reveals that he hasn’t actually forgiven the Starks and the “Red Wedding” ensues with Robb, his mother, his wife and all his loyal bannermen being butchered by the Freys, Boltons and Lannisters.


On Dragonstone

Ser Davos Seaworth, Stannis Baratheon’s right-hand man, returns to Dragonstone after the Battle of the Blackwater. Davos is furious with Melisandre, blaming the poor outcome of the battle and the death of his sons in the battle on her. Stannis throws Davos in prison and sends Melisandre out to the Riverlands to complete a mission she saw in the flames. It turns out that mission is to retrieve “King’s Blood” and she’s going to find Gendry, the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon. After buying Gendry from the Brotherhood Without Banners, Melisandre reveals to him that he is actually the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon, and thus his blood is very valuable.

Melisandre begins a ceremony to sacrifice Gendry to the Lord of Light, and the only person appalled by it all is Davos Seaworth. Davos tries to plead with Stannis, but Stannis won’t listen, so in the middle of the night Davos frees Gendry himself and puts him in a rowboat to sail far away from Dragonstone. Davos is apprehended and sentenced to death by Stannis for betraying him and Melisandre, but Melisandre then sees another vision in the flames and demands that Stannis keep Davos alive as he’ll have a role to play in the wars to come. Specifically the war in the North, at the Wall.

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