They say you can't tell the players without a program! When a story is an "epic saga" or a long-running series, some kind of guide will help immensely. Plot lines turn on family secrets, and fresh material is injected by the introduction of yet another relative. And sometimes, complicated bloodlines meet as characters marry each other (since a wedding and new babies will always boost ratings). To help you along, TV, movie, and literature geeks will chart out those relationships in family trees. You can click on these images to get a better look, or follow the links to see the full versions.
1. The Weasleys
This is the House of Weasley as rendered by DeviantART member Ms-Wayward. This is the extended family of Ron Weasley, whom you know from the Harry Potter series. You can see Harry Potter's family tree (although not quite as suitable for framing) at the Harry Potter Wiki.
You can find out more than you'd ever thought you could know about the classic TV series Bewitched at Harpie's Bizarre, including this family tree that lists all of Samantha's supernatural relatives, as well as Darrin's human relatives.
The relationships in the Lord of the Rings trilogy are extensive, but at least they are separated into different species. A Hobbit family tree shows that Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins are distant cousins; the full graphic has more of their relatives. The Hobbit geneology page by Chris Long also has a larger family tree of Hobbits that covers just about every Hobbit mentioned in the Tolkien universe. The Lord of the Rings Wiki has trees for six of the royal families in the story.
The introduction to the 2006 movie Idiocracy features a family tree to show how human evolution stopped selecting for intelligence in our modern world and instead encouraged massive reproduction among people with lower IQs. This family tree shows how Clevon (with an IQ of 84) left many descendants. See the entire sequence at YouTube (NSFW language). The best part of this fictional family tree is that you don't have to remember any of the characters in it to follow the movie.
5. The Game of Thrones
The new HBO series Game of Thrones is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Those who haven't read the books immediately knew a family tree was necessary to sort out the relationships between the characters. Others felt that revealing those relationships causes spoilers, so study the full size tree at your own discretion. Only a small part is shown here.
6. Donald Duck
There's a lot more to Donald Duck's family than Uncle Scrooge and the nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The complete family includes all the characters introduced in Donald Duck comic books. This family tree differs from the others here, as the ancestors are at the bottom and the later generations branch out at the top. The full tree is much more extensive than the portion shown here.
The three Back to the Future movies are confusing enough, as Marty McFly skips back and forth through time, encountering family members at various times in history. The McFly family is graphed at the Marty McFly Wiki, and somewhat truncated here for readability. Once you've got the family tree down, you might want to try deciphering the Back to the Future Timeline. Good luck.
How well do you think you know The Simpsons family? The TV show has been on for over two decades, but it takes a real fan to stay with it that long. You can take a quiz about The Simpsons family relationships, but you'll have to scroll past the family tree to get an accurate score of your memory.
9. The Sopranos
The HBO organized crime family series The Sopranos is now in syndication for those who didn't watch the show in its first run. To help you keep up with who is beholden to who by family ties, you can consult this handy tree.
10. I'm My Own Grandpa
"I'm My Own Grandpa" is a song first released in 1947 about a man and his father who married a mother and daughter, but not in the order you'd expect. The tangled family tree that results is illustrated in a video set to the Ray Stevens version of the song. There's no incest here, just confusion.
11. Days of Our Lives
The most tangled fictional family trees of all are those of soap opera characters. If a show runs long enough, even the writers can lose track of who is related to who, especially when new writers join the team. I started looking at the long-running show Days of Our Lives, but there are so many families and family members that the trees are split into many sections. The tree shown is for the Horton family only, and you can see how huge it is.