Your cheat sheet on Game of Thrones
Published 07/04/2014 | 12:05
Yesterday, 'Game of Thrones' was one of most searched terms on Google in the UK and the US.
Clearly, both sides of the Atlantic were hot with Game Of Thrones fever.
In the UK, "watch Game of Thrones online" was one of the most searched terms yesterday as well.
Game of Thrones - the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones - is hugely popular.
The show explores issues of social hierarchy, loyalty, betrayal, corruption, civil war, crime, and punishment.
Here, we break down the complex labyrinth of main characters and bring you up to date to Series Four.
THE HOUSE OF STARK:
The Stark family is a close-knit, militarised family with their own castle. House Stark rule from their seat of Winterfell and Eddard held the title Lord of Winterfell.
Eddard Stark, the head of the house, died in the first series.
His son Robb Stark was seeking to avenge his death, but he was slain at The Red Wedding.
Catelyn Stark (Rob's mother, Eddard's widow). Also now dead. Also slain at the bloodfest that was the Red Wedding.
Arya Stark: Surviving. A true medieval tomboy, young Arya is comfortable with a sword. She witnessed her father Eddard's beheading. And hates the Lannisters who had him killed.
After hanging out with the fire-worshipping Brotherhood without Banners, Arya decided she had had enough and she ran away. But she was captured by the Hound. And when he tried to sell her back to Robb and Catelyn, he discoverd that... they were already dead.
Sansa Stark: The depressed princess who is holed up with the Lannisters. Relief over not having to marry Joffrey soon wore off when Sansa realised that she'd have to marry Tyrion, the dwarf. Long gone are the days when Sansa dreamt of being queen.
Bran Stark: The second youngest Stark. Bran lost the use of his legs after being pushed out of a tower window. He relies on the servant Hodor to aid his mobility. He has had prophetic dreams.
Bran has been journeying northward with Hodor, Summer and the Reed siblings. They make it to "the wall" and stay overnight in an abandoned castle on the Wall. During the night, Jon Snow's fellow Night's Watch comrade Samwell Tarly, with Gilly and her child, meet Bran and the Reeds in the castle. Samwell, noticing the gigantic Hodor and Summer, realizes who Bran is and offers to take them to Castle Black.
Jon Snow: The son of Eddard Stark and a prostitute - he is shunned by Catelyn. He left Winterfell to become a member of the Night's Watch. He falls in love with Ygritte, a wildling, and his loyalties are torn between Castle Black and Ygritte.
Brienne of Tarth: A towering figure - a femal knight - who pledges loyalty to Catelyn. She is tasked with delivering Jaimie Lannister to King's Landing in exchange for Sansa and Arya. On the way she is kidnapped and almost raped by Locke and then has to fight a bear. And she might be falling in love wtih her captive.
Brienne of Tarth
Jamie Lannister Once a villian - having an incestuous relationship with Cersei, and pushing Bran to near-death - Jamie has softened of late. Once a skilled swordsman, he lost his hand as a prisoner of Catelyn. More recently, he's shown a chivalrous side - defending his captor Brienne.
Cersei Lannister: An unrelentingly evil, manipulative queen who has pushed her equally evil son King Joffrey to the throne. She takes pleasure in taunting Sansa, and she hates her brother Tyrion for killing their mum (she died during his birth) and criticising Joffrey.
Tyrion Lannister: Commonly called The Imp. After being demoted to Master of Coin and repeatedly told that nobody likes him, Tyrion is then punished further and married off to Sansa. Secretly he's in love with his ex-prostitute Shae.
Joffrey Lannister: The evil king, and the only progeny throughout the Baratheon family line to have blond hair. He took tremendous pleasure in escorting Sansa down the aisle at her wedding to the imp, and he's reminded her many times that he killed her father and he basically owns her.
The vicious King Joffrey
Theon Greyjoy: Captured - and eventually adopted - by the Stark's, he chooses to cut loose and betray them. This is where his nightmare begins, and he's spent most of the last series being literally crucified.
Daenerys Targaryen: The true Queen of the Dragons - will her luck continue in Series Four? She's reverred by her subordinates and she's even accrued an army of slaves - who've willingly pledged their allegiance to her. A shrewd ruler.
Stannis Baratheon: An insufferable cretin. Most of his army is dead, but he's still holding onto the hope that his red-haired, semi-evil lover will guide him to power.
Davos Seaworth: The Onion Knight, loyal to Stannis and constantly warning him to steer clear of the red-haired lady. He's been cast aside though as his protestations have hit a brick wall.
Melisandre: The evil red-haird lady
Game of Thrones season four returns tonight at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.
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