March 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM ET
Forget young love. On HBO's "Game of Thrones," there are just "tactical relationships," Sophie Turner, who plays long-suffering Sansa Stark, told The Clicker at the show's season three premiere in Seattle.
One of those strategic pairings is that of boy-king Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. In the season two finale, the little tyrant on the Iron Throne broke his engagement to poor Sansa and made Margaery his new betrothed to bring Houses Tyrell and Baratheon -- Lannister, really -- together.
"(Sansa's) free of being betrothed to (Joffrey), but she's still a prisoner of his," Turner told us of the upcoming season. "It was kind of better when she was betrothed to him and she kind of had a purpose and she knew her means of escape. ... Now, she's not going to become queen, so she's just a prisoner."
As "just a prisoner," that means Joffrey may have even less reason to tone down the beatings and other public humiliations for his former betrothed.
Not that things are going to be great for Joffrey's new queen-to-be, either. Sure, he seemed to be a bit enchanted by her in season two, but nice guy he is not.
"She's in for a nasty shock!" Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery, told us of her character. "She has not a clue what she's getting herself into. (She's learning the) really hard way. ... The audience might know Joffrey very well after two seasons, but Margaery doesn't know him at all."
The actress wouldn't reveal if Margaery will suffer the same abuse as Sansa, but explained why she'll stick around regardless of what she might go through.
"(Margaery's) ultimate goal is to be queen," Dormer said of the character, who was previously married to the now deceased King Renley. "She wants her son to be on the Iron Throne. When people ask who's going to get on the Iron Throne, Margaery's answer is, 'My son.' That's what she's aiming for. That's what the Tyrells are aiming for. Their way to power and control of Westeros is through heritage, their offspring."
But unlike Sansa, Margaery will have loved ones close by to help her navigate the power-hungry and sometimes cruel Lannisters.
"The Tyrells are a very close family, very loyal," Dormer said, and they'll all show up at court to figure out how to best play the game of thrones against the Lannisters. "We're trying to be politically savvy, but we're trying to not do it in a way that gets our hands too dirty because we want to have the moral high ground, whereas the Lannisters are right down there in the dirt with all their tricks!"
Leading House Tyrell will be Margaery's grandmother, Lady Olenna Redwyne (Diana Rigg), better known as the Queen of Thorns for her wit and sharp tongue. (Think "Downton Abbey's" Dowager Countess in Westeros.) According to Dormer, Olenna is going to prove to be quite the foe for Lena Headey's Queen Cersei.
"The Queen of Thorns is going to outmaneuver Cersei, and if you watch season three, you'll see her do it!" Dormer teased. "We had so much fun shooting these scenes!"
Season three of "Game of Thrones" premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.