'Game of Thrones' season 3 proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that HBO has its work cut out for streamlining George R.R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' books, the most recent episodes covering roughly half of the series' third novel while introducing over a dozen new characters. As we prepare for season 4 in 2014, however, four characters not previously seen in recent seasons will make their grand returns next year.

According to various sources from WinterIsComing, the four (confirmed) major characters to make their return are none other than Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie), Ser Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), Rorge (Andy Beckwith) and Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter). Other characters such as Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) and Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane (Ian Whyte) have not been confirmed, but are also expected to return.

For those struggling to keep track of 'Game of Thrones' many characters, Lysa Arryn appeared in the first season as Catelyn Stark's crazed and widowed sister, who in season 3 was to be courted by Lord Petyr Baelish. Kate Dickie had reportedly shot scenes for season 3, which will either end up scrapped or moved to season 4. Meanwhile, Jon Snow's return to Castle Black will see the reappearance of Night's Watchman Alliser Thorne, who similarly hadn't appeared since the first season.

The return of former prisoner Rorge (not seen since season 2) will likely indicate some time spent at Harrenhal. Janos Slynt will also likely be present at Castle Black, having been sent to join the Night's Watch in early episodes of season 2.

Hopefully we'll learn more about the new and returning characters for 'Game of Thrones' season 4 at Comic-Con 2013, but what say you? What characters are you hoping to see featured in the next HBO season?

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