'Game of Thrones' Season 2 Preview Guide: A Journey of Bloodshed
'Game of Thrones' Season 2 Preview Guide: A Journey of Bloodshed
Last season on Game of Thrones, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was beheaded by King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), while his daughter Arya (Maisie Williams) was made to dress as a boy to avoid being noticed and captured like her sister, Sansa (Sophie Turner). Ned's son Robb (Richard Madden) was crowned the King in the North and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) 'gave birth' to three baby dragons.

What to Expect on Game of Thrones season 2:

With Game of Thrones season 2 still a long way off, there is much we do not know about the upcoming season. What we do know is that filming for Game of Thrones season 2 started back in July and the new season will include a plethora of new characters. Natalie Dormer was the first to be cast as Margaery Tyrell, the new bride of Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) and sister to Renly's right-hand man/lover, Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones). Talk about strange bedfellows!

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Gwendoline Christie was the second addition to the cast and she will be playing the pivotal role of Brienne of Tarth. The 6'3" British theater actress seems a perfect fit for a character said to be larger and stronger than most men. In yet more casting news, Stephen Dillane will portray Robert's other brother, Stannis Baratheon, while Liam Cunningham and Carice van Houten will play two of Stannis' advisors, Davos Seaworth and Melisandre. And Gemma Whelan was recently cast as Yara (formerly Asha) Greyjoy, sister to Theon (Alfie Allen). The character was given a name-change as to not confuse the audience between Theon's sis and the wildling woman (Osha) we met in season 1.

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Producers say Game of Thrones season 2, based on the second book in George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, will feature plenty of blood-shed and may include scenes from book 3. (Fans of the books may recall that the season 1 confrontation between Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) actually took place in book 2.) Much of Game of Thrones season 2 will be about journeys, with Arya Stark headed north to the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) venturing beyond the Wall with the Night's Watch, and Theon Greyjoy making the trip back to his homeland on the Iron Islands.

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One question on the minds of many book fans is just how much we will see of Robb Stark, who remains mostly absent from book 2, with the details of how he spent that time not revealed until book 3. Another concern is how the show will handle the Battle of the Blackwater Rush, a large and complex clash that was a highlight of book 2. But with the script for that episode (2x09) written by the author himself (George R.R. Martin), fans hope the on-screen battle will be as memorable, if not quite as epic, as the book version.

Game of Thrones season 2 will air on HBO in the spring of 2012.

Megan Cole
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of HBO)