Fans of George R. R. Martin’s book series probably have no trouble following along with the lavishGame of Thrones series, but those new to the material might have had a hard time telling Westeros from Winterfell. If you’re a longtime fan,you’ll definitely want to check out Greg Tito’s commentary on the series, but if you’re a confused newbie, fear not! We’ll be here with your weekly recap to help you keep it all straight. Or at least as straight as we can keep anything involving the Lannisters, anyway. We’ll be doing these recaps each week. Let’s go!

The DOTHRAKI are riding through the grasslands, and it’s hard to tell which DAENERYS hates more, the horse jerky or her jerky husband. In camp, her handmaidens help her as she walks stiffly to her tent. Days on a horse and nights on the KHAL are leaving her a bit sore, it would seem. SER JORAH MORMONT is doing his best to look after her, clearly concerned for her wellbeing. In camp, VISERYS remarks to Jorah that as hard as life with the Dothraki is, it’s at least better than being beheaded, which is apparently what NED STARK has in mind for Ser Jorah should he ever return to WESTEROS. Ned took issue with the fact that Jorah tried to sell some poachers to slavers, something Viserys assures wouldn’t be a big whoop when he’s king. So, let’s review: Viserys has no problem selling his sister in exchange for an army and is down with slavery. Great guy!

Meanwhile, TYRION reminds JOFFREY that he should express his condolences to Lord and Lady Stark for BRAN. Joffrey protests, saying he couldn’t care less about Bran and that his words wouldn’t mean anything, so why should be bother? Tyrion, who only moments before was sleeping next to dogs in a barn yet is still more regal than Joffrey could ever dream, explains that it’s the proper thing to do. Joffrey whines a bit more, so Tyrion bitch slaps him. As Joffrey stomps off, SANDOR CLEGANE (referred to throughout the episode as DOG) cautions Tyrion that Joffrey won’t soon forget the affront. Tyrion shrugs off the warning and heads into the castle to join JAIME and CERSEI for breakfast where he informs them that Bran is expected to live after all. There is a distinct lack of rejoicing at that news. Jamie says he’d rather be dead than crippled like Bran undoubtedly will be, and Tyrion remarks that he hopes Bran does eventually recover consciousness, because he’d be very curious to hear what the boy has to say. Jaime is curious as to why Tyrion would be curious. It becomes pretty obvious that Tyrion knows the truth about Bran’s fall and equally obvious that he’s not going to do anything about it. Not for the moment anyway, because he’s heading off to The Wall, just to see what it’s like.

Cersei visits Bran, which is obviously the smart thing to do, and finds CATELYN fretting by his bedside. We learn that Cersei lost her first child, a son, an event that KING ROBERT took especially hard, perhaps because the boy looked just like him. Jaime, meanwhile, wanders outside to find JON SNOW waiting for the blacksmith to finish working on a new sword. Jaime taunts Jon a bit, then thanks him just a bit too profusely for joining the Night’s Watch. This may or may not be our first indication that Jaime is kind of a dick.


ARYA is packing her stuff to head to King’s Landing with her dad and sister, and when Jon comes to say goodbye to her, we learn that the blacksmith was making that sword specially for her. She names it Needle – a little dig at SANSA being a better sewer than her – and gives him a big hug. Catelyn is somewhat less affectionate when Jon comes to say goodbye to Bran, coldly telling him she wants him to leave. Ok, harsh, but he is Ned’s bastard, after all, which Catelyn points out when Ned comes to say goodbye himself. She is pretty damn pissed that Ned went off with Robert 17 years ago and came home with another woman’s child, and that he’s about to head off with Fat Bob again. He says he doesn’t have a choice, she pretty much says he’s full of shit. He doesn’t have much of an argument for that one, really.

And so practically everyone in WINTERFELL heads out on horseback. Ned promises to tell Jon Snow more about his mother the next time he sees him; Jon, Tyrion, UNCLE BENJI and a few others head towards THE WALL while everyone else points their horses at King’s Landing. Later, Fat Bob and Ned reminisce about when they were young men, getting in fights and motorboating buxom young maidens. Well, maiden, singular, in Ned’s case – Jon’s mother, who Ned refuses to talk about to this very day. Fat Bob tells Ned that Daenerys has married Khal Drogo, a fact Bob finds most uncomfortable, seeing as how many people still consider him to be a Usurper. Daenerys’ father apparently did “unspeakable” things to Ned’s family, in particular his sister. Ned brushes aside Fat Bob’s concerns, because horses aren’t particularly strong swimmers and last he checked, there was still a whopping great ocean in between Pentos and Westeros.

Speaking of Daenerys, she’s still miserable in the Dothraki camp, staring wistfully at her dragon eggs while Khal Drogo has himself an exuberant hump. I could make a joke about that being a typical marriage, minus the dragon eggs, but it’s really just too easy. So let’s check in on Tyrion instead, who’s amused when two rapists join the crew heading toward The Wall. Criminals are given a choice – face their punishment or join the Night’s Watch. Just the kind of folks you want protecting your northern border from all manner of monsters, right? Jon Snow asks Tyrion why he reads so much, and Tryion explains that it’s the best way he can help his family. If he’d been born a commoner, he’d likely have been left to die, but because he was born a Lannister, things are expected of him. We learn that his father was the Hand of the King – a King that Jaime later killed. Charming family, the Lannisters.

Back in Bran’s room, MAESTER LUWIN comes to ask Cat about various house accounts now that the royals are gone, and she treats him like a man who just asked her about bookkeeping while standing over the bed of her unconscious, crippled son. Robb steps in to say he’ll handle it, sends Luwin away, then looks out the window and notices that part of the castle is on fire. He rushes out to deal with it, but Catelyn decides to stay, which mildly annoys the assassin that shows up to stick a knife in Bran. He bounces back pretty quickly, though, and figures he can stick a knife in Catelyn, too, but she’s not really in favor of that idea, and they struggle for a bit until Bran’s direwolf comes leaping into the room. He takes a baby-sized chunk out of the assassin, then settles down on Bran’s bed for a post-mauling nap.


Daenerys learns that one of her handmaidens, DOREAH, used to be a whore. A high-class, expertly trained whore, no less. How convenient! We’ll get back to her lessons in a bit, but first we have to join Jon in time for him to realize that The Wall is really pretty goddamn huge. Back at Winterfell, Detective Catelyn decides to poke around the tower that Bran fell from and manages to find a blonde hair on the floor. So the wind can artfully blow Cat’s hair around, but Cersei’s stray strand somehow manages to stay conveniently in place on the floor where Catelyn can spot it from ten feet away? Right, then. Moving on. Cat gathers Robb, Maester Luwin, and a few others to share her suspicions that the Lannisters shoved Bran out the window, then later tried to kill him. The dagger the assassin had was way too nice for someone of his meager means, so it seems obvious that someone put him up to offing the wee lad. Catelyn figures she should head to King’s Landing and bring Ned up to speed.

Daenerys’ handy whore starts teaching her how to please the Khal, which apparently comes down to her being on top. Later, Khal Drogo comes in, flashes us some butt, then is surprisingly pleased when Daenerys takes control of the tryst by hopping on his unit. She actually starts to enjoy it herself, too, and somewhere, someone begins typing out a very angry blog post about the portrayal of women in Game of Thrones. Bet you five bucks.

Joffrey runs into Sansa at camp and turns on the charm full blast. They go for a walk by the river, where Arya and MICAH, the butcher’s son, are practicing sword fighting with some sticks. Joffrey goes into Princely Prick mode, saying that the boy needs to be punished for attacking his betters, despite the rather obvious fact that it was all Arya’s idea. Arya gets pissed and whacks Joffrey with her playsword, her wolf bites him for good measure, and he ends up on the ground begging for mercy like the little bitch that he is. Sansa, apparently willing to overlook the fact that Joffrey was just acting like a complete jerk, is furious that Arya has ruined everything. Arya sends her wolf away rather than have the Lannisters kill it for attacking Joffrey. Later that evening, Joffrey tells his account of what happened (here’s a shock – he lies to make himself the victim), Arya argues, Fat Bob gets sick of the bickering and writes it off to the fact that kids fight. Not good enough for Cersei, though, who demands that Arya’s wolf be killed. Arya’s wolf isn’t around, but Cersei’s willing to flexible and kill Sansa’s instead. Ned, being the stand up kind of guy that he is, says he’ll do the deed himself, and as he does, Bran wakes up.

Whew … this week was a busy one! See you next week, same direwolf time, same direwolf channel.

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