The return of Game of Thrones is upon us. For the next seven weeks, we will be glued to the TV for Series 7 as the battle intensifies for control of the Iron Throne of Westeros. The main contenders are assembling armies, building alliances and plotting tactics.
Jon Snow is preparing in the North, while Daenerys Targaryen is at sea, sailing towards confrontation in Kings Landing. The current Queen is Cersei Lannister. After blowing up her main rivals she sits upon the Iron Throne, ready to further the cause of House Lannister with her unique blend of cunning and manipulation.
All great leaders need trusted lieutenants and the leaders of Westeros are no exception.
Daenerys Targaryan demands complete loyalty from her generals and advisers. Ever since she began her ascent to the throne she has enjoyed the complete devotion of Jorah Mormont. Originally sent to spy on Daenerys, he was overwhelmed by her bravery and strength of character.
He fell in love with her and pledged loyalty after Daenerys emerged unscathed from her husband’s funeral pyre. She came to value his counsel although he was sent away again after contracting greyscale, a disease that slowly turns the body to stone.
In Jorah’s absence Daenerys was able to turn to the wisdom and considerable wit of Tyrion Lannister, “The Imp”.
After exiling himself from the Lannister family by assassinating his own father, Tyrion teamed up with Jorah and became indispensable to Daenerys. Small of stature, he is a giant character who will have a huge influence on the outcome of the battles ahead.
In the North of Westeros, Jon Snow waits and is assembling a mighty fighting force. His road to the throne has been rocky but he has overcome every obstacle. Jon is the bastard son of Ned Stark and was a member of the Night Watch, the guardians of the great Ice Wall.
He was killed by his own men but rose from death after the intervention of the witch Mellisandre. He then reunited with his half-sister Sansa Stark. They joined forces to defeat the evil Bolton family and Jon and Sansa are now ready to lead the forces of the North.
Helping them is Davos Seaworth, previously a trusted adviser to the Baratheon family. Davos is a man of integrity and is not afraid to voice his own opinions, even though they have sometimes landed him in trouble. Davos, Jon and Sansa head up a formidable force.
In Kings Landing, the capital of Westeros and the home of the Iron Throne, sits Queen Cersei Lannister. Stripped of most of her family and desperately short of allies, she needs help close at hand. This comes in the shape of her twin brother Jaime. He is also the father of Cersei’s children so their bond is rather closer.
Jaime has spent much of his life travelling to outposts of the kingdom, helping to keep order. He always returned to his sister-lover and now, as the pair face the ultimate challenge to the power of House Lannister, their alliance needs to be stronger than ever. Jaime and Cersei face their strongest challenge yet.
The main characters will spearhead the assault on Kings Landing but don’t underestimate the influence of the lieutenants. These crucial individuals will have a big part to play as the battle plans are drawn up and put into action. Expect the unexpected, as always, from Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones starts July 17 and is aired at 2am on Monday on Sky Atlantic and on-demand service Now TV, before being repeated on Monday nights.
by Ian Hine