Game of Thrones, Season 1, Ep 4

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

Let’s recap in the other direction this time. I’m sure this won’t capture everything, because this episode contained a lot of back-story in conversations that sort of just washed over me with unfamiliar names and events, none of which I remember now.

Land of the Dothraki: Daenerys Targaryen is definitely starting to turn more against her brother, whose name I finally picked up as Viserys. The naming pattern makes sense, with their father being Aerys Targaryan, a.k.a. The Mad King. I still haven’t worked out the relationship to the guy who is accompanying them as a Dothraki translator. I think this guy must have sent news of Daenerys and Drogo’s wedding to King Robert (or maybe to Ned Stark), because I recall in an earlier episode that one of them received a raven carrying the news. Oh yeah, they seem to use ravens the way wizards use owls in Harry Potter – attaching notes to them. I’m pretty sure this would only work in a fantasy world – I don’t think ravens work like homing pigeons (or wizard owls, for that matter). So anyway, it feels like the translator guy may be a spy for King Robert.

The wandering caravan of Drogo and Daenerys reaches the city of the horse lords, which Viserys views with disdain. He tries to attack his sister in a fit of frustration, but she whacks him one with a lump of jewellery and threatens to have his hands removed next time he raises one against her. I think I know who’s going to win this conflict.

King’s Landing: Ned continues to get used to court politics and essentially running the kingdom while King Robert uses his time to feast and have fun with whores, while Jaime Lannister guards his door, knowing that the King is being unfaithful to Jaime’s sister the Queen. Ned also puts on a detective hat, and starts poking around trying to uncover clues to the death of the previous Hand of the King, Jon Arryn – he smells a rat, I think.

Thin-guy-with-the-moustache offers Ned some more good-sounding advice, including that Ned probably shouldn’t trust even him too much. This guy seems genuinely helpful and on Ned’s side. Which would be a perfect set-up for treachery later, but let’s see what happens. Anyway, Ned tracks down the fact that Jon Arryn was interested in a book outlining the histories and genealogies of the various noble houses of Westeros. It’s a dull read, but Ned borrows the book. Ned also finds that Jon Arryn had something to do with an apprentice armoursmith, who he visits.

Sansa is sad because she thinks Joffrey doesn’t like her. She’s right, but alas I fear she’s trapped. Arya is having a much better time of things, training her physical skills under the tutelage of her new swordmaster. She essentially tells Ned she doesn’t want to grow up to play the role of a woman. He’s not quite sure what to make of this.

The tournament in honour of Ned is held (I thought he’d cancelled it? – maybe he wasn’t allowed to cancel it?). One of the jousting knights is named as “The Mountain”, and described as a brute of a man, who once held his brother’s face in the fire. We see the scarred brother serving as a guard behind Ned at the tournament. The Mountain ends up killing his jousting opponent in a gruesome accident (or was it on purpose?). I reckon this guy will be important later on. Some sort of nasty thug.

Let’s head all the way to The Wall: A new recruit appears, named Sam. This should be easy to remember, because he’s tubby like Sam Gamgee, though he has none of Samwise’s grit and courage. He’s a self-confessed coward, only there to get away from his father. Jon Snow takes pity on him and protects him from being bullied by the other trainees, which doesn’t please the grizzled fighter who is trying to train them. He says any weakness in the squad will end up being the death of them in the job of the Night’s Watch. Jon and Sam end up taking a watch atop The Wall together.

Winterfell: The episode began with Bran having a dream in which he’s walking around, seeking out things… this is probably a prelude to him regaining his memory. Tyrion passes through Winterfell on his way south. He pays his respects to Bran, and offers him a design for a special saddle with leg harnesses that will enable Bran to ride despite his paralysed legs. It’s not clear why he’s being nice to Bran. I guess it’s possible that Jaime or Cersei stole Tyrion’s dagger and gave it to the assassin they hired to kill Bran, and Tyrion is completely innocent and ignorant of the plot and is being framed.

One of Bran’s brothers is definitely in charge here, and I think the other brother is still here in Winterfell too, though again I failed to catch either of their names. I get to see Hodor for the first time – I’ve heard a bit about him (namely that his name is Hodor, and the only thing he ever says is “Hodor”). He’s a large servant who gets the job of carrying Bran around.

Tyrion takes his leave and heads south, but happens into the same inn on the road where Cat Stark is staying on her trip in the other direction from King’s Landing. The people in the inn know Cat and are loyal to her, and when she accuses Tyrion of having plotted to kill Bran, they all draw their swords and surround him…

Yeah, okay. I’m suspecting this is a set-up, and Jaime and Cersei have actually framed their dwarf brother. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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