Down the memory lane with Game of Thrones
Quick recap of all Game of thrones seasons so far
Bloody, sexually explicit and the ruthless games of power is what summarizes the series of Game of Thrones, definitely not for the faint hearted souls. The series has run for 7 seasons and is running its finale season now has captured the popular imagination for eight long years. It is interesting how period dramas are a hit formula in television industry even today and how giant humanoid robots are okay but flying dragons with waring lords in a power struggle is more sought for.
If one were to look at the series of Game of Thrones it is not difficult to find its parallel in War of the Roses between the ruthless and greedy Lancasters and Yorks. George R.R Martin says that his earliest inspiration began with the pet turtles he had growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey. He kept them in a bowl with a castle, but unfortunately they didn’t survive. He said in his interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “I decided they were competing for the turtle throne,” he said. “They were killing each other to determine who would be the turtle king.” From Cersei's oft quoted dialogue in the series “when you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
Now that the much awaited finale is already her, lets have a quick recap of the seven season to brush up our memory, also if you have missed out on the series it's never too late to catch up.
Season 1: Well blessed are those stories that start with building suspense than doing the mundane introductions. That's exactly what happens in the first episode of GOT. Members of the Night Watch, sworn protectors of the Northern Ice wall, encounter a mystical being, a White Walker beyond the wall.
King Robert Baratheon and his Queen, Cersei Lannister, visit northern castle of Winterfell to make his old friend Eddard (Ned) Stark, Lord of Winterfell, to convince him to be the new Hand of the King as the previous one Jon Arryn has died under mysterious circumstances.
Across the narrow sea, the exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen of the house Targaryen, trades his sister Daenerys to a violent Dothraki horse lord in exchange for his army. He hopes to use them to take back the throne which was taken from his father by Coup D’etat led by Baratheons and the Lannisters. Back in Winterfell, Ned's 10-year-old son Bran discovers that Cersei and Jaime (Cersei's brother) are involved in an incestuous relationship. Jaime pushes Bran out of the window to keep him from telling anyone. As the new Hand of the King, Ned uncovers the dark secrets about the Lannisters that his predecessor died trying to expose and in the process ends up discovering King Robert's illegitimate sons. Ned refuses to participate in Robert's plan to assassinate the pregnant Daenerys Targaryen and resigns as Robert's Hand.
Meanwhile John Snow has joined the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch and Khal Drogo kills Daenerys brother, Viserys as he misbehaves with Dany (Daenerys). King Robert Baratheon is still drinking and whoring around which pisses Cercei to plan his accidental death. His hand, Ned is now alone to face the greedy members of the council as the fight for succession takes place. Ned is beheaded and his head is placed on a spike in Westeros. His son, Robb declares a rebellion in the North and is recognised as the King in The North. Sansa is taken as a prisoner in the Westeros by Cersei and her cruel son, Joffrey, who torments her. In the parallel narrative, Khal Drogo is dies and so does Dany’s unborn child but she comes out of fire all naked with three baby Dragons, well the dragon eggs she was carrying around finally hatched. All of a sudden the submissive, clueless girl is Mother of the Dragons and the Khaleesi of the Dothraki.
So the season ends on a mayhem. But we are hooked to know what happens because Ned Stark had said “Winter is coming.”
Season 2: Following the dramatic death of Lord Ned Stark all the Starks separated across Westeros. The pack of wolves is divided and somewhat lost. To Cersei's dismay, Tyrion, her dwarf brother she is not very fond of, takes up his post as acting Hand of the King at Kings Landing. After Having won three victories, Robb offers the Lannisters peace in exchange for the North's independence and Sansa's return.
Robb sends Theon to gain the support of Balon Greyjoy, his father and Catelyn to seek alliance with Renly Baratheon, who also claims the Iron throne. Catelyn arrives at Renly's camp to negotiate an alliance, she tries to convince the Baratheon brothers (Stannis and Renly) to abandon their quarrel and unite against the Lannisters, but Stannis demands Renly submit to his command.
Sansa is abused by Joffrey in revenge for Robb’s victories. Tyrion intervenes and in return, Joffrey is cruel to the prostitutes Tyrion sends him as gifts. Robb learns that Catelyn has secretly freed Jaime, who is now escorted by Lady Brienne of Tarth, who happens to be more knightley than any of the knights in Westeros, in order to ransom Sansa and Arya. Baratheon's fleet assaults Kings Landing. Leading the defense, Tyrion destroys many of the attacking ships with an exploding ship full of wildfire, forcing the former to attack on land but with no luck.
Season 3: So far following the climactic battle at Kings Landing centered around the war of the kings and kinsmen for the Iron throne. Renly Baratheon is killed by dark magic. Everyone in Westeros believe they have a claim to the Iron Throne, besides Robb Stark, who seeks vengeance for the death of his father, Ned Stark.
It is not just wars alone that helps in succession, marriages are also a great proven means for securing alliances. This season we witness weddings though not all a jovial affair. Walder Frey is angry as Robb marries his lover, Talisma instead of his daughter. So he kills them all- Robb, his mother, his beautiful wife, his unborn baby and the Direwolves, all the while Rains of Castamere hauntingly plays in the background. It is literally a Red Wedding. Arya Stark who comes for a reunion there is helped by Sandor, the Hound to escape the Starks Slaughter. But that's not the only wedding we have in this season.
Cersei finds a new wife for her son Joffrey, Margaery Tyrell. Then forcing the captive Stark girl to marry Tyrion. Even Lord Baelish, the Littlefinger gets to marry Lady Lysa Tully, widow of Lord Jon Arryn of the Vale and after killing her, he became the Lord Protector of the Vale. On the other side, Dany gets hold of the eight thousand unsullied army by roasting alive the Slave masters. Her Dragons are finally put to use and the key word is ‘Dracarys’. By killing the slave owners she has now become the Breaker of the chains, along with the Khaleesi, Mother of the Dragons and of course the Last heir of the house Targaryen.
Season 4 : This season opens with the death of the jerk king Joffrey. After which Sansa flees and the blame falls on her husband Tyrion, who so far had the claim “I drink and I know things”. He is put on trial and but somehow fails to convince people of his innocence. His brother, Jaime though helps him to escape the guillotine. Before leaving he kills his father who decides to drop one truth bomb and tells him that he is not actually his son.
Stannis Baratheon hasn’t given up yet and he charges towards the Night’s Watch’s keep. The Winterfell castle is now in the hands of the Boltons, another house which backstabbed the Starks for the political mileage. Ramsay Bolton, a bastard, both literally and otherwise kills his own father and becomes the new Lord of the Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy, who had captured Winterfell before him is actually beaten down to be the slave called Reek. But Jon Snow still doesn’t know anything about these new developments.
Season 5: After Joffrey’s much deserved death, his younger brother, Tommen Baratheon is made the King, who follows his brother’s footsteps and marries his widow Margaery. So far the issue of incest was sweeped under the carpet but now religious missionaries out on prowl to catch all those who are involved in godless ways of lovemaking. Cercei is made to walk nude in the city of Kings Landing with people chanting ‘Shame’ to atone for her sins. Jaime goes to Dorne to rescue her daughter Myrcella, who is killed to avenge the death of Prince Oberyn of Dorne. As Cersei looks at her daughter coming home in a couffin whatever remained of her sanity and humanity is killed. But somehow Tyrion has managed to get to the other side and gain trust of the mother of the Dragons, Daenerys and becomes the Hand of the Queen.
In the north, Sansa, who had escaped the trial for Joffrey’s murder is now married to sadistic Ramsay Bolton, who happens to be worse than Joffrey. Theon or the Reek helps her to escape the torture. Arya has joined the faceless man to help her train. Stannis who was marching north is now killed by Lady Brienne, who took an oath to kill him. John Snow despite not knowing anything is able to obtain a truce between the wildlings and the men of the Night’s watch and agrees to shelter them on the north of the wall, a safe haven away from the white walkers. The Night watch men aren’t keen on this generous act and kill him by branding him a traitor. So Jon Snow is dead or is he? This is the season cliffhanger.
Season 6: What follows next is the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ between Ramsay Bolton and Jon Snow. Wait! Isn’t Jon Snow dead already? Well he was but then Stannis Baratheon’s redhead witch lady, Melisandre resurrected him.
Jon Snow along with Sansa, the Wildlings and even Lyanna Mormont (who is just 10) captures the Castle of Winterfell again. Arya, who was training to become the faceless girl is now all ready to avenge her family. She starts with the house Frey. So finally the Starks kids are all up and ready to give it all back with interest. As they say in the North “the North remembers”.
Someone else is also on roll and no more distant, Daenerys Targaryen, is sailing towards Westeros along with army of the Unsullied, Dothraki, her council and 3 full grown dragons. Well as we already discussed sanity has left Cersei, now she has had enough and so she blows up the High sparrow, queen Margaery and her entire family and many others with loads of wildfire right before they about to put her on trial for the incest. This upsets King Tommen and for the first time he decides something on his own and jumps of the tower killing himself.
If you have forgotten about Bran Stark, the one who was crippled in the season 1 is now unravelling some important but dreadful information about the White walkers and himself. He is the first one to know that Jon Snow is not a Snow, that is a bastard and is actually the Targaryen heir born to Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and could be the child of the prophecy (no not Harry Potter this time). We witness an emotional farewell to the character Hodor, who gets killed holding the door as Bran escapes the Night King of the White walkers (appreciate the irony).
Season 7: Daenerys Targaryen arrives in Westeros with her army and three dragons and wages war against the Lannisters while Jon Snow continues his efforts to find ways to defeat the Army of the Dead, the white walkers.
He forges an alliance with Daenerys in an attempt to unite their forces against the White Walker army. She has now occupied her family home at Dragonstone. Westeros is once again set ablaze by Dany’s dragon right after witnessing Cersei's wildfire. Jon and Dany have now joined hands, hearts are not far behind. To convince Cercei to fight for living, Jon goes to get a evidence and comes back with a white walker in a box. But not before getting almost killed again.
In order to save Jon and others Dany loses one of her babies (even a dragon is a baby to his mother) Viserion is killed by the Night king, who in turn resurrects him into an ice dragon. Cercei again lies about her extending support to fight for the living. Bran tells Sam, Jon’s bestfriend, about him being a Targaryen, which also makes him Dany’s nephew. In the cliffhanger of the season we have Dany and Jon making love. But it's cool as Targaryen have a legacy of incest already.
That's all for the story so far. The dead are marching south. Winter is here for the living. Snuggle inside your quilts and wait for the dance of dragons as song of ice and fire plays in the background. Stay tuned for Game of Thrones theories, philosophies and more.
Meet the author
Hey this is Anjali Shukla. I am pursuing my masters in English and Cultural Studies at Christ University. I am a movie buff and a classic nerd. When it comes to picking holidaying options I am quite satisfied with good chinese takeout and my movie hard drive or my mini library with a generous supply of books. I love travelling as it is a default hobby of having your father serving in the air force. I am interested in reading Philosophy especially that of existentialist philosophers like Nietzsche and Jean Paul Sartre.
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10 July 2019