Episode 2: The Kingsroad
Synopsis: Tyrion slaps Joffrey in an attempt to teach him manners. Three slaps was apparently not enough. News of Bran’s fall spreads, but word is he will survive, which Jaime and Cersei are none too chuffed about. Cersei tells Catelyn about losing her first child, which may or may not be the truth. Jon gives Arya a present, a small sword she dubs “needle.” Jon says goodbye to Bran and heads to the wall with Benjen, as Ned and the girls go to King’s Landing, leaving Catelyn behind with Robb, Bran and Rickon. Catelyn’s affection for Ned is only matched by her hurt that he’s leaving. The last time he left he came back with another woman’s kid-Jon Snow. Ned promises to tell Jon the truth about his mother the next time he sees him.
Robert and Ned learn of Dany’s marriage and Robert is frustrated by the threat of the Targaryens. Jon and Tyrion share some more history about Jaime’s role as the Kingslayer. An assassin attempts to take out Bran with a knife, but Catelyn fights him off before Bran’s direwolf Summer finishes the job. When Cat explores the tower where Bran fell from, she finds a long, blonde hair and starts to put the pieces together. She isn’t sure exactly what happened but is sure that the Lannister’s are involved. She decides to follow Ned to King’s Landing to warn him. Joffrey gets into a spat with Arya which leaves him cowering on the ground, as Sansa struggles with her loyalty. Nymeria bites Joffrey, but Arya sends her away before the guards can find the poor pup. In retaliation, Cersei orders Ned to kill Lady, Sansa’s direwolf, driving a wedge between father and daughter. Bran wakes up.
Comments: The relationship between Jon and Tyrion is an interesting setup for future endeavors. So much discussion of Raegar notes his importance. The evolution of the characters is evident in Sansa’s weakness and questionable loyalty between her own family and the Lannisters. Boy will that change. Joffrey’s cowardice and whiny nature is so much easier to take knowing that it doesn’t last forever. The first direwolf down. I expected more importance based on their focus in the first episode. The crew hasn’t even arrived at King’s Landing and already palace intrigue and machinations have taken over the plot. Although she initially presented as somewhat of a shrew, Cersei’s obvious cunning and distaste for the Stark family becomes her stronger trait, that and her devotion to her family.
Memorable Moments: Jon and Arya’s only scene together for quite a few years. They have a sweet bond that won’t pay off for a while. The Stark sisters have always had an antagonistic relationship, which is further fractured by the incident with Joffrey. Tyrion’s slap of Joffrey is worthy of cheers, and that memory will have to hold as Joffrey grows more vile.
Joffrey: I’m telling Mother! (after Tyrion slaps him)
Ned: You may not have my name, but you have my blood. (to John)
Jaime: It’s a strange thing, first time you cut a man you realize we’re nothing but sacks of meat and blood and some bone to keep it all standing.
Foreshadowing: Jon Snow’s parentage is referenced a couple times. Ned chooses his words carefully when he assures him that he is “of my blood,” and when he references Snow’s mother to Robert the name seems like a throwaway.
Title: Named for the road the covers Westeros from the wall to King’s Landing. Ned goes with Robert’s entourage one way, while Jon and Benjen, along with Tyrion travel the opposite direction.
Deaths: Arya’s swordfighting bud Mycah was run down by the hound. And poor, sweet Lady by Ned under Cersei’s order.