Everything you need to know to start watching Game of Thrones today

18 Cards

CURATED BY Kelsey McKinney

2014-04-08 20:40:39 -0400

  1. What is Game of Thrones?
  2. Where did the show come from?
  3. What are the basic plot points I need to know going into season four?
  4. Which territories does each family control?
  5. Who are the main characters in Game of Thrones?
  6. Who are the Starks?
  7. Who are the Lannisters?
  8. Who are the Baratheons?
  9. Who are the Tyrells?
  10. Who are the Greyjoys?
  11. Who are the Targaryens?
  12. Who else should I know?
  13. Is there a graph I can look at to help me understand all the characters in Game of Thrones?
  14. What's going on in Game of Thrones besides all the fighting?
  15. What supernatural creatures are in Game of Thrones?
  16. Where do things stand at the beginning of season four for the major characters?
  17. Will the show catch up with Martin’s story? How many more seasons can I expect?
  18. Can I get a preview of Game of Thrones, season four?
  1. Card 1 of 18

    What is Game of Thrones?

    In the three years since Game of Thrones premiered, phrases such as "winter is coming" and "valar morghulis" have permeated American dialect, leaving fans eager for the Sunday night show full of backstabbing, bloodletting, and fiery dragons. Sunday evening, the fourth season premieres. Whether you need a refresher on the insanity of the last three seasons, or if you haven't seen a single episode and missed every battle, we've got you covered. Read along to prepare yourself for the Iron Throne.

    Game-of-thrones-poster_85627-1920x1200

    The Iron Throne. Courtesy of South By Southwest Festival

    What the show is all about

    Game of Thrones is an HBO series that tells the story of a medieval country's civil war. The series, which premiered in April of 2011, is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos in a world where seasons stretch on for years. When the story begins, a decade-long summer is ending and winter looms as characters battle to claim the "Iron Throne," the seat of the king of the Seven Kingdoms, the regime that rules all but the northern tip of Westeros. In show parlance, to "sit on the Iron Throne" is a metonym equivalent to "rule Westeros."

    The plot

    The show is divided into three plotlines. The first plot covers the battle between the lords of the continent of Westeros — most notably members of the Baratheon, Lannister, and Stark families — who are involved in the fight for the Iron Throne. The second follows the rise of Daenerys Targaryen, the last member of an exiled family as she builds an army in Essos to reclaim the throne. The third plot takes place in the North of Westeros among the Night's Watch, an armed unit that guards the 300 mile long, 700 feet tall wall that protects the rest of the continent from the mythical creatures that lurk there.

    The cast

    The show has an ensemble cast which includes Peter Dinklage — who won an Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister — Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Charles Dance, and Maisie Williams.

    When is it on?

    The fourth season of Game of Thrones premieres on April 6, 2014.

    As Queen Cersei says in season one, "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

    *Be forewarned. This explainer is littered with spoilers through the end of season 3.*

  2. Card 2 of 18

    Where did the show come from?

  3. Card 3 of 18

    What are the basic plot points I need to know going into season four?

  4. Card 4 of 18

    Which territories does each family control?

  5. Card 5 of 18

    Who are the main characters in Game of Thrones?

  6. Card 6 of 18

    Who are the Starks?

  7. Card 7 of 18

    Who are the Lannisters?

  8. Card 8 of 18

    Who are the Baratheons?

  9. Card 9 of 18

    Who are the Tyrells?

  10. Card 10 of 18

    Who are the Greyjoys?

  11. Card 11 of 18

    Who are the Targaryens?

  12. Card 12 of 18

    Who else should I know?

  13. Card 13 of 18

    Is there a graph I can look at to help me understand all the characters in Game of Thrones?

  14. Card 14 of 18

    What's going on in Game of Thrones besides all the fighting?

  15. Card 15 of 18

    What supernatural creatures are in Game of Thrones?

  16. Card 16 of 18

    Where do things stand at the beginning of season four for the major characters?

  17. Card 17 of 18

    Will the show catch up with Martin’s story? How many more seasons can I expect?

  18. Card 18 of 18

    Can I get a preview of Game of Thrones, season four?

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