I will try not to get carried away with the detailing the backstory as I did with the last post and will stick to the read more break to avoid possible spoilers for people who haven’t watched (for what ever stupid reasons) or read the books (no excuse can work here.)
This is the second episode, I think I was just finished with reading A Clash of Kings before this episode, and I was impressed with how they streamlined the A Game of Thrones with just these two episodes.
I took satisfaction in Tyrion slapping Joffrey knowing it was completely deserved.
I also enjoyed that Jaime eats with his children, despite the kid’s having no idea that he is their father. I also noted the irony of Jaime would rather a clean death instead of facing some sort of disability.
I remember trying to piece together the mystery of who set the assassin after Bran, thinking the scene with Cersei and Catelyn cemented the fact it was Cersei. Little did I know how wrong I was.
The scene with Jaime and Jon was excellent, Jaime know’s what he’s given up to swear an oath and join the Kingsguard for life and him mocking Jon Snow for making the decision to join the Night’s Watch. It shows the contempt and lack of respect the South has for the Watch and the Wall. What do they know of the Wall or the wolfswood or the barrows of the First Men? Even their gods are wrong. Sorry got carried away there. The scene also shows that Jaime goes out his way to get Jon to realize the vows are for life.
The look that Jon and the blacksmith Mikken share was priceless, that know perfectly well the function and honor for those that serve in the Watch by choice.
The gift of “Needle” to Arya is hugely significant to her identity later in the series. Especially, when “No one” hides it from the Kindly Old Man. It’s like she conceals her real identity and will reclaim it when the time is right.
Jon’s goodbye to Bran and the contempt for Jon from Catelyn is very well done. It establishes how much Jon cares for this half-siblings. And it also shows Catelyn’s contempt for Jon because he looks so much Ned when her own boy’s look nothing like him. Only Jon and Arya have the Stark look while the other resemble Tully’s. Robb’s farewell to Jon and his return of it is telling. Jon say’s good bye to both Bran and Arya, meaning he think’s he will see them again, yet its farewell to Robb, meaning he and Snow thinks they well never each see each other again. That embrace and look he gives Robb too, it’s like he subconsciously knows, such a well done scene.
Ned and Catelyn establish how old Jon Snow is and when he was born.
Seventeen years ago, You rode off with Robert Baratheon. You came back a year later with another woman’s son.
The choice of words there are significant to me because she doesn’t explicitly say you came back your bastard son. It is 100% conclusive proof for R+L=J? No, of course not but it is something to consider. Ned and Jon’s departure is also very telling to me, Ned tell’s him out right that he is a Stark and that while he does not have his name that he has his blood.
The next time we see each other, we will talk about your mother. hmmm. I promise.
Sean Bean’s delivery of those lines, like Ned is choking or trying to swallow back the emotions coming up. And that he says “I promise” right after that. A nice nod to the “Promise me, Ned” that Lyanna makes Ned swear to before she dies.
The Scene with Robert and Ned about Jon’s mother, right after that scene with Jon. More back story on Lyanna as well.
I like that Robert is paranoid about a possible war and being blind to the other possible threats to him that are much closer to home. It’s a nice twist that when Cersei eventually rules she becomes paranoid about a usurper and makes her blind to everything going on around her.
Dat uncomfortable sex scene with Drogo and Dany.
The murder attempt on Bran is something that doesn’t get answered until “A Storm of Swords.” I remember internal fuck yeah moment when Summer kills the sellsword. Catelyn’s realization of the importance of the Stark Direworlves is established here too.
Dat dragon foreshadowing, It is known.
CSI: Winterfell, special investigator Catelyn Stark, reporting in. Such a long time before anyone gets any answers about what really happened.
Sansa and the Hound. groundwork for all the happens here. Even here at the beginning he is protecting her despite her being afraid of him.
The big reveal of Joffrey’s real nature and how the real Stark and Lannister conflict really starts. All because of Joff being a pyshco. You let that little girl disarm you? He takes the easy excuse to hide his dishonor and pays for it by being embarrassed by his “father.”
Sansa being manipulated into betraying, for lack of a better word, the Stark family by the Queen starts here. Sansa pays for her omission with the life of her “Lady.”
I was a little disappointed with the show not showing Bran’s dreams here, but it is something they stick to throughout the series with the omission of Ned’s fevered dream of the Tower of Joy, Dany in the House of the Undying, Jaime’s dreams from sleeping on the stump of a wierwood.
So much foreshadowing here in this episode: Jaime’s statement about being disabled, Arya’s Needle, Farewell instead of Goodbye for Robb, and the ownership of the Valyrian steel knife the killer used.