'Game of Thrones': Who's who in Westeros

Updated 3:08 PM ET, Tue October 13, 2015
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In HBO's "Game of Thrones," a robust cast of lords and ladies all plot to claim the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Between the beheadings and the house mottos, it can be easy to lose track of who does what. Here's a look at some key characters. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke): As one of the few surviving descendants of the Targaryen family, Daenerys has a lot of expectations riding on her platinum-haired head. She surpassed all of them, until a question of slavery led to deadly guerrilla warfare. Once nothing more than an offering for a king, Daenerys -- called Khaleesi, or queen, by the Dothraki people she once helped rule -- has morphed into a Mother of Dragons who insists on justice. Macall B. Polay/HBO
Jon Snow (Kit Harington): From bastard son to wildling lover, Jon Snow and his immaculate medieval tresses have had quite the journey. Jon vowed to be loyal to the Night's Watch -- the ragtag group who stand guard at the icy Wall on high alert for the fantastical (the zombie-like White Walkers) and the free (wildlings) -- and he's held true to that promise even after a detour in the arms of wildling Ygritte. Sadly, by the end of season 4, that romance is dead, and by the end of season 5, Snow appears to be, also. Helen Sloan/HBO
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner): Sansa is a character many love to hate, because she started out as pretty insufferable. But after she was ridiculed and tortured by Joffrey Lannister, her former fiance, and forced to marry his uncle Tyrion, we've come around. Sansa has started to learn the rules of the "Game" but couldn't avoid marriage to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton -- and the subsequent wedding night. The development had many fans furious. Keith Bernstein/HBO
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): With his sharp wit and swift thinking, Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister has managed to stay alive through the whole run of "Game of Thrones," although things are looking grim lately. Tyrion is despised by his family because of his size and their belief that he "killed" their mother during childbirth, as well as the fact that he slew father Tywin at the end of the fourth season. courtesy hbo
Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer): As clever as she is beautiful, Margaery endured a very brief marriage to the terrible King Joffrey before wedding his younger brother, King Tommen. Too bad her conflict with Queen Mother Cersei is still going strong. Macall B. Polay/HBO
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): Much of Arya's family has been sent to their graves by one wicked person or another, but the young swordswoman is still kicking. The most recent season finds her quest for revenge moving forward as she studies with the Faceless Men in Braavos. Helen Sloan/HBO
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey): Cersei has become more or less your stereotypical evil queen, albeit one who has zero issues with incest. She's seen two of her sons ascend to the Iron Throne, but she's no more content to take a role on the sidelines. Neil Davidson/HBO
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau): Jaime Lannister began the "Game of Thrones" as a pretty despicable character, one who had no compunction about throwing a 10-year-old from a window. But over the course of the show, this lovesick nobleman was put through his paces, losing the very limb that helped him become so powerful: his right hand. Macall B. Polay/HBO
Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane): As a brother to the late King Robert Baratheon -- who held the throne before his son-in-name-only Joffrey took over -- Stannis Baratheon knows he has a rightful claim to the crown. He's gone into battle to seal his position and regularly turns to the magic of creepy "Red Priestess" Melisandre (Carice van Houten) for help. Helen Sloan/HBO
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): If you find yourself confused as to who exactly Theon Greyjoy is, don't feel bad: He is, too. Once the ward of the House of Stark, Theon betrayed those who were like family to him to claim a noble title that lasted for essentially a nanosecond. That led to Theon suffering as a prisoner and punching bag for Ramsay Bolton, who has the guy thinking his name is "Reek." Helen Sloan/HBO
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright): Bran Stark, the middle son of the House of Stark, was left crippled from the very first episode of "Game of Thrones" but has gained a gift for visions. With his faithful Hodor (Kristian Nairn) by his side for mobility, the now-orphaned Bran has gone beyond the Wall in search of the three-eyed Raven he frequently sees in visions. Helen Sloan/HBO