Entertainment TV Dummies guide to Game of Thrones Season 4
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Dummies guide to Game of Thrones Season 4

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What do they want? The Iron Throne! When do they want it? Now!

HBO’s mega-hit medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones returns to our television screens this Monday. As the citizens of all Seven Kingdoms scramble for absolute power there are elaborate names, locations and backstories being thrown around like red wedding confetti.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed (everyone is), it’s time to get character savvy so you’re not excluded from every conversation starting next week.

Daenerys Targaryen a.k.a. Khaleesi a.k.a. Queen of Dragons (played by Emilia Clarke)

daenerysWho: The gorgeous blonde with the dragons permanently attached to her shoulders, Daenerys (nickname Dany) is the show’s reigning Queen of Girl Power. She hatched her dragons following the death of her Dothraki husband, Khal Drogo (a really attractive, powerful caveman thug). Since then, she has made an admirable conquest for the Iron Throne, employing mercy, dragons and tactical brilliance to win loyal followers and take the armies of several powerful cities. She’s also multilingual. What a woman.

Hometown/Allegiance: Dragonstone castle, Blackwater Bay/House Targaryen

Where we left her: Literally crowd-surfing on the slaves of Yunkai, a merchant city, as they adoringly called her “mhysa” (mother) and pledged their allegiance to her. That means Dany now has a sea of slaves, an army of trained killers and the hunky leader of the Second Sons, Daario, on her side.

Likelihood of dying: Not very high given that she has all those powerful people behind her.

King Joffrey a.k.a. Joffrey Baratheon a.k.a Protector of the Realm (played by Jack Gleeson)

king-joffreyWho: The Justin Bieber of King’s Landing (except way, way worse), Joffrey made a swift ascent to the Iron Throne after his father died and has been lapping it up ever since. Unbeknownst to him, he’s the product of incest, which probably explains a lot. He’s angry, merciless and twisted and doesn’t care what you think.

Hometown/Allegiance: King’s Landing/House Baratheon and House Lannister

Where we left him: On a crazed power spree and betrothed to the charming and infinitely more intelligent Margaery Tyrell.

Likelihood of dying: High. He makes a lot of people very angry and is a pretty shoddy King.

Tyrion Lannister a.k.a The Imp (played by Peter Dinklage)

tyrionlannisterWho: The dwarf with the quick wit and big heart from one of the most powerful families in the kingdom, Tyrion is only alive because his father, Tywin, is the Game of Thrones equivalent of Rupert Murdoch – powerful and rich with friends in high places. People constantly trash talk him for being short, but he’s an audience favourite.

Hometown/Allegiance: Casterly Rock/House Lannister

Where we left him: Tyrion was forced to wed a reluctant Sansa Stark but is still secretly in love with his foreign mistress, Shae.

Likelihood of dying: We hope he’s not at risk, but Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin has a habit of killing off favourite characters.

Jaime Lannister a.k.a. The Kingslayer (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)

jaime-lannisterWho: The trophy child of the Lannister clan and a knight of the Kingsguard, Jaime is in love with his twin sister, Cersei. He started the show as a not-so-great person, but has revealed he has some redeeming qualities while enduring serious hardship. We shouldn’t forget that he pushed a kid out of a window, though.

Hometown/Allegiance: Casterly Rock/House Lannister

Where we left him: Jaime was kidnapped by the men of the North (Stark folk) while travelling home with his super-tall female guard, Brienne. He and Brienne bonded throughout a series of unfortunate events which left Jaime with no right hand (tough luck). He made it back to King’s Landing and ended season three with a reunion with Cersei.

Likelihood of dying: He’s growing on us, so we’re not ready to lose him yet, but revelations of incest threaten his reputation and safety.

Jon Snow a.k.a. The bastard (played by Kit Harington)

jon-snowWho: The rugged lone ranger who takes on White Walkers (an army of dead people) and protects the North working on The Wall. The bastard son of Ned Stark, he grew up as a half-member of the Stark family in Winterfell before committing himself to the Night’s Watch. He is honourable, loyal and has a great head of hair.

Hometown/Allegiance: Winterfell/The Night’s Watch

Where we left him: Shot and badly injured by his girlfriend, Ygritte, Jon managed to make it back to the Night’s Watch headquarters, Castle Black, after an extended stint with the Wildling (read: hippy eskimo) community.

Likelihood of dying: High. He often finds himself behind enemy lines, has an angry girlfriend on the loose and is charged with fighting everything that’s bad in the world. Don’t get too attached.

Sansa Stark (played by Sophie Turner)

sansa-starkWho: One of the few remaining members of her family (the Red Wedding episode  basically killed most of them off), the eldest Stark daughter Sansa is stuck married to Tyrion, under the hateful control of King Joffrey and amongst a league of enemies

Hometown/Allegiance: Winterfell/House Stark and House Lannister (by marriage)

Where we left her: Hating life. She’s been separated from what remains of her family and forced into a loveless marriage. There is pressure for her to produce an heir but she does not want to sleep with Tyrion. To make matters worse, she just learned that her new husband’s family were responsible for the death of her mother and brother.

Likelihood of dying: Medium. Every Stark is at risk but Sansa seems to have survived in King’s Landing against all odds.

Theon Greyjoy (played by Alfie Allen)

theon-greyjoyWho: The heir of Lord Balon Greyjoy, Theon was taken hostage by the Stark family at a young age and raised as one of them. When things went sour, however, he was quick to turn on his adopted relatives and return to his Iron Islands hometown to reclaim his position. His father rejected him in favour of his more capable sister and Theon was forced to go rogue. He’s not easy to like due to his disloyal nature, but we feel sorry for him.

Hometown/Allegiance: The Iron Islands/House Greyjoy

Where we left him: Tortured, castrated (yes, you read that right) and hopeless at the hands of the inexplicably merciless Ramsay Snow, for reasons unknown at this point in time. Ramsay sent Theon’s former (ahem) body part to his father demanding that he withdraw his people from the North. Since Lord Greyjoy isn’t a big fan of his “traitor” son, it’s unclear whether this tactic will work.

Likelihood of dying: High. To be honest, we’re surprised he’s made it this far.

Cersei Lannister a.k.a. Queen Regent (played by Lena Headey)

cersei-lannisterWho: The calculating, bitter Queen of King’s Landing, mother to evil Joffrey, former wife of Robert Baratheon, sister of Tyrion and sister/lover of Jaime Lannister (yes, again, you read that right). Cersei ain’t perfect. She sleeps with her brother, lies, manipulates and schemes, all the while struggling to control her power-crazy illegitimate son.

Hometown/Allegiance: Casterly Rock/House Lannister

Where we left her: Close to suicidal and living on only for her children. Like Tyrion, Cersei has been forced into marriage by her father and is betrothed to Loras Tyrell, the brother of her son’s new wife. Keeping it in the family is clearly a Lannister trademark. The only bright side in her life right now is that her beloved twin brother has just returned after being taken by the North.

Likelihood of dying: High. If someone else doesn’t do it, she will.

Stannis Baratheon a.k.a. Lord of Dragonstone (played by Stephen Dillane)

stannis-baratheonWho: The brother of the late King Robert Baratheon, Stannis is the only rightful successor to the throne and is keen to take it back from Joffrey. He’s gotten himself tangled up in an affair with a kooky redhead (Melisandre) who has convinced him that sorcery is the way forward. Stannis is a strong, singleminded leader with potential, but is easily influenced by Melisandre.

Hometown/Allegiance: Storm’s End/House Baratheon

Where we left him: Rallying troops to go and help out the lovely gents at The Wall (they need it) and then proceed on to seize King’s Landing. Melisandre is constantly by his side whispering black magic into his ear.

Likelihood of dying: High. He’s going in to bat with some of the most powerful people in the kingdom and we just don’t trust the redhead.

Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams)

Arya-Stark-arya-stark-31335129-700-466-640x426Who: The youngest Stark, Arya is feisty, strong and clever. She’s been separated from her family for a long time after escaping King’s Landing, and has been posing as a little boy to improve her chances of survival.

Hometown/Allegiance: Winterfell/House Stark

Where we left her: Wandering the war torn wilderness looking for allies with her unlikely sidekick, the hulking Sandor Clegane, otherwise known as the Hound. Arya has seen her family butchered and is growing up quickly, killing a man for the first time in the final episode of season three.

Likelihood of dying: George R.R. Martin wouldn’t kill a child…would he? WOULD HE?!

Game of Thrones Season 4 premieres on Monday, April 7 on Foxtel’s Showcase channel – Express from US 3.30pm and 7.30pm.