On April 14, 2019, Game of Thrones fans will rejoice as the final season of the series premieres. The show has been filled with twists and turns, alliances and betrayals, and a final fight between the living and the Others is inevitable. The stakes have never been higher, but how exactly did we get here?
Things have changed since Season 1, and not all Game of Thrones watchers have been here since the beginning. Some people may choose to watch the new premiere episode without having seen the rest of the show, simply to be a part of the phenomenon that is the eighth season of Game of Thrones. For those of you tuning in for the first time on April 14th, you've missed a few things. Even if you're trying to rewatch the show before the premiere, this handy guide will help you understand Season 6 in relation to the final season.
Every event from Season 6 that will affect Season 8 is going to be covered, from Jon Snow's resurrection to Dany's crusade in Westeros.
Spoiler alert: Jon Snow is definitely not illegitimate. He is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, making him the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Bran is essential in making this discovery, although he doesn't figure it out all by himself. In the season finale, Bran has a vision in which he witnesses Jon Snow's birth. He learns Lyanna Stark is Jon's true mother and Ned Stark was lying when he brought Jon back to Winterfell as his son.
This has enormous repercussions for the show. It means Daenerys's claim to the Iron Throne is not as strong as she thinks and Jon's name is technically Aegon. It also casts an incestuous shadow over Jon and Dany's relationship.
Shortly after Jon is resurrected, his sister Sansa arrives at Castle Black and the two reunite. He then receives a message from Ramsay Bolton, who has control over the Stark ancestral home of Winterfell. Ramsay claims to hold their brother Rickon as a prisoner, warning he will be harmed if Sansa is not returned to him.
Jon attempts to gain allies in his fight against Ramsay, but the majority of the Northern houses refuse his offer. Just before fighting breaks out, Ramsay slays Rickon in front of everyone. With a small army made up of minor houses and a large amount of Free Folk, Jon engages Ramsay at Winterfell. Known as the Battle of the Bastards, Jon only wins because Sansa previously wrote to Petyr Baelish asking for aid. Baelish's Knights of the Vale arrive just in time to secure the victory.
This fight is a turning point for Jon. The northern lords decide to crown Jon as King in the North, effectively making him one of the most influential people in Westeros. He goes on to represent the North to Queens Cersei and Daenerys, and he uses his position to gain allies in the fight against the White Walkers.
Episode two, "Home," contains one of the most significant scenes in the entirety of the series. After being slain in Season 5, Jon Snow is resurrected by Red Priestess Melisandre. Jon's end allows him to leave the Night's Watch, as he has technically fulfilled his oath of giving his life to the Watch.
Without this moment, Jon would never become King in the North, he wouldn't be able to retake Winterfell from the Boltons, and he couldn't enlist Daenerys aid in the fight against the Others.
At the beginning of the season, Dany has been captured by a horde of Dothraki. She is sent to live with the Dosh Khaleen, the widowed wives of the former Khals. It's there she invites the living Khals to a meeting where she asks them to bend the knee. They refuse, and Daenerys responds by setting the entire tent aflame.
Every Khal perishes in the ensuing fire, but Daenerys emerges unharmed. The Dothraki bow to her and she becomes the Khaleesi of all the Dothraki. She takes her new army back to Mereen to quell the Sons of the Harpy, and from there takes the Dothraki to Westeros. It's the first time in history the Dothraki have crossed the narrow sea, and they will be instrumental in her fight for the Seven Kingdoms.