Game of Thrones season 7 starts tomorrow, and praise to the High Sparrow, we are stoked. The show's legendarily complicated and expensive story lines span two continents and the largest ensemble cast on television. Six seasons' worth of dense material can be a lot to keep in mind as you watch season 7, so HBO has helpfully created a short series recap video to remind us of all the intrigue and murder that's gone down over the years. We get to see Stark children as actual children! And lots of dead characters that we still miss! It's enough to make any fan a little misty.
Let's go through the whole thing (warning: major spoilers below!). First off, it starts with Ned Stark's voice ominously telling us that King's Landing is a dangerous place and reminding us of the Stark words, Winter is Coming. The Starks go their separate ways, and yes, that sound you hear is me screaming at Ned Stark to keep the family in Winterfell. In King's Landing, King Robert Baratheon dies, and his son Joffrey assumes the Iron Throne. We're introduced to shadowy characters like Varys and Littlefinger, who both have motives that are still unclear. Tyrion Lannister becomes Hand of the King, a job he's surprisingly suited for, before being accused of Joffrey's murder and fleeing to Essos.
Next, we follow Daenerys Stormborn's journey from exiled princess to Khaleesi/Queen/Mother of Dragons/Ruler of Everything. Her dragons are just as fearsome as her ruthlessness when dealing with her enemies, and we relive all of Daenerys' badass fire moments. That Dracarys scene when she "negotiated" for her Unsullied warriors? That scene never gets old.
Jon Snow is everyone favorite sad boy, and he has good reason to be sad: he's been treated like a bastard for his entire life, he lives in a cold castle, swore an oath to defend the Seven Kingdoms against zombies, and can't have sex. A rule he breaks, of course, when he meets Ygritte. He annoys the entire Night's Watch when he commands the wildlings to be resettled south of the Wall, to protect them from aforementioned zombies. The Night's Watch is so annoyed that they murder Jon Snow, who is promptly resurrected by Melisandre's magic.
We also see lives of the Stark children today. Bran Stark has become a time-traveling greenseer, whose psychic abilities can affect the past and future. Season 6's arguably most heart-wrenching scene occurs when the beloved Hodor dies protecting Bran, and we learn the meaning of his name. Arya Stark transforms from tomboy into a merciless assassin when she journeys to Braavos and studies with the Faceless Men. She doesn't quite make it into their secret death cult, but she takes the shape-shifting skills she learned and uses it to murder Walder Frey, the man who orchestrated the deaths of her mother and brother. Ned Stark would be proud of his children (even Arya) if he lived to see them grow up.
The video ends with Cersei's dire words in season 1: "When you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die. There is no middle ground." While at this point it feels like there's not anyone left on the show to kill off, this trailer didn't show us anything about Sansa Stark, who is one the strongest characters on the show. Should we be worried about her too?
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