This April, the epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones is returning for its sixth season. If you are anything like me, waiting for this next season has been as painful as facing The Mountain in a trial by combat — it makes my soul hurt. Not the mention the fact I am experiencing literal physical withdrawals from the series, I am a total mess. To fight the pain, I have been binge watching the first five seasons. And I must say, there are a lot of things I either missed on my first viewing or totally forgot. I am particularly embarrassed about all the things I forgot happened in Season 1 of Game of Thrones.
And it would be excusable to forget some things about the first season of Game of Thrones — the show premiered five years ago! That's a long time ago — especially to remember all the different storylines, backstories, and characters that GoT covers. But whoa, I am surprised by just how many things I completely forgot about and I can't help but feel I am not being a very good Game of Thrones fan. I have never read A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series which the show is based on) so this show is all I've got to examine, dissect, and explore the world of Westeros, which I love so much. In fact, my new resolution for 2016 is to brush up on my Game of Thrones history — and rewatching the show has revealed a lot.
I'm hoping I'm not the only one who has forgotten all of these things. So, here's all of the things I missed or forgot about Season 1 of Game of Thrones:
In the show's pilot, Ned Stark and company come across a direwolf that has been killed by a stag. When I first saw this scene, I thought it was just showing how brutal and violent Game of Thrones was going to be. Upon rewatching it, though, it's now clear that the direwolf represents the Stark family, and the stag is the Baratheons. Add the fact that the direwolf left behind six pups — just like Ned Stark did after he was executed by Joffrey Baratheon — this scene is gut-wrenching.
Winter Is Coming
Ned Stark first mentions that "winter is coming," 11 minutes into the show's pilot. It's five seasons later, and we are still waiting for winter to arrive. A tiny bit of me forgot how much people were freaking out about the impending winter in Season 1.
Arya Is A Bad Ass
When Arya began her bloody quest for revenge, I was slightly taken aback — but, the fact of the matter is, viewers were already clued in to how ruthless Arya could be when she snapped the neck of a bird just moments before her father was killed. Damn, girl.
More Animal Analogies
In the seventh episode of Season 1, King Robert is killed in a "hunting accident." This same episode also features Lord Tywin skinning a stag (the Baratheon symbol). This is blatant foreshadowing of the Lannister's takeover of the Iron Throne.
This Looks Familiar
The creators of Game of Thrones are huge fans of Monty Python. In addition to quotes like, “Your mother was a hamster,” and “Go boil your bottoms, son of a silly person” finding their way into Game of Thrones, some iconic Monty Python imagery also appears. In the pilot, Winterfell Castle was filmed at Castle Duone in Scotland, which is the same place as Castle Anthrax in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As I rewatch the rest of the series, I am on the lookout for even more Monty Python references.
A Disney Reference In Westeros?
Remember Daenerys Targaryen's brother Visery, who traded Dany's virginity and autonomy like it was no big deal? Well in addition to being a total creep, he also laid down a pretty cool Disney reference in the show's first season. When explaining about the dragon skulls the Targaryens kept in the throne room at the Red Keep, he casually mentions the dragon "Vermithrax" — which shares it's name with the dragon from Disney's 1981 film Dragonslayer. That's an A+ old school fantasy reference right there.
One of the most enduring mysterious of Game of Thrones is the true lineage of everyone's favorite bastard, Jon Snow. While Jon Snow knows not, many fans suspect Snow is the result of an affair between Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna. In Season 1, Episode 4, when Jon Snow is explaining his unknown family origins to Samwell Tarly, over Jon's right shoulder is a R+L carving on a post. Could this be the filmmakers giving us clues about Jon's parents? Only time will tell for this one.
In my heart Natalia Tena will always be Nymphadora Tonks from Harry Potter. Game of Thrones paid homage to Tena's most famous role when her character Osha is introduced surrounded by brooms. Get it? She's surrounded by brooms because she's a witch! Or maybe I am just reading too much into this scene. Either way, I totally missed this gem the first time I watched it.
Ned's All About Traditional Gender Roles
Rewatching the first season made me sorta glad Ned Stark died. SRY NOT SRY. In the first season, Papa Stark is totally against Arya taking up a sword and embracing her total badass self. Considering the male Stark children started sword training at young age, this whole thing seems a tad sexist to me. Considering it's now Arya, not Robb, who is carrying on the revenge for the Stark family, it would seem that Ned was WRONG.
Jaime Is A Terrible Human Being
Due to his friendship with Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister has gone from total jerkface to a sorta lovable jerkface. Until I rewatched Season 1, I had forgotten what a horrible human being Jaime could be, though. In addition to pushing Bran out of a window, his biggest dick move was what he did to the captain of guard for the House of Stark.
Early in Season 1, Jamie pretended not to remember Jory, even though they fought side by side at the siege of Pyke during the Greyjoy rebellion. Jory remarks to Jamie that he almost lost an eye during that fight. Fastforward to later in the season, and Jamie decides to finish the job and kills Jory with a sword through the eye. It would appear that Jamie did remember Jory and was just being a giant jerk about it. Unlike me, it would also appear that Jaime, has a really good memory.
Not In The Season Finale
So the biggest event in Game of Thrones's first season is the execution of Ned Stark. Normally big events like this are reserved for a show's season finales, but GoT obviously is not a normal show. I had totally forgotten this, and was totally shocked when Ned's death occurred in only the ninth episode of the series.
So there you have it — all of things I totally forgot happened on Season 1 of Game of Thrones. Only four seasons to go before I am fully prepared for the Season 6 premiere!
Images: HBO (5); Giphy (5)