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Game of Thrones Backstory

Updated on August 10, 2014

What Happened before the First Episode of Game of Thrones

Complete Game of Thrones Backstory

For anyone who is watching the HBO Television series, Game of Thrones much of the backstory may get confusing. Events that happened years prior are slowly leaked out into the main storyline.

Some knowledge of many of these events may even end up being entirely missing from the plot-line, as they can add a lot of extra exposition and possibly slow down the storyline.

Many of these plot points do add a lot of depth to the storyline and are well worth finding out for the anyone who is watches the Game of Thrones. It is a Game of Thrones summary of the things that went BEFORE the first episode.

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Game of Thrones Summary

Game of Thrones Backstory

Game of Thrones Summary of the things that happened before the start of the first episode

Targeryon Kings came from Valaria.

The Targeryon Kings subdued all 7 Kingdoms (From the Stark Kingdom in the North to the Kingdom of Dorne in the south) Ruling for roughly 300 years.When the Targeryons first came to Westeros they rode three dragons. After time the last living Dragon died off.Since the practice of Targeryons is too often intermarry and many of them over the years were mad. There were a series of mad kings, but also some great ones.

Events Pertinent to the Storyline of game of Thrones

Before Roberts Rebellion

A great uncle to Mad King Aegon, "took the black" and went to the wall to ensure that he would not be used as a pawn to disrupt his younger brothers rule. He is an old man still alive at "the Wall" :Maester AemonAegon Targeyon is made King and rules Peacefully for many years with Tywin Lannister as his HandAegon begins to slip into more arrogance and madness. He spurns Tywin Lannisters offer of his daughter Cersei to marry Rhaegar and instead has Rhaegar marry Princess Elia of Dorne.Rheagar begins to think that either he or his son is the "Prince who is promised" who shall fight the oncoming darkness.Jaime Lannister is Knighted at a very young age and shows promise to be one of the great Knight in history.A very young Petyr Baelish is in love with Catelyn Tully. He argues with and tries to duel older and stronger Brandon Stark, who is engaged to Catelyn. Brandon lets him live, but embarrasses him.

Tourney At Harrenhal:A simple Tourney has great impact on future events.

Young Jaime Lannister is in love with his sister. He joins the Kings guard for a chance to be with her in Kings Landing and also for the chance to gain glory as a Knight. He gets neither. His father resigns as "hand" and leaves Kings Landing when he is accepted. As well as disowning Jamie.At the greatest tournament in "living history" Jaime is not allowed to compete by Kings orders.Eddard Stark is the second of three sons at this point. His older brother is said to "have the wolf" in him. In other words, he is a little wild, as is his sister Lyanna and as his daughter Arya will be.Rheagar seems like an honorable Prince, and he is certainly skillful. He wins the tournament, but rather than presenting the crown of "Queen of Love and Beauty" to his wife as expected, he creates a huge stir by presenting it to Lyanna Stark, who is betrothed to Robert Baratheon.

Madness of the King Quite a few events show the King slowly devolving into madness.

He had Illyn Paynes tongue ripped out as one early example.Rhaegar Targeryon -may- have kidnapped Lyanna Stark. (the answer to whether he did or not always revolves around who is talking) There is evidence that he also may have been partially unjustly accused of this. This action, - in typical Romeo and Juliet-fashion- leads to all the future bloodshed and death.Brandon Stark (Neds older brother) rides into Kings landing with 6 of his friends and demand justice from the king. The King then orders all the fathers of these young noblemen to come to Kings Landing to "parole" their children. He then brutally murders the fathers and the boys.

Robert's Rebellion

Mad King Aegon then sends a summons out to Jon Arryn (one of the powerful lords of the land) to send the two boys he has been "fostering," Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon (the fiancé and brother of missing Lyanna) to come to King's landing. Presumably to their deaths.Baratheon, Arryan and Stark instead rise in rebellion.Ned Stark marries Catelyn Tully, who had been engaged to his brother Brandon, to secure the help of the powerful Tully Lords in the rebellion. This makes 4 of the 7 kingdoms in rebellion. With the most powerful, the Lannisters, sitting out completely.There are many battles such as the, "Battle of the Bells" where Stark and Baratheon personal skill allows them to gain power and create unexpected victories.Finally there is a showdown at the Battle of the Trident. Forces led by Robert battle forces led by Prince Rhaeger. Before the battle Rhaegar acknowledges that, "things have gone too far" and he will have to do something about his father and his madness once the rebellion is crushed.Rheager is killed in the battle of the Trident by Robert.Back at King's Landing, the mad King has enough "wildfire" placed under his city to burn it (and everyone in it) in to the ground. He orders all his kingsgaurd to battle, but keeps only young Jaime (about 15 at this time) behind. Tywin Lannister finally breaks his neutrality now that Roberts rebellion is sure to succeed and marches on Kings landing. The king is at first convinced that Tywin is coming to help him. Realizing (too late) that Tywin has joined the rebellion now that the outcome is clear the king orders the city and everone in it put to death by se of the wildfire. Jaime kills the man given the orders to burns the city down and then kills the King.It is essential to his character that he is given the nickname the "Kingslayer" by Stark and reviled for what he says is the "greatest thing he ever did"

The (Bloody) Aftermath

Many of the Kingsguard are still in the field protecting Prince Rheagars family. They are defeated by Stark. Who manages (with help) to kill the greates knight ever, who also happens to be the brother of the woman Ned Stark loves, Azhara Dayne. Only Ned and his friend Howland Reed survive the encounter to find out that Lyanna is dieing.Meanwhile much of the "mopping up" of the family of Rhaegar is undertaken by men in service to the Lannisters. Who go way far and murder all of Rhaegars family even the babies.Rhaegars younger brother Viserys, a loyal knight and the Queen (pregnant with Daenarys) manage to escape across the sea.Robert becomes King and marries Cersei Lannister to gain the support of the powerful Lannister family and avoid another civil war.Ned Stark returns home to the wife he doesn't really know with a young bastard child.Jon Arryn becomes "Hand of the King" until he dies at the very start of the first book.The kids are born and 17 years pass by

Game of Thrones Begins

Game of Thrones Political Map

Game of Thrones Political Map
Game of Thrones Political Map

Westeros Political Map

Not sure where "The Reach" or "the Neck" or many of the other small places that are frequently mentioned on HBO's Game of Thrones?

If you are not sure of the locations of all of these different places are in the grand scale of the world of George RR Martin's, "Westeros" than this Westeros political map can help to make all these things clear to you.

What happened before Game of Thrones - Backstory in the Dunk and Egg Series

What happened before in Game of Thrones is not just a history of what is mentioned in the Song of Ice and Fire books. George RR Martin also has a continuing adventure of Dunk and Egg. An unlikely hedge Knight and 4th son of a fourth son of the Targeryons he takes as a squire.

The Story in the Hedge Knight series are a little bit more "light-hearted" than the main series, and deal with events of approximately 80 years prior.

Dunk and Egg are also mentioned in the game of thrones history.

(in both the the books, and in passing (so far 1 time) in the television series

In the ASOIAF series we know that the young character AEGON becomes, Aegon the unlikely, a good Targeryon king who ascends the thrones through an unlikely series of deaths over time of people higher in line of ascension. Aegon is also the Targeryon that supplies Robert Baratheon's claim to the throne. Since Egg's daughter will marry a Baratheon, making Aegon also Robert, Renly and Staffron's Great- grandfather.

Dunk is also listed as having been a Hand of the King and a Lord Commander of the Kingsguard at some point in his life. Both Magister Aemon and Barristan Selmy remember having met them in their lives. Magister Aemon actually being Aegon's slightly older brother.

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    • zentao profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @Aibrean82: Thanks, glad you liked it! My second read through of the books (before the TV series ever started) I noticed there was a lot of "history" that was mentioned at different points. Having reread them a a couple times since, I am glad to share these details. Glad you like it

    • Aibrean82 profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for this. I am reading the books (just about to finish A Feast For Crows), but there is so much information it can be hard to remember the details. This is definitely helpful and sums it all up nicely. Great!

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image

      Two Crafty Paws 

      6 years ago

      Counting the days! I haven't read the book yet so this was very helpful and interesting to read (and not revealing to much).

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very good lens! I'm already a GoT fan so most of these is familiar to me. However, it was nice to remember a little bit of this fantastis story

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      yeah i really like the tv show a lot wish they would come out with the season 2 DVD!!!! already waiting a year is kinda dumb if u ask me. But im glad to know that there are more books to ready i thought it was just the (A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE) series. I can't wait to read the HEDGE KNIGHT series!!! the books are AMAZING!!! to say the least to anyone who has not read the books really should.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good to know! I'm looking forward to the third season!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Finally there is a showdown at the Action of the Trident. Armament led by Robert action armament led by Prince Rhaeger. Before the action Rhaegar acknowledges that, jeux de voiture "things accept gone too far" and he will accept to do jeux de moto something about his ancestor and his carelessness already the apostasy is crushed.

    • HaleySchaeffer LM profile image

      HaleySchaeffer LM 

      6 years ago

      I love the t.v. show. Your lens definitely fills in a lot of the holes in the story. Thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Would love to see a map. I'm trying to find a good Game of Thrones Map wallpaper I could use for my desktop or even print out to put on my wall.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for filling in some of the gaps. Great lens.


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