Game of Thrones: 12 burning questions as Season Two ends

I absolutely never intended to become a "Game of Thrones" fan. I thought I'd just satisfy my curiosity about the HBO series taken from George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by watching one episode. Who was I kidding? Twenty episodes later, here I am, already missing Season Two and settling anxiously into the long (how long? sometime in early 2013?) wait for Season Three. In the meantime, here are 12 questions that I'm going to be wondering about for months to come. (If you haven't finished Season Two yet, beware – spoilers follow.)

1.Is Tyrion Lannister finished?

As bad as things are looking for Tyrion Lannister at the end of Season Two, it doesn't make sense that so great a character would be pushed out of the story so early. And yet – look what happened to Ned Stark.

What is Margaery Tyrell up to?

No one in his or her right mind believes that Margaery Tyrell has fallen in love – sight unseen or otherwise – with Joffrey Baratheon. And of course we all know she wants to be "the" Queen. But what else is she up to? What's her ultimate agenda?

Will Tywin Lannister really be content?

And what about Tywin Lannister? Will he really be content to remain The Hand of the King?

Will Jaime Lannister make it home?

And then there's another Lannister still left unaccounted for. Will Jaime make it home? And if he does, what happens to Brienne?

What did Stannis see in the fire?

In the meantime, what did Stannis Baratheon see in the fire?

Will Sansa escape?

Will Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish really help Sansa Stark escape – and if so, why?

Will Arya Stark become a killer?

It's been marvelous to watch the plucky Arya Stark outsmart them all and survive against the odds. But is she now poised to become a killer?  

Will Robb Stark live to rue the day?

Love seems to have triumphed when it comes to the story of Robb Stark. But will the handsome young warrior live to regret having crossed Walder Frey (and ignored his mother's advice) by reneging on his promise to marry Frey's daughter?

Will Jon Stark thaw Ygritte?

Will Jon Stark thaw Ygritte, his beautiful red-haired captor?

Will Daenarys Targaryen be able to control her dragons?

Season Two finished with fiery proof of the power of Daenarys Targaryen's baby dragons. But what happens as these tykes grow up? Will they remain ever at the beck and call of their mother – or will they develop minds of their own?

What do the wildlings want?

The march of the wildlings was a scary way to end Season Two. What do they want – and where are they going?

What will become of Samwell Tarly?

What will become of Samwell Tarly? Will he ever see his beloved Gilly again?