How Much Time Has Passed on Game of Thrones? A Reasonable Timeline, Explained
After years of teasing, Winter is finally here on Game of Thrones, but how much time has actually passed since the pilot episode? Time in Westeros doesn’t move the same way it does in the real world. Seasons last for years at a time, and if months are a thing, the characters never mention them. Keeping the timeline straight becomes even harder when you try to reconcile things like the rapid aging of Cersei’s children (seriously, don’t even attempt to use Tommen as a marker because it will make your brain explode) or the speed with which Varys makes his return trip to Meeren at the end of season six. It’s also worth pointing out that episodes like the season seven premiere, “Dragonstone,” make it clear events aren’t always happening concurrently for the characters – enough time elapses after the cold open when Arya slaughters the Freys for the news to not only reach King’s Landing, but lead Cersei to send soldiers to keep the peace in the Riverlands.
While there are certainly some head-scratching inconsistencies, a reasonable timeline for the first six seasons of Game of Thrones can be established, even though these poor characters never seem to have time to celebrate their name days or pause for any holiday fun between Red Wedding massacres. With the help of wars, pregnancies, and those lovable Stark kids, we’ve put together a rough timeline for Game of Thrones so far. Read on to find out just how long it’s taken for Winter to arrive in Westeros.
At the start of the series, Westeros is still enjoying an unusually long Summer. The pilot episode offers up a few solid dates that will help sort out the timeline later. For instance, Sansa announces she’s 13 when she’s making her argument to her mom that she’s totally old enough to be thinking about marrying Prince Joffrey. King Robert also helpfully notes it’s been 17 years since his rebellion against the Targaryens and the death of his beloved Lyanna Stark. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys marries Khal Drogo in the premiere and discovers she’s pregnant in the season’s third episode.
Daenerys’s pregnancy is the best way to mark how much time passes in season one. In the penultimate hour, she appears to be full-term when she gives birth to her stillborn son. Add in the weeks it takes for her to notice she’s pregnant, and it’s safe to say roughly a year passes between the beginning of the series and the final episode of season one, when Robb kicks off the War of the Five Kings.
The Maesters declare Summer is over, and Autumn officially begins. In episode five, “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” Renly’s death is said to take place 18 years after Robert’s Rebellion, which confirms a year or more has passed since the first season. The rest of the season doesn’t offer up much in terms of firm dates, but by the time the Battle of Blackwater happens in episode nine, it’s been close to two years since Arya and Sansa left Winterfell for King’s Landing with their father in the series premiere.
Thank the old gods and the new for Robb’s wife, Talisa. In episode seven, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” she reveals the War of the Five Kings has been going on for two years. Since the war officially begins at the end of season one, the show appears to be covering roughly a year per season at this point. It’s also worth noting that early in season three, Gilly gives birth to baby Sam at Craster’s Keep. Meanwhile, Sansa reveals to Tyrion that she’s 14 on their wedding night, and since their marriage occurs early in the season, she’s likely 15 by the end of season three.
Joffrey is 19 when he dies at his wedding to Margaery in the season’s second episode, which means it’s been nearly four years since the characters’ journeys began. Meanwhile, in Essos, Daenerys’s dragons officially enter their unruly teenage years, and at this stage their size becomes an excellent marker for the passage of time. The reunion between Sam and Gilly in “The Watchers on The Wall” hints that season four is the first season not to cover an entire year. Baby Sam appears to be no more than 4 or 5 months old during the siege of Castle Black. If we assume the baby is aging at a normal rate, then around half a year passes over the course of season four.
Tyrion murders his father at the end of season four, and season five begins with his funeral. Still, Tyrion and Lord Varys have time to reach Pentos in the premiere, but it still seems unlikely it’s been more than a few days since Tyrion fled King’s Landing. However, the season quickly covers lots of ground as Arya arrives in Braavos for training at the House of Black and White, Jon is appointed head of the Night’s Watch, Sansa is forced to marry Ramsay, and a snowstorm descends on Stannis’s camp, effectively ending the War of the Five Kings for good. The season ends with the Night’s Watch brothers betraying and murdering Jon for allowing the Free Folk to pass The Wall – even without clear markers, the eventful season appears to cover, at minimum, a full year in the characters’ lives.
Once again, almost no time lapses between seasons. The season begins with Jon’s resurrection, and he soon reunites with Sansa after she escapes Ramsay with Brienne’s help. Again, the best indicators of time are Daenerys’s dragons, which are now massive, and Gilly’s son, who appears to be a little over a year old when she arrives in Oldtown with Sam. There’s also Rickon though, who is 6 when the show begins and appears to be somewhere between 11 and 12 when Ramsay murders him during the Battle of the Bastards. Also, Autumn officially ends, and the Maesters announce Winter is here (yes, Autumn lasts roughly five years). That means between five and six years are covered in the first six seasons of the show.
Which brings us to the current season. The show has never revealed exactly how long it takes to cross the Narrow Sea, but Daenerys sets out for Westeros at the end of season six and arrives on the shores of her homeland in the premiere. It’s safe to say this season begins at least a month or two after the end of season six, since Cersei’s reign no longer seems entirely new and Euron Greyjoy’s followers have had enough time to build him a 1,000 ships. All in all, it’s been somewhere between six and seven years since the events of the pilot episode and Jon Snow being named King in the North.
It’s been a long road for the characters so far, and there’s no telling how much more they’ll have to go through as they contend with the coming White Walker siege. One thing is certain though: now that we know how long it’s been since the Starks were last together, it makes us want a proper reunion for them even more.
Source: Pop Sugar