Shows like Game of Thrones are interesting, because even though they only run 10 or so episodes, the richness of the characters within the vastness of the world they inhabit makes following each individual storyline complicated. With season two right around the corner, it’s worth reminding ourselves what’s at stake on the continent of Westeros. So for your benefit Nerd School is going to recap the storylines of your favorite and not so favorite characters and give you a glimpse of what to expect in Season 2 of Game of Thrones.
Ned– Eddard “Ned” Stark, the warden of the North and head of the Stark family, started off this season as what the viewers thought was the main protagonist. After being chosen as the successor to The Hand of the King, Ned found himself quickly out of his element in the capital city of Westeros, King’s Landing. After being politically maneuvered in every conceivable way, Ned found himself arrested after (rightly) accusing the queen of incest. This, of course, in one of the most shocking moments in television, got Ned beheaded. (Ed. Note: not shocking to anyone who read the books)
Season 2: Ned’s dead, baby, Ned’s dead. However, it has been confirmed that Ned will be back at least in flashback form.
Catelyn– Catelyn decided to stay at Winterfell when her husband Ned went South to King’s Landing. Her son, Bran, had just “fallen” into a coma, but after the finding out that the Lannisters were responsible for her brother-in-law’s death, and an assassin attempted to kill her son, she made for the capital. On her way back she took Tyrion Lannister hostage and made for her sister in The Vale. Unfortunately Tyrion was able to gain his freedom, and Cat saw her father’s castle of Riverrun come under siege from Tyrion’s brother Jaime. She ended the season confronting the captured Jaime while attempting to buy her daughter’s freedom.
Season 2: We are going to see a lot more of Catelyn’s family including her dying father, loyal yet useless brother, and her uncle the “Blackfish” of the family.
Jon Snow– as his father made south, Jon, his illegitimate son, made north for The Wall, the great northern structure built to protect the rest of Westeros from the savage Wildlings and worse. Though it took a while to adjust to his new life in the Night’s Watch, Jon eventually adapted and came into a position of importance. He also discovered that the dead are coming back to life.
Season 2: Jon and the rest of the Night’s Watch are heading north above The Wall to confront the Wildling leader Mance Rayder.
Tyrion: The imp, the dwarf, and the youngest Lannister found himself at the edge of the world when he visited The Wall early in season 1. Throughout the season he found himself taken hostage by Catelyn and spent some time in the sky cells of the Eryie. He found an unlikely ally in the sellsword Bronn, of the tribes of the Vale. After surviving an engagement with the Starks in the vanguard of his father’s army, Tyrion had impressed his father enough to be given the position of Hand of the King, but after being told to not bring his new whore, Shae, to court.
Season 2: Of course Tyrion is bringing his new whore to court, but he has bigger concerns than his father as he has to try to keep his sister and nephew under control. Not to mention he has to both control the growing unrest of the peasants in the city, and defend that same city from Stannis Baratheon who seeks to take the capital himself.
Cersei and Jaime Lannister– the queen of Westeros had a lot working against her. Her husband, the king, was in love with a dead girl, and she was in love with her brother. The pair were caught in a very compromising position by Bran Stark, prompting Jaime to push him off a ledge. Back in King’s Landing Cersei was confronted by Ned Stark regarding the legitimacy of her children, and Jaime confronted Ned due to Cat taking Tyrion captive. With her husband dead and Ned Stark in jail, Cersei was able to take control of the city, at least she thought, until Joffrey went off script and killed the bargaining chip she had to keep The North under control. Jaime faired far worse as he was taken captive when Robb took his siege force by surprise.
Season 2: Cersei is going to have to fight to retain power as both her brother Tyrion, her father, and even her own son fight amongst themselves for power. Jaime on the other hand will have to contend with being a prisoner in the very castle he was sieging.
Sansa and Joffrey– The Stark daughter who began the season in love with Joffrey, the heir to the Iron Throne and her betrothed. However as the season progressed and the veneer of Joffrey’s courtly manner wore off we got to see Joffrey for what he really was. Constantly whining, lying, and being an overall prick, showed that Joffrey was not going to be the best future king. Not only did he get a butchers boy killed for lying he also got Sansa’s direwolf, Lady, killed, and made Arya abandon her pet as well. After his father’s death Joffrey beheaded Sansa’s father, and set her through a series of humiliations. Joffrey ended the season tenuously holding onto power, while Sansa contemplated suicide.
Season 2: Joffrey is going to have some difficulty ruling with his uncle, Tyrion, appointed to be the new Hand of the King. Sansa has a lot more to hope for as her brother fights for her freedom, and her mother plots a deal to set her free.
Daenerys:- Far across the narrow sea, Daenerys found herself being engaged to the barbarian Khal Drogo in a political manuever designed to win her brother back his throne from Robert Baratheon. Although only a pawn, she grew to love Drogo, and through the stupidity of her brother she found herself the heir apparent. After a failed assassination attempt orchestrated by her confidant Jorah Mormont, Drogo pledged to win her the throne. Drogo died defending Daenerys’ honor and the majority of his hoard left her with the dredges of her once proud army. After putting herself on Drogo’s death pyre with her dragon eggs, she was reborn with three baby dragons.
Season 2: Daenerys finds herself at the front of a less than impressive hoard, as she tries to find them food and safety. She is also once again being used as a pawn, but this reborn Daenerys will not let that happen. Expect to see the more exotic locations this season.
Robb– The Stark’s oldest son and the heir to Winterfell, has found himself trying to set his father free only to end up trying to avenge his death. At the end of season 1 he was declared The King in the North by members of his warhost after he relieved the siege of Riverrun and took Jaime Lannister hostage.
Season 2: Robb is gonna fall in love! But wait! Isn’t he betrothed to one of the daughters of Walder Frey? Is this going to cause problems?
Theon– the last son of Balon Greyjoy, and ward of the Stark’s spent most of season 1 whoring and playing lackey to Robb. It was obvious in the first season that Theon was going to have a larger part to play, as multiple characters referenced his growing dissatisfaction and desire to be a leader, not a captive.
Season 2: Theon’s going home to the Iron Islands to get support for Robb from his family. Expect a lot of family issues coming up as Theon’s loyalty is tested by his dad and his crazy uncles. Also we get to meet his sister Yara (Asha in the books).
Arya– the youngest Stark daughter, was starting sword training as the season began. However, as her father’s situation quickly spiraled into the realm of decapitation, Arya saw herself on the run from the Lannisters. Under the safety of Yoren of the Night Watch Arya was last seen making for Winterfell.
Season 2: Arya gets to take a little bit of a mystical ride on her ride north as she meets Jaqen H’ghar, a man who can change his face, who expounds on the teachings of her former Dancing Intructor and the meaning of “valar morghulis”.
Bran– Finally, we have poor little Bran. Bran spent the first couple episodes of season one in a coma, after unwittingly being pushed out the window by Jaime Lannister. He awoke to find himself paralyzed from the waist down, and one of the few remaining Starks in Winterfell. This led him to associate with all sorts of strange and wonderful characters like Hodor, the mentally handicapped self referencing giant, and the dangerously wild Osha. Things got even stranger for Bran, as he started dreaming about a three eyed crow.
Season 2: Expect more from Bran during the second season as Winterfell itself becomes a pawn in the war of the five kings.
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