Blah, blah, blah, Westeros. There's more to life beyond the Seven Kingdoms.
Just ask Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Sure, she may be plotting to return to Westeros so she can wrest the Iron Throne back from whichever pretender currently sits upon it, but it's her time on the eastern continent that has molded her into a leader. Similarly, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has had to learn about life pretty quickly once he ventured beyond The Wall. Before tuning in to the Season 3 premiere on Sunday (9/8c, HBO), here's a check-in with those wild card outsiders to see where we left off and what's next.
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Where we left off: The khaleesi saved her dragons from an evil warlock who had spirited them away to the House of the Undying.
What's next: Still intent on taking back the Iron Throne, Daenerys will swing by Slaver's Bay to see if she can muster up an army. In doing so, she'll face moral dilemmas that she will tackle in typical over-the-top Targaryen style.
Where we left off: In order to infiltrate the wildings, our favorite bastard had to win their trust ... by killing his fellow Night's Watch brother.
What's next: Success! Jon meets with the wildings' leader Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) before he is accepted into their ranks. "[Jon is] terrified," Harington says. "When he's walking to meet Mance Rayder for the first time, he thinks he's going to die. I don't think he thinks he has a chance in hell of convincing this sort of legend beyond The Wall that he wants to be one of them." Of course, going undercover isn't that easy. "It's that age-old spy dilemma: you have to convince yourself that you are part of the enemy, so much so to convince them, that he starts to forget who he really is. Is he going to stay true to the Night's Watch or is he going to become a fully fledged wilding/free folk member?"
Game of Thrones check-in: What's next for House Stark?
Ygritte (Rose Leslie)
Where we left off: Although Jon Snow captured her, she was able to get away and witnessed him "turning his cloak" by killing Qhorin Halfhand (Simon Armstrong).
What's next: Ygritte is totally convinced that the bastard is a wilding now and helps Jon acclimate to her way of life. In doing so, the two get rather close. "We certainly see the relationship develop," Leslie says. "She's pretty forceful in that department." Harington adds, "You can see that there's affection for each other in the second season so that's where that goes this season. But Jon has his vows and he's on a mission."
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley)
Where we left off: Ser Piggy was abandoned by two of his fellow Night's Watch brothers once they heard a three-note horn call, which meant that the dreaded White Walkers were coming!
What's next: "When we join Sam, we find him still literally on the run from White Walkers," Bradley says. "And I think with the adrenaline and the fear that's coursing through him, he's not had time to take stock of everything... It takes a while, but I think there should be a scene in Episode 2 where he finally stops and thinks about how badly he's been treated. And he breaks down and he calls [his Night's Watch brothers] out and says, 'You left me.' And he just thinks, 'I've got absolutely nobody.'"
Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo)
Where we left off: Commander Mormont was in charge when the White Walkers attacked at the Fist of the First Men.
What's next: "When you find the Night's Watch, they've been out there for quite a while, and some pretty awful things have happened to them," Cosmo says. "There's not as many of the Night's Watch around as there was. So it's a very heightened level of survival. They're trying to get back to The Wall to warn all the people of what happened, but all of these dreadful things are going to go off."
Game of Thrones check-in: What's next for House Lannister?
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
Where we left off: After invading Winterfell and then passing off the corpses of two nameless orphans as the bodies of the youngest Stark sons, Theon was betrayed and conked over the head. His unconscious body was dragged off unceremoniously to an unknown destination.
What's next: We really, really can't tell you his fate. But it's not good.
Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan)
Where we left off: She successfully captures Deepwood Motte, which belongs to one of the Stark bannermen, but when she tries to get her brother Theon to leave Winterfell, he refuses. She leaves, but not until she mocks him of course.
What's next: Yara will attend to family business with less-than-pleasing results.
How do you think the season will play out? Be sure to also click through to check out scoop for House Stark and friends and House Lannister and their frenemies.
Game of Thrones returns Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.
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