It’s been a loooong 19 months since we said good-bye to our Game of Thrones favorites (and Euron Greyjoy). Some had their fate left literally up in the air (Beric! Tormund! Careful of that crumbling 700-foot-high wall!), and some we left in a rather, shall we say, dishabille state aboard a royal sailing vessel. Once scattered across a dozen cities and two continents, most major characters are now condensed into a few groups, and the once massive cast has been slowly whittled down — often via violent death — to the most essential players in the long, bloody battle for the future of Westeros. (Okay, plus some less essential, very lucky stragglers.)
Going into season eight, we have a pretty good sense of who those main players will be, though there are a handful of characters whose status remains TBD. Here’s where we last saw every living major character — except Hot Pie. Hot Pie, as we all obviously know, is very busy transforming into the Martha Stewart of the Inn at the Crossroads.
The Targaryens, the Starks, and Their Allies
Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons: Underneath (or maybe on top of, it’s hard to say) her nephew Jon Snow in a bed aboard a ship in the Narrow Sea. Heading to the North (presumably Winterfell) to rally all her troops for a battle with the White Walkers.
Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen: Underneath (or maybe on top of, it’s hard to say) his aunt Daenerys, to whom he just bent the knee. Preparing to lead the fight against Westeros’s most vicious enemy, the Army of the Dead. About to get emotionally clobbered by the news that he just bedded his aunt.
Tyrion Lannister: Gazing uneasily at Jon and Dany’s cabin door, alarmed by the noises he hears inside. Secretly in charge of this whole shebang.
Sansa Stark-Lannister-Bolton-Stark: Holding down the fort at Winterfell while the King in the North is away on his sexy diplomatic mission. Perhaps ruing a coup. Plotting with her assassin sister. About to be very surprised by Jon Snow’s allegiance to the Dragon Queen.
Arya Stark, a.k.a. a Girl: Slowly wiping off her dagger after executing Petyr Baelish in the Great Hall at Winterfell. Like a (psychotic) boss.
Bran Stark, the Three-Eyed Raven: Gazing off into the distance (the past? Someone’s window?) underneath the weirwood tree in the Winterfell godswood. Armed with the knowledge that his supposed half-brother is actually a Targaryen king. Working on further tamping down all his social and emotional skills.
Brienne of Tarth: Representing Sansa at the Dragonpit Conference. Making eyes at Jaime Lannister. Now heading back to Winterfell.
Podrick Payne: Accompanying Brienne wherever she goes. Hopefully upping his swordsmanship. Still in possession of his magical penis.
Lyanna Mormont: At Winterfell supporting Sansa. Probably jotting down some lines for future inspiring speeches.
Dolorous Edd: Heading up a small crew of the Night’s Watch at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Most likely very concerned that a large portion of the Wall has now crumbled and White Walkers are streaming by. Anticipating a pink slip.
Samwell Tarly: Hitchin’ up a wagon back to ol’ Winterfell! Gilly and baby Sam in tow. Still not prepared to give Gilly credit for discovering Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell’s annulment and Rhaegar’s subsequent remarriage to Lyanna Stark. Emotionally scarred from months of cleaning out chamber pots.
Gilly: Frontier-in’ with Sam and Sam. Somehow unperturbed by Sam’s complete appropriation of her labor.
Tormund Giantsbane: Verrrry close to the portion of the Wall that crumbled. (But still blessedly alive according to the season-eight trailer!)
Beric Dondarrion: With Tormund. Also still alive. No longer partnered with Thoros of Myr, so he’s on his last life.
Missandei: On her way North with Daenerys. Perhaps brushing up on whatever language the Night King speaks/glares. Thinking longingly of Grey Worm.
Grey Worm: Leading the Unsullied on land. Recently brought his army to King’s Landing for the Dragonpit Conference. Now heading toward Winterfell. Thinking longingly of Missandei.
Melisandre: Standing on a breezy cliff at Dragonstone, explaining to Varys her plans to return to Volantis in her best Dracula voice. Making windswept look good.
Davos Seaworth: Onboard the royal sailing vessel with Jon, Dany, Tyrion & Co. Still the nicest man in existence.
Daario Naharis: Keeping the peace in Meereen, all by his lonesome.
Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. the Hound: Sailing North with the rest of the crew. Plotting revenge against his walking flesh pile of a brother.
Yara Greyjoy: Imprisoned by her Uncle Euron, presumably aboard his ship.
Theon Greyjoy: Bloody about the face and perhaps concussed, but rowing out to sea with his new coterie of ironborn troops. Plotting to spring his sister Yara from imprisonment.
Gendry: Madly running back toward Eastwatch after the Magnificent Seven’s journey beyond the Wall. Hopefully now safe, sound, and rested.
Meera Reed: Leaving Winterfell to return to her father’s castle, Greywater Watch, which may be hard to find since it’s unmappable and floats on a man-made island in the Neck. Justifiably peeved with Bran.
Ellaria Sand: Chained up in the black cells of the Red Keep. Watching her daughter Tyene die of poison. Maybe making friends with Septa Unella?
Cersei Lannister: In the Red Keep. Pregnant. Virtually alone. Outmanned. Still cocky as hell. About to break her truce with Daenerys and send the Lannister forces to take back the South.
Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. the Mountain: Perilously swinging in an existential limbo. Neither dead nor alive. Neither blue nor flesh-toned. Traveling wherever Cersei goes.
Jaime Lannister, a.k.a. the Kingslayer: Abandoning his sister-lover. Riding North from King’s Landing, presumably toward Winterfell. Honoring his duty to defend the realm from all invaders, foreign and domestic. (Which type are the White Walkers?)
Bronn: Hmm. Slightly unclear. Left the “fancy folk” to have their talk in the Dragonpit and then wasn’t seen again. Not with his “good cop” buddy Jaime. Probably drunk or hungover.
Qyburn: In the Red Keep with Cersei. Inventing stuff.
Euron Greyjoy: Sailing toward Essos to hire the Golden Company for Cersei (or so he says). Watching a YouTube tutorial on how to fine-tune his smoky eye.
The Night King and his army: Breaking through the Viserion-shaped hole in the Wall.
Robin Arryn: At the Eyrie. Unclear if he’s heard the news that his Uncle Petyr has been executed. Probably throwing things through the Moon Door, skipping his doses of vitamin D, and slurping up his rationed supply of breast milk.
Septa Unella: Chained up in the black cells of the Red Keep. Utterly shocked by Ellaria Sand’s sexual exploits, we presume.
Jaqen H’ghar: In the House of Black and White. But a man has no name.