The start of a new Game of Thrones season can feel a little like the beginning of a new school year: You know everyone’s faces and most people’s names, but you can’t quite remember what everyone’s been up to. Fortunately, the task is slightly easier this time around. A significant portion of the cast got blown up in last season’s finale, and almost half of the characters who were left ended up on the same dang boat. Still, if you need a refresher of where we left off with each character at the end of season six, here’s your guide.
“Leave Meereen” was the Game of Thrones fan’s version of “Come to Brazil,” and last season, Dany finally made good on her promise. She burned the slavers who were besieging the city, gave Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei a sweet high-five, and skedaddled off to Westeros with a navy conveniently provided by Theon and Yara. Adios, Essos.
In the iconic opening sequence of the season-six finale, Cersei unveiled a foolproof legal strategy: You can’t be found guilty if you refuse to attend your own trial — and then blow up the courtroom and everyone in it. Now she’s sitting on the Iron Throne with her loyal monsters Qyburn and the undead Mountain on her side.
Fresh from capturing Riverrun, Jaime arrived back at Kings Landing to find out that his beloved sister had murdered her way to the throne. (He also presumably found out that Tommen, his last living secret incest child, had committed suicide, but there wasn’t a scene about that.) Judging by the look on his face, he was less than thrilled about Cersei’s explosive triumph.
Tyrion ruled Meereen not wisely, but too well: His attempt to forge a compromise with the other cities of Slavers Bay ended with Meereen under siege. Luckily, Daenerys swooped in on dragonback to bail him out, and promptly named him her Hand of the Queen. Then he got to ride on the boat with Dany to Westeros.
She got to ride on the boat with Dany, too.
He was on his own boat with his Unsullied friends.
He orchestrated an alliance between Dany, the Reach, and Dorne, and then got to ride on the boat with Dany.
Theon and Yara Greyjoy
Theon threw his support behind Yara at the Kingsmoot, to no avail: Uncle Euron swooped in with unrealistic boasts, crude insults, and rank misogyny, and won the election at the last minute. While Euron was making the Iron Islands great again, Theon and Yara escaped to Essos, where they sealed an alliance with Daenerys and gave her the navy that’s bringing her home. Despite all that, they didn’t get to ride in the boat with Dany.
After an amazing introduction, Euron Greyjoy just stood around and snarled, then disappeared completely. He’ll be back this season, and watch out — he got hot.
Juhn Snuh survived his terrible decisions in the Battle of the Bastards, and was rewarded by the Northern lords with the title of King in the North. We also got a flashback that confirmed he isn’t really Ned Stark’s son, though Jon himself is still in the dark about his true parentage.
He’s still north of the Wall, but he had the flashback to Jon as a baby, so that’s cool.
Sansa called in the Knights of the Vale to win at the Battle of the Bastards, then fed her ex-tormentor Ramsay Bolton to his prized hounds. We last saw her in Winterfell with Jon and the Northern lords. Was she wondering why she wasn’t the one being crowned, or did it just seem that way? Sure, the guy who almost got himself killed should be the King in the North, not the savvy political negotiator who saved the day.
Never one to let an opportunity to emotionally manipulate a woman go unexploited, Littlefinger came north with the Knights of the Vale. He was last seen smirking at Sansa in the banquet hall, clearly up to no good.
After an intensive offboarding process at the House of Black and White, Arya took her talents back to Westeros, where she was able to utilize her disruptive new skill set to drill down her core competencies — namely, getting revenge on Walder Frey and his sons.
His chill new life hanging with Ian McShane’s Septon Ray was cut short by a violent massacre. After killing the guys responsible, the Hound ran into Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood Without Banners and decided what the heck, why not go north to fight the White Walkers?
He’s with the Northern lords, having swapped out the words “Stannis Baratheon” with “Jon Snow” in all his inspirational speeches.
After Davos found out about her role in the death of Shireen, Melisandre was banished. Will she link up with her fellow R’hllor worshipers in the Brotherhood Without Banners? Or just retire to whatever the Westerosi equivalent of Boca Raton is?
Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne
On Sansa’s orders, these two went south to Riverrun to try to convince the Blackfish to come north and join the Stark cause. It didn’t go great: Brienne had a bittersweet reunion with Jaime, and then the Blackfish decided he’d literally rather die than leave the castle he loved. They were last seen rowing away, sadly.
Our Sam escaped the dreary world of the Night’s Watch — as well as the disapproval of his terrible father, Randyll Tarly — and joined the academic wonderland of the Citadel, the college that makes maesters. So many books! Oh, and he stole his family’s Valyrian steel sword, which might as well have been forged by Chekhov.
Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns
Fortunately, she escaped the explosion in the Sept of Baelor that killed the rest of her family. Unfortunately, she had to visit Dorne, the place interesting Game of Thrones story lines go to die, in order to set up an alliance with the Martells and Daenerys.
After being banished in season four and infected with greyscale in season five, Jorah spent season six trying to get back in Dany’s good graces. It worked, because you know what they say: If at first a woman tells you to get out of her life, keep coming back and doing nice things for her until she changes her mind. He’s currently wandering on his own, as per Dany’s orders, searching for some kind of cure for greyscale.
The young ruler of Bear Island was instrumental in naming Jon Snow the new King in the North, but with any luck, he’s just keeping the seat warm until she’s old enough to take control.