This episode aired May 1, 2011 on HBO
All the spoilers, all the time.
But jeezy creezy, haven’t you seen this yet?
iMDb synopsis: Jon begins his training with the Night’s Watch; Ned confronts his past and future at King’s Landing; Daenerys finds herself at odds with Viserys.
This is the first episode of the series without any deaths of any kind, and remains the only one until 2013.
In the opening credits we see King’s Landing (Baratheon sigil), The Bite sea, Winterfell (Stark sigil), The Wall, Dothraki Sea, and Vaes Dothrak. No new cities added this opening nor changing of sigils.
The Starks arrive in Kings Landing and he is immediately called to the small council. On his way to them he walks through the throne room where he encounters Jamie Lannister who welcomes him with: “The King Shits And The Hand Wipes.” (I feel like that wording is changed.) Ned is having NONE of his shenanigans!
Again, the sets for this show (both landscape and indoors) are just amazing. The discuss Ned’s father’s death at the hand of the Mad King. And that Jamie’s killing the Mad King, to Jamie, “felt like justice”. And Ned then walks into the side rooms where we meet Lord Varys, Petyr “Little Finger”, Renly and Maester Pycelle.
According to the novels, Jaime was fifteen on the day he participated the campaign against the Kingswood Brotherhood. He did not kill any of the outlaws, but crossed swords with the Smiling Knight and saved his master Lord Crakehall from Big Belly Ben. As a reward for his valor, Jaime was knighted on the battlefield by Ser Arthur Dayne.
An interesting side note here: The part of Grand Maester Pycelle was supposed to go to the man who voiced the audio books for Game of Thrones, Tony award winner Roy Dotrice. He removed himself from consideration because of his health. The recasting of Julian Glover was a clever decision. I was able to see him speak at Cincy Comic Expo one year.
Back to the small council at hand – “Winter may be coming but not the king.” This is when we realize that King Robert is not the most “present” king that Ned was hoping to find. Ned also finds that Lord Baelish has put his fingers in the moneypot and allowed the crown to go VERY deep into debt. “You ARE the King’s Hand, we serve at your pleasure.”
Cut to Cersei telling Joffrey that when he is King and Sansa is Queen he doesn’t have to see her if he doesn’t want to. Except to have little princes and princesses. And if he wants to “fuck painted women”, then so be it. Great way to raise an asshole. “Everyone who isn’t us, is an enemy.”
Heady was pregnant during the filming of the first season. There are various moments where you can see that her belly is being covered to conceal her pregnancy. However, during the scene when Cersei is talking with Joffrey about the North, when she gets up from the chair, she struggles a bit to get up and push off both arms of the chair, much as any woman far along in her pregnancy would get out of a chair.
We then see the Stark sisters sharing a meal and the knife play that Arya is keeping on about allows us some insight into who she will become. The division between the sisters is plain, Arya is still reeling from the death of her friend, the Butcher’s boy.
“Arya would rather act like a beast than a lady.” Ned is realizing that he does not know his children as well as he thought. He hands a gift to Sansa who tells him: “I haven’t played with dolls since I was eight. May I please be excused?” But this leads into Ned speaking with Arya in her room and that she has the blade “Needle”. Again, we see how little he knows his girl children. Arya exclaims that she does not want to be a lady! He laughs at her telling him what she knows about using a sword and her reply: “Stick them with the pointy end.” She explains the guilt she has over asking Micah to play with her, leading to his death at the hands of The Hound. In their exchange we hear him tell her: “Winter Is Coming”. He warns her that they have come to a dangerous place and that they cannot fight among themselves. As he leaves he tells her she can keep the sword but that she needs to learn houw to use it.
A boy after my own heart, Bran’s favorite stories are the scary ones! Old Nan. Until this very moment, to be honest, I could not remember her or what she looked like. “In that darkness, white walkers came for the first time…” She can certainly weave a tale! Rob joins them and breaks the news to him that it is true, he will be paralyzed.
Old Nan mentioned Ser Duncan the Tall, the protagonist of the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” series written by George R.R. Martin, which takes place about ninety years before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.
The next series of scenes has Lady Stark and Petyr and Varys in a whore house discussing the dagger that was used in the attack upon Bran. Petyr admits that it used to be his, lost on Joffrey’s last name day to Tyrion Lannister, the Imp.
We introduce The Wall to Jon and Jon to The Wall. He was raised high born and so was trained in weapons at Winterfell. Tyrion watches with Commandor Mormont from the walkway as Jon takes out all of his challengers. Alliser Thorne is determined to break Jon but there is no one on the field that is comparable. I am determined to call Alliser a dick every time he graces my screen.
Then it quickly shifts to Petyr who takes Ned to a whore house he owns for an unexpected reunion with his wife.
He would have been better off to have killed him right there in the street. “Ah the Starks, quick tempers and slow minds.”
We flip back to The Wall and the other trainees trying corner Jon and to do them harm. Tyrion intervenes and then counsels Jon on how he has had many advantages in life and that he might consider that while he interacts with them.
Jamie and Cersei have a conversation about Bran’s waking. Jamie tells her that there will be ballads written about it: “The War For Cersei’s Cunt” and he gets a smack square across his face.
Catelyn takes leave to return to Winterfell. And we witness a conversation with King Robert as he discusses the first life he ever took. And Lancell brings him wine but his canister is empty. This young man will play a huge part in later seasons. Robert antagonizes Jamie and I sit here admiring the armour of the king’s guard.
Robert claims to kill a Tarly during the Battle of Summerhall. In the novels, there is no mentioning of any Tarly in this battle. Robert first fought the Tarlys in the Battle of Ashford.
Daenerys learns about the slave trade from Jorah. She stops the movement of the entire group so she can walk out into the Dotraki grass to sort her thoughts. There, she is confronted by her brother who cuts through the grass a charges her, grabbing her and putting a blade to her throat. Without hearing them approach from behind, her blood riders attck him with a whip. It is in this scene that we realize that Viserys is really NOT the blood of the dragon. The TV version of this varies a bit from the book. I know it is necessary to condense down words to fit the screen. I am somewhat bothered by the adaptation of Daenerys as she comes of much weaker on the show.
As Jon steps off the elevator to walk the wall, I am once again amazed at the different “worlds” that the show creators have created for his. This is the first time that Jon has stood atop the wall and looked out into the snow. His uncle Benjen is there. Like everyone else, Benjen puts Jon in his place, showing him where his arrogance lies.
Benjen makes his way back to the galley to find Tyrion talking to Yoren. He chastises Tyrion’s arrogance (seems he is doling out advice to everyone he encounters this episode). Benjen says something that I say ALL the time: “Nothing a person say counts before the ‘but'”. After Benjen bids Yoren a farewell and makes his exit, Tyrion invites him to be a traveling companion as they are both heading to King’s Landing.
We cut to Daenerys being felt up by her handmaid Irri who tells her she is pregnant.
Jorah makes his exit to ride to a neighboring town. We know he is a spy.
And, in a change, Jon is now showing the other young men training with him how to use their weapons. Maester Aeman tells Tyrion, “This one will be long and dark things will come with it.” The Night’s Watch is the only things that stands between the realm and what lies beyond. This is the Brothers’ plea to Tyrion to ask his sister to bend the king’s ear and let her know that they need more men to man The Wall or otherwise they will be caught unprepared. And we cut to Tyrion checking an item off his bucket list:
We are then introduced to Syrio Forel, the water dancer. His and Arya’s relationship is one of my favorites of the entire series even though it is so brief. He gives her a base to build upon. “Boy? Girl? You are a sword and that is all.”
|Sean Bean||…||Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark|
|Mark Addy||…||Robert Baratheon|
|Nikolaj Coster-Waldau||…||Jaime Lannister|
|Michelle Fairley||…||Catelyn Stark|
|Lena Headey||…||Cersei Lannister|
|Emilia Clarke||…||Daenerys Targaryen|
|Iain Glen||…||Jorah Mormont|
|Harry Lloyd||…||Viserys Targaryen|
|Kit Harington||…||Jon Snow|
|Sophie Turner||…||Sansa Stark|
|Maisie Williams||…||Arya Stark|
|Richard Madden||…||Robb Stark|
|Alfie Allen||…||Theon Greyjoy|
|Isaac Hempstead Wright||…||Bran Stark|
|Jack Gleeson||…||Joffrey Baratheon|
|Rory McCann||…||Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane|
|Peter Dinklage||…||Tyrion Lannister|
|Donald Sumpter||…||Maester Luwin|
|Jamie Sives||…||Jory Cassel|
|Ron Donachie||…||Rodrik Cassel|
|Joseph Mawle||…||Benjen Stark|
|Wilko Johnson||…||Ilyn Payne|
|Luke Barnes||…||Rast (as Luke McEwan)|
|Lalor Roddy||…||Catspaw Assassin|
|Conor Delaney||…||Lannister Guard|
|Callum Wharry||…||Tommen Baratheon|
|Aimee Richardson||…||Myrcella Baratheon|
|Jason Momoa||…||Khal Drogo|