Game Of Thrones Season 3 Guide: New Characters & Surprise Returns (Episode 301)
'Game of Thrones' characters Mance Rayder, Davos Seaworth, Missandei, Ser Barristan Selmy -- Helen Sloan/HBO
"Game of Thrones" returned to HBO on Sunday night, introducing a host of new characters, and -- as a surprise to those who are sticking to the screen (and not the page) version of the story - the return of at least one character who seemingly perished in the Battle of Blackwater.
With the battle for the Iron Throne continuing, AccessHollywood.com shares our handy cheat sheet on how to keep Season 3, Episode 301's emerging and surprise returning characters straight.
Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds):
How He Was Introduced: Mance was first revealed as he laughed at Kit Harington's Jon Snow after the young man kneeled before Tormund Giantsbane, a redheaded, bearded wildling he mistook for the King Beyond the Wall. Ciaran's Mance then put Jon to a test of loyalty, asking the young man why he left the Night's Watch to join the wildlings. Mance clearly liked Jon's second answer - "I want to fight for the side that fights for the living" - because he suggested they give him a new cloak.
Characters He's Tied To: Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Ygritte (Rose Leslie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) a Wildling who was also introduced in the scene, and all the wildlings.
Where You've Seen Ciaran Before: In many, many films and television shows over the years. Most recently, Ciaran was starring as the powerful man with a weakness for a pretty face - Bud Hammond, alongside Sigourney Weaver's Elaine Parrish - in USA's "Political Animals." HBO fans will also remember Ciaran playing Julius Caesar in "Rome."
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham):
How He Was Introduced: Superfans and book readers know full well that Liam's Davos, aka The Onion Knight, was introduced in Season 2 as the right hand man of Stannis Baratheon (the late King Robert's younger brother). But, he looked rather differently when he made his Season 3 debut - stranded on an island with a sunburnt face, torn up clothing and unruly hair.
For those who haven't read the books, Davos' return may come as a surprise. He was last seen in Season 2, Episode 209, during the Battle of Blackwater. He was blown off his ship as the wildfire exploded in the waters outside King's Landing. Sadly, his son, Matthos, did not survive the explosion.
Liam himself kept his return a secret, and in this Access video, dodged questions about Davos' fate at the Season 3 premiere in LA earlier this month - despite our own Laura Saltman pointing out his character's name is "Sea-Worth."
Characters He's Tied To: Another refresher - Davos serves Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), the lone surviving Baratheon brother (King Robert died in Season 1 and that creepy shadow baby birthed by the Red Priestess, Melisandre, killed Stannis' baby brother, Renly, in Season 2).
Where You've Seen Liam Before: Everywhere. Liam has a lengthy film and television pedigree, but a few of his recent credits include "Safe House," alongside Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, as well as Stephen Spielberg's "War Horse." He was also a big part of the Encore import miniseries, "Titanic: Blood and Steel."