Even if you don't watch Game of Thrones, there's a good chance you know Jon Snow (Kit Harington) returned from the dead during Season 6. It was impossible to ignore the flurry of stories that accompanied his death and subsequent resurrection. You might also know that Cersei (Lena Headey) blew up Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and the High Sparrow, or that Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) was eaten alive by his own dogs after the Knights of the Vale rushed in at the Battle of the Bastards, like the Prussians at Waterloo.
There were a number of memorable moments, basically; but what you might not realize or remember is that plenty of other (potentially) important things also happened during the course of the most recent season of the HBO fantasy series. We're here to remind you who did what, who saved whom, and which presumed dead character is still kickin' it, before Season 7 premieres next month.
1. Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes assassinate Doran Martell and seize control of Dorne.
You might be saying to yourself, "Hey, this sounds like something major that I should have remembered!" but if you've forgotten it, it's only because Dorne exists in a special place where pretty much everything that happens there is utterly forgettable. Still, it's probably important to remember that Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) assassinated Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig), while the Sand Snakes took out his sole heir, the super boring Trystane, in the Season 6 premiere. By the end of the season, Dorne was in talks to ally with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) against the Lannisters after Varys (Conleth Hill) brokered a meeting between Ellaria and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg).
2. Euron Greyjoy murders his brother and takes control of the Iron Islands.
With so many awesome things happening last season, you're also forgiven for possibly not remembering that the Danish Joshua Jackson, known onscreen as Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), returned to the Iron Islands and killed his older and far less attractive brother, Balon (Patrick Malahide) in the second episode of the season. This set off a chain of events that pushed Yara (Gemma Whelan), with a newly returned Theon (Alfie Allen) by her side, to commandeer the best ships from the Iron fleet and offer them to Dany in exchange for the Mother of Dragons agreeing to help them kill Euron — and to grant the Iron Islands independence once she takes the Iron Throne.
3. The Children of the Forest are responsible for creating the White Walkers.
Well, this is awkward. Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) discovered, through his vision quest with the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow), that the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest as a means of defending themselves against the First Men. Thanks a lot, Leaf.
4. There is an entire storyline set in Meereen.
If you used each trip to Meereen in Season 6 as a restroom break, you're not alone; nine out of 10 Game of Thrones viewers agree the subplot involving the power vacuum that arose while Dany was off regaining control of the Dothraki was just a poor attempt to keep Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) onscreen. Most of the time it was just Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) discussing politics and slavery, and then drinking wine and telling jokes that only make sense when you've been to Westeros.
5. Jaime retakes Riverun from the Blackfish.
Catelyn Stark's (Michelle Fairley) uncle, the Blackfish (Clive Russell), regained control of the Tullys' ancestral home of Riverrrun in Season 6. This isn't terribly important since he dies when the Lannisters arrive to take it back, but the storyline was very convenient in that it created the perfect excuse for the series to reunite Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), since she was charged by Sansa (Sophie Turner) to ask for the Blackfish's help in retaking Winterfell. And everyone loves a good Jaime and Brienne scene.
6. Sam finally arrives in Oldtown.
Last season, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), Jon's bestie from the Night's Watch, took a rather long but mostly stress-free journey to Oldtown, where he's studying to become a maester. After a barf-filled ship ride and a pitstop at Horn Hill, where Sam's father was a jerk and his brother was revealed to be the guy from UnReal, Sam and Gilly (Hannah Murray) eventually arrived at the Citadel in Oldtown in the season finale. It was pretty freakin' impressive. (Oh, and don't get too caught up on UnReal guy, he's getting recast for the next season).
7. Jon casts out Melisandre after learning what she did to Shireen.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) may have brought Jon back to life at the beginning of the season — and claimed him to be the Prince Who Was Promised — but she also killed innocents and burned a young girl at the stake while serving Stannis (Stephen Dillane). There are some lines you just do not cross, so Jon told her to get lost in the finale. And speaking of the Lord of the Light (even if indirectly), the Red Priestess of Volantis told Tyrion that Dany is the one who was promised, so that doesn't complicate things at all.
8. Bran and Meera are saved by Benjen Stark.
Since the show's first season fans have wondered if Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) really died beyond the Wall, and in Season 6 we learned the truth: he definitely died, but the Children of the Forest saved him by shoving a piece of Dragonglass into his heart before he could become a wight. He ended up saving Bran and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) — yeah, remember Meera?! — from the White Walkers' army of wights after Hodor's (Kristian Nairn) death. Unfortunately, the magic that has kept the White Walkers at bay also makes it impossible for Benjen to return to Westeros, and so he's living a lonely but bada-- life of solitude north of the Wall.
9. Bran can interact with the past.
During his training with the Three-Eyed Raven, it was revealed that Bran could interact with past events. First revealed when he yelled at a young Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy, the skill later popped up again when his possession of a young Hodor in a vision was revealed to be what ultimately broke Hodor's mind and rendered him only able to say hodor, a version of the last words he heard before he died, which were "hold the door."
10. Dany leaves Daario in Meereen because homegirl can't be tied down.
As Dany prepared to sail to Westeros in the finale, she broke things off with her sexy lover, Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman), so she would be free to make alliances through marriage. Daario wasn't too happy about having to remain in Meereen, where he would keep the peace with the Second Sons, but Dany wasn't actually too broken up about it.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 at 9/8c on HBO. It will consist of seven episodes, including the series' longest one yet.