It’s difficult to say “Winter is Coming” on the fourth day of spring, but I should, for the season three premiere of Game of Thrones is nigh upon us (premiering on HBO March 31).
HBO and Comcast/Xfinity heralded the much-anticipated third season by hosting a Game of Thrones party in Chicago March 21. Set in the appropriately named King Arthur’s Court at Chicago’s Intercontinental Hotel, guests were treated to a sumptuous feast that would have pleased even King Robert Baratheon’s appetite.
A Renaissance lute ensemble regaled the crowd with era-appropriate music as guests drank down Scottish ales, ciders and stouts along with a new brew, Iron Throne Beer, created especially for the series third season. All to prime us for the main event: a big-screen presentation of season three’s first episode (I’ll have more about that episode later this week, Game of Thrones fans!)
Suffice to say, season three starts with a bang, getting into the action right from where things left off at the end of season two. The chess board is set, with Stannis licking his wounds and brooding about Renly’s death and his loss to the Lannisters, while Tywin sits as the King’s Hand, firmly in control of King’s Landing (if not his brutal grandson King Joffrey). Speaking of wounds, Tyrion is recovering from his, and still not getting the respect and approval of his father he so desires.
Meanwhile Jamie Lannister (who has actually become more sympathetic, now he’s come down a peg or two) is enroute to King’s Landing with the statuesque knight Brienne (could there be something brewing there between those two?), while Rob Stark’s none to happy with Mom Catelyn for letting the Kingslayer free. Sansa is about to be deposed as queen-apparent, and Arya marches on with a Hound in tow.
Bran and Dickon are on the run from a destroyed Winterfell, and Theon Greyjoy pays for his hubris. Jon Snow is about to meet Mance Rayder while Daenerys and Ser Jorah Mormont watch the Targaryen dragons swoop into adolescence. Talk about a complex narrative weave! If you need a two-season quickie catchup, here goes, courtesy of HBO:
To properly prepare for the start of season three, and to allow customers (even those without premium access) the opportunity to really catch up on Game of Thrones (and virtually every other premium, basic cable and network series available) by watching every episode, Xfinity is opening all its channels and on-demand library to all customers, free of charge beginning March 25. The week-long Watchathon will grant Xfinity On-Demand customers free access to more than 3,500 episodes of 100 TV series across 30 premium, cable and broadcast networks. If you like binge viewing, this just might be your chance to kick back, power down your cellphone, and indulge your inner couch potato.
Calling it the “biggest TV catch-up in TV history” the Watchathon will allow free access to everything from the new CINEMAX hit Banshee to all seasons of Downton Abbey, Girls, Dexter, True Blood, The Walking Dead, and more.
Of course, this is the perfect opportunity to watch Game of Thrones seasons one and two. Even if you’ve seen the series and are anticipating season three’s premiere, it couldn’t hurt to re-watch the complex medieval narrative tapestry of the battle for the Iron Throne.
A complete guide to the Watchathon week is available on a dedicated microsite designed to help viewers sort out a schedule, as well as provide access to extra content, contests and more available via the Xfinity’s TV Player app and on its TV website.