It’s been a while since fans saw the Stark family together onscreen in “Game of Thrones.” Catelyn Stark said goodbye to her children Bran and Arya in Season 1, and hasn’t set eyes on either of them since. That’s why it was nice to see actors Michelle Fairley, Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright together once again at a recent press day for Season 3 of the hit HBO fantasy series.
Zap2it sat down with the trio during a roundtable interview and got some teases of what fans can expect in the next 10 episodes. Here are some spoiler-free highlights of what’s in store for Bran, Catelyn and Arya.
On what their characters are doing in Season 3…
Williams: “We kind of pick Arya up not too long after we left her and she’s just had her encounter with Jaqen H’ghar and she’s got the coin and all that. And I think maybe she’s got like a quiet confidence that she’s going to get home. To the boys she’s completely confident, but I think inside she’s doubting it a little bit. There’s a limited amount I can say but vaguely she’s got good feelings about what’s to come.”
Fairley: “Catelyn’s storyline picks up directly where it was left in Season 2. She’s still estranged from her son [Robb] because she has released Jaime Lannister in the hope that she’s going to get her daughters back in turn. The realization is dawning that she’s been duped and damaged the relationship with her son. And he is the only child she has any contact with. Basically it’s a progression of her becoming more introverted. She spends so much time on her own and she becomes reflective about the possibility she is the reason that this tragedy is happening to her family.”
Hempstead-Wright: “In Season 3 Bran’s group is joined by two new characters who add sort of a new dynamic to it and Bran’s storyline picks up in Season 3. In the past two seasons he has just been waiting in Winterfell and now he’s really striving toward something.”
“I think Bran this season starts to really control his own group, because in Season 2 we saw him take responsibility over Wnterfell, and now I think he’s taken responsibility over his own group and guided his own group.”
On getting to work with new actors in Season 3…
Williams: “It was great to meet new people. I met some really great friends I think we’re all gonna meet up soon and that was really nice. [Paul Kaye] is a lovely, lovely guy.”
Hempstead-Wright: “The two new people we got in, Thomas [Brodie Sangster] and Ellie [Kendrick], are just really fantastic people and we get on really well with them and it’s nice because Bran’s sort of had — because he’s obviously stuck in one place — it’s been a lot of the same faces and it’s nice to have some new fresh faces and people who add something new to it.”
On what Bran would have done if Theon had failed to overthrow Winterfell…
Hempstead-Wright: “I think Bran at heart… no, I think Bran would want to punish Theon. I think you cannot sort of be nice to someone who wanted to kill everything you’ve known and who’s completely betrayed all your trust. I reckon Bran would hand him over to Robb, because Robb would teach him a lesson.”
On how audiences will respond to the new fantastical elements in Season 3…
Williams: “I think it’s kind of been drip fed. I think it’s gotten a good response as well. Yeah, I think people are going to like it. They’re ready for it. They can handle it. I think so. I’m really excited to watch what’s coming up and things because we’re not there — well, I’m not there — for many of those sort of elements, so yeah, I’m excited to see what it’s all going to look like. And the poster with the dragon on it at the moment, I’m like, [gasp] ‘God, can’t wait!’ So yeah, I think they’re ready. I’m ready, if they’re not.”
On missing Sean Bean as Ned Stark…
Fairley: “I think we all agree that Sean was just a wonderful, generous, gentle man.”
Williams: “It felt like you knew him.”
Fairley: “He has this grace about him that’s so gentle and he’s like this solid rock in the middle of chaos. He’s just a gentleman. He’s a professional and he works hard and he was the lead. He was the rock of the show basically, and you take your lead from that. And he’s a great teacher in that respect.”
On Season 3 going for the jugular…
Fairley: “I think every season goes for the jugular.
Williams: “[laughs] Yeah.”
Fairley: “Absolutely. The guys, the writers, are committed to tell this story as truthfully and based in a reality as possible, so they don’t shirk any responsibility. Nobody is safe in this world, and everybody plays for life.”
Williams: “You win or you die!”
“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on March 31 at 9 p.m. ET.