As for family intrigue and complex family trees, well with a University degree in history that focused on 16th to 18th century England, I could teach a master class in family intrigue and complex family trees, so following the players, and the circuitous drama between pretenders and their progeny in Game of Thrones is easy for me. C2, however, is increasingly having this reaction:
Which is only made worse by his habit of nodding off half-way through an episode for about 15 minutes (he is perpetually sleep-deprived). For reference, the main players, among several, are the Lannisters (the bad guys), the Starks (the good guys), the Targaryens (awesome), and a cast of about a thousand others.
The following exchange is an example of what is increasingly occuring between us, now that we are close to the the end of Season 3.
Scene: Arya, Ned Stark's daughter is asking whether magic could bring back someone who had their head cut off *****SPOILER ALERT**** The headless one being her father, and his losing his head was kind of a MAJOR story arc in Season 1.
C2: Watching Arya's monologue, turns to me and says "Who is she talking about, who lost their head?"
Scene: Sansa, Ned Stark's other daughter and a major character through all 3 seasons is being discussed as marriage fodder by the evil Lord Tywin Lannister. His plan to marry her off to his son Tyrion is building toward a tension-filled but clear outcome.
I pause the scene and say to C2 "You see what's coming right?"
C2: "Who's Sansa? Is he the King's brother?" In fairness, the (former) King's brother is named Stannis, close but still....
Scene: Loras Tyrell, the brother of ambitious Marjorie, and who has featured prominently in Season 3 is also being discussed as marriage fodder by the Lannisters
C2: "Which sister is Loras?"
Scene: The consequences to Robb Stark are being discussed around his decision to marry the girl he loves instead of the daughter of Lord Walder Frey to whom he is strategically betrothed (I love that word). Said betrothal has been referenced extensively in Season 3 though we have not met the betrothed. The scene quickly changes to one with Marjorie Tyrell, former wife of slain King Renly. Marjorie is clearly manipulating reigning King Joffrey to marry her.
C2: "Oh Robb was engaged to Marjorie right?"
Scene: I pause the episode during a critical moment to ensure that C2 understands that Daenerys Targaryen is the daughter of the Mad King who has been referenced frequently throughout and whose death launched the war of the pretenders to the throne, including our awesome Daenerys.
Scene: Catelyn Stark is talking frantically about having to get back to Bran (her young son). Bran has been featured prominently since Season 1.
C2: "Who's Bran again?" shortly followed a few minutes later by "Daenerys is the daughter of the Mad King? Wait who was the Mad King again?"
I can assure you that with nearly every secondary character discussed, when trying to clarify a story arc for C2, is usually followed by: "Who is Davos?", "Who is Little Finger?", "Who is Osha?".
I think my absolute favorite commentary, however, was following an intimate scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte, in a cave filled with hot pools and steam and firelight. These "free people" who live north of the Wall are able to rip off their fur clothing clearly designed for those who live north of the Arctic Circle (it's very cold north of the Wall).
C2: "You would think that if the free people had caves with hot pools and steam baths, they might have considered living there instead of 3 feet away in bloody snow tents or trudging through blizzards like bloody penguins".