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Game of Thrones easy recap: Quick and simple ways to get caught up

Game of Thrones easy recap: Quick and simple ways to get caught up
Kit Harington (left) and Emilia Clarke (right) in Game of Thrones. [Photo: courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO]

Sorry to break it to you, but it’s officially too late to re-watch the nearly 70 hours of Game of Thrones before the show’s eighth and final season kicks off Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET. And unless you’re a speed reader, it’s also too late to read all 4,228 pages in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

So if you didn’t plan accordingly–and if you find that you can’t quite remember what happened over the last seven seasons of warring in Westeros–you may need to catch up, and fast.

Luckily, helpful folks on the internet have put together some very handy and informative recaps that will help viewers keep track of a cast of characters whose names sound like they were created by a neural network. It’s a challenge to remember names like Beric Dondarrion, Rhaegar Targaryen, Lyanna Stark, Grey Worm, Davos Seaworth, Brienne of Tarth, Podrick Payne, Varys, Jorah Mormont, Cersei Lannister, Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, Maester Qyburn, Bronn, Bran, and Gilly while also thinking about prophecies, three-eyed ravens, ice dragons, and the importance of Valyrian steel. A recap is definitely in order.

Here are a few recaps worth checking out:

  • The folks at Polygon have put together a list of the five “lore-heavy” episodes that will give you some important background on all the prophecies and backstory necessary to answer all your friends’ annoying questions during the new season.
  • If five episodes isn’t cutting it for you, Screen Rant put together a 10-episode list.
  • If 10 episodes is too much of a commitment for you, there are other options like Screen Junkies‘ nearly hourlong video recap.
  • If you don’t have time for that, try White Animation’s three-and-a-half-minute animated recap.
  • Or check out GameRadar’s 16-minute comprehensive look back at each season.
  • If you prefer a more bespoke re-watch guide, USA Today put together an episode guide that can help fans choose where to catch up before the season premiere.
  • Vox has an even more comprehensive version.
  • If you prefer to save your screen time for the show itself, the Independent has a written recap of the last seven seasons’ action.
  • Vanity Fair has been bravely recapping each of the show’s past seasons, starting with the first one here.
  • Like something more tech-savvy? Quartz‘s Bot Studio has created Game of Thrones recap chatbot to remind viewers of the show’s past.
  • If you just want a reminder of who is alive and who is dead and who might be a White Walker, check out Time‘s comprehensive guide to survivors.
  • Or just watch James Corden’s recap rap:
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