It’s been more than a year—so basically a lifetime—since we last watched our favourite characters of Westeros try to claw their way to the Iron Throne. If you haven’t found the time to catch up on the previous six seasons of Game of Thrones (maybe you were too busy devouring OITNB like us?) then we’ve got you covered. This GoT Season 7 primer answers all your burning questions so you can get caught up before it premieres on July 16: Wait, who’s on the throne now?! Did Dany ever leave Meereen? Is Jon Snow dead or alive? And where the heck is Gendry? (JK, Gendry is lost forever.) Here, how the eff Season 6 ended in Westeros. (SPOILERS AHEAD, OBVS.)
In one of the most intense scenes in Game of Thrones history, Cersei went full badass. After blowing up the Great Sept—and Margaery, Loras, Mace Tyrell and the High Sparrow along with it—poor Tommen took his own life, leaving Cersei in power. Jaime is by her side, for now, but things seem tense as he grieves the loss of their children and grapples with Cersei having done the very thing he killed the Mad King to prevent. Plus, with her zombie bodyguard Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane by her side Cersei doesn’t seem to need her lover/brother as much as he’d like.
There’s a new King in the North! Brought back from the dead by the Red Woman, Melisandre, everyone’s favourite bastard Jon Snow quickly cleaned house of any Knight’s Watch backstabbers (including the worst kid ever, Olly). Jon gave up his watch—technically he did die—and headed back home to Winterfell to be reunited with his kinda-half sister Sansa. The Battle of the Bastards ensued, with Jon and the knights of the Vale borrowed from Littlefinger eventually defeating Ramsay—but not before we had to say goodbye to poor, sweet Rickon. Enter Sansa to exact her revenge by unleashing Ramsay’s murderous dogs to eat him alive.
Also: Bran and Meera are heading to the Wall after losing Bran’s direwolf Summer and Hodor in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in TV history. So, the R+L=J theory is pretty much confirmed. Our favourite sassy ruler Lyanna Mormont has pledged her allegiance to Jon. And the Red Woman has been kicked out of the group after Davos discovered what really happened to Shireen.
To the East
Daenerys has finally left Meereen and is heading towards the Iron Throne! Along with her dragons, her unsullied and Dothraki armies, Yara and Theon Greyjoy (and their ships), Khaleesi has Grey Worm, Tyrion Lannister, Varys, and Missandei as part of her inner circle—talk about #squadgoals.
Who’s not making the cross-sea trek with her? Dany left behind her lover and one of her best fighters, Dario Naharis, to keep watch over Meereen. And her trusty advisor Ser Jorah Mormont is MIA as he’s currently on a quest to cure his greyscale.
As for your other fave GoT characters? You’ll remember Arya doing in Walder Frey at the end of the last season, as she continues to make quick work of her kill list. The Hound has joined forces with the Brotherhood for the time being. And Jon’s without his best friend for now as Sam, Gilly and their baby just arrived at the Citadel so Sam can study to become a Maester, complete with a Valyrian steel sword in tow that he stole from his father.
As stories start to converge, allegiances are forged and battles are won, let’s not forget about the giant army of the undead making their way south towards the Wall—because winter is finally here, y’all.