Joffrey

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen is one of the many competitors in the Game of Thrones. Photo courtesy of Keith Bernstein.

The first two seasons of HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels included incestuous twins, pushing children out of windows, beheadings and terrifying ornithology. A recap of where we left off in each of the Seven Kingdoms is essential. Spoilers ahead for all who do not live and die under “Game of Thrones.”

King’s Landing
Stannis Baratheon’s army stormed King’s Landing. Tyrion Lannister’s clever use of “wildfire” kept much of the forces at bay, but a large portion of the fleet made it to shore, where cowardly King Joffrey fled to the safety of the throne room. When all hope seemed lost, Tywin Lannister and the remaining Tyrell forces galloped into King’s Landing and fought off Stannis Baratheon’s army, and the Battle of the Blackwater was won.

After sustaining major injuries, Tyrion woke to discover that he had been replaced by Tywin as the Hand of the King. As a repayment to House Tyrell for saving King’s Landing, King Joffrey agreed to marry Margaery Tyrell, therefore freeing Sansa Stark from their abusive engagement. Sansa was thrilled, but Littlefinger warned her that she would likely still be bound under Joffrey’s terror. 

Winterfell
Theon Greyjoy took control of Winterfell, and the little lords Bran and Rickon Stark are still on the run. Osha and Hodor snuck the boys to the Wall for safety. Five hundred of Stark’s bannermen surrounded the castle, prepared to take back Winterfell. Theon attempted to rally his troops but ended up embarrassing himself. His first mate knocked him unconscious just to end the madness of Theon’s rule, and Winterfell was burned to the ground.

Stark Camp
Robb Stark, the king of the North, has led his army to several victories against the Lannisters. Robb pledged to marry the daughter of the House Frey. In defiance of his mother, Catelyn, Robb married Talisa instead, and ruined the alliance between House Stark and House Frey.

In the East
Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, and her Dothraki followers found refuge in Qarth after being stranded in the Red Waste. She soon learned, however, that no one can be trusted in this city that saved her. Her people are attacked and her three beloved dragons are stolen and taken to the House of the Undying. 

Daenerys ventures into the House of the Undying and was haunted by strange visions. She was soon captured by the warlock Pyat Pree, who intended to keep her captive with her dragons in order to make them stronger and more powerful. Daenerys cleverly used her dragon’s newly developed breath of fire to kill Pyat Pree and escape from the House of the Undying. 

After escaping, Daenerys locked the king of Qarth, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, into his empty vault to slowly die. Her soldiers gathered as much precious material as they could in order to buy a ship that would take her across the sea, and to her destiny as queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

On the Wall
Ygritte, a Wildling, took Jon Snow captive north of the Wall. Jon found that his fellow night watchman, Qhorin Halfhand, had also become a prisoner. Halfhand determined that the best course of action was to get the Wildlings to trust one of them.  The only way to do this is for one to kill the other. Halfhand sprang loose and attacked Jon, and forced Jon to slay him. In turn Jon gained the Wildlings’ trust. Jon is now off to meet the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder, at the Wildling camp. At the Wall, an army of White Walkers attacks.