This was another episode that focused on a handful of characters as opposed to the lot of them. I really dig these focused episodes as it seems to tell a whole lot story in the short hour that is shown. While we had to go without the Stark kids, Tyrion, and for the most part, Winterfell, Jon Snow was back this week, which made me very happy.
The episode started with Jamie Lannister and his father Tywin. This is the first of Tywin that we’ve seen and this man is all business. He’s hard, cunning and ruthless and 100% Lannister. Tywin questions Jamie on why Ned Stark is still alive after his order to capture Tyrion to which Jamie responds that a guard interfered and it wouldn’t have been a clean kill. Tywin proceeds to chastise Jamie telling him that all he’s worried about is his ego when he should be more concerned with the Lannister name. It seems they don’t have a clue about Tyrion’s current status as a free man yet.
Tywin isn’t so much concerned for Tyrion as he is about how Tyrion’s capture weakens the Lannister name. During the exchange, you can see how Jamie sort of reverts to a child being reprimanded by his father. Tywin Lannister is not a man to be trifled with and considering this whole conversation takes place while he’s skinning some sort of dead animal just drives that point home even further. I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side and he makes it clear that his enemies shouldn’t either.
Up North at The Wall, Jon Snow and rest of the Night’s Watch new recruits are getting ready to take their vows to become full-fledged brother in black. While standing watch on the Wall with Sam, Jon spies a riderless horse blazing a trail of fire out of the forest. Jon soon realizes that it’s his Uncle Benjen’s horse and Benjen is nowhere to be found.
Before the recruits take their vows they are given their assignments, which will be their post for life. Jon has his heart set on becoming a Ranger like Benjen, and since he has more skill than the other boys, he’s convinced this is where he’ll be placed. Naturally Jon’s mortified when they place him with the Stewards. This fact upsets him and it isn’t until Sam steps up and puts things into perspective for him that he finally accepts it. Sam tells Jon that because Lord Mormont personally requested him it must mean that Mormont is going to groom Jon for command. Sam explains further that Jon will be privy to every aspect of the Night’s Watch and it should be looked upon as an honor. Way to go Sam! Sam may be a self-proclaimed coward, but he’s got some wisdom and offers sage advice and that really came through in this episode.
Each of the recruits are to take their vows in front of their gods. Jon and Sam head out into the forest north of the Wall to take their vows in front of the God’s wood and after doing so, Ghost shows up with a severed hand in his mouth. First a riderless horse, then a severed hand. Something is rotten north of the Wall and I’m sure we’ll get to see what that something is. Hopefully anyway.
Life in King’s Landing is becoming increasingly difficult for Ned. After a confrontation with Cersei his suspicions that all of Robert’s children were actually fathered by Jamie are confirmed. John Arryn discovered the same information, which resulted in his death. Cersei tells Ned that she and Jamie are two-part of a whole because they shared a womb together. Her hatred for the Starks started on her wedding night when, during their consummation of the marriage, Roberts whispered Lyanna’s name in her ear.
Things go from bad to worse for Ned when Robert who, while out on a hunt, was mortally wounded by a boar. Turns out he was being fed wine by his squire, who just happens to be a Lannister. Seems he had a bit too much and now has to pay the price. Instead of a nasty hangover, he faces death instead. Robert still has his wits about him however when he asks to sit with Ned in private. Robert has Ned take down his final request that Ned be the realm’s protector until Joffrey is of age to rule. Ned, being the crafty fellow that he is, changes the wording to “rightful heir” instead. Robert also told Ned that he was right in regards to the hit that was put out on Daeneyrs Targaryen and asked Ned to put a stop to it. Ned complies but is told by Varys that it’s most likely happened already.
There was a rather interesting scene with Littlefinger this week that gives a peek into his character and what kind of man he really is. Theon Greyjoy’s favorite whore, the one we saw heading South last week is “auditioning” with another gal for a place in Littlefinger’s brothel. During this “audition” , Littlefinger reveals his long running affection for Catelyn and how he basically lost her to Ned’s brother. He’s got some resentment toward the Stark name and since Ned’s brother isn’t around, and since Ned is the one who actually married Catelyn, he gets the brunt of it.
Convinced that he needs to expose the fact that Joffrey isn’t the rightful heir, Ned hatches a plan to seat Robert’s brother and the rightful heir, Stannis on the throne. Renly tries to convince Ned that he should be the one to take the throne but Ned disagrees telling him that Stannis is next in line, not Renly. Since Ned is all about honor and duty, he refuses to deviate from the proper line of succession.
Littlefinger isn’t a man who can be trusted and he even told Ned this fact. Unfortunately Ned didn’t heed his warning, although he didn’t have much choice in the matter. Ned has a conversation with Littlefinger which results in Littlefinger paying off the City’s Watch to back up Ned when he goes against Cersei. All goes according to plan until Littlefinger shows his true colors and the City Watch turns on Ned instead. We last see Ned with Littlefinger’s dagger at his throat with Littlefinger telling Ned that he told him not to trust him.
Meanwhile in Vaes Dothrak…
The hit that Robert put out on Daenerys comes to fruition when a wine seller tries to convince Dany to taste his wares. Sensing something is afoot, Jorah steps in and tells the man to taste it first. He takes this opportunity to run, but is stopped short by the whip of one of Dany’s guards.
Since he made an attempt on her life the wine seller is forced to walk naked behind a horse. Khal Drogo is enraged over the fact that the King of Westeros tried to have Dany killed so he proclaims he will ride a wooden horse across the sea to bring war and take the iron throne.
Drogo may be a man of few words, but he actually had quite a bit to say this week. He spoke more in his little monologue regarding kicking ass in Westeros than he has all season. The relationship between Drogo and Dany has evolved and it’s good to see that he has some genuine feelings for her. Dany has come pretty far in a short amount of time as well. Her part in the story is really starting to take shape so I’m really interested to see if they end her part in this first season the same way the book ended.
That’s it for this week. I didn’t catch previews so I’m not sure what’s coming next week although I have an idea. There’s three episodes left and a lot has to happen. Whatever comes to pass next week, I hope we get to see Tyrion and Arya. As well as more Jon Snow!Tags: Game of Thrones, HBO, Kings Landing, Lannisters, Ned Stark, Starks, Television, Tyrion, Westeros