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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.

Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, was intent on finding her family after escaping Harrenhal in season 2. Helen Sloan / HBO
Beric Dondarrion, played by Richard Dormer. Helen Sloan / HBO
Brynden Tully, aka the Blackfish, is brother to Catelyn and uncle to Robb. He is played by Clive Russell. Damien Elliott / HBO
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. Damien Elliott / HBO
Jaime Lannister, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, was Robb Stark's captive for much of season 2. Helen Sloan / HBO
Brienne of Tarth (played by Gwendoline Christie) was on a mission to return Jaime Lannister to King's Landing in season 2. Helen Sloan / HBO
At the end of season two, Sansa Stark, played by Sophie Turner, loses her role of King Joffrey's bride to be. Keith Bernstein
Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, argued to break son Joffrey's engagement to Sansa Stark at the end of season 2. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan
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. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan
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." Keith Bernstein
Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead), the little Lord of Winterfell, set out with Osha for the Wall at the end of season 2. Damien Elliott / HBO
Jojen Reed, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, will make his first appearance in season 3. Damien Elliott / HBO
Meera Reed, played by Ellie Kendrick, is Jojen's sister and will also be making her first appearance in the new season. Damien Elliott
Last viewers saw, Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, was taken by the wildlings. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan
Melisandre, played by Carice van Houten, continues to be a force behind King Stannis Baratheon in season 3. Helen Sloan / HBO
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. Helen Sloan / HBO
Thoros, played by Paul Kaye, makes his debut in season three. Helen Sloan / HBO