Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia

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Big Trouble in Little Westeros

Guess what premiers tomorrow! If you said GoT S2, you are correct and will receive a copper groat in the mail in 5-7 business days.

For the benefit of those new viewers/readers who may still be a little confused about the current status of all the characters, but mostly because I want to babble, I thought I'd do a quick rundown of where the monarchy stands and what else is brewing.

Robert Baratheon is dead, thanks to his wife, her Lannister-themed co-conspirators, and a convenient wild boar. The king currently sitting the throne is Joffrey "Baratheon", Robert's "son", though as he's underage, his mother Cersei is Queen Regent, and her father Lord Tywin Lannister is the Hand of the King and pretty much has control over everything, ever. Like most wealthy lords in the Seven Kingdoms, he's kind of a dick, but he's quite cunning.

Of course, as Ned Stark learned at the end of the last season and we learned rather earlier, Cersei likes doing the nasty with her brother and Joffrey is illegitimate (and also an abomination, but there's no need to rub that in). This is not the sort of thing that you want anyone to hear about if you're a Lannister, but Ned did manage to get the word out to a few folks before he lost his head. One was Stannis Baratheon, the older of Robert's two younger brothers and Robert's legal successor if he has no legitimate children. The youngest Baratheon, Renly, doesn't have any claim whatsoever while Stannis is alive, but he does have a rich and politically influential boyfriend - not, like, openly, but the point is that he has House Tyrell on his side. It's not so easy for Stannis to win anyone over to his side, because nobody likes him.

Joffrey is currently fairly secure on the Iron Throne despite not belonging there and not having a great deal of support outside of the Lannisters. Tywin is taking care of business on the battlefield, and has left his youngest son Tyrion in charge at King's Landing in the meantime. This isn't traditional, but Tywin Lannister does what he wants. Joffrey's primary enemies at the moment are the Starks, not because they know about his real father or because they have designs on the throne, but because Joff beheaded their lord for knowing about his real father, and claimed it was because he had designs on the throne. Robb Stark, the new Lord of Winterfell, only knows that his father was unjustly executed. Understandably, he took up arms against House Lannister, which left him with no king to serve. Rather than siding with the Baratheon that nobody likes or the one that doesn't have any claim whatsoever, he decided to secede from the Iron Throne's rule and make the North a kingdom of its own - so that's another king for your record-keeping.

War is already happening between Stark and Lannister, but both have hostages: Jaime, Cersei's brother and Joffrey's real father, is in a dungeon at Riverrun, where Ned Stark's widow Catelyn grew up. She's out campaigning for battle with her son Robb, meddling as much as he'll allow. Her oldest daughter, Sansa, is still betrothed to Joffrey, and the Lannisters are pretending they've got the other Stark daughter, Arya, in their grasp as well. In truth, Arya was scooped up out of King's Landing by a brother of the Night's Watch, who's planning to drop her off at Winterfell on his way back to the Wall. Also in their company are a bunch of dirty criminals and Robert's oldest bastard son, Gendry. Too bad bastards can't inherit! Anyway, Gendry doesn't know who he is, so that's easy enough, but Arya's safety hinges on how well she can pose as a boy.

The only Starks left in Winterfell are Bran, a little kid who's paralyzed below the waist thanks to Jaime Lannister's foolproof plan to protect his secret, and Rickon, an even littler kid.

Robb Stark has House Tully on his side, because that's where his mom came from, but he needs more people. He got House Frey by promising to marry one, but nobody likes them, either. He sent his friend Theon to go talk to his dad, Lord Greyjoy, but nobody likes them and this time it's pretty serious, since Robb and Theon made friends while Theon was a hostage at Winterfell for a decade because his dad likes making rebellions.

Heirs are very important. Joffrey has a little brother, Tommen, and a sister between them, Myrcella, but if one of them is revealed as a bastard, all three are. If not, and something were to happen to Joffrey, Tommen would succeed him, but Joffrey will no doubt start attempting to produce an heir of his own as soon as he and Sansa are what the realm would consider "ready". This is bad news for Sansa, who finally knows enough to hate Joffrey, but has no friends that she's aware of in King's Landing and is at his mercy. Stannis has no son, just a sad little daughter and an unpleasant wife, so Renly would succeed him, which might not be good news for Stannis. Renly is without children too, but he's also single, so he could bring in big bucks with a marriage alliance. Robb's got his Frey promise to keep; until then, Bran is his heir, but it's suspected that Bran's injury has left him sterile, which means it's up to Robb and Rickon to keep House Stark going.

Ned Stark's bastard son is far away on the Wall. He's taken a vow to take no part in the petty disputes for the throne, which is good, because wild people and snow zombies are poised to attack and they're going to require most of his attention before they get past the Wall and eat all the kings.

None of that matters, because the Baratheons are usurpers and the throne doesn't belong to them in the first place. They got to it by killing off everyone in the Targaryen royal family, except for two, who fled across the ocean. The older brother, Viserys, is now dead, so Daenerys is the last Targaryen. She's not yet ready to return to Westeros, but she's begun her preparation and it's rather intimidating so far.

When you begin the second season, assume the following:

• Varys and Littlefinger know everything. You cannot trust either of them.
• Your life is not a song.
• Just because he's not waving banners doesn't mean he's not in service to Lord Tywin.
• Direwolves always know what's best for you.
• There are no DNA tests. Nobody's parentage is a sure thing.
• When you play the game of thrones, you win or die.
• Winter is coming.
• Hodor hodor.
• Kairos is going to be a gibbering lunatic tomorrow.
Tags: westeros
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