Previously on Game of Thrones…

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones returns to our screens on Monday 17th July, more than a year after season six’s explosive conclusion.

With such a long hiatus and so much packed into last year’s ten episodes, you could be forgiven for forgetting what Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion et al have been up to. That’s why we’ve gone back through season six and put together a brief, Dragon-eye view of the main plot points as a timely reminder. As expected in any recap, there will be details and plot points from season six and previous series, so beware: the night is dark and full of spoilers

Struggling to remember what happened before that? Check out what happened previously on Previously on Game of Thrones

The Wall

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Season six kicks off, as you’d expect, where season five left us. Davos Seaworth and other loyal members of the Night’s Watch are presiding over the still-unmistakably dead Jon Snow after he was stabbed by his own men – namely Ser Alliser Thorne and Olly (the most disliked child in the series since King Joffrey).

Thorne gives Davos the ultimatum that he wants Jon’s body and will take it by force. Davos has no intention of giving Jon’s body up, however, and even has the idea of Lady Melisandre resurrecting him. The Red Lady is unsure, having lost faith in the Lord of Light after seeing her ‘Chosen One’ killed, and ends the episode by taking off her magical, jewelled necklace, which it is revealed has been hiding her true form of an old, wrinkly lady – the worst example of Tinder-catfishing Westeros has ever seen.

Catfish or not however, Melisandre does her Lord proud and manages to revive Jon. Free from his vows, the ex-Lord Commander hangs those who betrayed him and sets about rallying the Wildings and Northern armies to fight the incoming Walker invasion.

Escapes from Winterfell and Vaes Dothrak

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Meanwhile another of Ned Stark’s children, Sansa, is trying to evade Ramsey Bolton after escaping Winterfell with Theon Greyjoy. They’re eventually found by Bolton’s men and their pack of hounds, with worse fate set be in store for them. Cue Brienne riding in to save the day, meaning that the lady of Tarth can finally pat herself on the back having saved 25% of the people she has sworn to protect over the course of the show (she’ll probably put that right at the top of her LinkedIn). Sansa is reunited with Jon as they plan their next moves in taking Winterfell from Ramsey Bolton.

Theon returns to the Iron Islands to find out his mad-Uncle Euron has returned and been very busy. After sailing to the ends of the world and back, Euron kills Balon and takes control of the Ironborn, proclaiming he will marry Daenarys and take over the Seven Kingdoms. After challenging him for power, Yara is chased out along with Theon, and they both set sail for Meereen to pledge their support to Daenerys.

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Daenerys, meanwhile, is in a bit of a pickle. After escaping an ambush at the fighting pits, Dany continues her Series of Unfortunate Events-esque luck as she is captured by the Dothraki. The Queen of Meereen is brought before Khal Moro who, instead of returning her home, informs her she is to spend the rest of her days in the city of Vaes Dothrak with the rest of the Khal’s widows. She is even more devastated to find out karaoke will not be on the menu. She doesn’t have to worry about it for long, however, as Daario and Jorah (badly in need of some E45 as his Greyscale takes hold) come to rescue her. She hardly needs it, however, burning her captors to a crisp and exiting unscathed. She send Jorah off to find a cure for his fatal, rocky disease and returns to Meereen to find her city besieged by slavers.

Kings Landing

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Cersei, fresh from the news her daughter has been killed by the Sand Snakes, has sworn revenge on her enemies (as she seems to every series). This time she is at her most serious, plotting with the creepy Maester Qyburn and Franken-Mountain to overthrow the Sparrows – a group of religious fanatics who are beginning to take a hold of power in Westeros.

After accusing her of various crimes, the Sparrows have Queen Margaery imprisoned. Unwilling to let the royal family go any further into disrepute, Jaime Lannister and Mace Tyrell band together to free the Queen and establish themselves as the most powerful faction in the capital. The coup ends with red faces all around however, as it is revealed Margaery will not suffer the same humiliating treatment Cersei did after accepting the High Septon’s teachings and persuading Tommen to do the same. <i>D’oh!</i>

The Stark children

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The Starks have been busy as well. Arya, having been blinded for killing Meryn Trant without permission (apparently assassins can only kill those names given to them – how boring) is constantly beaten up and chastised by the Waif. She eventually regains her vision and is sent to assassinate an actress – apparently a more deserving target than the abusive and corrupt Trant. After realising this, Arya refuses the kill and is hunted by the Waif, who she eventually defeats before heading back to Westeros. She wastes no time getting her hands dirty either, slicing Walder Frey’s throat as revenge for the Red Wedding and cooking his sons into a pie like a younger, deranged Mary Berry.

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Bran meanwhile has been… living in a tree. It’s a pretty cool tree, mind you, allowing him to revisit past events such as a young Hodor in Winterfell, Ned fighting at the Tower of Joy and the Children of the Forest creating the White Walkers. Unfortunately he gets addicted to this magical VR experience and lets himself be grabbed by the Night King, meaning the magic keeping them and the Children of the Forest safe wears off. An army of the undead attack and the Children, Three-Eyed Raven and Summer are killed even before they can sarcastically say ‘WELL DONE BRAN’ and Hodor heroically sacrifices himself, revealing his name is an abbreviated version of “Hold the Door”, his last heroic action in helping Bran and Meera escape.

An explosive ending

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With the movers and shakers of Westeros at loggerheads, the series finishes with a bang. Episode nine – long a hallmark of the best and most action-packed episodes each series – sees Jon do battle with Ramsey in what is dubbed ‘the Battle of the Bastards.’ After Rickon is killed, a heavily-outnumbered Northern army are saved by Petyr ‘trying to avoid an Irish accent’ Baelish and Ramsey finally gets what he deserves as Sansa gives his hounds a taste of their own master. With Winterfell retaken and everyone united under his banner, Jon is proclaimed the “the King in the North” in a similar manner to the “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” chants.

Cersei finally gets her revenge on her enemies, using her secret stash of wildfire to blow Margaery, Mace and Loras Tyrell, as well as all of the Sparrows, to kingdom come, eradicating the church from Kings Landing in the process. That joy soon turns to ash in her mouth however as Tommen, distraught at the loss of life, commits suicide. Childless and now emotionally-detached, she takes her place on the Iron Throne ready for the new season.

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Now allied with Theon and Yara, Daenarys finally, after 60 episodes, is on her way to Westeros with a fleet of ships. With Tyrion by her side and a bloodthirsty Dothraki horde willing to fight for her, the Targaryen dream team finally seems to be ready.

Speaking of Targaryens, we end the series with a family twist so shocking Jeremy Kyle wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. Bran, having taken up the mantle of Three-Eyed Raven, finishes his vision of the Tower of Joy. As Ned climbs the stairs, he witnesses his sister Lyanna die in childbirth. It is revealed that the baby (which is also believed to be Rhaegar Targaryen’s) is none other than Jon Snow, meaning he may have more than just the Stark blood in his veins; news that is sure to have implications in the next season…

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So there we have it; a whistle-stop tour of Westeros that’ll have you more or less up to speed with the major goings on. And we didn’t even get the mention the return of the Hound, the coup in Dorne or even Uncle Benjen’s heroic cameo! Tune in for the new episode on Monday and get your fur-lined cloaks ready: Winter is well and truly coming…