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TV Open Thread: Game of Thrones – “Lord Snow”

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In the latest episode of Game of Thrones, “Lord Snow,” Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and his family finally arrived at King’s Landing. Ned headed straight to the throne room, a beautiful space with vine-covered columns, only to find Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), alone and looking way too comfortable. After a tense exchange Ned left and met with the King’s council, the self-proclaimed “lords of small matters.” They informed him that the crown is 6 million in debt — and Ned was not pleased to hear it. “There will be no [future] plans until I speak to Robert.” But where is the King? Lounging and drinking.

The Queen (Lena Headey) and Prince Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), nasty as ever, talked about the Starks and his future kingship. His mother was full of cautionary advice, and told her headstrong son that a good king knows when to crush his enemies. Joffrey immediately jumped on her words, “You agree that the Starks are our enemies?” “Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy.” 

Ned’s wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) arrived in King’s Landing soon after, where she was met by old friend and admirer, and a member of the king’s council Petyr (Aidan Gillen), who identified the knife used in the assassination attempt on Bran and Catelyn as belonging to Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). Hmmm …

Everyone receives messages that young Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) is awake, but it is good news/very bad news. He is paralyzed, unlikely to walk again. Catelyn tells Ned what she has learned about the knife and Ned realizes that he has to tread even more lightly in future as he tries to investigate the Lannisters.

At the Wall Jon Snow (Kit Harington) immediately has to fight to prove that he can stand up to the other new recruits. They don’t just taunt him about his bastard status, jeering at “Lord Snow” but also attack him and threaten him physically. Luckily Tyrion manages to bail him out in one of the more dangerous situations. Jon locates his uncle, a First Ranger, just as he is leaving to patrol the area, “There have been disturbing reports.” Jon wants to go with him, but is told hasn’t earned that privelege yet. It’s like the first day of school and he already hates it. And his maybe friend, Tyrion, is about to leave the Wall, too.

In the land of the Dothraki, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is getting more comfortable with the Dothraki and in her marriage. Her brother, about as personable as the odious Joffrey, threatens her and is stopped and humiliated for his actions by one of her guards. She makes sure he isn’t harmed, but it is clear that the balance of power between them has shifted. Daenerys also has some exciting news to share with husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) — she is pregnant.

Back in King’s landing, Arya (Maisie Williams) is still pissed about Joffrey’s lies and causing the deaths of her sister’s pet direwolf and the innocent baker’s son. Ned sees her for the first time with her sword, Needle. “Do you know the first thing about sword fighting?” Arya, plucky as always, responds, “Stick ’em with the pointy end.” They have a very nice father/daughter moment. Ned trusts her intelligence and doesn’t speak down to her. “You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else, but now winter is coming.”

Ned puts his words into action, as Arya soon meets her “dancing master” (Miltos Yerolemou) who begins to train her in swordplay. Ned sneaks in to spy on their first lesson. As he watches her train, in a wonderfully choreographed sequence, his fatherly pride, mixed with his concern that these new skills will undoubtedly prove necessary, can be clearly seen in his face. As everyone has been saying, winter is coming …

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