It's been almost a year since the fifth season of Game of Thrones came out, and some of us might need a refresher on the series before the next season, including what happened in Game of Thrones Season 1. When revisiting that first season, it's amazing to see how much has changed. Characters have disappeared, enemies have turned into friends (but more often, vice versa), and arcs have been abandoned. When the series first came out in 2011, many critics weren't sure what to make of it. Would it be a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings? Would it be the medieval version of the Sopranos ? Now that the show is nearing its sixth season, we understand that it's a show in which characters are mercilessly killed off and ruthlessness rules, with a kind of medieval realism replacing any trace of sentimentality.
After all those deaths and battles and broken treaties, you might need a refresher on what's happened. Or, if you want to start watching Game of Thrones this upcoming season without feeling totally lost, here are the most notable events of Season 1. Of course, SPOILER ALERT for those who have not watched the first season, but plan to.
The Lannisters Visited The Starks
The catalyst for the show was the visit of King Robert Barathean and his Lannister in-laws to the Stark family. While Robert got along well with the Stark patriarch Ned, tensions between the two families ran high.
The Starks Got Direwolves
In the first episode of Game of Thrones, the Stark children all receive direwolves. These seemed like they were going to be important throughout the series, but they kind of weren't.
Bran Witnessed Cersei And Jamie's Affair
Bran, the youngest Stark child, saw the king's wife Cersei Lannister and her brother Jamie having sex. Jamie pushed Bran from a tower to prevent their secret from getting out. Bran neither died nor remembered what he saw.
Ned Stark Became The Hand Of The King
A close friend of King Robert Baratheon, Ned was given the second highest position in Westeros: Hand of the king. He moved from Winterfell to the capital of King's Landing in order to fulfill his duties as the King's chief advisor.
Sansa Was Engaged To Joffrey
Sansa, the eldest Stark daughter, was excited to be engaged to Joffrey, the horrible Lannister heir. Meanwhile, the youngest Stark daughter Arya, did not care and wanted to learn to fight.
Jon Snow Joined The Night's Watch
Jon Snow, the brooding bastard of Ned who felt out of place amongst the Starks, joined the Night's Watch, a group of guards sworn to protect Westeros from the darkness beyond the wall that bordered the kingdom.
Daenerys Became Queen Of The Dothrakis
Daenerys was introduced as the young exiled princess of the Targaryen family, who married a leader of the warlike Dothrakis as a power move.
King Robert Died
After a hunting accident, the King died, appointing Ned as the temporary ruler until his son Joffrey came of age.
The Lannisters Swindled The Starks
The Lannisters chose not to heed Robert's dying wish, instead placing Joffrey — who was revealed to be the result of the incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jamie — on the throne. They then imprisoned Ned.
Joffrey Executed Ned
In one of the most memorable moments of the series, Ned — the apparent protagonist of the show — was executed for treason at Joffrey's orders.
Robb Was Crowned King Of The North
Due to the Lannisters' execution of Ned, the North seceded and declared war on the Lannisters, with the eldest Stark child Robb leading the charge.
Tyrion Became The King's Hand
Tyrion, the intelligent and rebellious dwarf sibling of the Lannisters, was appointed to be Joffrey's hand by the Lannister patriarch, Tywin.
Daenerys Became The Mother Of Dragons
Daenerys' husband, whom she had learned to love, and her unborn child both died. Miserable, she was nonetheless left empowered by the possession of dragons and leadership of the Dothrakis.
So much has happened since those innocent, early days of Game of Thrones. Had you forgotten about Ned Stark and the direwolves? Same.
Images: HBO, Giphy