What the hell happened on Game of Thrones season 6?
The sixth season of Game of Thrones aired more than a year ago. Who could remember back that far when every news week since November 2016 has felt like a lifetime? I wouldn't blame you for a second if you don't remember what Bran saw in his first vision or how Sansa evaded Ramsay's hounds.
But come July 16, you'll need to get caught up on about two dozen characters, every bickering house, and what wars these damn people are fighting in what part of the world. Hell, do you even know who is alive or dead at this point?
Well, you're not going to re-watch the last season of Game of Thrones to refresh your memory. You have better shit to do and in this era of peak TV with all of the new things to watch. So let us do you a favor: Don't spend another 10ish hours watching the whole season. Don't go back and read every detailed recap. Don't Wikipedia the synopses like a lazy high school student. Instead, we have the most important part of each episode summed up in two sentences or less. If you'd like to get more details on specific confusing plot lines, we've provided links to our full recaps, which go into more depth.
If you also want to get caught up on where each of these people are at by the end of Season Six, click on each character's name to bring you to our glossary at the end.
Get caught up and we'll see you back here on July 16.
Episode One: "The Red Woman"
This episode was mostly catching up on where we left off in Season Five: Jaime telling Cersei that Myrcella is dead; Jon Snow is still dead; Tyrion and Varys take a stroll through Meereen; Daenerys is back with the Dothraki; Melisandre is actually old(??); Arya is blind and getting beaten up on the streets by the Waif. But the most important thing to happen is that Brienne and dear sweet Pod finally meet up with Sansa and save her from Ramsay's hounds.
Episode Two: "Home"
There's some growing tension in King's Landing between the High Sparrow and Cersei, random people doing shit in the dreary Iron Islands, Bran has been sitting in a tree for two years having visions, and Tyrion is taming dragons and trying to run a whole goddamn country. But, of course, the key part of this episode is that Jon Snow is back—saved by Melisandre like everyone expected.
Episode Three: "Oathbreaker"
So Jon Snow is back and having some sort of existential crisis, the Mountain is also back, Arya has eyesight again after training with the Faceless Men, and Ramsay has abducted Rickon Stark (and also killed Shaggydog). But the key moment of this scene is the vision flashback of Eddard Stark and Howland Reed killing the Kingsguard outside of the Targaryens' Tower of Joy in Dorne.
Episode Four: "Book of the Stranger"
The big scene in this episode was when Daenerys torched all those Dothraki lords and didn't get burned by the fire (again!), but that was just the end of an unnecessary detour on her meandering plot. What's key here is that Sansa and Jon Snow are finally back together after literally the entire series—a relationship that will be important throughout this season and into the next.
Episode Five: "The Door"
Oh man, this was the "Hold the Door" episode in which brave, wonderful Hodor saved dumbass Bran by holding the goddamn door. (Sorry to remind you, but his direwolf Summer died, too!). While we also learn the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest, it's important to remember that we learn Bran has the ability to control the future by changing the past.
Episode Six: "Blood of My Blood"
This was one of those middling episodes that pushed the plot forward ever so slightly with Jaime finally leaving King's Landing for Riverrun and Arya bailing on the Faceless Men and then finding her sword, Needle. But what's important to remember, at least going forward, is that Bran is saved from the White Walker army by his uncle, Benjen Stark, who tells him that dragonglass stops the white walkers and he must become the Three-Eyed Raven.
Episode Seven: "The Broken Man"
Hey, so Ian McShane is fucking awesome and Sandor Clegane is back and looking for revenge. There are a few other things that are small, but key, to the overall plot—like Yara and Theon planning to take the Iron Fleet to Daenerys, Jon and Sansa gathering a northern army complete with badass Lady Lyanna Mormont, and the High Sparrow pretty much taking power in King's Landing.
Episode Eight: "No One"
Jaime and Brienne have a sweet farewell as Riverrun falls to Lannister forces, King's Landing is a shit show leading up to the big boom, and Arya finally kills the goddamn Waif. But the big moment here is when Daenerys finally returns to Meereen on the back of Drogon to reclaim the city from the Masters' fleet.
Episode Nine: "Battle of the Bastards"
OK, so Daenerys and Tyrion destroy the Masters and finally meet Yara and Theon, but that's hard to remember after watching the biggest battle in TV history, the Battle of the Bastards between the following: On one side is House Stark, House Mormont, House Hornwood, House Mazin, and House Arryn storming Winterfell; on the other is House Bolton, House Karstark, and House Unber. This shit is bloody, big, and beautiful—but also very important, as Jon Snow retakes Winterfell, Rickon Stark dies, and Sansa watches as that dickhead Ramsay gets eaten alive by starving dogs.
Episode Ten: "The Winds of Winter"
With Tommen Baratheon dead, Cersei kills the following people with wildfire to become Queen: Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, The High Sparrow, Lancel Lannister, Kevan Lannister, Grand Maester Pycelle. Meanwhile, Lyanna Mormont gives a badass speech declaring Jon Snow King of the North, Daenerys sets sail for Westeros with Tyrion as Hand of the Queen (and also possibly a Targaryen), and Bran has a vision that confirms Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and Daenerys is his aunt.
Where Are All These Characters Right Now?
Here's your glossary of every core character and their whereabouts and status by the end of the sixth season. Essentially, all these people are starting to converge in Westeros (either south at King's Landing or North in Winterfell) in preparation for the big war to come.
Having finally become a Faceless assassin, Arya ends up at the Twins in Westeros, where she disguises herself as a serving girl and cuts Lord Walder Frey's throat as revenge for the Red Wedding.
Okay, so this is going to take a little bit more to than two sentences to explain. We hadn't seen Bran in a while because he ended up in a tree with the Three-Eyed Raven (a human who lives with the Children of the Forest and can do magic) learning Greensight, AKA magic that allows him to see into the future, the past, and dreams. Bran also has the ability to "warg," or enter the minds of animals and control their actions. Anyway, he's in this tree north of the wall and gets attacked by White Walkers where the Three-Eyed Raven dies. We last see Bran with Meera Reed after being saved by Benjen Stark out in the wilderness north of The Wall.
Brienne and Pod
Having fulfilled her oath and safely delivered Sansa to her brother, Brienne of Tarth is last seen in a rowboat with Pod and the Valyrian sword Oathkeeper escaping Riverrun. She is sworn by honor (an oath given to Catelyn Stark before her murder) to serve the Stark family, which means upon their next meeting she must fight Jaime. (An extra sentence here for the best character on the show.) Pod is Brienne's squire, who is sweet and good.
Cersei, the former mother of king Tommen Baratheon (the last of her children with Jaime to die after Joffrey and Myrcella), ends Season Six sitting on the Iron Throne in King's Landing after killing all of her enemies by blowing them up with wildfire in the Sept of Baelor.
Children of the Forest
These mysterious ancient creatures were apparently the first living beings in Westeros. Though they are considered a myth in modern-day Westeros, they very much exist (Bran and Benjen Stark have both spent time with them) and have archaic magic that is both key to the creation and destruction of the White Walkers.
After literally six seasons of watching Daenerys meander a different continent conquering pointless civilizations, she's finally—FUCKING FINALLY—sailing toward Westeros with her dragons and her army to take part in the storyline that actually matters.
Though he was beheaded in the first season, Ned Stark's actions have rippled throughout the entire series in the deaths and lives (but mostly deaths) of his family. In Season Six, we see two key flashbacks at the Tower of Joy (the name of which doesn't really matter only what happens). These two flashbacks show a scene of Ned during Robert's Rebellion (the war in which Robert Baratheon overthrew House Targaryen as ruler of Westeros), where he fights his way inside and is given baby Jon Snow (the forbidden son of his sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen) to raise as his own.
Having spent most of his Season Six standing idly by in King's Landing, Jaime is sent briefly to Riverrun, then returns to watch Cersei's coronation as Queen. He seems pretty upset at all this drama.
So, having died, then getting resurrected, then gathering an army and fighting a great battle, Jon Snow (who still doesn't know he's a Targaryen) has reclaimed his home castle of Winterfell. There, all the lords of the north proclaim him the King of the North, and soon he'll be fighting the great war against the White Walkers.
Sandor Clegane AKA The Hound
The Hound worked as bodyguard for Joffrey Lannister (that little shit who was king for a brief time), and—even though he was technically a bad guy—he was pretty kind to Sansa during all of it. He had a brief little buddy comedy stretch in Season Four with Arya, which ends with him getting killed in battle by Brienne of Tarth—or so you think, until he returns in this season and ends up with the Brotherhood Without Banners in the Riverlands.
At the end of Season Six, Sansa Stark has finally escaped abusive, horrible people and sits by her brother's side in Winterfell as a trusted advisor. She has the power and respect she's deserved this whole time.
Theon Greyjoy and Yara Greyjoy
Theon met his sister Yara for the first time before he was captured and castrated by Ramsay Bolton. After helping Sansa escape from Winterfell he reunited with his sister, hijacked the fleet of ships from the Iron Islands and brought them to Daenerys to become part of her army sailing toward Westeros.
A proven leader, strategist, and dragon tamer (which might be important!), Tyrion Lannister has been made Daenery's Hand of the Queen. He stands by her side as they sail for Westeros to fight the great war.