iMDb synopsis for this episode: Robert has been injured while hunting and is dying. Jon and the others finally take their vows to the Night’s Watch. A man, sent by Robert, is captured for trying to poison Daenerys. Furious, Drogo vows to attack the Seven Kingdoms.
In the opening credits we see: King’s Landing (Baratheon sigil), Inn At The Crossroads, The Eyrie, The Bite, Winterfell (Stark sigil), The Wall, (backtrack to Kings Landing), The Narrow Sea, Dothraki Sea, and Vaes Dothrak. Same as last week. ]
Open on Jaime reading the letter to his father to return to Kings Landing to answer for the attacks by The Mountain. He is gutting a deer and is elbow deep in his work. Tywin is chastising Jamie for attacking Ned and if he was going to attack him, left him alive. They plot to rescue Tyrion (much to Tywin’s discord). Tywin is a real dick, even to his favorite child. “I need you to become the man you were always meant to be. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Now.” Tywin’s act of butchering a stag (the sigil of House Baratheon) is perhaps a foreshadowing of Robert’s death, caused by Lannisters.
Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) learned to skin a real stag in his very first scene. According to D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the scene was shot for about 50 takes.
Ned meets Cersei in the garden to tell her that he knows who the father of her children are. He tells her that he knows Bran saw Jamie and her in the act. She says the moment she saw Robert on their wedding day she loved him but when he crawled on her that night, drunk, he called her Lyanna. “When you play the game of thrones you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” Why in the world would he show her all of his cards at once? Would he have been so easy natured with a male adversary? Was that his downfall? His honor be damned!
This is the only episode in the series where the phrase “game of thrones” is spoken.
We move to Little Finger’s brothel where he is watching the whores bathe their children from a second story window. Behind him two whores are practicing their trade, honing talents. Holy shit, it is Ros! Well, ain’t that just a peach! He is instructing the whores… They have an exchange in which Petyr says he is saving himself. The interesting thing is that in the books he was always on his way to a wealthy woman’s house to eat dinner or another’s to enjoy her entertainment. They do not make him a lady’s man in the show as much as a straight out pimp. He is talking about his love for Catelyn without saying her name. Then he offers this speech: “Do you know what I learnt losing that duel? I learnt that I would never win. Not that way. That’s their game. Their rules. I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them. That’s what I am. That’s what I know. And only by admitting what we are can we get what we want.” “And what do you want?” “Oh, everything, my dear. Everything there is.”
We return to Winterfell where Osha is getting a whatfor from Theon. Where he comes from, her kind would have been put down for trying to harm a little lord. He tells her he is a Lord. She asks “why”. She starts to sexually harass her and is cut short my the Maester. After Theon leaves, Osha tells him about why she left the other side of the wall. “The things you talk of are gone, my dear. They’ve been gone for thousands of years.” “They wasn’t gone old man. They were sleeping. And, they ain’t sleeping no more.”
Back on the wall, Sam laments how he misses girls. And then they see a riderless horse approaching the gate. The horse was Benjen’s.
At Kings Landing and Robert’s boar accident. “My fault…too much wine.” The wound is festering. Stinks like death. Robert makes everyone but Ned leave the room. This does not bode well for Ned. No one knows all of the details but him and Cersei. Why not beg for one person to stay as witness. Robert has Ned write a letter that commands Ned to serve as Lord Regent until his son Joffrey comes of age. Ned, instead, writes “rightful heir”. Robert signs the letter. Robert thinks that Ned will rule now. Oh, how wrong could he be… “King Robert Baratheon, murdered by a pig.”
Ned leaves his bedside and outside we see that Cersei is gone. But Varys is there. Sir Barriston tells them that Robert’s squire, the Lannister boy, is the one who gave Robert too much to drink. Ned tells them that Robert has had a change of heart and that he no longer wants to assassinate Daenerys.
We switch to the Dothraki horde where Daenerys and Drogo are having a conversation about conquering the lands she is entitled to. The iron thrones.
Drogo tells her that a king does not need a throne to sit upon. She, like her brother, is becoming impatient. In the marketplace, she and Jorah discuss how her brother wanted to become king. Jorah leaves her for a little while to go get his letters (we know where those are from). The Spider’s little bird tells him that he has received a royal pardon and he can go home now. We hear a wine seller who is trying to convince the Khaleesi to try her wine. Jorah comes up from behind to watch the exchange. He knows now this must be the assassin. And when the man tries to give her a cask of wine, he stops her blood rider and asks him to open the cask. The wine seller is visibly nervous. He is then made to drink the wine. Before it touches his lips, he throws it and the cask and tries to flee (unsuccessfully).
Jorah says that Aegon the Conquerer seized six of the Seven Kingdoms. Indeed, the seventh kingdom, Dorne, successfully resisted the invasion during the First Dornish War. It peacefully joined the Iron Throne’s rule two centuries later through marriage.
On the wall, Mormont gives a speech as they are ready to take their vow. He instructs Jon to find the werewood outside of the wall to say his prayers. Sam asks to go with him, forsaking his father’s gods for his brother Jon’s. When Mormont calls the orders for each of the new brothers, everyone is surprised to hear Jon is assigned to the Stewards. He is to report to the Lord Commander. He is petulant regarding this turn of events. Sam feels that Jon is being prepared to take Mormont’s place, to be trained for command.
At Kings Landing, Renly meets Ned in the hallway. He tries to convince Ned that he needs to strike and take Joffrey away from Cersei. Ned waves nim off, telling him that Stannis is in succession. Renly wants to be king. Ned is having no part of it. Again, if he could only bend a little maybe he could survive… Ned sends a letter via Tomard to Stannis regarding the situation. Petyr interrupts them, Ned tells him that he knows the children are not Robert’s and that Stannis should be the next king. When Petyr tries to make moves, Ned stops him and refuses to employ him to help gain control. Ned cannot make peace with the Lannisters after one of them tried to kill his son. Little Finger promises that the Gold Cloaks will follow him, the man who pays them.
We return to the wall where the direwolf, Jon and Sam head out into the wilderness. “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honour to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”
The oath which the Night’s Watch members must swear according to the TV series is almost identical to the oath in the novels, except one line “I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers” which was omitted from the oath in the show.
From around the tree, Ghost appears carrying a severed arm. Well, that’s not right… Is it Benjen’s? Whose could it be??
We move to the wine merchant, tied to a post. It is intended that he will be drug behind the horses when they move on. Drogo enters the building, hovers over the captured man. He pledges to Daenerys that he will take the Seven Kingdoms for her and their unborn son. They leave Vaes Dothrak with a naked wine merchant in tow.
In Kings Landing, a page requests Ned to come to the throne room because King Robert is gone and King Joffrey wishes to see him. Petry meets him and says that the King’s Watch is his. Varys says that Renly and Sir Loras has fled the city. Ned goes to the throne room with confidence, not realizing that he has been set up. They read the letter written by Robert, hand it to Cersei and she rips it in half. She has no shits to give for Ned. She was able to covertly change the tide and take the gold cloaks for her own. “I did warn you not to trust me.”
From now on I will refer to him by the right body part. I dub thee: Little Asshole.
In the throne room when Joffrey is first proclaimed as the new king following Robert’s death, he is referred to as “Joffrey of Houses Baratheon and Lannister”, and is the only character in the series to be referred to as belonging to two houses simultaneously.
|Sean Bean||Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark|
|Mark Addy||Robert Baratheon|
|Nikolaj Coster-Waldau||Jaime Lannister|
|Lena Headey||Cersei Lannister|
|Emilia Clarke||Daenerys Targaryen|
|Iain Glen||Jorah Mormont|
|Aidan Gillen||Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish|
|Kit Harington||Jon Snow|
|Alfie Allen||Theon Greyjoy|
|Jack Gleeson||Joffrey Baratheon|
|Rory McCann||Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane|
|Donald Sumpter||Maester Luwin|
|Conleth Hill||Lord Varys|
|James Cosmo||Jeor Mormont|
|Owen Teale||Alliser Thorne|
|Charles Dance||Tywin Lannister|
|Ian McElhinney||Barristan Selmy|
|John Bradley||Samwell Tarly|
|Peter Vaughan||Maester Aemon|
|Julian Glover||Grand Maester Pycelle|
|Gethin Anthony||Renly Baratheon|
|Dominic Carter||Janos Slynt|