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The promotional posters for HBO's season 3 of Game of Thrones all depict an individual facial image of key characters from prior seasons with their faces half-lit in a blue hue.

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What's this meant to mean? It seems too dramatic to not represent anything, but I've read all the books and can't seem to determine what they're going for. Is it the pall of 'Winter [is] coming'?

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    I think you've hit it on the head. Winter is cold, and blue is associated with cold. Judging by the season 2 finale, I'd say you got it. – PiousVenom Mar 16 '13 at 3:59
  • @Jaydles answering your own question is OK- I found nothing to suggest anything other than what you already came up with. – Solemnity Mar 16 '13 at 5:39
  • Speaking as someone who lives with snow and darkness most of the year, this type of blue is the colour of moonlight being reflected off snow. The other light seems to have the temperature of daylight, which makes for an unnatural combination of light. Perhaps it is meant to symbolize "ice" vs "fire" and their respective colourschemes in the show. I.e. dragons in the Essos deserts vs wights at the Wall in Westeros. – TLP Mar 16 '13 at 11:58
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    It's important to note that the other half of the face is a warm colour. In my opinion, this represents the Ice and Fire aspect of the series. – Möoz Nov 24 '15 at 20:50
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It might be a reference to the ambiguous morality of the series. Characters have a light and a dark side, different shades, cold and warm, and such. Not a major reference to the season, but fitting to set the mood for the series.

And as you said, the contrast between warm and cold also points to the winter that's drawing ever closer. Would be fitting, since I think someone in the series once said that it's apparently coming, the winter. :)

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I guess this has many levels. Firstly, the third season will probably have a lot of scenes in the winter. Bran, Snow, and Sam all are way up north where it is very cold, and they form a large chunk of the novel (and I'm guessing that each season roughly corresponds to a novel, since the first two have done so).

Also, here, the characters get deliciously more complex. If you've ever read Julius Caesar, you'll notice that there's no "protagonist" or "good guy". Everyone is right to some extent. That this series in of a similar flavor becomes much clearer in the third book. None of the houses are entirely "correct"/"wrong". The Starks/Tullys are the closest you have to "good guys", but there are points where you feel that certian bannermen/soldiers of Tully are the enemy (notably in the Jaime chapters). The Lanniesters are the closest you have to as the "bad" House, but there are many good things done for their cause as well. Tyrion is a great example of this, he is the closest thing (amongst the major characters) that House Lannister has to a "good guy", and is thus a delightful mix. Daenerys is shown to be another mix of good and bad. She's incredibly compassionate, but quite fierce as well (And does bad deeds to achieve good ends). Robb is similar to a smaller degree.

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    @TLP: I didn't say they were, I'm saying that Tyrion is their "good guy". He is kind to the helpless, and I don't see any examples of him being "bad" (he is part of a battle, sure, but that's just good clean fighting. And he is rather harsh with Pycelle, but he had that coming). – Manishearth Mar 17 '13 at 12:12
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    @TLP: In some of the Jaime chapters, I felt sympathetic towards his cause as well, and understand why he did some things. – Manishearth Mar 17 '13 at 12:14
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    @TLP: Tyrion does good stuff. He's part of his house as well. Looks like you're looking at Tywin/Cersei as the sole representatives of their house here. Tywin does lead the house, but the house isn't "just" Tywin. It's a grous of people. Some are good, some are bad. Some have a good cause. We hate the Lannisters because we like the Starks, but Tyrion does a lot of his good deeds for the honor of the House, not just himself. – Manishearth Mar 17 '13 at 12:47
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    I understand what you mean. I'm just saying that as "houses" go, Starks are clearly the heroes and Lannisters clearly the villains. GRRM is just allowing us to see a more complex picture of what's going on. Tyrion and Jaime are likeable characters, no doubt about that. Its easy to forget, though, that Lannisters aren't really the instigators of trouble: Its Littlefinger who started everything. – TLP Mar 17 '13 at 12:59
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    @TLP: Yep. But my point is that none of the houses is completely bad, nor is a house completely good in the eyes of a reader. I'll edit my answer to reflect that, one sec. – Manishearth Mar 17 '13 at 13:02
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They represent ice and fire, a reference to the title of the original book series, and a crucial theme throughout the story (fire: Targaryens and dragons, versus ice: the peril approaching from north of the Wall).

(Disclaimer: I have no source for this but, thematically, it seems kind of obvious!)

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