iMDb synopsis: The Lannisters press their advantage over the Starks; Robb rallies his father’s northern allies and heads south to war; The White Walkers attack the Wall; Tyrion returns to his father with some new friends.
This is the first episode in the series written by George R.R. Martin, and the first screenplay which Martin has written in almost a decade and a half.
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.
I love starting out with Arya and her water dancer. But this opening scene is one that I already know and breaks my heart. As the servants are trying to prepare for a swift departure, the red cloaks make their way through courtyards, slaughtering everyone in their wake. Septa Mordane instructs Sansa to go back to her room and bar the doors, open them to no one!
For the first time, Sansa seems to be a young woman and not a childish girl (in looks at least). She has stopped trying to mimic the queen’s hairstyle (thank the gods). We cut to Arya and Syrio as they are learning lessons of watching the person versus “seeing” the person.
The Lannisters burst in and demand Arya to come with them but Syrio stands in their way. With a wooden sword he beats the ever loving shit out of them. “Arya, child. We are done with dancing for the day.” My eyes are already welling up with tears. “Run to your father.” I am more attached to the book Syrio than the TV one. But his demise is still hurtful.
“Be gone now Arya… What do we say to the god of death?”
Like the novels, the fate of Syrio Forel after his duel with Meryn Trant is left ambiguous. Maisie Williams later asked the show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss if Forel could have survived, but they replied “No, he is dead.”
The book version of their relationship is so in depth and has so many more dimensions. /quick scene move/ Sansa is confronted by The Hound. She is fearful. He tells her the queen sent for her. /quick scene move/ Arya is in the stable looking in her upturned trunk for Needle when she is confronted by an ominous stable boy. And, just like the title of this episode eludes, she sticks him with the pointy end.
Ned in the dark in chains. Varys is there with wine for him to drink. He tells Ned Arya has run and her whereabouts are unknown. He says that Sansa is still to wed Joffrey. Varys (like me) asks WHY tell Cersei he knew of the lineage of her children. “Tell me something, Varys, who do you truly serve?” “The Realm, my Lord. Someone must.” And, right until his end, that statement held true.
Back at the wall we look upon the dead rangers that were found, including one missing the arm Snow ripped from him. Benjen is not among them. Sam points out that there is no smell of rot. It is suggested that the bodies be burned. Mormont wants the bodies looked at first. He is told of a raven from kings landing and we switch to his solar where Jon comes in.
He tells Jon the King is dead and that Ned is being tried for treason for conspiring against Joffrey. Mormont tells him to not be foolish. In Kings Landing, Sansa is speaking with the small council, pleading for her father.
They convince her to write to her family to tell them of her father’s treason. Cersei asks to beg them to come and swear fealty. The continually reinforce that Ned is a traitor and she does not want to be like him. We switch to Rob reading the scroll from Sansa.
Rob calls the banners. Theon asks him if he is afraid, Rob’s hand is shaking. It is good that he is afraid, shows he is not stupid. The scene switches to a great reveal of ravens, hundreds of them, streaming away with messages attached.
That picture not do it justice. Sigh. George R.R. Martin wrote in a montage of various Northern lords receiving Robb’s call to arms, which included a beer-drinking Greatjon enthusiastically reading his letter and Roose Bolton causally flaying a man when the news reached him. This was cut because the extensive cost of hiring actors to play the lords, constructing sets and CGI-elements like castles.
We move to Catelyn running up stairs to speak with her sister, scroll in hand. Her sister had the stupid thing since dawn. Lyssa is an utter asshole.
Lyssa makes it clear that she will not send her men to help Rob take up arms against the Lannisters.
Tyrion and Bronn are on the road, walking. While walking through the woods with Bronn, Tyrion whistles Beethoven’s 6th Symphony (the Pastoral Symphony).
Soon they are surrounded by the Stone Crows who are not there to sup dinner. “How would you like to die Tyrion, son of Tywin?” “In my own bed at the age of 80 with a belly full of wine and a girl’s mouth around my cock.” Tyrion then begins to weave a story of how he can provide them with weapons and armor if they only get him safely through to his father’s army. He promises them the Vale as a reward.
Jon is skinning game for dinner when Allisar comes in to taunt him about not only being a bastard but a bastard son of a traitor. I’d love to smack the perm off his head. Jon pulls a knife in eyeshot of Mormont. Mormont confines him to quarters. We see Snow yipping at the door and growling, wanting out. Jon realizes there is something wrong. Oh boy is there something wrong. He heads to Commander Mormont’s quarters and is attacked from behind by the dead man. He stabs and kicks and beats but to no avail. He severs the dead man’s arm. Does no good. Stabs him, dead man falls but stands back up. Jon throws a lantern on him and finally he re-dies.
The Dothraki are moving through a captured town, taking slaves and raping women. Khaleesi makes them stop. This causes some angst. We see the Magi woman for the first time. She will play heavily. The men complain to Drogo. Drogo sides with her. Rakharo calls out Drogo as allowing the “foreign whore” to command him. He cuts Drogo and then shit goes sideways and Drogo attacks him, bare handed and rips his throat out.
His little wound is not how it is described in the book. The wound was much greater. In the book, Drogo was injured not by Mago but by a bloodrider of Ogo, a rival khal. She calls on Mirri Maz Durr to help treat the wound, which is rather superficial for such a big man. The blood riders call her a witch. “A witches words are poison on the ears.” Drogo is convinced by Daenerys to let the woman (who she just saved from rape) to clean his wounds
According to the novel, Mago did not defy Khal Drogo, and there was no fight between them. After Drogo fell ill, Mago stole back the girl whom Daenerys saved from him. He and other Dothraki raped her, then they cut her throat, before abandoning Daenerys. When Daenerys heard what he did, she swore to punish him.
Back in Winterfell there is a raucous conversation in the dining hall about who will lead the vanguard. Rob is struggling to gain control of his bannermen. They are trying to run right over him, trying to make claims or threatening to go home. Rob stands up to Greatjon Umber and then everyone is on their feet, ready for a melee. And without warning the direwolf was on the table running at Umber, biting off two of his fingers. In a twist of crazy, this causes all of them to burst into laughter. Later Jon tells Bran that he is leaving to wage war and that Bran has to stay behind. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.
In the godswood, Bran prays to the tree that the gods look over all of his family while they are away. Osha talks to him about the gods, that they are hers too.
Duuudddeee. I forgot about nekkid Hodor. Holy crap that is a whole lotta pale dangle-flesh….
Osha tells Bran that there are things worse than giants beyond the wall and Rob is going in the wrong direction. We move back to the wall where Sam tells his brothers that the men touched by White Walkers are turned when they die and their eyes turn blue and the only way to kill them is with fire. That he read when they wake up, he hopes the wall is high enough.
Lady Catelyn meets up with her son and she is impressed that the bannermen have fallen in lie behind him. Greatjon with the line “No worries my Lady, we will all shove our swords up Tywin Lannister’s bunghole.” Great line.
Rob and Catelyn discuss the letter received from Sansa. They know that they have to beat Tywin Lannister on the field of battle to save Ned and the girls.
Bronn, Tyrion and the Hill People arrive at Tywin’s war camp. They proceed into Tywin’s tent who shows no pride in Tyrion’s being able to get away from Catelyn. His father tells him that Robert is dead and that Joffrey now sits on the throne. 3,000 helms and shields to be paid to the Hill Tribes.
Back in Rob’s war tent they argue over how to approach their battles. In the discussion they talk of Frey. They soldiers bring in a Lannister scout who was hidden in the brush, counting soldiers. Rob tells them to let the scout to tell Tywin that winter is coming for him.
In Kings Landing, They release Sir Barristan from his duties as king’s guard. Barristan removes his helm and throws his sword before giving them a piece of his mind and storming out.
Ned is in the dungeon and Sansa is trying to navigate a hostile realm. She is in the throne room to plead for her father’s life. Sansa follows Barristan with her request. She asks mercy for Sir Eddard Stark. Joffrey listens as she asks for him to be forgiven. Joffrey promises to mercy if Ned confesses and proclaims Joffrey as king.
I agree with the Ozzy dude – some things seem a little rushed and some things are not as polished as in later seasons when the budget increased exponentially.
|Sean Bean||Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark|
|Michelle Fairley||Catelyn Stark|
|Lena Headey||Cersei Lannister|
|Emilia Clarke||Daenerys Targaryen|
|Iain Glen||Jorah Mormont|
|Aidan Gillen||Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish|
|Kit Harington||Jon Snow|
|Richard Madden||Robb Stark|
|Sophie Turner||Sansa Stark|
|Maisie Williams||Arya 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|
|Conleth Hill||Lord Varys|
|James Cosmo||Jeor Mormont|
|Owen Teale||Alliser Thorne|
|Ron Donachie||Rodrik Cassel|
|Charles Dance||Tywin Lannister|
|Ian McElhinney||Barristan Selmy|
|John Bradley||Samwell Tarly|
|Julian Glover||Grand Maester Pycelle|
|Miltos Yerolemou||Syrio Forel|
|Kate Dickie||Lysa Arryn|
|Dominic Carter||Janos Slynt|
|Susan Brown||Septa Mordane|
|Clive Mantle||Greatjon Umber|
|Luke Barnes||Rast (as Luke McEwan)|
|Mark Lewis Jones||Shagga|
|Mia Soteriou||Mirri Maz Duur|