For our fellow "Game of Thrones" fans, the March 31, 2013, return to Westeros is still too far away for our TV-viewing pleasures.
Fortunately, there are several ways to pass the time from now until then, be it rewatching seasons one and two, re-reading all of author/executive producer George R. R. Martin's books or running into Martin and the show's castmembers at HBO's star-studded Emmy bash recently, where we peppered them with questions about a few highly anticipated scenes and sequences we expect to see in season three.
(Minor spoilers ahead for those who haven't caught up with the TV series.)
First thing's first, how much Robb Stark will we be seeing this season?
"I'm in [all] of it," Richard Madden said. "There is a lot of good stuff coming, really great stuff, and there are a lot of new characters to meet and new dynamics, the characters that you already know change a lot and surprise you."
One of those new dynamics is the young king juggling two ladies — sort of.
"I've got two women in my life now: I've got my mother, and I've got my queen. The dynamics have really changed, but it goes to interesting places," he teased. "It's going to be exciting."
Speaking of exciting, fans of the series who have also read all Martin's books are eagerly anticipating a particularly climactic scene from the third book, commonly referred to with a two-letter title, the details about which we danced around with Martin by asking him when that scene might occur.
"I think there should be some fallout [from that event this season]," Martin said. "There will be love and there will be death. You can't want any more than that."
Speaking of fallout from that particular scene, Martin said he plans to leave the country or seclude himself in a remote location when the episode in question airs in order to avoid the onslaught of shock, denial and anger from viewers, basically the five stages of grief.
"Judging by the reaction that Ned's death got when the television audience saw that, I think I'm going to go to some part of the world where they have no television when a certain episode airs, and I'll hide out and they won't find me at all," he said. "I'll have to hide from the Internet storm as well."
Turning the subject in a happier direction, Martin said he's in the thick of writing the next book in the series.
"I'm writing up a storm. I have so many projects," he said. "I'm writing 'Winds of Winter,' the next book, and I'm writing a history book called 'The World of Ice and Fire,' which is all the history and legends of Westeros and all the past kings. It's a coffee-table book that will be illustrated, but with a lot of text too. Like anything I write, I'm getting carried away with it and making it much bigger, more detailed than I probably should."
And will we be hearing from all the key players in this book, or will it be told in two books, à la "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons"?
"All the characters [are in the book]," he promised. "I'm going to start pulling the threads back together in this one, I hope."