Game of Thrones fans: Only 225 days to go!

According to the blog HBOWatch.com, that’s how long we diehard fans have to wait until we get our next fix, Season 3. Set your digital countdown clocks now, and in the meantime, learn all about it here: http://hbowatch.com/hbo-series-premiere-schedule/

Can’t wait that long? Awww, go read the books! They’re available for Kindle, too.

The big news, of course, is the signing of amazing Irish actor Ciarán Hinds to play Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall. As many avid fans of both the book and the series can attest, Rayder is one of those fascinating secondary characters that populate George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. Read more about it here: http://litreactor.com/news/ciaran-hinds-cast-as-mance-rayder-in-game-of-thrones

The lucky attendees at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego this July were among the first to learn about the new season opening and the new actors joining the cast. Martin himself led the panel. http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/

I’ve recently finished Book V of the series, and it’s beginning to seem a bit fragmented to me. Nevertheless, the books and the show are populated with some of the most engaging and complex characters of any fantasy series I can think of. There are so many (Mance Rayder, for instance) that I have a hard time deciding on my favorite. I suppose if someone held an arak to my neck and made me pick one, it would have to be Tyrion Lannister, not least because Peter Dinklage brings him to life and makes us love him, even when (especially when!) he is at his most annoying. But I love Arya Stark, too. For a friend of mine, though, it’s Daenerys Targaryen all the way. Who is your favorite?

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