Just in case you don’t have time re-watch seven seasons of Game of Thrones before the upcoming premiere—it’s only 67 episodes; what’s wrong with you?—we here at Vanity Fair will be recapping every single season of the show khổng lồ make sure key events are fresh in your mind. Since this is a rather daunting undertaking—it’s 67 episodes; what vì you expect of us?!—we’ve boiled each season down to lớn the essential arc of each surviving main character set to do battle in Season 8.

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If you feel a little more ambitious, there’s an extra-credit section below with additional information that could be good lớn remember when the series returns. (Just because a character has died, for instance, that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant!) For a more in-depth look at some of the key episodes of Game of Thrones, you can dive into Vanity Fair’s danh mục of the 15 most essential episodes of Game of Thrones lớn re-watch before the final season. But for now, here’s Season 7.

You can catch up with other recaps here:

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 6.

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 5.

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 4.

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 3.

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 2.

Previously on Game of Thrones Season 1.

Essential Information

Cersei Lannister, Queen of Westeros, went to lớn war against Daenerys Targaryen—who invaded Westeros from the East—and had her Hand, Qyburn, build a weapon (known as a ballista) that could take down a dragon. She agreed to lớn marry the repulsively evil Euron Greyjoy after he demolished the Targaryen fleet và brought her the Dornish women (Ellaria và Tyene) who were responsible for her daughter Myrcella’s death. Cersei found out she was pregnant (yes, really) with her brother Jaime’s child. She saw her first zombie (i.e., a wight), struck some kind of giảm giá with her brother Tyrion, và promised to help fight the army of the undead—but secretly decided khổng lồ go to lớn war with the King in the North, Jon Snow, & the rồng Queen, Daenerys, anyway, and sent Euron to fetch a massive army of mercenaries known as the Golden Company.

Jaime Lannister, Her Twin Brother, went to war against the enemies of House Lannister, which included recruiting House Tarly & eliminating House Tyrell (R.I.P., Olenna). He was attacked by Targaryen forces, rode down a dragon, và was forever changed by what he saw there. He was pleased Cersei was pregnant, shocked the she agreed lớn marry Euron Greyjoy, shocked that she spoke so callously of their dead son Tommen, & shocked again when not even the sight of zombies could convince her not to go to war with Daenerys và Jon. Basically, he acted like he was new to Cersei’s villainy. Jaime then left his sister-lover for good và rode north to lớn help House Targaryen and House Stark fight the army of the dead.

Tyrion Lannister, Her Other Brother, gave Daenerys some very bad advice about how lớn invade Westeros, partly out of the conflict he felt going khổng lồ war with his own siblings. He helped broker an alliance between King in the North Jon Snow & his queen, Daenerys Targaryen. He was frightened khổng lồ see his brother, Jaime, go to battle with his queen, và was shocked lớn see her burn some of her enemies alive. He begged Daenerys not khổng lồ go on a rescue mission khổng lồ save Jon Snow, negotiated a giảm giá with his sister, Cersei, to get help in the war against the undead after he noticed that Cersei appeared lớn be pregnant again (yes, really!). Tyrion also looked on with jealousy (yep, really) when Jon & Daenerys consummated their season-long flirtation on the boat ride khổng lồ Winterfell.


Jon Snow, the King in the North, decided he needed more dragonglass weaponry in order to defeat the Night King’s army of the dead và went to Dragonstone lớn beg Queen Daenerys to lớn let him mine there. He met her và fell in love, but refused to lớn bend the knee to her. He went on a dangerous mission north of the Wall, along with Gendry Baratheon, Jorah Mormont, the Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr (R.I.P.), & Tormund Giantsbane, khổng lồ grab a wight (a.k.a. An ice zombie) in order to prove to Queen Cersei that the threat of the Night King was real. He barely made it out alive, but was rescued first by (undead) Uncle Benjen và then by Daenerys herself. Jon et al. Presented the hard-won wight to Queen Cersei in King’s Landing. He bent the knee lớn Queen Daenerys & consummated his season-long flirtation with her on the boat ride back lớn his trang chủ in Winterfell. Little did he know that the Targaryen queen was actually his aunt, & that his parents were secretly Lyanna Stark & Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. His real name is Aegon Targaryen—but we’ll forgive you if you keep calling him Jon Snow.

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Bran Stark, the Last Surviving Son of Winterfell, died at some point in Season 6. His body toàn thân was then occupied by the Three-Eyed Raven, who is an all-seeing, all-knowing ancient figure in Westerosi lore. That body arrived to lớn Winterfell, immediately creeped Bran’s sister Sansa out, và said goodbye to his longtime companion Meera Reed. Though the Three-Eyed Bran knows everything that has ever happened, he had trouble accessing, organizing, and understanding the visions that he’d seen. He was given a Valyrian steel dagger by Littlefinger, and promptly handed the weapon over khổng lồ his sister Arya. His most important Season 7 visions included discovering the true identity of Jon Snow’s parentage, as well as all of Littlefinger’s past misdeeds. He also informed his sisters of Littlefinger’s schemes.

Sansa Stark, His Sister, fought with her brother Jon over his decision to lớn go to lớn Dragonstone, given the historical enmity between the Starks and the Targaryens. She took command of Winterfell in his absence, preparing the troops and supplies for the oncoming winter và battle. She reunited with siblings Bran-(ish) và Arya Stark. The Stark sisters fought, partially due to their long separation, their general distrust of anyone, their childhood disagreements, and the meddling schemes of Littlefinger. But Arya và Sansa eventually teamed up to execute Littlefinger & present a united front against enemies who seek to harm House Stark.

Arya Stark, His Other Sister, wiped out House Frey by impersonating Lord Walder và then met Ed Sheeran. She thought about going lớn King’s Landing lớn kill Queen Cersei và decided to lớn go trang chủ to Winterfell instead. She met her direwolf, Nymeria, on the road, but the two parted ways. (Probably not for good.) Arya also reunited with her brother Bran, squabbled with her sister, Sansa, và sparred with Brienne in the Winterfell courtyard. Arya and Sansa eventually teamed up to execute Littlefinger & present a united front against enemies who seek to lớn harm House Stark.


Daenerys Targaryen, the Queen of Dragons, finally landed on Westeros và set up shop at her ancestral home of Dragonstone. She met Jon Snow & fell in love with him even though he refused to bend the knee. She started an invasion of the Seven Kingdoms that went very badly, thanks lớn some bad advice from her Hand, Tyrion Lannister. After she lost her Dornish allies, her fleet, & House Tyrell, Daenerys, her Dothraki bloodriders, và a dragon went to battle with Jaime Lannister and his men on an mở cửa field. She torched some Tarlys, và went to rescue Jon Snow when he & her longtime lieutenant, Jorah Mormont, got stranded north of the Wall. She saved her boyfriend, but lost a dragon. After seeing the Night King, she agreed lớn an uneasy alliance with Queen Cersei in order khổng lồ fight the army of the undead. After wowing them at the Dragonpit, và getting Jon Snow lớn bend the knee, Daenerys consummated her season-long flirtation with the King in the North on the boat ride back lớn his trang chủ in Winterfell. Little did she know she was consummating with her own nephew.

The Night King, a Big Scary xanh Guy, killed và resurrected the rồng Viserion. He rode his zombified new steed up to lớn the Wall, dividing the Great North from the Realms of Men, and then he và his dragon huffed & puffed and blew the Wall down. His army of undead soldiers, white Walker lieutenants, and, oh yeah, that undead dragon began their invasion of Westeros.

Notable Deaths

Viserion the dragon, Olenna Tyrell, Littlefinger, the Sand Snakes, Thoros of Myr, Randyll & Dickon Tarly, và the Wall.


Defining Cultural Moment

At this point in its history, Game of Thrones simply is the culture. But this season will be remembered for its supersize episodes, an accelerated pace of storytelling in a race towards the ending, an increasing commitment to spectacle over conversation-heavy intrigue, and, in some cases, defying internal logic. This was the first season of Game of Thrones that didn’t have a big emotional moment that readers could be certain originated with George R.R. Martin himself. (Season 6, at least, had Hodor.) When all is said and done, though, Season 7 was the show’s most-watched by far, và landed Game of Thrones its third consecutive best-drama Emmy. Plot-wise, the biggest bombshell was, in theory, the official confirmation of Jon Snow’s real father, Rhaegar, và the ramifications of Gilly’s discovery that the Targaryen prince had annulled his marriage to lớn his first wife and actually married Lyanna Stark. Which would mean that Jon Snow—the most famous bastard in Westeros—isn’t actually a bastard. Not only that, but he’s the true heir (depending on how you look at it) khổng lồ the Iron Throne. This news of Jon’s legitimacy rocked book readers and show watchers alike.


Extra Credit

Theon Greyjoy does not belong khổng lồ House Lannister, Stark, or Targaryen, but his is nonetheless a classic Westerosi story of two steps forward, three steps back. All the great healing Theon did in Season 6 at his sister Yara’s side was undone by the sight of his maniacal Uncle Euron. He finally reclaims his sense of self in the finale, và whatever happens to lớn the Greyjoy prince in the final season, he will have earned an important place in the story thanks khổng lồ an incredible, haunting performance by Alfie Allen—a seriously underrated thành viên of the cast. Also don’t count out Samwell Tarly—who, along with voracious reader Gilly, has been và will continue to lớn be a source of important hãng sản xuất intel on the history of Westeros và how it might help our heroes escape the Great War khổng lồ come in one piece. It’s also nice lớn see that Sam has some rapport with the artist formerly known as Bran. Imagine what historical secrets they can uncover together. In short, và in conclusion: tell Cersei; I want her lớn know it was me.

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