If there’s one thing we learned from the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is that the quest for power is dangerous and unforgiving. A simple error in judgement, strategy, or character flaw such as gluttony, impatience, arrogance, pride, or even nobility can be fatal. So with the passing of King Robert Baratheon, Viserys Targaryen, Khal Drogo, Lord Eddard Stark and many more into the afterlife we welcome and introduce new characters of Season 2. Know your enemies, know yourself, know you have no allies or die with your head upon a spike! Minor Spoilers ahead:
Lord Stannis Baratheon – Brother to the late King Robert Baratheon and young Renly Baratheon. Stannis is a stern man of principles and a war proven commander. He has the most rightful claim to the Iron throne since King Joffrey (will someone demote him to pot scrubber already?) is not the true born son of Robert Baratheon, and Stannis knows it. Stannis currently resides on an island named Dragonstone.
Melisandre – The red priestess of the Lord of Light. She has mysterious yet powerful abilities, including visions of the future. She believes Stannis is a reborn legendary hero and convinces him to follow her god and burn the statues of the Seven (the predominant religion in Westeros). Anyone with a deceitful heart or gets in her way, she will not hesitate to sacrifice them to her god by burning them alive.
Ser Davos Seaworth – a former smuggler and thief; man of low birth and illiterate. He is Stannis’ most loyal and honorable right-hand man. He is called the Onion Knight because he smuggled onions and other supplies to Stannis when he was under siege in Storm’s End. As a reward, Stannis knighted him but also demanded payment for Davos’ previous crimes – the first joint of the fingers of his left hand which Davos agreed to. He keeps the fingers of his left hand in a pouch around his neck for good luck. Davos is a non-believer and distrusts Melisandre and disapproves her influence on Stannis.
Margaery Tyrell – little sister to Loras Tyrell. She is the new bride to Renly Baratheon because the marriage provides a formidable alliance between the families. Unfortunately, her husband has eyes only for her handsome brother. Under a veil of genuine sweetness and innocence, she was raised to be a righteous and noble queen (Cersei are you taking notes?)
Qhorin Halfhand – legendary ranger of the Night’s Watch. We haven’t seen him before at Castle Black because he’s from the Shadow Tower (far end of the Wall). He and his group meet up with Lord Commander Mormont. Later, he leads a small scouting party including Jon Snow to search for the leader of the Wildlings; Mance Rayder the King Beyond the Wall.
Balon Greyjoy – Lord of the Iron Islands and father to Theon Greyjoy. After his failed rebellion years ago, his son Theon was taken as a ward / hostage by Eddard Stark to ensure obedience. Later, Robb Stark sends Theon to recruit Balon to his alliance, but the cold, bitter old man refuses and names himself the King of the Iron Islands & the North. His two eldest sons died in the first rebellion. Of his children, only Theon and his daughter are alive. The Iron born do not follow the Seven, Lord of Light, nor the Old Gods like the Starks. Instead, they believe in the Drowned God.
Brienne – Maid of Tarth. People make fun of her by calling her Brienne The Beauty because she is considered ugly and is often mistaken for man. She is a fighter and is skilled with the sword. She has a big crush on Renly because he treated her very kindly and respectfully before. Renly asks her to join the Rainbow Guard which is like the White Swords or Kingsguard, only more colorful because he’s into fashion and style.