GoT: The Official Recap

17 July 2017 Chris Kennett

GoT: The Official Recap

Photo courtesy of Foxtel

Okay, so there’s this guy Ned Stark. He’s a relatively decent bloke who runs things in the crappy, frozen bit of a low-rent Middle Earth called Westeros. Don’t get attached to him, because he gets decapitated at the end of season one in a moment that lets you know this show basically exists to ruin your day. Anyway, he has a bunch of kids who end up being pretty much the main characters in a show that has about 600 of them. The kids all have these cool, fierce wolves for some reason. Again, don’t get attached.

So at the start of the show Ned gets summoned to the capital, King’s Landing, to serve as the Hand of the King (basically a butler but with more killing) for his old mate Robert. Ned does not want to do this, but he accepts and ends up investigating the death of his predecessor, which leads him to the discovery of Robert’s bastard offspring. This plot line doesn’t last much longer than Ned’s head. Get used to this sort of thing.

Oh yeah, also near the start of everything, Ned’s young son Bran gets shoved out a window and crippled by Jaime Lannister, the brother of the Queen Cersei. Because Bran saw the two of them, uh, doing it. Don’t worry, incest will seem tame once you get a few seasons in. Bran spends the rest of the show being hauled around, having out-of-body-experiences and looking inexplicably five years older every time he appears.

Robert is a drunken idiot who is killed on a hunting trip almost immediately, making his psychopathic teenage son Joffrey king. Joffrey soon organises the execution of Ned and spends the next few seasons running everything into the ground while tormenting everyone he possibly can. You’ll be pleased to hear he ultimately dies painfully, in one of the show’s most satisfying moments.

Did I mention he was also actually Jaime’s son, along with his siblings? Well he was, and this poorly kept secret leads to both of Robert’s brothers laying claims to the throne. So Joffrey gets succeeded by his brother Tommen, a wishy-washy kid who gets walked all over by a religious cult that somehow takes over the city on his watch. He offs himself after his mother, Queen Cersei, successfully plots to blow up the cult leader, along with Tommen’s wife and god knows how many other people near the end of season six, leaving Cersei on the Iron Throne at the time of writing.

Oh, I should explain that the Iron Throne is a big uncomfortable-looking throne made out of swords. It’s what everyone is playing this “Game” to get.

Ned’s other kids are scattered about the place – his youngest daughter Arya swears revenge and becomes an assassin, older daughter Sansa gets abused by a series of sociopaths, eldest son Robb mounts a doomed rebellion (he is dispatched along with his mother in the infamous “Red Wedding”), leaving Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow to play what passes for the hero. His adventures consist mainly of wearing fur, getting grumpy, getting killed and getting resurrected by popular demand. There’s another young son, too, Rickon, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what he does.

Did we talk about Daenerys Targaryen yet? You’ll end up calling her Khaleesi, which is a title rather than her name, but it’s drummed out so often by her friend-zoned offsider Jorah that you wouldn’t know. So she’s the daughter of the King before Robert (a guy who was killed by Jaime some time ago, usually referred to as the Mad King), and she essentially traipses aimlessly around a far-off desert for six seasons freeing slaves to, uh, serve her instead. She plans to eventually march her army into King’s Landing to – you guessed it – reclaim the Iron Throne. But, as we’ve established, this is a show where no-one ever ends up getting to where they’re going. Oh yeah, and she has dragons for some reason. And she’s accompanied by Tyrion, who’s Cersei and Jaime’s younger brother, a major character who I have no space to describe whatsoever. You’ll like him.

Meanwhile, a massive zombie army is marching down from the frozen north to slaughter everyone, and no-one is doing much about it. Hey, they’re busy.

There’s about a million other things and people that I’ve forgotten, but all you really need to know going into season seven is: Cersei Lannister is on the Iron Throne. Jon Snow is, presumably, coming to challenge her for it. And so is Khaleesi, uh, Daenerys. Grisly death awaits.

» Chris Kennett (@chriskennett) writes for The Project and co-hosts the podcast Internet Hate Machine.

This article first appeared in Ed#541 of The Big Issue. Make sure you grab an edition for more on Game of Thrones.