If you’re mourning the end of another season of Game of Thrones or lambasting the fact that season eight will be the show’s last, we have some good news for you. You’ll be able to re-live GoT‘s most epic moments right from the start, thanks to a marathon that’s set to begin this August.
Yes, starting tonight (August 8) step back in time as Game of Thrones season one premieres on CTV at 10 p.m. [ET]. Now, we know quite a few winters have come and gone since any of us have laid eyes on a clean-shaven Jon Snow or seen adult Ned Stark in the flesh (sigh) so we thought it was only fair to take a look back at the many, many details we might have missed while watching the show the first time around.
Read on for a romp down memory lane – all the sex, all the beheadings! – ’cause you know you wanna re-start Game of Thrones already.
Spoilers (from many of the seasons) follow, plus book-based details that haven’t appeared on the show. You’ve been warned.
SEX & HISTORY
GoT is dense with plotlines, many based on historical events we’ve never even seen on screen, like the supposed kidnapping of Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, by Rhaegar Targaryen, or the rape and murder of Prince Oberyn’s sister Elia Martell. In the books, George R.R. Martin provides backstory through internal dialogue, but the show has a far more entertaining method: the sexposition. Take Ros’s scenes in season one, for example. While the Winterfell prostitute practices her trade, we pick up character details like Tyrion’s tenderness and Theon’s insecurity. And in a memorable scene at Littlefinger’s brothel, the dastardly bureaucrat details his history with Catelyn and Ned Stark while Ros and another prostitute get busy in the background (season one, episode seven). Later sex scenes between various characters teach us about the history of dragons, the Baratheon succession, Lannister ambitions and more.
Game of Thrones isn’t the only show to use sexposition, but it did inspire the term. So yes, you really can skip to the steamy bits if you want to ace your Seven Kingdoms history class.
BROTHERS & SISTERS
When Daenery’s brother Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped(?) Ned Stark’s sister Lyanna Stark, it sparked war as swiftly as Ned’s execution did years later. We’ll never forget Ned’s death in season one, episode nine, but the Lyanna bits are easier to overlook, since we only learn about her through dialogue and brief appearances in season six. Cast your memory or your remote control to the very first episode, when Robert and Ned reminisce about her in the Stark crypt. Return to Winterfell’s tomb yet again in season five, episode four, when Littlefinger educates Sansa about the jousting tournament that started it all. Lyanna’s kidnapping is a core story in the history of the Seven Kingdoms and understanding it will provide light through the plot storms to come.
PETS & ARMIES
In an interview with Mashable, George R.R. Martin admitted that, “You don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.” Relive their symbolically laden introduction in season one, episode one and don’t forget episode two, which sees Sansa’s wolf executed and Arya’s freed. Beyond the dire wolf scenes, it’s worth watching just to enjoy Arya laying the beats on Joffrey, consequences be damned.
Daenerys’s dragons are harder to forget, but it’s still fun watching them toast slavers while their mother adopts an army in season three, episode four. And if you’re a fan of family video compilations, you’ll enjoy this collection of all the dragon scenes from seasons one to four.
HATE & MARRIAGE
When it comes to forced marriages, one need not look further than King Robert and his wife Cersei. Catch all the subtle and not-so subtle hints at what was to befall Robert right in season one episode one. Cersei’s disdain for Robert is evident, but it doesn’t hurt to look at it again, knowing what we know now.
Next, let’s look to the worst wedding reception in television history. Which is a reminder that anyone in the Seven Kingdoms can suffer dramatic deaths, but Starks are especially prone to them. When re-watching season three, episode nine, The Rains of Castamere, aka The One With The Red Wedding, watch Catelyn closely. The aftermath of her brutal murder plays out differently in the books, and many readers still hope her postmortem plot will make it to the show.
As for season four, episode two, the Purple Wedding, or The One Where Joffrey Got What He Deserved, ignore everything else and observe Lady Olenna instead. The game has many skilled players and she and granddaughter Margaery are among them.
WEATHER & PREDICTIONS
Words are wind and all men must die, but just like entertainment writers, GoT sages love speculating how it will all go down. See season two, episode 10, when Dany enters the House of the Undying and has visions of future, past and fantasy. And don’t forget season five, episode one, when a young Cersei is told she’ll raise three children with gold crowns and gold shrouds, and be queen…for a time.
Finally, cast yourself back to season one, episode three when Bran hears this cheerful parable from his nursemaid, Old Nan: “Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides for years, and children are born and live and die, all in darkness.”
Got that? Fear is coming – and winter.