Game of Thrones Refresher Course: Episode Recap For Season 1

1          “Winter Is Coming”                                                            April 17, 2011

Robert Baratheon (King of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros) and his Queen, Cersei Lannister, travel north to make his old friend Eddard “Ned” Stark – Lord of the frozen land of Winterfell – an offer he cannot refuse. Across the narrow sea in Essos, the exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen forges a new alliance to regain the Iron Throne; he will trade his sister Daenerys in marriage to the savage Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo in exchange for Drogo’s army. Back in Winterfell, Ned’s wife Catelyn receives a clue that may implicate members of the royal family in a murder, and their young son Bran makes a jaw-dropping discovery.

 

2          ”The Kingsroad”                                                      April 24, 2011

Bran’s fate remains in doubt. Having accepted his new role as the King’s Hand (the King’s closest confidant and chief bodyguard), Ned leaves his home in Winterfell with his daughters Sansa and Arya, while Catelyn stays behind to tend to Bran. Jon Snow, Ned’s bastard son, heads north to join the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, protectors of the Wall that keeps the vicious “Others” and the savage wildlings from entering civilised Westeros. Tyrion Lannister, the Queen’s brother, decides to forego the trip south with his family, instead joining Jon’s entourage heading to the Wall. Viserys bides his time in hopes of winning back the throne, while Daenerys focuses her attention on learning how to please her new husband, Drogo.

 

3          “Lord Snow”                                                             May 1, 2011

Ned joins the King’s Small Council at King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms, and learns just how poorly Westeros is being managed. Catelyn decides to go covertly to the south to warn her husband, but is intercepted by an old friend, Councillor Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Jon struggles to adapt to life on the Wall, as he trains with a number of low-born recruits who are not impressed by his bloodline. Tyrion, also visiting the Wall, is beseeched by the Watch Commander Lord Mormont to plead the King and Queen to send more men to join the Night’s Watch, for powerful enemies are massing beyond the Wall. Bran, now awake, is unable to recall how he fell. Daenerys, now possessing no small measure of control as Drogo’s “Khaleesi”, begins to stand up to Viserys.

 

4          “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”          May 8, 2011

Ned searches for clues to the unexplained death of Jon Arryn (the former King’s Hand), and in the process uncovers King Robert’s illegitimate son. Robert and his guests witness a tournament honoring Ned. Jon takes measures to protect Samwell Tarly, an awkward and friendless boy, from the abuse of the Night’s Watchmen; a frustrated Viserys clashes with his newly-empowered sister; Sansa dreams of life as a queen, while Arya envisions a far different future. Catelyn rallies her father’s allies to make a point, while Tyrion finds himself caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

5          “The Wolf and the Lion”                                        May 15, 2011

Robert and Ned have an argument over how they should deal with the advance of the Targaryen/Dothraki alliance. Catelyn and Tyrion arrive at her sister Lysa’s home in the Eyrie. News of Tyrion’s kidnapping reaches King’s Landing where Jaime Lannister, the Queen’s twin brother, demands answers from Ned.

 

6          “A Golden Crown”                                                   May 22, 2011

Viserys threatens Daenerys’ safety when Drogo refuses to pay his debts. Ned is left in guard of the Iron Throne while the King goes to hunt, and learns the secret left by Jon Arynn.

 

7          “You Win or You Die”                                             May 29, 2011

Ned confronts Queen Cersei over the truth of Jon Arryn’s death as Robert, mortally wounded during his hunting, prepares to name his successor. Jon Snow takes the vows of the Night’s Watch. Khal Drogo summons his army to invade Westeros after Robert conspires to poison Daenerys. Robert appoints Ned as Regent of the Iron Throne, who will rule until his heir is of age. Ned brings the King’s declaration before Cersei, Joffrey (eldest of the King’s children), and the Small Council. Ned asks Baelish to secure the cooperation of the City Watch in removing the Lannisters from the throne – Joffrey is not Robert’s son but Jaime’s, he reveals, making Stannis Baratheon (Robert’s older brother) the true heir. However, the loyalty of Baelish and the City Watch lies with the Lannisters: Ned is swiftly captured, and his men killed.

 

8          “The Pointy End”                                                     June 5, 2011

As the Lannisters press their advantage over the Starks, Ned’s eldest son, Robb, rallies his family’s allies to war. Sansa pleads with Joffrey to spare her father’s life while Ned, still captive in the dungeons, finds an unexpected ally in Councillor Lord Varys. Jon and the Night’s Watch confront an ancient evil from beyond the Wall, while across the Narrow Sea, Drogo’s army marches west towards the Seven Kingdoms.

 

9          “Baelor”                                                                    June 12, 2011                      

As the Stark and Lannister armies prepare for their first battle against one another, Tyrion leads his barbarian allies into battle while Robb and Catelyn bargain for a renegade Lord’s help. With Drogo dying from his infected wound, Daenerys goes to desperate measures to save her husband’s life by using a witch’s blood magic, much to the horror of the Dothraki. At the Wall, a Targaryen reveals himself – and the price of loyalty – to Jon, who worries about events outside of the Wall. In a final bid to save his daughters’ lives, Ned falsely confesses to conspiracy and swears fealty to Joffrey as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. To the horror of Ned’s daughters – and delight of the assembled crowd- Joffrey has him executed regardless.

 

10       “Fire and Blood”                                                     June 19, 2011

The news of Ned’s execution quickly spreads to all corners of the Seven Kingdoms, triggering seismic events for each member of the Stark family. The North secedes from the Seven Kingdoms and proclaims Robb as their King. With Jaime captured by the Starks and Robert’s brothers challenging Joffrey’s claim to the throne, Lord Tywin Lannister assigns his son Tyrion as King’s Hand to keep Joffrey and Cersei in check. Jon plans to desert his post at the Wall to avenge his father; his friends convince him to stay, and he joins the Night’s Watch in an expedition to confront the foes massing beyond the Wall. Daenerys learns to her sorrow that her unborn son is dead and her Drogo has been left in a vegetative state due to the witch’s treacherous magic. Unable to bear her husband’s ruin, Daenerys ends his life and lights a funeral pyre. She burns the witch alive alongside Drogo’s body and her three dragon’s eggs, and walks into the flames herself as the fire reaches its peak. When the embers die the following morning, Daenerys rises, unharmed, flanked by three newborn dragons.

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