Game of Thrones for Dummies

For the uninitiated, Recreation of Thrones is a massively profitable HBO TV sequence in its eighth and remaining season. Additionally it is complicated.

Based mostly on the lengthy, plot-heavy novels by George R.R. Martin, the HBO present is bursting with extra characters and settings than you may swing a broadsword at.

Recreation of Thrones is a political potboiler crossed with the essence of medieval legend, as bold and power-hungry lords and women vie for the throne, unleashing a violent and harmful sport that threatens the tenuous peace of this feudal society.

The world of Martin’s novels—which comprise maps, character lineages, and a slew of appendices to maintain readers on the fitting path—is a sophisticated one, containing separate and typically interconnected storylines, advised from various views, that reward paying strict consideration.

However the satan is within the particulars, and the HBO sequence’ pilot season shoehorns in 800-plus pages of particulars, backstories, and legends into 10 episodes.

Who the hell is the Kingslayer? What in God’s identify is a wildling? Why do they preserve saying “winter is coming”—who cares about winter?

We’re right here for you, beginner.

Click on right here for a information to Recreation of Thrones’ key characters.

Subsequent, let’s delve into Martin’s novels and past to give you this glossary of vital household names and references.

No spoilers.

Aerys, The Mad King:

The final ruler of the Targaryen Dynasty (see additionally: Targaryens, The), he dominated the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros previous to the present king, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). Gripped by insanity, he was liable for the homicide of each the daddy and brother of Ned Stark (Sean Bean). He was killed, stabbed within the again by Ser Jaime Lannister (See additionally: Kingslayer, The), and is the daddy of the useless Dragonknight Rhaegar in addition to the 2 recognized surviving members of the Targaryen clan: Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).

Andals, The:

An invading drive hundreds of years earlier than the occasions depicted in Recreation of Thrones, these invaders are liable for the tradition, faith, and language (the Frequent Tongue) of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. They battled the First Males and introduced their beliefs in a pantheon of gods known as The Seven to the continent.


The curved blade favored by the nomadic warriors of the Dothraki tribe, it’s related to the consumer by a lanyard that may be twisted to take away the blade whereas on horseback.

Black Brothers:

A nickname for the Sworn Brotherhood of the Night time’s Watch, who guard the Wall (see: Wall, The). They’re also called crows, because of the black garb they put on.

Casterly Rock:

The fortress seat of the Lannister household, situated in Lannisport. The household’s image is a golden lion. Whereas its phrases are “Hear Me Roar!,” most incorrectly ascribe a distinct and customary saying to the rich clan, “A Lannister all the time pays his money owed.” Among the many household’s members: Tywin Lannister (see: Hand of the King, The), Ser Jaime (see: Kingslayer, The), Cersei (now the queen of the realm), and Tyrion (see: Imp, The).

Fortress Black:

The decrepit citadel on the base of 700-foot wall (see: Wall, The) that divides the Seven Kingdoms from the wild forest. Considered one of 19 authentic strongholds alongside the wall, Fortress Black is certainly one of simply three remaining working strongholds and the primary coaching and dwelling heart for the Night time’s Watch.

Kids of the Forest, The:

The unique, indigenous inhabitants of the continent referred to as Westeros, that they had a deep connection to the pure magic of the world and a few had been gifted with prescience (“greensight”). They joined along with the First Males to battle the onslaught of The Others (see: White Walkers) and cast a truce with the First Males, protecting management of the huge forests and permitting the First Males to settle within the open plains. They haven’t been seen in hundreds of years.

Dance With Dragons, A:

The fifth quantity in George R.R. Martin’s multinovel sequence. It is resulting from be launched on July 12, six years after the publication of Guide 4, A Feast for Crows.


Distantly associated to wolves, these fierce and terrifying creatures can develop to be as massive as a pony. They haven’t been seen south of The Wall for 200 years earlier than the occasions of Recreation of Thrones. The direwolf can also be the image of the Stark household, the lords of Winterfell. (See: Winterfell.)


A nomadic individuals who journey the open plains referred to as the Dothraki Sea. They’re fearsome horse-mounted warriors who distrust the precise ocean, as it’s made up of “poison water” that their horses can’t drink. They converse an oral language additionally known as Dothraki, which was created particularly for Recreation of Thrones by David Peterson of the Language Creation Society and based mostly on passages from George R.R. Martin’s novels. The Dothraki are vicious fighters and, when defeated, they have to minimize their lengthy braids. Victorious fighters take bells from the hair of the boys they’ve slain and put on them.

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Fireplace-breathing legendary creatures. Aegon the Conqueror, who arrived in Westeros from historical Valyria, used his three dragons to overcome all the continent. Now extinct, dragons haven’t been seen in Westeros for a whole bunch of years. The dragon is the image of Home Targaryen and the stays of historical dragons’ skulls will be discovered within the decrease ranges of the Pink Maintain, the royal citadel, at King’s Touchdown. (See: King’s Touchdown.)


The continent east of Westeros the place the grasslands referred to as the Dothraki Sea are situated. Essos can also be house to the archipelagos of Braavos and Lys, cities Pentos, Asshai, Yi Ti, and the Shadow Lands. It’s separated from Westeros by the Slender Sea.

Eyrie, The:

The house of Home Arryn, it sits atop a treacherous mountain known as The Large’s Lance and may solely be reached by passing via three gates as one ascends the mountain. It’s house to Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie)—sister to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley)—and her son Robin (Lino Facioli). (Be aware: Within the novels, he, too, is called Robert.) Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon grew up right here, fostered by Lysa’s husband Jon Arryn (see Hand of the King, The).

First Males, The:

Human settlers who got here to Westeros hundreds of years in the past and fashioned a pact with the Kids of the Forest. They believed within the outdated gods (versus the brand new gods; see: Seven, The) and their affect remains to be keenly felt within the North (see: Winterfell), the place their faith and customs nonetheless maintain sway, similar to the assumption that if a person is sentenced to die, the one doing the sentencing ought to perform the execution.


A small copse inside many citadel partitions, it is a spot for solitary contemplation and a spot of religious worship by those that imagine within the outdated gods of the First Males. (See additionally: Coronary heart Tree.)

Hand of the King, The:

The chief and most trusted adviser to the king, this key place serves on the small council and infrequently guidelines when the king is away or indisposed. When Recreation of Thrones begins, Jon Arryn is the Hand of the King, serving King Robert Baratheon. His predecessor, Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), served the Mad King Aerys. Tywin’s son Ser Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) slew the Mad King and Tywin’s daughter Cersei (Lena Headey) is now married to King Robert and serves as queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Haunted Forest, The:

The wild expanse north of The Wall, it is house to wildlings and whispered to comprise unimaginable creatures similar to giants, mammoths, direwolves, and the white walkers. (See: White Walkers, The.) The 700-foot tall Wall separates the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros from the forest.

Coronary heart Tree:

Sacred weirwood timber (see: Weirwood) which have faces carved into them, allegedly by the Kids of the Forest for some unknown goal. Positioned on the heart of a godwood, this red-leaved tree is the place adherents to the outdated methods supply prayers and oaths (similar to that for the Night time’s Watch). The tree’s pink sap grants the carved eyes of their faces a blood-hue.


The sword, made from Valyrian metal, wielded by Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell.

Imp, The:

The nickname given to Tywin Lannister’s youngest son, a dwarf named Tyrion (Peter Dinklage).

Iron Throne, The:

The throne on which the king of the Seven Kingdoms sits. It was cast by the warmth of dragons’ breath when 1,000 bent their swords in fealty to Aegon the Conqueror. Because it’s made from sharp swords, it may well simply minimize the one that sits on throne. Solely the king or his “Hand” could sit atop the Iron Throne.

King’s Justice, The:

The king’s executioner and headsman. The mute Ser Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson)—whose tongue was ripped out by the Mad King—fulfills this position for King Robert.

King’s Touchdown: The capital metropolis of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms and the seat of the Iron Throne. The Pink Maintain, the royal citadel, is situated right here, in addition to the Nice Sept of Baelor, the seven-sided holy seat of the Excessive Septon, a non secular determine roughly analogous to the pope. (See: Seven, The). Whereas the ruling courses exhibit all the pomp and circumstance (in addition to showy extra) one would count on of the royal court docket, the town is deeply divided between the haves and the have-nots. Whereas the citadel is situated throughout the sprawling metropolis, so, too, are taverns, brothels, and shanties.

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An enormous group of Dothraki bloodriders, their slaves and girls, and their chief (referred to as a khal). Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) leads the Dothraki clan seen within the first episode of Recreation of Thrones. The khal’s bride is understood within the Dothraki tongue as khaleesi.

Kingsguard, The:

Seven knights sworn to guard the lifetime of the king, they’re roughly analogous to the Secret Service in america. Underneath the phrases of their oaths, they can’t marry nor maintain lands and so they serve for all times. They put on white cloaks, the image of their station. Ser Jaime Lannister is a member, sworn to serve King Robert. (See: Kingslayer, The.)

Kingslayer, The:

The nickname given to Ser Jamie Lannister (additionally: Oathbreaker), a sworn member of the Kingsguard who nonetheless slew his grasp, Aerys II, The Mad King.

Lemon cake:

A candy confection, a lot beloved by a number of characters in Recreation of Thrones and followers of the novels. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) enjoys this ethereal, citrus-flavored pastry.


A member of a revered order of students and healers who’re skilled at The Citadel in Oldtown, they serve the lords of Westeros as valued advisers and members of their family. Every grasp wears a heavy chain collar comprised of hyperlinks of various metals, every representing a distinct space of examine. The sage Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter) serves the Starks of Winterfell, for instance.

Slender Sea, The:

The physique of water separating Westeros from Essos.

Night time’s Watch, The:

A corporation of sworn brothers who act as a defend for the realms of man, they oversee the 700-foot Wall dividing the Seven Kingdoms from the Haunted Forest past. Every brother takes a vow upon finishing his coaching to uphold his sworn oaths for all times, giving up any lands or titles and vowing by no means to take a spouse or father any kids. They gown all in black, incomes them the nickname “crows.” Whereas most of the members are highborn nobles (normally youthful sons), many are criminals: thieves, rapists, and murderers, who usually select the Wall over different sentences. Desertion from one’s publish is computerized grounds for execution. Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), brother to Ned, is the First Ranger of the Night time’s Watch.

Others, The:

To not be confused with the island-dwelling inhabitants of ABC’s Misplaced, these entities are an historical evil whose very identify has turn into a curse for the Westerosi, although they have not been seen in hundreds of years. In Recreation of Thrones (not like the novels and the unique pilot), they’re known as “White Walkers.”


A seaport and one of many so-called Free Cities on the continent of Essos, the place its residents aren’t beholden to the Iron Throne, however whose retailers usually keep helpful commerce relations with Westeros. Magister Illyrio Mopatis (Roger Allam) is a rich Pentoshi service provider that we meet within the first episode of Recreation of Thrones.


The seat of Home Tully, whose members embody Catelyn Stark and Lysa Arryn, this stronghold is situated within the riverlands. Home Tully image is a silver trout; its phrases are “Household, Obligation, Honor.”

Seven Kingdoms, The:

As soon as seven particular person kingdoms—the North (house to Winterfell), the Vale (house to The Eyrie), the Stormlands, the Attain, the Westerlands, the Iron Islands, and Dorne—they now comprise a unified Westeros dominated by King Robert of Home Baratheon. The phrases “Westeros” and “The Seven Kingdoms” are roughly interchangeable, although there are additionally two areas—by no means impartial—contained inside its borders: the Riverlands (containing Riverrun) and the Crownlands, the place King’s Touchdown is situated.

Seven, The:

The seven deities worshipped by nearly all of the residents of Westeros. This was the religion introduced over to the continent by the Andals and is represented by a seven-pointed star representing every of gods (that are, thought by some, to be seven points of a single deity). The Seven are comprised of Father, Mom, Warrior, Maiden, Crone, Smith, and Stranger; adherents pray to every in flip in a seven-sided church referred to as a sept. Male monks are referred to as septons and females as septas. Septa Mordane (Susan Brown) is a instructor to Sansa and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).

Track of Ice and Fireplace, A:

The (proposed) seven-volume sequence written by George R.R. Martin on which HBO’s Recreation of Thrones is predicated. The fifth installment is due out in July. (See Dance with Dragons, A.)

Storm’s Finish:

The ancestral seat of Home Baratheon and earlier than that the legendary Storm Kings. Home Baratheon—its chief members being brothers King Robert, Lord Renly (Gethin Anthony), and Lord Stannis—has a black topped stag as its image; its phrases are “Ours is the Fury.” King Robert and Queen Cersei have three kids: inheritor to the throne Prince Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Princess Myrcella (Aimee Richardson), and Prince Tommen (Callum Wharry).

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Targaryens, The:

A dynasty that conquered Westeros utilizing their famed dragons and dominated the Seven Kingdoms for practically 300 years, its reign got here to an finish the day that Jaime Lannister slew Aerys II. Aerys’ inheritor Rhaegar, his spouse Elia, and their kids had been murdered, however two Targaryen offspring escaped execution by the hands of their enemies. The final of the “blood of the dragon,” siblings Viserys and Daenerys had been raised within the Free Cities, removed from King’s Touchdown. Amongst their ancestors, they believed in marriage ceremony brother to sister to protect the bloodline. Home Targaryen’s image is the dragon, its phrases are “fireplace and blood.”

Usurper, The:

A whispered nickname for Robert Baratheon, whose riot led to him crowning himself as king of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, following the homicide of Aerys Targaryen by Jaime Lannister.

Vaes Dothrak:

The one fastened metropolis among the many nomadic Dothraki warriors, it’s a sacred place the place weapons aren’t permitted and the place no blood will be shed. Its wall-less streets are lined with statues and relics from bygone conquests. The previous wives of khals—referred to as dosh khaleen—are thought-about to be holy and dwell right here; moreover, there are two markets.


A fallen metropolis that was as soon as the capital of the Valyria Freehold that was destroyed in a cataclysmic occasion referred to as the Doom, which occurred a number of hundred years earlier than the occasions depicted in Recreation of Thrones. The inhabitants of this place had been famend for his or her magical skills and for his or her forges, which produced the whisper-sharp blades referred to as Valyrian metal (see: Ice). Home Targaryen initially got here from Valyria.

Wall, The:

The 700-foot-tall wall that may be a barrier between the Seven Kingdoms and the wild past, it stretches 300 miles alongside the North. Constructed from rock and ice, it’s mentioned to have spells woven into it, a literal defend towards the nightmarish creatures and the “free folks” (see: Wildlings) who would cross over into the realm of man. The Wall is defended by the Sworn Brotherhood of the Night time’s Watch, which has fallen on arduous occasions of late. Few imagine there may be something price stopping within the darkness past the Wall and, of the 19 castles that after garrisoned the troops of the Night time’s Watch, solely three stay.


An individual beneath the care of one other. On this case, wards had been usually underage highborn hostages seized throughout battles by lords who sought to make their mother and father behave and put down their arms. Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)—whose father, Lord Balon, launched the bloody Greyjoy Riot—is a ward at Winterfell, although he has been handled properly by the Starks.


A species of tree that’s indigenous to Westeros and was held as sacred to the Kids of the Forest and the First Males. Its leaves and sap are blood-red and its bark is pale. Lysa Arryn’s throne at The Eyrie is made from weirwood.


The continent the place a lot of the motion of Recreation of Thrones is ready. Comprised of seven kingdoms and two areas, it’s the northernmost continent on this world.

White Walkers, The:

A mythological race not been seen for greater than 8000 years, these creatures have been lowered to being Boogeymen villains in kids’s fairy tales, and a few doubt they ever existed. Based on legend, these creatures—white-fleshed with horrible blue eyes—had been pushed behind the Wall by a joint effort by The Kids of the Forest and the First Males.


The barbaric human residents past the Wall who seek advice from themselves because the “Free People.” They maintain no allegiance to the Iron Throne and infrequently try to cross the Wall and raid northern villages. They’re ruled by Mance Rayder, the “King-Past-the-Wall,” a former member of the Night time’s Watch.


The ancestral house of Home Stark, descendents of the First Males. From right here, the Warden of the North—presently Ned Stark—has saved a detailed watch over Westeros’ northern kingdom, the place it snows even throughout summer time. Home Stark’s image is a grey direwolf; its phrases are “Winter is coming.”

Winter is Coming:

The official motto of Home Stark, which will be taken to imply that there are darkish days forward and one should all the time be ready. In a world the place summer time can final a decade, the merciless winter to come back may final generations, because it did through the “Lengthy Night time” occasion 8,000 years in the past, when the Others had been mentioned to have invaded Westeros.

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