Daenerys Targaryen steals and frees an army of 8, Unsullied with her dragons, then sacks Astapor.
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With her new Unsullied army and her young dragons, Daenerys begins a campaign of liberation in Slaver's Bay. King Joffrey marries Margaery Tyrell to secure the Lannister-Tyrell alliance, and celebrate the Lannister victory ending the war. Joffrey ends up assassinated, poisoned at his own wedding feast - and the war enters into a new, more chaotic phase.
Littlefinger , the secret architect of the entire war, tricking the Starks and Lannisters into fighting each other to exhaust them both. Despite their victory, the Lannisters are bankrupted by the war, leading to a crippling debt crisis with the Iron Bank of Braavos. Oberyn Martell fights Gregor Clegane in a trial by combat , which leaves Oberyn dead and Gregor fatally poisoned.
Tywin Lannister is shot dead with a crossbow while on the privy by his own son, Tyrion, who then flees Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen captures Meereen , but facing continued resistance from the local slave-masters, decides to stay and rule as the city's queen until she can stabilize it. Stannis Baratheon 's surviving army makes a surprise arrival at the Battle of Castle Black to save the Night's Watch and crush the wildling horde led by Mance Rayder.
With Tywin dead and Tyrion fleeing into exile, Cersei becomes the new head of House Lannister - and disastrously mishandles both the war and the debt crisis. The debt crisis with the Iron Bank of Braavos reaches a breaking point: with far less confidence in Cersei than Tywin, the bank starts calling in its loans - which the Iron Throne cannot possibly repay. Cersei's younger son Tommen is crowned king, and marries Margaery Tyrell to secure their alliance.
A popular-disgust religious protest movement known as the Sparrows spreads throughout Westeros.
Cersei tries to win their support by naming the High Sparrow as the new High Septon. The Faith Militant turns against Cersei, arrests her, and forces her to perform a humiliating walk of atonement. Jon Snow is elected the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch , and cements his position by personally executing Janos Slynt for treason. The White Walkers slaughter thousands of wildlings in the Massacre at Hardhome , and the Night King revives them as wights in their army of the undead.
An insurgency grips Meereen of former slave-masters calling themselves the Sons of the Harpy , who refuse to accept Daenerys's rule. Stannis Baratheon marches south from the Wall to fight the Boltons, leading to the Battle of Winterfell. Jon Snow is stabbed and left for dead in the Mutiny at Castle Black. Jon Snow is miraculously resurrected by the red priestess Melisandre at the behest of Ser Davos Seaworth.
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The sept of Baelor is destroyed with wildfire, killing most of the Sparrows and the Tyrells. The Targaryen fleet sails to Westeros at last, having defeated the slave masters, conquering the Dothraki, and forming an alliance with the Reach, the Iron Islands, and Dorne. After Ramsay is killed, Jon Snow is declared the King in the North by the lords of the North and the Vale, the latter of which helped defeat the Bolton army and return Stark rule to the North.
Arya Stark, on her quest for vengeance, oversees the extinguishing of the male line of House Frey in retaliation for the Red Wedding before returning to Winterfell. Jon and Daenerys first meet at Dragonstone, with Melisandre crediting herself as bringing ice and fire together to Varys.
Euron Greyjoy destroys a large portion of the Targaryen fleet and captures his niece Yara, solidifying his alliance with Cersei Lannister.
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Her Unsullied trapped at Casterly Rock and Highgarden sacked with the Tyrells dead, Daenerys Targaryen leads the Dothraki atop Drogon against the combined Lannister and Tarly army and destroys their loot train at the Battle of the Goldroad. Jon Snow embarks on a Wight Hunt with his allies to capture a wight as proof for the rest of Westeros.
They are rescued by Daenerys, but the Night King kills Viserion and raises it as an ice dragon. The Parley in King's Landing is held at the Dragonpit, where the captured wight is presented and Westeros agrees to come together for the Great War, setting aside their enmities and differences. After learning that Cersei and Euron plan to betray their vows using the Golden Company, Jaime at last abandons his sister and rides north as snow falls on King's Landing.
With his crimes against the realm and its noble families uncovered, Petyr Baelish is executed by the combined efforts of Sansa, Arya, and Bran Stark. Theon Greyjoy, forgiven by Jon Snow and overpowering Harrag, wins over Yara's remaining followers and persuades them to join him in his mission to rescue his sister from his uncle Euron. The Wall is breached where Eastwatch stands after attacks made by the Night King, nullifying its magic and allowing for the crossing of the White Walkers and wights into the North.
At the time of the novels, Westeros has been using a calendar system based on the year of Aegon's Landing, which occurred three centuries before. As explained above, calling it "Aegon's Landing" AL is somewhat anachronistic given that the "landing" happened at the beginning of the conquest but the calendar system only begins two years later, at the end of the conquest - more recent in-universe historical texts have been shifting to the alternate name "After Conquest" AC.
The difference is purely one of nomenclature: "the year AL" and "the year AC" are exactly the same. The known world that Westeros and Essos are set in has variable seasons that can last for years, sometimes a decade each though such long seasons only come once every century or two. On the average, it seems that one season can last for about two to three years or so the full four season cycle therefore taking about a decade. There are hints that the seasons may not always have been this way: characters still define "a year" as a twelve month period, not a full cycle of summer to winter.
Months are the same as in real-life, roughly a thirty day period. The term "moon-turn" is commonly used for "month". When the in-universe history text from the novellas about the Dance of the Dragons give specific dates, they are usually just in the format "on the fifth day of the third moon of the year AL" etc. While they seem to just refer to each month by number, keep in mind that this is essentially what the real-life Gregorian calendar does, inherited from the Romans, and their names often just stem from Latin numbers: "Sept-ember" is the seventh month, "Oct-ober" is the eighth month, etc.
Westeros also doesn't use an "o'clock" system of measuring hours in a day they also don't have mechanical clocks. Not every culture throughout real life history has measured the first hour of a given day starting at midnight the exact opposite of noon ; some start at sunrise, others at sunset. It isn't clear at what hour one day officially becomes the next in Westeros though given that they are an agrarian society, they probably measure by each sunrise.
Each "day" apparently consists of a 24 hour period - simply so that Martin would not confuse readers when he referred to a certain amount of hours in the narrative. People in Westeros apparently just apply colloquial names to each hour of the day, i. A few other hour names have been mentioned in passing:. The timeline of the books is broadly similar to that of the TV series, with several minor differences.
Several younger characters - most notably Jon Snow, all of the Stark children and Daenerys Targaryen - are two to three years older than their book equivalents, which has required the date of Robert's Rebellion to be pushed back from fifteen to seventeen years before the events of the series begin. Other characters are older Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon are ten years older than their book counterparts or younger Ser Vardis Egen is decades younger than in the book, while Theon is two years younger , though for the most part this has no bearing on the timeline.
In the book chronology, roughly two years pass between the beginning of A Game of Thrones and the end of the third novel, A Storm of Swords. Less than a full year actually passes in each novel. The child actors in the TV series, however, still age at a normal rate during production, so in order to keep consistent, the TV series generally follows the rule that one TV season equals one year in the storyline.
This made them gain a full year by the end of Season 3, as the Red Wedding occurred only two years after Jon Arryn died. Moreover, the third novel is so long that the TV series producers have announced that they will split it into two separate seasons of ten episodes each, for a total of twenty episodes to adapt the story.
Nonetheless, due to using the child actors and the one TV season equals one story year rule, this means that another extra year was added as a result of splitting the third novel into two TV seasons. Arya Stark is 9 years old in the first novel, but due to aging up all of the characters by two years in the TV continuity, she directly states that she is 11 years old in Season 1. In the books, Arya was 11 years old at the time of the Red Wedding, and remained 11 years old for the rest of the third novel which will correspond to the end of Season 4. Ultimately, Arya will be 15 years old in the TV continuity by the end of Season 4: one year gained from expanding a two year storyline into three years, and another gained from splitting the third novel in half.
In contrast, book-Arya was only 11 years old at the end of the third novel corresponding to the end of Season 4. Ideas abandoned by George R. Martin during the writing of the novels were including longer, multi-month gaps between chapters in A Game of Thrones and also jumping forwards five years after the events of A Storm of Swords. In both cases, the need to continue addressing in-progress storylines meant that these time jumps could not be carried out. Whether the TV series employs such devices in the future remains to be seen. The date given on Jorah's letter of pardon from Season 1 is " AL", the same as in the books - which has been taken as establishing that both the TV series and first novel begin in the year AC, though time moves more slowly in the TV series.
A key point is that it isn't actually certain what calendar year it is supposed to be in the TV continuity. Two extra years were added between Robert's Rebellion and the death of Jon Arryn, but it isn't certain exactly how this was achieved: either that Robert's Rebellion occurred two years earlier than it did in the books, or that Jon Arryn died two years later than his book counterpart.
There has been no on-screen statement about what the exact date is. In the books, the Red Wedding occurred slightly before the calendar year changed over into AC Joffrey and the Lannisters gloated that the defeat of the Starks would usher in a glorious new Lannister century. However, prop letters written in Season 1 such as the royal pardon for Jorah Mormont are dated as being written in AC - which is the same year that the first novel begins.
Game of Thrones Wiki has taken this as indicating that Robert's Rebellion must have occurred two years earlier in the TV continuity. The major datable event from King Robert's reign in the TV continuity is that the Greyjoy Rebellion is still consistently stated to have occurred 9 years before the beginning of the story, i. Balon remarks that it has been nine years since he saw Theon when he returns to Pyke in early Season 2 not quite 10 years yet because it is still early in Season 2 and this is spillover dating from Season 1; other references also give it as 9 years.
In the books, the Greyjoy Rebellion also occurred 9 years before the story begins - to necessitate just how long Theon was functionally raised in the Stark household as Ned's ward. In the book continuity, with a 15 year gap since Robert's Rebellion, the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred 6 years after Robert was crowned. In the TV series, the 17 year gap since Robert's Rebellion means that the Greyjoy Rebellion occurred 8 years into Robert's reign and in both continuities, it was 9 years before Jon Arryn died. Even so, the Greyjoy Rebellion isn't a useful dating point, because we only know of its date relative to Robert's Rebellion.
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It doesn't necessarily mean that the extra two years were inserted earlier in Robert's reign or that Robert's Rebellion started two years earlier - the Greyjoy Rebellion is not a fixed point, and Balon might simply have decided to wait an extra two years before attempting his rebellion in the TV continuity. In the novels, Robert's Rebellion occurred 15 years before the first novel, then two years later Joffrey died, meaning that about 17 years passed between the death of the Mad King and the death of Tywin Lannister.
In the TV series, the rebellion began two years earlier, and another year was gained due to time moving more slowly across three seasons of the TV series, so in the TV continuity, closer to 20 years passed between the death of the Mad King and the death of Tywin Lannister. Indeed, in Season 4 episode 8 " The Mountain and the Viper ", Littlefinger mentions to the other Vale lords that it has been "twenty years" since Robert's Rebellion: apparently he was not rounding up, as this number matches the "one TV season equals one year" principle.
This was presumably done to make Aemon's explanation of his genealogy to Jon Snow more concise and less convoluted. This has wider implications for the potential live-action adaptation of the prequels that HBO has been discussing with George R. Sansa Stark prominently states in the first episode of Season 1 that she is thirteen years old - following the rule that younger characters have been aged-up by two years as she was only eleven at this point in the books. Yet on her wedding night in Season 3's "Second Sons", Sansa tells Tyrion that she is fourteen, not fifteen as expected.
This is not quite as big of an inconsistency, as Sansa might just be "on the verge" of turning fifteen but her exact nameday hasn't passed yet plus she is so afraid of having sex with Tyrion that she might just be emphasizing how young she is to deter him. The TV series also introduced some inconsistencies with the ages of Cersei Lannister, and her son Joffrey. The TV series has Cersei state in " Blackwater " that she was four years old when her mother died giving birth to her younger brother Tyrion , but in the books she was roughly eight years old at the time. The numbers simply don't match up: Tywin was made Hand of the King to Aerys II Targaryen because Aerys was impressed with how he ruthlessly crushed House Reyne, Tywin then served as Hand of the King for twenty years, resigned soon before Robert's Rebellion, then another 17 years passed in the TV continuity.
Thus in order for Cersei to be able to remember the Reyne Rebellion she would have to be in at least her mid-forties, but both Cersei the character and actress Lena Headey were in their mid-thirties in Season 3. In the TV series, Tyrion says that he was sixteen when he married Tysha , while in the books he was thirteen.
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This may be part of the TV series overall attempt to avoid even mentioning thirteen year-olds having sex such as Daenerys at the beginning of book 1. In Season 2's " The Prince of Winterfell ", Tyrion makes an off-hand remark that Joffrey is seventeen years old, contrasting this with how his "uncle" Jaime was already a highly skilled warrior at seventeen but Joffrey is not.
In the books, Jaime was fifteen years old when he was knighted following the destruction of the Kingswood Brotherhood , and was named to the Kingsguard only a few months later. It would seem that the TV series's principle of raising the age of adulthood in Westeros by two years was also extended retroactively as otherwise it would seem strange to a modern audience that Jaime was barely fifteen when appointed to such a prestigious position.
Joffrey is actually only thirteen years old in the second novel: his nameday tournament in the Season 2 premiere was explicitly stated to be for his thirteenth nameday in the books, but the TV series avoided giving a number at the time. Born In Vengeance —Dacian Legends, book 1. Born In Sin —Dacian Legends, book 2. The giveaways run for another 3 weeks the first three and a month the last one.
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