Who, What, and Where: A Game of Thrones Pre-Season 7 Refresher

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan like me then I know you are probably half way through a pre-season Game of Thrones seasons 1 through 6 binge watch. You’re busy catching up on seasons or episodes you’ve missed, or re-watching every single last episode of every single last season, dissecting it and looking for clues. You’re also probably nearly coming out of your skin impatiently anticipating the very long awaited seventh season to begin.

First, I have to warn you that there will be spoilers in this article. So avert thine eyes if you haven’t watched all 6 seasons yet. Now, are you ready? OK. Here we go.

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Daenerys Targaryn crosses the Narrow Sea to Westeros with her army. – Game of Thrones S6

Game of Thrones Season 1 seems like such a long time ago, doesn’t it? Were we even prepared for the things we were about to see? That would be a firm no, but we were excited and delighted, entertained and horrified. HBO had really out done themselves.

We met all the players in this Westerosi saga, we got acquainted with all the different Houses, from House Stark to House Targaryen to House Lannister and choose and aligned our sympathies with one or more of the great houses.

We met the staggering array of major and minor characters, interesting as they were complex, flawed and all so utterly human, and at times inhuman, that they made us feel something akin to true belief. And some of those things we felt weren’t exactly comfortable. We also decided who we liked and who we didn’t. We also met the direwolves and figured out the current state of affairs in the realm, and we heard the famous catchphrase, “Winter is coming” for the first of many, many, many times.

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Daenerys Targaryen with Tyrion Lannister, Hand of the Queen – Game of Thrones S7

In the last 6 seasons there have been some major events and developments. We’ve seen those we love die, terrible monsters rise to power, and the Seven Kingdoms fall to chaos. We may have no idea what lies in store for these characters that we have come to know and love (or love/hate) other than the fact that we know that when it comes to Game of Thrones, no one is safe.

Over the years we’ve seen Ned Stark and Khal Drogo die and Viserys Targaryen get crowned. We’ve endured the incest of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, we’ve witnessed the horror of Bran being tossed out a tower window, and the desecration of the Red Wedding. We’ve seen the White Walkers, the Children of the Forest, the Three Eyed Raven and the intense beauty of the Godswoods and the red Weirwood trees. We’ve seen wildfire and dragon glass, and we have marvelled at the wonder of dragons returning to the world, and we have watched with pride as those dragons have grown to glorious adulthood.

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Sansa Stark with Petyr Baelish, also knowns as Littlefinger – Game of Thrones S7

We’ve also loved and lost our beloved direwolves, and we’ve seen the heroism of the gentle giant Hodor.  I don’t know anybody who watched that scene who didn’t weep copious amounts of agonized tears at his heroic death. I can never say, “Hold the door” ever again without my eyes welling up with tears and a pain hurting my heart. Never forget.

And everywhere people lost things. The Starks lost Winterfell, the Wildlings lost Hardhome, Jaime Lannister lost his hand and Theron Greyjoy lost his manhood. Oberon lost his life on the sands of honor (or dishonor depending on how you look at it) while Cersei lost all her children one by one, and Sansa horribly lost her innocence at the hands of a monstrous psychopath.

Tyrion went from just another rich imp to someone we adore, and who is now the Queen’s Hand and part time dragon whisperer. How awesome is that? Secretly we wish Daenerys would see his devotion and fall madly in love with him. We’ve watched Tyrion hated and despised and put on the trial of the century by his own father, fearing for his life. Then we watched him get his revenge by killing his father and the woman he loved. The fierce doe eyed Shae, who betrayed Tyrion and nearly broke him, breaking  our hearts as well.

Sansa’s commanding armies and sparring with the conniving and treacherous Littlefinger. Arya’s gone from someone to No One, to a skilled assassin hell bent on returning home to Winterfell. We’ve seen Bran learn hard lessons on his way to mastering his warging and on his journey to become the Three Eyed Raven. How we railed against him when his childish impatience and lack of skill destroyed Hodor and everyone and everything around him.

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Cersei and Jaime Lannister – Game of Thrones S7

We’ve felt the pain of Rickon’s death at the hands of Ramsay Bolton — who was once a Snow, and wasn’t a Bolton long before he died a miserable and deserving death at the mouths of his beloved hounds, compliments of Sansa. That was extremely satisfying. We smiled too, Sansa.

And we all stood up and cheered when Jon Snow and his warriors reclaimed Winterfell, the proud and stoic ancestral home of the Starks. What an unforgettable moment that was.

Sam Tarly will be so excited when he hears the news about his BFF.

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Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones S7

We’ve seen Jon Snow grow from a strong, brave boy and become a fine, strong and honorable man. We’ve watched him fall in love with Ygritte and we mourned with him at her loss. We remained staunch supporters of the man we’ve always suspected was Lyanna Stark’s son; even when he befriended the Free Folk, because we understood his heart and his reasons. We watched him go from a despised bastard and bane of Catelyn Stark’s existence, to a betrayed and murdered Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Then we saw Jon Snow rise from the dead and be declared the King in the North, supported and celebrated despite and in spite of being bastard born. Yet as much as we are pulling for Jon, we can’t help but fear for him because of what happened to Robb, but we’re also with him to the end of all ends no matter what.

Now on the cusp of Season 7 there are only 2 direwolves left, Ghost and maybe Nymeria. There are two major wars waging, one against the living and another against the dead. Fans are divided, should Daenerys take it all or should Jon? Or will they rule together if Jon Snow’s true lineage and bloodline are revealed?  Will the dragons die? They better not, but remember when I said no one is safe?

And can Game of Thrones Season 7 top Season 6? I mean what was better than the bombing of the historic Sept of Baelor and the complete annihilation of Cersei Lannister’s enemies? What a coup. What was better and more terrifying than that moment when Cersei took the Iron Throne, or when she got revenge on Septa Unella for the infamous “Walk of Shame”?

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Drogon and the Dothraki Khalasar – Game of Thrones S7

And we haven’t even spoke of our favorite vagabond princess turned powerful Mother of Dragons slash Conqueror of Great Cities, Daenerys Targaryen yet.
Every time Daenerys surprises us with her magical, mystical Blood of the Dragon powers we are left picking up our jaws from the floor. If she’s not eating horse heart or emerging from the ashes of a funeral pyre, she’s burning evil necromancers and slave drivers to death with one awesome word, “Dracarys!” And that’s only when she’s not liberating slaves, or walking out unscathed by the flames of a burning building.

When this Khaleesi isn’t doing any of that she’s giving power speeches to her Khalasar, claiming each and every one of them her Bloodriders from atop the back of her great dragon, Drogon. Her words echo those Khal Drogo promised her all those years ago. Her words in Dothraki would be inspiring even if they weren’t captioned in English.

“Every Khal who ever lived chose three bloodriders to fight beside him and guard his way. But I am not a Khal. I will not choose three bloodriders. I choose you all! I will ask more of you than any Khal has ever asked of his Khalasar. Will you ride the wooden horses across the black salt sea? Will you kill my enemies in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses? Will you give me the Seven Kingdoms, the gift Khal Drogo promised me, before the Mother of Mountains? Are you with me, now and always?”

I would fight for the Mother of Dragons. I would gladly be her Bloodrider. Would you?

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House Targaryen Dragon Sigil – Game of Thrones S7

Daenerys Targaryen is truly breathtaking and quite simply amazing. She’s finally a woman in full control of her power, headed towards Westeros with a Dothraki horde to claim her birthright; an army that was once upon a time only a whisper of a dream. We can only ask, “Is there nothing that this woman cannot do?” And she has dragons.

Winter is finally here. And just as the days grow shorter in Westeros with the coming of winter, so too it seems will there be a shorter season this time around with only 7 episodes in season 7 of Game of Thrones this year. Boo! Even so, I have a definite feeling we won’t be disappointed.

Over the past 6 years we’ve watched, we’ve cried, we’ve cheered and covered our eyes together as we have witnessed this thrilling saga tear our hearts out even as it entertained. There is so much that has happened, too much for this telling, but I know like me, you remember it all. And I know you can’t wait to see it through to the very end, come what may.

So, are you ready for Game of Thrones Season 7? Like you, I’ll be glued to HBO on Sunday, July 16th, 2017 and I’ve only got one more thing to say. Quiet in the realm.

Did you get to relive your favorite moment? What was your favorite Game of Thrones memory of all time? Let me know in the down there. I’ll be looking for your comments. And join us later on after the season premiere for a recap review of S7 Ep 1.