April 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM ET
Thank the gods and baby dragons, "Game of Thrones" is finally back! Oh, how we've missed this fantastical world.
But there are new kings, new characters and new deaths littering the Seven Kingdoms. Want to know what happened to your favorite Imp? Is Joffrey a fair and just king? How is gorgeous and broody Jon Snow doing with the wildlings? And most importantly, has winter finally come?
Find out now! But beware it's a world of spoilers beyond this wall...
What we learned
King's Landing: You won't be surprised to know that King Joffrey is worse than when we last left him. He has a busy schedule as king: redecorating the throne room, watching people kill each other for his name day amusement and later rounding up all of King Robert's other offspring for slaughter. All in a day's work. Alas, Sansa Stark isn't exactly his biggest fan after that whole executing her father thing, but she is cleverly learning how to pacify him. Smart girl.
But there are some things to be grateful for in King's Landing, Tyrion Lannister is back and when he's not acting as Hand of the King, he's hanging out with the secret girlfriend he smuggled into the city. We're sure that will end well.
Winterfell: Little Bran Stark is adjusting to life without use of his legs, including being an awesome Lord of Winterfell, while all of his family is gone. We find out something very significant in astronomy while he watches a comet in the sky: "Comets mean one thing, dragons." Why did no one tell us this before? We would have spent so much more time stargazing! Add dragons, along with direwolves, to the list of animals we want to adopt.
The Red Waste: Speaking of dragons, Daenerys and her little baby dragons walk with her people through the vast Red Waste desert. And they aren't doing so well; the final straw is when her wedding present from dearly departed Drogo, a beautiful grey horse, collapses. They are pretty much out of options and all of Ser Jorah's suggestions end with, "They will kill us and take your dragons." It's hard out there for a Khaleesi.
Beyond the Wall: Jon Snow and co. are taking refuge with one of this season's newest characters: a super horrible father who has lots of daughters and then marries and has children with them. Creepy. And naturally he hates Jon Snow. Crazy. Frankly, we would rather try our luck out in the Haunted Forest.
Dragonstone: Meanwhile on a new stretch of beach, some nice people are having an innocent bonfire. OK, not exactly accurate, as said beach bonfire is actually the work of the sorceress, Melisandre, the close personal adviser of Stannis Baratheon. She's already proven herself very dangerous. But there are some benefits. Melisandre has this season's best new catchphrase (so far): "For the night is dark and full of terrors." She is clearly pushing Stannis down a dangerous path, as he refuses to join Robb Stark and instead pens a scathing letter to King Joffrey and former sister-in-law Cersei regarding his rightful claim to the throne.
Stark Camp: If you were worried about the new King of the North, don't be. Robb Stark is pretty much awesome. He lays out his peace terms that King Joffrey and Cersei cannot possibly accept. In exchange for Jaime Lannister he demands that the bodies of his father and father's men get returned. He also wants his sisters returned. And the kicker, Joffrey and Queen must release the North. Awesomeness handled.
"Death is so boring. Especially now with so much excitement in the world." --Tyrion Lannister
"Are those girls? I haven't seen a girl in six months." --Samwell Tarly
"Power is power." --Queen Cersei
"There's a king in every corner now." --Catelyn Stark
What lies ahead
Snow Danger: Oh, good and lovely Jon Snow will soon find out exactly what that crazy incestuous father does with his sons/grandsons. And it will prove incredibly dangerous for him to learn this secret. They really weren't lying about the dangers north of The Wall.
Bad to Worse: Things really aren't going too well for Daenerys, but that girl is determined. She has a long agenda: to get back her Iron Throne, hold onto her dragons, save her people, but the first step is to find their way out of the Red Waste. But there's more than just dehydration and starvation to worry about. Dun. Dun. Dun.
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