Those words "Dothraki," "Daenerys," and "Khaleesi" you've been hearing lately aren't indications that your friends are suddenly speaking in tongues—it's once again time for HBO's epic fantasy drama series Game of Thrones, and, understandably so, fans are stoked.
With more family trees and fantastical characters than Mario Puzo and J.R.R. Tolkien combined, author George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice string of bulky, involving novels has given Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss a wealth of material from which to pack 10 robust episodes per season.
That abundance of story has also turned HBO's celebration of dragons, kingdoms, and T&A into television's hardest show to follow—well, assuming you haven't read any of Martin's books. Early discussions are pegging the show's fourth season (which begins tonight at 9 p.m. EST) as its bloodiest one yet, setting expectations for a plethora of "Oh, shit!" moments quite high.
Naturally, many people who've resisted Game of Thrones are now finding themselves ready to join up but also intimidated by catching up with all that's happened so far. That's where we come in—simply use the following GIF gallery to acquaint yourselves with everything you'll need to know before watching season four of Game of Thrones. You'll be able to cite names like "Stannis Baratheon" in no time.