PREVIOUSLY, ON GAME OF THRONES: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, Bastard Jon, and Maybe Rickon found six direwolf cubs and said “can we keep them?” Ned said “what harm could six giant wolves do?” and Caitlin said Jon’s cub could sleep with him in the cupboard under the stairs. King Robert waited for a lull in Ned’s beheadings so that he could visit and ask Ned to sit in the chair with the big fat target on it. “What harm could it do?” said Ned. Robert was accompanied by his wife and brother-in-law, who were scouting for the dustiest place a brother and sister could play a game of grown-up Twister. Bran, wishing that somebody had invented Middle-Earth Playboy, dug his fingernails into the rotting window sash and watched Cersei and Jaime both mount the right-hand-red/left-hand-green/right-foot-red/left-foot-green combo; Bran, it happened, was the first to fall. Tyrion told Jon that bastards and dwarves were the same thing, but Jon, who knows nothing (of metaphors) was confused and made a mental note to look it up. Caitlin sent her girls to court, kept her boys at Winterfell, and enlisted Jon in the Arctic army.
On the way to King’s Landing, Sansa found Joffrey dashing, but, or therefore, Arya beat him with her Needle. In retaliation, Joffrey had his dad ask Ned to kill Sansa’s Lady and had his Hound kill Butcher’s Boy. In this paragraph, Needle, Lady, and Hound do not have their normal meanings. Ned didn’t want to kill Lady, but thought, “what harm could it do?” Arya’s wolf ran away.
At King’s Landing, Ned discovered that his predecessor as Target-in-Chief was collecting locks of the black hair of all two Little League teams of Robert’s bastard children. Friar Tuck, Pope Gandalf, and Mayor Carcetti all told Ned to leave it alone, but Ned thought, “what harm could it do?” After finding a book entitled “On the Invariably Black Hair of Baratheon Children” and his predecessor’s crude schematic diagram of two yellow-haired copulators producing a deranged-looking yellow-haired devil-child, Ned pondered, flummoxed, until Joffrey hit him in the head with a frying pan and he had a moment of clarity. Whereupon he immediately thought the best thing to do would be to discuss it rationally with the woman who tricked the quick-tempered king into putting her incest babies into the line of succession, because “what harm could it do?” Cue giant boar, and suddenly Robert is lying in state and Ned is lying in the dungeon. The grown-ups decide to send idiot Ned north to join his know-nothing son Jon with the Border Patrol, but Joffrey uses his veto. “Oh, I get it now,” says Ned.
Arya and Robert’s oldest bastard son, Gendry, sneak out of town with some of the Border Patrol’s other recruits, who are either children or nose-eating murderers in a cage. Arya and Gendry go incognito as a girl and a guy with a helmet that looks like a bull. Basically everybody tries to kill them, and everybody mostly succeeds, except that Arya keeps the murderers from burning to death before she and Gendry and a thing called Hot Pie are captured and put to work in a haunted castle where Joffrey’s grampa is squatting. Arya makes two friends in the haunted castle: Joffrey’s grampa, who she hates; and Lon Chaney, who does stuff for her because she tells him to kill himself. Lon Chaney sets Arya and Gendry free; Joffrey’s grampa goes off to kill her brother.
Caitlin, who wasn’t born into the Stark political acumen but who acquired it through proximity, captured the only innocent Lannister, marched him up to an impregnable mountain fortress, surrounded him by hostile swordsmen, and then let him walk out, gathering an army of mountain trolls along the way. Ever concerned about looking smart, Caitlin made sure to stand next to her lunatic sister nursing her ten-year-old boy. Caitlin then left to track down her eldest son, Robb. She also tried to broker a peace between Robb and the old king’s younger brother, Renly, and then between Renly and his dickish middle brother, Stannis, but Renly was too proud, and Stannis was too dickish, so Stannis joined a cult, impregnated Tori Amos, fathered a smoke baby that grew into a smoke Stannis, smoke-smoked Renly, and went off to fight his not-nephew. All Caitlin got out of the bargain was a friendship with a socially-awkward giantess who couldn’t even count the number of reasons why her crush on Renly wasn’t going to pan out.
Robb was running Winterfell, but when he heard that Joffrey killed his dad, he declared himself king and raised an army of idiots, including a large contingent of cavemen, plus his hostage, Marty Feldman. The northern army: great on the battlefield; abysmal in the strategy tent, where Robb sent Marty Feldman off to patronize every seaport prostitute in Westeros on the way to raising a navy to attack the landlocked Winterfell, which I think is a historical allegory to the time the Spanish Armada laid siege to Frankfurt. It is a testament to Theon Feldman’s military acumen that Winterfell, defended only by an elderly priest, a paraplegic tween, and a feral toddler, almost held. Robb’s other genius strategic move was making googly-eyes toward a foreign nurse despite the fact that Marty Feldman’s exploits had already satisfied the nudity quota.
Back at King’s Landing, Tyrion became Target-in-Chief, but was smart enough to think about things like “defense” and “welfare” (as well as “proprietary prostitutes,” but still) while Cersei could only think of things like “tall” and “incest.” While Joffrey was announcing his “Let Them Eat Cake” domestic policy, Tyrion was sponsoring the invention of napalm and saving King’s Landing from Stannis’s dickish landing attempt, but his dad took all the credit and all Tyrion got for his trouble was a gash on his cheek, which one supposes is better than losing the tip of one’s nose, all things considered.
Sansa was trapped in the castle, pretty much almost crying the entire time from when she saw her father’s head on a stake through the time when her fiancée promised to kill her brother right up until the time when the guy with the burn scars on his head sat in her bedroom being confusingly nice to her.
Jon joined the Border Patrol, murdered up some zombies, killed his boss in a bizarrely successful flirtation gambit, and is now stuck on Hoth with the Rebel Army.
There was also a girl in---let’s say the Middle East---who married and pillow-snuffed the kind of guy who might cut the tongue out of his best friend. She had a sad, sat on some antique eggs in a fire, hatched a trio of dragons, lost her dragons in the middle of a druggy reverie, took her dragons back, and locked the mayor of crazy-town in a safe.