HBO's fantasy drama series Game of Thrones returns tonight for its third season. That's exciting news -- it's been far too long since we saw a new episode of the series (season 2 ended eons ago back in June 2012). But while the long wait will certainly make Game of Thrones' return sweeter, it might have dulled your memories on where we left our characters -- and there are a LOT of characters. Let's quickly run through where everyone is, just so you're not confused when season 3 starts.
Sansa Stark and Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish - When we left these two in King's Landing, they'd both gotten good news from Queen Cersei. Baelish had been granted lordship over Harrenhall, while Sansa had been released from her betrothal from Joffrey. But as Sansa could barely contain her excitement, Littlefinger warned her that she was still in danger in King's Landing -- but he has a plan to smuggle her out.
Cersei Lannister and King Joffrey Baratheon - In the aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater, the Lannisters solidified their power by having Lord Tywin Lannister become Hand of the King -- Cersei had attempted to kill the old Hand of the King, her brother Tyrion, during the Battle of Blackwater Bay (but failed). Joffrey was also able to ditch his betrothal to Sansa in favor of one to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), which Cersei seemed more than happy to support.
Tyrion Lannister - The true military mind behind the Lannister victory at Blackwater, Tyrion had been grievously wounded by one of his own men, leaving a scar across his face. According to Varys (Conleith Hill), that attack was orchestrated by Tyrion's sister. Displaced as Hand of the King and apparently in immediate danger at King's Landing, Tyrion nevertheless turned down his concubine Shae's offer to flee King's Landing, realizing that his place was as a key player in the game of thrones.
Theon Greyjoy - Poor Theon, in an attempt to impress his stern father, attempted to recapture his former home/prison of Winterfell. He was successful, claiming to have killed Bran and Rickon, but when the forces of the North closed in around him, his men betrayed him. Dagmer (Ralph Ineson) was the one to knock him unconscious and hand him over to the Stark bannermen in exchange for the Iron Islanders' lives.
Stannis and Melisandre - After Stannis's defeat at Blackwater, he began to lose faith in Melisandre's claims that he was destined to be King. He nearly strangled her, but instead allowed her to show him a vision in the flames -- which apparently reaffirmed his belief that the Lord of Light had indeed chosen him to be king.
Ser Davos Seaworth, Stannis's right-hand man, was last seen in the chaos of Blackwater Bay as the Wildfire destroyed his ships.
Bran and Rickon Stark were last seen heading north with Hodor and Osha after the sack of Winterfell that left everyone, including their beloved Maester Luwin, dead.
Arya Stark had to say goodbye to Jaqen H'ghar, but not before he gave her a coin (and a password, "Valar Morghulis") that would allow her to become an assassin should she ever travel to Braavos.
Robb and Catelyn Stark - Despite his mother's insistence that he not break his marriage pact with House Frey, Robb ignored her cautions and married Talisa (Oona Chaplin) instead.
Daenerys Targaryen, after escaping her betrayal at the hands of Qarthian Xaro Xhoan Daxos, took her revenge by locking him and her traitorous haindmaiden Doreah in Xaro's unpenetrable vault. She then looted Xaro's house, getting enough gold to buy herself a small ship.
Jon Snow - Jon Snow, taken captive by the wildlings, was instructed by Night's Watch brother Qhorin to kill him and go undercover as a spy. As wildlings, including feisty wildling woman Ygritte, watched, Jon killed Qhorin, and was last seen being taken to meet the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder.
Samwell Tarly - Sam while ranging beyond the wall, was surprised to hear three horn blasts -- meaning that the Others were coming. While his friends ran back to the camp to warn the others, Sam fell to the ground and could only tremble in fear as the White Walkers and their army of zombies slowly marched toward the Nights Watch's camp.
Game of Thrones season 3 premieres tonight at 9/8c on HBO.