On the one hand, I'm so incredibly super-psyched to see these characters made flesh again. Tyrion, Danys, Jon, Robb, even fucked-up Cersei (as played so well by Lena Headley), and now Melisandre (being played by Black Book's awesome Carice Van Houten) and fucked-up Stannis.
On the other hand, these characters are like ancient history to me now. When Season One ended after the 10th episode, I was so insanely eager to know what happened to next to these characters, I read A Clash of Kings which is the basis for this upcoming season, and it's a doozy. If they get all the plot in and pull off a huge mother of all battles, it could be the best season of TV since The Wire.
But then I read A Storm of Swords, which the series creators/showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say is too big for one season and will be split in two. And A Feast for Crows, the slower one that opens up new character veins in entirely fresh locations, and pissed off some diehard fans by splitting in half the simultaneous chronological events with popular characters that Martin held for the fifth book, the one I'm currently reading, A Dance with Dragons.
So I'm 3,500 pages down the road in this epic saga from the events that will kick off this new season in March. Some of these characters...well, they're almost like ancient history.
I will say this: if you love Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, as the Emmy and Golden Globe voters did or maybe even more, this is the season for you. We left with his father making him Hand of the King - the job in which the last two holders have died while serving, Jon Arryn (who's suspected murder sets off the whole series and plots) and Ned Stark (who everybody thought was the series lead for the run). Thus far the only power Tyrion's had is as much of his family fortune as his father allowed. Now he has real power.
I'll also say that my favorite book, the third, A Storm of Swords, lives up to it's name. It's not just the violence, it's all about the costs of war, not just to the characters but to the land, the people. The ending is like, three corkscrew twists that blow your mind to pieces. And while I'm so glad they'll take two seasons to tell the whole story, it's painful to think that's maybe three more years away.
So here's to the return of the champion series. As excited as I am for the March return of Mad Men, the rich world of Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce is not really a fair match for the massive tapestry of Westeros and lands beyond.
Winter is coming. Just in time for Spring.