It seems like every season of HBO’s Game of Thrones has been highly anticipated, each more “Gah-Why-Won’t-It-Just-Start-Already”-inducing than the last. The show’s popularity continues to grow (it has the dubious honor of being the most pirated show on television) and that means every year there’s a new batch of people who want to get into the show but haven’t yet and therefore attempt to plow through the whole back catalog of episodes before the premiere.
We’re getting ready to start Season 5, which means there are 40 episodes to catch up on. That’s pretty tough for anyone to do, especially now with the days growing ever shorter. So, I’ve decided to help all those people out by telling you the main life lesson you learn from every single one of the episodes. Aren’t I the nicest?
SPOILERS INHERENT FROM HERE ON OUT
1. Incestuous People Will Murder Children
In the pilot, “Winter Is Coming,” screwing siblings Jaime and Cersei Lannister will do anything to stop people finding out they get it on regularly, and also parented the heir to the throne instead of the actual king. That includes shoving Bran Stark out of a high window. Look, just because he DIDN’T die doesn’t make them any less horrible.
2. Don’t Get Too Attached To Anyone, Dogs Included
The Stark children really have a crappy go of things for about the duration of the series, and no sooner has Bran become comatose than, in “The Kingsroad,” Sansa’s precious Direwolf Lady has to be sacrificed because Joffrey’s an evil little twerp, Cersei’s a vile and arrogant wench, and King Robert is a huge pushover. That poor pet.
3. Nobody Pays Attention To The Night’s Watch At All
Even as early as episode 3, “Lord Snow,” it’s clear that what’s going on at The Wall is a billion times more important to the fate of Westeros than anything going on in King’s Landing. Buuuuuuut, everybody’s corrupt and petty or noble and overtaken and hence, we spend most of the series going “White Walkers! They’re SO CLOSE right now!”
4. Tyrion Gets Blamed For EVERYTHING
In “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things,” Tyrion Lannister talks about how people like him don’t get no respect at all, and it would appear they don’t, since Catelyn Stark firmly believes he’s the one who shoved Bran out the window.
5. The Mountain is a F***ing Maniac
So he lost a jousting match; big deal! Well, in “The Wolf and the Lion,” it’s huge to Gregor Clegane as the massive a-hole beheads his own horse and then attempts to kill the pretty young Tyrell boy who beat him. Dude, calm down!
6. Maybe Don’t Insult The Queen Of A Warrior King
Clearly not meant to rule anything but the bottom of a grave, Viserys Targaryen threatens his own sister’s life and that of her Dothraki offspring, not thinking the HUGE MUSCULAR ANGRY GUY to whom he sold her might be just a LITTLE bit peeved about it. He earned “A Golden Crown” for sure.
7. You Win Or You Die
The name of the episode is pretty self-explanatory there. Ned couldn’t play the game.
8. Tywin Lannister Is a Baaaaaaaad Man
He’ll hire anyone to help him kill the Starks who, let me remind you, have done NOTHING BAD. They’re the least lucky family in history. But, that’s “The Pointy End” for ya.
9. Joffrey Will Behead Anyone If You Let Him
Ohhh “Baelor” ain’t a real happy place to be, certainly not if you’re in any way connected to Ned Stark.
10. If You Play With Fire, You Might Be Totally Fine
If you’re the Mother of Dragons, of course, like Daenerys proves herself to be in “Fire and Blood,” one of the only hopeful moments of the entire first season.
11. Don’t Be Related To Anyone
“The North Remembers,” sure, but so does everybody. Even if you’re unfortunate enough to be a bastard and not know it, you might be the late king’s bastard and hence murdered by everyone.
12. Perhaps Don’t Bed A Crazy Witch Person, No Matter How Hot They Are
Stannis is sooooooooo Lord of Light-whipped thanks to Melisandre, who takes him to “The Night Lands,” if you know what I mean.
13. Always Blame a Dead Guy
If you or your friend are being sought after because of who you are, name-wise, just do what Arya did in “What Is Dead May Never Die” and say the one they’re looking for is the one they just killed. Both easy and peasy, and allows Gendry to not-die another day.
14. Joffrey Prefers Torture to Sex
I mean, hey, it was a good idea Tyrion had to try to calm his sadistic nephew down by having two prostitutes take him to the “Garden of Bones,” but Joffrey’d rather have them torture each other to send a message to his hated uncle. A for effort anyway.
15. Fratricide Sounds a Lot More Pleasant Than It Is
Wanting to kill your brother so you can become king is pretty standard stuff, but using a shadow monster, as what kills Renly in “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” to do it is pretty, well, shady. Not cool, Stannis. Not cool.
16. Theon Greyjoy Deserves What’s Coming To Him
In “The Old Gods and the New,” the little creep lays siege to his own adopted home of Winterfell and eventually kills two little kids so everybody thinks Bran and Rickon Stark are dead.
17. Even Cersei Knows Joffrey’s Evil As Frak
Though Jaime might be “A Man Without Honor,” it’s his nephew-son Joffrey who, as we all know, is the real a-hole, and even his mother knows it and tries to tell Sansa to just focus on the kids she’s going to be forced to have with the King. (Is it The Purple Wedding yet?)
18. Never Marry For Love, Only Political Gain
Robb’s downfall begins in “The Prince of Winterfell,” when he won’t stop falling for Lady Talisa. Poor soon-to-be-stabbed idiot.
19. Neil Marshall Is An Awesome Director
This has nothing to do with the story of the show, but dammit if “Blackwater” isn’t the best action movie in forever.
20. Tyrion Continues to Get No Respect At All
Even after leading a miraculously-successful campaign against Stannis’ ships, Tyrion gets attempted-murdered and has his power stripped by the return of Tywin. I mean, this dude doesn’t have any luck at all. Or maybe too much luck. Hmm. “Valar Morghulis,” baby.
21. Stuff Keeps Happening North of the Wall
It really does, you guys. Jon Snow has like a whole book unto himself just up there with Ygritte and Mance Rayder and people in really furry garments. He refuses to believe all the story is happening elsewhere. “Valar Dohaeris” is both the name of this episode, and the name of a great Persian salve.
Hodor. Hodor Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor. Hodor? Hodor. “Hodor Hodor, Hodor Hodor” Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor.
23. Stop Being So Cocky Or A Dude Will Cut Your Hand Off
There’s truly nothing worse for one called The Kingslayer than having no recourse to people picking a fight with you, so maybe shut your mouth and don’t be a jag or you’ll get your hand cut off. Clearly a “Walk of Punishment” would be better.
24. Do Not Mess With Khaleesi
That’s just a fact. She’ll burn you with a dragon. “And Now His Watch Has Ended,” but hers sure as shootin’ hasn’t.
25. I Still Don’t Know What The Deal With The Brotherhood Without Banners Is
That’s just a fact, really. “Kissed by Fire” or not.
26. Boy, It Sucks To Know Littlefinger
That guys is a real killjoy, and in “The Climb,” he gives poor Ros to Joffrey to use as crossbow target practice.
27. Brienne of Tarth Is Awesome Because She Fights A Bear
28. People Say Stupid Shit When They’re Drunk
This is just like real life, but Tyrion nearly loses his head because of it in “Second Sons.”
29. Never Let Anyone Send Their Regards
Just…don’t. If anyone even says the word “regards” around you, run as far as you can. And you can’t just blame it on “The Rains of Castamere.”
30. Mailing Your Enemy His Kid’s Junk Is Just Bad Form
Ramsay Snow is a bastard in a number of ways in “Mhysa.”
31. Don’t Steal Swords Or They Might Stab You In The Throat
Arya Stark never forgets anything, and kills the guy who killed her friend and stole her sword Needle. She might become a psychopath, there’s really no telling.
32. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY No More Joffrey!
33. Having Sex By The Body Of Your Dead Son Is Gross
Even for Jaime Lannister and his sister-girlfriend, that’s some messed-up, troubling shit.
34. White Walkers Keep Existing
It’s like they keep forgetting that there are White Walkers. Yes, “Oathkeeper” is a real great sword name. WHITE WALKERS.
35. Everybody’s Aunt Is Crazy
Or, at least in this show they are. Lysa Arryn is cuckoo-banana-pants. Poor dumb idiot Sansa.
36. You Need Money To Fight A War
This isn’t exclusive to Game of Thrones, but it is a good lesson “The Laws of Gods and Men” taught us.
37. Beware Anyone Who Owns a Moon Door
Such a pretty name for such a hole-to-your-death.
38. Don’t Get Attached To Anyone, Vipers Included
If anyone is cocky about anything, they’re going to die. Poor head-crushed Oberyn. “The Mountain and the Viper” indeed.
39. Neil Marshall Is STILL An Awesome Director
See above but this time for “The Watchers on the Wall.”
40. Never Mess With Tyrion Lannister, Finally
After 40 episodes of being pushed around, kicked, told he sucks and is worthless, belittled and threatened by every member of his family except his brother, and put on trial for a murder he didn’t commit just because he’s a “half-man,” Tyrion goes all Straw Dogs and kills his lover Shae for having gone to bed with his father, and his father while sitting on the crapper for saying disparaging words about Shae. Daaaaaaaaaamn.
And there you more or less have four seasons of Game of Thrones in the nuttiest of shells. Are you ready to embark on another codependent, emotionally-abusive year where we all hope against hope a good guy won’t die even though we know they’re bound to? Of course you are! That’s the whole point.