Watch: HBO explains the history of Westeros (in animated form!) to Game of Thrones fans

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Sep 15, 2017

Game of Thrones fans, welcome to the best five minutes of your day.

HBO has released a deep dive into the history of Westeros, the backdrop of Game of Thrones that is rarely referred to in the series but felt every time we see a war or meet a member of a great house.

This five-minute animated clip is called “Game of Thrones Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms” and is part of the 45 minutes' worth of extras you get on the show's upcoming Season 7 Blu-Ray/DVD.

If that narrator sounds familiar, it’s because you’re hearing Harry Lloyd, who played the late, not-really-lamented Viserys Targaryen, who received a crown of gold from Khal Drogo the hard way. Lloyd narrates it as Viserys, describing how his family came to leave their homeland of Valyria — Daenys the Dreamer foresaw “the Doom” — and ultimately conquer Westeros.

The clip is excellent infotainment, with a simple animation style that highlights every important event. And it’s chock-full o’ background for those of you who haven’t read the novels. (Obsessive fans of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, myself included, already know how House Durrandon became House Baratheon.)

But even if you’re familiar with every aspect of the books, as well as the authoritative, exhaustive history The World of Ice and Fire, it’s still great to see a glimpse of the world of Valyria before, and during, the Doom.