Game of Thrones
Recap: Episode One

Susan Arendt | 18 Apr 2011 21:00
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Someone informs Ned that they've caught a deserter from the Night's Watch - it's our smart soldier from earlier! He legged it out of there as fast as he could, but decided that people needed to know that the WHITE WALKERS have returned. Ned, Robb and others ride out to pass judgment on him, bringing Bran along with them. The deserter must be beheaded for deserting - that's the law- but Ned is a noble kind of ruler, and tells his son Bran that "the man who passes the sentence must swing the sword." And it's a big-ass sword, too. Guess Ned got some good upper body workouts while he was fighting those orcs in Middle Earth. So, deserter beheaded, rumors of White Walkers disputed, everyone heads back to Winterfell, but not before coming across a very dead deer and the equally dead Direwolf that killed it. This is apparently a Big Damn Deal, though it just seems like basic Wild Kingdom stuff to me. The Direwolf left behind 5 puppies - one for each of the Stark children - which clearly makes this a moment of great portent, duh! Oh, except there's a sixth pup so that JON SNOW, Ned's bastard son, can have one, too. Dawwwwwwwwwww!

We briefly leave the cold and muddy realm of Winterfell for the tidy and clean KING'S LANDING, where someone is being prepared for burial. Two lovely blonde siblings, CERSEI AND JAIME LANNISTER, argue briefly nearby about the recently departed, who we discover is JON ARRYN. He apparently Knew Something, which worries Cersei. But hey, he's dead now, so who cares, counters Jaime. Dude's got a point.

Back to Winterfell, where a raven shows up with word that Jon Arryn is dead. Not only was he like a father to Ned, he was also the HAND OF THE KING, which is basically the King's second in command. The message also says that the King will be coming to Winterfell. Catelyn figures this means one thing: He's going to offer the job of Hand to Ned. There is a distinct lack of rejoicing at this realization.

The King and his entourage do indeed show up, and the youngest Stark kids are all atwitter about it. Bran gets a scolding from Catelyn for climbing up the castle walls to get a better view, Arya wears a soldier's helmet for no apparent reason other to emphasize that she's a tomboy, and Sansa goos at Joffrey like she's on the front row at a Justin Bieber concert. KING ROBERT BARATHEON dismounts, and obviously projecting his own insecurities, tells Ned that he's gotten fat. Arya keeps demanding to know where THE IMP is - terribly rude of her, but see, she's a tomboy, not like her perfectly mannered sister ok we get it already. The answer to her question, by the way, is "in the local whorehouse." We meet TYRION LANNISTER, aka The Imp, enjoying the talents of a working girl and showing everyone else in the show how to act without looking like you're acting. Seriously, if you have no interest in Game of Thrones at all, just tune in to watch Peter Dinklage wipe the floor with his cast mates. He's effortlessly brilliant.

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