Game of Thrones: the story so far

Want to jump right in with series four? Here's what you need to know...

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[Warning: this article is ENTIRELY made up of spoilers]


1. King Robert Baratheon of Westeros dies, gored by a boar, his senses dulled by the strong wine his conniving wife Queen Cersei sent him in the field.

2. Cersei appoints their son Joffrey (the offspring of an incestuous relationship with her twin, Jaime) to the throne, while she acts as regent. Her other brother, Tyrion, tries to be a steadying influence on the cruel, unstable teen.

3. Robert’s old friend Ned Stark learns that Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) isn’t Robert’s son and sends word to Robert’s brother Stannis, the next in line. Stannis prepares for war to take the throne back.

4. Joffrey has Ned Stark killed. Ned’s son Robb marches south, seeking revenge. His supporters declare Robb King of the North. Ned’s elder daughter Sansa is held hostage at court, tormented by Joffrey, while his younger daughter Arya goes on the run.

5. Beyond the Wall that protects the northern border, the White Walkers, inhuman killers who can reanimate the dead, are rising – and heading south.

6. And across the ocean, Daenerys Targaryen also has a claim to the Iron Throne (Jaime Lannister killed her father Aerys, who was King Robert’s predecessor) – and she’s got dragons on her side!

7. In last season’s jaw-dropping Red Wedding episode, key members of the Stark family were slaughtered in a brutal act of treachery.

Game of Thrones series four starts on Monday 7 April at 2:00am and 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic.