Posts Tagged ‘game of thrones’

Game of Thrones Bingewatch Continues: Season 1, Part 2

-ColdasaWitch’sTit, Castle Black

Lord Stark continues being a loudmouth Nosy Rosie, poking into the affairs of the late Jon Arryn, and his recently murdered knight, Ser Hugh of the Vale.  Still avoiding discretion like it’s anthrax-laced botulism inside a Kardashian, he queries anyone and everyone how a former squire, such as Hugh, could afford entirely new armor a mere blink after being knighted.  He deduces that something in the milk smells Cersei, and is determined to get to the heart of the matter.   He arrives at the next jousting tournament, where the king is rumored to be riding, but the drunken patriarch has grown far too fat for his armor, and is now tormenting his nervous squire, young Lancel Lannister (cousin to Cersei), in an effort to soothe his wounded ego. Finally the jousting tournament commences, and we see part time Pantene model Ser Loras knock “The Mountain” right off his high horse, sending the vicious oaf tumbling to the ground. As the crowd roars for lovelylocks, the enraged Mountain decapitates his own horse, then moves in on Ser Loras  of the silky tresses.  A terrifying duel breaks out, and soon a horribly disfigured knight (and brother to The Mountain, known as The Hound) jumps in to defend Ser Loras and his perfect mane.  Finally, King Robert himself orders an end to the madness.

After the tournament, Ser Loras enjoys an intimate moment with his secret lover, Renly Baratheon, who is also King Robert’s youngest brother, and member of the royal council.  As Lovelylocks grooms Renly, he tries convincing him to make a play for the throne, arguing that the heirs in line before him would never have the full support of the people, because…well, because they’re assholes.  He offers the assistance of his very wealthy family in making a power grab. Renly is non-committal, but does cryptically mention an upcoming hunting trip with his brother, to which he is not looking forward.

Meanwhile, Peg Bundy lookalike Lady Stark covertly transports shackled smartass dwarf Tyrien Lannister to her loopy sister’s castle in the Eyrie, for safe keeping. On the road trip to the eastern keep, Tyrien insists that Catelynn’s sister, Lady Lysa Arryn, has gone insane in the membrane with grief over her husband’s murder, and won’t hesitate to kill him on sight. He suggests asking his filthy rich daddy for a hefty ransom instead, but Lady Stark won’t hear of it.  He also denies any attempt on Bran’s life, and is insulted Catelynn presumes him stupid enough to hand an assassin his own blade, thank you very much. Upon their arrival at the high hall, they find rambling madwoman Lysa breastfeeding her ten year old son Robin on the throne. Just like Peggy Bundy’s family, the Wankers would do!  As predicted, Lady Lysa implicates the imp in her husband’s death, and orders him executed.  Catelynn, however, declares him as her own prisoner, and forbids them from taking his life. Instead, the dwarf is taken to a sky chamber with only three walls and a sloping floor, so he can roll right out and down a Cliffside in his sleep (if he’s lucky).

In King’s Landing, slithery intelligence head Lord Varys hisses to Eddard that the king is being played for a fool, and will die soon. The Master of Whispers goes on to inform him that he’s on to Lord Stark’s rebellion against discretion regarding his inquiry into Jon Arryn’s murder, and confirms the former Hand was indeed poisoned due to “asking too many questions.” Okey dokey, then.

Later on, budding sword fighter Arya chases a cat into the dungeons, and barely has enough time to hide behind a giant dragon skull before overhearing Varys and one of his cronies plotting to murder her father Eddard. She frantically reports what she overheard to her father, but they are interrupted by a messenger giving a heads up that Catelynn has captured Tyrien Lannister, and is holding him at the creepy in-laws in the Eyrie.  Lord Stark is then summoned to a meeting with the council, including His Porky Highness King Robert, who is outraged to learn about Daenerys Targaryen’s pregnancy in the east.  Anticipating war once the new Dothraki prince is born, a sloshed King Robert commands the Kahleesi and her ashen pimpbrother Viserys be killed immediately.  Eddard tries to reason with the bloated windbag, claiming that murdering an innocent unborn child MIGHT be considered dishonorable by the rest of the kingdom.  The council, however, sides with their porkalicious leader, and determines the Targaryen survivors are an immediate threat to The Realm, and must be extinguished.

So Eddard quits a bitch, and resigns as Hand of the King.

While the Stark family is busy packing their worldly goods for the long trip back to the Winterfell unemployment office, Lord Baelish offers to escort Eddard to the last place Jon Arryn visited before getting murdered.  In a move that would make Eddard the best detective ever in the NeverHireMe Police Department, he hops right on board for the field trip. They end up at a brothel, surveying yet another bastard child of King Roberts whom Jon Arryn obsessed over before his death. As they depart the Pleasure House, prettyboy Jaime Lannister greets them outside with a group of guards, demanding the release of his brother Tyrien. Eddard says hell to the no, and great violence breaks out.  Realizing that killing Lord Stark will only result in Tyrien’s death, human Ken doll Jaime unleashes all his rage on Eddard’s guards instead, and fills the streets with their blood. When he finishes, he stabs Lord Stark through the leg, then rides off.

Eddard awakens later in his royal chamber, with King Robert and Queen Cersei glaring at him from his bedside like the pissiest nursemaidens ever.  Always the compassionate empath,  Cersei demands Tyrien’s release, and orders Lord Stark severely punished for attacking her totally innocent Jaime in the streets. When Robert refuses to condemn his longtime friend before at least hearing his side of the story, Cersei openly questions the King’s honor, which earns her a custom slappity-slap and a time out session from Robert.  The king then tells Eddard he doesn’t want Yoko breaking up the band, and wants him reinstated as Hand.  He beseeches him to pretty please mend fences with the Lannister family, for the sake of the entire realm. He instructs him to make nice and restore peace by the time he returns from his hunting trip.  And like most bosses, he provides NO MAGIC WAND with which to do so.

Back in Winterfell, Bran has crazy dreams of a three eyed raven, then wakes up and goes for his first horsey ride on his handicapable saddle, accompanied by older brother Robb and their ward Theon Greyjoy. As the older boys debate the finer points of readying the North for war against the Lannisters in the wake of Tyrion’s capture, they suddenly realize that Bran is nowhere to be found.  After foraging for a bit, they find him being terrorized by a pack of 3 wildlings threatening to mug and kill him and steal his horsey. As anarchists who bow to no monarchy, the wildlings normally reside in the forbidden winter world north of the wall, but here in the forests, they discuss their escape INTO the kingdoms, and their journey “as far south as south can go.” After a skirmish with Robb and Theon, in which the two male wildlings are killed, the remaining female, Osha, is taken back to the castle as prisoner.

After nearly rolling out of his sky chamber during naptime, smart alecky dwarf Tyrien demands to see Lady Arryn to confess his crimes. Once in the presence of Her Looniness, the dwarf admits to a series of Cartmanish hijinx and Bart Simpsonish practical jokes, but insists he did not conspire to kill anyone. He convinces Lysa he is entitled to a Trial By Combat under the law, which pits him against John Arryn’s heir, 10 year old Robin.  But since a breast feeding fifth grader without sword training is no match for a dwarf, replacement fighters must be found.  After much deliberation, two fully grown guards who do not drink breast milk (or formula) volunteer to fight each other to the death for these two.  In the end, Tyrien’s bloke wins, and he is set free to whore it up at every brothel on the road  back to King’s Landing.

King Robert leaves the palace with Renly and the rest of the hunting party, and treks into the woods for a mannish manly man retreat.  Nervous squire Lancel Lannister is in tow, keeping a steady flow of wine going for an already soused king.  And King Robert is a surly braggart of a drunk.  He’s the obnoxious loudmouth at the table next to you at the bar, who’s basically a grunt, belch, and fart all rolled up in one bloated bag of human.  After boasting about his sexual conquests, he presses his little brother (a closeted homosexual in a secret relationship with Ser Loras of the lovely locks), to share how many women he has bedded.  An outraged Renly declares him a fool, and the two verbally spar for a sretch, until finally Renly storms off into the woods.  So there.

Back at the palace, a group  of refugees informs Lord Stark of numerous atrocities happening in the Riverlands.  They tell tales of an enormous knight pillaging entire villages. Quick thinking  Eddard immediately realizes that the Lannisters have sent The Mountain to destroy the homeland of Catelyn and Lysa’s ancestors in retaliation for capturing Tyrien.

That magic wand would be REALLY helpful right about now.

Lord Stark orders The Mountain stripped of his knighthood, his land, and his honor, and sends for him to be executed.  He also calls for Lord Tywin Lannister, father to Cersei and her brothers, to be brought down to the carpet to explain the actions of his knight, or risk being branded a traitor to the realm.  Baelish suggests tapping the brakes a bit, and consulting Robert when he drunkenly stumbles back into the palace from his mannish manly man hunting retreat, but Eddard won’t hear of it.

Cue Prince Joffrey the petulant twat wooing gullible fangirl Sansa with tales of making her his bride.  Still enamored with visions of herself as the prettiest princess to ever shoot out Lannister babies, Sansa is pitted against her family.  She refuses to leave King’s Landing with her father, and insists on marrying Justin Beiber in Camelot garb, and bringing pretty blonde babies into this hot mess of a relationship.  Her mention of Joffrey’s fair hair gives Eddard pause, and later he consults the boring book of bloodlines he had uncovered through his broad daylight investigation into Jon Arryn’s death. He notes that every generation of Baratheon heirs has had black hair…until Joffrey.  Petulant twat Joffrey is blessed with golden locks inherited from his mother…and his uncle Jaime.

!!!Resume pearl clutching!!!

Far to the east, in the Dothraki capital, the Kahleesi studies her dragon eggs intently, and decides to perform a science experiment.  According to legend, dragon eggs hatch under extreme heat, so she puts them over a fire to test her hypothesis.  When nothing happens, she removes them from the fire with her bare hands.  Her maiden rushes to grab the eggs from Daenerys’ hands to keep her from burning herself, but Daenerys’ hands remain unharmed while her maiden suffers scalding burns.  Later, the Kahleesi is summoned to a religious ceremony, wherein she nomnomnoms the raw heart of a stallion while crones chant omens around her.  When she finishes eating the heart, they declare her unborn son “the stallion who will mount the world,” a mythical warrior foretold in the legends of the Dothraki peoples.  As the tribe goes wild celebrating Daenerys and Drogo, a painfully envious Viserys pouts and sneers at the beloved royal couple.  In an act of sheer stupidity, he draws his sword and threatens to kill the unborn child unless Drogo immediately repays him with the army and crown he originally promised in exchange for Daenerys.  Drogo concedes, promising him a golden crown men will tremble to behold.  Idiotic Viserys lowers his sword, and is immediately restrained by Drogo’s guards. The Kahl throws his golden belt into a pot, and ignores Viserys’ pleas for mercy as it melts over a roaring fire.  When the metal has become molten, Drogo pours the bubbling liquid over Viserys’ head, granting him “a crown fit for a king.”  When Viserys dies instantly, the Kahleesi remarks that he could never be a true dragon, because dragons cannot be killed by fire.

Near the Riverlands, Lord Tywin Lannister meets with his son, human Ken doll Jaime, and informs him he has assembled a massive army to oppose the Starks.  He orders Jaime to lead a deadly assault on Catelynn and Lysa’s hometown, arguing that House Lannister must defend itself or go the way of the Targaryen dynasty and cease to exist.

Back in King’s Landing, Eddard drinks another tall glass of stupid and wags his finger at Cersei, calling her out for having Jon Arryn killed for uncovering the true parentage of her and Robert’s three children.  In a move of suicidal recklessness, he warns her of his intention to tell the king, and commands her to abandon the throne and leave the kingdom with her three products of incest before Robert learns the truth.  But Eddard has obviously never played a single game of chess, or he would realize the queen is the most powerful player on the board.  She responds forebodingly that when playing the game of thrones, “You win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

About this time, we also learn Lord Baelish has been carrying the torch for Lady Peg Bundy Stark all these years, calling his loyalty to Eddard into question.

Up in Winterfell, imprisoned Osha is questioned why the wildlings have ventured south of the wall.  She reveals that White Walkers have awakened after a millennia of  hibernation, and are slowly creeping their way south.  Given that wildlings are untrustworthy by nature, Winterfell remains skeptical. But up at northern wall, broody bastard Jon Snow becomes alarmed when his uncle Benjen’s horse returns from the haunted ice forests without Benjen.  A search party is soon rounded up.

The mannish manly man hunting expedition gets cut short when porkalicious King Robert gets fatally mauled by a boar in the woods.  They return to the kingdom, where an ailing Robert crawls in his deathbed, and appoints Eddard protector of the realm until Joffrey comes of age.  Rather than devastate the dying king with the truth about Cersei and their three products of adulterous inbreeding, Eddard drafts a document with tricky wording that deems him protector of the realm until Robert’s RIGHTFUL HEIR can take the throne.  Amazingly, he has Robert sign the document sans witnesses, because it’s not like the Lannisters are sneaky assholes who will contest its authenticity before decapitating him for treason or anything.  Robert also calls erasies on his decision to kill Daenerys Targaryen and her unborn child. Upon delivering the document to the council, he overhears slithery intelligence head Lord Varys hissing praise for bumbling squire Lancel Lannister,  for “always keeping the king’s wine glass full.”  When Lord Stark tells him to cancel the hit on the Kahleesi, Varys tells him no takebacks allowed.  “That bird has already flown,” he explains ominously.

In the Dothraki capital, Daenerys visits the marketplace with her handmaidens and trusted advisor Jorah.  She asks Jorah to help her convince Kahl Drogo to acquire enough ships to cross the narrow sea and reclaim her homeland.  But Jorah reminds her that the Targaryen dynasty rose to power because of their dragons, not ships or swords.  About this time, Jorah receives a secret message from Lord Varys, granting him a royal pardon for his crimes. Looking up, he sees a wine merchant aggressively selling wine to the Kahleesi, and realizes it must be an assassin.  He calls erasies on joining forces with Varys, and opts to save Daenerys’ life instead. The merchant attempts to flee, but ends up shackled.  When Drogo finds out, he vows to cross the sea and exact revenge on the kingdoms, and place his son on the iron throne of his ancestors. With the vino merchant tied to the bumper of the carriage, the army exits the city, watching him running until he can’t any longer, and he is dragged to his death. Kinda like Aunt Edna’s dog on the ill-fated trip to Wally World.

The new recruits at the northern wall are given their permanent assignments, and pouty bastard Jon Snow is livid to see he has been appointed lowly steward to the commander, instead of the more honorable ranger position. However, Samwell points out that it could lead to an opportunity to eventually take over as commander. That night, the boys take their sacred oaths to the Night Watch at a tree leading into the haunted ice forests.  When they finish reciting their vows, Jon’s direwolf returns from the woods and presents a severed arm to his horrified master, once again prompting the question, WHERE IS UNCLE BENJEN?

In King’s Landing, Renly tells Eddard he’s game to take Cersei and the inbred herd captive, but Eddard won’t bring on the drama with the king still on his deathbed.  Renly divulges he would pretty please like to be king, but Eddard bursts his bubble when he points out Renly’s brother Stannis is technically the rightful heir to the throne. He pens a letter to Stannis detailing the whole situation, and sends it via messenger to the island fortress of Dragonstone.  Baelish and Eddard then have a long strokey beard meeting, where Eddard drops the bomb about Joffrey’s real bloodline.  Baelish proposes sitting on the truth and making Joffrey their puppetking.  If he becomes insufferable, they can always divulge the truth later, and appoint Renly or Stannis if necessary.  Unwilling to perform an act of treason, Lord Stark refuses.  Baelish knows that even with Robert’s endorsement as protector of the realm, Eddard doesn’t have enough manpower to seize total control from Cersei.  Baelish knows he will likely need to bribe the City Watchmen to effect the situation.

Later on, Eddard is called to the palace by a human anal blister calling itself “King Joffrey.”  On the way in, Varys tells him that Renly has fled south of the city with Ser Loras of the silken tresses.  When they reach the iron throne, the self appointed Joffrey commands oaths of fidelity from his court. Eddard responds by presenting the document signed by Robert, naming him Protector of the Realm, and advises Camelot Justin Beiber to get his swaggy ass off the iron chair.  Surprising nobody, Cersei rips up Eddard’s super official document like it’s so much confetti, and orders him to swear allegiance to his new king.  Only then will he be allowed to return to Winterfell.  Eddard orders the City Watchmen (provided by Baelish) to drag Cersei and Camelot Beibs into custody.  Instead, they kill all Lord Stark’s men, and Baelish holds a knife to Eddards throat, slyly admitting “I told you not to trust me.”

To be continued……

 

 

 

The Game of Thrones Binge Watch Begins! Season 1 Recap, Part 1

-ItsOnLikeDonkeyKong, King’s Landing

First and foremost, I’m truly ashamed it’s taken me this long to start watching this show. Everyone has nagged me to watch it over the years, predicting an undying obsession with a fantasy world that’s one part stuffy Camelot mixed with two parts gory ancient Rome, blended with a dash of Princess Bride, garnished with witchcraft, and served on the wings of magical dragons. And they were correct. I have officially found a new addiction. 

At the beginning of the series, we learn that The Realm, which is comprised of seven kingdoms, is ruled by a pot-bellied slob of a king named Robert Baratheon. The icy northernmost wall of The Realm is guarded by an order called the Night Watchmen, who have sworn to protect the kingdom from white walkers, wildlings, and other ghouls that go bump in the night in the frozen tundra beyond the border.  And winter is coming. Winter within The Realm can last decades, and with the icy chill of death also comes a wave of terrifying beasts from over the wall. Godspeed, Night Watchmen. Put down that sandwich and keep your eyes peeled. 

Just south of the wall lay Winterfell, a keep presided over by Lord Eddard Stark, a leathery, weathered warrior with a heart of golden warmfuzzies. Which tells me he won’t last long. He’s married to Catelyn, whose resemblance to actress Katy Sagal leaves me giggling with visions of Peggy Bundy playing Lady Stark. Leopard print robes and bonbons galore!!! Anyway, they share five children together: eldest son Robb, selfish teenage daughter Sansa, feisty tomboyish tweener Arya, unfortunate castle wall climber Bran, and youngest son Rickon, who isn’t much of a presence in Season 1, so don’t burden yourself remembering him. Lord Stark also has a broody bastard son named Jon Snow, who lives with the noble family in Winterfell, much to Catelyn’s chagrin. Each child (even the bastard!) is guarded by a fearless direwolf, which is the symbol of House Stark. 

Eddard soon learns that his old war buddy King Robert, along with the snooty royal court, have travelled to Winterfell in a mighty procession of chariots carried by their own arrogance. They intend to offer Lord Stark the job of Hand of the King, which is comparable to our earthly notion of Vice President. The former Hand, an unlucky bloke named Jon Arryn, who also happens to be Catelyn’s brother-in-law, was murdered recently under very mysterious circumstances, leaving a primo job opening in the kingdom. Around this time, Catelyn receives a letter from her loopy sister via a raven, who apparently moonlights as a mail carrier for the kingdom, warning the Starks that she suspects Queen Cersei of murdering her husband. After much beard stroking, Edd realizes the job provides an excellent opportunity to keep a watchful eye on the sneaky Cersei. So he accepts the position, and House Stark holds a bountiful feast in celebration. During the banquet, Cersei, a descendant of the filthyrich Lannister family, targets Sansa as a suitable bride for her sniveling nitwit son, Prince Joffrey. Blinded by her dreams of being the Prettiest Princess, Sansa becomes a neurotic fangirl to the prince, anxiously awaiting her family’s relocation to King’s Landing. Queen Cersei’s brothers-  prettyboy Jaime, and snarky dwarf Tyrion- arrive late to the feast after visiting a local brothel, because priorities. 

Outside the banquet, poor ostracized bastard Jon Snow informs his Uncle Benjen, a Night Watchmen, that he will not accompany his family to King’s Landing. Instead, he will join Benjen protecting The Realm from horrific monsters at the edge of the known world.  Better bring some coffee. 

To the far east of the kingdom, across the narrow sea, the exiled survivors of House Targaryen plot their strategy to invade the kingdom and reclaim the throne. Having reigned The Realm for years, House Targaryen came crashing down after they killed Lyanna Stark, sister to Eddard and the one true love of Robert Baratheon.  General war ensued.  After most of the Targaryen family was slaughtered by prettboy Jaime Lannister and his ilk, ashen skeletor impersonator Viserys and his quietly terrified sister Daenerys escaped eastward with their platinum silver hair intact, and their trusted adviser Jorah, and eventually found sanctuary in the violent land of the Dothraki peoples. And stringy haired Viserys has now traded his younger sister to a grunting savage warlord named Kahl Drogo, in exchange for an army.  

At the auspiciously blood soaked wedding reception, Daenerys is presented with a magical box containing three petrified dragon eggs. House Targaryen had commanded dragons for centuries, and had used them to help rule the seven kingdoms until their alleged extinction. Now as reigning Kahleesi of the Dothraki tribe, Daenerys, Kahl Drogo, and her insufferable platinum pimpbrother Viserys lead the army- and the dragon eggs- through the vast continent to reclaim their throne from King Robert Baratheon and the Lannisters. 

Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, adventurous young Bran Stark scurries up the castle wall like a nimble, cocaine fueled spider. Upon reaching the top story, he hears the unmistakeable sounds of lovemaking coming from inside the castle.  The curious lad pops his head in the window, and spies Queen Cersei fornicating with her own prettyboy brother Jaime. 

!!!Commence pearl clutching!!!

Desperate to protect the sterling reputation of the royal family, Jaime pushes Bran out the window to fall to his death. 

Only he doesn’t die. Comatose, yes. But not dead. 

Side eye at Queen Cersei wringing her hands and announcing the royal family’s early departure from Winterfell with the new Hand. 

Later, while parked at her ailing son’s bedside, Lady Stark intercepts a knife wielding assassin hellbent on ending Bran’s life. But it’s an epic fail, because Bran’s pet direwolf launches right to the guy’s jugular and eliminates the threat. Firmly convinced the Lannisters are behind both attempts on Bran’s life, Lady Stark keeps the blade for strategic supersleuth investigating purposes. She decides to travel south towards King’s Landing, to warn Eddard and their other children about the shady Lannister family. Just like Peg Bundy would do!

Her son Bran is still in that coma, in case you were wondering. 

En route to King’s Landing, human anal blister Prince Joffrey, who may as well be Justin Beiber in Camelot garb, tries flexing his royal muscle to impress Sansa, when he commands Arya’s friend the lowly butcher’s son to battle him in a deadly duel. Yet another epic fail, because feisty Arya’s direwolf attacks the pompous blowhard, and Arya throws Joffrey’s sword into the river. The direwolf escapes into the woods, but Arya is soon dragged before King Robert to answer to Joffrey’s bullshit claim of unprovoked assault. When all is said and done, Queen Cersei puts a bandaid on Joffrey’s vajayjay, and has the butcher’s boy killed. Then she orders Eddard to kill the remaining direwolf. And Arya’s hatred for His Twerpness seethes with a fiery passion. 

Back at Winterfell, Bran finally rouses from his coma and enters a living nightmare where his legs are paralyzed, and his mother has abandoned him. He has no memory of what happened on the castle wall. 

Lonely bastard Jon Snow finally reaches the north wall, and is quite disheartened to learn the Order of Night Watchmen mainly consists of hardened criminals and other lowlife rejects sentenced to life threatening gruntwork. However, he is pronounced the least useless of the bunch, so he’s got that much going for him.  

When Lord Stark and the royal family arrive at King’s Landing, Eddard is greeted by the council, which includes slithery Lord Varys, the head of the kingdom’s intelligence network.  Also on the council is Pytre Baelish, who serves as the king’s Master of Coin (and owns of a local brothel), and also happens to be a childhood friend of Catelyn’s. In fact, Catelyn is hiding safely in his pleasure house, awaiting a covert meeting with Eddard in which she updates him on her increasing suspicions regarding the Lannisters. She presents the blade, and Baelish immediately identifies it as one he lost in a bet to smart aleck dwarf Tyrien Lannister.  Eddard vows to uncover the truth about House Lannister, and report it back to King Robert, which should work out just dandy for everyone involved. 

Across the Narrow Sea, The Kahleesi discovers she’s pregnant with Kahl Drogo’s heir. She is convinced she will bear a son who will one day sit on the iron throne of her ancestors. In the meantime, woe is Viserys, for he has grown envious of his sister’s newfound power as Kahleesi. And the nerve of her tribesmen, refusing to obey HIM as their rightful king! In a fitful tantrum of stringy silver hair, the ashen pimp attacks Daenerys, leaving her bloodied and bruised. But The Kahleesi pulls rank and fights back, warning him that the next time he hits her will be the last time he has hands. Daenerys then realizes her brother will never gain the support of the tribe, and could never successfully command the Dothraki army in war. 

On his way back south after leaving the great wall, snarky dwarf Tyrien Lannister stops in at Winterfell  to deliver sketches of a Bran-friendly horsey saddle. So moved was he by news of the boy’s crushed legs, that he took pen to paper and designed a handicapable saddle, so the boy can enjoy daily rides and still practice archery. All of this out of nothing more than sheer kindness.  That oughta throw everybody off the murder trail.

A pudgy new recruit named Samwell has joined the Night Watch to help protect the wall. What he lacks in physical prowess, streetsmarts, and hygeine, he more than makes up for in self deprecating kindness.  Lonely bastard Jon Snow befriends Samwell, and defends him from the bullies of the Order. 

In King’s Landing, Eddard continues his not so discreet inquiry into Jon Arryn’s death. He learns that the former Hand’s illness manifested fast, and progressed rapidly. Just prior to his demise, he had studied a voluminous account of the bloodlines of the seven kingdoms, and his dying words were, “The seed is strong.” Baelish then informs Eddard that Arryn’s former squire was recently knighted, and will fight in the upcoming tournament celebrating Lord Stark’s appointment as Hand. His broad daylight investigation then takes him to the local armory, where he discovers Jon Arryn took a keen interest in the smith’s apprentice, Gendry, who is one of King Robert’s numerous bastard children. 

Later on at the tournament, the recently knighted squire with the fetching title Ser Hugh of the Vale, is accidentally stabbed in the neck by King Robert’s bear of a knight, Ser Gregor. Or as he is also known, “Mountain That Rides.” Oopsydaisy! 

Resuming his journey south toward King’s Landing, Tyrien crosses paths with Catelyn Stark at a local tavern, where she boldly charges him with the attempted murder of her son, and orders her guards to take him prisoner. 

To Be Continued….