Without much further ado, I am starting my journey at season 1. Now if you are totally new to GOT it’s best you read through A beginner’s guide to GOT. because there are a few things you should know before watching the series otherwise it might be a little confusing and may take some time for you to understand what is actually happening. I know so, because that is what happened to me. Warning : There are spoilers in the content below!
Episode 1 : Winter is coming.
The episode starts with the soldiers of the Night’s watch surviving an attack from some super creepy supernatural creatures called the White-walkers. The soldiers of the Night’s Watch, man the wall which is this HUGE ice wall that separates the land. The White walkers are considered a myth and a children’s tale. The soldiers of the Night’s watch guard the wall from attack by wildlings (People who live beyond the wall) and anything else that is beyond the wall.
The escaped soldier from the Night’s watch rushes to Castle Winterfell to inform about the White walkers to the Warden of the North (basically heads all the Houses of the North of Westeros), Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (He is the head of the house Stark and reside at Winterfell which is at the North). However Ned decapitates the soldier as he abandoned the Night’s Watch. Something- which should never be done (The men of the Night’s watch swear to spend their entire lives at the wall, without wife and family; therefore deserting it is a crime, and those who do, will be killed.)
Meanwhile, at King’s Landing (which is the capital of Westeros and where the king resides and rules), the hand of the King, Jon Arryn (literally the right hand man of the king and important adviser) dies under mysterious circumstances although he seemed and healthy and fine. Now in need of a new Hand of the King, the King Robert Baratheon (of House Baratheon) travels with his family, to Winterfell , to see his old friend Ned. He wants to appoint Ned as the Hand of the King and proposes a marriage between Ned’s eldest daughter Sansa and his son Prince Joffrey. (There are many more characters to meet here at this point but I will introduce them slowly or it will be overwhelming).
At this point there is a little history to be known here. After reaching Winterfell The king insists he wants to go to the crypt where the graves of the dead members of the Stark family are. He wishes to see the crypt of Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned Stark, who he loved dearly. Lyanna however was abducted and raped by the then heir to the throne Rhaegar Targaryen of House Targaryen. Robert, angry at the kidnap of his betrothed waged a war called Robert’s rebellion, where in he killed every single Targaryen old or young, including Rhaegar. But by that time, Lyanna was dead. Robert then took the throne, and married Cersei of House Lannister.
That night however, Catelyn Stark (Ned’s wife and Lady Stark) receives a letter from her sister and widow of the late Hand of the King. Her sister mentions in the letter that she has somehow escaped King’s Landing and that her husband was killed by the Lannister’s (the house from which the King’s wife , Cersei and her twin brother Jamie, who is part of the Kingsguard come from). Catelyn warns Ned of this. Meanwhile the youngest son of the Stark family, climbs up a tower and witnesses that twins Jamie and Cersei Lannister have an incestual relationship between them. Bran is thrown from the top of the tower by Jamie and is crippled.
All this is happening in Westeros but across the narrow sea, there is another continent called Essos. There we see the two last remaining Targaryen’s who survived Robert’s rebellion- Viserys and Daenarys Targaryen. Viserys believes he is the next dragon (the true heir to the throne, and being a dragon should be resistant to fire) and heir to the throne. Viserys makes a deal with the leader of the Dothraki, Khal Drogo to marry Daenerys off to the Khal (King) in exchange of an army that will get his throne back for him.
Episode 2 : The Kingsroad
Ned agrees to Robert’s request to be the Hand of the King and leaves for King’s Landing with his daughters, Sansa and Arya. Sansa is thrilled to go to King’s Landing and eventually become the wife of her prince Joffrey. Arya however is not used to being ladylike and wants to learn how to fight. She procured a small sword from her half- brother Jon Snow (he was brought back by Ned after Robert’s Rebellion, much to his wife Catelyn’s disappointment) and names her sword ‘Needle’
Catelyn stays behind Winterfell to look after their crippled and still unconscious son, Bran. Bran is attacked by an assassin but is saved by his pet direwolf (wolf pets that each of the Stark children took in the first episode). She realizes that her son’s injuries were no mere accident, but was something more than that.
Jon Snow, Ned’s illegitimate son decides to join his uncle at the Night’s watch. Before parting with his father he asks who his mother was, and Ned assures him that the next time they meet, Ned will tell him about his mother. Jon is accompanied the youngest Lannister, Tyrion Lannister who is also called ‘The Imp’ as he is a dwarf.
On the way to King’s Landing, Joffrey attacks Arya’s friend and in turn gets attacked by Joffrey only to be protected by her direwolf as it attacks Joffrey. Enraged Joffrey lies that Arya’s friend attacked him first and Sansa lies with him, as she loves him. Arya’s direwolf is ordered to be killed by the King but Arya manages to let her out into the wild. Instead, Sansa’s direwolf is killed. Brandon meanwhile awakens in Winterfell. Daenerys finds ways to please her new husband Khal Drogo so that they can go to Westeros and reclaim the throne for Viserys.
Episode 3 : Lord Snow
Ned Stark starts work as the Hand of the King and realizes that the affairs of the state are in a mess. Catelyn tries to warn her husband about the situation especially with the attack on Bran but is stopped by her childhood friend Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish who is also part of the King’s small council.
Bran wakes up and finds out that he is crippled. He also does not remember what led to his fall. Jon struggles at the wall as the people who come to the wall are mostly men who were thieves or rapists (Usually these men are given a choice as a punishment, to be killed or to be sent to the wall). The people there are not happy with the fact that Jon is from a high family, despite being a bastard. Lord Commander Mormont who leads the Night’s watch asks Tyrion to relay a message back to King’s Landing that they need more men to man the walls. Daenarys finds out that she is pregnant. She and Khal Drogo begin to form an actual bond and she starts standing up to Viserys.
Episode 4 : Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things
Meanwhile Ned searches for clues on why and how the previous Hand of the King was killed. While searching, he finds an illegitimate son of the King, Gendry who works in the streets of King’s Landing.
Jon then befriends Samwell Tarly, a clumsy boy who joined the Night’s watch. Although he is clumsy, he is quite smart, and the two form a friendship.
Catelyn then rallies her father’s allies and captures Tyrion as she believes it is he who sent the assassin to kill her son, as the dagger that was used to attack him was found to be of the Lannister’s, as informed by Littlefinger.
Episode 5: The Wolf and The Lion
Robert informs Ned of his plans at killing the pregnant Daenarys Targaryen who he sees as a threat. Ned dismisses him saying that it is not right to kill a pregnant woman let alone someone who will never pose any harm to Robert’s reign. However, Robert and Ned disagree upon this where eventually Ned resigns as the Hand of the King which further angers Robert.
Catelyn and Tyrion have reached the Eyrie where her sister and her son resides after having escaped King’s Landing.
News of Tyrion’s capture reaches Cersei and Jamie at King’s Landing who demands to know what is going on from Ned. Eventually all of Ned’s men are killed in a fight and Ned is injured.
Episode 6 : A Golden Crown
King Robert reappoints Ned as the Hand of the King and asks him to look after the affairs of the state while he goes on a hunting trip. When Ned hears news of raiders in villagers he finds that the one responsible for it is Gregor Clegane, a man paid for by the Lannister family. Therefore Ned summons the head of House Lannister , Tywin Lannister (father of Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion Lannister) to a trial. He also decides to send Arya and Sansa .back to Winterfell.
Ned with his research on what happened to the previous hand of the king, discovers that Robert’s children are not his biological children.
While Bran is testing out his new saddle back in Winterfell, he is attacked by a bunch of wildlings and is saved by his eldest brother, Robb and Theon (Theon Greyjoy is actually the son and heir of the Greyjoy family who Ned took as a ward after his father fell in the war).
Back in the Vale where Catelyn and her sister have Tyrion captured, to pass judgement, Tyrion requests for trial by combat (basically a trial where the suspect and the judging authority have a fight till the death. The two sides can also ‘nominate’ other people to fight for them and prove their side). Lysa chooses Sir Vardis and Tyrion requests for a champion to fight for him. A sell-sword Bronn, steps forward and wins the fight for Tyrion and he is freed.
Meanwhile back in Essos, Viserys is furious that Daenarys is now acting as the Khaleesi (Queen in Dothraki) and doesn’t listen to him anymore. Infuriated, Viserys threatens Dany and her unborn child, to which Khal Drogo didn’t take lightly. Since what Viserys wants so badly is a crown, Drogo pours molten gold over Viserys’s head, killing him. Dany doesn’t look surprised. but just looks on, now finally free from her abusive brother.
At this point we have to realize that Viserys was not a true dragon. True dragons are the real heirs to the throne of the Targaryen family and the ones who can control dragons. The Targaryen ancestors were superior as they had dragons and could control the dragons. True Targaryens that are ‘dragons’ are literally fire resistant. Viserys was not, and hence he is not a true dragon.
Episode 7 : You Win, Or You Die.
In King’s Landing , Ned confronts Cersei and tells him that he knows the three children are not Robert’s but rather Jamie’s . However, Robert returns from the hunting trip severely injured by a boar. As he dies, he assigns Ned as the ‘Protector of the Realm’ to manage the affairs of state until Joffrey (who Robert thinks is his son), comes of age.
However, Ned knowing that they are not the true heirs to the throne plan to keep Robert’s elder brother Stannis Baratheon as the King and informs Peter Baelish. He asks Peter Baelish to help him have the City Watch overthrow the Lannister’s. But Ned is cheated.
Ned’s brother Benjen who is a man of the Night’s watch, goes missing beyond the wall. Jon and Sam are selected as stewards at the Night’s watch, with Jon as the steward to Lord Commander Mormont. They all proceed to give their oath as the men of the Night’s watch.
In Essos, Robert’s assassin who was sent to kill Dany is found and prevented from causing her any harm. Drogo then announces that he will get the throne of Westeros back, and give it to his unborn son.
Episode 8 : The Pointy End
Now that Ned is captured, so is Sansa, however Arya manages to escape with the help of her teacher. Robb who heard the news of his father’s capture marches to King’s Landing with the forces of the North to defeat the Lannister’s. Lysa says she doesn’t want to confront the Lannister’s and therefore Catelyn leaves the Eyrie to join her son Robb at war. The youngest son, Bran remains at Winterfell to look after the matters there.
Tyrion with the help of Shagga and his men, reach Tywin’s camp.
Joffrey is made king and Tywin, his grandfather is made the hand of the king. Sansa begs Joffrey to forgive her father and he says he will if Ned says that Joffrey is the rightful heir to the throne and that he committed treason.
Beyond the wall, some bodies who are strangely injured are found and taken back to the Castle Black. They are oblivious to the existence of white walkers and do not recognize that these bodies were injured by the white walkers.
Back in Essos, Drogo captures many other settlements, to sell slaves and other things to get the money to get ships to travel to Westeros.
Episode 9 : Baelor
The Stark family arrive at the Twins Castle, the home of the Frey Family. They request permission to pass through the bridge and Lord Frey agrees under the condition that Catelyn put that Robb and Arya will marry into Frey’s family. With some heavy causalities, Robb and his troops are able to capture Jamie.
Back in King’s Landing, Ned confesses that Joffrey is the true heir to the throne and confesses he committed treason. Joffrey without heeding the words of Cersei and Sansa immediately decapitate Ned. Arya witnesses the same among the crowd of King’s Landing.(This is one of the most shocking scenes for a beginner to GOT, as we would never imagine that a principal character such as Ned would be killed just like that).
At the wall, Lord Mormont gives his family sword as gratitude to Jon, for saving him from the White walkers. At this point we find that Maester Aemon is actually Aemon Targaryen.
In Essos, Drogo suffers a wound which soon becomes septic. Dany asks a slave woman to do blood magic to save Drogo. The woman asks everyone to stay out while she performs the blood magic. Dany however goes into labor and Jorah Mormont seeks help for her (Jorah Mormont was exiled to Essos for his illegal slave trade and has a special connection with Dany as throughout her journey in her marriage with Drogo, he gave her the strength to hold on.)
Episode 10 : Fire and Blood
The houses of the North enraged at the unjust killing of Ned gives their allegiance to Robb, who is now their King. With Jamie being captured and war being waged by the North, and both brothers of Robert, Tywin appoints Tyrion as acting Hand of the King while Tywin goes into war.
Jon angered at the death of his father says he will leave the Night’s watch and avenge his father but his friends convince him otherwise and instead he goes on an expedition beyond the wall to find his Uncle Benjen. Arya is saved by a man who recruits men for the Night’s watch.
Joffrey decides to keep Sansa as his Queen despite what he did to her father.
Meanwhile in Essos, Dany loses her unborn child and discovers that Drogo is now in a vegetative state because of the blood magic. She then makes a funeral pyre, ties the slave woman to it and burns herself, Drogo and her three dragon eggs (which she got as a wedding gift). The next day among the ashes the people discover an unharmed Dany, with three baby dragons. She was in fact, the true dragon.
Things have just started in the story with the different sides going to war, and all the major characters having their own side of the story starting. However, among all this we can sense an even bigger danger- the white walkers. Something that everyone is oblivious to at this point.
Click here to go onto Season 2 !