Game of Thrones season 1-7 recap: what has happened so far?
Season eight will determine which house will rule over the Seven Kingdoms
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is nearly upon us, starting in the UK on 15 April.
It has just six episodes to tie up all the loose ends and finally determine who will sit on the Iron Throne.
If you don’t have time to sit through the 67 episodes released so far, here is a quick recap of what has happened to the remaining central characters fighting for control over the mythical lands of Westeros.
Sansa, Arya and Bran Stark
Game of Thrones began with the Stark family. But Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) are now the only members of the clan left. Their father was beheaded at the request of King Joffrey; their mother, older brother and pregnant sister-in-law were poisoned at the “Red Wedding” by House Frey; and their youngest brother was killed with an arrow by Ramsay Bolton.
Sansa escaped two abusive relationships with the psychotic Joffrey and Bolton and a forced marriage to Tyrion Lannister, and is now back in the Stark home of Winterfell.
Her sister Arya trained as an assassin and has been using her skills to bring justice for her family, including a massacre of the Freys and killing Littlefinger who betrayed her father and sister.
Meanwhile their brother Bran has become the new Three-Eyed Raven. He can “warg” into various creatures, and see into the past, among other supernatural powers.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) grew up as the bastard half-brother of the Stark children. However, one of Bran’s visions revealed that Jon is actually the child of their aunt Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.
He was Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch but was killed in a mutiny before being resurrected by the Red Priestess Melisandre. Since then, he has retaken Winterfell from the Boltons and been declared King of the North.
He spent the last series trying to prove that the Army of the Dead beyond The Wall is real. He made the important discovery that he needs to kill the Night King to bring down all the White Walkers and wights, and then pledged himself to Daenerys Targaryen. Unaware that he is Daenerys’ nephew, the pair became lovers.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), whose father the Mad King was usurped from the Iron Throne, has been building her power base in Essos, where she hatched three dragons. She liberated the slaves of Slaver’s Bay, gained the Unsullied and united the Dothraki before setting sail to Westeros.
In the latest series, Daenerys rescued Jon as he tried to prove the existence of the White Walkers, but in doing so she lost one of her beloved dragons to the Night King, who resurrected it to bring down The Wall, putting everyone in Westeros in danger.
Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) is currently on the throne, after outliving her husband King Robert Baratheon and three children, who were actually fathered by her twin brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). She had Robert’s many bastard children killed, although one - Gendry - survived and is now the last known living person of House Baratheon’s bloodline.
The death of Robert sparked the War of the Five Kings, during which Cersei’s son King Joffrey and daughter Myrcella were poisoned. She later blew up the Great Sept of Baelor, killing off the Sparrows and the main branch of House Tyrell, including her daughter-in-law, which prompted her son King Tommen to jump out of a window to his death.
Cersei’s brother and lover, Jaime, who famously slayed the Mad King to help Robert take the throne, had served as commander of the Lannister armies. However, in the last season he abandoned his sister and headed North to help fight the White Walkers.
Meanwhile, their younger brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has been helping Daenerys to retake the throne after he was framed for Joffrey’s murder and rejected by his family in season four.
Sam (John Bradley) befriended Jon Snow while in the Night’s Watch, during which time he saved Gilly (Hannah Murray), a wildling who lived beyond The Wall, and her newborn. They fell in love and Sam later headed to the Citadel to become a Maester. There, he cured Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Daenerys’ loyal follower, from greyscale.
Gilly also read a book that confirmed Jon Snow is not a bastard, as his real parents’ marriage was ligitimate. Sam and Gilly then headed back to Winterfell, where a meeting with Bran revealed that Jon is the rightful heir to the throne.