A beginners guide to Game of Thrones Seasons 1 - 6
Television’s biggest, most sensational show till date, Game of Thrones is now in its penultimate Season 7 and will premiere in India on Star World and Star World HD on July 18th at 11 PM! The show hits all the major points for audiences worldwide: Political intrigue, dragons, sword fights, epic-scale battles, dragons, redemption and more! There isn’t another series that covers as much ground as this one!
Comprising of the largest ensemble cast as well as crew in the history of television, the show spans hundreds of characters and is nothing if not overwhelming at times. To keep in track with the plots of the show is extremely difficult and to keep track of who dies and who-kills- who is truly exhausting. So if you want to spare yourself from watching the series’ seasons 1 – 6, then we have just the thing for you to help you catch up on all the important information and events that have taken place across seasons. What’s more? We will spell it to you season by season replete with all the major deaths, events, and what made each important to both the Game of Thrones universe and the rest of television!
Season 1: The Rise and fall of The Starks
A TV Series is incomplete without the moral compass of the show. For Game of Thrones, it was the Stark Family in Season 1. They’re the first clan from the GoT kinfolk we got to know up close and personal, and pretty much assumed that the plotline will smoothly revolve around them. We see our much loved Ned Stark trying to uncover the reasons behind Jon Arryn's death and in this process uncovers the dark secrets about the Lannisters that Arryn himself died trying to expose. Little did we know that the Lannisters are not the ones to mess with and that the Starks will soon be torn apart into different parts of Westeros. Throughout Season 1, the major events are centred on the scattering of the Starks. Towards the end of the season, Bran Stark is struck with paralysis from the waist down after he was pushed out of a tower by the ruthless Jaime Lannister when Bran discovers the incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei Lannister. Ned Stark is betrayed by his former confidant beheaded in the presence of his two grieving daughters. So finally, where’d they all end up at the conclusion of Season 1?
- Ned Stark: Beheaded while his two daughters looked on.
- Catelyn Stark: On the warpath with her son Robb following Ned’s death at Kings Landing.
- Robb Stark: On the aforementioned warpath looking to avenge his father’s death. He finishes the season with an army of Northerners behind him ready to fight.
- Sansa Stark: Engaged to the sociopathic nut job king, Joffrey Baratheon, spending much of her time getting physically and emotionally beaten down.
- Arya Stark: Orphaned and on the run, on her way to Wall to find her bastard brother.
- Jon Snow: Hanging out at the Wall, having sworn his life to the Night’s Watch.
- Bran Stark: Paralysed from the waist down after being pushed out of a tower by Jaime Lannister.
- Rickon Stark: With Bran? Rickon generally keeps to the background and is largely the forgotten Stark as the youngest in the family.
Other critical instances in Kings Landing include the death of King Robert Baratheon and the crowning of the boy we grew to passionately hate Joffrey Baratheon as his successor. Meanwhile, on the eastern continent of Essos things wrap up with Daenerys Targaryen putting herself on a funeral pyre with three unhatched eggs, only to survive with three baby dragons crawling around her naked body.
Major Deaths: Ned Stark (beheaded), Robert Baratheon (skewered by a boar), Viserys Targaryen (molten gold poured over his head), Khal Drogo (infected wound and also a weird witch curse?)
Season 2: Getting acquainted with all the Houses
With the Starks now scattered, Season 2 is where we slowly begin to get at ease with the dynamics and politics of all the houses of Westeros. We get to understand the austerity of the Greyjoys, when Robb sends Theon to the Iron Islands to try and strike an alliance with the Lannisters, but he ends up betraying the Starks by siding with his father and seizing Winterfell by force. We also meet the Baratheon brothers as they battle it out for the right to the Iron Throne. Most significantly though, we dig into the story of the Lannisters, a family driven by honour and reputation. Season 2 can be the Season of the Lannisters, where we step away from the Starks and really understand the most powerful family of Westeros.
Tywin Lannister: The patriarch, Tywin is an unforgiving man whose only goal is maintaining the legacy of his house. He cares little for those who get in his way, whether it be his enemies (Robb Stark and his army of Northerners) or even his own family. While he takes to the battlefield to take on the North though, his absence in King’s Landing is felt. Both his daughter and youngest son do their fair share of scheming in his absence until he returns in the penultimate episode to save Kings Landing from Stannis’s army.
Cersei Lannister: In many ways, Cersei is driven by her own marginalisation as a woman in a male-dominant world. This has twisted her in a way that’s made her selfish and paranoid, two qualities that serve her well in Kings Landing. In the end, she’ll do anything for her children, whether it’s supporting her patently evil son King Joffrey, or her more innocent daughter and son. When things got most desperate and it seemed as though Stannis would take the Red Keep, Cersei was ready to choke down poison (after administering it to her son Tommen) rather than have her and her children be subjected to the invaders.
Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion is easily most fans’ favourite character, thanks to his sharp tongue and logical mind. Of all the characters in all the noble families of Westeros, Tyrion is the kindest, cleverest, and most pragmatic. His diminutive stature forced him to focus on honing his mind rather than his sword, keeping him one step ahead of his sister all season.
Acting as Hand of the King in place of his father Tywin, he manoeuvred Kings Landing in just about every way possible: He rooted out a spy within the small council, sent his niece Myrcella to Dorne to be wed to one of the Martells, and almost single-handedly won the Battle of Blackwater when he set the bay on fire, destroying a large portion of Stannis’s ships. He suffered a near fatal injury though, that put him out of commission long enough for Tywin to wash away all the control Tyrion previously had possessed.
Jaime Lannister: Jaime’s character arc is easily the most fascinating. We start out hating him in Season 1 after he pushes Bran Stark out of a window. But slowly, we start to really learn who he is. He starts Season 2 captured by the Starks, spending much of his time a prisoner of Robb. In being knocked off of his golden pedestal, he’s humanised, setting us up for his Season 3 redemption (more on that later).Other major events in Season 2 include Daenerys leaving Qarth in flames as she continues her conquest of the East, Theon taking and then quickly losing Winterfell, and the first appearance of the White Walkers en masse as they attack the Night’s Watch north of the Wall.
Major Deaths: Renley Baratheon (stabbed by an evil smoke monster), Rodrik Cassel (beheaded by Theon Greyjoy), Qhorin Halfhand (killed in combat with Jon Snow)
Season 3: The demise of the Starks
This season hit everyone hard. Robb Stark’s situation begins to get dire, as he begins to lose allies in the wake of his mother releasing Jaime Lannister. This culminates in the infamous Red Wedding, where everything is terrible and everyone you were rooting for ends up dead. Meanwhile, Theon finds himself brutally tortured into insanity at the hands of Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son.
In Season 3, The Starks find themselves losing war after Catelyn Stark released Jaime Lannister. They lost the support of Lord Walder Frey, after Robb Stark broke his vow to him by marrying Talisa Maegyr, and many members of Robb's army were losing faith in him. This results in the infamous Red Wedding, where everything is terrible and everyone you were rooting for ends up dead. While the Starks were getting beaten down into submission though, Jaime Lannister found himself in a similar boat. Captured by the Boltons (the unequivocal winners of Season 3) following his escape with Brienne of Tarth, he sat helplessly as his sword hand was lopped off, leaving him both crippled and humbled. Meanwhile, Theon finds himself brutally tortured into insanity at the hands of Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son. Arya Stark is seen on her journey home with companions Gendry and Hot Pie, finds herself entangled with The Brotherhood without Banners and Sandor "The Hound" Clegane..
Across the Narrow sea in Astapor, Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to reclaim the seven kingdoms. She has a new companion in former King's Guard Commander Barristan Selmy, and is still advised by Jorah Mormont. Beyond the wall, Jon Snow is seen romancing a wildling Ygritte, and he finds that he will soon have to choose between her and the Night's Watch.
Major Deaths: Robb Stark (stabbed by Roose Bolton at Edmure Tully’s wedding), Talisa Stark (stabbed by the Freys), Jeor Mormont (stabbed and betrayed by his own men), Catelyn Stark (throat slit by the Freys)
Season 4: Where Good Trumps the Evil, Well Almost!
This Season features the most number of deaths of many major characters, some of which were a treat to the eyes. Each death represented a character either having finished fulfilling their role, or meeting their deserved fates. Joffrey Baratheon: He is the over-indulged coward young king who has a cruel streak, particularly when it comes to those who are vulnerable. He is an amoral sadist who doesn’t think twice before taking any step, and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Joffrey had become the most hated character in television, spending most of his time sneering, yelling at people, and abusing Sansa for the better part of three seasons. Joffrey was poisoned on the day of his wedding, a death he truly deserved.
Tywin Lannister: Father of the incestuous couple Jamie and Cersei, Tywin carried with him a laundry list of sins, most prominent of which was his role in the Red Wedding. He is murdered on the toilet seat by least favourite son, Tyrion Lannister by a crossbow.
Oberyn Martell: Oberyn was the star of the Season when he volunteered to fight for Tyrion against the Mountain in his trial by combat when Tyrion was wrongly accused of killing Joffery. This fierce fighter gave a tough fight to the giant, however, lost brutally towards the end when Clegane gouges out Oberyn's eyeballs.
Ygritte: Over at the Wall, Jon Snow’s former lover joined a force of Wildlings to break through and head south. In yet another tragic death, she takes an arrow from the youngest ward of the Night’s Watch, Olly, while Jon Snow looks on.
Sansa Stark successfully escapes King's Landing with the help of Petyr Baelish. Baelish smuggles her to the Vale, where she comes into conflict with her jealous aunt, Lysa Arryn. After Lysa witnesses Littlefinger kiss Sansa, she attempts to throw Sansa through the Moon Door, only for Littlefinger to push Lysa to her death. When Littlefinger is interrogated, Sansa defends him.
Bran Stark, accompanied by the Reeds and Hodor, continues trying to find the three-eyed raven and finally meets him by the end of the season. Tons went down in Season 4 concerning the idea of just desserts, but plenty else took place as well. Stannis’s army swooped in and saved the Night’s Watch from the Wildling army following a climactic battle, Bran’s storyline finally came to a head after escaping a horde of ice zombies, and Westeros gets a new king in Joffrey’s little brother Tommen.
Major Deaths: Tywin Lannister (crossbowed to the chest by Tyrion), Joffrey (poisoned at his wedding), Shae (strangled to death, also by Tyrion), Jojen Reed (stabbed by an ice zombie), Ygritte (arrow to the chest from Olly), Oberyn Martell (eyes gouged out and face caved in by The Mountain), The Hound (presumably dead, from wounds suffered in fight with Brienne of Tarth), Lysa Arryn (shoved out the Moon Door by Petyr Baelish)
Season 5: When Jon Snow Died and Everything Was Horrible For Everyone
For four seasons, Game of Thrones was an Internet darling. It’s widely regarded as a crossover masterpiece and is the single most-pirated show on television right now. But a series of events has taken place in this season still in session that’s alienated many. For the first time ever, there have been huge diversions away from the books, while characters we love continue to either drop like flies or find themselves in constant peril.
Things start out pretty bad: This culminated in a wildly uncomfortable rape scene between Ramsay Snow and his new wife, Sansa Stark, immediately following the world’s saddest wedding. For a show that’s spent the better part of its run torturing the eldest Stark daughter, it seemed like an unnecessary plot twist that only served to further marginalise the role of women in Game of Thrones.
All this comes in a season where many have complained of slow pacing and directionless plot movement. Up until that episode, very little had really happened to inspire confidence, with most episodes taking place as a series of intense one-on- one conversation. Between Sansa’s rape and little else happening of note, for the first time ever, a show that had previously been an Internet darling saw its primary supporters decrying it as a series finally past its peak.
Combine this with Stannis Baratheon mercilessly burning his own young daughter alive at the stake and this season has had moments that have been eminently unwatchable. And then Winter finally came. For almost five seasons, we’ve heard three words come from numerous characters: Winter is coming. Until the eighth episode of Season 5 though, we never truly saw the evidence. A season that had before seemed generally directionless sharpened the hell up, with the final 15 minutes of episode 8 devoted entirely to Jon Snow and the Wildlings battling with an army of zombies and White Walkers. We officially are treading in the non-book territory now, leaving both readers and non-readers alike wondering where the series will go next.
And then things somehow got even worse: All the while, Cersei is forced to walk through the streets of Kings Landing naked in atonement for her sin of “fornication.” Across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion and Daenerys finally meet, making for some of the best dialogue the series has featured to date. It’s an odd match, but one that could become the most powerful alliance in the entire series in terms of charisma and plot movement.
The season closed out with quite possibly the most miserable hour of TV we’ve ever seen, killing off upward of seven major characters inside of an hour. The carnage closed out with Jon Snow getting stabbed repeatedly by a group of mutineers within the Night’s Watch, making everyone wonder what reason they have to continue watching. The entirety of the show’s forward momentum was built around Jon Snow staying alive, making it a curious choice to have him bite the dust.
Major Deaths: Freaking everyone! Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy (jumped off the tallest wall in Winterfell in a suicide pact), Stannis Baratheon (killed by Brienne of Tarth after losing in battle to the Boltons), Shireen Baratheon (burned at the stake by Stannis), Selyse Baratheon (hanged herself after watching her daughter burned alive), Meryn Trant (throat-slit by Arya Stark in Braavos), Mance Rayder (burned at the stake by Stannis, then arrowed to the chest by Jon Snow), Ser Barristan Selmy (killed by the Sons of the Harpy in Mereen), Janos Slynt (beheaded by Jon Snow), Maester Aemon (old age), Myrcella Baratheon (poisoned by Ellaria Sand)
Season 6: A Handful of deaths and some major revelations!
A momentous season, Game of Thrones Season 6 has, for the first time, outstripped George R.R. Martin’s source novels, venturing into previously unexplored territory. Both readers and non-readers alike were left in the dark, while the showrunners were afforded an unprecedented level of creative freedom. The result was a season’s worth of fan service that gave us everything we’ve been waiting on for years now.
Season 6 was undoubtedly one of the most momentous seasons. Be it Jon Snow being resurrected back to life by Melisandre or Cersei using wildfire to burn the Great Sept, every episode in the season kept the viewers at the edge of their seat. When Jon Snow was resurrected, he left the mutinous Night’s Watch to assume his true role as the heir to the Stark’s ancestral home.
After escaping from Winterfell, Sansa Stark journeys to the Wall and is reunited with her brother Jon Snow, who together gather loyalists for the upcoming battle! The Battle famously known as ‘The Battle of Bastards’ was one of the epic proportions. In fact, it went on to become the greatest single hour the show has ever featured, marked by a climactic and beautifully shot battle, and some much-needed redemption for Jon and Sansa. Aided by Littlefinger’s Knights of the Vale, the Starks defeat the Bolton forces and Sansa feeds Ramsay to his hounds and Jon is proclaimed the King in the North.
Our other favourite Stark girl, Arya finally avenged ‘The Red Wedding’ that broke our god damn hearts when it took place seasons ago. It saw the death of a large swathe of the Stark family, and effectively ended any designs of avenging Ned Stark’s beheading. Now three years later, Arya finally served the Freys their just desserts (literally). It wasn’t enough just to kill Walder Frey. No, she freaking fed him his sons in a meat pie a la Sweeney Todd, slitting his throat and leaving him to bleed out and die.
Beyond the Wall, Bran Stark trains with the Three-Eyed Raven but alerts the Night King, who launches an attack of White Walkers. Bran and Meera escape and are rescued by Benjen Stark. Bran subsequently has a vision to the Tower of Joy when he goes back in time, revealing that Jon is not Ned Stark's bastard but rather the child of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Thus proving that the R+L=J theory is in fact, true!
And finally, Daenerys Targaryen has set out on her journey to conquer Westeros with the Hand of the Queen to Daenerys Targaryen- Tyrion Lannister a position that could soon put him a stone’s throw away from ruling Westeros entirely, a much-deserved position after being hated and demeaned by his own family. Season 6 closed out with her on a ship home, backed by an armada, a massive army, and her three fully-grown dragons. From here, it won’t be long until she sits on the Iron Throne, ready to take on the impending White Walker invasion for her first act as queen.
Major Deaths: Oh boy, this is going to be a long list – Doran Martell (stabbed in the heart by Ellaria Sand), Roose Bolton (stabbed in the gut by his son Ramsay), Balon Greyjoy (thrown off of a bridge by his brother Euron), Hodor (torn apart by wights), The Blackfish (killed off-screen by Lannister men), Walder Frey (throat-slit by Arya after being fed his sons in a meat pie), Alliser Thorne and the Night’s Watch Mutineers (hanged by Jon), A wildfire explosion orchestrated by Cersei killed Mace, Loras, and Margaery Tyrell, Kevan and Lancel Lannister, and the High Sparrow/Faith Militant, King Tommen (jumped out of a window), Grand Maester Pycelle (stabbed by orphans), Rickon Stark (shot through chest by an arrow from Ramsay), TheWaif (killed by Arya, and had her face skinned off after), Osha (throat-slit by Ramsay), Ramsay Bolton (face eaten off by his own hounds)
Season 7 of Game of Thrones will premiere in India on Star World and Star World HD on July 18th at 11 PM!