Saturday, March 29, 2014

Part 1 of Dean's Ridiculously Long GoT Overview

Earlier today I posted this on Twitter. And so that gives me as good a reason as any to unleash this madness of an idea on the world. You see, my frequest Guest Blogger Dean is a big Game of Thrones fan. And so when he offered to take on the Joycean task of giving on update on the cast of GoT, and he means EVERYONE . . . who am I to say no? I'll take free content and the hubris of it all is appealing to watch.

So, I won't make this post any longer than it already is. It's all yours, Dean.


Game of Thrones has one of the most sprawling casts spread out over an entire world to keep track of, and it also has a habit of elevating minor characters into more important roles so with Game of Thrones returning I thought it might be helpful to give a refresher on where the characters both major and minor stand at the start of the season. Obviously there are MAJOR SPOILERS in this post, so keep that in mind (spoilers will be limited to the TV show only, so if you haven’t read the books but have seen all of the show you will be safe).


Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfall, Warden of the North, the King’s Hand
Status: Dead. Beheaded by Ser Ilyn Paine at the behest of King Joffrey Baratheon
Why he matters: Poor dumb Ned Stark kicks this whole messy thing off. If he hadn’t accepted the job of Kings Hand for his friend King Robert Baratheon he never would have investigated the parentage of Joffrey and he would have kept his head. Without him the only claimant to the throne would be Danarys Targaryen.

Catelyn Stark, wife of Eddard Stark, mother of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Brann, and Rickon Stark
Status: Dead. Killed at the Red Wedding after cutting the throat of Joyeuse Erenford.
Why she matters: Catelyn has a special knack for taking a situation and then making things worse. By kidnapping Tyrion Lannister she provoked Jaime Lannister into attack her husband. She frees Jaime Lannister which leads to Robb’s bannermen abandoning him, requiring him to make good with Lord Walder Frey to obtain the troops he needs which leads to everyone dying at the Red Wedding.  

Robb Stark, son of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark
Status: Dead. Killed at the Red Wedding.
Why he matters: He was one of the five kings in The War of the Five Kings. He showed prowess in battle, but he let being honorable supersede being smart. Specifically two mistakes led to his undoing: Rather than father a bastard he breaks his vow with Lord Walder Frey and marries Talisa Maegyr rather than aFrey daughter and rather than take Lord Rickard Karstark hostage after Rickard’s men murder Martyn and Willem Lannister Robb beheads him leading to the loss of the Karstark men. Both actions lead directly to the Red Wedding.

Grey Wind, direwolf of Robb Stark
Status: Dead. Killed at the Red Wedding
Why he matters: He was a direwolf who killed people in battle. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Sansa Stark, daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark, wife of Tyrion Lannister
Status: Alive! Married to Tyrion Lannister
Why she matters:  She started the series believing in the fairy tales. She was going to marry her handsome prince and live in her castle and everything was going to be great. But her prince is the monster Joffrey Baratheon, confiding in Cersei Lannister helps lead to her father’s execution, really George R. R. Martin treats her worse than Voltaire treats Candide. She is the naïf that must be taught that the world works differently than the stories, and she must be taught in the worst ways possible.

Lady, direwolf of Sansa Stark
Status: Dead, killed by Eddard Stark
Why she matters: Nymeria, Arya Stark’s direwolf, attacks Joffrey Baratheon. Cersei Lannister orders that Nymeria be killed, but Arya anticipating this forcedNymeria to flee, so Lady is killed in her stead by Eddard Stark. This serves to makes us continue to hate Cersei, show us Eddard’s strong moral code, and drive a wedge between the Stark sisters.

Arya Stark, daughter of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark
Status: Alive! In the Riverlands with Sandor Clegane
Why she matters: Arya is awesome. Where Sansa is often a passive character who bemoans her fate without taking active steps to fix it (which, while often frustrating for the viewer, is not exactly an irrational response to her situation), Arya fights against the world.

Nymeria, direwolf of Arya Stark
Staus: Missing
Why she matters: By defending Arya Stark and attack Joffrey Baratheon she leads to the death of Lady.

Brandon Stark, son of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark
Status: Alive! Beyond the Wall with Hodor and Jojen and Meera Reed.
Why he matters: His love of climbing shows the true nature of Jaime and Cersei Lannister’s relationship. and leads to his paralyzation. Joffrey Baratheon’splan to assassinate him leads Catelyn Stark to kidnap Tyrion Lannister. He is held hostage by Theon Greyjoy. He also has the ability to enter the body of people and animals, part of what appears to be a reawakening of magic in the world of Westeros and has prophetic visions.

Summer, direwolf of Bran Stark
Status: Alive! Beyond the Wall with Bran Stark
Why he matters: He’s an awesome direwolf. Plus Bran Stark can enter his body and run around in him.

Rickon Stark, son of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark
Status: Presumably alive, fleeing the North with Osha and Shaggydog
Why he matters: Honestly he hasn’t really mattered at all yet. It’s generally a surprise when he shows up on screen at all. It’s sad that everyone thinks he is dead though.

Shaggydog, direwolf of Rickon Stark
Status: Presumably alive, fleeing the North with Osha and Rickon Stark
Why he matters: He’s an awesome direwolf, which is more than can be said for Rickon Stark.

Hodor, Hodor
Status: Hodor
Why he matters: Hodor, Hodor, Hodor, HODOR!

Talisa Maegyr, wife of Robb Stark
Status: Dead, killed at the Red Wedding
Why she matters: She is the wrong lesson Robb Stark learned from his father fathering a bastard. Rather than dishonor Talisa he breaks his vow to Lord Walder Frey which leads to their death at the Red Wedding.

Osha, wildling turned servant
Status: presumably alive
Why she matters: She provides early insight into the world of the wildlings beyond the Wall. Also her general skill as a warrior helped Bran and Rickon escape being held hostage by Theon Greyjoy.

Mycah, the butcher’s boy
Status: Dead, killed by Sandor Clegane
Why he matters: Poor Mycah is there as one of the initial instances of how awful Joffrey Baratheon is. Seriously, Joffrey is the worst. He also shows just how little thought most nobles put into the fate of commoners.

Old Nan, servant of House Stark, great-grandmother of Hodor
Status: Dead, passed away between seasons.
Why she matters: She knows all the stories and tells them well.

Rodrik Cassel, Winterfell’s master-of-arms
Status: Dead, killed by Theon Greyjoy
Why he matters: His death erases any remaining sympathy one might have had for Theon Greyjoy.  

Jory Cassel, Captain of the Winterfell castle guard.
Status: Dead, killed by Jaime Lannister
Why he matters: The death of everyone loyal to Eddard Stark shows just how alone the Starks are now in King’s Landing

Mordane, septa of Winterfell
Status: Dead, killed in King’s Landing
Why she matters: The death of everyone, not just warriors, loyal to Eddard Stark shows just how alone the Starks are now in King’s Landing.

Maester Luwin, Maester of Winterfell
Status: Dead, euthanized by Osha after being stabbed by Dagmer
Why he matters: He educated Brann Stark. He is able to send word to Robb Stark about the fate of Winterfell.

Vayon Poole, steward of Winterfell
Status: Dead, killed in King’s Landing
Why he matters: The death of everyone, not just warriors, loyal to Eddard Stark shows just how alone the Starks are now in King’s Landing.

Jeyne Poole, daughter of Vayon Poole, friend of Sansa Stark
Status: Unknown
Why she matters: Everyone matters, some more than others.

Farlen, kennelmaster of Winterfell
Status: Unknown, possibly killed during the sack of Winterfell
Why he matters: He stands up to Theon Greyjoy, but not enough to get himself killed.

Palla, daughter of Farlen
Status: Unknown, possibly killed during the sack of Winterfell
Why she matters: I don’t know? She loves her dad and takes care of him after he gets himself beaten?

Mikken, a smith at Winterfell
Status: Unknown, possibly killed during the sack of WInterfell
Why he matters: He crafted Needle for Arya Stark

Syrio Forel, Braavosi swordsman
Status: Possibly (probably?) dead. He was outnumbered and only had a training sword against Ser Meryn Trant, so probably dead…but who knows?
Why he matters: He taught Arya to fight.

Jojen Reed, Crannogman, brother of Meera Reed
Status: Alive! Beyond the Wall with Brann Stark, Meera Reed, and Hodor
Why he matters: His greensight led him to Brann Stark which led them beyond the wall.

Meera Reed, Crannogman, sister of Jojen Reed
Status: Alive! Beyond the Wall with Brann Stark, Jojen Reed, and Hodor
Why she matters: Unlike most other women of Westeros (excluding  Brienne of Tarth and the wildlings) she is a warrior, and unlike Brienne no one appears to judge her negatively for it. Don’t mess with the crannogmen.

Torrhen Karstark, son of Rickard Karstark
Status: Dead, killed by Jaime Lannister during Jaime’s escape from Robb Stark
Why he matters: His death leads to Rickard Karstark making some rash decisions which leads to the Red Wedding (everything leads to the Red Wedding).

Rickard Karstark
Status: Dead, beheaded by Robb Stark
Why he matters: After Rickard kills Martyn and Willem Lannister, Robb Stark decides to execute him rather than keep him hostage. The execution leads to the Karstark retainers abandoning Robb Stark. The loss of forces requires him to try to appease Lord Walder Frey at the Red Wedding.

Greatjon Umber, Lord of Last Hearth, head of House Umber
Status: Alive! Somewhere.
Why he matters: He helped push Robb Stark into declaring himself King of the North. Also he is one of the few Stark bannermen that is actually still alive.

Galbart Glover, Master of Deepwood Motte, Stark bannerman
Status: Alive! Somewhere.
Why he matters: He is a living bannerman of the Starks.

Maege Mormont, Lady of Bear island, vassal of House Stark
Status: Alive! Somewhere.
Why she matters: She is a living bannerman for the Starks.

Brienne of Tarth, sworn sword of Catelyn Stark
Status: Alive! In King’s Landing with Jaime Lannister
Why she matters: Her presence helps humanize Jaime Lannister. Her assistance in the escape of Jaime Lannister leads to the death of Rickard Karstarkwhich leads to the Red Wedding. Her unwillingness to kill a poor farmer leads to her and Jamie’s capture which leads to the loss of Jamie Lannister’s hand. A bear, a bear and the maiden fair.

Ramsay Snow, a bastard: specifically, Roose Bolton’s bastard
Status: Alive, in a castle in the North
Why he matters: Do you like unrelenting torture? You’ll love Ramsey Snow torturing Theon Greyjoy.

Myranda and Violet
Status: Alive!
Why the matter: Without them we never would get this great Arrested Westeros mash-up

Roose Bolton, head of House Bolton, vassal of House Stark
Status: Alive, at the Twins celebrating a Red Wedding
Why he matters: He releases Jamie Lannister from captivity at Harrenhall. Oh yeah, he also teams up with Lord Walder Frey to stage the Red Wedding and stabs Robb Stark to death. The whole Bolton family is really top notch.

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