Monday, April 01, 2013

Game of Thrones: Pre-Season 3 Boil-down

The 3rd season of HBO's epic saga, Game of Thrones, premieres in a few hours. And there is a fair chance that you people would have forgotten some of the main things that happened in the previous two seasons because GoT's plot is as intricate as they get. It is a multi-layered concoction of betrayal, revenge, magic, passion and otherworldly beings and remembering everything about it is a tad too tall a task. So here we present to you a terse refresher of all the major happenings in the Westeros during the past seasons:

Stannis Baratheon is defeated in the Battle of Blackwater thanks to the ingenuity of Tyrion Lannister and the timely arrival of the allies: The Lannisters and The Tyrells.

Lannister, on the other hand, is nearly assassinated on the battlefield by one of his own. Had it not been for his faithful squire Pod, he would have to deal with a lot more than a mere, facial scar.

Tyrion's father Tywin, in a bold move, replaces his son at the influential position of the Hand of the King.

The duplicitous widow of Renly Beratheon, Margery Tyrell, is
all set to become the Queen of the Realm.
Sansa Stark, promised to the sadistic King of the Realm, Joffrey Baratheon has finally wriggled free of the clutches of the latter. Clutches of impending matrimony that is. She is still held hostage by the queen, Cersei Lannister, at the King's Landing despite the fact that Joffrey ditched her for the influential Margery Tyrell.

Meanwhile, the sly Lord Peter Baelish after his surreptitious heroics in the Battle of Blackwater hinted to his interest in his one-time-lover's daughter, Sansa, as he offered to help her escape from King's Landing.

The eunuch Varys reignites his rivalry with Baelish when the latter gets a promotion. To attain an inside scoop on things he befriends one of Bealish's main prostitute, Ros.

The wicked sorceress Melisandre, who worships a certain 
God of Light, makes Stannis sea ominous visions in the fire.
Back in the island fortress of Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon falls deeper into the clutches of the red sorceress Melisandre. His has his doubting after the horrific defeat at Blackwater but it is put to rest when the Melisandre shows him some vision in the fire; a vision that probably reinforces the sorceress' claim of Stannis being the savior of Westeros.

On the other hand, Robb Stark, the self-proclaimed King in the North, is facing internal afflictions after giving the Lannisters every bit as much trouble as he is getting. He was doing well until his mother Lady Catelyn, in a moment of madness, released his trump-card: Jamie "The Kingslayer" Lannister, without his consent. The Kingslayer, is notorious among the Northerners after he attempted to kill Bran Stark when the little kid found out about his incestuous love-affair with Cersei Lannister. His release dealt a heavy blow to the Northern forces' morale.

Jamie Lannister is enroute to the King's Landing under the
guard of Brienne of Tarth.
After freedom from the Northerner's camp, Jamie Lannister, makes his way to King's Landing under the stern watch of Brienne of Tarth. The gigantic woman knight who pledged allegiance to Lady Catelyn after her master, Renly Baratheon was assassinated by Melisandre's black magic. She showed unwavering resolve in fulfilling Catelyn's wish of exchanging Lannister for the Stark girls. So much so that she didn't even stop at killing other Northerners that stood in her way.

Unbeknown to the the fighting Starks, one of their girls they assumed to be captive at King's Landing is actually quite free. Arya Stark was never really hostage as she escaped with one of her father's associate, Baelor, soon after the beheading. But she didn't go far and was taken in by the Lannister forces to work at the extensive ruins of Harrenhal which work as a makeshift prison and torture area for the Lannisters. However, later she escaped with help of a weird guy named Jaqen H'ghar who, at parting, gave her a coin a phraseValar Morghulis which were to be used if she wanted to summon him again. At the moment she is roaming the Riverlands with Robert's bastard son, Gendry and a fat kid.

After the announcement of general amnesty by Robb Stark,
Theon Greyjoy's own men pack him into a sack and
send him to the Northerner's camp.
Meanwhile at Winterfell, things took a turn for the worst when, after the departing of most of the Starks, except for the young Bran and Rickon, Theon Greyjoy took his chance and conquered the small fortress with a handful of men from Pike. Earlier, Greyjoy had made his way to Pike to regain his place at the royal court after the Starks of Winterfell had adopted/abducted him in an earlier battle between the two houses. He is jolted when his father, Balon, doesn't accept of his arrival and treat his sister, Yara, as the son of the family. He conquered Winterfell with the intent of proving his mettle to his father but his ambitions are shattered when his own men turn on him after seeing the implausibility of the task at hand.

Bran and Rickon escape Winterfell during the siege but then return and hide in the family crypt. Greyjoy's tried to cover this up by supposedly burning the two Stark children. However they are very safe and on their way to the Wall with Osha, the wilding, Hodor, the docile giant and the two direwolves.

The dragons of Dan Targaryen will play a key role in
this season.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, the last of the royal family that once ruled Westeros, is getting desperate to take back the Iron Throne. Flanked by the astute Sir Jorah Mormont, a handful of savage Dothraki warlords and a cradling a triplet of young dragons she made her way into the elite and mystical city of Qarth hoping to get some help for in quest. Once inside she is betrayed, a good amount of her Dothraki followers are slain and her dragons are kidnapped by the mysterious warlock, Pyat Pree. But she goes to great lengths to get back her  children and is successful in retrieving them from the diabolical House of the Undying. Following this, she and her people plunder what is left of Qarth to get enough money to buy a ship.

After they are captured by a group of wildlings, Snow and
his mentor, Qorin Halfhand put on a fight that makes
Snow look like a traitor. At the end of that fight
Halfhand is killed.
Beyond the Wall, Ned Stark's bastard son, Jon Snow, is well set to infiltrate the huge, wildling army of Mance Ryder. A former member of the Night's Watch, he proclaims himself the King Beyond the Wall. But much to the Night's Watch's horror they have got a lot more to take care of than just Mance Ryder - the demonic, undead White Walkers have awoken from their deep slumber. They make their decisive march to the Wall, and what lays beyond, in humongous numbers as the long Winter falls on the Westeros.

The White Walker chief that finds the cowardly Samwell Tarly hidden behind a rock
but surprisingly doesn't kill him.

The closing shot of Season 2.

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