Get Your Game (of Thrones) On
Winter is coming—on Sunday, July 16 in the US (Monday morning in the Philippines). The seventh season of Game of Thrones is upon us, teaching couch potatoes the world over what “penultimate” means.
So much has happened over the past six seasons—it’s even gone off-book, moving past the events of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. As of season’s end last year, two of the Stark siblings have reunited in the far north, while their flag flies over Winterfell. We now have a favorite Greyjoy, and she’s teamed up with the mother of Dragons to storm Westeros. We now know Jon Snow’s royal lineage. Also: Hodor.
Now, if you’re new to the saga, first of all: Congratulations on leaving the rock you were hiding under all these years. But how do you catch up with this cultural phenomenon before Sunday? Thankfully, there’s an entire cottage industry in GoT recaps, with everyone from Entertainment Weekly to the New York Times offering their ICYMIs. Some of them are so good you’ll need little else to get you up to speed. Some of them even offer a little something extra, by way of great writing or insightful analysis. Some of them are just as entertaining as the show itself.
Esquire Reviews, Recaps, and Interviews
We take GoT about as seriously as any emerging political development in the real world, so expect intensive analyses and forecasts to go with the recaps.
New York Times
The venerable NYT publishes what could very well be the most intellectually satisfying of the GoT recaps. We’re still not over Jeremy Egner’s review of last season’s episode 5, which calls time-travel storyline “a Mobius strip” that “imbu[ed] an already suspenseful and sad moment with deep poignancy and meaning.” For an even quicker run-through, go to their ongoing season-by-season recap on NYT’s Watching sub-site.
True to its reputation as one of the most geekishly thorough sites for anything movie- or TV-related, the A.V. Club publishes one set of recaps for “expert” GoT followers, and another for newbies.
Gay of Thrones
Even if you don’t like GoT, you may end up watching every episode just to get in on real-life hair stylist Jonathan Van Ness’s fast-paced riffs following every episode. In the three seasons since Van Ness started inviting viewers into his salon, actor Alfie Allen (who plays Theon Greyjoy) and author George R.R. Martin have guested on the skit for some Van Ness realness.
Game of Thrones Recap in Five Minutes
Have only five minutes? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you’ve got six, IGN has got you covered. This recap will get you through all the most important narrative highlights in about a minute per season.