There are mere days until the premiere of Season 8 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This will also be the final season ever for the hit epic fantasy season.
Are you someone who has somehow never watched an episode and have somehow managed to get caught up in all the hype and now need a rundown of the important stuff? Or, maybe you have been watching from the start but it’s been a bloody long time since Season 7 aired, so you just want a reminder of what went on in the previous seasons. Well, since I live and breathe Game of Thrones, here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Season 8 premiere.
- Ned Stark (Sean Bean) is the main character and the moral compass of the TV series. Thanks to his friendship with the king, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), he winds up being Hand of the King after the previous Hand, Jon Arynn, dies. It’s an important position. And, because of it, and the fact Ned is determined to do the right thing at all times, it totally means that he loses his head by the end of Season 1.
- Robert Baratheon likes to drink. A lot. Cersei hates his guts and encourages his drinking, especially when he is hunting. This gets him killed and Ned temporarily takes over as king until Joffrey is of age. This doesn’t go down well.
- The Starks are a pretty large Northern family that lives at Winterfell. Ned and Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) have a pile of kids: Robb (Richard Madden), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), and Rickon (Art Parkinson). You might not want to get too attached, just saying.
- In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Sansa is betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). Joffrey is the heir to the iron throne which means he is the future ruler of Westeros. But, mostly, he’s just a cunt.
- When Ned dies, Arya gets lost in the crowd. This is a good thing because everyone assumes she is dead and she totally gets to have lots of adventures that girls normally wouldn’t have.
- The Lannisters are an important family in Westeros. Cersei (Lena Headey) is married to the King and her children are Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella. Except, Cersei is banging her twin brother, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and those children are not really the true heirs to the Baratheon line. This is part of the reason Ned died because he worked it out. However, Joffrey being a cunt also had something to do with it as well. But, Robert Baratheon is no sweet flower either. He has a ton of bastards floating around Westeros. Cersei is determined to have them all slaughtered because, technically, they are more legitimate heirs than her inbred children.
- When the Cersei and Jaime get busted by Bran having sex, Bran gets pushed out a window. While Bran doesn’t die like Jaime hoped for, he does become a cripple. Jaime also ends up a prisoner of the Starks.
- Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is the dwarf brother of Cersei and Jaime. And, unlike his siblings, he is not an arsehole. But, because his mother died while giving birth to him, Cersei will never forgive him and the hate is basically eating her alive. Tyrion gets implicated in the attempted murder of Bran. But, by season end, he actually winds up being the Hand of the King to Joffrey, his nephew. Tyrion drinks. A lot. He also likes hookers. A lot.
- Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is the emo bastard son of Ned Stark. But, when Jon leaves to become a member of the Night’s Watch at the Wall, and ned tells him they are going to have a chat about Jon’s mother when they meet up again you learn two things: Ned is going to die and Jon is more important than anyone realises.
- Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her brother, Viserys (Harry Llyod), are exiles from Westeros. After Rhaegar Targaryen reportedly raped and murdered Ned’s sister, Lyanna, who was also Robert Baratheon’s beau, shit got real. Robert started a rebellion and all the Targaryens (who were the previous royal family of Westeros) were slaughtered. However, Daenerys and Viserys were spirited away and raised far away from the iron throne. Daenerys is sweet. her brother is an arsehole. He marries Daenerys off to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) of the Dothraki and their climb to become big enough to take back the iron throne begins. Except, Khal Drogo ends up dying thanks to a scratch that went septic (moral of this story: don’t trust witches). Luckily, though, Daenerys was gifted some old dragon eggs and, thanks to her Targaryen blood, she walks through fire — literally — to make them hatch and everyone thinks she’s awesome after that.
- Jorah Mormont (Iain Glenn) has the hots for Daenerys but is automatically friend-zoned. He is also a spy for Westeros.
- Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is a ward of the Starks. This means he was taken in battle and held captive by the Starks. However, he is raised alongside Ned’s children and they appear to have a good relationship. The Greyjoys come from a place called the Iron Islands. Trust me, if you ever win a holiday there, just don’t go.
- Even though Bran is now a cripple, he manages to become the Lord of Winterfell. but, only for a short time. You see, Theon has been harbouring some pretty strong feelings about his position of Ward in the Stark household. His father is also an arsehole of major proportions and the Iron Islands motto is, basically: plunder. So, Theon takes over Winterfell and burns a couple of kids and calls them Bran and Rickon. Everyone believes him and the real Bran and Rickon hide with the help of Osha (Natalia Tena), Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and the Stark direwolves.
- Hodor can only say “Hodor” and everyone wonders why.
- In King’s Landing, which is the capital of Westeros, Cersei continues to be a bitch and Joffrey is still a cunt. Sansa is beginning to realise that Prince Joffrey is horrible and when she gets her period, her and Shae (who Tyrion is hiding in plain sight for fear his father will murder her, for no other reason than Tywin is as horrible as his eldest children), try to hide the fact but Cersei knows everything and the wedding is planned. However, by season end, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) has stepped in and volunteered as tribute and Sansa no longer has to marry Joffrey.
- Tyrion is most excellent as his role of Hand of the King, which doesn’t make his family happy because he is stepping all over their toes most of the time. He also sends Cersei’s daughter to Dorne in an attempt to work out who is the most trustworthy adviser in Westeros (SPOILER ALERT: don’t trust anyone except Varys).
- Stannis Baratheon is the brother of Robert and believes he is the legitimate heir to the iron throne after Robert’s death. Which he totally is since Cersei’s kids are really Jaime’s. Just to make sure he doesn’t have any competition, though, he has Melisandre (Carice van Houten), a believer in the Lord of Light (which really just means she likes to kill people in the name of human sacrifices) create a smoke monster and kill his brother, Renly (Gethin Anthony). Margaery was married to him at the time. When he dies, she moves on to Joffrey because she wants to be THE queen, not A queen.
- The Battle fo Blackwater occurs in Season 2 of Game of Thrones. as Stannis moves in on his claim to the throne. This is the first epic battle in the series and it involves Joffrey being a little whiney bitch and Tyrion stepping up to the plate and actually fighting in the battle. He also uses wildfire, a dangerous substance that burns super hot and fucks shit up pretty badly.
- In thanks for his battle prowess and master strategy, Tywin (Charles Dance) thanks Tyrion by demoting him. Tywin is now Hand of the King.
- Jaime Lannister spends most of this season sitting in mud and shit and being a captive of Catelyn Stark. However, in an effort to get Sansa back from King’s Landing she entrusts Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) to take Jaime home as a bargaining device. And so begins Jaime’s redemption as Brienne falls for him and Jaime, well, actually starts to respect a woman.
- Arya ends up at a place called Harrenhal and cupbearer to Tywin Lannister. Here she leans many things. She also has a list of people she would like to kill. Along the way, she befriends Gendry (Joe Dempsie) who is the sole surviving bastard of Robert Baratheon.
- Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) is introduced at this point as well. He is a mysterious man who will, basically, kill with nothing more than the presentation of a name. Needless to say, Arya and him become besties for a while.
- Jon Snow is on a mission to kill the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder. Along the way, he meets Ygritte (Rose Leslie), has sex with her, and finds out he knows nothing. He also ends up going undercover with the wildings in order to infiltrate their army which is causing some grief at the Wall for no other reason than the Night’s Watch hates their guts.
- After Daenerys becomes the Mother of Dragons, she promptly loses them at Qarth. Needless to say, she gets them back, because, Mother of Dragons.
- In King’s Landing, the wedding between Margaery and Joffrey is being planned. Tywin is also marrying Cersei off to Margaery’s brother, Loras (Finn Jones). Cersei remains suitably pissed for Season 3 as a result.
- Sansa, who has had a pretty shit run to date in Game of Thrones, is married off to Tyrion. Joffrey, the cunt that he is, makes the whole wedding a spectacle and I just wish he would die already.
- Jaime loses his hand after he and Brienne are captured by a man named Locke (Noah Taylor). Brienne then has to fight a bear. Jaime, in search of his redeeming story arc, jumps in and helps.
- Bran is learning all sorts of stuff about himself after meeting Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) Reed. It turns out that Bran can warg. This means that he can take possession of other animals and people. The group takes a side trip over the Wall in search of the Three-Eyed Raven.
- Arya gets captured by the Hound (Rory McCann). Thinking he can make some quick coin off the Stark, this begins his entire story arc in Game of Thrones. The Hound hates his brother, the Mountain, because the Mountain burned the Hound’s face when he was a kid. They also wind up with the Brotherhood Without Banners and this is when the audience finds out that some people are able to resurrect others from the dead.
- Oh, and the red wedding happens. This is the point in Game of Thrones when I first started recapping it. So, you can read the red wedding recap here. Basically, Robb Stark, who married another after being promised to one of Walder Frey’s (David Bradley) daughter’s, and his mother, are slaughtered by the Freys. This happens right as Arya and the Hound arrive, so the Hound must find another family member to sell Arya off to if he wants to make any money.
- Jon Snow finally meets Mance Rayder as well as an awesome wildling called Tormund. His plans to infiltrate the wildings starts unravelling, though, when the morally just guy just can’t kill on demand. Instead, he manages to escape, but not before Ygritte puts some arrows in him. He also nearly meets up with Bran at this point but, as viewers quickly discover in Game of Thrones, the Starks are not allowed to have nice things, or, you know, family gatherings.
- Daenerys is still managing to amass lots of stuff even though she is not even paying for them. Although having dragons helps, I guess. In Season 3, she gets the Unsullied army.
- Theon manages to take over Winterfell and then lose it to the Boltons. If you didn’t like Joffrey, the Boltons are even worse. Roose (Michael McElhatton) took the side of the Lannisters and Freys against the Starks and is now dead to me. His son, Ramsay Snow (a bastard son, and also a bastard in general), likes to kill people for sport. He also likes to torture Theon until he becomes Reek. In the process, Ramsay cuts off Theon’s penis and mails it to his dad.
— Daniel Turner (@DanTurner23) April 6, 2014
- Jaime gets a new gold hand because the Lannisters like shiny things. He also struggles with the fact that he can no longer fight like he used to. Jaime gives Brienne a sword and some armour and tells her to go protect the Stark girls. Brienne takes her oaths seriously and heads off.
- Joffrey is poisoned at his own wedding and the world rejoices. Cersei, still hating on her little brother, accuses him of murder and Sansa is spirited away by Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), a man who is so devious he offers other a spoiler alert about himself. Oh, and he also has an unhealthy crush on Sansa’s mother.
- SPOILER ALERT: It was Margaery’s grandmother, Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) who poisoned Joffrey because she couldn’t stand the thought of Margaery being married to such an arse. But, viewers don’t find this out until Season 7 after House Tyrell sides with Daenerys against the Lannisters and Jaime is tasked with killing her. Olenna totally drops this little nugget of information after befriending Jaime and right before she dies from the gentle sending-off-to-sleep kind of poison Jaime chose to give her rather than have Cersei torture Olenna. Because Olenna is a boss.
- Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) is introduced in Season 4 of Game of Thrones. He comes from Dorne were people just mostly have sex and produce bastard children. His sister was married to Rhaegar Targaryen before Robert went and had all the Targaryen’s killed at Robert’s Rebellion. He is pissed with the Mountain as it is said that the Mountain raped and murdered his sister. He also quickly become besties with Tyrion.
- Tyrion is on trial for the death of Joffrey and, because no one will back him on account of being scared of Cersei and Tywin, he asks for a trial by combat rather than an actual trial. Oberyn steps up and volunteers as tribute because the Mountain is fighting on behalf of Cersei. Oberyn very nearly kills the Mountain but, thanks to being a cocky little fuck, gets his brains squeezed out his eyeballs and Tyrion is found guilty of murder. Jaime won’t have it, though, and secretly lets Tyrion go. Tyrion responds by murdering his father while he is on the crapper and there is probably no better way for Tywin Lannister to die IMHO. And so, along with Varys, who is sick of Westeros being run by sick fucks, smuggles Tyrion away to meet Daenerys.
Then there was the moment Oberyn Martell tried to start a rematch with The Mountain. It ended well between Hafthor Bjornsson and Pedro Pascal.
— AFP Entertainment (@AFPceleb) April 4, 2019
- Meanwhile, Daenerys liberates the city of Meereen, finds out that Jorah has been reporting back to Westeros about her and banishes him. She is also finding out that being the actual mother of dragons is hard and locks two of them up while the one who is burning the people of Meeren is still at large.
- Sansa goes off to meet her crazy aunt at the Vale. Lysa (Kate Dickie) has a son, Robin (Lino Facioli), who she still breastfeeds even though he is a big boy now. Lysa also has the hots for Petyr Baelish and Baelish (also known as Littlefinger) uses this to his advantage to marry her and become the Lord of the Vale. Sansa gets sick of Robyn being a little shit and slaps him. This does not go down well with Lysa. Neither does Littlefinger trying to kiss Sansa.
- Littlefinger ends up pushing Lysa through the Moon Door, which is a hole in the middle of the castle and used to execute people. Sansa then begins the trek home to Winterfell. Only, she doesn’t know it yet because Littlefinger is keeping quiet about it. Probably because he has also promised her off to the awful Ramsay Snow, who has now legitimately become a Bolton.
- Arya continues to kill people on her list. She also leaves the Hound for dead after he and Brienne get into an awesome fight, and heads off to Braavos in search of Jaqen H’ghar so that she can learn how to kill people more effectively.
- Jon Snow continues on with the disputes between the Night’s Watch at Castle Black and the wildings. Getting into a massive battle, Ygritte is killed and Jon ends up even more emo. Stannis ends up at Castle Black and Mance Ryder is killed by Jon Snow rather than see him burned alive by Stannis. Viewers also discover that the sons of Craster, who lives beyond the Wall, are being offered up as a sacrifice to a dude called the Night King (Vladimír Furdík). The Night King leads an undead army that consists of white walkers and wights. The white walkers can only be killed by dragon glass and Valyrian steel.
You can check out all my Season 4 recaps here.
— ht48hours (@HT48Hours) April 23, 2016
- Cersei is developing a serious grudge against Margaery, who is now married to Joffrey’s younger brother, Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), In addition to hating Tyrion. Enlisting the help of an unsettlingly fanatical group called the Sparrows. This results in both Margaery and her brother being arrested for nothing more than being gay and knowing about it. However, it backfires on Cersei and she is also arrested for a whole long list of things. In order to get out of a trial, Cersei finally agrees to do the walk of shame. This is similar to an actual walk of shame except that the Sparrows tell everyone and you have to do it naked and with a really bad haircut.
- King Tommen is too pure for this world and has no idea on how to king.
- Jaime is sent to Dorne with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) to rescue Myrcella because Oberyn’s girlfriend is sending threats because she is still pissy at her lover’s death. This ends badly, but we all knew it would because Cersei visited a witch when she was younger who told her that all of her children would die.
- In Meeren, Tyrion and Varys are on their way to visit with Daenerys. On the way, Tyrion gets kidnapped in a brothel by Jorah, who wants to use him as leverage to get back into Daenerys’ good favour. Which means that Tyrion is still on his way to visit the Mother of Dragons. Jorah also gets greyscale, which is an incurable disease apparently. The pair meet up with Daenerys after being sold into slavery and having to fight in the same arena that Daenerys is presiding over.
- Daenerys is still struggling with her rulership and a group called the Sons of Harpys is causing her all sorts of grief. After they attack, Daenerys flies off on the back of one of her dragons. Tyrion somehow ends up being left in charge of Meeren while the others try to find Daenerys. Daenerys, meanwhile, gets picked up by the Dothraki.
- Sansa gets married to Ramsay Bolton and a whole lot of rape takes place until Sansa gets sick of it and runs away with Theon.
- Stannis is still trying to take ownership of Westeros and is trying his hand at Winterfell in this season of Game of Thrones. He has hardly any army, though, and Melisandre suggests burning his daughter at the stake as an offering to the Lord of Light. Stannis totally agrees to this because he is a cunt and so we get to see a little girl being burned alive. Fuck you Stannis. Oh, and it turns out Melisandre was wrong. Stannis loses to Ramsay and gets killed by Brienne.
- Arya trains to become a Faceless Man in Braavos and discovers that following orders is hard. And so is being hit by sticks and going blind because you can’t follow said orders.
- An epic battle at Hardhome, which is beyond the Wall, occurs and the threat of the Night King intensifies.
- Jon Snow can’t see the plot behind his own back through his love of the wildlings and his terror of the threats from beyond the Wall that no one actually believes in. As a result of this, he gets killed by his own men and everyone hates HBO for a while.
You can check out all my Season 5 recaps here.
- In King’s Landing, Cersei, who thought the walk of shame was all of her atonement, finds out there will still be a trial. Rather than have everyone find out about her and Jaime (but everyone knows anyway, they just won’t say it out loud because they are scared of the Lannisters), she blows up the High Sept with wildfire and we can say goodbye to the Sparrows and the Tyrells since Margaery and Loras were also present.
- King Tommen responds by jumping out a window and now we all know why it is called King’s Landing…
- Jaime is tasked with getting Riverrun back from Catelyn Stark’s uncle Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully while Cersei is being insane.
- Tyrion continues to rule Meeren while the Queen is missing and frees Daenerys’ dragons. Because he is so good at his job, he is named Hand of the Queen.
- Daenerys, who thought she ruled the Dothraki discovers that widows of Khals get to spend out their days in a hut with all the other widows. Being totally bummed at this prospect, Daenerys walks through fire again and the Dothraki fall to their knees and follow her. Jorah’s search party turns up just in time to see this and Jorah is probably getting sick of seeing Daenerys naked while still being in the friend-zone.
- It has taken six seasons, but Daenerys is finally ready to return to Westeros. Since Season 1, she has managed to amass in her favour House Tyrell, some Greyjoy forces, Dorne, the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and three dragons. So, it should pretty much be a done deal, yeah?
- It takes a couple of episodes of teasing by HBO but Jon Snow is finally resurrected by Melisandre. He responds by killing those who killed him first and handing in his cloak so that he can leave the Night’s Watch.
— Adelaida Elizabeth (@AdelaidaFall) September 12, 2017
- Jon then meets up with Sansa and they orchestrate an attack on Winterfell and the Boltons in order to save their little brother, Rickon. However, Rickon has no idea how to zig and zag and ends up being killed by Ramsay as he flees to Jon’s side. Sansa totally called it. She also called the fact that they wouldn’t be able to outsmart Bolton because Jon won’t listen to the only person around that knows Ramsay so well. So, she goes behind Jon’s back and calls on the Vale to help out. They turn up at the last minute during the Battle of the Bastards and saves the day. Jon gets named King in the North as a result of this. Sansa gets to murder Ramsay.
- Ever since Season 1 of Game of Thornes, we have known that Jon is special. In Season 6, Bran uses his greensighting ability along with the help fo the Three-Eyed Raven to learn that Jon is actually the son of Ned’s sister, Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, making him a secret Stark.
- Bran also finds out why Hodor is unable to say anything other than his name. And the reason is that Bran breaks everything he comes in contact with and Hodor dies as a result of this. He also dooms the Children of the Forest and learns about how the Night King came into existence.
- Arya ends up leaving the shittiest apprenticeship in Braavos and returns to Westeros. She then slaughters Walder Frey, but not before she feeds him a pie made with some of his sons.
— Jesse Bickers (@jessebickers) April 10, 2019
- The epic unrequited love of Tormund towards Brienne of Tarth is born.
- Samwell Tarley (John Bradley) decides to become a Maester so that he can learn how to kill the King king. In the process, he also learns that Lyanna wasn’t raped by Rhaegar, rather he left his wife and married Lyanna.
You can check out all my Season 6 recaps here.
- Jon Snow is glad that everyone is finally on the same page as him regarding the Night King and a party sets out to gather a wight to take to King’s Landing in order to prove to Cersei that they need to have a truce in order to fight the real threat beyond the Wall. He also decides to meet with Daenerys because they will need more dragon glass if they want to defeat the Night King. The only place that has this is Dragonstone, where Daenerys is. The attraction is evident when they meet.
- Daenerys wages her first battle in Westeros and, thanks to some bad advice from Tyrion, it goes to hell and she loses a big chunk of her army.
- Cersei has a real hoot being a bitch in Season 7 of Game of Thrones. She has a weapon invented that can kill dragons after she meets Daenerys. She also poisons one of the daughters of Oberyn’s lover and then makes Ellaria watch for all time as her daughter decomposes. So, yeah, don’t go murdering one of Cersei’s kids. She also says she’ll help Daenerys and Jon to defeat the Night king but, LOL, jk, no she’s not. Jaime cracks the shits when he works this out and is torn because Cersei also says she is pregnant.
- Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), who is now king of the Iron Islands offers his hand in marriage to Cersei. However, when he sees the wight that Jon brought to King’s Landing, he shits his pants and runs. Only, it is all a ruse, according to Cersei. Instead, he is secretly going off to gather more troops by way of the Golden Company.
- Jaime responds to all of Cersei’s fuckery by jumping ship and heading North.
- Tyrion flits between negotiations with Daenerys and his family. He also gets a crush on Daenerys.
- While Jon heads north to catch that wight, things go badly and Daenerys has to swoop in and save him. One of her dragons gets killed in the process.
- Bran is creepy AF now that he is the Three-Eyed Raven but his family forgives him for that when they all meet up at Winterfell. He also doesn’t tell anyone that he knows Jon is really a Targaryen. It seems like important information that people should know but Bran is more interested in NOT TELLING ANYONE.
- Sansa and Arya finally reunite and immediately Littlefinger tries to put a wedge between the two. The sisters respond by outing Littlefinger for all his scheming and Arya slits his throat.
- Jon Snow and Daenerys bang. Which means in Season 8 of Game of Thrones Jon is going to be emo AF when he learns he just had sex with his aunt. Daenerys will likely give zero fucks because that’s just what Targaryens do.
- Meanwhile, at the Wall, the Night King has resurrected the dead dragon and is using its blue fire to bring down the Wall. Which means Westeros is fucked in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.
You can check out all my Season 7 recaps here.
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres on Sunday, April 14 at 9/8c on HBO. I will totally be recapping the shit out of it 😉