Sign up FAST! Login

Game of Thrones Cheat Sheet: What You Need to Know for Season Three | Rolling Stone

Stashed in: Rolling Stone!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Sean T. Collins writes:

If the plot of Game of Thrones were a Facebook relationship status, it'd be, "It's complicated." HBO's epic fantasy, based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R.R. Martin, is tear-your-hair-out intense and exciting, yes. But its complex tangle of alliances, betrayals, family ties and blood feuds – not to mention dragons and ice zombies and shadow assassins and green napalm and stuff – can make its tale of conflict for the Iron Throne of Westeros tough to untangle.

Whether you're new to the series or just need a quick refresher course, we've got you covered. Come with us on a guided tour of the world of Westeros, from King's Landing in the south to Qarth in the far east to the winter wonderland beyond the Wall in the north, for the skinny on each region's major players and plotlines.

Notes below.


Here's a complete list of the rewards Tyrion Lannister received for saving the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms from being conquered by Stannis Baratheon during the Battle of Blackwater: the continued loyalty of his prostitute girlfriend Shae, his dutiful squire Pod, his faithful(ish) bodyguard Bronn . . . and that's about it. Nearly assassinated on the battlefield by one of his own, Tyrion woke up to a massive facial scar, a major downgrade in his accommodations, and the news that his ice-cold father Tywin Lannister had ridden to victory and replaced Tyrion in the influential position of Hand of the King. But despite the opposition of his father, his sadistic nephew King Joffrey and his sister Queen Cersei (who may have been responsible for the attempted hit), Tyrion realizes he can't quit playing the great game.

Cersei's chief hostage, Sansa Stark, is having a slightly better time. Held captive by the mega-rich Lannister family ever since they murdered her father, Eddard Stark, when he discovered that Joffrey was the product of incest, Sansa was supposed to marry Joffrey, whose idea of courtship was ordering his Kingsguard to beat her. (That Kingsguard is down one member, mind you: Joff's bodyguard Sandor "The Hound" Clegane fled King's Landing with a wicked case of PTSD during Stannis's assault after failing to convince Sansa to come with him.) But Joffrey has jilted Lady Sansa for Margaery Tyrell, the widow of slain rebel king Renly Baratheon – older, vampier, richer, and, thanks to her wealthy family's money and her dangerous brother Loras's sword, a major player in the alliance that helped Tywin defeat Stannis.

Sansa's delighted – but not for long. Having successfully brokered the alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell, the scheming royal treasurer and pimp Lord Peter "Littlefinger" Baelish receives a promotion, but his real interest appears to be in Sansa, daughter of the woman he once loved and the man he betrayed. Littlefinger reminds her the Lannisters will never free her, which means she'll have to escape, with his help. Meanwhile, Littlefinger's chief rival Varys, the bald eunuch who runs the biggest spy network in the Seven Kingdoms, has cozied up to his chief prostitute Ros, while remaining one of Tyrion's few friends at court.

Stannis, meanwhile, has slunk back to his island fortress Dragonstone to lick his wounds. He'll have help (perhaps literally) from Melisandre, the red sorceress who used dark magic to kill his kid brother, but who was banned from the battlefield on which Stannis was defeated. She still believes he's the messiah figure who will save humanity from the coming darkness, and after looking into one of her fires to share the visions sent to her by the fire god called the Lord of Light, he seems to agree. Blown sky-high during the battle, Stannis's skeptical right-hand man, Ser Davos "The Onion Knight" Seaworth is no longer around to play devil's advocate.

You May Also Like: