In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime trouble is brewing. The cold is returning and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the centre of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to.
Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavours to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Eddard Stark, the master of Winterfell, is called to the court of his king in order to be his trusted right hand and advisor. Yet, intrigants, killers and unscrupulous noblemen gather around the throne whose insinuations cannot be resisted by the weak king.
While Eddard sees himself surrounded by mighty enemies, his son the future ruler of the north, faces an ancient old dark power. The future of the realm depends on the masters of Winterfell.
The series is based on the book series "A song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin
Take a closer look at the opening credits! With each location that is introduced in the storyline the map of Westeros and the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea is revealed. This reminds me of the online games such as World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings online where the map also only reveals the parts where you as the player have been to.
The actors' names in the opening credits also feature an icon displaying the house sigil their characters are from.
The End credits do not simply have an end credits music which is always the same. Instead the music continues from the last scene of the episode.
Lord Eddard Stark is the Lord of Winterfell and the warden of the north of Westeros. Once he helped his friend Robert Bathareon to gain the Iron Throne. Now the king wants him at his right hand at the court of King's Landing.
Robert Baratheon is the king of the Seven Kingdoms to which he was crowned after winning the War of the Usurper with the help of his friend Eddard Stark. Robert loves life, women and hunting and once was a renowned warrior. But over time he became lazy, tired and fat. Robert feels that his time is coming to an end and that the Seven Kingdoms are short of breaking up. That is why he commands Eddard Stark as his new Hand because he considers him the only one left he can trust.
Jaime Lannister is the first born son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock. He has two siblings Cersei Lannister and Tyrion Lannister. At the age of fifteen Jaime was the youngest member of the Kingsguard in history. At the end of Robert Baratheon's rebellion Jaime killed the mad king Aerys which gave him the nickname Kingslayer.
Catelyn Stark is Eddard's wife born in the house of Tully, which does not make her a northerner. Her family runs Riverrun. She has a younger brother and an older sister, Lisa Tully who now rules over the Vale after her husband got murdered. Catelyn is a strong woman but has never accepted Eddard's escapade from which Jon Snow origins. Despite being a loving mother she despises Jon Snow since he reminds her about what Eddard did to her that many years ago.
Cersei Lannister is Tywin Lannister's oldest child and the twin sister of Jaime Lannister to whom she has a deeply felt relationship. After Robert Baratheon's rebellion against King Aerys II she married Robert Baratheon and became the queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Life has hardened her since her husband, whom she had adored, never really has loved her. Cersei has become an ambitious and unscrupulous woman trampling over dead bodies when it comes to her children and maintaining the powerful position she is in.
Daenerys Targaryen is the daughter of King Aerys II and his wife Rhaella. She was born during Robert Baratheon's rebellion against her father in a stormy night which gave her also the name Daenerys Stormborn. Her mother died giving birth to her. She and her brother Viserys are the only ones left from the Targaryen dynasty. Having fled to the free cities she is forced to marry Khal Drogo of the Dothraki since her brother Viserys wants Khal Drogo's army to gain back the Iron Throne he is the rightful heir of.
Ser Jorah Mormont is the only son and thus heir of Jeor Mormont at Bear Island. Jorah brought shame to the house Mormont by selling caught poachers as slaves. Slavery is considered a sin in Westeros and punished by death. Before Eddard Stark could catch and behead him Jorah fled from Westeros to the free cities across the narrow sea. Now he acts as advisor to Daenerys Targaryen.
Viserys Targaryen is the son of King Aerys II and his wife Rhaella. He was only a boy during the rebellion of Robert Baratheon against his father. Since most of his family got slain during the rebellion he was left heir to his father's throne. He and his sister were smuggled to Braavos, one of the free cities across the Narrow Sea. When money got scarce Viserys sold the crown of his mother which gave him the nickname the "Beggar King". Blaming his sister for his mother's death he does not treat her well warning her not to wake the dragon and inciting his anger. In order to gain back the throne that is his he sells his sister to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki people to have his army fighting his war.
Jon Snow is the bastard son of Eddard Stark. Since Catelyn Stark does not accept him as a son she did not give birth to and since he feels generally treated as an outsider, he puts on the black and joins the Night's Watch just like his uncle Benjen Stark. Although he will never become the heir of Winterfell due to his being a bastard Jon loves and adores his father Eddard Stark. All his life he was told that it was an honourable thing to join the Night's Watch but when he finally has arrived at the Wall he learns that things are quite different from what he was told. His white furred albino dire wolf with red eyes is called "Ghost".
Sansa Stark dreams of a noble life at the side of a king or knight. She is quite the lady and good with needle work. She leaves for King's Lading to be married to Joffrey Baratheon. She believes that all of her dreams have come true but life teaches her a different lesson and slowly Sansa loses her naivity. Her gray dire wolf is called "Lady", which is killed by Eddard Stark as a token of good will to please queen Cersei.
Arya Stark likes more an archery session than doing needle work. She feels that a woman too must be allowed to fight and go to war. Before she leaves for King's Landing Jon Snow gives her a gift: an especially for her forged sword, which she calls needle. Her gray dire wolf is called "Nymeria", which she chases away to save its life after it had protected her against Joffrey Baratheon.
Robb Stark is the oldest son of Eddard and Catelyn Stark and thus the heir of Winterfell. Robb is a level headed young man who thinks things through before he acts. Just like his father, Eddard Stark, Robb values honour and mercy. His grey furred dire wolf is called "Grey Wind".
Theon Greyjoy is the son and heir of Balon Greyjoy but grew up as a ward of Eddard Stark after Balon Greyjoy's rebellion against king Robert Baratheon. Although being a hostage his relationship with the Starks can be considered as respectful. He loves Robb Stark like a younger brother but loathes Jon Snow. Always seeking for confirmation and approval he does not receive he feels misunderstood and not taken seriously. Theon is hot headed and acts before he thinks.
Bran Stark trains to become a knight one day. He is very good at climbing over the walls and rooftops of Winterfell. After a fall he is no longer able to walk. This is when he starts to have nightmares in which his dire wolf "Summer" and a crow with three eyes play a big part.
Joffrey Baratheon is the oldest child of Robert Baratheon and Cersei Lannister and thus heir to the Iron Throne. He is strong willed and has an uncontrollable temper. He also has a very sadistic streak. Joffrey is meant to marry Sansa Stark by the will of his king father Robert but actually he does not want to.
Sandor Clegane, also called "The Hound", is the younger brother of Gregor Clegane. As a child his brother punished him by putting his head into the fire when Sandor was caught playing with a toy that belonged to his brother. Scarred for life Sandor loathes fire, his brother and knighthood in general. He gained his nickname from the house Clegane's sigil showing three hounds and his obedience to his masters.
Tyrion Lannister is Tywin's third child and second son, a misshapen dwarf which gets him the nickname "The Imp" and "The Halfman". Tyrion is very well educated but also very calculating. His father does not respect him because he blames Tyrion for his mother's death while giving birth to him. Tyrion can be very cruel but he has a soft spot for the mistreated and crippled. Tyrion's true love was a prostitute with the name Tysha who he had married thinking it was true love. He did not know that his brother Jaime had arranged for that to make him a man. His father forced him to watch Tysha repeatedly getting raped. Tyrion still loves Jaime for bringing him and Tysha together but loathes his father.
Petyr Baelish was born in the House of Bealish of the Finger, a sub house of the House Arryn and was fostered as a ward at Riverrun in the House of Tully. There he got his nickname Littlefinger that was given to him by Edmure Tully. Petyr Baelish got promoted Master of Coin when Lysa Arryn (born Tully) suggested him to her husband Jon Arryn, who was the Hand of King Baratheon until his death. Petyr seems to switch politically sides always to the one bringing him an advantage. When Eddard Stark comes to King's Landing as the new Hand for the king, Petyr feigns friendship and offers to help in the name of his love for Catelyn Stark (born Tully).
Lord Varys originates from Essos from across the Narrow Sea. Similar to Petyr Baelish it is not clear where his allegiance lies. Lord Varys is well informed about what is going on in Westeros and calls his informants his "little birds". He also is still in contact with people from Essos gaining and giving information from and to both sides of the Narrow Sea. When asked about his motives, Lord Varys tells Eddard Stark that he only serves the realm and after all there should be at least someone who does. Lord Varys serves as an advisor to the king in the small council of Westeros.
Jeor Mormont was the Lord of Bear Island, his house sworn to Winterfell. When his son had brought shame on his house, Jeor took the Black and joined the Night's Watch. Now he is Lord Commander of the sworn brotherhood. When Jon Snow saves his life Jeor gives him the from Valyrian steal made sword Longclaw where he exchanged the bear pommel with a wolf pommel as a gift. Jeor adopts Jon to a degree and slowly prepares him as a successor once he has died.
Bronn is a mercenary with unclear origin. He is present when Tyrion Lannister is taken hostage by Catelyn Stark and decides to join the group on their journey to the Eyrie where Tyrion Lannister should be sentenced for the murder of Jon Arryn and the tried murder of Bran Stark. In the following trial by ordeal Bronn represents Tyrion in single combat, wins and from there on follows Tyrion as a faithful companion. Bronn's allegiance lies with whoever can pay him the most.
On his 18th birthday Samwell Tarly's father gives him a choice: Either to join the Night's Watch or being the game in a hunt until the death. Seeing no other alternative Sam unwillingly takes the black. The training sessions become a torture for him, since Sam is a coward and cannot defend himself at all. The only one taking pity on him is Jon Snow who becomes his best friend. But Sam is not completely useless. He likes to read and with reading he gains a good knowledge about things like how to kill the white walkers for instance.
Tywin Lannister is the father of Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion Lannister. His favourite is Jaime and his least favourite Tyrion. Tywin makes Tyrion responsible for the death of his wife while giving birth to him. As the warden of the West he rules over Casterly Rock but also over almost all of the other houses since the Lannisters are the wealthiest amongst the houses and thus the most influential where most of the other houses owe him money. Tywin rules with a strict hand over his realm and does not tolerate objection.
Shae is Tyrion Lannister's concubine. Her origin is unclear but her exotic looks and accent could let her come from Essos. Shae accompanies Tyrion to King's Landing although Tywin Lannister clearly forbade it. Thus Shae has to stay hidden if she wants to be together with her lover and not to be beheaded.
Davos Seaworth was once a smuggler until he had helped Stannis Baratheon during the siege of Storm's End. Stannis made him "Onion Knight" but also cut off the first limb of four of his fingers on his left hand both as a thank and as a punishment. Davos serves now as a close advisor to Stannis and is known for not being afraid to tell the truth. This changes when Melisandre appears in who Davos sees a threat for Stannis.
Stannis is the younger brother of Robert Baratheon and second successor to the throne. When Robert dies Eddard Stark informs him about him being the rightful heir of Westeros. Stannis wants the throne and prepares to attack King's Landing. Stannis is known for being a good soldier who is able to lead his men to success. Strict and unforgiving Stannis is not beloved by the people. He is an army leader, not a leader in peace times.
Melisandre, also called the red woman, is a priestess of the Eastern one god R'hllor, the god of light. In a vision she sees Stannis as the chosen one Azor Ahai who wields the sword light bringer and brings Westeros to peace. Joining Stannis court the lady in red oozes power and charisma and spreads fear among her haters. Melisandre always wears red, does not feel the cold and seems to have dark magical abilities. She also takes away Davos' position as closest advisor to Stannis.
Margaery Tyrell is the 16 year old daughter of Lord Mace Tyrell and the sister of the knight of the flowers, Loras Tyrell. In order to unite the house of Tyrell with Renly Baratheon's followers she is married to Renly. With the help of the Tyrell's money Renly goes to war seeing himself as the new king of Westeros. Margaery is very well educated and has not a problem with this political marriage. She supports her brother in all things he does, including his lover Renly.
The House Stark's origin goes back to Brandon the builder and the old winter kings. Over thousands of years they had been ruling as the kings of the north from Winterfell until Torrhen Stark, the kneeling king preferred to swear his allegiance to Aegon the dragon in order not to go to battle.
Sigil: gray dire wolf on white field
Motto: Winter is Coming
Region: The North
Title: Warden of the North
Sworn Houses: House Mormont
It is the youngest of the Great Houses originating from the Wars of Conquests. It is rumored that its founder, Orys Baratheon was a half brother of Aegon the Dragon. When Orys slayed the last Storm King, Aegon rewarded him and Orys took over the Storm King's sigil, the title and the motto.
Sigil: Black Crowned Stag on golden field
Motto: Ours is the Fury
Region: The Stormlands
Seat: Storm's End
Title: Lord of Storm's End
Sworn Houses: House Thorne
Blond, tall and handsome are the Lannisters who origin from the Andal adventureres and who built a mighty kingdom on the hills and in the valleys of the west. The gold of Casterly Rock and Golden Tooth have made them to the wealthiest of the Great Houses and thus have become very influential.
Sigil: golden lion on crimson field
Motto: Hear me Roar
Region: The Westerlands
Seat: Casterly Rock
Title: Warden of the West
Sworn Houses: House Clegane
The Targaryens are the blood of the dragons and descended from the high lords of the ancient Freehold of Valyria. They are extremely beautiful with lilac or indigo or violet eyes and hair of silver-gold or platinum white. The dragons are not more and the two left heirs fled from Westeros.
Sigil: 3-headed dragon red on black field
Motto: Fire and Blood
The House of Arryn is one of the purest and noblest lines of Andal nobility since it descend from the Kings of Mountain and Vale. They are the warden of the East and rule from the Eyrie. The death of Jon Arryn drives his wife Lysa, Catelyn Stark's sister, into madness.
Sigil: white moon-and-falcon on sky blue field
Motto: As High as Honor
Region: The Vale
Seat: The Eyrie
Title: Warden of the East
Sworn Houses: House Baelish
The House Greyjoy descend from the Grey King of the Age of Heroes. Aegon Targaryen granted the survivors of the fall of Harrenhal to revive their ancient custom and to choose who would have primacy over them. They chose Vickon Greyjoy and his line.
Sigil: Golden Kraken on black field
Motto: We Do Not Sow
Region: The Iron Islands
Title: King of Salt and Rock
The female line of the House Tyrell descend from the gardener king of the first Men. When the last king perished, his steward Harlen Tyrell surrendered Highgarden to Aegon Targaryen and was granted the castle and dominion over the Reach.
Sigil: Golden Rose on green field
Motto: Growing Strong
Region: The Reach
Title: Warden of the South
Sworn Houses: House Tarly
The brotherhood of the Night's Watch consists of all houses. The men bind themselves completely to protecting the 700 foot high Wall of ice that stretches across the northern border of Westeros against anything that might want to invade from behind. Once the men of the Night's Watch were considered brave and honourable and were 5,000 men strong. Now the brotherhood has shrunk so much in size that they cannot even man all the fortress along the Wall. There were once nineteen castles but only three castles along the Wall are still inhabited by the Night's Watch.
The main fotress Castle Black lies at the end of the Kingsroad and features a tunnel passage to the other side of the Wall. It is commanded by Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, also called the bear. Eastwatch-by-the-sea is the castle farthest east along the Wall, located on a grey, windswept shore by the Bay of Seals and is commanded by Cotter Pyke. The Shadow Tower is located next to mountains at the far end of the Wall and is commanded by Ser Denys Mallister.
In order to get new recruits the Night's Watch is forced to take criminals, scum and other people that want to get rid of their old life to gain a new clean one. Once they have completed their training the new recruits are given their posts as either rangers, steards or builders and have to perform an oath to become men of the Night's Watch. They have to forsake their old lives, leave their families behind and don't take sides in anything politics going on outside. They also cannot desert. A deserter of the Night's Watch will be beheaded. Having made the choice to become a brother of the Night's Watch means to be a brother until death.
"Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come."
Probably best known for his Iron Man movie score German-born Ramin Djawadi is not new to composing scores for TV shows. I must say that what Ramin Djawadi did for Game of Thrones is absolutely high class and epic. Why not hop over to his official website and tell him so.
The music you can play above is not stolen or illegally displayed. I pay the GEMA fees.