Game of Thrones
Recap - Episode 4: "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"

Susan Arendt | 9 May 2011 23:25
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The Small Council is going over problems with the tourney - yep, they decided to have it anyway, despite the fact that they can't afford it. The City Watch is having trouble dealing with the influx of people, so Ned says he'll give 20 of his household guard to help keep the peace. The meeting breaks up, and Ned asks Pycelle about Jon Arryn. Turns out that the night before he died, Jon asked Pycelle for a book: Lineages and History of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, with descriptions of many highborns, noble ladies and their children. It's basically family tree stuff, with physical descriptions of hair and eye color thrown in for good measure. Arryn didn't say what he wanted with it, but interestingly kept saying "The seed is strong" as he was dying. Ned suggests that perhaps he was poisoned, which leads Pycelle to comment that poison is the tool of women, craven and eunuchs, oh, and hey, Ned, did you know Varys was a eunuch? Just putting that out there. Subtle, Pycelle.

Arya is practicing her "dancing" by balancing on one foot and tells her father that tomorrow she'll be chasing cats. She's quoting her teacher, Syrio Forel as though he was the font of wisdom himself, which Ned finds adorable. But when Arya asks if she could be lord of a holdfast someday, Ned tells her that she'll marry a high lord and run his castle, and her sons will be knights. She's about as horrified by that vision of the future as she could be and quickly goes back to balancing on one foot. Oh, Ned. You look, but you do not see.

Jon Snow is on watch at The Wall when Sam comes to join him as watch partner and reveals that not only is he afraid of heights, he can't actually see that well. So, let's review: crap in a fight, can't see, scared of heights. What the hell's he doing on The Wall? As it turns out, on the morning of his 18th birthday, Sam's dad gave him a choice - take the black or suffer a hunting "accident." Either decision was fine by pop. Sam frets that he's going to have to fight again tomorrow, but Jon reassures him by pointing out that it's not like he can get any worse, after all. They share a laugh over that. That's a true friend, right there, folks.

Petyr tells Ned that Ned should be a bit more circumspect about looking into Jon Arryn's death, indicating that Varys and Cersei have spies everywhere in King's Landing. Petyr suggests that Ned send a trusted friend to go question Ser Hugh, who was Jon Arryn's squire, then suddenly got knighted as soon as Jon Arryn was dead. After talking to Ser Hugh, says Petyr, it would be wise to visit a certain armorer that Jon Arryn saw several times before he died. Ned does, indeed, send the captain of his guard, JORY CASSEL, to talk to Ser Hugh, but the knight just blows him off so Ned heads off to the armorer himself. It seems that Jon Arryn was there to see a boy, GENDRY, and though he started off by asking the boy if he enjoyed his work and was being treated well, he eventually started asking Gendry about his mother. What she looked like, who she was. She died when he was little, so Gendry doesn't remember much, just that she had yellow hair. Gendry, on the other hand, has black hair and blue eyes. Putting that information together with Jon Arryn's recent taste in reading, Ned comes to a very uncomfortable realization. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to King Robert's bastard son.

Jon Snow tells his friends to stop making fun of Sam, because he's their brother now, and it's their job to protect him. One of the recruits says, ha, if Thorne tells me to, I'll beat the crap out of him. So Jon, his pals, and his dire wolf Ghost decide to pay that guy a little friendly visit in the middle of the night. Just, you know, to chat. Lo and behold, nobody's eager to thrash Sam the next day at practice. Funny how attitudes can change! Thorne, sensing that Snow has orchestrated this little bit of protection, is less than thrilled.

Viserys storms into Daenerys' tent, dragging Doreah by her hair and screaming that Daenerys is not to order him around. She'd sent Doreah to invite Viserys to dinner, but he's beyond reason, his freakout increasing as he spots the Dothraki-style garb that Daenerys had made for him. He sneers at her, asking, what next, a braid? She sneers back, telling him that he doesn't deserve a braid because he hasn't won a victory yet. He slaps her and sends her to the ground. She says the next time you raise a hand to me is the last time you have hands. This isn't going to end well, people.

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