(1.3 "Lord Snow")
I'm totally joking. I don't remember anything about that guy.
The royal party has made it to King's Landing! After a tense conversation with Jaime in front of the Iron Throne, about how Jaime (and 500 other people) stood silently when Aerys the Mad King murdered Ned's father and brother but that Jaime murdering Aerys wasn't justice, it's right to work for Ned, meeting with the small council: Robert's brother Renly (Gethin Anthony), Catelyn's childhood friend and master of coin Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), and Varys the master of secrets, and Grand Maester Pyrcell. On the top of the to-do list, a tournament in honor of Ned's appointment, and event Ned really doesn't want to have when he is informed that kingdom is millions in debt and Robert can't be bothered to do anything about it. Not Ned's only problem though, as his daughter's are at each other's throats, Arya blaming Sansa for her friend's death, Sansa blaming Ned for not realizing that she has outgrown dolls. Ned discovers Arya with Needle (she doesn't rat Jon out for giving it to her) and he explains to her that even though Sansa will have certain responsibilities as Joffery's wife the Starks must stay together not fight among themselves. Ned doesn't know just how true his fears are, because he doesn't know that Cersei has made it clear to Joffery that the Starks are their enemies. It would be nice to say Ned's other kids are doing better, but not so much. Bran is awake, and asking for scary stories from Old Nan but getting some messed up life advice about freezing to death instead. Robb comes to talk to him, to ask Bran what he remembers, believing their mother that Bran couldn't have fallen, but Bran doesn't remember anything. Bran is more concerned with the fact that he will never walk again, wishing that he had died instead, a wish Robb fervently opposes. Nearer to freezing to death would be Jon, training at Castle Black on the Wall, and making no friends, as he has the most experience and is acting like an ass about it. (In his defense, he is a bit put out that he believes his father sent him off to die.) Tyrion Lannister to the rescue! Tyrion is taking the measure of the Night's Watch, discussing the state of things with Commander Mormont (and I recognize the actor but I can't think of who it is and I can't find his name and it's driving me nuts) and he is able to use his knowledge to keep Jon from getting his ass kicked by the other recruits. Tyrion's help comes at a price, the price that Jon must acknowledge that he should help his soon to be brothers become better fighters. Jon is distressed to find out that his uncle Ben is going on a mission north of the Wall, but things are stirring in the forest and wildling are fleeing south. The Night's Watch is understaffed and in trouble, but Tyrion agrees to bring the matter to his sister's attention. Too bad Cersei is a bit preoccupied with Bran being awake and all, but Jaime (whose had a rather morbid conversation with Robert and Selmy about the first man each killed) assures her they can out-fox a 10 year old, but that if the truth comes out he will fight it out with Robert (because that seems like a good plan). They should be more concerned about Catelyn, whose made it to King's Landing and after being hidden away at a brothel by Petyr, she presents the dagger used attempting to kill Bran, a dagger Petyr lost to Tyrion wagering on Jaime in a joust. Ned sends Catelyn home with both warnings to hold her temper and assurances that he will gather more evidence against the Lannisters and bring it to Robert's (who by his own admission is surrounded by Lannisters) attention. Across the sea, Dany and Viserys have a little fight, him being less than appreciative of her new authority as the Khalessi, but she spares him. She's in a giving mood, because she's pregnant. She thinks it's a boy. Her happy news prompts Ser Jorah to ride for Qohor. Tyrion is also about to ride, south for King's Landing by way of Winterfell, just after he pisses off the edge of the world (the top of the Wall) and says goodbye to a humbler and more helpful Jon, who sends Tryion with a message for Bran (I miss you and would visit if I could). Since Jon isn't there to teach Arya how to use her sword, Ned hires Syrio Forel, a Braavosi water dancer (sword fighter) to teach his eager, and quick-learner, daughter, though his pride in her aptitude is shadowed by memories of war.
You got all that?
Nope, me either.
I'm sure I missed something, I'm sure it was important. I kept getting distracted by odd thoughts running through my head.
For instance, Catelyn, really? She's worth dying over? Was it her sense of humor that made Petyr think it was a good idea to fight Brandon Stark a duel for her hand? Or maybe her quick wit? Let me guess, it was that she was going to make a wonderful mother? Sorry for your scar Petyr but the joke is on you, because you just can't see that you got the better end out of that deal. Come on, someone she used to know as a child tells her what she wants to hear and that's all she needs to burst into court with accusations against a hugely powerful family? Not a bright bulb. Not to mention that this is a woman who seems determined not to see that, except for Sansa, Ned's kids are all ridiculously awesome? I mean seriously, something has gone right in life if your kids are kind and helpful (Robb), brave and imaginative (Bran), decisive and hard-working (Arya), and just plain adorable (Rickon). She laments that she can't see her girls when she's leaving King's Landing, but she doesn't give Ned a message for them, doesn't have anything to say to them. Robb is in her place, giving Bran the comfort that he needs, reminding him that he is loved and his life is important, regardless of if he can remember how he fell. Not winning mother-of-the-year on that one. Proud, foolish and imprudent (plus a bitch to Jon), I'm just not seeing Catelyn as the prize everyone treats her as.
But, as baffling as it seems to me, Ned loves her and lucky for their kids, he actually is a good parent and a good man. As unappealing as the place might be, he sends Jon to a life where he has the opportunity to earn a place of honor, be respected by those around him, which (as much as his siblings love him) was not an option at Winterfell. He does his best to make Sansa happy; despite having little understanding of what she thinks will make her happy. He reprimands Arya when she needs it, listens to her concerns, and then provides her with the tools she needs to succeed in her chosen path. Ned’s responsibility, honesty and generosity towards his children reflect the way he treats (almost) everyone, and he sees that honor reflected back in his children. As with everything else, Robert should be taking notes! Well, maybe at least Robert should be asking Jaime the right questions…
Because really, what Aerys said when Jaime killed him (Robert’s question) is kind of unbelievably less important than WHY Jaime killed him (Ned’s question). You have this guy in front of you who extra special fancy swore to protect his king and then stabbed him in the back, and you’re not even going to demote him in the new regime, so wouldn’t you want to be absolutely with out a doubt sure that history wasn’t going to repeat itself? I would.
But that is of course the challenge inherent in Jaime’s continued existence. It’s not as if Robert had a huge choice in the matter of whether to pardon Jaime, since it wouldn’t help him to piss off a really powerful man (Tywin Lannister) but making an example out of his son, but what do you do with a man whose word you know you cannot believe? But a pardon is not forgiveness, but I would question if, even though his life was spared, whether Jaime was really pardoned. The constant humiliation of naming a man after his greatest crime (“Kingslayer”) seems an unmercifully slow death to the soul. But is that justice? Should regicide be repaid with swift mercy or prolonged correction?
Tyrion would know. I wish I could ask him.
The TV Girl