With the final season premiere of Game of Thrones mere days away, it’s time to brush the dust off of our fond memories of this show. With a year break, fans have been without Westeros and it’s inhabitants for almost two full years, and for a series that began back in 2011, a refresher of what happened, the wheres and whens is surely a necessity for some. Well, look no further because n3rdabl3 has you covered!
This is everything important that’s happened so far in Game of Thrones!
Clearly, this article will contain spoilers, this is a 7 season recap, after all. You’ve been warned.
The world of Westeros was once ruled by magic and it’s kingdoms were united under one true king who governed the continent from the Iron Throne in King’s Landing. Sadly, the lands are now governed by backroom dealings and politics, as a mystical threat looms far in the North, beyond the wall. “The Wall” is a gigantic wall of ice, hundreds of feet high, that has kept the more civilized kingdoms safe from the threats that lie beyond it.
Unfortunately, “Winter is coming” but no one cares. As the kingdoms fight among themselves to see who will next sit on the Iron Throne, a dragon queen to the East plans her return as she amasses an army of her own in hopes of claiming the throne for herself.
Season 1 immediately shows us this threat beyond the wall. The White Walkers are growing in numbers and their ultimate destination is the lands south of the wall. Unfortunately, magic is a much-faded concept now, as people choose to believe in politics instead of the things that go bump in the night.
For decades the kingdoms were ruled by the Targaryens. A noble bloodline that had the ability to control dragons. Like magic, dragons have faded out of existence, or so people think. Prior to the start of the series, a usurper, Robert Baratheon, murders Aerys Targaryen and assumes control of the Iron Throne. This is the set up we come into when the show begins.
King Robert and his Lannister wife, Cersei, travel to Winterfell to visit his longtime friend Edard “Ned” Stark. Robert asks Ned to be his new Hand of the King, explaining that his original Hand had passed. It isn’t until Ned learns that the Lannisters murdered the Hand of the King and are now plotting to kill Robert, that he accepts this humbling position. Meanwhile, Ned’s son Bran climbs a tower and finds Cersei and her twin brother Jamie bumping ugly’s. Jamie pushes Bran from the window sure that the fall will kill him. It doesn’t, but Bran is left crippled, unable to ever walk again. Bran can’t remember how he fell, and no one is clear that the Lannisters had anything to do with it, BUT this event is what triggers the ensuing turmoil between House Stark and House Lannister.
Ironically enough, we later learn that the Lannisters had nothing to do with John Aryn’s death (the original Hand to the King).
Ned takes his two daughters, Sansa and Arya, with him to Winterfell and leaves his eldest son, Rob, to rule in his stead. His wife Catelyn stays behind with their two younger sons, the now crippled Bran, and the baby of the family Rikkon.
Upon arriving at King’s Landing Ned learns that Robert is terrible at this whole “King business”. He’s put the kingdom in heavy debt, and has also fathered countless bastards. It is here that Ned learns that Cersei’s three children aren’t even heirs to the throne because their father is actually their Uncle Jamie, gross. Sadly, Ned is too late to the party and King Robert Baratheon dies shortly after Ned’s move to King’s Landing, thanks to Cersei’s devious scheming. Cersei’s son Joffrey assumes the throne, and this kid is a terrible human being. Ned also gets beheaded because, well, don’t fuck with Cersei Lannister.
Westeros rapidly spirals out of control. Especially once other houses learn of Joffrey’s not-so-rightful claim to the Iron Throne.
Tyrion Lannister, the only decent Lannister, tries time and again to keep his nephew’s kingdom in check. However, he is neglected, ignored, and betrayed by his family more times than anyone cares to count, and he inevitably retaliates killing his father Tywin with a crossbow, while he’s taking a poop. Classic. He escapes King’s Landing and flees to the East as a fugitive on the run.
It is here, however, he learns of Aerys Targaryen’s heir, and rightful ruler of Westeros. It is also here that he learns she is currently, conveniently, amassing an army that she plans to take over the Narrow Sea in hopes of reclaiming said throne.
The heir I’m referring to is none other than Daenerys Targaryen, or as people like to refer to her in the show – “Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons”. Seriously, you hear that a lot.
While everything was happening in Westeros, Daenerys (or Danny) and her brother Viserys, were being raised over seas by Targaryen loyalists. Danny is married to the leader of the Dothraki, Khal Drogo (A.K.A Aquaman, before he grew gills), and the Khal melts her brother’s skull with liquid hot gold. RIP Viserys.
During their wedding, she is gifted three dragon eggs. Drogo receives a battle wound that becomes infected and he dies. Danny walks into Khal Drogo’s burning funeral pyre with said dragon eggs and emerges unburnt with three newborn dragons. This gets her quite the following, as well as a ton of Instagram likes. Her army starts to grow.
The ensuing seasons basically follow Danny and her ever-growing number of followers as she frees some slave cities, gains control of the Unsullied (balless, fearless warriors taught to feel no pain and, literally, give no fucks), and prepares for her trip back to Westeros. Along the way, she meets Tyrion Lannister and makes him her most trusted advisor, basically her “Hand of the Queen”.
Meanwhile, back in Westeros, war is tearing the country apart, and we see glimpses of this throughout the seasons. Every house is battling for their spot on the Iron Throne, but most fail in their attempts. Looking at you Stanis Baratheon.
Ned Stark’s bastard, Jon Snow, takes “the Black” and becomes part of the Nights Watch. The Night’s Watch is a band of degenerates that are tasked with guarding the Wall and dealing with any threats North of said Wall. The Night’s Watch is where people send the red headed step children of their family when they can’t figure out what else to do with them, basically. Jon Snow, goes willingly though.
Anyway, it is through Jon Snow’s adventures with the Night’s Watch that we learn of the impending threat that faces Westeros north of the wall. The White Walkers are coming, and their leader, the Night King, has a cool party trick where he can raise the dead. Jon moves up the ranks and eventually becomes Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. He unites the “free-folk”, Wildlings, North of the Wall and runs into the Night King at Hardhome, one of the last remaining Wildling Outposts. This is when things get very real for him, as he realizes this is a threat bigger than any political squabble going on back home.
Sadly, the men he commands don’t agree with this unification and partnering with the Wildlings and even though he makes it back to the Wall safely, his men plot against him, ultimately murdering him in the end.
Westeros as a whole doesn’t share a fate much better than that though. One by one the houses fail to acquire the Iron Throne, and the leaders of these houses die one way or another. From dying in battle, to betrayal, to being murdered by a shadow demon-thing that literally emerged from a witch’s vagina; each member of their respective house dies until there is really only three left standing. House Stark, House Lannister, and House Targaryen.
The Starks are scattered for a large portion of the show. Bran is learning how to become the Three-Eyed Raven, a fortune teller that can also control animals and see through their eyes. Sansa suffers awkard marriage after awkward marriage, being passed from Joffrey, to Tyrion, to Ramsey Bolton (a character so horrible, he makes Joffrey look like Mickey Mouse). Sansa eventually is saved by Theon Greyjoy though, but it was kind of his fault she ended up there in the first place so “saved” is a loose term here. Arya becomes an absolute badass. She goes through some shit of her own, but all you really need to know about her is she is VERY good at killing people now. Oh, and Rikkon, well he’s dead due to running in a straight line.
Jon Snow is brought back from the dead and eventually wins back Winterfell during the Battle of the Bastards. Jon is pronounced King of the North, with Sansa as his adviser, and Arya is just waiting for someone to point her in the direction of someone that needs a good stabby stab.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Cersei loses all of her children. Joffrey is poisoned by Olena Tyrell. Myrcella is poisoned by the Vipers of Dorn, and Tommen isn’t poisoned, but jumps out the window of his Penthouse suite after Cersei blows up half of King’s Landing because the High Sparrow hurt her feelings, and made her walk through the town naked while she was beat up with vegetables, but no one will tell you she didn’t deserve it. Once everything is said and done, Cersei finds herself sitting on the Iron Throne.
Season 7 spends it’s time setting up everything for the finale. Jon Snow meets Danny and her dragons. They decide to catch a White Walker to prove to Cersei that the threat to the North is very real. Jon assembles the Avengers of Game of Thrones and ventures North of the wall, again, in hopes of catching a Wight. Things don’t exactly go their way though, and Danny comes to the rescue. Sadly, one of her dragons is killed by the Night King in the process but is then brought back to life by the aforementioned Night King, unbeknownst to anyone else.
The three houses have an awkward meeting where they prove to Cersei that the White Walkers are a very real threat. She shadily agrees to help them, but of course doesn’t actually intend to help them. Jamie finally sees her for who she really is, and after 7 seasons of being stuck up her ass, he leaves her in King’s Landing and travels north to help the cause.
The last season ends with the Night King and his gigantic army of human Popsicle’s breaking through the Wall at Eastwatch. With nothing else standing in the way of the White Walkers, the remaining houses brace for the impending war to come. Winter is here, but who will survive? We’ll know soon enough when the final season of Game of Thrones premieres this Sunday, April 14!