Mon
Apr 25 2011 1:14pm

Wise Dwarf, Sullen Bastard: Recap of Episode 2 of Game of Thrones

Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of ThronesPreviously on Game of Thrones (full recap of Game of Thrones Episode 1 here):

At Winterfell in the Kingdom of Westeros, Catelyn Stark delivers bad news to her husband Ned: his foster-father, Jon Arryn, is dead and King Robert Baratheon, accompanied by his family, is coming to offer Ned a job he really doesn’t want: That of the Hand of the King, which Arryn had prior to his death.

King Robert’s family includes his wife, Queen Cersei and her two brothers: Jaime “the pretty one” and Tyrion, the witty dwarf who offers Jon Snow, Ned’s bastard, some unsolicited advice. Also, the Starks find a bunch of adorable puppies (direwolves!) who will apparently grow up into ginormous hungry predators. Obviously, Ned lets his children keep them.

Meanwhile, in a more colorful place called Pentos, Danaerys Targaryen is sold into wedded bliss by her brother Viserys, in return for the promise that Danaerys’s new husband Khal Drogo, and his horse-riding Mongol/Hun hybrid people will help win back the throne that King Robert took from Viserys’s father.

Back in Westeros, Lysa Arryn sends a letter to her sister, Catelyn Stark, warning her that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn, Lysa’s husband. Later on, Bran Stark discovers Cersei and Jaime putting the “twin” in twincest; Jaime Lannister does that voodoo that he does so well (sorry, I love Cole Porter) the things he does for love, and pushes Bran out a tall window.

Danaerys and Ser JorahCredits. I LOVE THESE CREDITS! No more Pentos (where Danaerys was married) but Vaes Dothrak, which is where they’re all headed! (Also, I couldn’t help but notice the little signs next to all the cast and crews names - for the actors, it’s the “house” to which their characters belong, but for the “editor” it was two crossed swords, I assume because he cuts the film? I think I might have watched these credits a few too many times.)

***

A long line of horsemen and pedestrians proceeds though something that looks vaguely steppe-like. Danaerys looks miserable, and Ser Jorah Mormont is concerned that she drink and eat; he hands her something that looks like a stick of wood, but turns out to be horse jerky. (Aaaah, what they wouldn’t do for a nice bit of lembas!) Meanwhile, I’m concerned that her backless gown is leaving her at grave risk for a bad sunburn, especially with her coloring.

As Danaerys miserably gnaws on her stick of wood, Jorah tells her about some funky ghost grass from the Shadowlands that will one day cover everything and end the world. Oddly enough, this tale does not cheer Danaerys up! Khal Drogo rides by and there are tears in Danaerys’s eyes as she watches him. Jorah tells her that “It’ll get easier!”—I wonder whether he’s speaking from personal experience.

At the Dothraki encampment, Danaerys is in too much pain to dismount her horse. Jorah helps her down and her handmaidens help her off somewhere more private. Viserys, who’s sticking to Drogo like the slimy blond leech that he is until his promised army materializes, provides us with a bit of exposition and a further revelation of his character, not that we needed it. It turns out that Jorah’s not so much enamored of the Dothraki lifestyle as fleeing a beheading from Ned Stark; Jorah apparently sold some poachers into slavery, and Viserys tells him that once he’s king there won’t be any punishments for “such nonsense.” I guess Viserys’s anti-chattel-rights position isn’t a big surprise since he did sell his own sister.

***

Tyrion wakes up in what must be Winterfell’s kennels (awww, look at all those adorable doggies!) to the dulcet tones of Crown Prince Joffrey trying, and failing, to be witty. The King’s group is headed back to King’s Landing that very day; Tyrion instructs his nephew that before they leave, he’s going to visit Lord and Lady Stark and offer his sympathies on Bran’s accident. When Joffrey asks what good his sympathies will do, Tyrion says “none” but Joffrey’s absence has been noted. “The boy means nothing to me,” Joffrey whines, “and I can’t stand the wailing of women.” Tyrion hauls off and slaps Joffrey to a collective cheer from the audience.

“One word and I hit you again!” Tyrion warns his nephew.

Prince Joffrey“I’m telling Mother,” Joffrey responds, so Tyrion smacks him again. (The Imp is a man of his word.) Tyrion tells Joffrey can run off to Cersei after he goes to Lord and Lady Stark. “Do you understand?”

“You can’t ...!” Joffrey begins so Tyrion slaps him one more time for good measure.

Joffrey runs off at this point, and Sandor Clegane shows us the horrible burn on his face as he says “the Prince will remember that, little lord.” Tyrion remarks that if Joffrey forgets, Sandor should be a good dog (his nickname being the Hound - remember the dude in the dog-helmet from the first episode?) and remind Joffrey. Then Tyrion saunters away in search of some breakfast because slapping the smarmy heir apparent around gives you a big appetite. (Or so I would imagine.)

I love Tyrion!

***

Cersei, Jaime and the two younger Baratheon kids (Myrcella and little Tommen) are already having breakfast. The kids and Jaime are happy to see Tyrion, but Cersei glares daggers at him. Myrcella asks if Bran is going to die and smiles when Tyrion says “apparently not.” In contrast, her mother and Uncle Jaime don’t look too thrilled about this news; they exchange smoldering looks with a sharp undertone of “guilty” and “what do we do now?” Sharp-eyed Tyrion notices, of course.

Tyrion has apparently decided to visit the Wall before heading south again; Cersei can’t believe it and Jaime jokingly asks Tyrion if he’s thinking of joining the Night’s Watch. Tyrion is comically horrified by the idea that he’d choose celibacy: “The whores would go begging from Dorne to Casterly Rock. No, I just want to stand on top of the Wall and piss off the edge of the world.” Jaime smiles and Tommen and Myrcella both giggle before Cersei reprovingly tells Tyrion that the children don’t need to hear his filth. Whoa there, Cersei, that’s a little judgmental! At least Tyrion spreads his filth outside the family too!

After they’ve left, Jaime says that even if Bran lives, he’ll be “a cripple, a grotesque” and says that he’d prefer a good clean death to that. (I’m sure there are lots of people in the viewing audience who’d be thrilled to provide you with that after what you did to Bran, Jaime!) Tyrion says that, speaking for the grotesques, he prefers to live, because life is “full of possibilities.” He says that he hopes Bran does wake up, because he’d be interested in what Bran has to say. (I’m pretty sure Tyrion knows exactly what his brother and sister are up to!) Jaime wonders whose side Tyrion is on; Tyrion claims to be wounded because he loves his family.

***

In Bran’s room, a grief-stricken Catelyn is doing some kind of craft work with twigs when Cersei walks in. Catelyn apologizes for her grief-ravaged appearance, and then Cersei looks down at Bran and says what a handsome boy he is. She tells Catelyn about losing her first baby to a fever, and describes him as a “bird without feathers.” She gets teary-eyed at the memory and I can’t figure out whether she’s just trying to assess the situation as it stands and allay Catelyn’s potential suspicions, or whether she’s prepping the ground for the assassination attempt later in the episode or whether she’s telling the truth. Or maybe it’s a bit of all three! Cersei concludes her misty water-colored memories of dead children by saying that she prays day and night for Bran’s recovery and that is clearly a lie.

***

At the Winterfell smithy, bellows are being pumped and swords are being hammered and all sorts of smithy things are happening. Jon Snow is now sporting a mangy beard again (so clearly some weeks have passed since Episode One) and is supervising the smith when Jaime Lannister appears in a puff of smoke to mess with Jon’s head. Weirdly, although Cersei is all bundled up in shawls, Jaime’s shirt and coat are unbuttoned. Either the ice in his veins or the hotness of being Jaime Lannister are keeping him warm even in Winterfell’s chilly ambience.

First Tyrion and now Jaime; the Lannister brothers love giving Jon Snow unsolicited advice. Jaime is a little more sarcastic and little less sincere than Tyrion and tells Jon that the first time he kills someone he’ll realize that people are just sacks of meat and blood. Well, that sounds appetizing, particularly after a nice breakfast! Poor Jon looks very young and wee next to Jaime here.

Then Jaime reminds Jon that the Night’s Watch swear their oaths for life. After pissing all over Jon’s dreams, Jaime swishes off in his unbuttoned leather coat, and Jon and the smith exchange these hilarious looks. As if poor Jon weren’t emo enough already!

***

Arya Stark is packing her bags with the help of Nymeria, her direwolf, now about 50 times larger. She’s still adorable, though. (I mean Arya AND the direwolf.) Jon presents Arya with his parting gift—a sword! He tells Arya that the first lesson is to “stick ‘em with the pointy end.” Arya puts her new sword down and gives Jon a huge hug. Awwwww! Arya names her new sword “Needle” — ha ha! She’ll obviously be better with this kind of needle than with the embroidering kind.

***

Catelyn is still making little craft objects at Bran’s bedside, when Jon appears to say goodbye to his little half-brother. He tells Bran that he’s going North and taking the black of the Night’s Watch. For some reason, even though Jaime Lannister knew about this decision, Catelyn Stark looks surprised. Jon tells Bran that when Bran is better he can come and visit the wall. Catelyn glares at Jon through all of this, and finally tells him that she wants him to leave. Jon glances at Ned who’s just entered the room, and perhaps emboldened by his father’s presence, he stoops to give Bran a kiss on the forehead. AWWWW!

Ned looks uncomfortable. As well he should, since it’s him who’s gotten both Jon and Catelyn into this mess. (I know a lot of people don’t like that Catelyn treats Jon with such coldness, and no, it’s not the kid’s fault, but it’s easier and more human for her to displace her anger at her husband’s infidelity onto the product of that infidelity—who’s being raised alongside her own kids no less—than it is to be angry at the husband whom she clearly loves.)

Ned continues to look like he wishes the earth would swallow him up as Catelyn tells us that seventeen years earlier Ned rode off with Robert Baratheon and came back a year later with another woman’s son, and now he’s leaving again. Ned responds that he has no choice, and Catelyn tells him that men always say that when ‘honor calls.’ She tells him that he does have a choice and he’s made it; his honor and his friendship with Robert over his family. (And how that choice will come back to bite him at the end of this episode!)

Catelyn says she can’t do it; Ned tells her that she can because she must. (Just don’t bring back any more bastard kids, OK, Ned?) Poor Catelyn! Michelle Fairley is so amazing in this scene!

***

Jon SnowJon saddles his horse and and says goodbye to Robb, who asks if he says goodbye to Bran. Jon says that he did, and when Robb asks how his mother (Catelyn) was, Jon lies to spare his half-brother and says that she was very kind. Awww!

Robb and Jon try to hide their brotherly love with some banter, but ultimately they have to give each other a hug. Jon looks pensive as Robb walks away through the mud of Winterfell, leaving me to wonder why they can’t have shorter cloaks (seriously, how do you get mud off all that velvet and fur in the absence of dry cleaning? Unless there’s a side-room to the smithy that I didn’t see yet!)

***

At last everyone’s on their way; Ned, Arya and Sansa going south with King Robert, and Jon, Benjen (the uncle—remember him?), Tyrion, and some Lannister guardsmen going north to the wall. Just before they part ways, Ned gives Jon a little “buck up speech” telling him that there’s great honor serving in the Night’s Watch. He tells Jon that even though he doesn’t have Ned’s name, he does have his blood. (I’m frankly a little disappointed that Ned is so even-keeled about this whole Night’s Watch thing for Jon. Shouldn’t he have tried to argue his 17-year-old son out of choosing a celibate order of watchmen?) Jon asks about his mother and Ned promises that the next time they see each other, he’ll tell Jon about his mother.

***

Ned and Robert have a private picnic in a lovely meadow. Robert once again reveals his arrested development by saying that he’d love to just keep on going. Ned says he has half a mind to go with Robert, but Robert should have asked twenty years earlier. They exchange some banter about being young and Robert reminisces about some girl’s breasts (lovely!). Then until Robert mentions “your bastard’s mother.” Ned looks away, clearly upset, and Robert has the grace to apologize for bringing it up and tries to make Ned feel better about having fathered a bastard.

After a few more complaints about how miserable he is being King (oh, boo fricking hoo! Being king is better than being a butcher’s boy, as we’ll soon find out!), Robert tells Ned about Danaerys Targaryen’s wedding. We learn that the Targaryens basically slaughtered all of Ned’s family. Robert is rightfully afraid that the Dothraki are going to invade and restore the throne to the Targaryens. Ned is more sanguine about the prospects of such an invasion than Robert, who insists that there’s a war coming and the best way to prepare for it is by gluttony and drunkenness. (OK, I added in the last part.)

***

Speaking of the Dothraki ... back on the grassy plain, Khal Drogo is, er, having his way with Danaerys who cries until she looks over at her dragon’s eggs surrounded by candles. Somehow, looking into the flames, her face changes and there’s a spark (geddit?) of determination in her eyes.

***

By another fireside, Jon Snow and Tyrion and Benjen Stark welcome some new recruits to the Night’s Watch. (Oh, and there’s Jon’s wolf! Hi there!) Tyrion gives Jon Snow some more hard truth about the men of the Night’s Watch. These men are rapists facing either castration or the Night’s Watch. Tyrion quotes Night’s Watch recruitment statistics and tells Jon that most rapists choose losing their private parts to hanging out at the Wall.

Jon asks Tyrion why he reads so much; Tyrion tells him that if he’d been born a peasant’s son, he probably would have been left out to die, but because he was born a Lannister of Casterly Rock he has to live up to that name. Tyrion’s father was the King’s Hand for twenty years. “Until your brother killed that king,” Jon says.

Tyrion says that his sister married the other king and his “repulsive” (hee!) nephew will be king someday too, so he has to do his part for the honor of his house. “My brother has a sword and I have my mind, and a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” Then he goes on to remind Jon, if he needed reminding, that the Night’s Watch isn’t quite the heroic place it once was.

Awww, I could watch the Wise Dwarf, Sullen Bastard Show for ever!!

***

Catelyn is still doing her handicrafts by Bran’s bed (maybe they will have a craft fair to pay their medical bills or something!). Maester Luwin comes in and starts talking about how they have to do the accounts; basically, I’m with Catelyn here. I think Maester Luwin should just go away and take care of these things himself and not bother Catelyn with the details, especially since he was the one that urged Ned to go to King’s Landing. I guess this is his attempt at grief therapy.

Robb arrives and promises to take care of whatever needs to be done. I generally like that they aged up the kids, but Robb’s symbolically becoming a man instead of a boy would have more impact if he weren’t so clearly already a man. After Maester Luwin leaves, Robb tries to get his mother to leave Bran’s room and see to her other children, including little Rickon who can’t figure out what’s going on. Since he’s only been in the show for about thirty seconds total, it’s no surprise that Catelyn’s forgotten all about him because everyone in the audience has too.

Robb walks over to the window and flings it open and we hear the sound of direwolves howling. Catelyn begs Robb to close the window because she can’t stand the noise, and Robb realizes that there’s a fire in another wing of Winterfell. He runs off to deal with that situation and Catelyn goes over to the window and sees the fire herself.

When she turns around there’s a strange muttering stubbly dude with a big knife telling her she wasn’t supposed to be there and that it’s a mercy because he (referring to Bran) is dead already. He draws a wicked looking knife out and Catelyn says “NO!” and goes for him. She’s pretty bad-ass here, grabbing the knife with her bare hands before the guy shoves her away and goes to deal with Bran. But Catelyn has delayed the killer long enough for Bran’s direwolf to show up and rip out the killer’s throat before settling onto a pile of furs on Bran’s bed. Awww! (But if that direwolf is anything like my dog used to be, poor Bran will end up shoved off the bed while the direwolf settles down on the pillow.)

Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the first rule of Evil Assassin School is “kill first, mutter later!” If he hadn’t given Catelyn the head’s up about his presence, his nefarious plans would have worked out a lot more nefariously.

***

Danaerys’s handmaidens are binding her hands (is this why they’re called “handmaidens”?) while the khaleesi (Danaerys’s new title!) looks at her dragon eggs. She asks them whether there are any dragons in the world, and two out of three handmaidens claim that dragons are extinct. (Well, not in so many words, but that’s the gist of it.) The third handmaiden (OK, fine, her name is Doreah) tells Danaerys that dragons hatched out a moon that wandered too close to the sun (pshaw, everyone knows the moon is made of green cheese, or as the other two handmaidens aver, the moon is a goddess married to the sun.)

Danaerys dismisses the dragon iconoclasts and asks Doreah if she can teach her how to make the Khal happy. Before we can get some patented HBO girl-on-girl action, we cut away to ...

***

The Wall. Benjen, Tyrion and Jon look rather the worse for wear and Jon’s beard looks a tiny bit less mangy and more full, so clearly they’ve been traveling for a while. The Wall looks AMAZING! Poor Jon looks depressed.

***

Back at Winterfell, Catelyn Stark does some crime scene investigating after swishing the train of her dress through the mud and causing me to reflect on dry cleaning again. (I can’t help it, I always wonder about the minutiae of ancient and/or fantastical life.) She heads up into the tower from which Bran fell (and her face as she ponders the drop is just heartbreaking.) She finds a single long blonde hair, which convinces her that the Lannisters are the prime suspects in the defenestration of Bran. Let this be a lesson to every woman who sneaks off to have illicit sex with her twin brother: pin up your hair first!

Catelyn summons Robb, Theon, Maester Luwin and Ser Rodrick “Sideburns” Cassel, who notes that the dagger the assassin used is an extremely valuable one and therefore probably didn’t belong to the dead guy, who was too scruffy to own something that rich. (Au contraire, Sideburns, I have been told that rich people dress like slobs sometimes. But I don’t actually know any rich people, much less rich people from Westeros, so I could be wrong.)

Contrary to her earlier policy of burning letters accusing a certain family whose surname rhymes with “bannisters” of treachery, Catelyn now openly proclaims her suspicions that they are behind both Bran’s fall and the attempted assassination. Robb immediately decides that this means war. Theon, always steady in support of a wrong-headed plan, says he’ll stand by Robb. Maester Luwin sensibly points out that they have no idea what the truth is, and says that Lord Stark must be informed of the assassination attempt.

For some reason, Catelyn decides that she can be the only one to go to King’s Landing and that she has to go in secret accompanied only by Rodrick Cassel. Frankly, I don’t entirely understand her reasoning for the secrecy here. Is it that she just doesn’t trust Robert’s friendship as much as Ned does? It’s just weird that she won’t leave Bran’s bedside, and now she’s like “OK, I made this wreath of twigs and hung it over his bed, so that’s the best I can do...kiss, kiss, get better soon, son!” Although I guess she couldn’t have picked a better guardian than the direwolf.

***

Back at the Dothraki encampment, Doreah asks Danaerys if she’s a slave or not, and teaches Danaerys some other positions for sexytimes besides Drogo style. Danaerys appears to be an apt pupil.

When we next see her, she’s gazing wistfully at her dragon eggs. Khal Drogo enters, having already shed his trousers, so now we get some equal-opportunity nudity from HBO and Jason Momoa. Dany puts her newly learned lessons in sex and Dothraki into practice, and for the first time appears to be enjoying her marital relations with her husband, at least if the pounding drums of the soundtrack are to be believed.

***

Sansa and LadyBack to Westeros, where the King’s party has stopped at an inn. Sansa is walking with her pet direwolf (aww, she’s braided little ribbons into the wolf’s collar!) and notices the Queen’s ladies in waiting giving her some odd looks. She probably thinks it’s because of her direwolf, but it might be because of her homemade dress. Aww, poor Sansa! Anyway, she bumps into a scary-looking bald guy (whom we will shortly learn is Ser Ilyn Payne, the King’s Justice—an IRONIC name!—aka the public executioner. We’re not in the North any more, honey, where your father does his head-chopping himself.) Sandor Clegane the Hound pops up behind Sansa to exposit that Ilyn Payne doesn’t talk to anyone because he had his tongue ripped out by the previous King. (If you’re keeping count, that’s the one Jaime Lannister killed.)

Wherever the Hound is, Joffrey sure to follow, and...there is he is, calling Sansa “sweetling” and inviting her out for a walk.

As Sansa and Joffrey stroll along, Joffrey offers her nip of his wineskin. Aaaah, a true chip off the old Robert block, now with his mother’s self-importance and snobbery added in. He’s going to make a GREAT king, I can just tell. Ugh!

As bad luck would have it, Joffrey and Sansa walk right into Arya sparring with the butcher’s boy, Mycah. They’re using sticks and when Arya is distracted, Mycah gets in a whack on her arm. Joffrey uses the excuse of a low-born butcher’s boy hitting his fiancee’s sister to bully the poor kid. He draws his sword and drags the point across Mycah’s cheek, drawing blood. Aaaand here’s where Arya’s free-and-easy ways lead to disaster.

On the one hand, go her for standing up for her friends; on the other hand, this isn’t how things work in Westeros society, how ever much we want them to, so hitting the crown prince on behalf of the butcher’s boy is just not going to end well. Mycah runs off and Joffrey turns on Arya with his sword, screaming at her. Poor Sansa is distraught at having to watch her fairy-tale prince about to gut her little sister, but then Arya’s wolf Nymeria arrives to save the day. (Sort of.) Unfortunately for all concerned, Nymeria doesn’t rip out Joffrey’s throat, but just savages his arm. (What? They could have tipped the body into the river and lied about the whole thing. OK, maybe not.)

Arya picks up the sword and holds it to Joffrey’s throat; he begs her to spare him and finally Sansa’s words have some effect on Arya, who throws Joffrey’s sword into the river before she runs off with her wolf. Sansa tries to comfort Joffrey, but he’s almost as angry with her for witnessing his humiliation as he is with Arya for causing it.

***

In a heartbreaking scene, Arya says goodbye to Nymeria, realizing that her life is in danger. She’s so pretty! (I mean Arya AND Nymeria.) The wolf doesn’t want to leave, and Arya has to throw rocks at her to get her to run off. Meanwhile, Lannister soldiers are ransacking the woods looking for Arya.

***

Ned and AryaIt’s night, and Ned is also in the woods, frantically shouting his daughter’s name. Jory Cassel rides up and tells Ned that Arya’s been found by Lannister soldiers and taken straight to the King. Uh-oh! Ned hurries back to the inn, where he confronts Robert, Cersei and Joffrey. After he makes sure that Arya’s not been hurt, he asks why his daughter was not brought to him at once. Cersei asks him how he dares speak to the king in that manner.

Robert is still trying to be a little conciliatory to his friend. Cersei presents Joffrey’s version of what happened: here, Arya and the butcher’s boy “beat him with clubs” and then Arya set her wolf on him. Arya screams that Joffrey’s a liar.

Robert says he doesn’t know who to believe (uh, obviously not your lying wife and son!) and asks where Ned’s other daughter is. Cersei calls Sansa “Darling!” and summons her to speak, while Robert tells her that it’s a crime to lie to the King. (Again, I repeat, look to your own, Robert!)

Poor Sansa is caught between a rock and a Cersei and she chooses the wisest course, which is to say she knows nothing. (I know a lot of people really hate Sansa for not backing Arya here, but I highly doubt that anything would have changed. Cersei wants the Starks punished and even if Sansa had recounted the truth exactly as it happened, Arya hit the crown prince and held a sword to his chest. I doubt that Cersei would have forgiven that, or let Robert forget it. As for Mycah, I think his fate was long since sealed.)

Arya is furious and starts hitting her sister; Cersei smiles at this, and says that Arya is as wild as her direwolf.

Robert asks what Cersei wants him to do. He says that children fight, and it’s over. Cersei keeps pushing, saying that Joffrey will bear the scars for the rest of his life, and Robert characteristically focuses on a less important point, essentially laughing at Joffrey because he let a “little girl” disarm him. (OK, I know Joffrey is a horrible human being, but he is a kid, and moreover, he’s Robert’s kid, so Robert is at least a little bit responsible for how his son turns out.)

Robert tells Ned to see to it that his daughter’s disciplined and promises that he’ll see to the same for his son. Phew, everything’s going to be OK, right?

NOT SO FAST!!! Cersei asks quietly “what of the direwolf?” Robert has forgotten the direwolf, and one of the Lannister guardsmen says that they found no trace of it.

“So be it,” Robert says, ready to put this behind him, until Cersei points out “we have another wolf.”

Here’s Robert’s chance to repay Ned for the sacrifice that he asked Ned to make. He’ll tell Cersei that Sansa and her direwolf are innocent, right? NOT SO FAST!!! Robert says “as you will” and walks away from the whole distressing situation, ignoring Ned’s plea on his daughter’s behalf. “A direwolf’s no pet,” Robert says to Ned, “get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it.”

Sansa realizes that they’re talking about Lady and she shouts “No, no, Lady didn’t bite anyone!” while Arya adds her own voice to Sansa’s outraged cries. Poor Sansa’s crying while Arya glares at Joffrey, perhaps wishing that she had stuck him with the pointy end after all. “Stop them!” Sansa begs Ned, and Ned asks his friend Robert in anguished tones, “Is this your command, Your Grace?” Robert says nothing and somehow manages to walk away, even though his backbone has been lost without a trace.

Cersei asks where “the beast” is and tells Ser Ilyn Payne to take care of business. Ned says that he’ll do it himself after Jory takes the girls to their rooms. Cersei asks him if this is a trick (perhaps not realizing that Ned has no tricksy bones in his body!) and Ned responds that “the wolf is of the north and deserves better than a butcher.” Hey, a little respect for butchers, Ned!

Poor Sansa and poor Arya AND poor Ned in this scene! Ned and Sansa are both terribly disillusioned by royal personages to whom they have given their trust: Sansa now knows her fairy-tale prince is a coward and a liar and that his mother, who talks so sweetly, is not nearly as kind as she seemed. Ned has put aside his life in the North and gone against his wife’s express wishes mostly because he believed in his friendship for Robert and in Robert’s friendship for and loyalty toward him, and now he’s seeing so clearly that Robert isn’t the man he once was. Robert might have been a great warrior in his youth, but he hasn’t an ounce of moral courage left in him. In the immortal words of GOB Bluth, Ned realizes that he’s made a terrible mistake.

***

As Ned goes to find Lady, he encounters Sandor Clegane, who has a blood-stained body slumped across his saddle.

“The butcher’s boy?” Ned asks. “You rode him down?”

“He ran,” the Hound replies matter-of-factly. “But not very fast.”

Poor Mycah! Like Lady, he’s the innocent in all of this.

***

We cut back to Winterfell where Bran’s wolf whimpers and then back to the Inn, where Lady whimpers as Ned approaches her. She’s so cute, awwww! Ned strokes her and fondles her ears before drawing his dagger. SOB!!

At Winterfell, Bran’s wolf whimpers some more. As Ned slips the dagger into Lady, and she gives one last choked-off wolfie cry of distress, Bran opens his eyes.

 


 

Regina Thorne is an avid reader of just about everything, an aspiring writer, a lover of old movies and current tv shows, and a hopeless romantic.

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7 comments
SarannaDeWylde
1. SarannaDeWylde
I LOVE this book and this series. It's the most faithful rendition of a book I've ever seen thus far.

Sandor's character has captured my imagination wholly. He's just the sort of character I love. Dark, scarred, brutal, but a chewy center.

Daenerys is going to be a badass. I hope, anyway. It seems she's got a bright character arc and I can't wait to see what else is in store for her.
SarannaDeWylde
2. lady trudy
excellent recap! did anyone else note this nuance: in the scene where cersai visits bran's sickbed and tell catlya about the child she lost. she mentions how black haired he was. and ned shows up with a bastard child - black haired he is. and always Ned's been secretive about the child's mother. Here's what I think - Robert, worrying that something bad would happen to the child of his loins should he be raised closely to the lannisters, gives his son into safekeeping until he comes of age. Ned doesn't fight jon's going to the wall because he believes the boy will be safer. why does ned do this - because the boy is his king to be. note how much the stark children love jon. as ned loves robert. further, that revolting, cowardly princeling - he must be jaime's get. cause he's got no honor in his bones. THe dwarf knows all, that is why he goes to the wall, and that is why he cultivates a relationship with jon - the 'family he loves' - and no, i haven't read these books. i wonder if i'm right???
Regina Thorne
3. reginathorn
@SarannaDe Wylde - Sandor is a big favorite in fandom for all the reasons you mention. I think he's a deeply damaged human being (no wonder, once we learn more about his backstory) and it's not all physical damage, but he's another one of the clever ways in which GRR Martin uses the "beauty and the beast" trope.

@lady trudy Thank you! And congratulations on a very original theory - since you said you haven't read the books, I definitely don't want to spoil you, but I will point out that Cersei very definitely mentions their taking away the body of her black-haired baby who died (the little bundle, etc.) So I think it's impossible for Jon Snow to be that child that she tells Catelyn about. It's pretty difficult even for a mother distraught with grief to mistake a dead child for a live one, or a different child for her own.
SarannaDeWylde
4. lady trudy
remember when cersai said they held her back and wouldn't let her touch her child ever again? there are all sorts of potions in fantasyworld that could mimic death. i suppose!! that's what's great about fantasy! it is also possible that arran arranged this and the king is unaware that jon is his son. only ned knows for sure. well, i'm totally glued to this story so we shall see how this plays out. however, i am not sure how many episodes this first season has, but this may be a mystery not unraveled til the next one, which was recently renewed upon the viewing success of the first episode.
Robin Bradford
5. RobinBradford
Reading this was like watching the show again, only with pop ups that made me laugh and/or go "awwww"! Great recap. Poor Lady. you know I'm not on the Sansa/Catelyn train, but I did feel badly for Sansa then. See? It is a terrible crime to lie to a king, Sansa. I did like "caught between a rock and a Cersei" ha ha ha ha! No doubt. Joffrey is even MORE repulsive than he was in my imagination when I read the books. Is that even possible? Must be because he is. LOVE the Hound.
I, too, could watch the Wise Dwarf/Sullen Bastard show for eternity. Next week's ep is titled "Lord Snow" :-) I. Can't. Wait. Sullen AND Pissed off bastard.
Regina Thorne
6. reginathorn
@Lady Trudy - I really don't want to say anything else to confirm or deny your theory because I don't want to spoil other people who haven't read the books. In answer to your question, the first season has 10 episodes!

@RobinBradford - Thank you so much!! I am not Sansa's biggest fan, by any means, but I do think she gets a bad rap because we're so set up to adore Arya and Sansa is very different from Arya. I too am really looking forward to watching Tyrion tell Jon to "buck up, Emo Kid!" Hee!
SarannaDeWylde
7. lady trudy
sorry, Regina, I get a little carried away sometimes! lol
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