Warning: The following contains spoilers
As the countdown for the final season of “Game of Thrones” winds down, fans might be trying to brush up on all the epic events in Westeros - but not everyone has the time to rewatch the nearly 67 hours of the first seven seasons. Before jumping back into the world of ice and fire, here’s everything from Dorne to The Wall that you need to know about “Game of Thrones”.
The first season of “Game of Thrones” introduces and immerses us into the world of Ice and Fire. The show wastes no time introducing the many house, their members and the threats they face, including the icy zombie-like White Walkers in the far North.
In the North, we have the Starks. The head of the house is Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, who’s the lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. He has six children, Robb, his “bastard” son Jon Snow, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. In the pilot episode, they find a litter of Direwolves. Each of the Stark children keep one wolf and raise it themselves.
King Robert Baratheon rides north from King’s Landing to ask his old friend Ned to serve as Hand of the King after the death of the previous Hand. To finally join their houses, he asks Ned to marry their children. In the North, viewers discover that Queen Cersei is having an affair with her twin brother, Jaime. This is discovered by Bran, who’s then pushed from a window of the tower where he found them.
Robert has two brothers, Stannis and Renly, and three children, Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. He’s been king for 17 years after leading the war that came to be called “Robert’s Rebellion” against the Targaryens, usurping King Aerys Targaryen, also known as “The Mad King.” The Mad King had three children, Rhaegar, Viserys and Daenerys.
After Robert’s Rebellion, Rhaegar is killed and his siblings Viserys and Daenerys are taken to eastern country Essos to be hidden and protected until it’s safe for them to return to Westeros. It’s there where Daenerys is sold to Khal Drogo, the leader of a group of horse-riding warriors in the East called the Dothraki. Daenerys marries him, becoming the Khaleesi, or queen of the tribe. In the East, viewers also meet Ser Jorah Mormont, a man from Westeros who was exiled for selling slaves.
Jon leaves to join the Night’s Watch at the Wall, the one thing dividing the White Walkers and the rest of Westeros, and Ned heads down south to serve as Hand of the King. Ned promises to tell Jon about who his parents are once they meet again. Ned heads to King’s Landing with Sansa, who’s to marry Joffrey, and Arya. Arya, once in the capital, begins training to sword fight with a Braavosi man named Syrio Forel.
Ned gets to King’s Landing and sees that the small council- which is comprised of Master of Coin Petyr Baelish, Master of Whisperer’s Varys, Grand Maester Pycelle and Renly - is running the kingdom to the ground. Ned finds out that Robert has the kingdom in debt to Tywin Lannister. Ned finds that Robert fathered many illegitimate children and hints that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are actually the children of his wife Cersei and her twin brother Jaime.
At the Wall, we watch as Jon Snow travels north to “take the black” and join the men of the Night’s Watch. Jon soon befriends Sam Tarly and becomes the personal steward for Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, Jorah’s father. Jon is furious when he learns he's being groomed to be commander of the Night's Watch
In the East, we see Daenerys grow into a strong leader and fall in love with Khal Drogo. She’s gifted dragon eggs, something close to her history and family since they’re symbolized by dragons. The Targaryens were the only people to conquer and control the dragons, making them one of the most powerful families in Westeros. Daenerys’s brother Viserys grows jealous of her power and is killed by Drogo. However, Drogo is wounded in battle and eventually dies along with Dany’s unborn child.
King Robert dies after becoming drunk while on a hunt and is stabbed by a boar. Cersei charges Ned with treason after he challenged Joffrey’s claim to the Throne. Ned is eventually beheaded by the orders of King Joffrey, laying the foundation for the War of Five Kings, which include Robb Stark, Renly and Stannis Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy from the Iron Islands and Joffrey.
The final scene shows Daenerys laying her husband’s funeral pyre and placing the dragon eggs in it. Viewers watch as the fire burns and Daenerys slowly walks into the flames. When the dust settles the next morning, Daenerys is unburnt with three baby dragons.
(Episode 4: Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things):
“The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.”
(Episode 7: You Win or You Die):
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
(Episode 8: The Pointy End):
“What do we say to the god of death? Not today.”
Beyond the Wall
(Episode 1: Winter is Coming)
"The scattered remains of several Wildlings that disappear when the men return opens the first episode. Viewers first see the scattered remains of several Wildlings that then disappear when the men return. After the men try to flee, they’re picked off one by one. The last man standing sees his brother beheaded by a White Walker.
Ned Stark versus Jaime Lannister
(Episode 5: The Wolf and the Lion)
Ned Stark is confronted by Jaime Lannister because Catelyn Stark captured Tyrion and took him to the Eyrie. The epic confrontation ends with Jamie and his men killing Ned’s men, including his trusted friend, Jory Cassel and leaving Ned injured. This sets the foundation for the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters that leads to the War of Five Kings.
Tyrion confesses his “crimes”
(Episode 6: A Golden Crown)
Tyrion is brought to the Eyrie where Catelyn Stark’s sister, Lysa Arryn, rules as Lady of the Vale. He stands trial for accusations of sending an assassin to kill Catelyn’s son, Bran. In his “confession,” he instead lists a series of risque misdemeanors he’s made in his life and demands a trial by combat. This moment perfectly shows Tyrion’s humor and wit that viewers have come to love.
Viserys gets his crown
(Episode 6: A Golden Crown)
Viserys drunkenly stumbles into the Dothraki tent and draws his sword out of jealousy of his sister’s increasing power. After threatening Daenerys and her unborn child, Viserys is told by Drogo that he’ll get his golden crown. His men hold Viserys down and break his arm while Drogo melts down a golden belt. He dumps the molten gold on Viserys, saying, “A crown for a king.” It’s a satisfying death to a cruel character.
Ned Stark’s Death
(Episode 9: Baelor)
While not the most pleasant moment, the beheading of Ned Stark for treason sets the tone for the rest of the series. One of the few honorable men in King’s Landing was put to death for learning the truth about Joffrey's parents. It’s particularly shocking because Ned was the main protagonist up to that point. This heart-stopping moment illustrates how cruel King Joffrey will be and how no one is safe in the series.
Sam, Pyp, and Grenn stop Jon
(Episode 10: Fire and Blood)
After hearing of Robb Stark’s war against the Lannisters, Jon wants to head south and fight by his side. Sam tries to stop Jon, but Jon leaves anyway. Eventually, Sam, Pyp and Grenn catch up to Jon and try to reason with him to stay. They tell him that they’re brothers and recite their vows. This moment not only shows how close Sam and Jon have become, but how Sam is finally gaining courage.
Mother of Dragons (Episode 10: Fire and Blood)
After such a brutal beginning for Daenerys, she needs a win. First, she’s kicked out her home because of Robert’s Rebellion. Next, she’s sold to the Dothraki and forced to marry Khal Drogo so her brother could get an army. Then, she loses her husband immediately after losing her child. At Drogo’s funeral pyre, Dany walks into the flames to be with her dead husband and her dragon eggs. When Daenerys emerges unburnt and with three dragons the entire Dothraki tribe bend their knee to her.
Contact Matt Mee at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.