A Lord of the Rings teeming with hookers and violence, Game of Thrones has proven a deft, if intricate, political thriller about families, good, evil, and undetermined jockeying to control the Iron Throne of Westeros. Last season was filled with internecine, engrossing, and blood-soaked intrigue, but it's hard to clearly remember all of the kinky sex and complicated power plays (and vice versa) after eleven months. So with season two of the HBO series starting this Sunday (based on George R.R. Martin's second book, A Clash of Kings), we thought it helpful to provide a refresher course of the five major houses, one simple enough for newbies to follow and jump right into the series. Clarification is coming. (With no spoilers for those who haven't already read the second book.)BEGIN SLIDESHOW
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
Showtime Says Sacha Baron Cohen Never Presented Himself to Sarah Palin As a Disabled Vet
Who Has the Most Damning Appearance on Who Is America?
The Bachelorette Recap: Romantic Buffalo
20 Great Rom-Com Sidekicks, Ranked
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Is All Blue Skies
Real Housewives of Orange County Premiere Recap: Ropes and Dopes
Armie Hammer Should Have Eaten the Peach in Call Me by Your Name
TV’s New Favorite Thing Is the Surprise Release
All the People Sacha Baron Cohen Has Duped So Far
Bill Maher Is Stand-up Comedy’s Past. Hannah Gadsby Represents Its Future.
Latest News from VultureGun Advocate Wrote a 1,400-Word Recap About Getting Duped by Sacha Baron Cohen
Posted back in February.8 Sexy Courtroom Shows to Stream Now That Your Interest in Suits Has Waned
Allow James Spader to fill the void.Tom Cruise Learns How to Do Finger Hearts
Thank you, Simon Pegg!Lauren Lapkus Is the World’s Biggest Episodes Fan
“I love it so much but I have no one to talk to about it.”Taron Egerton Is Shirtless and Inspiring the People in the Robin Hood Trailer
He’s taking on a very cranky Ben Mendelsohn.Here’s a Casting Breakdown for RuPaul’s Netflix Show
RuPaul will play a “bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck” drag queen.Steven Soderbergh: ‘Those Bad ’90s Movies Were Necessary for My Development’
“In my mind, this was all part of the process that I had to go through.”Every Rob Reiner Movie, Ranked
A few good films.Stephen Colbert Calls Trump–Putin Summit ‘Treason’ and Other Reactions From Late-Night Hosts
“That was beyond all reason / And pretty close to treason.”Meet Brass Eye, the Original Who Is America?
A look back at Chris Morris’s prescient British comedy series.
An avalanche of free publicity didn’t do much to boost the premiere of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show.Cher Should Be in Every Single Movie
Reeling from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, we imagine how ten summer blockbusters would be improved by the presence of Cher.Update: Actually, Chance the Rapper Says He’s Not Dropping an Album This Week
He previously said it’ll drop “just in time” for his Special Olympics 50th anniversary concert this weekend.The CW Is Developing a Lesbian Batwoman Show, Which, Yes Please
Batwoman comes “armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind.”Boy Erased Trailer: Kidman and Crowe Send Lucas Hedges to Conversion Therapy
Brace yourself.Jude Law Explains Why Dumbledore’s Sexuality Won’t Be in Fantastic Beasts Sequel
“He’s multifaceted.”Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles Show Finally Finds a Home at Hulu
Bryan Fuller helped develop and then left the series.9 Amazon Alexa Products for Entertainment Lovers
Great gadgets for Prime Day.All the People Sacha Baron Cohen Has Duped So Far
We have a feeling this list is going to get a lot bigger.Thirsty Call Me by Your Name Fans Keep Handing Armie Hammer Peaches
If he’d eaten the peach, maybe he wouldn’t have this problem!