TV.com's Guide to Game of Thrones: Season 1, Episodes 1-3

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Ed. note: This guide has been updated based on Game of Thrones Episode 3.
... For the post-Episode 2 version, skip to
Page 2.
... For the post-Episode 1 version, skip to
Page 3.
... For the spoiler-free, pre-premiere version, skip to
Page 4.


Now that we're on Game of Thrones Episode 3, we'll do away with the rookie information and get to the nitty-gritty. You're getting familiar with the characters, so it's time to focus on the show's two central mysteries: Who killed Jon Arryn? And who ordered the assassination attempt on little Bran?


Westeros

Currently, the action in Game of Thrones is taking place in four places: Winterfell, home of the Starks; The Wall, where the Night's Watch defends the Seven Kingdoms from unknown threats in the uncharted north; King's Landing, the capitol of Westeros and where King Robert sits on the Iron Throne; and Across the Narrow Sea on a vast continent where traders and nomads flourish. We've also seen the characters travel the Kingsroad, a long stretch that connects Winterfell to King's Landing.


Winterfell

Winterfell is under no physical threat at the moment, but with Ned Stark off in King's Landing and the recent attempt on Bran's life, it's become a dark place. Robb Stark is currently the acting Lord of Winterfell. (Location 1 on the annotated map.)


House Stark

Eddard Stark (Sean Bean)
Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, also known as "Ned"
Ned has arrived at King's Landing, where he immediately began dealing with the King's affairs. He was shocked to hear that the King was spending money on extravagances, including an upcoming tournament in Ned's name. He was also surprised by a visit from Catelyn, who warned him that the Lannisters might have it out for the Starks.

Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley)
Wife of Eddard, born to House Tully
Catelyn quietly dropped into King's Landing to tell Ned of her concerns. She got help from an old friend, Peter "Littlefinger" Baelish. She learned that the dagger used in the assassination attempt on Bran once belonged to Baelish, who says he lost it to Tyrion in a bet. Her duty done, she set out to return to Winterfell.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden)
Eldest son of Eddard and Catelyn and the heir to Winterfell
With his mother and dad away, Robb has assumed Ned's role in many of the day-to-day meetings necessary to keep Winterfell afloat.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
Bastard son of Eddard, mother unknown
Jon's up at the not-that-glorious Wall, which isn't nearly as incredible as he'd hoped. He's one of the few trained swordsmen in this lot of greenhands, and is teaching what he knows to the others to strengthen the Night's Watch.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
Eldest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn, betrothed to Joffrey
Sansa is currently in King's Landing, and she is betrothed to Joffrey. She wasn't featured much in Episode 3, as she's just getting used to King's Landing and learning how to be a Lady.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Youngest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn
Arya isn't too jazzed about being in King's Landing or about having to learn how to be proper. She's still furious at her sister for lying about what happened between Joffrey, Arya, and the butcher's boy. But all is not lost for her; Ned has hired a skilled swordsman, Syrio, to teach her how to wield a blade.

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright)
Middle son of Eddard and Catelyn
Bran, now awake, can't remember how he fell—or is doing a good job pretending he doesn't remember. He's crippled, probably for life, and understandably grumpy about it.

Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson)
Youngest son of Eddard and Catelyn
Rickon didn't appear in Episode 3, but he's presumably still moping around Winterfell, calling out for his mum.

Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
Ward of Ned Stark from House Greyjoy
Theon is an honored servant of Ned, and about the same age as Robb. We still know very little about him, except that he enjoys many of the same privileges as the Stark children. He did not appear in Episode 3.

Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter)
Counsel, healer, and mentor of Winterfell
Luwin is working with Robb to keep Winterfell running.

Nymeria
Arya's direwolf. She attacked Joffrey in Episode 2 when the prince was threatening Arya. Rather than let the Lannisters kill the wolf, Arya drove Nymeria away. She hasn't been seen since.

Bran's Direwolf
Unnamed as of Episode 3. He tore out the throat of Bran's would-be assassin and saved Lady Catelyn's life in the process.

Jon's Direwolf
Unnamed as of Episode 3. We've only seen the runt of the litter, an albino, as a puppy. A cute little puppy wuppy! We haven't seen him since the premiere episode.

Lady (DECEASED)
Lady was sentenced to death in Episode 2 because someone had to pay for Nymeria mauling Joffrey's arm. Ned chose to do the deed himself.

King's Landing

King's Landing is the capital of Westeros, and home to both the Iron Throne and the King of Westeros. It sits slightly south of central Westeros on the east coast. A densely populated city, it is rich with culture, corruption, and poverty. The Baratheons, led by King Robert and his Queen, Cersei Lannister, currently rule King's Landing. (Location 2 on the annotated map.)


House Baratheon

Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy)
King of Westeros
Robert was kind of a jerk in Episode 3, not exactly the jolly man we've seen before. Does this guy even like being king?

Cersei Baratheon (Lena Headey)
Queen of Westeros and wife to Robert, born to House Lannister
Cersei is still scheming behind the scenes, making sure her son Joffrey weds Sansa. She doesn't care whether Joffrey loves the girl, she just wants to make sure the Lannisters stay on top.

Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
Eldest son of Robert and Cersei, heir to the throne, and betrothed to Sansa Stark (not pictured: younger sister Myrcella and younger brother Tommen)
Joffrey doesn't want to marry Sansa and is already planning what he'll do when he ascends to the throne. Most of those plans involve him being a total jerk.

Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony)
Youngest brother to Robert
Renly seems like a pretty cool guy, no? He's the younger brother of Robert and gets along with Ned. He helps run the council.

Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann)
Protector of Joffrey
This towering swordsman is the sworn shield of Prince Joffrey, but in Episode 2 appeared indifferent to preventing a dwarf from slapping the heir. Not seen in Episode 3.

Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson)
The Royal Executioner
This creepy guy has the privilege of being the King's Justice. He scares Sansa, and if I'm being honest, me too. Not seen in Episode 3.

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen)
King's treasurer
Hey! It's that guy from The Wire! When Baelish isn't making money appear out of nowhere for the King's extravagances, he's hanging around the whorehouses he operates. He's an old friend of Catelyn's, and at one point loved her. Baelish says that the dagger that Bran's assassin wielded used to be his, but he lost it in a bet with Tyrion Lannister. He's now going to help the Starks figure out this mystery.

Varys "The Spider" (Conleth Hill)
Eunuch, Master of Whispers, or the kingdom gossip
This likable fella knows almost everything that's going on in the kingdom, making him an invaluable resource for whoever he serves.


House Lannister

Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau)
Son of Tywin, member of Robert's elite Kingsguard (protectors of the king), twin brother of Cersei
We've now learned that Jaime did indeed kill the "Mad King," King Aerys Targaryen, by stabbing him in the back even though Jaime was under his service. Hence his nickname, "The Kingslayer." He's still being a dick to Ned, and is still a little too touchy with his sister Cersei. He promised Cersei that Bran won't say a word about what he saw, and if Bran does, Jaime'll kill the boy.

Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
Dwarf son of Tywin, younger brother to Cersei and Jaime
Tyrion has gotten a glimpse of life on The Wall, and it isn't pretty. The maester of The Wall, Maester Aemon, asked for Tyrion's help in gathering more qualified recruits for the Night's Watch—which has declined in recent years—as danger is closing in.


The Wall

The Wall, located at the northernmost point of The Seven Kingdoms (which is north of Winterfell), is essentially a glacial barrier that separates the Seven Kingdoms from their threats to the North. It is hundreds of feet high and guarded by an order of men known as the Night's Watch, comprised mainly of outcasts and prisoners who opt to "don the black" rather than carry out prison sentences. Members of the Night's Watch are not allowed to hold land, take wives, or have children. Breaking that oath is punishable by death—as we saw in Episode 1 with Will, the man who claimed he saw the White Walkers. (Location 3 on the annotated map.)

The White Walkers: Holy Mother of Westeros, these things are creepy! Seen in the prologue north of The Wall, these creatures of legend haven't been seen for thousands of years. Are there different kinds of White Walkers? One looked like a reanimated corpse (pictured), but the others were like snowy Predators. What gives? Not seen since Episode 1.

Direwolves: Much larger than your normal wolf, these mythical creatures are ferocious killers (see how dangerous the one in the picture looks!?). Direwolves have not been seen South of The Wall for some time, but in Episode 1, Ned and his men came upon a dead mother direwolf and her six pups. Jon Snow convinced Ned to give the pups to his children, as direwolves are the sigil of House Stark. Jon the Bastard got the albino pup with glowing red eyes. Bonus trivia: Producers chose the Northern Inuit dog breed to play the direwolves.


Across the Narrow Sea

Southeast of The Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea lies the continent of Essos. If Westeros resembles Europe (and particularly the United Kingdom), Essos resembles Northern Africa and Eurasia, with great plains, forests, and deserts. The people here are fond of trading, and the continent is home to many bazaars selling all sorts of goods from around the world.


House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Exiled princess, sister to Viserys, wife of Khal Drogo
Uh oh! Dany is pregnant! Is this a good or bad thing? She and Khal seem to be getting along swimmingly now, and she's coming around to her role as Khaleesi.

Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd)
Exiled prince, older brother to Dany
In Episode 3, Viserys got mad at Dany for giving an order and threatened her. Khal's badass bloodrider nearly strangled Viserys with his whip, showing that he serves Dany and not Viserys—the power dynamic is beginning to shift. At the end of the episode, Viserys was forced to go horseless... an insult in the Dothraki way.

Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
Leader of a barbarian Dothraki horde.
Khal and Dany have moved on to cuddling (awww...), and he seems impressed with her attempts to learn the Dothraki language. This is like a real relationship now.

Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
Exiled knight, sworn protector of Dany
Jorah's still watching over Dany, and isn't as concerned about Viserys. Upon learning that Dany is pregnant, he said he had to go somewhere. Where? We don't know. Also: It's reasonable to assume that Jorah's father, whom he betrayed, is the same Lord Mormont who is stationed at The Wall.

Those of you who have read the books, please do not post spoilers in the comments section!!!


Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO in the US, and on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.



Hear the proclamations of Ser Tim of House Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom



PAGE TWO


Ed. note: This guide has been updated based on Game of Thrones Episode 2.
... For the post-Episode 1 version, skip to
Page 3.
... For the spoiler-free, pre-premiere version, skip to
Page 4.



HBO's Game of Thrones, an adult-oriented fantasy drama based on the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R.R. Martin, can be a tricky show to navigate because it takes place in multiple locales, introduces characters with deep backstories before you can remember the last person you met, and spins a web of royal families all intermingling in a struggle for power.

Though all the information in this guide can be pieced together from the series, we're compiling it here to give you a go-to source for keeping track of all the information the show throws at you. We'll update it as the series progresses (we will never post advanced spoilers, but will add information from the most-recent episode weekly—so during the season, only refer to it if you are up-to-date). And keep in mind that there's a lot more to Game of Thrones than we've listed here. Let's start with the lay of the land and the continent of Westeros.


Westeros

Westeros runs mostly north and south, a relatively narrow stretch of land on which the majority of Game of Thrones takes place. The continent is home to The Seven Kingdoms, and north of that lies a vast expanse of unknown and uncharted territory plagued by harsh, frigid temperatures and populated by barbaric inhabitants known as wildlings. One of the main differences between this world and ours is that seasons aren't annual and can last for decades or longer. Winters are especially harsh, and when we begin the Game of Thrones story, we're in autumn; as the motto of the show's central family states: "Winter is coming."


Winterfell

Winterfell is the castle of The North, the northernmost of The Seven Kingdoms and a sparsely populated region that is topographically and meteorologically similar to northern Canada (but with far fewer Tim Hortons). It is ruled by the Starks, one of the central families of Game of Thrones. (Location 1 on the annotated map.)


House Stark

Eddard Stark (Sean Bean)
Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, also known as "Ned"
Ned is on the way to King's Landing with King Robert and his entourage. He's still apprehensive about discussing Jon Snow's mother (Wyla?). After Ned's daughter Arya and Prince Joffrey have a run in, Ned is commanded to kill Sansa's direwolf, Lady, and it doesn't look like he approves of Robert and Cersei's brand of justice.

Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley)
Wife of Eddard, born to House Tully
Catelyn spends much of the first half of the Episode 2 at Bran's bedside, worrying. Things go from bad to worse when a fire is set in Winterfell as a diversion for an assassination attempt on Bran's life. Catelyn struggles with the would-be Branslayer, but Bran's direwolf comes to the rescue and rips the assassin's throat out. After further investigation (during which she finds a long blonde hair in the tower near where Bran fell), she believes the Lannisters are trying to kill Bran because he saw something he wasn't meant to see. She opts to head to King's Landing to tell Ned.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden)
Eldest son of Eddard and Catelyn and the heir to Winterfell
With his mother in mourning and dad away, Robb assumes Ned's role in many of the day-to-day meetings necessary to keep Winterfell afloat.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
Bastard son of Eddard, mother unknown
Jon has decided to "take the black" and join the Night's Watch alongside his uncle Benjen on The Wall, and says his farewells to his family. He also learns that members of the Night's Watch aren't the most noble of folk.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
Eldest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn, betrothed to Joffrey
On their way to King's Landing, Sansa throws Arya under the carriage by saying she didn't remember what happened on the riverbank with Arya, Joffrey, and Arya's direwolf. Because someone needs to pay for the mauling of Joffrey's arm, Sansa's direwolf Lady is shanked by Ned at the command of Robert. It's really, really sad, and it's okay if you cried.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Youngest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn
Arya gets her first sword, named Needle, courtesy of her half-brother Jon Snow. Later, she's engaged in swordplay with the butcher's boy when Joffrey interrupts and turns the outing into a real fight. Arya's pup Nymeria defends her owner by chomping on Joffrey's arm. Knowing that the Lannisters will kill Nymeria if they find her, Arya forces the direwolf to run away, even throwing a rock at Nymeria's noggin to make sure she leaves. It's really, really sad, and it's okay if you cried.

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright)
Middle son of Eddard and Catelyn
The good news: He's alive! The bad news: He's barely alive. But at the end of the episode, Bran wakes up... what does he remember?

Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson)
Youngest son of Eddard and Catelyn
Rickon didn't appear in Episode 2, but Robb did mention that he's been crying his eyes out while his dad takes off for King's Landing and Catelyn locks herself in Bran's room. Someone needs to take care of this kid.

Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
Ward of Ned Stark from House Greyjoy
Theon is an honored servant of Ned, and about the same age as Robb. We still know very little about him, except that he enjoys many of the same privileges as the Stark children.

Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter)
Counsel, healer, and mentor of Winterfell
Luwin encouraged Ned to head to King's Landing and serve as the Hand of the King, despite what happened to Jon Arryn. "Different time, different king," he told Ned.

Nymeria
Arya's direwolf. She attacked Joffrey when the prince was threatening Arya. Rather than let the Lannisters kill the wolf, Arya drove Nymeria away.

Bran's Direwolf
Unnamed as of Episode 2. He tore out the throat of Bran's would-be assassin and saved Lady Catelyn's life in the process.

Jon's Direwolf
Unnamed as of episode 2. We've only seen the runt of the litter, an albino, as a puppy. A cute little puppy wuppy! He's going to The Wall with Jon.

Lady (DECEASED)
Lady was sentenced to death because someone had to pay for Nymeria mauling Joffrey's arm. Ned chose to do the deed himself.

King's Landing

King's Landing is the capital of Westeros, and home to both the Iron Throne and the King of Westeros. It sits slightly south of central Westeros on the east coast. A densely populated city, it is rich with culture, corruption, and poverty. The Baratheons, led by King Robert and his Queen Cersei Lannister, currently rule King's Landing. (Location 2 on the annotated map.)


House Baratheon

Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy)
King of Westeros
Robert is returning to King's Landing, with his new Hand (Ned) in tow. He learns that Dany has wed Khal Drogo and thinks they're planning to reclaim the throne. Robert not-so-subtly suggests having Dany murdered, and lets us in on the fact that Dany's family (particularly one Rhaegar Targaryen) did something horrible to Ned's sister, who was betrothed to Robert and has since died. After Dany's father was killed, Robert assumed the throne. Some in the kingdom still call him "The Usurper." He believes war is coming to the kingdom.

Cersei Baratheon (Lena Headey)
Queen of Westeros and wife to Robert, born to House Lannister
Cersei has a heartfelt discussion with Catelyn about the loss of her firstborn, a dark-haired little moppet who looked just like Robert. And just when you start to sympathize with her, she goes and orders a death sentence for Sansa's direwolf, Lady. What a bitch.

Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
Eldest son of Robert and Cersei, heir to the throne, and betrothed to Sansa Stark (not pictured: younger sister Myrcella and younger brother Tommen)
While trying to woo Sansa and be all pimp-like, Joffrey sees Arya and another lad play-fighting. He decides to be a jerk and bully Arya's friend, forcing a physical response from Arya. Joffrey threatens Arya and Nymeria comes to her aid, chewing on Joffrey's royal arm. Later he lies and says Arya and her friend attacked him for no reason.

Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony)
Youngest brother to Robert (not seen in Ep. 2)

Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann)
Protector of Joffrey
This towering swordsman is the sworn shield of Prince Joffrey, but appears indifferent to preventing a dwarf from slapping the heir.

Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson)
The Royal Executioner
This creepy guy has the privilege of being the King's Justice. He scares Sansa, and if I'm being honest, me too.

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen)
King's treasurer (not seen in Ep. 2)

Varys "The Spider" (Conleth Hill)
Eunuch, Master of Whispers, or the kingdom gossip (not seen in Ep. 2)


House Lannister

Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau)
Son of Tywin, member of Robert's elite Kingsguard (protectors of the king), twin brother of Cersei
Jaime and his twin sister Cersei are concerned with the news that Bran is going to live. Through conversation between Tyrion and Jon, we also learn that Jaime killed the previous king, King Rhaegar (Dany and Viserys' father). Hence his nickname, "The Kingslayer."

Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
Dwarf son of Tywin, younger brother to Cersei and Jaime
Tyrion is on his way to The Wall "to stand on the The Wall and piss off the edge of the world." He lets us know that his father, Tywin, was Rhaegar's Hand of the King.


The Wall

The Wall, located at the northernmost point of The Seven Kingdoms (which is north of Winterfell), is essentially a glacial wall that separates the Seven Kingdoms from their threats to the North. It is hundreds of feet high and guarded by an order of men known as the Night's Watch, comprised mainly of outcasts and prisoners who opt to "don the black" rather than carry out prison sentences. Members of the Night's Watch are not allowed to hold land, take wives, or have children. Breaking that oath is punishable by death—as we saw in Episode 1 with Will, the man who claimed he saw the White Walkers. (Location 3 on the annotated map.)

The White Walkers: Holy Mother of Westeros, these things are creepy! Seen in the prologue north of The Wall, these creatures of legend haven't been seen for thousands of years. Are there different kinds of White Walkers? One looked like a reanimated corpse (pictured), but the others were like snowy Predators. What gives?

Direwolves: Much larger than your normal wolf, these mythical creatures are ferocious killers (see how dangerous that one in the picture looks!?). Direwolves have not been seen South of The Wall for some time, but in Episode 1, Ned and his men came upon a dead mother direwolf and her six pups. Jon Snow convinced Ned to give the pups to his children, as direwolves are the sigil of House Stark. Jon the Bastard got the albino pup with glowing red eyes. Bonus trivia: Producers chose the Northern Inuit dog breed to play the direwolves.


Across the Narrow Sea

Southeast of The Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea lies the continent of Essos. If Westeros resembles Europe (and particularly the United Kingdom), Essos resembles Northern Africa and Eurasia, with great plains, forests, and deserts. The people here are fond of trading, and the continent is home to many bazaars selling all sorts of goods from around the world.


House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Exiled princess, sister to Viserys, wife of Khal Drogo
Dany's learning this is her new life, and she's gonna have to make the best of it. Mmmm... horse jerky! The dragon's eggs she received as a gift are serving as a security blanket for her while she gets pounded by Mr. Drogo. But knowing she can actually take a controlling interest in her relationship, she learns hooker tricks to please Khal in a non-Dothraki way. It's actually a very tender moment.

Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd)
Exiled prince, older brother to Dany
He's pretty much still a jerk, and is stoked that things seems to be going according to his plan: wed nubile sister to war-like tribe, bring war-like tribe across the sea, overthrow king, live large.

Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
Leader of a barbarian Dothraki horde.
Is Khal falling in love? How sweet!

Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
Exiled knight, sworn protector of Dany
After the man he previously served, King Rhaegar, was overthrown, Jorah was on the run—from none other than Ned Stark. Ned wanted his head because Jorah tried to sell poachers he caught on his land as slaves. Slavery isn't allowed in The Seven Kingdoms.

Those of you who have read the books, please do not post spoilers in the comments section!!!


Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO in the US, and on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.



Hear the proclamations of Ser Tim of House Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom



PAGE THREE


Ed. note: This guide has been updated based on Game of Thrones Episode 1.
... For the spoiler-free, pre-premiere version, skip to
Page 4.



HBO's Game of Thrones, an adult-oriented fantasy drama based on the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R.R. Martin, can be a tricky show to navigate because it takes place in multiple locales, introduces characters with deep backstories before you can remember the last person you met, and spins a web of royal families all intermingling in a struggle for power.

Though all the information in this guide can be pieced together from the series, we've compiled it here to give you a go-to source for keeping track of all the information the series throws at you. We'll update it as the series progresses, as the series dictates (we will never post advanced spoilers, but will update the guide with information from the most recent episode—so during the season, only refer to it if you are up-to-date). And keep in mind that there's a lot more to Game of Thrones than we've listed here; we're keeping the information minimal before the series begins. Let's start with the lay of the land and the continent of Westeros.


Westeros

Westeros runs mostly north and south, a relatively narrow stretch of land on which the majority of Game of Thrones takes place. The continent is home to The Seven Kingdoms, and north of that lies a vast expanse of unknown and uncharted territory plagued by harsh, frigid temperatures and populated by barbaric inhabitants known as wildlings. One of the main differences between this world and ours is that seasons aren't annual and can last for decades or longer. Winters are especially harsh, and when we begin the Game of Thrones story, we're in autumn; as the motto of the show's central family states: "Winter is coming."


Credit Sequence

The producers of the show took special care in the credit sequence and used it as a tool to relay geographical information to viewers in a clever way. But don't get used to just this iteration; the credit sequence will change as the season progresses and different houses come into power and new areas of the map come into play. Hopefully, HBO will release each new credit sequence and I can post them in the guide. (Warning: video will roll on to the next Game of Thrones video in the playlist. Hit the "pause" button at anytime to stop autoplay.)


Winterfell

Winterfell is the castle of The North, the northernmost of The Seven Kingdoms and a sparsely populated region that is topographically and meteorologically similar to northern Canada (but with far fewer Tim Hortons). It is ruled by the Starks, one of the central families of Game of Thrones. (Location 1 on the annotated map.)


House Stark

Eddard Stark (Sean Bean): Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, also known as "Ned." Ned has been asked by Robert to be the Hand of the King, a powerful position that would essentially see Ned taking care of important affairs in the kingdom while Robert whores and drinks himself into a stupor. It's kind of like being vice president, except with a lot more work. Despite protests from his wife, Ned is accepting the position and heading off to King's Landing.

Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley): Wife of Eddard, born to House Tully. She does not want Ned to go to King's Landing and take the position of Hand of the King; she'd rather he stay at Winterfell with the family. And with her sister insisting that her brother-in-law, Jon Arryn—the previous Hand—was murdered by the Lannisters, Catelyn is particularly skeptical of seeing Ned stick his head into the mouth of the Lannister Lions. Is her sister telling the truth, or is she pointing fingers because she's stricken with grief and looking for someone to blame? Catelyn also doesn't appear to be too fond of Jon Snow, her husband's bastard son.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden): Eldest son of Eddard and Catelyn and the heir to Winterfell. With Ned accepting the role of Hand, he'll be the senior male Stark at Winterfell.

Jon Snow (Kit Harington): Bastard son of Eddard, mother unknown. It ain't easy being a bastard. Did you see that look Catelyn gave him? She despises him; he's living proof of Ned's infidelity.

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner): Eldest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn. Oh, Sansa! You're like a teeny bopper in love with Justin Bieber! Her googly eyes for Joffrey are pretty pathetic, but she's infatuated with royalty and the possibility of being queen someday.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): Youngest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn. What's not to love about Arya? The little scamp clearly has no intention of growing up to be a Lady like her sister Sansa. She's fascinated by knights and seems to have taken a particular shine to the Imp.

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright): Middle son of Eddard and Catelyn. In Episode 1, Bran's curiosity got him into BIG trouble as he spied twins Jaime Lannister and Cersei Lannister-Baratheon doing more than being brother-sister. Now he's falling from the tower in the series' first cliffhanger.

Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson): Youngest son of Eddard and Catelyn. He just sits there on his horse, looking adorable.


King's Landing

King's Landing is the capital of Westeros, and home to both the Iron Throne and the King of Westeros. It sits slightly south of central Westeros on the east coast. A densely populated city, it is rich with culture, corruption, and poverty. The Baratheons, led by King Robert and his Queen Cersei Lannister, currently rule King's Landing. (Location 2 on the annotated map.)


House Baratheon

Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy): King of Westeros. Boisterous, gluttonous, and jolly, Robert wants to be King without all the tedious meetings that come with the job. He's asked Ned, a man he trusts explicitly, to be his right-hand man. Robert was once betrothed to Ned's sister, who died before they could wed and is buried beneath Winterfell.

Cersei Baratheon (Lena Headey): Queen of Westeros and wife to Robert, born to House Lannister. She's a bit icy, isn't she? And she likes to do carnal things with her twin brother. What secret does she share with Jaime?

Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson): Eldest son of Robert and Cersei, heir to the throne (not pictured: younger sister Myrcella and younger brother Tommen). Joffrey just looks like a punk, doesn't he?

Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony): Youngest brother to Robert (not seen in Ep. 1)

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen): King's treasurer (not seen in Ep. 1)

Varys "The Spider" (Conleth Hill): Eunuch, Master of Whispers, or the kingdom gossip (not seen in Ep. 1)


House Lannister

Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau): Son of Tywin, member of Robert's elite Kingsguard (protectors of the king), twin brother of Cersei. Jaime hates the North, is no friend of Ned's, and can't wait to get out of Winterfell. And yes, he's boning his twin sister.

Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage): Dwarf son of Tywin, younger brother to Cersei and Jaime. Small in stature, huge in appetite. He's the witty one, using charm instead of a sword to avoid getting killed.


The Wall

The Wall, located at the northernmost point of The Seven Kingdoms (which is north of Winterfell), is essentially a glacial wall that separates the Seven Kingdoms from their threats to the North. It is hundreds of feet high and guarded by an order of men known as the Night's Watch, comprised mainly of outcasts and prisoners who opt to "don the black" rather than carry out prison sentences. Members of the Night's Watch are not allowed to hold land, take wives, or have children. Breaking that oath is punishable by death—as we saw in Episode 1 with Will, the man who claimed he saw the White Walkers. (Location 3 on the annotated map.)

The White Walkers: Holy Mother of Westeros, these things are creepy! Seen in the prologue north of The Wall, these creatures of legend haven't been seen for thousands of years. Are there different kinds of White Walkers? One looked like a reanimated corpse (pictured), but the others were like snowy Predators. What gives?

Direwolves: Much larger than your normal wolf, these mythical creatures are ferocious killers (see how dangerous that one in the picture looks!?). Direwolves have not been seen South of The Wall for some time, but in Episode 1, Ned and his men came upon a dead mother direwolf and her six pups. Jon Snow convinced Ned to give the pups to his children, as direwolves are the sigil of House Stark. Jon the Bastard got the albino pup with glowing red eyes. Bonus trivia: Producers chose the Northern Inuit dog breed to play the direwolves.


Across the Narrow Sea

Southeast of The Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea lies the continent of Essos. If Westeros resembles Europe (and particularly the United Kingdom), Essos resembles Northern Africa and Eurasia, with great plains, forests, and deserts. The people here are fond of trading, and the continent is home to many bazaars selling all sorts of goods from around the world.


House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): Exiled princess, sister to Viserys. Dany is the daughter of the previous King, who was overthrown and replaced by Robert. She's just been married off to the powerful Dothraki leader, Khal Drogo, to become the new khaleesi, a queen. At her wedding, she was given petrified dragon eggs as a gift by her host Illyrio.

Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd): Exiled prince. He wants to reclaim what he thinks is rightfully his: the Iron Throne. He believes that with his sister marrying a Dothraki leader, he can form an army and retake the Seven Kingdoms for House Targaryen and seat himself as King. He's kind of a jerk.

Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa): Leader of a barbarian Dothraki horde. He hasn't killed Dany yet, so he must like something about her. Dothraki custom says a man must cut his hair when he is defeated in combat. Khal's hair is almost as long as Crystal Gale's, i.e. he's a badass.

Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen): Exiled knight, sworn protector of Dany. Jorah serves as the liaison between the Targeryans and the Dothraki.

Those of you who have read the books, please do not post spoilers in the comments section!!!


Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9pm on HBO in the US, and on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.



Hear the proclamations of Ser Tim of House Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom



PAGE FOUR


HBO's Game of Thrones, an adult-oriented fantasy drama based on the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R.R. Martin, can be a tricky show to navigate because it takes place in multiple locales, introduces characters with deep backstories before you can remember the last person you met, and spins a web of royal families all intermingling in a struggle for power.



Though all the information in this guide can be pieced together from the series, we've compiled it here to give you with a go-to source for keeping track of all the information the series throws at you. We'll update it as the series progresses, as the series dictates (we will never post advanced spoilers, but will update the guide with information from the most recent episode—so during the season, only refer to it if you are up-to-date). And keep in mind that there's a lot more to Game of Thrones than we've listed here; we're keeping the information minimal before the series begins. Let's start with the lay of the land and the continent of Westeros.


Westeros

Westeros runs mostly north and south, a relatively narrow stretch of land on which the majority of Game of Thrones takes place. The continent is home to The Seven Kingdoms, and north of that lies a vast expanse of unknown and uncharted territory plagued by harsh, frigid temperatures and populated by barbaric inhabitants known as wildlings. One of the main differences between this world and ours is that seasons aren't annual and can last for decades or longer. Winters are especially harsh, and when we begin the story of Game of Thrones, we're in autumn; as the motto of the show's central family states: "Winter is coming."


Winterfell

Winterfell is the castle of The North, the northernmost of The Seven Kingdoms and a sparsely populated region that is topographically and meteorologically similar to northern Canada. It is ruled by the Starks. (Location 1 on the annotated map.)


House Stark

Eddard Stark (Sean Bean): Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, also known as "Ned"
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley): Wife of Eddard, born to House Tully

Robb Stark (Richard Madden): Eldest son of Eddard and Catelyn and the heir to Winterfell
Jon Snow (Kit Harington): Bastard son of Eddard, mother unknown

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner): Eldest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): Youngest daughter of Eddard and Catelyn

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright): Middle son of Eddard and Catelyn
Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson): Youngest son of Eddard and Catelyn


King's Landing

King's Landing is the capital of Westeros, and home to both the Iron Throne and the King of Westeros. It sits slightly south of the middle of Westeros on the east coast. A densely populated city, it is rich with culture, corruption, and poverty. The Baratheons, led by King Robert and his Queen Cersei Lannister, currently rule King's Landing. (Location 2 on the annotated map.)


House Baratheon

Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy): King of Westeros
Cersei Baratheon (Lena Headey): Queen of Westeros and wife to Robert, born to House Lannister

Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson): Eldest son of Robert and Cersei, heir to the throne (not pictured: younger sister Myrcella and younger brother Tommen)
Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony): Youngest brother to Robert

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen): King's treasurer
Varys "The Spider" (Conleth Hill): Eunuch, Master of Whispers (meaning he's the kingdom gossip)


House Lannister

Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau): Son of Tywin, member of Robert's elite Kingsguard (protectors of the king), twin brother of Cersei
Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister (Peter Dinklage): Dwarf son of Tywin, younger brother to Cersei and Jaime


The Wall

The Wall, located at the northernmost point of The Seven Kingdoms (which is north of Winterfell), is essentially a glacial wall that separates the threats to the North from the Seven Kingdoms. It is hundreds of feet high and guarded by an order of men known as the Night's Watch, many of them outcasts and prisoners who opt to "don the black" rather than carry out prison sentences. Members of the Night's Watch are not allowed to hold land, take wives, or have children. Breaking that oath is punishable by death. (Location 3 on the annotated map.)


Across the Narrow Sea

Southeast of The Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea lies the continent of Essos. If Westeros resembles Europe (and particularly the United Kingdom), Essos resembles Northern Africa and Eurasia, with great plains, forests, and deserts. The people here are fond of trading, and the continent is home to many bazaars selling all sorts of goods from around the world.


House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): Exiled princess, sister to Viserys
Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd): Exiled prince

Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa): Leader of a barbarian Dothraki horde
Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen): Exiled knight, sworn protector of Dany


Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 17 at 9pm on HBO in the US, and on Monday, April 18 at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK.


Hear the proclamations of Ser Tim of House Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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