No binge-watching required: here's the only Game of Thrones recap you need
In about a week's time, your friends will all be discussing who the next person is in line to be killed in the world of Westeros. And if the dragons are going to be of any use in the battle for the Iron Throne. Now either this makes sense to you, or you're routinely trying - and failing - to keep up with what's going on with one of the world's most obsessively-watched shows.
If you're in the latter group, you can say thank you now - we recapped what's happened in the five seasons so you're all caught up without the bloodshot eyes that are a dead giveaway of a bingewatch.
Westeros is a land comprising seven kingdoms. They were once ruled by Targaryens - a dynasty that used dragons to conquer and rule. But when the show begins, in the timeline of things, the dragons are extinct and the Targaryens have been overpowered by a bunch of Northern lords headed by king Robert Baratheon. The Iron throne became his and he married Cersei Lannister of the Lannister family. But Robert dies and what follows is chaos of an epic scale to attain the rights to the Iron throne. Those who stake claim are the families of Lannisters, Starks, Targaryens and various other major/minor characters. An important group to also follow are the Night's Watch - a bunch of men in far north stationed at a massive wall of ice - they've pledged to protect all the kingdoms against the undead and all mythical beings that lie beyond the wall.
Season 1 highlight:
Lord Ed Stark becomes the King's Hand but is later executed in a major twist of fate and betrayal. Cersei's son Joffrey becomes king. Jaime and Cersei Lannister's incestuous relationship - atop a steep tower- is seen by Bran, Ned Stark's little son. Jaime promptly pushes him off the tower, pretty much making him unable to walk for the rest of the series. Daenerys Targaryen dives into her husband's pyre and comes out not just alive, but with three baby dragons.
Check out the story so far here.
Season 2 highlight:
Stannis and Renly Baratheon - Robert Baratheon's brothers - both want to be king. But Stannis gets Renly killed with the help of Melisandre, a mysterious woman with magical powers. Jon Snow, Ned Stark's bastard son, goes North - much beyond the wall where he develops feelings for a 'wildling' (individuals who've decided to not be governed by the kingdoms and live freely in the harsh wilderness) Ygritte.
Read more here.
Season 3 highlight:
The most talked about wedding anywhere in the world? Red Wedding can stake claim to that one for sure. The Stark family is given a body blow when they least expect it. Robb Stark (Ned's heir), his pregnant wife, his mother Catelyn Stark and their loyalists are brutally murdered at a wedding ceremony by one Lord Walder Frey at the behest of the Lannisters.
Season 4 highlight:
Death isn't new on the show but this season had some significant ones. King Joffrey is poisoned. The delight of the show's fans was shortlived because it's in the same season Oberyn Martell aka The Red Viper, has his eyes gouged out by The Mountain leading to much heartache across the world. Further pain was in store this season because Ygritte dies as well - Jon Snow's wildling love. So does Tywin Lannister - the powerful father figure around whom Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion's political lives revolved.
Season 5 highlight:
The charming, tragic darling of the show, Jon Snow gets murdered by men from the Night's Watch. Cersei Lannister is punished by the House of Sparrow, by going through a "walk of shame" in the nude down the city streets. Sansa Stark gets raped in a controversial scene by her husband Ramsay Bolton in front of her 'cousin' Theon Greyjoy.
And now, stock up on the popcorn and the beer and prepare for summer's next addiction. Season 6 premieres on April 24 on HBO.