In watching Game of Thrones, I wonder if they considered focusing each episode on one or two character stories rather than jumping all over the place each episode, as they have been. I’m actually enjoying the format as it is now, but I’ve read the book and am therefore a bit ahead of the curve. I have to wonder how it is for people who haven’t read the book. Are you able to keep up with who everyone is?

“The King shits and the Hand wipes.”
Last week Jaime Lannister seemed to take pleasure in intimidating Jon Snow and teasing him about his decision to join the Nights Watch. He didn’t have as easy a time trying to put Ned in his place when he mocked Stark for his position at King Robert’s side. Ned bit back by inquiring about what it was like to stab Aerys Targaryen in the back. While Jaime doesn’t appear to feel any remorse for the role he played in the fall of the Targaryens and Robert’s ascent to the Iron Throne, he does seem to want to play it up as justice for the things the “Mad King” did, as opposed to betrayal toward the man he was sworn to protect. Ned makes the point that Jaime served Aerys well when it was safe to serve him.

Jaime may have been being a bit douchy in the way he treated Ned but the truth is, being Robert’s right-hand man isn’t exactly a glamorous job. While Robert is busy getting drunk and brooding about killing a guy with a hammer, Ned, along with Robert’s brother Renley, are set to the task of organizing a tournament. This is where Ned finds out that the King is six million dollars in debt. Great.

On the Wall
Jon Snow earned himself the nickname “Lord Snow,” which is used mockingly. As though it weren’t rough enough being a bastard, he’s now doing time he volunteered for among people who don’t appreciate being showed up by a man from a prominent family such as the Starks.

Tyrion wisely intervenes just as a group of other Night Watchers-in-training threaten Jon’s life. He explains to Jon that the people he’s walloping in the training yard haven’t had the same advantages as him and maybe he should consider an attitude adjustment. Jon heeds Tyrion’s advice and later we see him offering helpful suggestions to the other trainees rather than simply making them look foolish when they try to attack him.

Meanwhile, Tyrion continues to enjoy what’s left of his vacation on the Wall. He makes some comments about not believing in the White Walkers. While Tyrion’s tone wasn’t quite as mocking as Jaime’s was last episode when he talked to Jon about the Wall, Benjen wasn’t willing to stand by while the man made light of their business. He made sure to point out that half of the trainees will die north of the wall. Some other men later encouraged Tyrion to speak with his sister about upping the number of people watching the wall. Winter really is coming and if these men are right, there aren’t nearly enough people standing guard and protecting the South against whatever horrors may be headed in their direction.

Jon’s Uncle Benjen is setting off on a mission north of the wall. Jon wanted to go with him but he has more training to do. Incidentally, Benjen told Jon they’d speak when he returned. This is the second person to say something along those lines before embarking on a dangerous mission.

Catelyn’s Investigation
Catelyn is on a mission to find out who was involved in the attack on Bran’s life. She’s brought to a brothel where she met up with her friend Petyr (aka “Littlefinger”) and Varys. She showed them the knife used in the second attempt on Bran’s life and Littlefinger informed her that it was his knife but that he lost it to Tyrion. This at confirms Catelyn’s suspicions that the Lannisters are involved in the murder attempt. Unfortunately for Tyrion, the knife is pointing straight at him. If he knew that, it seems likely that he’d forgo a rest on a featherbed at Winterfell and take the long way south instead.

Lannisters
The Lannisters continued to show their true colors tonight. Cersei attempted to mend her son’s pride by declaring him a courageous warrior for having survived the attack by Arya’s direwolf. Joffrey was barely convinced by the way his mother tried to repaint his place in the whole, embarrassing affair, which involved getting beat on by a girl (Go Arya!). In the end, Cersei offered her son support, telling him he can “fuck painted whores” if that’s what he wants. Noble virgins are also an option. The things a mother will say to please her son, right?

Cersei’s comment to Joffrey, “Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy,” somewhat mirrors the sentiment Jaime made to his sister later about them being the only ones left in the world. These people really do love themselves, don't they?

Starks
Bran’s awake, as we saw in the final moment of last week’s episode. Unfortunately, he has no memory of what happened. He’s now bedridden and forced to listen to Old Nan tell scary stories. Poor kid. He later told Robb he’d rather be dead than be a cripple.

Sansa’s moody because of what happened with Joffrey and the fact that her direwolf Lady was killed in place of Arya’s wolf Nymeria. Ned tried to make amends by giving Sansa a doll. It was a feeble attempt at an apology gift as she’s too old for dolls and let’s face it, it’s nowhere near enough to replace the pet he killed.

Things are looking up for Arya, who was also sad until Ned found her with her sword Needle and set her up with Syrio, a “dancing master” who will teach her how to fight with a sword. I appreciate Ned’s willingness to see his children for who they are. Sure, the doll for Sansa was a failed attempt but he tried. Meanwhile, not only is he willing to accept Arya in all of her tomboy glory but he’s helping her pursue her interest in sword fighting by finding her a teacher.

Meanwhile, Out East…
At the very least, we can end this recap with some good news. Daenerys is pregnant! Dany found out about her condition after she underwent a Dothrakian pregnancy test (her handmaiden squeezed her boob and asked her when the last time she bled was.) Dany’s newfound confidence in the bedroom seems to have shifted the balance in her relationship with Drogo. Not only do they now cuddle but there’s also actual kissing! It’s evident that they’re in a better place, romantically and that’s only likely to grow now that she’s having his baby. She’s also learning the language, which helps and she seems certain that her child is a boy.

In other Targaryan news, things aren’t going nearly as well for Viserys. While Dany begins to embrace her role as Khaleesi, Viserys is throwing king-sized temper tantrums in an attempt to wield power no one but he seems to think he has. After an outburst at his sister, he was made to walk like a slave rather than ride on a horse with the rest of the travelers.

I think that about covers everything. If you haven’t read the books, are you finding the show easy to follow so far or there are a few too many characters to keep up with? And if you have read the book, how do you feel about the adaptation so far? Is it exactly how you pictured it?

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