updated 04/01/2012 AT 7:40 AM ET
•originally published 03/30/2012 AT 7:15 PM ET
When Game of Thrones concluded its first season last June, viewers were left wondering about the fate its characters and their quest for the coveted Iron Throne.
Now, with the show’s highly anticipated second season premiering Sunday (9 p.m. ET) on HBO, Westeros watchers will finally get to see what will happen next for the kingdom’s most troubled citizens.
Here’s where the hit fantasy left off:
After her husband, Dothraki war lord Khal Drogo, dies, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) burns his body, and uses the fire from his funeral pyre to birth a trio of dragons, the first born in years. Now, as sole leader of the khalsaar, Daenerys is tasked with keeping the desirable creatures safe, and leading her people to prosperity once again.
In the wake of King Robert Baratheon’s death, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is sent to King’s Landing by his father Tywin to serve in the powerful position of King’s Hand, and keep a watchful eye over his sister, Queen Regent Cersei, and her son, the cruel Joffrey, who sits on the throne.
The bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) gets his wish to serve as a ranger when the Night’s Watch sets out beyond The Wall to search for the wildlings and their commander, the mysterious Mance Rayder. But despite his skill with a sword, will Jon prove any better prepared to face the terrors of the North than his fellow soldiers?
After her father, Ned Stark, is beheaded, Arya (Maisie Williams) escapes King’s Landing with the help of Night’s Watch member Yoren, who disguises her as a boy and promises to deliver her home to Winterfell. Being younger and smaller than most of her unsavory traveling companions, Arya faces threats of violence, being found out or sent back to Queen Cersei’s grip.