Tyrion Lannister wakes up hungover and filthy in the Starks' dog kennel, with his nephew Prince Joffrey Baratheon standing outside mocking him. Tyrion orders Joffrey to offer his sympathies to their hosts following Bran Stark's fall. The prince laughs at the idea, and Tyrion slaps him hard across the face ... several times. Speechless, Joffrey rushes away.
Tyrion joins his brother and sister, Ser Jaime Lannister and Queen Cersei Baratheon, for breakfast. He tells them that he plans to ride to the Wall ... and that the maester says that Bran will live. Cersei looks concerned, but Jaime seems mostly miffed, saying that he'd prefer a good clean death, rather than living as a crippled grotesque. "Speaking for the grotesques," Tyrion replies, "I'd have to disagree ... I hope the boy does wake. I'd be very interested to hear what he has to say."
Lady Catelyn Stark stands vigil over her unconscious son. The queen visits and tells the story of an infant she lost to a battle with fever. She promises to pray to the Mother for Catelyn, who unknowingly thanks the woman who's responsible for nearly killing her son.
The bastard Jon Snow is preparing to leave for the Wall when Jaime Lannister approaches him at the forge. He shakes Snow's hand and sneers while thanking him for protecting the realm against "white walkers and whatnot." Jon shakes off the insult and visits Arya Stark in her chambers, where she packs her belongings for the journey to King's Landing. Jon gives her a slender sword, which she names "Needle." He hugs his half-sister and gives her a simple primer on swordplay: "Stick them with the pointy end."
Jon visits Bran in his bedchamber to say farewell to the boy, who may never wake up, as Catelyn glares at him. Ned walks in just in time to hear her order Jon to leave the room. She tells her husband she can't bear to stay behind while he rides south again, like he did during the war. But Ned knows there's no alternative. "You can," he tells her. "You must."
Jon and Ned leave Winterfell with the king's riders, and soon the time comes for them to part ways. Jon asks his father if his mother is still alive, and Ned tells him, "Next time we see each other, we'll talk about your mother. I promise." Ned turns south with the king while Jon follows Benjen and Tyrion toward the Wall.
On the trip north, Jon meets some other Night's Watch recruits and learns that the more typical members of the brotherhood are rapers and murderers who've chosen the Wall over the gallows. Amused but sympathetic, Tyrion asks Jon if he really believes that the Watch protects the realm from "grumpkins and snarks" that live beyond the Wall. The young man no longer has an answer.
Robb Stark and Maester Luwin visit Catelyn in Bran's room, pressing her to attend to some household business. Robb begs his mother to leave Bran's side, but before they can finish talking, he notices a fire burning outside and rushes off. A moment later, a hooded man appears with a dagger to kill Bran. Cat fends him off, grabbing the weapon's naked blade with her unprotected fingers, but it's Bran's wolf Summer who saves them, appearing from nowhere to leap on the assassin and tear open his throat.
After her wounds are dressed, Catelyn meets with Ser Rodrik Cassel, Theon Greyjoy, Maester Luwin and Robb in Winterfell's Godswood to discuss the attempt on her life. The expensive dragonbone dagger used in the attack, along with a golden hair she's found in the tower Bran fell from, leads her to believe the Lannisters are involved. She and Rodrik decide to ride south to King's Landing to warn Ned.
Daenerys and her new Dothraki tribe ride east across the plains of Essos, which takes a physical toll she's unaccustomed to. Dehydrated and saddle-sore, Daenerys is led off by her handmaidens. Once camp is set, Khal Drogo comes to Dany's tent and takes her roughly from behind.
Later, her handmaidens tend to all the small wounds she's collected while riding and tell her the various legends they've heard of dragons. Doreah, a Lysene woman, worked in the pleasure houses there. Dany asks Doreah to teach her how to make Drogo "happy," so Doreah shows her how to take control of a man. "If the khal wanted the Dothraki way," the Lysene tells her, "then why did he marry you?" Later, when Drogo approaches her in his usual coarse way, Daenerys climbs on top of him. Though he protests at first, after a few moments they find themselves making a connection for the first time.
Stopping for a meal along the road, Robert and Ned reminisce over their younger days and the battles and women who filled them. Robert tells Ned that he's received word that Daenerys Targaryen has wed a Dothraki horselord. Ned insists she's no threat in Essos, but Robert reminds him that Lyanna and Brandon Stark both died because of the old royal family. "I'll kill every Targaryen I get my hands on," he tells Ned.
Sansa enjoys her journey to the capital, especially one afternoon when Joffrey invites her to take a walk along the Trident River. They come across Arya and Mycah, the son of a butcher, practicing their sword-fighting with sticks. Joffrey pulls his own sword - cold steel, rather than a tree branch - and holds it to the boy's cheek, taunting him. When Joffrey draws blood, Arya smacks him with her stick. The prince comes after her, swinging savagely with his sword as she dodges. Her wolf Nymeria jumps in, biting Joffrey's wrist. Arya throws the prince's dropped sword into the river and runs off into the forest, where she orders Nymeria away, knowing that she'll be killed for biting Joffrey.
The Lannisters' men find Arya in the forest that night and bring her to stand before the king and queen. Ned is furious that his daughter is being handled by Cersei's family but does his best to control his tone. Cersei says that Joffrey was an innocent victim, and Arya immediately protests. The queen calls Sansa forward, and the girl lies and tells the king that she can't remember what happened. Almost satisfied, Cersei demands that the wolf be killed, but the creature is nowhere to be found. The matter is almost settled when Cersei decides Sansa's wolf, Lady, should be put to the knife in Nymeria's place. Ned is shocked at the obvious injustice and looks to Robert to overturn the order, but the king walks out. Ned says he'll do the job himself. "The wolf is of the North," he says. "She deserves better than a butcher."
Outside, Ned crosses paths with the Sandor Clegane (the Hound), who is returning with Mycah's corpse slung of his horse's back. "He ran," the Hound says, "... not very fast." Disgusted, Ned finds Lady and strokes the animal's coat for a few moments before unsheathing his dagger and ending her life.
In Bran's chamber back at Winterfell, the injured boy opens his eyes.
Lord Ned Stark arrives at King's Landing, and before he can shake off the dust of the road, his presence is requested by the Small Council. On his way through the Red Keep, Ned sees Ser Jaime Lannister standing by the Iron Throne. The two men exchange barbs, and then Jaime recounts the day that the Mad King Aerys murdered Ned's father and brother in the throne room.
Ned reaches the council chamber and is greeted by the group's members: Lord Varys, Master of Whisperers; Lord Renly Baratheon, the king's brother and lord of Storm's End; Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, Master of Coin; and Grand Maester Pycelle, an aged maester who's served King's Landing for decades. Ned speaks gruffly with each of them - except for Renly, whom he embraces. When the council gets down to the business of planning a tournament to honor Ned's appointment as Hand, he is shocked to learn that the crown is deeply in debt. Ned orders the tournament canceled, but quickly realizes his outburst is impolitic and begs the council's pardon.
Queen Cersei Baratheon dresses the wounds her son, Prince Joffrey Baratheon, suffered when Arya's direwolf attacked him and explains to him the privileges and challenges of being king. He'll have the power to rewrite history, she promises, but he also must know when to conserve his strength in the realm. "Everyone who isn't us," Cersei tells her son, "is an enemy."
Ned returns to his chambers to find Sansa and Arya fighting. Sansa rejects the doll he brings her as a gift, and when he checks in on Arya in her bedroom, she's holding her sword, Needle. She tells her father she asked Mycah to practice with her, and now the boy is dead. Ned assures her it wasn't her fault - or Sansa's. He even allows her to keep the blade - if she promises not to stick her sister with it.
In bed at Winterfell, Bran Stark rests while listening to Old Nan tell stories. When he asks for a scary tale, she tells him of the winter that lasted a generation, when the White Walkers came, hunting men on dead horses with packs of pale spiders the size of dogs. The door slams opens, interrupting her talk, and Robb Stark walks into the room. Bran tells his brother that he still remembers nothing of the fall. He's learned that he'll never walk again and tells Robb that he wishes he'd been killed.
In Castle Black's courtyard, Jon Snow trains under the direction of Ser Alliser Thorne and has no trouble besting the other recruits in combat. Afterwards, in the armory, three of the young men - Pyp, Grenn and Rast - attack Jon for beating them so badly. Tyrion uses the threat of his family's power to end the scuffle but then tells Jon the stories of his fellow recruits - that they weren't so lucky to grow up in castles with noble warriors training them. The next time Jon trains with the Grenn and Pyp, he provides instruction, rather than shaming them.
Jon takes the lift to the top of the Wall to speak with his Uncle Benjen, who is about to leave for a mission in the northern wild lands. Jon wants to go with him, but Benjen tells him no. "You're no ranger," he says. "Here, a man gets what he earns. When he earns it."
Lady Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik Cassel arrive at King's Landing hoping to keep a low profile, but they're met at the gates by the City Watch. One guard hands Cat a message from Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish and escorts the travelers to a brothel to meet him. Furious with the undignified location, Cat rails against Littlefinger, who apologizes and tells her he chose a place no one would look for her. When Ned arrives, he's equally enraged - the fact that Littlefinger is obviously still in love with Cat doesn't help - but the information Baelish is able to provide is useful: The dragonbone dagger used in the attempt on Bran's life belongs to Tyrion Lannister. Littlefinger agrees to help them find the person who's responsible. Cat is confident they can trust Littlefinger, who she's known since childhood. Before she can attract any more attention, she leaves the city, bidding farewell to her husband.
Traveling across the plains of Essos, Daenerys Targaryen asks Ser Jorah Mormont where the Dothraki get their slaves. He explains that cities offer them as tribute to avoid attack by the horselords. Dany orders the entire horde to stop and walks into the grass. Soon her brother, Viserys Targaryen, storms up on his horse and accosts her for daring to give him a command. Before he can strike her, however, a whip cracks around his neck and pulls him to the ground. Rakharo, the bodyguard looking after Dany, takes Viserys' horse, forcing him to walk.
At camp, Dany's handmaiden Irri notices a change in her figure. Cupping one of her khaleesi's breasts, she announces that Dany is with child. Irri goes to Jorah and Rakharo searching for more nutritious food to feed Dany. When she shares the news with them, Jorah orders the slaughter of a goat before riding off into the night.
Jaime and Cersei meet privately to discuss Bran's awakening. Jaime holds his sister and assures her that the boy won't talk. "And if he does, I'll kill him, Ned Stark, the king, the whole bloody lot of them until you and I are the only people left in this world."
King Robert Baratheon, well into a pitcher of wine, exchanges war stories with Ser Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard. He recounts killing a young man with his war hammer at the Battle of Summerhall. He then sends for Jaime and asks him what the Mad King Aerys said as he died. "He said the same thing he'd been saying for hours," Jaime replies. "Burn them all."
Tyrion drinks with Yoren at Castle Black, trading stories about life on the road. Benjen interrupts their joking, sternly requesting that Tyrion tell the king that the Night's Watch needs more support. "Half the boys you've seen training will die north of the Wall," he tells the dwarf. Tyrion replies that he doesn't believe in giants and ghouls and White Walkers beyond the wall. But Benjen, who's ventured into the far north, is not so quick to dismiss the notion. Later, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont also tells Tyrion that the wildlings are fleeing south in greater numbers every day. And one ranger swore he saw White Walkers - until the moment Ned Stark chopped his head off.
Tyrion decides he'll head south with Yoren to King's Landing, and he visits Jon atop the Wall to say goodbye. After fulfilling his own oath to piss from the top of the structure, the dwarf promises Jon that he'll carry his greetings to Bran. By way of comfort, Tyrion tells him: "If you're going to be a cripple, it's better to be a rich cripple."
Arya reports for her first "dancing lesson" with Syrio Forel, a master swordsman from the Free City of Braavos. He instructs her on the tenets of the Braavosi fighting style of water dancing as she tries to strike him with a wooden sword. Ned appears in the doorway to watch quietly. At first, he smiles at his daughter's talent, but his pleasure fades quickly as he realizes that Arya could very well be preparing for war.
A raven flies through the gates of Winterfell, swooping past Bran Stark, who's standing in the courtyard practicing his archery. He walks after the bird, and when he catches up to it, sees that the raven has three eyes. Bran wakens from the dream and finds himself in bed with his wolf Summer - still unable to walk. Theon Greyjoy enters the room with Hodor, a large and simpleminded stable boy, who carries Bran downstairs to meet some guests.
In the Great Hall, Robb Stark meets with Tyrion Lannister, who has stopped at Winterfell on his return to King's Landing. Tyrion is a bit surprised by Robb's lack of courtesy, though that doesn't stop him from offering Bran a gift: drawings of a special saddle that will allow the crippled boy to ride. Tyrion leaves the castle to spend the night in a brothel, and Theon follows him to the gate. "Your loyalty to your captors is touching," Tyrion tells the ward of House Stark.
Jon Snow practices sword-fighting with Grenn and Pyp in Castle Black's courtyard, coaching them along. The combat stops, however, when Samwell Tarly - a soft, fat lordling from the south - arrives to join them. Ser Alliser Thorne orders Rast to attack Sam, which the mean-spirited young man does with relish. Sam falls to the ground, unwilling and unable to defend himself, and Jon steps in to stop the beating.
At night, Jon and Sam stand watch on the Wall, and the new boy isn't any better at guard duty than he is at fighting. He tells Jon why he's come to the Night's Watch: His father told him he's not worthy of the family's land and title and gave him the choice to either join the Watch or have an "accident" while hunting.
The next day in the mess hall of Castle Black, Jon tells Grenn and Pyp that they're going to protect Sam in the training yard. Rast overhears and laughs at Jon, saying that he'll "slice off a side of bacon" from Sam. But that night, Jon and his friends sneak into Rast's bunk and threaten him with his snarling wolf, Ghost. The next day in the yard, no one attacks Sam.
Thorne is not amused with the soft treatment, and later, while Sam and Jon clean the castle, Thorne tells Jon what he's really doing by shielding Sam's cowardice: Creating weakness in the ranks that will kill good men.
The Dothraki horde travels through the Horse Gate and into the city of Vaes Dothrak. Daenerys Targaryen asks Ser Jorah Mormont if her brother would be able to lead the Dothraki to take the Seven Kingdoms. Jorah tells her that the king's advisors are wise enough to stop King Robert Baratheon from meeting the Dothraki in open combat.
Inside a Dothraki hut, the handmaiden Doreah from the pleasure houses bathes with Viserys Targaryen. He tells her of the dragons that allowed his family to conquer Westeros as she tends to his needs. When he says that Robert likely had the dragon skulls decorating King's Landing destroyed, Doreah finds it sad. "What did I buy you for," he asks her, "to make me sad?" She replies that he wanted her to teach Dany to be a better lover for Khal Drogo, which angers Viserys even more.
Viserys drags Doreah into Dany's tent by her hair, raging that his sister dare give him "commands." Dany says she only sent an invitation because she has a gift for her brother, but Viserys is consumed with anger and strikes his sister. Out of instinct, she hits him back, surprising herself but also realizing how powerless he is. "The next time you raise a hand to me," she tells him, "will be the last time you have hands." Later, Dany tells Jorah about the fight with her brother - and that she's realized that Viserys will never retake their homeland.
Lord Ned Stark presides over a Small Council meeting in which Janos Slynt, commander of the City Watch, explains that the Hand's Tournament has caused chaos throughout King's Landing. Ned tasks Littlefinger with finding gold to pay for more guards to keep the city safe and offers up men from his own household retinue to help.
After the meeting, Ned approaches Grand Maester Pycelle about the events preceding Lord Jon Arryn's death. Pycelle says that the Lord's sickness came swiftly, and his death followed soon after. Before the end, Arryn came to Pycelle to read a book of lineages that lists the traits of all the noble families of Westeros. Arryn kept repeating the same phrase: "The seed is strong."
Littlefinger approaches Ned to tell him that he's heard about the book of lineages that Pycelle gave him. Littlefinger also points out that Jon Arryn's squire, Ser Hugh of the Vale, was knighted shortly after his Lord's death. He suggests that Ned speak with a local armorer whom Arryn visited before his death. Ned goes to see the man and meets his dark-haired apprentice - Robert's bastard son.
Later, Cersei visits Ned in his chambers and suggests they put their disagreements on the Kingsroad behind them. Ned is suspicious of her visit and says that his job is to serve the king and the realm. But she is not impressed, telling him that he's only good for following orders.
Sansa and Arya Stark, along with the king and all his court arrive to watch the jousts at the Hand's Tournament. In the first match, the massive Ser Gregor Clegane - brother to the Hound - tilts against Ser Hugh of the Vale. But the contest goes violently wrong when Clegane's lance hits Ser Hugh in the throat, publicly ending the young knight's life with a fit of bloody gurgles.
As Sansa sits, shocked by the violence, Littlefinger whispers in her ear the story of how the Hound received the horrible burns on his face. When they were boys, Gregor caught his brother playing with one of his toys and held the child's face to the hot coals of a fire. "Not many people know that story," Littlefinger tells her.
Ser Rodrik Cassel and Lady Catelyn Stark stop for rest at the Inn at the Crossroads. Their meal is interrupted by Tyrion's arrival. When the dwarf notices Catelyn, she stands and calls out to the bannermen of her father who are gathered in the room. "This man came into my house as a guest," she tells the room, "and there conspired to murder my son." At her words, the men in the room draw their swords and surround the dwarf.
The Silent Sisters perform rites over Ser Hugh of the Vale's corpse and stitch up the throat wound that killed the young knight. Lord Ned Stark and Ser Barristan Selmy look on, discussing how Ser Hugh recently was raised to knighthood and received enough money to buy some fine new armor. Ned is also suspicious of how the knight came to be matched up against Ser Gregor Clegane, known as The Mountain, in the tourney.
Ned visits King Robert Baratheon in his tent, where the king is having some difficulty fitting his substantial girth into his old armor. Robert intends to fight in the tourney, but Ned manages to find the one argument that will dissuade him: "There's not a man in the Seven Kingdoms who would risk hurting you." Robert can't escape the logic but continues drinking his wine.
At the tourney, Ned sits with Sansa Stark as Ser Loras Tyrell prepares to tilt against The Mountain. Littlefinger makes a bet with Lord Renly Baratheon - who is obviously very fond of Loras - right before the two riders charge each other. The Mountain's horse, however, is acting strangely because Loras' mare is in heat, and when his stallion staggers and falls, The Mountain is enraged. He calls for his sword and nearly slices the animal's head clean off. He then attacks Loras - until his brother Sandor Clegane, known as The Hound, steps in. The two brothers hack at each other until Robert roars a command for order. Loras thanks The Hound for saving his life and raises the burned man's hand in victory.
Lady Catelyn Stark's party travels through the mountains with Tyrion Lannister in tow, on their way to the Eyrie to seek the support of Cat's sister, Lady Lysa Arryn. The dwarf warns Catelyn that her sister has changed since she last saw her - and he also points out that only a fool would arm an assassin with his own dagger. Before Cat can respond, their group is attacked by men of the Hill Tribes. During the bloody battle, the sellsword Bronn dispatches many of the attackers, and Tryion gives up the opportunity to flee and saves Catelyn's life.
When the group arrives at the Eyrie, Lysa - who sits on the weirwood throne breast-feeding her son long past a reasonable age - is furious that her sister brought a Lannister to the castle. Lysa is convinced Tyrion killed her husband as well and orders that he be locked in a sky cell - a three-walled room that opens to a terrifying drop to the rocks below.
At Winterfell, Maester Luwin quizzes Bran Stark on the sigils and words of the major houses of Westeros, as Theon Greyjoy practices archery. The boy knows all the answers but he's not in the mood to participate. Instead, Bran wants to know how his mother could have abandoned the family. Luwin assures the boy that she's doing what's best for him and loves him very much. Luwin also tells Bran that with practice and Tyrion's special saddle, he could learn to shoot a bow from horseback, which is enough to get the boy to brighten.
Theon sneaks Ros into the castle for a bit of paid company, and afterward they jab at each other. He asks her how she could sleep with a dwarf, and she shoots back, wondering how Theon likes living as a hostage.
Lord Varys comes to visit Ned in his chambers to tell him things he "must know." The spymaster says the king is doomed without Ned's help - just like Jon Arryn was. Varys says the previous Hand was poisoned with the Tears of Lys, possibly by Ser Hugh. When Ned asks why, the eunuch responds: "Because he started asking questions."
Later, Arya Stark chases cats as part of her training under Syrio Forel, and she stumbles across a massive dragon skull in the bowels of the castle. When she hears voices, she ducks and hides as Varys walks by with Magister Illyrio of Pentos, talking about how close Ned is getting to the truth. "We will be at war soon," Varys says, and Illyrio worries that Khal Drogo will miss the opportunity to put a Targaryen on the throne.
Later, Littlefinger and Varys cross paths in the throne room and banter pointedly, alluding to the leverage they hold over each other. Varys knows that Littlefinger has been helping the Starks, but Littlefinger has learned that Varys is collaborating with Magister Illyrio. Their conversation is interrupted by Renly, who tells them Robert is attending their council meeting.
Arya wanders her way out of the dungeons and finds that she's left the Red Keep entirely. When she comes to the front gate, she's barely able to convince the guards - who think she's a peasant boy - to let her inside the castle. Ned is angry that she disappeared, but when she tells him that she overheard two men talking about him in the dungeon, her account makes far too much sense. He receives even more bad news when Yoren of the Night's Watch arrives to tell him that Catelyn took Tyrion prisoner on the Kingsroad.
Ned is called to Robert's council meeting, where he learns that Ser Jorah Mormont has reported that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant with a son. Robert wants the young woman assassinated, and everyone on the council agrees besides Ned. "Cut her throat and be done with it," Littlefinger advises. Ned can't stomach it, however, and resigns his position, walking out of the room as Robert rages behind him. "I'll have your head on a spike!"
Ned rushes to his chambers and orders his men to prepare Arya and Sansa to leave for Winterfell. Littlefinger enters the room and promises to take Ned to meet that last person Jon Arryn spoke with before he died. He takes Ned to his brothel, to meet a whore who gave birth to another of Robert's bastards. Ned talks to her and then leaves the brothel, still unsure of the illegitimate children's importance.
Outside, Jaime Lannister and a group of his guards cut off Ned's exit. Jaime knows his brother was taken prisoner. And when Ned takes credit for ordering Tyrion's arrest, the Lannisters attack, killing all of Ned's men, including Jory Cassel. Ned and Jamie face off in a dizzying swordfight, but in a still moment, one of the guards plunges a spear through Ned's leg. Jaime is furious that his sport has been taken from him and punches the guard in the face before mounting his horse and leaving Ned for dead.
Lord Ned Stark awakens from a drug-induced slumber to find King Robert and Queen Cersei Baratheon standing over his bed. Robert demands that Ned tell his wife to release Tyrion Lannister. Cersei wants the Starks to be punished, and when Robert declines, she tells him, "I should wear the armor, and you the gown." He responds by slapping her across the face. His wife leaves the room, and Robert pours himself a glass of wine before telling Ned that he can't rule the kingdom with the Starks and Lannisters at war - especially considering how much gold the crown owes to Lord Tywin Lannister.
Bran Stark again dreams of walking through Winterfell in pursuit of a three-eyed raven, but when he jolts awake this time, he has a pleasant surprise: Hodor, holding the custom saddle that will allow Bran to ride. Later, in the forest north of Winterfell, Bran gets a feel for his horse while Robb Stark and Theon Greyjoy discuss Ned's capture. Theon insists that Robb strike out against the Lannisters, but Robb tells him: "It's not your duty, because it's not your house."
When he breaks off on his own in the forest, Bran is attacked by a small group of wildlings headed south. They're intent on robbing him and taking his horse. As they start to cut him from his saddle, Robb comes to the rescue, dispatching one wildling and incapacitating another - a woman. But the last man holds a knife to Bran's throat and orders Robb to drop his sword. As Robb begins to lower the blade, an arrow thuds into the wildling's back, fired from Theon's bow. Robb, angry, asks Theon: "What if you'd missed?"
Arya Stark meets Syrio Forel for her "dancing lesson," but she's not in the mood for training. Syrio says this is perfect, because fighting doesn't happen when you're ready for it. He launches a few quick attacks until Arya finally parries his blow. She says she's been praying for her father, to both the Old Gods and the new. Syrio replies: "There is only one God, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to death: Not today.'"
Alone in her tent, Daenerys Targaryen takes one of the dragon eggs from the case That Magister Illyrio Mopatis gave her as a wedding gift. She places it in the hot coals of a brazier, watching mesmerized as it soaks in the heat. She reaches into the fire to retrieve the egg, but Irri steps into the room and rushes to her khaleesi, snatching the hot egg from Dany's hands. The artifact lands with a hiss, and Irri's hands are burned from touching it for just a moment. The skin on Dany's palms, however, is unmarked.
Later, Dany must eat a stallion's heart as part of a ritual for the Dosh Khaleen, the aging widows left behind by dead khals. The entire khalasar, including Khal Drogo, looks on as she chokes down the raw meat. Regurgitating even a bit means an ill omen for the birth of her child. But as she finishes the disgusting meal, the crowd begins to chant and the Dosh Khaleen deliver their prophecy: Dany will have a son, a conqueror who will rise to become the khal of all khals.
After the ritual, Ser Jorah Mormont finds Viserys Targaryen in Dany's tent, trying to escape with the priceless dragon eggs. He's furious that his sister's power has surpassed his own, and he's ready to leave her behind. "One egg will buy me a ship," Viserys says. "Two will buy me a ship and an army." But Jorah defies the man he once swore to support, allowing Viserys to leave only after he's dropped the relics.
Imprisoned in the tortuous sky cells of the Eyrie, Tyrion wakes up with his head hanging over the edge of a precipitous drop down the mountain. He calls for his jailer, Mord, and after several attempts manages to convince the man that he'll pay to have a message delivered to Lady Lysa Arryn: Tyrion is ready to confess his crimes.
Once the dwarf gets his chance to appear before Lysa's court, however, he makes a joke of his confession, admitting to every unsavory action he's taken since childhood but not breathing a word about the attempt on Bran's life. Instead, he demands a trial by combat, and the sellsword Bronn volunteers to be his champion and fight against Lord Vardis to earn the dwarf's freedom - and quite a bit of gold.
The fully plated knight begins the battle by charging Bronn with all his might, but the unarmored mercenary dodges his attacks, slowly tiring Vardis as the fight wears on. Once his opponent starts to slow down, Bronn plunges his sword into a gap in Vardis' armor. After a few more moments the knight is on his knees and Bronn delivers a killing blow before pushing the man's body out of the yawning Moon Door. Tyrion, now free (if poorly equipped for travel), demands his purse from Ser Rodrik Cassel and hands it to Mord as he walks out of the Eyrie with Bronn.
Robert, on a hunting trip with his brother Lord Renly Baratheon, Ser Barristan Selmy and Lancel Lannister, walks through the forest carrying a spear and telling old war stories. He regales his brother about "Making the Eight" by sleeping with a girl from each of the Seven Kingdoms and one from the Riverlands. Renly, losing his patience with his brother's talk, asks Robert which bygone days were so great exactly: "The days when half of Westeros fought the other half and millions died?" Renly stalks off, and Lancel passes the king a skin of wine.
Seated on the Iron Throne, Ned grants audience before the court to a villager from the Riverlands who tells of the rape and pillage of his home. He describes a massive man slaughtering everyone in sight, even hacking the head off a horse. "Sounds like someone we know," Littlefinger says to Ned. Struggling to stand on his cane, Ned announces that Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain, is a wanted man. He also issues a command for Tywin Lannister to appear before the court. Maester Pycelle suggests he wait for Robert's return before taking such direct action, but Ned overrules the old man.
In her chambers, Sansa pouts, while Septa Mordane does her best to lure the girl out of her mood. The effort fails, but Sansa brightens immeasurably when Joffrey arrives with a gift. He secures a medallion around his future queen's neck, apologizing for his poor behavior. "I'll never be cruel to you again," he swears before kissing her lightly.
That night, Ned tells his daughter's that King's Landing has become too dangerous and that they must return to Winterfell. Both protest - Arya because she won't leave Syrio and Sansa because she's in love with Joffrey. "He'll be the greatest king who ever was ... and I'll give him sons with beautiful blond hair." The girl's words inadvertently connect everything for Ned, who sends his daughters away and opens the book of lineages he borrowed from Maester Pycelle. Every child in the Baratheon line is recorded as having black hair ... except for Joffrey.
In a hut at Vaes Dothrak, Khal Drogo and Dany sit as their people dance and feast. Viserys, drunk, stumbles in with a sword on his hip, flouting the law that no one carry arms in the sacred city. Drogo orders the exiled prince to sit in the back of the room. Angry and humiliated, Viserys draws his sword and lays its point at Dany's belly. "I want the crown he promised me," Viserys says to his sister. "I'm taking you back. He can keep the baby. I'll cut it out and leave it for him." Drogo speaks in Dothraki, and Dany translates, telling her brother that the horselord will give him a golden crown that men will tremble to behold. Viserys lowers the blade, satisfied that he's finally receiving his due. But Drogo's men seize the young man and drive him to his knees. Drogo melts down his golden medallions in a stew pot and pours the molten gold over Viserys' head. Her brother's lifeless body hits the dirt floor, and Dany tells Jorah: "He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon."
At his family's war camp, Lord Tywin Lannister butchers a stag and discusses their house's situation with his son Jaime Lannister, who reads Lord Ned Stark's order for Tywin to appear at court. The patriarch reprimands his son for attacking Ned in the streets and explains how important it is to free Tyrion from the Eyrie: "Every day that he remains a prisoner, the less our name commands repect." Tywin gives Jaime half the house's army - 30,000 men - and sends him to Riverrun to apply pressure to Lady Catelyn Stark's family. The future of the Lannisters' dynasty rests on Jaime's shoulders.
In the Godswood at King's Landing, Ned tells Queen Cersei Baratheon that he knows the truth that Jon Arryn died for: That her brother Jaime - not King Robert Baratheon - fathered her children. She admits as much and tells Ned that she's reviled Robert ever since their wedding night, when he drunkenly called her by the name of his true love, Lyanna. Ned suggests she flee with her children before Robert returns and learns the truth.
At Littlefinger's brothel, he watches with boredom as Ros and another whore put on an unconvincing sexual performance together. He orders them to start over, directing their actions. "They just paid you. Your job is to make them forget what they know." As the women slowly begin to enjoy themselves, he tells the story of how he dueled with Brandon Stark over Catelyn Tully and what he learned from losing that fight: "I'll never win that way. That's their game, their rules. I'm not going to fight them; I'm going to f**k them."
Osha, the prisoner from beyond the Wall, replaces the rushes on the floors of Winterfell when Theon Greyjoy enters the room behind her. He tells her she's lucky to be alive and tries to take an imperious stance as the future Lord of the Iron Islands. But Osha doesn't really understand, nor does she care to. Theon steps closer and then leans in lecherously ... but Maester Luwin interrupts them and drives Theon away. He asks Osha why she fled south, and she tells him, "There's things that sleep in the day and hunt at night."
Robert returns from his hunt, mortally wounded by a charging boar. On his deathbed, he talks with Joffrey Baratheon, not knowing the boy isn't his son. When Ned arrives, Robert orders the room cleared so they can talk. Robert rescinds his order to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen and tells Ned to write down his final command: Ned is to rule in his stead until his "son Joffrey" comes of age. Ned replaces those words with "rightful heir" and gives the order to the king to sign and seal, never telling him that Joffrey is Jaime's child.
In the market of Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys shops with her handmaidens while Ser Jorah Mormont wanders off to take care of some business. In fact, he's betrayed Dany to Lord Varys and traded her life for the pardon of his crimes. As he watches Dany approach a wine merchant - in truth an assassin peddling poison - Jorah changes his mind and stops the attack, taking the merchant prisoner. When Khal Drogo hears of the attempt, he swears before his khalasar to make war against the men of Westeros, conquer their realms and lay claim to the Iron Throne. As for the merchant, he's dragged naked and bloody behind a horse.
At the top of the Wall, Jon Snow half-listens as Samwell Tarly carries on about how he misses girls. But when a lone, riderless horse approaches, they open the gates and race down to Castle Black. The horse belongs to Jon's uncle, Benjen Stark, who is nowhere to be found.
Later, the men of the Night's Watch gather around Lord Commander Jeor Mormont as the recruits are prepared to enter the brotherhood and assigned to their positions. "Here, you begin anew," he tells them. As the names are called, Jon is shocked and insulted to hear that he's been made a steward, not a ranger as he'd always dreamt. Sam tries to talk sense into him however, pointing out that he's been selected as Mormont's personal steward - the Old Bear is grooming Jon for command.
Jon and Sam go beyond the Wall with a small party of men to speak their vows before a weirwood tree. They say the words solemnly, forsaking lands and family, and thus enter the brotherhood for life. As the men embrace one another to celebrate, Ghost pads over ... with a severed hand dangling from his mouth.
Renly pulls Ned aside and urges him to seize control of the throne before the Lannisters consolidate power and take it for themselves. "By the time Robert dies, it will be too late for the both of us," he says. Ned insists that Renly's older brother Stannis Baratheon is the rightful heir. The issue is moot, however, because Ned refuses to stage a coup during the king's final hours. Nevertheless, he sends a message to Dragonstone for Stannis. Littlefinger also visits Ned to offer his own strategy: Make peace with the Lannisters and share the rule of Westeros with them. Again, Ned declines the ploy, but he asks Littlefinger to make sure the City Watch takes his side when Cersei tries to lay claim the throne.
After Robert dies, Ned is called to the throne room, where he finds Cersei and Joffrey surrounded by Lannister guards as well as the Kingsguard. Renly has fled the city, leaving Ned to resolve the situation on his own. As the doors open, the watch commander Janos Slynt tells him, "We stand behind you, Lord Stark." Seated on the throne, Joffrey commands that preparations begin for his coronation. Ned hands Robert's sealed command to Lord Barristan Selmy to read, and once he's finished Cersei asks to read the letter and says, "Is this meant to be your shield, Lord Stark?" She tears the document to pieces and orders Ned to bend the knee before his king. When Ned refuses, she orders her men to take him prisoner. Ned calls for the City Watch to seize the queen, but instead, they turn on his men, killing everyone except Ned. Littlefinger places a dagger to Ned's throat and says, "I did warn you not to trust me."
Sansa Stark walks down a corridor in King's Landing with Septa Mordane, when sounds of fighting reach their ears. Lannister men have begun to slaughter the Stark guards. The Septa sends Sansa to her chambers, warning her to bar the doors. Sansa hurries away as a group of Lannisters advance on her governess, gripping bloodied swords. The young girl rushes though passageways, but her escape is blocked by the Hound. She orders him to step away, threatening to tell the Queen, but the burned man replies, "Who do you think sent me?"
Arya Stark practices her swordplay with her "dancing master" Syrio Forel, and a group of Lannister men come for her as well. Syrio dispatches them with nothing but his wooden practice sword, leaving only Ser Meryn Trant, a member of the kingsguard. Syrio holds his ground, but when the Braavosi's wooden sword snaps under one of Meryn's blows, he orders Arya to flee. The girl runs to the stables, where her packed belongings have been scattered on the ground. She digs in the pile, searching for her sword Needle. A fat stable boy approaches and tries to grab her, planning to hand her over to the queen. Without thinking, Arya plunges the blade into the boy's stomach.
The spymaster Varys visits Lord Ned Stark in the dungeons of King's Landing, offering the accused "traitor" a drink and delivering some unwelcome news: Tyrion Lannister has escaped the Vale, taking the Starks' last bit of leverage with him.
At the Wall, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont and his men examine the corpses of Othor and Jafer Flowers - two members of the Night's Watch who rode out beyond the Wall with Benjen Stark. Samwell Tarly notices that the bodies are strangely devoid of rot and odor. Mormont orders that they be burned after Maester Aemon examines them. Later, inside Castle Black, Mormont tells Jon Snow that he's received word about Ned's imprisonment. "I hope you're not thinking of doing anything stupid," Mormont tells Jon.
At King's Landing, Sansa pleads with the queen to set her father free. With the council chiming in behind her, Cersei suggests that Sansa write to her mother and brother Robb to urge them to bend the knee before their new king, Joffrey.
Sansa's letter arrives in the North, but Robb and Maester Luwin recognize the Queen's manipulation. Robb orders that his bannermen be called into service. He'll appear before the throne in King's Landing ... with an army. A raven carrying similar tidings arrives at the Eyrie, where Catelyn Stark is furious over her sister's refusal to help. "I will not risk Robin's life to get caught up in another of your husband's wars," says Lady Lysa Arryn, clutching her son.
Tyrion treks through the mountains with the sellsword Bronn. The dwarf promises his new companion: "If the day ever comes when you're tempted to sell me out ... whatever their price, I'll beat it." The men make camp, and soon the warriors of the Hill Tribes - led by a grizzled man named Shagga - fall upon them. After several tense moments, Tyrion convinces the tribesmen that he can deliver them the weapons and gold necessary to seize the one thing they want: the Vale of Arryn.
Jon, confined to his quarters after an altercation with Ser Alliser Thorne, notices Ghost pawing at the door, trying to get out. He opens the door and follows the wolf to Mormont's chambers, where he finds Othor's corpse, reanimated as a wight. Jon stabs the zombie-like creature, but the sword does nothing to stop it. Mormont wanders into the room holding a lantern, Jon heaves the lamp at Othor, engulfing the wight in flames.
The Dothraki raid a village of Lhazareen - a peaceful people of sheep-herders - killing, burning and raping with zeal. Daenerys Targaryen sees the Dothraki carrying off survivors as slaves, which they'll trade to fuel her invasion of Westeros, but when she hears the screams of a woman named Mirri Maz Dur, the khaleesi orders the women of the village to be protected. Later, the warrior Mago complains to Drogo about the affront and then challenges the khal's leadership. Drogo fights with Mago, ripping the man's throat out in front of the crowd, sustaining a wound to his chest in the process. "A scratch," he tells Daenerys, but when Mirri offers to dress the wound, Dany insists that Drogo allow it.
Robb calls his bannermen to march south, but one of them, Greatjon Umber, isn't happy when he's told that he won't lead the vanguard. He draws a blade at the table, and Robb's direwolf, Grey Wind, drives Umber to the ground and bites off two of his fingers. The Greatjon regains his feet, and Robb offers him a graceful escape from the situation by making a joke, "Doubtless, the Greatjon only meant to cut my meat for me." The men laugh, none louder than the Greatjon. Later that night, Robb visits Bran in his chambers to say goodbye. The army is leaving, and now Bran is the oldest Stark in Winterfell.
The next day in the Godswood, Osha tells Bran that Robb and his sworn swords are marching the wrong way. The danger is in the North. The men of the Night's Watch are learning this to be true, as they burn the wights' bodies at Castle Black. "They've been touched by White Walkers," says Sam, who read about the monsters in a book from Maester Aemon's library. "Only fire will stop them."
The Northmen make camp near the Trident, where Lady Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik Cassel meet up with Robb's forces. Catelyn and her son are relieved to see each other safe, but both realize how high the stakes are: If Robb cannot win this war, their entire family will die. As he strategizes with his bannermen, it becomes clear that victory requires crossing the Trident - which depends on the cooperation of the unreliable Lord Walder Frey.
Tyrion and his allies from the Hill Tribes arrive at the Lannister war camp. The dwarf tells his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, that they owe the tribesmen weapons and armor for their assistance. Tywin asks the mountain men to fight with him against the Northmen, and Shagga agrees - as long as Tyrion fights as well. Their conversation is cut short when a message arrives that the Starks on are on the march. Tywin sends out orders that it's time to strike.
Sitting on the Iron Throne, King Joffrey makes appointments, raising the City Watch commander Janos Slynt to nobility and naming Tywin as Hand of the King. Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard ... and replaced with Jaime Lannister. Barristan is shocked and appalled to be removed from a position he vowed to serve for life, and leaves in shame and anger. The final order of business is a plea from Sansa that Joffrey grant mercy for her father. She swears Ned loved Robert and must have been deceived, begging Joffrey to help if he has any affection left for her. "Your sweet words have moved me," Joffrey tells her. "But your father must confess and say that I'm the king. Or there will be no mercy for him."
In the black cells of the Red Keep, Lord Ned Stark wastes away in the darkness. Lord Varys visits the accused traitor to say that his own loyalties are to the people of the realm. Varys wants to avoid the war the Robb Stark is about to wage against the Lannisters - and all the devastation it will cause to innocent lives. Ned refuses to offer a false confession and capitulate to the queen who tried to murder his son: The lord's life is not so valuable to him that he'd forsake his honor. "What of your daughter's life," Viserys asks. "Is that a precious thing to you?"
Robb and his host approach the Trident River, which they must cross in order break the Lannisters' grip on the Riverlands. This means acquiring the cooperation of Lord Walder Frey, the ancient and wily patriarch who controls the river's lone crossing - a bridge fortress known as the Twins. Catelyn Stark calls on Lord Walder, hoping that his oath as her father's bannerman will help shore up his loyalties. But Walder's only real pledge is to his own house, so the price of his backing is steep: Arya and Robb must each marry a Frey.
Grateful for Jon Snow's bravery in saving his life, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont bestows his family's blade, Longclaw, on the young Night's Watchman. All of Jon's friends clamor to examine the long sword, but any excitement he feels evaporates when Sam Tarly shares the news of Robb's march south, which was brought by a raven for Maester Aemon. Jon visits the old man, struggling under the weight of his devotion to Robb. Aemon explains that men of the Night's Watch are meant to live a life devoid of family because "love is the death of duty." The blind maester knows this firsthand. He reveals that he is a Targaryen - the uncle of the Mad King Aerys - and that he stood by his duty at the Wall while the Lannisters all but exterminated his family. "Stay or go," Aemon tells Jon. "You must make that choice yourself ... and live with it the rest of your days. As I have.""
Khal Drogo's khalasar travels across Essos, through rocky terrain, with its leader slumped in his saddle and obviously ill. When Drogo falls from his horse and into the dirt, Daenerys Targaryen bolts from her saddle to help him. The bloodrider Qotho rides to the front of the hoard and looks down on Drogo and Dany, declaring, "A khal who cannot ride is no khal."
Tyrion Lannister eats with his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, and the family's war council. Tywin informs the dwarf that he is to lead the vanguard into battle with the Hill Tribesmen. "Surely, there are ways to have me killed that are less detrimental to the war effort," Tyrion says, but his father's decision is final. Tyrion pushes himself away from the table and returns to his tent, where Bronn has acquired a whore for him, a foreign girl named Shae, who Tyrion wants to serve him exclusively for as long as he pays her.
The Dothraki make camp, and Daenerys tends to Drogo. His wound has festered, leaving him just hours away from death. Ser Jorah Mormont urges Dany to leave now, before the khal dies and leaves her and her unborn son without protection. Instead, Daenerys sends for Mirri Maz Dur, the last hope of saving her husband. Mirri agrees that the khal will die, but when Dany begs her to perform magic, the witch agrees, slaughtering the khal's horse as a sacrifice. The Dothraki are enraged at this affront to nature, and Qotho draws his arakh and attacks Jorah. After a fierce struggle, Jorah manages to kill Drogo's bloodrider. Strange and demonic noises begin to emanate from Drogo's tent, and Dany, curled on the ground, begins to go into labor.
In Tyrion's tent, he plays a drinking game with Bronn and Shae. They try to divine each other's pasts, which Tyrion does very well with Bronn but fails miserably with his mistress. Shae manages to tap into Tyrion's pained past, however, which prompts him to tell the story of how he was married for a short time - until he learned that his brother Jaime Lannister had paid a whore to take him as her husband. After the joke was revealed, Tywin allowed his whole household guard to rape the woman while Tyrion watched. After Bronn leaves, Tyrion goes to bed with Shae, barely waking up the next morning in time to go to war. Once he does join the Hill Tribes on the field, he's knocked out by an errant war hammer moments into the march. He wakes up - shocked to be alive - after the fighting is done. The Lannisters have won, but against only a small fraction of the Stark forces. The rest have ambushed Jaime's army.
In a wooded area, Catelyn waits for her son to return from war, and she's beside herself with relief once he does. Robb rides out of the mist with Jaime as his prisoner. The storied member of the Kingsguard proposes that he and Robb settle the whole war with a bout of single combat, but Robb is no fool. He sends Jaime off to be put in irons, and shouts to his celebrating men: "One victory does not make us conquerors ... This war is far from over."
Arya wanders the streets of King's Landing, trying to trade a pigeon she killed for a bit of pastry. But when she notices the crowd streaming toward Baelor's Sept, she follows. On the steps of the holy building, the City Watch escorts her father before King Joffrey Baratheon, as his mother Cersei Baratheon watches with Sansa Stark at her side. Ned gives a false confession of treason in an attempt to save his daughter, and Joffrey responds that his mother and Sansa have both asked him to grant mercy. "But they have the soft hearts of women," Joffrey continues. "So long as I am king, treason will not go unpunished ... Bring me his head!"
In the crowd, Yoren of the Night's Watch finds Arya and wraps her in his arms to avert her gaze from the scene unfolding on the steps. Ser Ilyn Payne, wearing an executioner's hood and carrying Ned's family sword Ice, strides over to deliver the sentence. Ned bows his head as Payne raises the blade. The King's Justice delivers the blow swiftly, ending Lord Stark's life before the screaming mob.
Arya Stark stands in the square of King's Landing clutching Yoren, a recruiter from the Night's Watch. Lord Ned Stark has just been executed on the order of King Joffrey, and the mob roars as Ser Ilyn Payne holds up the lord's severed head. Yoren drags Arya away to an alley, where he chops off her hair with a knife, asking her, "Do you want to live, boy?"
Bran Stark has a dream at Winterfell in which a three-eyed raven leads him to the castle's crypts, where he meets his father. After Bran wakes, Osha carries him to the crypt, where he finds young Rickon Stark with his wolf, Shaggydog. Rickon had the same dream. As the boys return to the courtyard, Maester Luwin opens a scroll with news of Ned's death.
Lady Catelyn Stark, beside herself in the Riverlands, finds her son Lord Robb Stark alone in the forest, hacking at a tree with his sword. Both in tears, Robb and Catelyn embrace, and he swears that he'll kill all of their enemies. "They have your sisters," Catelyn tells him. "We have to get the girls back, and then we will kill them all."
In the throne room of the Red Keep, Joffrey listens as the bard Marillion is forced to sing a rude song about the royal family that he was caught performing at a tavern. Joffrey orders the singer's tongue cut out and then dismisses the court. He leads Sansa Stark to the castle's ramparts, where her father's head is displayed on a spear. Initially she's revolted, but when Joffrey forces her to look, Sansa's fear is replaced with quiet, seething anger. Joffrey promises to deliver Robb's head to her next, and Sansa replies: "Or maybe he'll give me yours," which earns her a brutal slap from Ser Meryn Trant.
At the Starks' war encampment, Robb's bannermen discuss lords Renly and Stannis Baratheon's claims to the throne. Greatjon Umber spits on the ground and lays his sword at Robb's feet, declaring the young man King in the North. Robb stands, and the other men follow suit, swearing fealty to their new king. Catelyn looks on as the men's chants echo through the camp and then leaves to interrogate Jaime Lannister. Jaime admits that he threw Bran from the window. Catelyn demands to know why, and Jaime replies: "I hoped the fall would kill him."
Word of Jaime's capture reaches the Lannisters (Cersei Lannister receives the message while sharing a bed with her cousin Lancel). At the family's war camp, Tywin Lannister discusses the situation with his council. Tyrion Lannister points out that the possibility of negotiating with Robb died along with Ned. Tywin orders his bannermen to leave and tells Tyrion to ride to King's Landing and serve as Hand of the King. "Bring that boy king to heel," the patriarch says, "and his mother too, if need be." On his way out, Tywin forbids his son to take the whore, Shae, to court with him.
Daenerys Targaryen wakes to find that her child has been born dead and deformed, while her khalasar has deserted her. The witch Mirri Maz Dur traded the infant's life for that of Khal Drogo, but the horselord - while technically living - is mute, unmoving and unable to rule. Mirri admits that she tricked Daenerys as punishment for sacking her village. "You will see exactly what life is worth when all the rest is gone," she says. Later, inside her tent, Dany bids farewell to Drogo before smothering him with a pillow.
At Castle Black, Jon Snow prepares to ride off into the night and join his brother's army. Samwell Tarly begs him not to leave, warning that he'll be killed as a deserter. Jon brushes past his friend. Farther down the road, Sam, Grenn and Pyp catch up with him. They surround Jon, repeating their vows and returning Longclaw to him. Begrudgingly, Jon returns to the castle. The next morning, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont tells Jon that he can't afford to punish every man who questions his oath. He'd have nothing but headless corpses to guard the realm. Besides, he needs Jon to join the force that Mormont will lead beyond the Wall. The Old Bear has decided to take the fight to the wildlings - and whatever else lives in the frozen forests. "When dead men and worse come hunting for us in the night," Mormont asks, "do you think it matters who sits on the Iron Throne?" The next day, the men of the Night's Watch arm themselves and ride out, unsure of what enemy they face.
Lord Varys and Littlefinger trade jibes as they wait for Joffrey to attend council. They look at the throne and ask: What would you do, if you were to sit on it? Each man's disdain for his rival is matched only by a mutual admiration. "And here we are," Varys says, "serving a new king."
In the streets outside the Red Keep, Yoren brings Arya to his caravan, warning her to watch herself among the hard men he's gathered for the Night's Watch. Immediately, two boys notice her sword and try to bully her into giving it up. But Arya draws the blade and points it at one boy's belly, saying, "I already killed one fat boy. I bet you've never killed anyone..." The armorer's apprentice, Gendry, steps in to break up the argument just as the caravan begins to leave for the Wall.
Daenerys stands before a massive pyre topped with Khal Drogo's corpse as Rakharo places her priceless dragon eggs next to the body. Dany orders that Mirri Maz Dur be tied to a stake and burned along with the horselord she killed. Daenerys then frees all the remaining slaves, some of whom decide to stay with her. At the touch of her torch, the pyre grows into a massive inferno. Mirri screams in agony, and Dany walks into the flames. Ser Jorah Mormont and the freed slaves look on.
At dawn, Jorah walks into the piles of smoldering ash and finds Daenerys, untouched by the flames and holding three small dragons. She rises from the charred ground with one of the beasts perched on her shoulder. Taking a breath, the creature spreads its wings, releasing a shriek the world hasn't heard for hundreds of years.
Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men...all will play the 'Game of Thrones.'
A new original series based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series.
Longtime friend of Ned Stark, Robert was engaged to Ned's sister, Lyanna, whose abduction by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen incited Robert's uprising against the throne. When Lyanna died during the war, Robert married Cersei Lannister.
What Tyrion lacks in size and strength, he makes up for in mental acuity. He is now serving as Hand of the King, for his father, Tywin Lannister, the richest lord in the Seven Kingdoms. He is the younger brother to Queen Cersei and Ser Jaime Lannister
Crippled after Jaime Lannister pushed him from a tower, Bran is adjusting to life without the use of his legs. He rules Winterfell in Robb's absence with the help of his counselor Maester Luwin and the companionship of Hodor, Osha and his direwolf, Summer.
Brynden is known as “The Blackfish,” due to the strained relationship between him and his older brother Hoster. Alongside Barristan Selmy, Brynden showed great heroism during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, a rebellion in the East that threatened the Seven Kingdoms.