Game of Thrones season 5 blagger's guide: Don't know your arse from your Westeros? Here's all you need to know about the HBO drama

This article contains spoilers - but you've got to learn about the show somehow

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The Independent Culture

Mythical medieval soap opera Game of Thrones is soon to return for its fifth season.

Featuring dark magic, nudity, swordfights and graphic deaths, the series has caused a storm on both sides of the Atlantic.

But if you’ve still not caught a glimpse of the world of Westeros, fear not, our blagger’s guide will help you sound like you do know what you’re talking about to your friends.

The synopsis, in brief

Jon Snow meets with Stannis Baratheon and Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones season five

Based on the novels by George RR Martin, Game of Thrones is tale of powerful families playing a deadly game to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and claim the Iron Throne.

Key players

The Purple Wedding: Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell tie the knot

The royal houses that thirst for power are the Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens, Tyrells, Baratheons, Greyjoys and Martells.

Popular sayings

Sansa Stark and Littlefinger : Winter is Coming

With so many eyes of the Iron Throne, every schemer boasts their house motto. “A Lannister always pays his debts” through payment and revenge, while the Starks are forever foreboding that “winter is coming”.

Major characters are killed off frequently, especially at weddings

Gleeson plays the cruel king Joffrey Baratheon

There have been a total 133 deaths so far in the drama, with three executions, four poisonings and five slayings.

Season one set the deadly tone when family patriarch Ned Stark was beheaded by bratty boy-king Joffrey Baratheon. His son Rob launched a rebellion, but was murdered during the Red Wedding massacre in season three along with his mother, wife and unborn child. Joffrey got a taste of his own medicine and died last season of poison at his wedding feast.

Knights aren't the only ones who fight

Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Female characters run the show and their own kingdoms. Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen are both queens in their own right while Brienne of Tarth is a tall and muscular warrior who matches the skill of any knight.

Margaery Tyrell and priestess Melisandre are intelligent plotters, while tomboy Arya (Maisie Williams) proves she has a knack for sword fighting and survival despite the demise of her male relatives.

The Starks are the underdogs

Maisie Williams plays tomboy Arya Stark

With an ever diminishing clan, only five surviving Stark children remain as of season five.

Lady-like eldest daughter Sansa was last seen with a sexy makeover and plunging neckline, middle child Bran is paralysed from the waist-down and is not due to appear in season five, while Arya has boarded a ship alone heading east of Westeros.

The youngest son Rickon has been little seen on screen, and the illegitimate Stark son, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), is still a brother of the military order the Night’s Watch and most recently laid his lover Ygritte to rest.

The Lannisters are dysfunctional

Forbidden love: Jaime Lannister with his sister, Cersei Lannister

The prime movers of Westeros were left in a scandalous predicament when youngest son Tyrion murdered his father Tywin with a crossbow.

Eldest daughter Cersei tried to get her brother Tyrion executed for regicide last season and is involved in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime, who has fathered all of her children.

One of the characters has given birth to dragons

Daenery Stormborn has hatched three dragon eggs

The last hope for the Targaryens to claim the Iron Throne is Daenerys Stormborn, formally known as Mother of Dragons, who has hatched three dragon eggs.

She is the only surviving child of King Aerys II Targaryen  and has had various other titles including the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen and Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea.

Expectations for season five

Jon Snow will face some tough decisions in Game of Thrones season five

If you’re tuning in to Game of Thrones for the first time to watch season five, there are a few things to watch out for: Arya is set to get especially bloodthirsty, Jon Snow will face some difficult decisions and Cersei will be walking through the streets naked.


Game of Thrones begins on Monday 13 April on Sky Atlantic.

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