I wrote these rewatches on the old site a few years ago, and now I’m posting them here. These recaps naturally contain spoilers.
Episode title: Lord Snow
Director: Brian Kirk
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Summary: Dany asserts her authority as Khalessi, but Viserys becomes angry and assaults Dany when he feels that she is giving him commands. Danys’s bloodrider Rakharo chokes him with a whip and he is forced to walk back to camp. Viserys orders Jorah to kill Rakharo, but Jorah refuses. Irri notices that Daenerys is pregnant, and Jorah mysteriously departs for Qohor for supplies.
Old Nan tells Bran a tale of a long-ago endless winter, and Robb tells him that he’ll never walk again. Bran is unable to remember a thing about his fall.
Ned arrives at King’s Landing and is immediately summoned to a meeting of the king’s Small Council, encountering Jaime Lannister on the way. The Small Council is the king’s brother, Lord Renly, the eunuch Lord Varys, Grand Maester Pycelle, and the Master of Coin, Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Renly announces that Robert plans to hold a great Tourney in honor of Ned’s appointment as Hand of the king. Ned learns that the crown is heavily indebted, especially with the queen’s father Lord Tywin Lannister.
Cersei treats Joffrey’s wound, and it’s already clear that he’s going to be a little shit. Catelyn has arrived in King’s Landing and is taken to a brothel owned by Littlefinger to keep her safe. Varys is also there. Littlefinger admits that the dagger used by the assassin was once his own. He claims that he lost it in a bet with Tyrion, betting on Jaime in another Tourney. Ned reunites with his wife and Littlefinger agrees to help them find Bran’s assailant.
Ned hires a Braavosi “water dancer,” Syrio Forel, to teach her the art of swordsmanship.
Jon trains under Ser Alliser Thorne, who calls him, “Lord Snow” mocking him. Tyrion Lannister informs Jon that he was trained by a master-at-arms, while the others are all orphan boys or criminals. Jon decides to teach his fellow recruits proper sword training. Tyrion is asked by Lord Commander Mormont (Jorah’s father) and the blind Maester Aemon to send more men to the wall. Jon asks to join Benjen on a ranging mission, but is refused.
My take: I think this is the first time we see the Iron Throne and the main hall of the Red Keep. Also, can we give a shout out to Julian Glover? If there is a sci-fi or fantasy show or movie that you’re a fan of, then Glover was probably in it. I also like the scene between Robert, Selmy, and Jamie sharing war stories. One thing I noticed, both Ned and Benjen tell Jon that they will talk the next time they see them, and both men never have that conversation. Also Jorah discusses the advantages of plate armor versus a curved blade, which will be demonstrated in the season finale. I also liked how the sounds of the wooden practice swords turn into metal as Ned watches.
Changes from the books: In the books, Lord Commander Barristan Selmy of the Kingsguard is present at the Small Council meeting, but he is absent in this episode. This is so that Selmy doesn’t know that Jorah is the spy when they meet later. In the books it is the blacksmith Donal Noye who chastises Jon, not Tyrion
Nudity: Topless prostitutes appear briefly at Littlefinger’s brothel. Dany’s behind and side-boob while laying in bed with Drogo
Locations on the Map: Kings Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, Vaes Dothrak
Death count: None. Seriously.
Quotes: “Um, what’s the line? The King shits and the Hand wipes.”- Jamie
Episode title: Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things
Director: Brian Kirk
Written by: Bryan Cogman
Summary: Bran has a vision of a three eyed raven, and Hodor is introduced as Bran’s mode of transportation.
Ned looks into the death of the previous Hand, Jon Arryn. From Grand Maester Pycelle, he learns that Jon Arryn’s last words were “the seed is strong”, and that he was reading a book titled “The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms.” He visits a blacksmith’s apprentice named Gendry that Jon had visited in his last days and figures out that he is the king’s bastard son.
He has Jory question Jon’s former squire, now Ser Hugh of the Vale, but Ser Hugh is killed while jousting at the tourney with Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
The Dothraki horde arrives at the city of Vaes Dothrak. Viserys becomes angry and strikes Dany for summoning him, but she stands up to him and threatens him that the next time he raises a hand against her will be the last time he has hands.
Samwell Tarly arrives at the wall and becomes the new target of Ser Alliser Thorne. He was sent to the Wall by his father who considered him unworthy. Jon Snow takes him under his wing.
Tyrion Lannister stops at Winterfell on his way to King’s Landing with Yoren, the Night Watch’ recruiter. He gives Bran the blueprints to a unique saddle that will allow him to ride again despite the cold reception from Robb. He encounters Theon Greyjoy, who is a ward of House Stark after his father staged a rebellion. Later, he stops by the Inn at the Crossroads, meeting Lady Catelyn Stark who requests the help of her father’s bannermen present to seize him.
My take: There are a lot of people telling stories and once again Jorah is Captain Exposition, but Septa Mordane and Sansa do a smashing job of retelling the story of the Mad King killing Ned’s father, and Viserys ruminating about Dragons while being rode cowgirl. Not to be outdone, Littlefinger tells the story of the Clegane brothers, as well as explaining his own nickname, also and Jory and Jamie reminisce about the Siege of Pike.
Changes from the books: The bath scene with Viserys and Dorreh was invented for the series. In the book, the Hound tells Sansa his story, not Littlefinger. Ghost is mute in the book.
Nudity: The aforementioned bath scene
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, Vaes Dothrak
Death count: Ser Hugh of the Vale killed rather gruesomely in a joust by the Mountain
Quotes: “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards and broken things.”- Tyrion
Bran: I’m not a cripple.
Tyrion: Then I’m not a dwarf. My father will be rejoiced to hear it.
“Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse.” -Littlefinger
“I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki. I am the wife of the great Kahl and I carry his son inside me. The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.” -Dany