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As You Know / Game of Thrones

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The show has a lot of exposition, given the amount of plot, backstory and world-building that it has to get through. Often times it's given to characters with a reason for not knowing the information, while other times, they're saying it to people who already do:

  • Since it's introducing an entire Constructed World, the pilot episode "Winter is Coming" has quite a few, but most are tastefully subtle:
    • Jaime begins his first conversation with Cersei by mentioning he's her brother for the benefit of the audience. Justified, as he is mocking her. Then there's Arya's obviously dubbed Info Drop of the same information, which even the writers mock in their DVD commentary. The unaired pilot apparently left this info All There in the Script, so during rewrites the writers went Up to Eleven to ensure the audience understood the full significance of Cersei and Jaime having sex.
    • Tyrion and Ros playfully discuss Tyrion's reputation and place in the Lannister family in the third-person.
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    • Tyrion spells out Jon's place in the Stark family to Jon himself, framed as firmly reminding him no one will ever forget he's a bastard, so he should just accept it.
    • Daenerys and Viserys pepper their conversations with expository phrases like, "We've been his guests for over a year," and "I've waited seventeen years to get my throne back."
  • "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things":
    • Tyrion supplies some backstory by telling Theon Greyjoy about his own family's failed rebellion. It's justified by Tyrion disliking the Greyjoys for burning the Lannister fleet, and wanting to rub their loss in Theon's face.
    • Pycelle tells Ned that Varys is a eunuch, and Ned remarks that everyone knows that. In this case, Pycelle is making an unsubtle attempt to present Varys as a suspect in Jon Arryn's poisoning.
  • In "The Kingsroad", Tyrion and Jaime both deliver exposition about the Wall and the Night's Watch that doubles as a subtle warning about what Jon's getting himself into.
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  • Tyrion describes the Greyjoy Rebellion and why Theon is the Starks' ward to Theon himself. Maester Luwin is also fond of doing this. Of course, in both cases, they're reminding Theon that he's not as awesome, important, or even welcome as he thinks.
  • Almost all the information we get about Robert's Rebellion (until we actually see it in flashbacks) comes from Robert talking about it with other people, whether it's taunting Jaime over him killing Aerys or wistfully recalling the war with Ned.
  • In "A Golden Crown", Littlefinger feels the need to point out to Ned that his wife's family sigil is a fish and that the supersized knight who can behead a horse might be the Mountain. Justified, as he's subtly insulting Ned with how little he's prepared for this.
  • After Jaime leaves King's Landing and joins his father at his war camp, Tywin explains the concept of family dynasties to Jaime, who seems awestruck by the revelation, as opposed to sarcastically replying something like "Thank you for explaining how our society has worked for thousands of years to me, father". This has a side issue of making it look like it's a philosophy unique to Tywin Lannister, as opposed to how all nobility think.
  • In "Garden of Bones", Stannis recounts the reason he knighted Davos to Davos himself as an explanation of his esteem.
  • In "Valar Morghulis", Theon lampshades the hell out of it when Maester Luwin explains siege tactics for the audience.
    "Thank you, O Wise Bald One! Thank you for explaining siege tactics to me."
  • In "The Prince of Winterfell", Stannis and Davos discuss more of their backstory while sailing to King's Landing.
  • Averted in "Blackwater"; Maester Pycelle doesn't get the chance to exposit anything, because Cersei cuts off his implied offer of war counsel.
  • In "The Climb", Tywin tells Olenna, "I'm sure you're familiar with the Kingsguard's vows," but proceeds to list them anyway.
  • Oberyn tells Tyrion the well-known story of his sister's demise, which is justified as confronting Tyrion's attempts to avoid the uncomfortable subject.
  • In "Mockingbird", Tyrion muses on the facets and in-universe justification (the gods favoring the winner) of Trial by Combat to Jaime, who absolutely knows how it works. Mitigated by him adding the sarcastic jab about what kind of gods want to see people hack each other apart for justice.
  • Lysa Arryn recounts to Littlefinger all the evil deeds she's committed for him, including an important reveal. The viewer is the only one who didn't already know this. To be fair, this scene happens in somewhat of the same artificial context in the books as well, although Lysa is extremely emotionally distraught and somewhat insane to help justify this necessary exposition.
  • Obara Sand delivers a blatant Origin Story Info Dump... to her half-sisters and step-mother who already know it.
  • In "The Broken Man", Sandor is informed of his own story in conspicuous detail since we last saw him by Brother Ray, since he's not likely to be talkative about it on his own.
  • In the Season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf", as they approach King's Landing, Jon asks Tyrion how many people live there and he says "A million, give or take". While justifiable in that Jon is seeing the capital for the first time, it's rather late in the series to be giving the viewer this information.


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