The final season of Game of Thrones is only days away, and while some fans have spent weeks rewatching the past seven seasons, others aren't quite so prepared. However, with a gap of almost two years between season 7 and season 8, there's a lot to try and remember. From court intrigue to house loyalty, big battles to solo deaths, the road to the final season is littered with bodies and broken promises.
For any fan not quite sure what's going on in Westeros right now, we've got the perfect guide for a quick rewatch - the kind that anyone could still manage before the season premiere on Sunday. These are the episodes that will remind viewers of what's going on, who is on whose side, and how far the war has come since the beginning.
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Some major episodes are missing (Ned Stark's death and the Purple Wedding, for example) because as shocking as they were, they aren't necessarily the most relevant to the current storyline. Instead, these are the episodes that include vital plot points, major changes, or moments that are likely to come into play as the world watches to see who finally sits atop the Iron Throne.
- This Page: Rewatch Game of Thrones Seasons 1-4
- Page 2: Rewatch Game of Thrones Seasons 5-7
Winter Is Coming (Season 1, Episode 1)
The very first episode of Game of Thrones is a surprisingly vital rewatch, and not just for the plot. From teasers and trailers, it's clear that the season 8 premiere is going to mirror the very first episode in several ways - although this season, it's Daenerys coming to Winterfell, not Robert Baratheon. "Winter Is Coming" sets up all kinds of vital plot points, from the 'kidnapping' of Lyanna Stark to the death of Jon Arryn and Ned Stark coming to King's Landing. It covers the war to take the throne from the Targaryens, Cersei and Jaime's relationship, Tyrion's place in the family, Jon's position as a bastard, and the return of the White Walkers. In addition to all the actual plot set-up, this is worth a rewatch to see just how far the show has come - and how the survivors have changed since the very beginning.
Fire And Blood (Season 1, Episode 10)
Having spent an episode on the Starks, now it's time for a very Targaryen episode - and the first appearance of Daenerys' dragons! "Fire and Blood" takes place immediately after the death of Ned Stark, and while that was a gloriously shocking episode, the fallout is actually a more important thing to rewatch than the actual beheading. This episode sees the War of the Five Kings begin in earnest, after the Starks learn of their father's death. It also sets up the start of Sansa and Arya's solo journeys to the final season - Sansa, as the betrothed of a man that she wants to kill, and Arya, hiding her identity and going on the run (with Gendry, who also makes this episode worth rewatching). On top of all of that, though, there's the absolutely epic moment that Daenerys kills her "sun and stars" and walks into his funeral pyre... re-emerging with baby dragons on her shoulder.
The Rains Of Castamere (Season 3, Episode 9)
We're not including a lot of episodes here that are all about the shock value, but no Game of Thrones rewatch would be complete without "The Rains of Castamere" - or, as it is better known, The Red Wedding. The episode does also provide a little extra helpful plot for rewatchers, as it shows Tormund, Jon, and Ygritte South of the Wall, as well as Bran learning how to warg into Hodor. Daario Naharis appears, which may end up being important for the final season (if the series isn't done with him), but this is also a big moment because it continues to chart Daenerys' growth as she takes Yunkai.
Of course, while new character introductions and keeping tabs on Jon and Daenerys are important reasons to include "The Rains Of Castamere," let's not pretend that the main reason isn't to see one of the most shocking moments of the entire series: the deaths of Robb, Catelyn, and their followers and family. The Red Wedding is brutal, bloody, and perfect for rewatching - even if the deaths of Robb and Catelyn don't directly impact the final season.
The Children (Season 4, Episode 10)
Jumping forward to the end of another season, "The Children" is a pivotal episode for multiple characters, although it's definitely more of a plot-heavy one than one for fans of the gory moments. The season 4 finale covers Daenerys attempting to actually rule Meereen - which is an interesting contrast to "The Rains of Castamere," when she was focusing on conquering cities, not what to do after they have been conquered. "The Children" shows how Daenerys may struggle to rule Westeros, and struggle to control her dragons as they grow.
This episode also checks in with Jon, and shows a different kind of ruling style that may be relevant for the final season, as he risks his life to go negotiate with Mance Rayder. Bran Stark finally reaches the tree where he meets the Three-Eyed Raven, and Qyburn tells Cersei that he can 'save' the dying Mountain.
As if all that wasn't enough (this is Game of Thrones, after all), "The Children" also includes Tyrion's escape from the dungeons (aided by Jaime) and his murder of Tywin Lannister - giving him the title he uses later of the "greatest Lannister Killer of our time." Finally, it includes the fight between the Hound and Brienne, one that ends with Arya leaving the Hound to die... something that will definitely come up in the final season, when Arya and the Hound are reunited for the first time since this episode.