EPISODE 3 – LORD SNOW. The Lord Snow in title of episode 3 is none other than John Snow, the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark. As this episode opens he is many miles north taking his position at the wall as his father rides into King’s Landing with his party of men. Almost at once they are greeted by the King’s steward who informs him that Grand Maester Pycelle has convened a meeting of the small council and Lord Stark’s presense is requested. Stark is weary after his journey South but he instructs his own steward to get his daughters settled while he tends to business. As he enters the Red Keep we get to see the Iron Throne for the first time. The Seat of Kings contructed many years ago by Aegon Targeryen, the first King of the Seven Kingdoms, built from the swords surrendered by his defeated enemies. Needless to say it is not a comfortable seat – but Aegon maintained that a King should never sit comfortably on his throne.
Jaime Lannister is waiting on the steps beneath the throne as Eddard enters. The two of them have another simmering face off, continuing on from their encounter in Winterfell – they don’t like each other and the courtesies they extend one another a barbed to say the least. Lannister appraises Stark for moment before telling him he is standing in the very spot where Stark’s Father and Brother were slaughtered by the mad King Aerys, watched by Jaime himself who was powerless to do anything. But later when Lannister killed the very same mad king, he said it felt like Justice for Starks Father and Brother. Ned is unimpressed with Lannisters claim that he was avenging Starks father when he stabbed the mad king in the back. “You served the King Well” he says “When serving was safe” then walks out of the great hall to his meeting with the council.
The Council consists of Grand Maester Pycelle, Lord Varys the Eunoch, Lord Baelish friend of Catelyn Stark, and Lord Renly the Kings Brother. Pycelle hands other the Pin which is the badge of office for the hand and quickly the meeting begins. The first item on the agenda is the Kings desire to stage a Tourney to celebrate the appointment of Ned as the Kings hand. Quickly however it becomes apparent that the such an extravagence is an event that the kingdom can scarcely afford. The crown is 6 million in debt, more than half of that to the Lannisters. Stark is aghast; how could John Arryn have let the King bankrupt the Kingdom? Robert does not believe in ‘counting coppers’.
Prince Joffrey incurred the wrath of Arya Stark’s direwolf in the last episode and now his wounds are being tended to by his mother in their room. Joffrey at least has the grace to admit to his mother that he was no warrior who fought off the wolf – it bit him and all he did was scream, witnessed by the two Stark girls much to his shame. Cersei tells him that the truth is what he makes it – tell people that he, Prince Joffrey, killed the beast and that he only spared the girl because she is the daughter of the Kings hand and that will quickly become the truth of it as singers spread the words in every tavern in the land. Cersei is grooming him to be King.
Arya and Sansa are seated for breakfast. Ayra is stabbing a knife repeatedly into the table, frustrated she says she is practising for when she can stab it into Prince Joffrey. Septa Mordane is aghast but Ayra speaks the truth as she sees it. Joffrey is liar and a coward, who killed her friend the butcher’s boy. This is too much and Arya is sent to her room. Later Ned goes to talk to her and finds her with the sword Jon gave to her before he left for the wall. Thinking she means to skewer her sister Sansa with it he tells her that Sansa had no choice but to lie for the prince, she would have only invited trouble if she had done anything else. Arya concedes that she doesn’t really hate her sister even though she cannot understand her actions. Her father lets her keep the sword, which she has christened needle, and as he leaves he tells her if you want to own a sword you better learn how to use it.
Back in Winterfell Brandon Stark is lying in bed. He is paralysed from the waist down and he has no memory of being pushed from the the broken tower by Jaime Lannister after he caught him fucking the kings wife, his own twin sister. Robb Stark comes to see his little brother. Bran is deeply sad and wishes he had died rather than live the rest of his life as a cripple. Meanwhile his mother arrives in Kings Landing with a mission to find out who is the owner of the knife sent to finish off her son. Not expecting to be recognised she is surprised to be summoned by some guardsmen, who clearly do know who she is as soon as she arrives. Lord Baelish, Catelyn’s childhood friend had learned of her arrival from the eunoch Lord Varys, the spider, a man who is in the business of knowing things, and he thought it prudent that she come see him first. Unfortunatley he decided to bring her to meet him in brothel and Lady Catelyn Stark is not impressed at all. Varys asks to see the dagger and immediatley Lord Baelish recognises it as his own. Or at least it was before he lost it in a bet to Tyrion Lannister.
Tyrion of course is far away from Kings Landing, sating his curiosity at the Wall, talking with Commander Mormont (father of Ser Jorah Mormont, the Sworn Sword of Viserys Targaryen), and watching as John Snow trains with the other new recruits of the Night’s Watch. Its evident to all that Jon benefits from begin trained by Winterfell’s master at arms Ser Rodrik Cassell and he easily defeats the other boys. As Tyrion watches, Commander Mormont informs him that a Raven has arrived from Winterfell with news about Jon’s little brother Bran – Tyrion seems unperturbed at the notion of the boy waking up, which is surely strange behaviour for a man who wanted him dead.
In Kings Landing Ned Stark receives the same message handed to him by Maester Pycelle. As he reads it Lord Baelish asks if it is good news, suggesting he might like to share it with his wife. Ned is unimpressed, Catelyn is in Winterfell, or so he thinks. Smirking Lord Baelish tells him otherwise and takes Ned to the brothel where she is hidden. Taking offence and thinking that Baelish is mocking him somehow, Ned rounds on him and threatens to choke the life of him. Catelyn’s head pops over a parapet and tells him that Baelish is not lying.
Ned brings the news that Bran has awoke to Catelyn. She in turn tells Ned about the attempt on Brans life as he lay in his bed. Cersei is panicking as she hears the news, presumably from the Eunoch, Varys. But her brother Jaime tells her to remain calm. Catelyn resolves to head North to be with her son; leaving behind Ned as Kings Hand to uncover the truth. They might have the dagger but they have no real proof that it belongs to Tyrion. As Baelish says, Tyrion could just as easily claim it had been stolen from him – and the mere suggestion that the Lannisters were involved in the attempt of Brans life would be treason. So poignantly Catelyn and Ned embrace and wave each other goodbye as Lady Stark heads back North.
Daenerys Targeryen still has much to learn about the life of the Dothraki, and Jorah Mormont is keen to help her fill in the blanks. She is disturbed by the way the Dothraki treat their slaves and tells Ser Jorah to command the marching horde to stop. Dany dismounts and wanders into the long grass, seeking a moments peace, but her brother is incensed that she deigns to try to command him. He approaches her on horseback and dismounts grabs her throat and trys to put Daenerys in her place. He is the rightful lord of the seven kingdoms he does not take orders from a woman or her savages. Quickly the Dothraki Bloodriders are on him, a whip lashes around his neck and he is hauled to the floor. Dany commands them not to hurt him and he is made to walk behind his horse – to the Dothraki a man who does not ride is no man at all.
Jon Snow climbs to the top of the wall to get his first look at the icy wilderness beyond. His uncle Benjen is with him and tells him he is off to investigate reports of white walkers. Jon wants to go with him but his uncle tells him is not ready – one day perhaps, when he has earned the right.
As Tyrion drinks beer and jokes with Yoren, sworn brother of the nights watch whose job it is to roam the 7 kingdoms recuiting new men into the service, Benjen enters and tells him that the Nights Watch needs to be taken more seriously and he hopes that when Tyrion returns to Kings Landing he will pass on the message to the King. They need more men and more resources. The watch is not what it once was – consisting mostly of boys, thieves, rapers and bastards.
Back with Daenerys and she learns that she is pregnant – a gift from the Great Stallion her beloved Khal Drogo. When Ser Jorah finds out he seems vexed. He needs to ride to the nearby city of Qohor even though there horde are heading for Vaes Dothrak, dont worry I’ll catch up with you Jorah tells Rakharo, Daenerys personal bodyguard.
Before Tyrion gives up on the Wall and head south he talks with Maester Aemon, a blind old man, about Westeros winters and white walkers. He begs Tyrion to seek help from his sister; the watch is barely a 1000 men now incapable of defending the 7 kingdoms from the terrors that lurk beyond the wall. He says goodbye to Jon at the top of the wall, the pair of them forming a grudging respect for one another. Jon asks him to look in on Bran on his way south. Tyrion agrees.
At Kings Landing Ned has arranged for his daughter to have fencing lesson from the finest swordsman in the 7 kingdoms Syrio Forel.
- Margaret John who played Old Nan, the old woman who tells stories to Bran as he lies in bed, died on 2 February 2011 aged 84, this was her last role on television.
- Old Nan claims that her favourite story is the one of Duncan the Tall. Duncan appears in a series of Novellas written by George RR Martin which takes place 100 years before the Game of Thrones is played.
- This episode achieved around 510,000 viewers when it was aired on in the UK