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    'Game of Thrones' season 3

    Plenty of familiar faces — including Brienne, Tyrion and Dany — are back, but there are several new characters as well.

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    Arya Stark -

    Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, was intent on finding her family after escaping Harrenhal in season 2.

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    Beric Dondarion -

    Beric Dondarrion, played by Richard Dormer.

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    Brynden Tully -

    Brynden Tully, aka the Blackfish, is brother to Catelyn and uncle to Robb. He is played by Clive Russell.

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    Catelyn Stark -

    Catelyn Stark, played by Michelle Fairley, freed captive Jaime Lannister in season 2, in the hopes of getting her daughters -- Sansa and Arya -- back from the Lions.

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    Jaime Lannister -

    Jaime Lannister, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, was Robb Stark's captive for much of season 2.

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    Brienne of Tarth -

    Brienne of Tarth (played by Gwendoline Christie) was on a mission to return Jaime Lannister to King's Landing in season 2.

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    Sansa Stark -

    At the end of season two, Sansa Stark, played by Sophie Turner, loses her role of King Joffrey's bride to be.

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    Cersei Lannister -

    Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, argued to break son Joffrey's engagement to Sansa Stark at the end of season 2.

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    Margaery Tyrell and Joffrey Baratheon -

    Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) -- King Renley's young widow -- and Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) are going to get to know each other in season 3 after the two became betrothed at the end of season 2.

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    Olenna Redwyne -

    Olenna Redwyne, played by Diana Rigg, is also known as the Queen of Thornes for her sharp wit. She is Margaery's grandmother, and is making her first appearance in the new season.

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    Tywin Lannister -

    Tywin Lannister, played by Charles Dance, is the father of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion. He returned to King's Landing in time to beat back Stannis Baratheon's attack, and was reinstated as Hand of the King by Joffrey.

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    Tyrion Lannister -

    Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, was seriously injured during the Battle of Blackwater in season 2. Judging from his season 3 photo, Tyrion did not suffer quite the same battle scars as he did in the books -- namely, the loss of his nose.

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    Dany -

    Danaerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, got her dragons back at the end of season 2 and locked Xaro and Doreah in his empty vault for stealing her "children."

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    Bran Stark -

    Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead), the little Lord of Winterfell, set out with Osha for the Wall at the end of season 2.

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    Jojen Reed -

    Jojen Reed, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, will make his first appearance in season 3.

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    Meera Reed -

    Meera Reed, played by Ellie Kendrick, is Jojen's sister and will also be making her first appearance in the new season.

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    Jon Snow -

    Last viewers saw, Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, was taken by the wildlings.

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    Ygritte -

    Ygritte, played by Rose Leslie, is a wildling who first appeared last season. Jon Snow took her as captive when they met, but he later became a captive of the Free Folk.

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    Mance Rayder -

    Mance Rayder, played by Ciaran Hinds, is leader of the wildlings. He's also know as the King Beyond the Wall, and was once a man of the Night's Watch before becoming a turncloak.

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    Stannis Baratheon -

    Stannis Baratheon, played by Stephen Dillane, is the brother of late King Robert Baratheon. He tried to claim the Iron Throne in season 2, but was beaten back when Tywin Lannister arrived.

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    Melisandre -

    Melisandre, played by Carice van Houten, continues to be a force behind King Stannis Baratheon in season 3.

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    Talisa Maegyr and Robb Stark -

    Talisa Maegyr (Diana Rigg) and as Robb Stark (Richard Madden) wed in season two when the young King of the North broke his word to Walder Frey. Robb was supposed to marry one of the Frey daughters. The character of Talisa replaces Jeyne Westerling from the books.

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    Thoros -

    Thoros, played by Paul Kaye, makes his debut in season three.

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