We are (thankfully) less than a month away from the premiere of season three for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” While it is mostly impossible that you have forgotten the events of season 2, I have compiled a few refreshers to remind you of where we left off and prepare you for the third season.
Season 2 features the events of A Clash of Kings, the second book of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin. When we left the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, there was a civil war a-brewin’. The Night’s Watch decided to head north of the Wall to investigate the wildlings. In Essos Daenerys Targaryen hasn’t given up and continues her quest to return to and conquer the Seven Kingdoms.
Let’s take a look at the characters and where they are on the cusp of the third season.
Note: It should go without saying that there are spoilers ahead. This is a recap of Season 2 only and assumes you have watched season 1 and/or season 2.
Easily one of the most loved characters in the whole series even if he isn’t considered one of the “good” characters. His cunning and underdog mentality has placed him our hearts as one of those who “can make it.” Who can take the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms relatively fairly.
When we left Tyrion, he had survived the Battle of Blackwater wounded but alive. Tyrion is betrayed and wounded by Ser Mandon Moore of the Kingsguard during the fighting. He survives thanks to the quick actions of his squire, Pod but not before taking a sword slice to the face. Once he is awakened after the battle, he is informed that he has been removed from his position as Acting Hand of the King. Tyrion remains bedridden while he heals and calls upon his only allies: his BFF Bronn, his squire Pod, and Varys. He learns that Joffrey will not be recognizing the leadership of Tyrion during the battle and that Bronn and the tribesmen have been relieved of duty.
While in a mood of self-depreciation, Varys brings Tyrion’s lover and whore, Shae, to his bed chambers. She professes her love for him, claiming it genuine and begs him to go to Pentos with her. He says that standing up to the bad people in his life, out-talking and out-thinking them, is something that he is good at and enjoys. He chooses to stay in King’s Landing and she agrees to remain with him.
Currently acting as Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms as Joffrey reigns as boy king. She fears the madness of her son and worries it is her punishment for the incestuous relationship with twin brother Jaime.
During the Battle of Blackwater, Cersei provides safe refuge for the women of the court. In her midst is Sansa Stark who is both terrified and newly flowered. During the seige she drinks heavily and becomes more and more grim about her life and what will happen to the women if the battle overtakes them.
Once the battle becomes more dangerous, Cersei brings Joffrey back to the Red Keep despite protests that the fighters need to see their king among them Joffrey willingly leaves the field but his exit is a blow to the men. Right before she is about to poison Tommen when she fears the battle is over, Lord Tywin shows up and reports that the Lannisters have won. Tyrion’s role in defending the city is not acknowledged and he is left to recover from his wounds, stripped of his power. Rumors circulate that Cersei ordered the attack on Tyrion. No longer considering Tyrion a threat, Cersei releases Ros, the whore she thought was Tyrion’s lover.
After the battle, Cersei frees Sansa from the bonds of betrothal to Joffrey in favor of a more lucrative marriage to Margaery Tyrell which is well recieved by the court seemingly adding House Tyrell as an ally.
I want more of the Brienne and Jaime show. PLEASE.
After Jaime is recaptured, Catelyn Stark releases him into the custody of Brienne of Tarth. Jaime continues to assert that even though his vows frequently conflicted with one another as well as his morals. He asserts that he has more honor than some; maintaining that Cersei is the only one he has slept with and reminds Catelyn how her husband Eddard Stark cheated on her and fathered Jon Snow. Brienne is tasked to escort Jaime to King’s Landing to exchange him for her daughters who she believes are both captured there.
Jaime, with his charming ability to dig deep into other people’s core, continually goads Brienne about her appearance, masculinity, her virginity, and her childhood in attempt to duel him for his freedom. However, after he sees her skillfully dispose of three attackers, he begins to have a newfound respect for the brutish soldier woman.
The next in line for the Iron Throne and betrothed to Sansa Stark for most of season 2. During his reign thus far of the Seven Kingdoms, Joffrey continually shows intense anger and ill will towards everyone and everything. He regularly has Sansa brutalized and humiliated unless stopped by his uncle, Tyrion. He also savagely beats two whores that are bought for him and his “sexual frustration.”
In honor of Battle of Blackwater, he obtains a new sword named Hearteater. He forces Sansa to kiss the blade and wish him luck before the battle. However, when it comes time for the actual battle, he is less that courageous and is visibly relieved when he is summoned by Cersei back to the Red Keep. His cowardly exit damages the morale of the men but Tyrion is able to rally them to protect the gates from a battering ram. After the battle is over, Joffrey and Cersei decide against recognizing Tyrion’s bravery and instead rewards Tywin by naming him Savior of the City and the new Hand of the King.
He also grants a favor to House Tyrell for their aid and Ser Loras asks Joffrey to unite their houses in marriage. Joffrey balks at setting aside his betrothal to Sansa, but is easily convinced by his mother and courtiers and that the marriage to Margaery Tyrell to both wanted and allowed.
Spending much of season 2 as an advisor for her son, Robb, Catelyn is both support of his goals but worried about her other children which have gone missing or are being held hostage at King’s Landing.
Catelyn successfully managing to secure an ally out of House Frey by promising a marriage of Robb to one of the Frey’s daughter. With this agreement, the army of the north is also able to gain a strategic location and continue their winning streak against the Lannister’s. However, all is thrown away when Robb decides to marry Talisa while Catelyn is away.
She also makes the decision to free Jaime Lannister and have Brienne of Tarth escort him back to King’s Landing in exchange for her daughters. She assumes both Arya and Sansa are held captive there when in reality it is only Sansa while Arya escaped. Robb is furious that Catelyn acted behind his back and orders her kept under guard. He says that Jaime has played her for a fool and that she has weakened their position.
Now known as the King of The North with a willing and supportive army, Robb Stark has begun his advancement against the Lannister’s rule. After several high-profile victories across the north, his prison cells are overflowing and Cersei is beginning to worry that they have a real opponent in Robb.
When Ser Alton returns with Cersei’s rejection of his terms he houses him with Jaime. Talisa asks him for help obtaining medical supplies and he invites her to accompany him to negotiate the surrender of the Crag, suggesting that she restock from the castle’s stores. Catelyn sends her sworn sword Brienne of Tarth to exchange Jaime for her captive daughters without consulting Robb which infuriates him as he worries that they have lost their biggest barganing tool. He forces his mother, Catelyn, to remain guarded while he devises a plan to gain more momentum.
Robb confesses his love for Talisa to Catelyn. Catelyn warns against betraying his oath to marry a daughter of House Frey. Robb rejects her counsel, and in a secret ceremony conducted by a Septon of the Faith of the Seven, he and Talisa secretly marry effectively destroying any alliance between the Starks and Freys as Catelyn warns “the Frey’s never forget and never forgive.”
The bastard son of the Starks has joined the brothers in black at The Wall. However, he has to leave the safety and comfort of the Wall for the land beyond in search of several missing rangers including his uncle Benjen Stark. along with his BFF Samwell Tarly, the brothers in black move out and first come across Craster’s Keep. Where Sam falls in love with one of Craster’s Wife/daughters, Gilly.
From there, Qhorin Halfhand, Jon and the others begin tracking wildlings. After coming across a camp of wildings, a small battle ensues and Jon is faced with killing a young woman with fire-red hair named Ygritte. He hesitates to kill her and Qhorin convinces him take Ygritte captive so she may lead them to Mance Rayder, the king beyond the wall. However, Ygritte escapes and Jon tails her and recaptures her thus isolating him from the others. Throughout their time together, Ygritte makes it known her attraction to Jon and uses her sexuality to try and lower his defenses and sleep with her. He rejects her advances and their conversation becomes more tense as their journey continues.
Jon is later captured by the wildlings and is reunited with Qhorin who tells him he must go undercover in their society to learn the truth of their existence beyond the wall and their plans for conquering the seven kingdoms. Jon is forced to kill Qhorin and then is freed to join the wildlings ranks joined by Ygritte at his side.
After having Winterfell taken over by Theon Greyjoy, Bran manages to escape his home with Rickon thanks to Hodor and the willing captive , Osha. Theon tracks them briefly but when he loses their scent, he returns to Winterfell with two charred corpses claiming they belong to the young boys. Catelyn hears of this news and believes her sons to be dead.
The group flee for the Wall hoping to meet up with Jon who can protect them while Winterfell is controlled by Theon and Robb is fighting as King of the North.
Betrothed to what she thought was her prince charming, Joffrey, Sansa spends much of season 2 held within King’s Landing subjected to the cruelty of the Lannisters. Her only protectors being Tyrion Lannister and the Hound. She also finally flowers becoming a full fledged maiden which she fears means she will have to properly wed Joffrey. Her secret is attempted to be hid by Shae, her handmaiden, however, the Hound catches them and (reluctantly) informs the Queen. Cersei gives Sansa advice on motherhood, reassuring her that she will love her children if not her husband. She tells Sansa that the more people you love, the weaker you are.
After the Battle of Blackwater, Sansa attends the court while Joffrey rewards those who helped them win. When Loras Tyrell requests that Joffrey join their houses by marrying Margaery instead, Sansa is visibly excited at the idea of getting out of King’s Landing and away from Joffrey. Joffrey says that he would be honored to return Margaery’s love, but regrets that he is promised to Sansa. Cersei suggests Joffrey set Sansa aside because of her family’s treachery. Joffrey accepts the betrothal. Joffrey states that he will “Love you from this day, until my last day” – the same endearment he once offered Sansa.
Sansa turns away, feigning sadness but allowing herself laughter once she has privacy. Her revelry is halted by Petyr consoling her; she pretends to be upset. Petyr crushes her hopes of freedom and warns her that her situation has worsened, as she will no longer have the token protection of becoming Joffrey’s queen but will remain his captive. Petyr tells her that she reminds him of her mother and vows to help her return home. Sansa is reluctant to trust him and maintains her facade
Presumed missing and/or dead by everyone other than those who encounter her, Arya accomplishes quite a lot in season 2 and aids in a war she is barely a participating member. Plus she gets to travel with Gendry which most of us are jealous about. After arriving in Harrenhal, she becomes to cupbearer to Tywin Lannister who does not recognize her as a Lady Stark.
Arguably the best part of Arya story thus far is her involvement with Jaqen H’ghar. He grants her the death of three people in exchange for the lives she saved during the raid on her caravan to the Wall. She uses Jaqen to kill Amory Lorch and the Tickler. However, she names his own name as her third unless he helps her escape. Jaqen complies and kills several guards so that Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie can leave Harrenhal.
Jaqen reveals that he is a Faceless Man and offers to take Arya to train with him in Braavos. he declines, telling him that she needs to find her family first, including Sansa. Jaqen gives Arya a single coin, explaining that should she change her mind, she only needs to give the coin to any man from Braavos and recite the High Valyrian words “Valar Morghulis.” Jaqen changes his face to that of another man and bids a stunned Arya farewell.
In season 2, Dany finds herself in the rich and prosperous city of Qarth. She is still questing for an army that she can overtake the Iron Throne while trying to raise her newly hatched and growing dragons. However, Qarth is more dangerous than it initially appears.
Xaro is constantly vying for her attention and hand in marriage that Dany consistently rebuff. Then when she returns to her room to find that Irri is dead and Doreah and her dragons are missing, she embarks on the equivalent of a spirit quest in the House of the Undying to get the back. In the House it is revealed that the warlock, Pyat Pree stole the dragons and that Xaro intended to seize control of the city. The warlock uses his magic to murder the rest of the Thirteen. He repeats his invitation to Daenerys, telling her that her children are at the House of the Undying. Having overcome the temptation she finds herself held captive by Pyat Pree. He tells her that he plans to keep her with her dragons because they increase his power. She tells her dragons to breathe flame at him, using the command that she taught them. With the warlock roasted alive, they are able to escape his tower.
Daenerys returns to Xaro’s home to confront him for his treachery and finds him in bed with Doreah. Hurt from the betrayal, Daenerys takes them to his vault, which proves to be empty, and locks them inside to die. She salvages enough valuables to buy a ship from amongst his possessions.
An underlying motif of Dany’s storyline is Jorah’s incredibly obvious love for the young queen. He barely tries to hide his intentions yet Daenerys is careful to pretend they don’t exist or is able to be blissfully unaware.
Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish
Peter’s intentions and his overall game is never fully revealed. He is smart, he is witty, and above all he is cunning. He has his littlefinger in everyones wallet and is able to get (almost) everything he wants. His only rival maybe being Tyion though that is debatable.
In season 2, Littlefinger is effectively trying to gain as much as possible. He is made Lord of Harrenhal after the Battle of Blackwater and takes his interest in Sansa to the next level when her betrothal is broken. He ells her that she reminds him of Catelyn and offers to take her home to Winterfell but she is reluctant to trust him.
Littlefinger is also responsible for setting up the prisoner exchange between Cat and the Lannisters, using his history with her to persuade her that she will get BOTH her daughters back despite knowing that Arya is missing.
The epitome of daddy issues in an accurate description of Theon. After returning to Pyke and leaving the Starks behind, Theon is putoff to say the least that his sister has become a war leader and more respected by their father.
In an attempt to aid his father’s bid for the Iron Throne, Theon returns to Winterfell where he seizes the castle despite having grown as brothers with the Stark children. He admits that all he truly wanted was a family and that he didn’t fit in with the Starks or the his own family. After he ransacks the castle and loses the Stark boys, Bran and Rickon, Theon hangs two charred bodies and claims them as the boys. This spreads the rumor that the children are dead across the Seven Kingdoms and The Wall.
Maester Luwin says that he knows that Theon is not the ruthless man he has been pretending to be. He suggests that Theon flee to the Wall and join the Night’s Watch to save his life and attempt to redeem himself. Theon refuses to deviate from the course he has set, it is to late he says as he has gone too far down this course for him to ever pretend to be anyone else. He readies his men for glorious death in battle. He gives a rousing speech but is betrayed and knocked out by Dagmer, who plans to turn him over to the northern forces so the rest of them can go home. Luwin attempts to aid Theon but is stabbed in the abdomen by Dagmer, who then has Theon dragged away with his head covered by a cloth bag.