"Game of Thrones"
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Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy series set in the fictional land of Westeros where a number of individuals and noble houses vie for control of the "Iron Throne" which rules over the realm.

Much of the first season focuses on the Stark family, who rule "The North"- one of the "Seven Kingdoms" of Westeros. The head of the household, Ned Stark, is the best friend of King Robert Baratheon, who came to power in a coup sixteen years earlier which unseated the ancient Targaryen dynasty. The season also follows the last two surviving Targaryens- Daenarys and her brother Viserys, who have been exiled across the sea. The other plotline follows Tyrion, a son of the wealthy Lannister family who is socialliy ostracized for being a dwarf.

Yes, it's based on the series A Song of Ice and Fire written by George RR Martin and takes its name from the first book in the series.

So far five books have been published in A Song of Ice and Fire with a planned two more yet to be published. They are, in order:

1) A Game of Thrones 2) A Clash of Kings 3) A Storm of Swords 4) A Feast for Crows 5) A Dance With Dragons.

Two sample chapters for the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, have been released online.

"A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings" cover the first two seasons of the show respectively. The third season covers about the first two thirds of "A Storm of Swords", and the fourth season covers the rest of "A Storm of Swords". Season 5 will cover both "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons".

Each season is still titled "Game Of Thrones". In the opening credits of each episode it says "Based on A Song Of Ice And Fire".

Most of the cast are English, Scottish, or Irish. Some are Welsh.

Of the cast that is and was on the show:

American: Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo, Burn Gorman as Karl Tanner (though he grew up in England), and Rosebell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand

Danish: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister and Pilou Asbk as Euron Greyjoy

German: Sibel Kekilli as Shae and Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H'Ghar

Dutch: Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis in season four and beyond and Carice van Houten as Melisandre

Spanish: Oona Chaplin as Talisa Maegyr (though she grew up in Switzerland)

Norwegian: Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane

Chilean: Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell (though he grew up in America)

Canadian: Roxanne McKee as Doreah (though she grew up in England)

Iraqi: Dar Salim as Qotho (though he grew up in Denmark)

Icelandic: Hafr Jlus Bjrnsson as Gregor Clegane in season four and beyond

Russian: Yuri Kolokolnikov as Styr

Brazilian: Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn

Nepalese: Amrita Acharia as Irri.

Australian: Conan Stevens as Gregor Clegane in Season One and Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand

Sudanese: Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell

Swedish: Max Von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven in season six and beyond

New Zealandic: Joe Naufahu as Khal Jhaqo

There are two planned books remaining in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, art in has stated he hopes will be ready for released before season 6 airs in spring of 2016.. The two previous books, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, took five and six years to be written, respectively.

Even though Martin has said that he is feeling increased pressure to write faster, at his current pace the show will pass the books by season 6 or season 7, depending on when The Winds of Winter ends up being released and how fast the show moves through the story.

In the event that this happens, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are under no obligation to put the show on hiatus and wait for the next book. To this end, Martin has provided Benioff and Weiss as much information about the conclusion of the series as he has currently conceived, and would continue to serve as a consulting producer on the show.

If the show passes the books in terms of story advancement, the show will continue on its own until it reaches the conclusion of the story. Presumably, unpublished material from future books will be used, but original narratives would also be invented to fill in whatever gaps remain. This has been confirmed by George R.R. Martin and the show's producers.

While the series remains a faithful adaption overall, some things are, in the end, left out or tweaked. While season one was very faithful to the first book, "A Game Of Thrones", season 2 changed a few things from "A Clash of Kings" that would make reading "A Storm of Swords" a little confusing. Although each character ended up where they should have by the end of season 2, some of their plotlines were changed, mainly Daenerys.

The books, in order of publication, are

1. A Game of Thrones 2. A Clash of Kings 3. A Storm of Swords 4. A Feast for Crows 5. A Dance with Dragons

And coming soon.... The Winds of Winter

Most fans who have read the books first will advise people to start at the beginning. However, some fans who have seen the show first have found the the early books less exciting because they know all of the plot developments. Whether to start at the beginning or not is up to each individual. While the show follows the same plot as the books, there is more detail provided in terms of character and back-story in the books and they sometimes explain the reasons for some plot developments better.

Yes, Disruptor Beam has developed Game of Thrones Ascent, which is a web-based game based on the books and HBO series: http://www.disruptorbeam.com/games/game-of-thrones

Game of Thrones Genesis is an official licensed video game.

Also TellTale has release a multiepisode Game which is also officially licensed

In addition, there is an excellent board game, for three to six players, Game of Thrones: Second Edition, from Fantasy Flight Games. Here's the link: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/a-game-of-thrones-the-board-game-second-edition/. A downloadable version of the rules is available there, so you can determine whether it suits you. I love it: power struggles, back-stabbing, alliances and treachery--just like the show.

American indie-rock band The National. The vocalist is their lead singer Matt Berninger.

There are a number of noble houses in Game of Thrones, but the ones that the series focus on the most are:

The Starks rule The North from their seat at Winterfell. Their head is Ned Stark who is married to Catelyn. They have five children: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Ned Stark also has an acknowledged bastard son named Jon Snow. Their sigil is the Direwolf. Their motto is "Winter is Coming" and they have a saying in the North "The North Remembers".

The Lannisters rule the Westerlands from Casterly Rock. Their head, Tywin Lannister, is the wealthiest man in Westeros. His children are the twins Cersei and Jaime, and the dwarf Tyrion. Their sigil is the Lion. Their motto is "Hear Me Roar" and their old saying is "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts".

The Baratheons rule the Stormlands, and at the start of the series, they are the current ruling house of Westeros. Robert Baratheon won the throne sixteen years ago in a rebellion. He is married to Cersei Lannister and they have three children: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen, who unbeknownst to King Robert, are not his biological children. Robert also has a bastard son, Gendry, who is his biological son. Robert also has two younger brothers: Stannis and Renly. Prior to becoming the royal family, the Baratheons had ruled the Stormlands. Their sigil is the Stag. Also they use the Stag's Heart. Their motto is "Ours is the Fury".

The Targaryens were the original rulers of Westeros and hailed from the Crownlands. Three hundred years ago, Aegon Targaryen conquered Westeros and established a ruling dynasty over the Seven Kingdoms. The Targaryens were displaced by Robert Baratheon's rebellion during which most of the Targaryens died. The only members of the family to survive were the children, Viserys and Daenerys, who escaped across the sea, and the elderly Maester Aemon Targaryen who serves as a member of the Night's Watch and takes no part in the affairs of the realm. Their sigil is the Dragon. Their motto is "Fire and Blood".

The Arryns rule the mountainous Vale from the Eyrie. Until the beginning of season one they had been led by the elderly Lord Jon Arryn, who had acted as a foster father to Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. Jon Arryn dies shortly before the series begins, leaving his wife Lysa to rule until their son Robin comes of age. The mystery of what caused Jon Arryn's death is one of the main plotlines of the first season. Their sigil is the Falcon over a Moon. Their motto is "As High as Honor".

The Greyjoys rule the Iron Islands from Pyke. Theon Greyjoy is a ward of Ned Stark, being held hostage because his father rebelled against the throne some years before the start of the series. Season Two introduces his father Balon Greyjoy, current lord of the Iron Islands, as well as Theon's sister Yara. Their sigil is the Kraken. Their motto is "We Do Not Sow" and they have an old saying "What is Dead May Never Die".

The Freys rule the Twins in the Riverlands. Walder Frey is an old man and has many wives, sons, and daughters. The Freys reside mostly in the Twins, and always pick the winning side when it comes to war and conflict. When armies want to cross their bridge, there is always a toll to pay, but it's not always in gold. Their sigil is the Bridge with Two Towers on each side. They have no motto.

The Mormonts rule Bear Island in the North, currently under the leadership of Maege Mormont. Her brother, Jeor, is Lord Commander of the Night's Watch at the beginning of the series. Jeor has a son, Jorah, who is exiled from Westeros and now serves as Daenerys right hand. Their sigil is the Bear. Their motto is "Here We Stand".

Season Two introduces The Tyrells who rule the agricultural land of The Reach in the seat of Highgarden. They are led by Mace Tyrell who has two children: his daughter Margaery, and his younger son Loras, who is a skilled and dashing knight. They have a bold grandmother, Olenna Tyrell. Their sigil is the Rose. Their motto is "Growing Strong".

Season Three introduces The Tullys who rule the Riverlands at the seat of Riverrun. They are led by the elderly Hoster Tully whose health has been failing for some time. He has three children: Catelyn, who is married to Ned Stark, Lysa, who is Jon Arryn's widow, and Edmure, his heir. Their sigil is the Trout. Their motto is "Family, Duty, Honor".

Season Four introduces The Martells who rule Dorne at the seat of Sunspear, the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms. They are led by Prince Doran Martell, who is introduced in Season Five, and is impaired in his ability to move around. In his stead he sends his brother, Oberyn Martell (aka the Red Viper) to visit King's Landing with his paramour, Ellaria Sand. Their sigil is the Sunspear. Their motto is "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken".

Season Four introduces The Boltons who rule the Dreadfort, in the North, east of Winterfell. Roose Bolton, who we saw in Season Two, is the head of the family. He has a bastard son named Ramsay, who we saw in season three, who has a talent of torturing and flaying prisoners. The Boltons aligned themselves with the Freys in a coup against the Starks, also known as the Red Wedding. The Boltons became the rulers of the North shortly after betraying the Starks. Roose became betrothed to Walda Frey, one of Walder Frey's daughters. Their sigil is the Flayed Man. Their motto is "Our Blades are Sharp".

White Walkers (Also called 'The Others' in the novels) are an ancient race of beings that have not been seen for several thousand years by the time the series begins. They have icy blue eyes, wield swords made of ice, and have the ability to reanimate the dead to serve as their minions. They have also been known to ride undead steeds.

Appearances:

Season 1 Episode 1: A White Walker attacks rangers from the Night's Watch and beheads one.

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http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/b/bb/Other_HBO_WhiteWalker.jpg

Season 2 Episode 2: A White Walker is seen by John Snow taking Craster's baby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1z3gCvI0Ms Visible at 2:06.

Season 2 Episode 10: Sam witnesses White Walkers on horseback leading an army of Wights.

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Wights (Zombies) are reanimated corpses that serve the White Walkers. They can be human or animal, and are often both the corpses of Night's Watchmen and Wildlings. They may retain some form of their memories, have icy blue eyes like their masters', and are vulnerable to fire.

Appearances:

Season 1 Episode 1: A camp of dead Wildlings is found by the NIght's Watch. They reanimate and attack them.

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Season 1 Episode 8: Two dead men of the Night's Watch reanimate and attack Commander Mormont.

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Season 2 Episode 10: An army of Wights made up of both dead Wildlings and Night's Watchmen are seen being lead by White Walkers.

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Season 3 Episode 8: We saw a White Walker grab the steel of Samwell's sword, turn it to ice, and shatter it to pieces. They can be killed with weapons made from dragon glass.

Season 4 Episode 4: A White Walker brings an infant boy to their ice castle and lays him upon a pedestal. A much more uglier, yet powerful White Walker, who turns out to be the Night's King, touches the baby, and his eyes turn a colder shade of blue. This explains the conundrum with the ladies at Craster's leaving newborn boys out in the cold.

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Season 5 Episode 8: The wights move as fast as the zombies on World War Z. We saw that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers. The Night's King can reanimate thousands of dead people all at once and turn them into Wights.

The Andals are the main ethnic group of Westeros. The king is officially styled "King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men". As the name implies, the First Men were the first human beings to arrive in Westeros, about 12,000 years ago. They fought with the Children of the Forest, a non human race which lived in Westeros at the time, but eventually achieved peace with them. About 4,000 or so years ago, the Andals moved to Westeros from Essos. They aggressively attacked the Children and the First Men and came to dominate most of Westeros, except for the North. The Rhoynar came from the area of the Rhoyne River in Essos about a thousand years ago and settled in Dorne.

Referring to Jorah as "the Andal" is referencing his origins in Westeros. Technically this is incorrect since Jorah is a son of house Mormont of Bear Island, a Northern house sworn to house Stark of Winterfell, making Jorah a descendant of the First Men. The Dothraki, not all too familiar with the long and complicated history of Westeros, refer to all Westerosi as Andals.

Flowers: The Reach (Home to the Tyrells)

Hill: The Westerlands (Home to the Lannisters)

Pyke: Iron Islands (Home to the Greyjoys)

Rivers: The Riverlands (Home to the Tullys and Freys)

Sand: Dorne (Home to the Martells)

Snow: The North (Home to the Starks, Boltons, and Mormonts)

Stone: The Vale (Home to the Arryns)

Storm: The Stormlands (Home to the Baratheons)

Waters: The Crownlands (Home to the Targaryens)

The show adds a few years to the time between Robert's Rebellion and the opening of the series. This is presumably done to make the child characters a bit older, with most of them being two or three years older than shown in the novels. With some of the characters this is perhaps done to allow them to cast older actors to play them (for example, Arya Stark is nine at the beginning of the books, while the actress who plays her on the show was fourteen when the show started). Young child actors typically face more stringent labor laws regarding their working conditions and older actors may be perceived as having more maturity and skill. Daenerys Targaryen, born shortly after Robert's Rebellion, is thirteen at the start of the books. However, the first season begins with her being married off to the adult Khal Drogo and a lot of her storyline in the first novel and first season deals with her romantic and sexual relationship with him. Using an actor or character who was thirteen would have made many of the scenes difficult or impossible to shoot. Making Daenerys sixteen eliminates many of these problems. With her age increased, those of Jon Snow and Robb Stark, who were born during Robert's Rebellion, are increased as well.

The age of many of the adult characters were increased too. For example, Ned Stark was about 33 at the start of the first book, but Sean Bean was about 50 when the pilot was filmed. Most of the other adults are similarly older. This was probably done to make the characters more in line with our modern expectations for what their age would be. Many of the characters in the novel married in their late teens or early 20s and had children soon after. Casting older actors keeps the characters more in line with our modern idea that parents of teenage children should be middle-aged.

She had a fictional disease called greyscale, somewhat similar to leprosy or smallpox. In children it often leaves survivors with scaly patches of skin. In adults the disease is always fatal and gradually petrifies the victim's body until they die. Shireen was stricken with the illness when Stannis had bought a small wooden doll for Shireen that was infected with the illness.

This is due to the fact that the Baratheons actually do have Targaryen blood in their veins. Robert, Stannis and Renly's grandmother was a Targaryen. So when the main line of Targaryens were wiped out, Robert would become the best claimant to the throne.

Grand Maester Pycelle tells Ned Stark that Jon Arryn's final words were "The seed is strong," which he repeated over and over until his death. Lysa Arryn, Jon's widow also mentions this, thinking it was referring to their son Robin. Ned discovered what it actually means through a book of genealogy. In all previous Baratheon-Lannister pairings, the children took after their Baratheon parent in appearance. Robert, Stannis and Renly Baratheon all had black hair, and all of Robert's numerous bastards - including Gendry - have black hair no matter their mothers' coloring. However, Robert's three children, Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella, all have blonde hair. So if Robert's seed/genes are so strong that his children should favor his appearance, it would heavily imply that his children aren't actually his.

What is the R+L=J theory?

R+L=J is shorthand for a fan theory about Jon Snow's parentage. It is based mostly on textual evidence from the first novel "A Game of Thrones". Jon Snow is publicly known to be the bastard son of Ned Stark and an unknown woman. Jon was born towards the tail end of Robert's Rebellion, with Ned returning with the infant Jon to Riverrun where he met his wife Catelyn and his legitimate son Robb. A couple of different potential mothers are posited in the books including Ashara Dayne, a beautiful Dornish noblewoman, Wylla, a servant of the Dayne family, and an unnamed daughter of a fisherman who helped Ned sneak back to the North in the early days of the war.

The R+L=J theory posits a different set of parents for Jon, namely that he is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister Lyanna Stark. To understand this theory, some background is needed on the origins of Robert's Rebellion, the war which put Robert Baratheon on the throne. Robert was betrothed to Ned's sister Lyanna Stark, a beautiful and headstrong woman. Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, who had apparently become infatuated with her after seeing her at a tourney at Harrenhal the previous year and presenting her with a garland of winter roses. When Ned's older brother Brandon went to King's Landing to confront Rhaegar, he and his father Rickard Stark were both executed by King Aerys. When the King demanded that Jon Arryn turn over Robert and Ned to face punishment as well, Jon Arryn instead raised his banners in rebellion. Robert was chosen as a figurehead for the new rebellion since his grandmother was a Targaryen, thus giving him the strongest claim to the throne of all the rebels. Towards the end of the rebellion, Ned and some friends found Lyanna in the Tower of Joy, a small castle in Dorne, where she was dying of undisclosed causes. There is a big fight there between Ned and his friends and three members of the Kingsguard, who were tasked with defending the Tower of Joy. This battle left everyone dead except for Ned and his friend Howland Reed, who were present when Lyanna died. The R+L=J theory says that Lyanna was dying of complications of child birth and that the baby which Ned passed off as his own was actually Lyanna's. According to this theory, Lyanna was worried that her Targaryen son would be pput in danger, either by Robert's supporters who would seek to eliminate a claimant to the throne, or by Targaryen loyalists who would try to rally around him. She asked Ned to conceal his heritage in order to spare his life..

In support of this theory, fans point to several pieces of evidence, although most of them are only available in the books. Among these are

* We are constantly told what an honorable man Ned Stark is. He had recently married Catelyn at the time that Jon would have been conceived and some fans find it hard to believe that he would have cheated on his new bride. He is a man who keeps his vows and has a reputation for always telling the truth.

*In the novel, Ned makes repeated reference in his internal monologues to a promise which Lyanna had extracted from him on her deathbed, a promise which had caused him much pain and "fourteen years of lies" (Jon is 14 at the start of the books). Some fans believe that Lyanna asked Ned to protect her son by claiming the infant as his own.

*On the show, when Ned is seeing Jon off to the wall, Jon asks about his mother. Ned says "The next time we see each other, we'll talk about your mother. I promise.". If this theory is true, it's likely due to the fact that the next time they saw each other, Jon would be a sworn brother of the Night's Watch. Forsaking all lands, titles and family heritage. Ned could safely tell Jon the truth and Jon would have no claim on his true birthright. Which would protect Jon from being murdered by Robert and would protect Robert from Jon attempting to claim his birthright.

*Ned often refers to Jon as "my blood" or some similar form, rather than as "my son". Some fans have taken this to mean that Ned is trying to be as honest as possible while still concealing the truth about Jon's parentage.

*Fans have noted that there were three members of the Kingsguard present at the Tower of Joy, including Ser Gerrold Hightower the Lord Commander, and Arthur Dayne, perhaps the most legendary knight in the Seven Kingdoms. This seems odd if, as is publicly believed, there was no royal blood present. However, it would make sense if Lyanna was pregnant with Rhaegar's child.

*In the books, most of the Stark children take after their mother in appearance. The two exceptions are Jon and Arya, who both very much possess the traditional dark Stark looks. We get a number of references in the books to Jon looking similar to Arya. Perhaps not coincidentally there are also a number of references to Arya looking strikingly similar to her Aunt Lyanna at a similar age.

* The Season 1 DVD case insert gives the Stark family tree, showing Ned Stark and Wylla as Jon's parents. However, "Wylla" is in inverted commas, suggesting she may not be his real mother (and so Ned may not be his father either).

Opponents of this theory sometimes argue that Jon cannot be a Targaryen because he burns himself in season one. However, there is nothing to suggest that Targaryen are fireproof and the books contain a number of references to Targaryen who died by fire, including Aerion Targaryen, Maester Aemon's brother, who believed himself to be a dragon trapped in human form and died after drinking Wildfire. It is also sometimes argued that he cannot be a Targaryen because he lacks silver blonde hair. However, such hair is only really present in pure bred Targaryens. Targaryens born of mothers from other families, such as Baelor Breakspear, or Bittersteel, usually take after their mothers hair color. Critics of the theory also note that, as a bastard, Jon would have no claim on the Iron Throne and so could play no role in the game of thrones. However, a counter theory says that Lyanna dn Rhaegar may have been secretly married. Although Rhaegar was already married, to Elia Martell, he is known to have been deeply interested in prophecy and his Targaryen heritage. The first ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Aegon the Conqueror, was in a bigamist marriage with his two sisters. In the books, Dany has a vision of Rhaegar in the House of the Undying, saying that "The dragon must have three heads." According to this theory, Rhaegar took Lyanna as a second wife in an effort to fulfill prophecy.

Ed Skrein, who played Daario in season three, was cast as the lead in the new Transporter film, so scheduling conflicts arose. Though in a recent interview, Ed Skrien implied that he wanted to return for the role, but "politics" prevented it. But he wouldn't go into more detail than that. The part has been recast with Dutch actor Michiel Huisman who fans might recognize from the role of Sonny on Treme and Liam on Nashville.

No, Oberyn is not related to the King. His title of Prince relates to the history of how Dorne, his homeland, entered the realm. Westeros was unified about 300 years ago when the Valyrian nobleman Aegon Targaryen (afterwards known as Aegon the Conqueror) laid claim to the continent and set out to conquer it with his two sister-wives, their three dragons, and a small army. The various kings of Westeros, such as the King of the North and the King of the Riverlands, either bent the knee and became lords under Aegon Targaryen, or were killed and replaced. Within two years Aegon had conquered the entire continent, except for Dorne, the southernmost portion. Aegon had been successful due to the use of dragons, which could destroy castles and whole armies. The Dornish, however, managed to escape the wrath of the dragons by resorting to guerrilla tactics, abandoning their castles and dispersing into the countryside, only to attack the invaders when they could. The Dornish repelled the Targaryen forces and maintained their freedom, although the Iron Throne still claimed sovereignty over Dorne. Over the century and a half there were a number of attempts to conquer Dorne, some temporarily successful, but all ending in defeat.

Dorne was finally brought into the Kingdom about 150 years before the main story when King Baelor Targaryen and his successor Daeron conclude a number of marriage pacts between the Targaryens and the Martells who ruled Dorne. Since Dorne was never conquered their rulers are allowed to keep their old title of Prince, instead of being referred to as Lords, such as the rulers of the other regions are.

A thousand years before Aegon's conquest, Dorne was still a coalition of Andals and First Men, without a noble house strong enough to unite the land. Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, the city-states of the Rhoynar, situated along the river Rhoyne, waged war on the Valyrian Freehold. The Rhoynar could not withstand the fury of the dragonlords which forced Princess Nymeria, leader of one of the last surving Rhoynish cities, to lead the remainder of her people across the narrow sea into Dorne to find refuge. There she allied herself with house Martell by marrying Lord Mors Martell. Together they then proceeded to unite the land of Dorne under the banner of house Martell. They met fierce competition from other great houses of Dorne, the greatest among these, house Yronwood. After more then ten years of civil war, Nymeria was able to defeat the opposing houses, making House Martell the overlords of Dorne. House Martell adopted many Rhoynish customs. Among these customs are equal inheritance laws for male and female heirs and the use of the title of ''Prince'' or ''Princess'', which the house still uses to this day.

Catelyn Stark looks alarmed when she hears the musicians playing a particular song during her brother Edmure's wedding. The song is "The Rains of Castamere", which had been described in previous episodes as "the Lannister song", celebrating Tywin's revenge against a noble House who defied his authority. The unusual choice of music tips Catelyn off that something's wrong, a revelation foreshadowing the Freys' betrayal and culminating with the discovery of Roose Bolton wearing chainmail under his clothes during the feast. The song was probably used as a signal to Frey soldiers to ready their weapons to massacre the Starks.

Season two ended with a scene of a horde of wights, led by a White Walker, marching along. Many viewers interpreted this as the White Walkers marching on the Wall to attack Westeros. In fact, they were marching to attack the Night's Watch members camped on the Fist of the First Men, north of the Wall. The season three premiere shows the aftermath of the attack with the surviving Night's Watch members retreating towards Craster's Keep which is still a fair distance from the wall. In season four, the White Walkers were building their army, which explains the conundrum with the newborn boys. Season five shows the White Walkers and the Wights lead by the Night's King attacking Hardhome, and leaving nothing left. We even saw the Night's King raising the dead wildlings, who become reincarnated as Wights.

The Wildlings are attacking because they need to get south of the Wall. They have been under increasing pressure recently from the White Walkers, who have become more aggressive in attacking them. This is why Mance has been able to unify all of the Wildling societies. They face an existential threat from the White Walkers and need to get south of the Wall for the protection it offers.

In the show we see a group of Wildlings climbing the Wall, but this is not a valid solution for all of the Wildlings. The show often refers to Mance's host as an "army" but this is not really true. The Wildlings are moving their whole societies. This includes, men, women, children, old, infirm, etc. The Wall is hundreds of feet high and climbing it is a heroic feat, even for those in excellent physical shape. Trying to climb the Wall would mean leaving behind all of those too old, too young, too weak, or too sick to climb it. It would also mean leaving behind anything which the Wildlings couldn't carry on their backs. So all of their animals, all their heavy tools, and much of their accumulated wealth would be lost. It would also take a very long time for all of the Wildlings to ascend and descend the Wall, even if they were capable. During that entire time they would be vulnerable to Night's Watch attack, and while the Watch only mans three castles, they send periodic patrols along the top and bottom of the Wall which would discover the Wildlings. The Wildings seen scaling the wall were liking doing so to raid and attack the Night's Watch men at the top in a sort of commando mission to weaken their forces.

The Wildlings cannot also, realistically, go around the Wall. While the show has focused exclusively on Castle Black, there are two other manned Night's Watch castles: The Shadow Tower on the western end, and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea on the eastern end. While Wildlings do sometimes sail around the Wall to raid or trade with Westeros, they could not do so with the massive fleet which would be required to smuggle all of their people south. The Wildlings, in their small boats, would be easy prey for the Night's Watch sailors who guard the sea approaches.

Stannis.

He sailed there. Most of Stannis' supporters deserted him after he lost the Battle of the Blackwater. He only has about 2,000-3,000 troops left. But he still has a large mercenary fleet under contract to him and in season four we see him borrowing more money to hire even more ships. He and his men sailed from Dragonstone to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, the castle at the eastern end of the Wall. From there they simply rode to where the Wildlings were north of Castle Black. In the books they make it clear that the Night's Watch members at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea lead Stannis' men to the Wildlings.

Note: this is strictly going by the TV series and not the books. Please do not add information from the books as to avoid uneccessary spoilers for the show. If they weren't on the show, don't add them.

House Stark

Eddard 'Ned' Stark: Lord of Winterfell, and Warden Of the North. Husband to Catelyn. Father to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon and Jon Snow. Accepts the duty of the King's Hand when King Robert Baratheon asked him to replace the recently deceased Jon Arryn since Ned is the only person Robert trusts.

Catelyn Stark: Lady of Winterfell, wife to Ned Stark and mother to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. Daughter to Hoster Tully, sister to Lysa and Edmure Tully and niece to Brynden "Blackfish" Tully.

Robb Stark: Oldest son to Ned and Catelyn Stark. Holds the title of Lord of Winterfell when Ned is away. Became King of the North after his fathers death.

Sansa Stark: Oldest daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon when they both came of age. Yearns to marry Joffrey and become Queen. Very naive of the true nature of the world due to her living as a high-born daughter and raised to be the next Queen. Uses the alias, Alayne Stone.

Arya Stark: Younger daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Shown herself to be a tomboy, wanting to learn sword fighting and showing skills in archery. Not afraid to speak her mind or defend herself when threatened.

Bran Stark: Middle son of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Left paralyzed at the end of the first episode.

Rickon Stark: Youngest son of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Usually appears during scenes with Bran.

Jon Snow: Bastard son of Ned Stark. Becomes a member of the Night's Watch. Becomes a steward to Jeor Mormont. Later becomes Lord Commander.

Benjen Stark: Ned Stark's brother, who is a member of the Night's Watch. First Ranger at the start of the show.

House Lannister

Tywin Lannister: Father to Cersei, Tyrion and Jaime. Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden Of The West and known to be one of the richest and most ruthless men in the realm.

Cersei Lannister: Wife to King Robert Baratheon, Queen of the realm and mother of Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon. Sister of Tyrion and Jaime Lannister. Daughter of Tywin Lannister.

Jaime Lannister: Son of Tywin Lannister, brother to Tyrion and Cersei. Known to many as "The King Slayer" due to him slaying the Mad King.

Tyrion Lannister: Often referred to as "The Imp" or "The Dwarf". Resented by his family, with the exception of Jaime, due to his mother dying while giving birth to him, also due to his lavish attitude and the fact that he is willing to speak his mind to anyone. Disliked by people outside of his family as well due to him both being a Dwarf and the fact that he is a Lannister.

Lancel Lannister: The incompetent squire to Robert Baratheon, cousin to Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion. Son of Kevan. Became a sparrow for the Faith in Season Five.

Alton Lannister: Nephew to Tywin. Cousin to Tyrion, Lancel, Cersei and Jamie. Formerly Jamie's squire.

Kevan Lannister: Brother to Tywin, father to Lancel and Uncle to Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion.

Martyn Lannister: Tywin's nephew. Willem's brother. Captive of the north.

Willem Lannister: Tywin's nephew. Martyn's brother. Captive of the north.

House Baratheon

Robert Baratheon: King of the Realm, husband to Cersei Lannister, older brother to Renly and Stannis Baratheon. Father to Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon.

Stannis Baratheon: Younger brother to Robert and Lord of Dragonstone. Described as being cold and humorless, but others also see his actions justifiable. Though his seeing the world in strictly black and white is sometimes a fault.

Renly Baratheon: Youngest brother to Robert and Stannis. A closeted homosexual who is shown to have a sexual relationship with Loras Tyrell. Known to be a decent person but also rather timid.

Joffrey Baratheon: Eldest son of Cersei Lannister and Robert Baratheon. Early on he is shown to be arrogant, stupid, cruel, and cowardly.

Tommen Baratheon: Youngest son of Robert and Cersei. Brother to Joffrey and Myrcella. Became king after Joffrey's assasination.

Myrcella Baratheon: Middle child of Robert and Cersei. Younger sister of Joffrey and older sister to Tommen.

Shireen Baratheon: Stannis' only daughter. Niece to Renly and Robert. Cousin to Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella. Suffers from a disease called greyscale.

Selyse Baratheon: Wife to Stannis. Maiden name Florent. Gave birth to several stillborn sons of Stannis'. Shireen is her only surviving child.

Gendry: One of Robert's bastard sons who works at a blacksmith's in King's Landing.

House Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen: Daughter of Aerys II Targaryen. Younger sister to Viserys. Viserys forces her to marry Khal Drogo in an attempt to unite himself with the Dothraki army that Drogo leads in order to reclaim the throne for himself.

Viserys Targaryen: Son and heir to Aerys II Targaryen and brother of Daenerys. In an attempt to claim the Iron Throne for himself, he forces his sister to marry Khal Drogo.

Maester Aemon: A frail, elderly member of the Night's Watch. Often seen giving tasks to newer members of the Night's Watch. One of the last Targaryens.

House Greyjoy

Balon Greyjoy: Lord of Pyke and Warden of the Iron Islands. Started a rebellion against King Roberts which cost him his sons, except Theon, who was taken as a ward by Ned Stark.

Theon Greyjoy: Son of Balon Greyjoy and younger brother of Yara Greyjoy. Ward of the Starks as a young child. Robb Stark considers him like a brother. Heir to the Iron Islands. After Season Three, he was broken by Ramsay Snow and renamed Reek.

Yara Greyjoy: The only daughter of Balon and older sister to Theon. Commander of the Ironborn army and heir to the Iron Islands, much to Theon's chagrin.

House Tully

Hoster Tully: Lord of Riverrun. Father of Catelyn, Lysa, and Edmure, and the older brother of Ser Brynden. A crucial supporter of Robert during his rebellion, Hoster has recently become very ill and bedridden.

Edmure Tully: Son and heir of Hoster, younger brother to Lysa and Catelyn.

Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully: Younger brother of Hoster and a knight in service to Riverrun. Uncle to Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure. Shows affection for Catelyn, but shows 'tough love' to Edmure due to his foolishness.

House Arryn

Jon Arryn: Lord of the Vale, Warden of the East, and Hand of the King. Husband to Lysa and father to Robin. A surrogate father to Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. His sudden death happens immediately before the start of the series and is a jumping-off point for all the turmoil that begins on the show.

Lysa Arryn: Daughter of Hoster, sister to Catelyn and Edmure, and wife of the late Lord Jon Arryn, with whom she had a son, Robin. Since her husband's death, Lysa has isolated herself in the Eyrie, and appears to be growing mentally unstable.

Robin Arryn: Son of Jon and Lysa and Jon Arryn. A small, pale, sickly boy, due to his mother Lysa being fiercely over-protective of him and not letting him leave her side and even breast-feeding him at the age of 10. Often called "Sweetrobin" by Lysa. Lord of the Eyrie and head of the House Arryn.

House Tyrell

Mace Tyrell: Lord of The Reach, son of Olenna and father of Loras and Margaery. Olenna refers to him as the "Oaf of Highgarden".

Margaery Tyrell: Sister to Loras, granddaughter of Olenna, daughter of Mace and wife of Renly Baratheon. After Renly's death, she went to Kings Landing to marry King Joffrey. Became married to King Tommen.

Loras Tyrell: Sometimes referred to as "The Knight Of The Flowers". Brother of Margaery and grandson to Olenna Tyrell. Secret lover of Renly Baratheon.

Olenna Tyrell: Grandmother to Margaery and Loras and Mother to Mace. Not afraid to say what she's thinking to anyone and is the true leader of house Tyrell, despite her son being Lord of Highgarden.

House Frey

Walder Frey: Lord of the Twins. A bitter, prickly old man who has dozens of wives and children. When it comes to conflict, he always picks the winning side. Has a toll for anyone who crosses through the Twins.

Stevron Frey: Walder Frey's eldest son and heir to the Twins.

Lothar Frey: One of Walder's many sons. Also called "Lame Lothar".

Roslin Frey: Walder's daughter who was arranged to marry Edmure Tully.

Black Walder Rivers: One of Lord Walder's bastard sons. Known for his temper.

Ryger Rivers: One of Lord Walder's bastard son's. Son of a milkmaid.

Joyeuse Erenford: Walder Freys 15 year old wife.

House Martell

Doran Martell: Lord of Sunspear and prince of Dorne. Brother of Oberyn and Elia. Confined to a wheelchair due to the gout that has weakened him for years.

Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martell: Prince of House Martell and Doran's younger brother. A renowned warrior, skilled in battle. Despises the Lannisters, due to Tywin ordering the slaughter of Oberyn's sister Elia and all of her children when the Baratheons and Lannisters seized power.

Ellaria Sand: A bastard daughter from Dorne. Prince Oberyn's mistress. Has four bastard daughters.

Obara Sand: One third of the Sand Snakes. Daughter of Oberyn Martell. Just like Oberyn, she prefers to use a spear.

Nymeria Sand: One third of the Sand Snakes. Daughter of Oberyn Martell. Prefers to use a whip.

Tyene Sand: One third of the Sand Snakes. Daughter of Oberyn Martell. Skilled with a pair of daggers. Has a vast knowledge of poisons.

Trystane Martell: Son of Doran Martell. Betrothed to Myrcella Baratheon.

House Bolton

Roose Bolton: Lord of the Dreadfort and father to Ramsay Snow. Bannerman of Robb's who also acts as his advisor during the war. Beacame Warden of the North after betraying the Starks.

Ramsay Snow: Roose Bolton's bastard son. Skilled in the art of torture, flaying people, and breaking them. Became legitimized in Season Four.

Walda Bolton: Also called "Fat Walda". Walder Frey's daughter and Roose Bolton's wife.

House Mormont

Jeor Mormont: Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Father of Jorah Mormont.

Jorah Mormont: Fled from the West due to capturing poachers on his land and attempting to sell them to a slaver. Banished across the narrow sea and pledges himself to the Targaryens. However, he was secretly spying on them for Robert Baratheon in exchange for a full pardon of his crimes.

Maege Mormont: Commander and Bannerman in Robb's Army. Lady of Bear Island. Sister of Jeor Mormont and Jorah's aunt.

Sworn Brothers of the Night's Watch

Alliser Thorne: Second in Command of The Night's Watch. Responsible for training new recruits. Known to be a stern and hardheaded man. Despises Jon Snow.

Samwell Tarly: Forced to join the Nights Watch by his father. A known coward with very poor eyesight, and unfit for battle. Befriends Jon Snow quickly and the two are often stationed together.

Grenn: Another member of the Night's watch who befriends Jon Snow and Sam Tarly. Well built with the short beard and short hair.

Pypar: Usually just called "Pip". A minstrel that was convicted of stealing a wheel of cheese and was given the choice of his hand being removed or joining the Night's Watch.

Yoren: The member of the Night's Watch who accompanies Tyrion to Winterfell and then later arrives in King's Landing to look for new recruits.

Eddison Tollett: The ginger of the Night's Watch who is a friend of Jon, Sam, and Grenn's.

Qhorin Halfhand: A legendary Ranger of the Night's Watch who leads a detachment accompanied by Jon Snow North of the Wall.

Janos Slynt: Former Captain of the City Watch and former Lord of Harrenhal. Banished to the Wall by Tyrion Lannister as punishment for murdering an infant in front of the mother.

Karl Tanner: A former assassin in King's Landing who is skilled with daggers. Accompanied Lord Commander Mormont beyond the wall. Outspoken for his displeasure towards Craster to his face.

Rast: One of the newer members of The Night's Watch. A rapist who was captured and given the choice of joining or being castrated. Picks on Sam and becomes an enemy of Jon Snow.

Olly: A young boy who becomes a ward of the Night's Watch after his entire family and village are massacred by the Wildlings. Has a strong hatred for the Wildlings and anyone who aids them.

Othell Yarwyck: The Night's Watch First Builder. Responsible for maintaining the buildings around the Wall.

Bowen Marsh: First steward of the Night's Watch. In charge of logistics, supply, food service, etc.

Waymer Royce: Son of Yohn Royce. A young, arrogant Ranger of the Night's Watch. He leads Gared and Will beyond the wall to search for Wildlings and leads them all to their doom.

Gared: A seasoned ranger of the Night's Watch. Seen in the opening scene of the series.

Will: A ranger seen beyond the wall in the opening scene of the series. Referred to as a true ranger by Benjen Stark.

Denys Mallister: Seasoned Veteran of the Night's Watch and candidate for Lord Commander. Commander of Shadow Tower.

Jaremy Rykker: Officer of the Nigh's Watch. Became Acting First Ranger in Benjen's absence.

Duncan Liddle: Sworn brother raised by the Northern Mountain Clan.

Derek: Member of the Night's Watch. A troublemaker.

Brant: Member of the Night's Watch. A troublemaker.

Kegs: Sworn brother and builder in the Night's Watch.

Black Jack Bulwer: Sworn Brother and member of House Bulwer.

Mully: Sworn Brother and builder in the Night's Watch.

Todder: Builder of the Night's Watch. Known as 'Toad'.

The Dothraki Bloodriders and Handmaidens of Vaes Dothrak

Khal Drogo: Leader of the Dothraki horde, he marries Daenerys Targaryen as part of an arrangement with her brother Viserys. Eventually, he falls in love with his new bride.

Doreah: One of Daenerys' handmaidens. She teaches Daenerys how to please Drogo.

Qotho: A blood rider under the leadership of Khal Drogo who shows contempt towards Daenerys when she gives him orders.

Rakharo: Dothraki bloodrider and Daenerys's bodyguard. Loved by Irri. Swore loyalty to Daenerys after Drogo's death.

Kovarro: Dothraki bloodrider who swears loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen. Discovered Qarth on his recon.

Cohollo: Bloodrider loyal to Drogo. Wears a horsetail wristband.

Aggo: Dothraki bloodrider who swear loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen.

Malakho: Aged Dothraki Veteran loyal to Daenerys.

Irri: One of Daenerys' Dothraki servants who is often seen accompanying her.

Haggo: Bloodrider under Drogo's leadership. Prefers to wear a vest.

Mago: Bloodrider under Khal Drogo. Dislikes Daenerys for the fact that the women he intended to "mount" were made her hand maidens.

Jhiqui: One of Daenerys's Dothraki handmaidens. Mentioned quite a bit in the book, but only seen in one episode.

The Wildlings and Free folk

Mance Rayder: Known as the King Beyond The Wall. Originally a member of the Night's Watch who broke his vows and abandoned his duties. United the Wildling tribes to fight for him.

Craster: A man who lives in a Keep far north beyond The Wall. Marries his own daughters, and gets them pregnant. Gives measly food and paltry shelter in his stable to the Night's Watch in exchange for weapons, wine, and for their putting up with his insults.

Tormund Giantsbane: The Wildling man with the curly red hair and the big red beard. Mance Rayder's second in command.

Rattleshirt: Also called the Lord of Bones. Name unknown. Commands a band of raiders north of the wall.

Ygritte: The attractive redheaded Wildling woman that is captured by Jon Snow beyond the wall.

Gilly: One of Craster's daughters that Sam takes a liking to. Has a baby she named "Little Sam" after Samwell Tarly.

Orell: The wildling who can take over the minds of animals (also known as a Warg).

Osha: A wildling woman captured by Robb, Bran and Theon. Works as a servant at House Stark. Eventually befriends Bran and often accompanies him out into the wilderness.

Styr: The leader of the cannibalistic Wildlings, known as Thenns.

Karsi: Wildling spearwife and chieftainess. Has a couple of daughters. A bit hardheaded.

Loboda: Thenn at Hardhome. Has weird and matching markings upon his head. Has absolutely no trust for the Night's Watch.

Dongo: Giant under Mance Rayder's leadership. Equipped with a large bow.

Mag the Mighty: Full name Mag Mar Tun Doh Weh. Giant under Mance Rayders leadership.

Wun Wun: Full name Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. Giant residing at Hardhome.

Stiv: Deserter of the Night's Watch. Now a wildling. Wanders south with Wallen and Osha.

Wallen: Deserter of the Night's Watch. Now a wildling. Wanders south with Stiv and Osha.

Morag: One of Crasters daughters. Held hostage by Karl Tanner and the other deserters.

The Ironborn of Pyke (Loyal to the Greyjoys)

Dagmer Cleftjaw: Part of Theon's Ironborn crew that sacked Winterfell. Ruthless and cruel. Very known at the Iron Islands.

Black Lorren: Famous ironborn raider, skilled in battle and loyal to House Greyjoy.

Ralf Kenning: Lord of Moat Cailan. Suffering from an illness which causes him to spit blood.

Adrack Humble: Lord Kenning's captain at Moat Cailan.

Drennan: Ironborn raider and part of the Sea Bitch crew. Joined Theon to take Winterfell.

Gelmarr: Ironborn soldier and part of the Sea Bitch crew.

Stygg: Part of Theon's Ironborn crew at Winterfell.

The Brotherhood Without Banners

Beric Dondarrion: Leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Wears an eye-patch and has several scars from each time he was killed and then resurrected by Thoros. His intentions are mysterious.

Thoros Of Myr: The Red Priest of the Brotherhood Without Banners.

Anguy: The lead archer in the Brotherhood Without Banners.

The Dire Wolves

Ghost: Jon Snow's dire wolf. Named due to his white fur.

Grey Wind: Robb's dire wolf. Named due to his grey fur and lightning-fast speed.

Lady: Sansa's dire wolf. Named for her nature. Very prim and proper. Like a proper lady.

Nymeria: Arya's dire wolf. Named after Queen Nymeria of the Rhoyne. A heroine of Aryas.

Summer: Bran's dire wolf. Bran had difficulty naming his wolf. When he awoke from his coma, he settled on the name Summer. Possibly due to the yellow eyes of the wolf.

Shaggydog: Rickon's dire wolf. Named simply because of Rickons young age he liked the silly name.

Daenerys' Dragons

Drogon: The largest dragon. Dark and reddish. Named after Daenerys husband Khal Drogo

Viserion:The golden dragon. Named after Daenerys brother Viserys.

Rhaegal: The green dragon. Named after Daenerys brother Rhaegon.

First appearing in season 1

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish: An opportunist, a pimp and also Master of Coin on the Small Council in service to the king. Employs several spies in the realm and not afraid to get leverage over people. Has no clear allegiance. Allies himself with whomever he stands to gain the most from. Has one weakness; Catelyn Stark.

Bronn: Sellsword who volunteers to help Catelyn Stark escort Tyrion Lannister to trial. Later, Bronn volunteers to fight on behalf of Tyrion for his trial by combat. Became a knight later in he show.

Lord Varys: Also known as "The Eunuch" and "The Spider". A member of the Small Council serving as the Master of Whispers to the King. His motivations are mysterious but seem to actually be on the side of good. A rival of Petyr Baelish and has just as many spies in the realm as Baelish.

Maester Luwin: Loyal servant and council to the Starks in Winterfell. Helps Bran run Winterfell while Robb, Catelyn and Ned are all out of the city.

Sandor "The Hound" Clegane: Bodyguard and assasin for Joffrey. Has a large burn scar on his head due to his older brother sticking his head in a fire as a child and became afraid of fire since. Donned in black armor and a helmet that looks like a hound.

Grand Maester Pycelle: An elderly member of the Small Council, who pretty much never stops talking.

Syrio Forel: Former "First Sword" of Bravos. A skilled swordsman who trains Arya in the techniques of the Braavosi "water dancer".

Hodor: A large, pale man who is mentally handicapped. Often seen carrying Bran around and only appears to be able to say his own name.

Shae: A prostitute who becomes very close with Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion winds up taking her with him to Kings Landing and they become exclusive with one another.

Meryn Trant: One of the more prominent members of the King's Guard. Loyal to the Lannisters. Known to be a child beater.

Ros: The red haired prostitute first seen with Tyrion Lannister in Winterfell. Later arrives in Kings Landing and is immediately hired by Little Finger at his brothel.

Rodrik Cassel: A large man with long white sideburns he ties into a knot under his chin. Winterfells Master-At-Arms and lead military adviser. Trains the Stark children in swordplay. Uncle to Jory Cassel.

Jory Cassel: Ned Stark's loyal bodyguard and Captain of the Guard in Winterfell. Nephew of Ser Rodrik Cassel.

Barristan Selmy: Known as one of the deadliest swordsman in the realm. Originally fought for The Mad King. Swore loyalty to the Baratheons and became Captain of the King's guard after the Mad King was killed. Removed by Joffrey later after Robert was killed, he later swears loyalty to Daenerys.

Greatjon Umber: One of Robb's lead bannerman. Insists on leading the vanguard or he'd take his men and go back home. Lost 2 fingers because of Grey Wind after drawing a sword on Robb. Still he continues on with his army.

Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane: Sandors older brother. Cruel, ill-tempered, and sadistic. Decapitated his own horse after he lost a jousting match. Responsible for the burn scar on Sandor's face. Became Cersei's champion, but after his death, he was revived by Qyburn, but never the same.

Ilyn Payne: Also known as "the King's Justice", due to him being the Royal executioner. A bald man who never speaks due to him having his tongue cut out. A distant cousin of Podrick Payne.

"Hot Pie": The heavy-set boy who accompanies Gendry, Lommy and Arya.

Mirri Maz Duur: A maegi who was saved by Daenerys from torment by the hands of the Dothraki and offers to treat the wounds of Khal Drogo in repayment.

Lommy Greenhands: A young boy recruited by Yoren to be taken to the wall.

Illyrio Mopatis: Magister of Pentos. Oversaw the marriage between Daenerys and Khal Drogo.

Varly: Guardsman loyal to Ned Stark. Accompanied the Starks to Winterfell.

Mycah: Arya's friend. The butcher's son.

Hugh of the Vale: Former squire of Jon Arryn's. He was knighted shortly after Arryn's death.

Shagga: Leader of the Stone Crows, one of the hill tribes who live in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon on the western border of the Eyrie.

Timett: Leader of the Burned Men, one of the hill tribes living in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon on the western border of the Eyrie.

Chella: Daughter of Cheyk, leader of the Black Ears. one of the tribes living in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon on the western border of the Eyrie.

Vardis Egen: Knight of the Vale. Loyal to the Arryns. Champion for the Arryns during Tyrions trial.

Marillion: The minstrel and poet who accompanies Catelyn and her company to the Eyrie in the hopes of writing a grand tale about the adventure.

Tobho Mott: Master Blacksmith at Kings Landing. Gendry was his teacher in smithing.

Mikken: Blacksmith at Winterfell. Forged Arya's blade, Needle.

Old Nan: An elderly woman living in Winterfell. Retired servant of House Stark who is known for her story telling. Revered mostly by Bran. Hodor's great grandmother.

Willis Wode: Knight of House Whent. Aids Catelyn in apprehending Tyrion.

Kurleket: Man-at-Arms of House Bracken. Aids Catelyn in apprehending Tyrion.

Galbart Glover: Patriarch of House Glover and Lord of Deepwoods Motte. Bannerman for the Starks.

Leo Lefford: Patriarch of House Lefford and Lord of Golden Tooth. Bannerman to Tywin Lannister in the War of the Five Kings.

Jonos Bracken: Patriarch of House Bracken and Lord of the Stone Hedge. Bannerman for the Tully's.

Mord: Stubborn and brutish gaoler of the Eyrie. Likes gold, but prefers gold as long as someone has it on them.

Tomard: Guardsman under Ned Stark. Sent by Ned to send Stannis an urgent message.

Mandon Moore: Goldcloak knight. Hired by Cersei to kill Tyrion during the battle of Blackwater.

Armeca: Prostitute at Littlefingers brothel in King's Landing. Cannot speak the native tongue of Westeros.

Mhaegen: Prostitute at Littlefingers brothel in King's Landing. Had a fling with Robert Baratheon.

First appearing in season 2

Davos Seaworth: A former smuggler, now a trusted and Loyal adviser to Stannis Baratheon. Known as the "Onion Knight" for smuggling rations to Stannis forces in the past. Rewarded by Stannis with Knighthood for the part he played in holding the castle and punished for past crimes by having all five fingers from his right hand cut off. Carries the fingers that were removed in a pouch strung around his neck as a symbol of luck, as well as to remind him of his loyalty to Stannis.

Matthos Seaworth: Son of Davos. Devoted to The Lord of Light and a loyal servant to Stannis, like his father. Tries to convince his father to convert to their religion.

Brienne of Tarth: A tall, well-built, imposing, blonde woman who swears to protect Renly Baratheon.

Melisandre: Often referred to as "The Red Woman", mostly by Ser Davos, A Priestess of an eastern religion which is little-known in Westeros. Follower of R'hllor, the Lord of Light. Her religion revolves around fire and light. Resides at Dragonstone and became a close advisor to Stannis Baratheon.

Jaqen H'ghar: The mysterious man that Arya saves from a burning carriage. Offers to kill 3 people of Arya's choice after she saved him from a burning cart. An assassin from the House of Black and White in Braavos. Also known as the Kindly Man in the book. The name is mostly an alias, but he and others like him have the ability to change faces.

Xaro Xhoan Daxos: The richest man in Qarth. Vouches for Daenerys and the Dothraki to enter the city.

Pyat Pree: The warlock of Qarth and leader of the undying.

The Spice King: Name unknown. A member of the 13 and the Leader of Qarth. Allows Daenerys into the city after Xaro vouched for her.

Podrick Payne: Tyrion's loyal squire. Distant cousin of Ilyn Payne.

Talisa Maegyr: A nurse offering medical care to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Robb takes notice of her immediately.

Rickard Karstark: Lord of Karhold and father to Torrhen and Harrion. One of Robb's lead bannermen.

Dontos Hollard: The last surviving member of the once great House Hollard. A bumbling knight who arrives late to a tournament on Joffrey's name day. Dressed in motley and made Joffrey's fool after being drunk and late.

Salladhor Saan: A pirate and friend of Davos Seaworth. Salladhor offers 30 ships to add to Stannis' fleet in exchange for gold/plunder and the chance to "Fuck the Queen", Cersei.

Amory Lorch: A bannerman to Tywin Lannister and a captain at Harrenhal. Dimwitted but a cold-blooded killer.

Polliver: A soldier under Gregor Clegane's command stationed at Harrenhal. The bald man that stole Arya's blade.

Rorge: Criminal forced to be recruited in the Night's watch by Yoren. Caged with Jaqen H'Ghar and Biter. Escaped after the Lannisters attacked the caravan. Partnered with Biter in mercenary work.

Biter: Criminal forced to be recruited in the Night's watch by Yoren. Caged with Jaqen H'Ghar and Rorge. Escaped after the Lannisters attacked the caravan. Partnered with Rorge in mercenary work. Known for his biting problem.

High Septon: Name unknown. High Priest of the Seven at Kings Landing. The first one takes his position seriously. The second one frequents brothels and claims to be preaching to whores when instead he sullies his position just for a "good time".

Quaithe: A mysterious, wise woman hailing from the Shadow Lands. Currently residing in Qarth. Her face is always hidden behind a mask.

Tickler: Ruthless and disturbing torturer at Harrenhal.

Hallyne: Pyromancer of King's Landing. Created wildfire on Tyrion's orders, in preparation for the battle at Blackwater.

Farlen: The Kennelmaster of Winterfell.

Marei: Prostitute at Littlefingers Brothel in King's Landing. Trained by Ros.

Daisy: Prostitute at Littlefingers Brothel in King's Landing. Had a fling with Pycelle.

Jacks: Sworn sword for Robb Stark. Alerted Caitlin on Jaimes recapture.

Quent: Sword guard for Robb Stark.

Maester Cressen: Loyal servant to Stannis Baratheon. Considered defication of the Seven as heresy. Has no trust for Melisandre.

Torhenn Karstark: Rickard Karstark's son. Guards the prisoners during the war.

Rennick: Lannister guardsman guarding the perimeter of Oxcross.

First appearing in season 3

Daario Naharis: A Lieutenant of the mercenary group the "Second Sons". When ordered to assassinate Daenerys, he opts for killing and beheading his Captains instead. Pledges loyalty to Daenerys which she readily accepts. However, both Barristan and Jorah remain suspicious of him.

Qyburn: An ex-Maester stripped of his chain by the citadel for his experiments on the ill. Left for dead at Harrenhal by The Mountain and his soldiers. Found by Robb Stark and nursed back to health by Talisa.

Missandei: A translator that Daenerys sets free from captivity. Voluntarily serves Daenerys.

Grey Worm: One of the "Unsullied" soldiers that Daenerys freed from a life of slavery. The other Unsullied troops name Grey Worm their leader to serve directly under Daenerys.

Locke: A main foot-soldier to Roose Bolton and friend of Ramsay Snow. The guy who cut off Jamie Lannisters sword hand.

Jojen Reed: Brother to Meera Reed. A mysterious boy who appears to Bran in his dreams. They later meet on the road and travel together.

Meera Reed: Sister to Jojen. A skilled archer wo protects her brother.

Kraznys mo Nakloz: Master slave trader of Astapor. A vulgar and disrespectful owner of the slave army known as the unsullied.

Olyvar: A male prostitute and spy for Littlefinger. He also runs Littlefinger's brothel in his absence.

Myranda: Ramsay Snow's sadistic girlfriend.

Steelshanks Walton: Captain under command of Roose Bolton.

Wendel Manderly: Loyal Bannerman under Robb Stark. Mentioned quite a bit in the book. Seen only at the Red Wedding.

Greizhen mo Ullhor: Slave trader in Astapor. Opposes the idea of selling the unsullied, and believes an unsullied dying in battle would bring shame to Astapor.

Skinner: Man-at-Arms under Ramsay Bolton. The First man torturing Theon Greyjoy.

Kayla: Prostitute at Littlefingers brothel. Can perform something called a "Meereenese Knot".

Mirelle: Prostitute at Littlefingers brothel. Hired alongside Marei by Bronn to celebrate his promotion.

Genna: Prostitute at Littlefingers brothel. Hired with 2 other prostitutes to "reward" Podrick for saving Tyrion.

Mero: Captain of the Second Sons. Braavosi origin. Has no sense of Loyalty. Vulgar and disrespectful.

Prendahl na Ghezn: Captain of the Second Sons. Untrustworthy. Ghiscari origin. Mellow. Has no trust for Daenerys.

Razdal mo Eraz: Slave master at Yunkai. Attempted to pay off Daenerys to walk away from Yunkai, which failed. Claims to be well connected with the slavers.

First appearing in season 4:

The Three-Eyed Raven: The raven with a third eye on it's forehead which appeared in Bran's dream. The last green seer.

Hizdahr zo Loraq: A wealthy nobleman of Meereen. Pleads for Daenerys to bury his father, whom she had executed. Claims his father spoke against the crucifixion of slaves.

The Night's King: Leader of the White Walkers and the wights. Has the power to transcend infant boys into White Walkers and resurrect the dead into Wights. Blue and icy and has thorns on his head.

Yohn Royce: Also called Bronze Yohn. Bannerman of House Arryn. Father of Waymer Royce, who was slain at the start of the show. Lord of Runestone. Part of the committee investigating Lady Lysa's death.

Anya Waynwood: Bannerman of House Arryn. Lady of Ironoaks Castle. Part of the committee investigating Lady Lysa's death.

Leaf: A Child of the Forest, part of the oldest race in Westeros. Leaf and the few other children protect the home of the Three-Eyed Raven. Awaited Bran's arrival beyond the Wall.

Mossador: Once a slave in Meereen, now a part of Daenerys's small council.

Tycho Nestoris: Emissary from the Iron Bank of Braavos. Travels to Westeros to handle everyone's debts to the Bank.

Tansy: Servant of House Bolton at the Dreadfort. Myranda's shows signs of jealousy to her.

Axell Florent: Brother of Selyse Baratheon and member of House Florent.

Lowell: Lannister soldier and child molester. Accompanies Polliver to a tavern.

Lhara: Braavosi prostitute. Vouches for vendors entering the brothel.

Oznak zo Pahl: A champion for the slave masters of Meereen.

Ternesio Terys: Braavosi Sea Captain. Brings Arya to Braavos on her request.

Fennesz: Former slave in Meereen, now homeless and out of luck since he was freed. Wishes to be returned back to his master. Taught the children in his master's household.

First appearing in season 5:

High Sparrow: Name Unknown. Religious leader of the Faith at Kings Landing. Not a Septon, but a teacher to the people. Very charitable. Known to give up his valuables to those who need it most. Has many followers known as Sparrows, including Lancel Lannister. Disliked by the High Septon.

Areo Hotah: Captain of the Guard at Sunspear. Muscular bald man with a longaxe.

Yezzan zo Qaggaz: A wealthy slave trader from Yunkai. Very scrawny and sickly. Bought Jorah and Tyrion.

Malko: Leader of a band of slavers who kidnap people and sell them into slavery. Captured Tyrion and Jorah during their journey to Meereen. Believes dwarf cocks are magic.

Septa Unella: Nun of the faith and gaoler. Tossed Cersei into prison. Tall and brute-like. Constantly demands sinners like Cersei to confess.

The Waif: Servant at the House of Black and White. Carries a rod and strikes those who lie.

Robert Strong: A reincarnated experiment of Qyburns. Revived from the cadaver of Gregor Clegane. Named Cersei's champion.

Maggy: Also known as Maggy the Frog, the witch Cersei met as a young girl. Part of her fortune telling involves cutting open someone's palm and licking their blood.

Lollys Stokeworth: Lady of Stokeworth, betrothed to Bronn.

The Thin Man: Name unknown, a gambler and a cheat. Arya's first kill assignment from the House of Black and White. Screws over people who follow the many-faced God.

White Rat: Commanding officer in the Unsullied. Frequents Brothels. Overseen the tearing down of the Harpy Statue at Meereen.

Boake: Disciple of the Faith Militant.

Brusco: Bouncer at the brothel in Braavos.

Brea: Prostitute at the Braavosi Brothel.

Anara: Braavos's top prostitute.

Joss: A desperate father seeking help from the House of Black and White to heal his dying daughter, Ghita.

Ghita: A young, terminally ill girl brought to the house of Black and White by her father seeking medical aid for her pain. Her face is part of the many faces in the House of Black and White.

Melara Heatherspoon: Cersei's childhood friend.

Gordy: Footsoldier under Ramsay's command.

Simpson: Footsoldier under Ramsay's command.

First appearing in Season Six

Series Level

In general the characters on the show are older than they are in the novel. For example, Ned and Cat Stark are both supposed to be in their mid 30s in the books, having married when they were around age 18. In the show the actors who portray them are in their 50s and 40s respectively. The show also adds a couple of years between Robert's Rebellion and the events of the series and ages the child characters appropriately. Tyrion Lannister is significantly more handsome than in the novels where he's described as having eyes of different colors and mixed black and blond hair. In the show Tyrion gains a scar across his nose at the Blackwater while in the books most of his nose is cut off, giving him an even more hideous appearance.

A few names are changed in the show from the books, presumably to avoid confusion or unwanted comparisons. For example, the "White Walkers" are more commonly referred to as "The Others" in the books. Presumably this was changed to avoid comparisons with the antagonists from the tv show LOST. Theon Greyjoy's sister Yara, is named Asha in the books. This was changed to avoid confusion with the Wildling woman Osha as their names would sound virtually identical when spoken. Lysa Arryn's son Robin was named Robert in the books (named after the King). The show changed his name to Robin, so the audience wouldn't get him confused with Robert Baratheon and Robb Stark.

The back-story of Lyanna Stark's death at the Tower of Joy and the promise she forced Ned to make are eliminated from the show. While these were a significant part of Ned's back-story and the mythology of the novel, they appeared mostly in the form of Ned's internal monologues and would have been difficult to represent on screen. However, over the course of the show, more and more of this back story have come to light.

The show adds several sex scenes, often as cover for exposition (jokingly referred to as "sexposition"), and invents the character of Ros, the prostitute who sleeps with a number of characters. Similarly, the show makes Littlefinger's ownership of brothels more prominent than in the novels, where they are just one of many moneymaking enterprises he owns.

Season One

The initial sex scene between Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen is quite different between the novels and the show. In the novel, while Daenarys is worried that Drogo will assault her, they ultimately have consensual sex. In the show, the encounter is depicted as a rape with Drogo not seeking her consent and Daenerys weeping throughout.

The show invents a couple of scenes featuring Jaime Lannister, who did not become a point of view character until the third book.

The show invents a scene where Cersei visits Catelyn Stark at Bran's bedside and relates how she gave birth to a stillborn child. This was presumably done to make Cersei more sympathetic.

In the book, Daenerys is said to have violet eyes. In the show her eyes are green. Executive Producers, David Benioff and Dan Weiss said they originally had Emilia Clarke wear violet contact lenses, but felt that it detracted from her performance and so the contacts were discarded.

Jon's direwolf, Ghost, is also completely mute in the books. In the show he whines, barks, and growls like normal dogs/wolves do. David Benioff and Dan Weiss said that originally it was scripted that Ghost was mute. However, during initial editing, they found it just didn't look/sound right having a silent dog and so they nixed the idea.

Season Two

The show is much more explicit about the sexual relationship between Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell, as well as the one between Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre of Asshai.

The show depicts Stannis Baratheon as learning of Joffrey's bastardry from Ned Stark. In the novels, Stannis had his own suspicions about Joffrey's legitimacy. In the novels, it was Stannis who sent Jon Arryn to try and find out whether Joffrey was legitimate.

Davos Seaworth is missing the fingers on his right hand on the show. In the book, he's missing the fingers on his left hand. This was done because actor Liam Cunningham is left-handed and would be more functional using his dominant hand.

Talisa Maegyr does not appear in the novels. Instead, Robb weds Jeyne Westerling, daughter of Lord Gawen Westerling- an impoverished, but proud bannerman to Casterly Rock.

The show invents the character of Alton Lannister to deliver Robb's peace terms. In the novels this is done by Cleos Frey who is the son of Jaime Lannister's aunt. Presumably this was done to avoid confusion since House Frey is an ally of the Starks.

In the show, Osha gains Theon Greyjoy's trust by sleeping with him. In the novels she does so by demonstrating her skill with a spear, although she does later sleep with one of Theon's men in order to gain his trust.

Arya's time at Harrenhall is different in the show than in the books. In the novels she serves as a common kitchen servant when Tywin is at Harrenhall. She is only elevated to cupbearer once Roose Bolton takes the castle. In the novels, Arya gives different names to Jaquen H'ghar. Instead of Tickler and Amory Lorch she gives the names of Chiswyck, a follower of Gregor Clegane who boasts of taking part in a gang rape, and Weese, the cruel head of the kitchens. She uses her third name to name Jaquen H'ghar, as in the show, but instead of enlisting his help to escape, she blackmails him into helping free a group of Northern prisoners who help take over the castle. In the novels, Amory Lorch is fed to a bear after Roose Bolton captures Harrenhall.

The encounter in the House of the Undying is significantly different. In the novels, Dany goes there willingly seeking knowledge. In the show, she goes there to retrieve her dragons which have been stolen. The visions she sees are also different. In the novel she has visions of several characters who she does not recognize. However, on screen these would have been clearly recognizable to the audience and thus much of the mystery of the visions would be undermined.

In the show, Rakharo is not beheaded before Dany reaches Qarth, nor is Irri murdered in Qarth. Both characters are still alive in the books.

In the novels, Dany does not leave Xaro Xhoan Daxos for dead. Instead, he lives and makes another appearance later in the novels. However, his fate is still left ambiguous on the show and could re-appear if needed.

Season Three

In the novels, Barristan Selmy initially comes to Danaerys disguised as "Arstan Whitebeard", an aged Westerosi serving as a squire to a warrior named Strong Belwas. He only reveals his identity towards the end of the third novel, explaining that he had wanted to observe Danaerys and discern what type of Queen she was before offering his services. This was likely changed because in the book, it could be a surprise to the reader when his identity was revealed. In the show, people would immediately know who he was or possibly be confused and think it was the same actor playing a different role.

In the novels Robb does not plan to attack Casterly Rock. Instead, Robb gets word that the Ironborn are invading the North and decides to take most of his forces home to defend his people. This explains why most of the Stark forces are at the Twins for Edmure's wedding since the Twins are on the way to the North but not Casterly Rock.

In the novels neither Brynden "Blackfish" Tully or Robb's queen are present at the Red Wedding. This makes sense since Robb's marriage was the cause of the break with Walder Frey. Bringing his queen along would merely antagonize Lord Walder on what is meant to be a peacemaking trip. Robb's queen survives the Red Wedding in the books.

Gendry's role is expanded in the show. In the novels he is not kidnapped by Melisandre. Instead she intends to sacrifice Edric Storm, King Robert's only acknowledge bastard.

In the novels it is not Locke who cuts off Jaime's hand but rather Vargo Hoat, a mercenary originally hired by Jaime's father who switches sides and joins Roose Bolton.

Tormund Giantsbane is portrayed differently in the show than in the novels. In the show he leads the Wildling raid south of the Wall and is openly hostile to Jon. In the book Tormund is very friendly with Jon and stays north of the Wall. Instead it is another Wildling, Styr the Magnar of Thenn, who leads the raid and who is suspicious of Jon's motives.

In the novels we do not see any of Theon's torture at the hands of Ramsay Snow, just the aftermath of it. Similarly, the show is more explicit about Theon's castration, while the books merely imply it.

In the novels the slaves in Slaver's Bay are mostly depicted as being white, the same as their masters. Very few, if any, are said to be from the Summer Islands, the region where black people are from in the novels. In the show, the slaves are generally depicted as black or dark skinned. This causes the "Mhysa" scene with Danaerys at the end of season 3 to have unfortunate real world racial connotations.

Season Four

In the books, Jaime and Brienne arrive at King's Landing after Joffrey is already dead.

In the book, Tickler, who was killed on the show in Season 2, was with Polliver in the Tavern when Arya and the Hound were fending off against Lannister soldiers. Also, on the show, Sandor Clegane was left in the Trident to die after losing a fight to Brienne. In the book, he was mortally wounded by Polliver and Tickler at the Tavern. In the show, Arya kills Polliver, but in the book, she kills Tickler while Sandor Clegane kills Polliver.

The show is much more explicit about Oberyn Martell's bisexuality while the books strongly hint at it.

While most of the action in season four comes from the third book, they do add in some of the plotlines of Bran and Theon from the fifth book.

In the books Theon's sister does not attempt to rescue him from the Boltons.

In the books, Jaime and Cersei's sexual encounter in the sept is depicted as consensual. In the show, the scene is more ambiguous, leading many to view it as Jaime forcing himself on Cersei.

In the books it is Donal Noye, the blacksmith of Castle Black, who organizes the defenses against the Wildlings.

In the book, Jaime secretly trains in sword fighting with Ser Ilyn Payne, who is discreet about it because he has no tongue. In the show, Jaime secretly trains with Bronn, who is discreet about it because he's paid to be. This was likely to allow some more dialogue and exposition and possibly just to give Bronn more screen time. It was also stated that the actor who played Ser Ilyn Payne was ill during filming and so he was unable to reprise his role. It's unlikely the character will return.

Tyrion's escape is significantly different in the books. In the books, Jaime admits to having lied about Tysha, Tyrion's first wife, who their father forced him to put aside. Jaime had originally told Tyrion that Tysha, who they had apparently saved from brigands on the road, was actually a prostitute who Jaime had hired so that Tyrion could lose his virginity. This is the story which Tyrion tells Shae and Bronn in season one. In the books, Jaime admits that this was a lie he had created to spare Tyrion's feelings and that Tysha had really loved Tyrion. Angered at this revelation, Tyrion tells Jaime about Cersei's serial infidelity to him and then goes to their father's chamber to confront him over a lifetime of betrayals. In the show, Shae draws a knife on Tyrion and Tyrion strangles her in self defense. In the books, Shae instead pleads for her life upon seeing Tyrion and he strangles her in cold blood. Also in contrast to the show, where Tyrion immediately apologizes for killing her, Tyrion in the books seems to show no regret for killing Shae. The confrontation between Tywin and Tyrion is largely the same but in the books it is Tysha who Tywin refers to as a "whore", which prompts Tyrion to kill him.

Season Five

In the book, there were 8 sand snakes. This show only shows 3 of the sand snakes. However, near the end of the season, Doran gives Ellaria a reminder that she has 4 daughters, even though we saw 3.

In the book, the decision for command of the wall was between Jon Snow and Janos Slynt. It was decided by the Raven. On the show, it came down between Jon Snow and Alliser Thorne, and the swing vote came from Maester Aemon.

In the book, the conflict with Daenerys and the Harpy's began with the death of Stalwart Shield. In the show, it started with the death of White Rat.

Sansa does not marry Ramsay in the books. Instead she is still in the Vale with Littlefinger. The Boltons marry Ramsay off to a friend of Sansa's named Jeyne Poole, who they are claiming is Arya Stark. Also, in the show, Theon is forced to watch as Ramsay rapes Sansa. In the books, Theon participates as Ramsay forces him to perform oral sex on his new bride.

In the book, Yezzan zo Qaggaz was described as a massively overweight man with an uncontrollable bladder and suffering from a deadly disease. Yezzan in the show is very scrawny.

In the book, Jorah and Tyrion were not present at the Fighting Pits when Daenerys flew off with Drogon.

Ser Barristan is still alive in the books and plays a major role in the events following Daenerys' flight from Meereen.

The show eliminates a major plotline from the fifth book where Tyrion travels much of the way to Slaver's Bay on a ship called the Shy Maid along with a group of Westerosi expatriots who are harboring a major secret.

Brienne does not travel to the North in the books but remains in the Riverlands searching for Sansa.

In the books Jon does not go to Hardhome to rescue the Wildlings. Instead he sends Cotter Pyke, the commander of the Night's Watch castle Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.

The show eliminates a plotline where someone is murdering people inside Winterfell, as well as one where a team of Wildling spearwives is sent to infiltrate the castle and rescue Jon's sister.

Stannis, Shireen, and Selyse Baratheon are all alive at this point in the books. In the books neither Selyse, Shireen, Melisandre, nor Davos accompany Stannis on his march on Winterfell. The three women remain at Castle Black while Davos goes to the Northern city of White Harbor to try and sway Lord Manderly to join Stannis' cause. The show also eliminates a plotline where Stannis captures the castle of Deepwood Motte from the Wildlings and takes Theon's sister prisoner.

The nature and reasons for the assassination attempt on Jon are different in the books than in the show. In the show, the conspirators lure Jon outside by claiming to have news about his uncle Benjen, who has been missing since early in season one. In the books Jon is distracted when a giant kills one of Stannis' men. The attack in the books is a chaotic mass attack by the conspirators, while in the show they leisurely take turns stabbing Jon. Their reasons are also significantly different. In the show, the conspirators attack him for allowing the Wildlings through the Wall. In the books there is a longer string of decisions which Jon has made which have angered more traditionalist Night's Watch brothers, including enlisting Wildlings, even spearwives, to help man the Wall. The final straw comes when John decides to lead a force of Wildlings to Winterfell to help out Stannis, a direct violation of his oath.

In the show the Faith looks to prosecute Loras for homosexuality. In the books they investigate Margaery after Cersei accuses her of adultery. In the books Loras is severely injured while capturing Dragonstone.

In the books Jaime and Bronn do not travel to Dorne. Jaime goes to the Riverlands to take care of the last remnants of rebellion there. Bronn marries a noblewoman in the Crownlands.

Myrcella is not killed in the books. Instead, Doran Martell's daughter Arianne tries to use her in a plot and Myrcella is wounded.

Jaqen H'ghar is not involved in Arya's training in Braavos in the books.

The fifth book has a significant plotline where Doran Martell's son Quentyn travels to Meereen to meet with Danaerys.

Season One

Winter is Coming: The Stark family motto.

The Kingroads: The long road leading from Winterfell to King's Landing.

Lord Snow: A mockery title Jon receives at the Wall.

Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things: Tyrion tells Bran he has a soft spot for cripples, bastards, and broken things, which is why he got him a saddle.

The Wolf and the Lion: The feud that broke out between the Starks(wolf) and the Lannisters(lion) after Tyrion was arrested.

A Golden Crown: Viserys demands Khal Drogo to fulfill his end of the bargain and deliver him a golden crown.

You Win or You Die: Cersei's states to Ned, "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

The Pointy End: Reference to Arya and Jon's conversation in episode 2 about Needle.

Baelor: Refers to the Baelor Sept, the place in King's Landing where Ned Stark is executed.

Fire and Blood: The Targaryen family motto.

Season Two

The North Remembers: A motto from the Armies of Winterfell, meaning "We will Never Forget."

The Night Lands: Dothraki version of Heaven.

What is Dead May Never Die: A common saying among the Ironborn.

Garden of Bones: Refers to the arid area in front of the city of Qarth.

The Ghost of Harrenhal: Jaqen H'Ghar performs an assassination on a victim of Arya's choice in secrecy. Naming him the Ghost of Harrenhal.

The Old Gods and the New: A common saying in the Seven Kingdoms.

A Man Without Honor: Catelyn calls Jaime this since he killed his own cousin and tried to kill Bran.

The Prince of Winterfell: Refers to Theon Greyjoy after he sacked Winterfell.

Blackwater: The battle outside King's Landing takes place on the shores of Blackwater.

Valar Morghulis: High Valyrian for "All Men Must Die". Also Jaqen H'Ghar gives Arya a Braavosi coin, tells her if she ever needs help, she is to present the coin to anyone from Braavos and say "Valar Morghulis".

Season 3

Valar Dohaeris: High Valyrian for "All Men Must Serve".

Dark Wings, Dark Words: Refers to ravens and their messages.

Walk of Punishment: The wall of Astapor.

And Now His Watch is Ended: A motto meaning a brother of the Night's Watch has died. Refers to the death of Jeor Mormont.

Kissed by Fire: A reference to Ygritte's red hair, among other things.

The Climb: Jon and the Wildlings scale the Wall. Petyr also talks to Varys about another sort of climb.

The Bear and the Maiden Fair: Brienne battling the Bear at Moat Cailin. It is also a famous song in Westeros.

Second Sons: A band of Mercenaries Daenerys hires for the assault on Yunkai. The episode also circles around several literal second sons.

The Rains of Castamere: A song written about Tywin Lannister's harsh defeat of House Reyne of Castamere, which was played at the Red Wedding.

Mhysa: The slaves of Yunkai refer to Daenerys as Mhysa, which is Ghiscari for "mother".

Season Four

Two Swords: Two swords are forged from Ned Starks blade, Ice. Could also refer to Needle and Ice.

The Lion and the Rose: Joffrey's(lion) marriage to Margaery(rose).

Breaker of Chains: Daenerys makes a declaration to end slavery in Meereen, receiving the title "Breaker of Chains".

Oathkeeper: The name Brienne gives her Valyrian Blade. One half of the swords forged from Ice.

First of His Name: Tommen Baratheon is made King of the Realm.

The Laws of Gods and Men: Tyrion states the Gods will decide his fate in a trial by combat.

Mockingbird: Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish's personal sigil.

The Mountain and the Viper: A trial by combat between Gregor Clegane(Mountain) and Oberyn Martell(Viper).

The Watchers on the Wall: The Nights Watch defends the Wall against Rayder's forces.

The Children: The Children of the Forest, a mysterious non-human race and the original inhabitants of the continent of Westeros.

Season Five

The Wars to Come: Varys explains to Tyrion he may play a part in the wars to come. Mance wishes Stannis good fortune in "The wars to come" before he is executed.

The House of Black and White: The temple of the Many-faced God Arya arrives at in Braavos.

High Sparrow: Leader of the Faith, or Sparrows, who claim to be disciples of the Seven.

Sons of the Harpy: A shadow group seeking to restore slavery and tradition to Slaver's Bay.

Kill the Boy: Maester Aemon's advice to Jon Snow when he becomes Lord Commander: "Kill the boy, and let the man be born."

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: The Martell family motto.

The Gift: Jorah offers Tyrion as a gift to Daenerys. Littlefinger speaks of a gift he intends to offer Olenna.

Hardhome: The Wildling home beyond the Wall.

The Dance of Dragons: A book Shireen reads based on the old Targaryen wars and the Seven Kingdoms.

Mother's Mercy: Cersei takes the Walk of Shame.

Season Six

Note: The names highlighted in red are people who died on the show.

Joffrey Baratheon: Ordered her father to be executed.

Meryn Trant: Killed Syrio Forel. (We never saw him die, he may still be alive)

Cersei Lannister: Demanded Arya's dire wolf be put down, instead chose Sansa's wolf to be killed.

The Hound: Killed Arya's friend, Mycah, the butchers son.

The Mountain: Being cruel, violent, and sadistic in nature. Also the soldiers who attacked Yoren's group on the road were under his command.

Ilyn Payne: Beheaded her father. (Note that the actor who played Ilyn Payne fell ill when filming season 4. So his character was written out until the writers decide whether or not they want to replace him. He notably isn't mentioned when Arya speaks her kill list in season 5.)

Rorge: Threatened to rape and kill Arya while being transported to the Wall.

Amory Lorch: Killed Yoren.

Polliver: Stole Arya's blade, Needle, and killed Lommy Greenhands with it.

Tickler: Merciless in torture, even after acquiring information, the torture continues.

Walder Frey: Had her mother, brother, and soldiers of the north murdered at the Red Wedding.

Roose Bolton: Betrayed her family to the death.

Note: this list of people who died are in order of who died from first death to the most recent. The names highlighted in orange are uncertain.

Before the Series

Jon Arryn dies suddenly right before the start of the series. While we never actually meet his character alive, he is very important to the history of Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. His death is the starting point of the series of events that unfold during the show.

Season One

Waymar Royce is cut down by a White Walker outside the wall. S1,E1

Gared has his head sliced off by a White Walker. S1,E1

Will is beheaded by Ned Stark for desertion. S1,E1

Mycah is hunted down by Sandor Clegane, later brought back to the Crossroads Inn, dead. S1,E2

Lady is stabbed at Castle Darry by Ned Stark as ordered by Robert Baratheon. S1,E2

Hugh of the Vale takes a lance through his throat in a jousting competition by Gregor Clegane. S1,E4

Willis Wode and Kurleket are killed by the Northern tribes while protecting Catelyn Stark. S1,E5

Jory Cassel faces Jaime Lannister in a fight and takes a dagger deep through the eye. S1,E5

Wallen gets his throat slashed by Robb Stark. S1,E6

Stiv is shot with an arrow by Theon Greyjoy. S1,E6

Vardis Egen is killed by Bronn in a trial by combat, then his body is kicked through the moon door. S1,E6

Viserys Targaryen demands that Khal Drogo deliver him a golden crown. Drogo obliges by melting down some large gold medallions and then dumping the molten gold on top of Viserys' head, burning his skull instantly. S1,E6

Benjen Stark goes beyond the wall with a scouting party. His horse returns to the wall, but he was nowhere to be found. He is still missing and presumed dead. S1,E7

Robert Baratheon goes out hunting while drunk and is mortally wounded by a boar. He returns to King's Landing and dies of his wounds. S1,E7

Varly and his men are massacred by Janos Slynt and the Goldcloaks in an act of betrayal against Ned Stark. S1,E7

Syrio Forel takes out several Kings Guard with a wooden sword in order to allow Arya to escape. When facing off against Meryn Trant, Arya hears a struggle, but we never see if Syrio is killed or not, but Trant is still alive after the fight. S1,E8

Septa Mordane faces the Lannister men trying to capture Sansa. Her head is later seen on a spike. S1,E8

Mago is stabbed with his own blade, then gets his tongue ripped out by Khal Drogo after attempting to kill Daenerys. S1,E8

Haggo and Cohollo are killed by their fellow Dothraki riders while attempting to aid Qotho in stopping Mirri Maz Duur. S1,E9

Qotho is slain by Jorah Mormont after breaking into the tent and attempting to kill Mirri Maz Duur. S1,E9

Ned Stark is beheaded by Ilyn Payne as ordered by King Joffrey. S1,E9

Khal Drogo receives a wound on his chest. Daenerys allows Mirri Maz Duur to treat the wound. Instead she places a curse upon Drogo, causing the wound to become severely infected. Mirri Maz Duur then performs a ritual to return Drogo to life, but he is left as a brain-dead vegetable. Daenerys brings herself to smother him. S1,E10

Mirri Maz Duur is burned alive at the stake in Khal Drogo's funeral pyre as punishment for hexing him and killing Daenerys' unborn child. S1,E10

Old Nan passes away off-screen. This is according to the writers of the show. Between S1 & 2

Season Two

Maester Cressen slips poison in his wine, drinks it, and lets Melisandre drink from the cup in an attempt to kill her. The poison kills Cressen, but has no effect on Melisandre. S2,E1

Rakharo is sent by Dany to do some recon. Only Rakharo's horse returns, with his head in one of the saddle bags and his braid cut off. S2,E2

Aggo is sent by Dany to do some recon. He has never returned. He is presumed dead. S2,E2

Yoren is shot with a crossbow and stabbed in the back of the neck by Amory Lorch. S2,E3

Lommy Greenhands is stabbed through the throat with Needle by Polliver. While searching for Gendry, Arya tricks the soldiers into thinking he killed him. S2,E3

Rennick is mauled by Grey Wind while taking a piss just as the attack on Oxcross began. S2,E4

Daisy is bludgeoned on the Kings bed with a wooden scepter by Ros as demanded by King Joffrey. S2,E4

Renly Baratheon is stabbed through the heart by Stannis' "son", a spirit born from Melisandre. S2,E5

Tickler has his neck broken by Jaqen H'ghar as requested by Arya Stark. S2,E5

Rodrik Cassel spits in Theon's face for betraying the Starks. Dagmer convinces Theon to execute Rodrik and so Theon beheads him. S2,E6

The First High Septon is ripped apart by the rioters in Kings Landing. S2,E6

Amory Lorch is struck with a poisoned dart by Jaqen H'ghar at Arya's urgent request. S2,E6

Drennan gets seduced by Osha, only to get his throat slit by her during an escape. S2,E6

Irri is strangled by Doreah during a plot to steal Daenerys's dragons. S2,E6

Alton Lannister was beaten to death by Jamie Lannister to cover his botched escape. S2,E7

Torhenn Karstark is strangled by Jaime Lannister with the chains from his restraints in an effort to escape. S2,E7

The Spice King and his cohorts are assassinated by Pyat Pree as part of a coup to take over leadership of Qarth. S2,E7

Matthos Seaworth is killed when the ship full of Wildfire explodes. He is completely engulfed in the initial explosion. S2,E9

Mandon Moore gets a spear shoved through the back of his head by Podrick Payne after he attempted to kill Tyrion. S2,E9

Maester Luwin is stabbed in the stomach with a spear by Dagmer Cleftjaw. He survives but is left mortally wounded. He asks Osha to end his life. S2,E10

Pyat Pree is burned alive by Daenerys's dragons. S2,E10

Qhorin Halfhand starts a fight with Jon Snow in front of their captors and then throws the fight and allows Jon to kill him in the hopes that Jon could get close to Mance Rayder. S2,E10

Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah are locked in Xaros vault by Daenerys and Jorah. S2,E10

Dagmer Cleftjaw, Black Lorren, Gelmarr, Stygg, and the rest of the Ironborn that accompanied Theon to Winterfell are flayed and murdered off-screen by Ramsay Snow. Between S2 & 3

Season Three

Hoster Tully dies off-screen of an illness. Though this character was not on the show, we see his funeral take place. It was the floating pyre barge Blackfish lit up with a flaming arrow. S3,E2

Skinner and his men are shot down with arrows by Ramsay Snow, who later framed Theon for their death. S3,E3

Craster is stabbed in the chin by Karl Tanner. S3,E4

Jeor Mormont is stabbed in the back by Rast. S3,E4

Greizhen mo Ullhor is cut down by the Unsullied along with other masters and slavers at the command of Daenerys. S3,E4

Kraznys mo Nakloz is torched by Drogon at Daenerys's Command. S3,E4

Martyn Lannister and Willem Lannister are murdered by Rickard Karstark as payback for the death of his sons. S3,E5

Rickard Karstark is beheaded by Robb Stark as punishment for going behind his back and killing the Lannister boys. S3,E5

Ros is given to Joffrey by Littlefinger in order to be tortured and killed, Joffrey tests his crossbow out on her. S3,E6

Mero and Prendahl na Ghezn are beheaded by Daario Naharis after plotting against Daenerys. Their heads are brought to Daenerys as an offering. S3,E8

Orell is stabbed in the chest by Jon Snow, but wargs into his hawk before he dies. S3,E9

Wendel Manderly is shot with crossbows along with other soldiers by the Frey soldiers at the Red Wedding. S3,E9

Talisa Maegyr is stabbed repeatedly in the stomach by Lothar Frey. S3,E9

Grey Wind is shot down with crossbows by Walder Frey's soldiers. We later see his head placed cruelly on Robb's headless body. S3,E9

Robb Stark is shot by arrows and then stabbed in the heart by Roose Bolton. His head is later removed and replaced with Grey Winds. S3,E9

Joyeuse Erenford has her throat slit by Caitlin Stark as a reaction to Robb's death. S3,E9

Catelyn Stark has her throat slit by Black Walder Rivers shortly after killing Lady Joyeuse. S3,E9

Season Four

Lowell gets both eyes stabbed in by Sandor Clegane. S4,E1

Polliver has Needle impaled slowly through his neck by Arya Stark, but not before realizing who she was. S4,E1

Tansy is hunted by Ramsay Snow in the woods and is ripped apart by Ramsay's hunting dogs. S4,E2

Axell Florent is burned alive along with others by Melisandre as part of her offering to her God. S4,E2

Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell. We learn later that Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell had a hand in Joffrey's death. S4,E2

Dontos Hollard is shot with a crossbow on the orders of Littlefinger. S4,E3

Oznak zo Pahl is decapitated outside Meereen by Daario Naharis after falling from his dead horse. S4,E3

Locke has his neck broken by Hodor, while Bran was controlling Hodor's mind. S4,E5

Karl Tanner is stabbed through the back of the head by Jon Snow. S4,E5

Rast is mauled by Ghost. S4,E5

Biter has his neck broken by Sandor Clegane. S4,E7

Rorge is stabbed through the heart by Arya Stark after telling her his name. S4,E7

Lysa Arryn is pushed through the moon door by Littlefinger and plummets to her death. S4,E7

Kegs, Black Jack Bulwer, and Mully are slaughtered in Mole's Town along with other civilians by the Wildlings and Thenns. S4,E8

Ralf Kenning takes an axe to his head by Adrack Humble after spitting upon Ramsay's terms. S4,E8

Adrack Humble and his men are flayed by Ramsay Snow and his men after being tricked by "Reek" into letting them enter Moat Cailan. S4,E8

Oberyn Martell has his head crushed by The Mountain during the trial by combat. S4,E8

Gregor Clegane dies from the poisoned wounds inflicted by Oberyn Martell, but not before killing him first. In Season Five, is cadaver is revived, but he is never the same again. S4,E9

Pypar gets an arrow through the neck courtesy of Ygritte. S4,E9

Dongo is shot with a bolt from a Night's Watch ballista on top of the Wall. S4,E9

Styr gets a hammer embedded in his skull by Jon Snow. S4,E9

Ygritte is shot through the back with an arrow by Olly. S4,E9

Mag the Mighty is slain by Grenn and 5 other watchmen shortly after breaching the tunnel, but not before mortally wounding them in turn. S4,E9

Grenn and 5 other Night's Watchmen are killed by Mag the Mighty, but not before mortally wounding him in turn. S4,E9

Jojen Reed is stabbed several times in the stomach by a wight. His sister Meera cuts his throat to save him more pain. S4,E10

Sandor "the Hound" Clegane falls off a small cliff after losing a fight to Brienne of Tarth. Arya leaves him to die. S4,E10

Shae is being strangled by Tyrion with a necklace, she shoves him off the bed but he yanks the chain as he falls and crushes her trachea. S4,E10

Tywin Lannister is shot in the stomach and the heart in his privy with a crossbow by Tyrion Lannister. S4,E10

Season Five

White Rat has his throat cut open in a brothel by a member of the Harpy. The killer leaves his mask for the unsullied to find. S5,E1

Mance Rayder was set to burn at the stake by orders of Stannis Baratheon. Jon Snow fires an arrow at him as an act of mercy. S5,E1

Mossador is beheaded by Daario Naharis by Daenerys's orders as punishment for murdering a prisoner. S5,E2

Janos Slynt is beheaded by Jon Snow for insubordination. S5,E3

Barristan Selmy is mortally wounded in the onslaught against the Sons of the Harpy, but not before cutting down a multitude of them. S5,E4

Ghita drinks from the fountain at the house of Black and White to heal her pain. Her cadaver is later seen on a pedestal being cleaned by Arya Stark. Later in the show, her face is part of the faceless men in the House of Black and White. S5,E6

Maester Aemon is stricken with old age and fades away. S5,E7

Rattleshirt is bludgeoned to death with his own wooden staff by Tormund Giantsbane. S5,E8

Loboda is pierced with a spear by a White Walker. S5,E8

Karsi is swarmed and tore apart by Wight children. She later reanimates as a Wight. S5,E8

Shireen Baratheon is tied to the pyre and sacrificed by Melisandre as a royal blood offering. S5,E9

Hizdahr zo Loraq is stabbed repeatedly by a few Harpies during the attack at the Fighting Pits. S5,E9

Selyse Baratheon hangs herself in the forest outside Stannis's camp. S5,E10

Gordy and Simpson are cut down in the battle aftermath by a wounded Stannis Baratheon. S5,E10

Stannis Baratheon is wounded in battle outside Winterfell, only to be executed by Brienne of Tarth. S5,E10

Myranda is thrown from the ramparts to her death by Theon Greyjoy after attempting to kill Sansa. S5,E10

Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy leap off the wall to escape Winterfell. We did not see them hit the ground, so their fate will be determined next season. S5,E10

Meryn Trant is stabbed in both eyes, stabbed multiple times in the torso, and gets his throat slit by Arya Stark. S5,E10

The Kindly Man poisons himself in front of Arya and the Waif as penance for Arya's actions. S5,E10

Myrcella Baratheon is poisoned with a kiss from Ellaria Sand. S5,E10

Jon Snow is stabbed in a mutiny by Alliser Thorne, Olly, Bowen Marsh, Othell Yarwyck, and a multitude of Rangers. There are rumors of a possible resurrection and a recent promotional poster for Season 6 revealing Jon Snow, seemingly alive. But this won't be confirmed, likely until we see a trailer for next season. S5,E10

Season Six

Winter is coming has several meanings - it's literal, in that a very long winter is ahead. It's the motto of house Stark, and it's a symbolic statement about the dark periods of life that inevitably happen to everyone.

Read more: http://screenprism.com/insights/article/when-exactly-is-winter-coming-in-game-of-thrones-what-does-that-even-mean

Yes. Her face was digitally inserted onto another woman's body for any full-frontal nude shots. An explanation of how the entire scene was filmed can be found here: http://screenprism.com/insights/article/what-was-the-process-of-shooting-cerseis-game-of-thrones-walk-of-shame-scen

Lady Stoneheart is one of the most discussed omissions. Martin has called her the "Gandalf" of Westeros. He has also said that he misses the two eldest Tyrell brothers. Read more of Martin's opinions on the omissions in this article.

From the books, they are not dead. Instead, Theon and Ramsay's bride (who is not Sansa in the books) survive by landing in a large snow bank which has built up outside the wall during a storm.

In the books, the castle has been under siege for some time by what they assume is Stannis' army. Instead it turns out to be a small detachment from House Umber who have declared for Stannis. Their leader, Crowfood Umber, takes Theon captive and sends him on to Stannis's camp.

Robb's downfall is sparked by his impulsive decision to marry Talisa Maegyr. This breaks his marriage pact with Walder Frey and eventually leads to the Red Wedding. One fan theory suggests that Talisa was a Lannister plant, and agent sent to seduce Robb and cause him to break the pact.

There is no definitive answer in the show, but this seems very unlikely. In the books, the story is different. Instead of Talisa, Robb marries Jeyne Westerling, the daughter of a minor Lannister bannerman. Robb is wounded while capturing the Crag, the Westerling family castle. Jeyne nurses him back to health and falls in love with him. It is there that Robb learns about the supposed death of his brothers at Theon's hand and Jeyne comforts him with sex. The next morning, Robb marries her in order to preserve her honor. In the books Jeyne is a loving and devoted wife to Robb and is devastated by his death (she does not attend the Red Wedding and survives). However, her mother, Sybil Spicer, remained loyal to the Lannisters and took part in the conspiracy against Robb by secretly giving her daughter a potion to make sure she did not conceive a Stark heir. But Sybil is clear that her daughter knew nothing of the plot.

In terms of the show, there doesn't seem to be any evidence to support the idea that Talisa was a Lannister agent. She seems genuinely loyal to Robb and never does anything suspicious such as communicating with the Lannisters or expressing hidden motives. Tywin also never indicates that he has an agent in the Northern camp. This idea also seems a bit far fetched and would have to rely on a number of coincidences and chances which Tywin could not possibly control or rely on happening. After all, why would Robb notice this one particular nurse on the battlefield, let alone fall in love with her? And even if he fell in love with her, why would he marry her, and thus break his marriage pact, rather than simply pursuing a relationship on the side, which was very common among nobles?

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