Shauna’s take on episode 3:
Lord Snow is the third episode of season 1 and we find many of the main characters settling in or attempting to settle into their new roles. Ned and his daughters, Sansa and Arya, have made it to King’s Landing and at once, is immediately called to a meeting of the Small Council, King Robert’s advisory board. He is reacquainted with Maester Pycelle, who gives him the Hand of the King’s pin, Lord Petyr Baelish, Lord Varys, and Renly Baratheon.
They start by discussing plans to hold a tournament in honor of Ned. He asks how much this will cost and is flabbergasted to find that the crown is 3 million in debt to the Lannisters, 6 million in general. Ned does not want to have the tournament, but Baelish says otherwise.
Cersei is tending to Joffrey’s wounds. He complains that the wound is ugly, Cersei reminds him that kings have scars. As he continues to recount how he screamed when he was bitten and that the Stark girls saw, Cersei is crafting a new story for him- he fought off a dire wolf, he is a warrior. He slew the beast and spared Arya because of the love his father has for her father. The cult of personality begins..
Sansa and Arya are at odds again. Arya stabs the table, saying that she’s preparing for Joffrey. She doesn’t want to be a lady, she wants to learn how to use a sword.
Catelyn and Ser Rodrick Cassel arrive in King’s Landing and is immediately whisked off to a brothel to meet Petyr. She is surprised that Petyr knows that she was coming. He says Varys told him, he has little birds “even in the North”. The two of them examine the assassin’s dagger. Varys does not know the dagger’s owner, but Baelish does. It’s his; lost in a bet to Tyrion Lannister at Joffrey’s last name day tourney.
At Castle Black, Jon is proving himself to be the best swordsman in the entire lot. Ser Alister Thorne mockingly calls Jon “Lord Snow”, reminding the group of low lives that he is highborn and spent his entire life looking down on men like them. Ser Mormont receives news from Winterfell that Bran is awake.
Maester Pycelle delivers news from Winterfell to Ned that Bran is awake. He also receives news, this time from Baelish, that Catelyn is in King’s Landing. They meet in secret in Baelish’s whorehouse to discuss Catelyn’s findings.
Jon’s not having an easy time at the Wall- “Everyone knows what this place was and no one told me”- If it wasn’t clear that his family didn’t care for him, it’s glaringly clear now.
Tyrion reminds him that he’s not so different from these boys and shouldn’t feel such contempt and have such an ego.
Cersei and Jaime discuss the possible ramifications of Bran waking up. Jaime says that they can outfox a 10-year-old. Cersei is still worried. Jaime says he’ll go to war with everyone if necessary until the two of them are the only ones left.
Still on their way to Vaes Dothrak, Jorah gives another Dothraki history lesson to Dany about their acquisition and use of slaves. As she surveys the land in which she finds herself, Viserys comes upon her in a rage, wielding a sword. She has stopped the khalassar and he is furious because he does not take orders from savages or her. Quickly he is roped up by Rakharo, who asks Dany if she wants him dead. She says no and he is released. Viserys commands Jorah to kill “these Dothraki dogs,” he doesn’t and ignores his anger. Jorah has clearly chosen a side.
Dany is pregnant. Jorah, somewhat alarmed by this news, leaves the horde to go to Qohor ( I wonder why…)
Arya gets her wish- a sword master, Syrio Forel from Braavos- to teach her how to use Needle. Ned looks on her training, watching her and she goes blow to blow with Syrio. As Syrio “stabs” her, he hears the cacophony of clanking swords and worry washes over his face.
Shauna: I have always been amazed at the level of detail that HBO puts into every aspect of this show, from the costumes to the armor, the swords and especially the grand history of Westeros.
An encounter between Ned and Jaime in the throne room offers an opportunity to explore the history that we, as viewers, do not see in this current timeline.
Jaime: “It must be strange for you, coming into this room. I was standing right here when it happened. He was very brave, your brother. And your father too. They didn’t deserve to die like that. No one deserves to die like that.”
Jaime is referring to, of course, the story of the kidnapping of Lyanna Stark by Rhaegar Targaryen that began Robert’s Rebellion. In the animated clip (see below), viewers learn that Brandon Stark, Lyanna and Ned’s brother, is the first to ride to King’s Landing to demand the release of his sister and call for the death of the prince. Brandon is kept prisoner by the King, forcing Rickard Stark, their father, to go to King’s Landing to ask for the release of his son.
What happens next, well..
This scene also illuminates the nature of Ned Stark- doing what is right because it is right. He is disgusted by Jaime’s complacent role in witnessing such an act of brutality, and cannot stomach the fact that no one did anything to stop the King. His lack of understanding that anyone who offered help to his father and brother in that moment would have caused an even worse outcome is the foreshadowing of things to come for him. Jaime understood that, in that moment, two dead men were better than 500 dead men. It’s the great debate of justice versus morality- justice under what circumstances is moral? and do the morally right able to serve justice? Discuss.
Earl: I like the scene between Joffrey and Cersei when Joffrey presents how he would rule. Joffrey suggests a common army and taxing the people. Cersei suggests how that isn’t possible and after some discussion about the incident with Area from the previous episode she says something to the effect of the truth is what you make it.
I like this scene because it’s so apparent that when it comes to ruling that many involved live by that line of thought. The people will believe the version of events that I put out there.
Theme of the episode:
Earl: In my opinion, Lord Snow is all about disappointment. Jon is disappointed that the Watch is not what he imagined. It was built up for him as a place where a man like him, with no real place in the world, can go somewhere and make his own name. I don’t think he expected it to be a place filled with undesirables and to be in full disregard.
I think Ned finds a similar disappointment in the capital. He finds that his friend, King Robert, has grown fat, lazy, and disinterested. His kingdom is in the hands of the Lannisters and yes men who answer to his wills even if it means that the Kingdoms are in debt.
The Robert Baratheon of Robert’s Rebellion is long gone and Ned is slowly coming to grips with that.
I’ll also argue that Viserys is also disappointed. The Dothraki have no intention of being the army he wanted and they love Daenerys. For the first time, he finds himself in her shadow and he hates it.
Shauna: I think one of the major themes of this episode is things that are owed to you versus things you earn.
Joffrey and Cersei:
“One day you’ll sit on the Iron Throne and the truth will be what you make it”
We see Cersei for the first time offering counsel to her son about life and ruling the Seven Kingdoms. We see, quite plainly, Joffrey’s petulant nature, which is only compounded by his lack of the meaning of loyalty- you can’t force someone to be loyal to you. On the one hand, Cersei tells her son he can have anything he wants, i.e. power, based solely on the fact that he is her son and a Lannister, but on the other, reminds him that a good king knows when to save his strength and when to destroy his enemies.” Joffrey isn’t going to earn anyone’s loyalty or respect, he’s going to demand it because of who he is. We’ll see how that turns out.
Viserys/Daenerys and the Dothraki horde:
Poor Viserys still thinks that he is calling the shots here, still thinks he can have control over the khalassar, but soon realizes, as he has a rope tightening around his neck, that it is his sister who the Dothraki listen to. As he commands Jorah to “kill these Dothraki dogs”, he is ignored, like a child throwing a tantrum as he and the rest of the horde look to Danaerys for instructions.
Benjen and Jon:
Jon is pissed. No one thought to tell him, with the exception of Tyrion, that the Wall is a terrible place, populated by the worst people that can be scrounged together from the Seven Kingdoms. He expects that since he is the best fighter that he will be a Ranger, but Benjen is there to remind him that it doesn’t work that way at the Wall, “you’re better than no one. Here a man gets what he earns when he earns it”.
Characters We Meet:
Lord Petyr Baelish aka “Littlefinger”: sigil is a mockingbird. Master of Coin to King Robert. Spent his childhood at Riverrun with the Tullys. There, he fell in love with Catelyn Stark, and challenged her suitor, Brandon Stark, to a duel. Brandon left him with his life and a mark to remind him not to covet things that never belonged to him. Owns the most profitable whorehouse in King’s Landing. He is a major player in the events to come.
Lord Varys is also on the Small Council and he is the Master of Secrets. Varys has one job and that is to know all. His motives are a bit unclear at this stage of the game.
Lord Renly is Robert’s youngest brother and he is nothing like Robert. He’s soft and noble in comparison to his rough older brother. Renly is not on board with how Robert is ruling and that is something to keep in mind for later.
Grand Maester Pycelle is the old Maester for the family. He’s up there in age and loyal to the Lannisters.
Old Nan is the nanny at Winterfell. She has been in service for a long time and she is ancient and wide. She tells Bran the story of the White Walkers.
Jeor Mormont is the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and the father of Jorah Mormont. Jeor leads this ragtag bunch in charge of defending the wall.
Aemon Targaryen is the Maester at the Wall and he is the man who could have been King. He turned down the throne in favor of brother Aegon.
Pyp and Grenn are two new recruits to the Night’s Watch. Jon will bloody them up but he will learn from them.
Valar Morghulis, Valar Doharis.
S & E