Game of Thrones: The North Remembers   First Watch 
March 27, 2015 9:32 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

With a war on the horizon, the Seven Kingdoms are witnessing an ever-growing clash of kings. Tyrion arrives at Kings Landing to take his father's place as Hand of the King. Meanwhile, the bastard sons of King Robert are being hunted down and killed, and his estranged brother Stannis plans to take the Iron Throne for his own. Robb Stark heads South. The Night's Watch arrive at the house of Craster.

Melisandre:
"Lord of Light, come to us in our darkness. We offer you these false gods.
Take them and cast your light upon us, for the night is dark and full of terrors.
After the long summer, darkness will fall heavy on the world.
The stars will bleed. The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas.
And the dead shall rise in the North."


Longer Summary (Contains spoilers. Cribbed from here.)
At Dragonstone: The eldest living brother of the late King Robert, Stannis Baratheon, sends a letter to all the corners of the Seven Kingdoms himself as rightful heir to the throne, and declaring Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella are not Robert's true heirs but instead the incestuous offspring of Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Stannis refuses to seek an alliance with his younger brother Renly or Robb Stark and insists that all will bend the knee to him or be destroyed. At the red priestess Melisandre's urging, Stannis has converted to a new religion and worships "The Lord of Light." He orders that all statues of Westeros' gods be burned. In horror, his Maester Cressen tries to poison Melisandre, but instead dies horribly.
In The Riverlands: Stannis' letter reaches King in the North Robb Stark, who realizes that his father was murdered and his brother Bran was crippled to protect the secret of the heritage of Robert's children. Robb intends to send his prisoner Alton Lannister to King's Landing with terms for peace. His demands include the release of his sisters, the return of Ned's remains for a proper burial and the acknowledgement of the Northern independence. Robb also sends his friend Theon to his father, Lord Balon Greyjoy in the Iron Islands, with a request for naval assistance. Robb sends Catelyn to King Renly's court to negotiate an alliance.
At Winterfell: Bran Stark has a dream in which he is running as his direwolf, Summer. Later, Osha and Bran notice a red comet in the sky. Bran calls it an omen of victory. Osha insists it means dragons have returned.
Beyond the Wall, the ranging party that set out from Castle Black reaches Craster's Keep, a settlement some distance north of the Wall inhabited by Craster and his daughter-wives, but no sons. Craster provides information on the wildlings and their leader, King-Beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder, claiming that Rayder is amassing a large army in the mountains and intends to move south.
Across The Narrow Sea, Daenerys crosses the Red Waste hoping to find shelter.
At King's Landing: King Joffrey celebrates his name day with a tournament. Sansa and the Hound save the drunkard Ser Dontos's life by convincing Joffrey to make him a fool instead of killing him. Tyrion returns to the capital to act as Hand of the King. Cersei is furious. Tyrion assures her he is only there in an advisory capacity. King Joffrey confronts his mother with Stannis' letter. She dismisses it as gossip spread by his enemies. He questions her about his father's bastard children and insults her by saying that Robert had grown tired of her. She slaps him and he warns her never to hit him again under threat of death. The City Watch (led by Ser Janos Slynt) murders all of King Robert's illegitimate children that they can find. Missed in the initial purge: the blacksmith's apprentice Gendry, who is traveling with Arya in Yoren's caravan to the Wall as Night's Watch recruits.

Stannis: "Joffrey. Renly. Robb Stark. They're all thieves. They'll bend the knee or I'll destroy them."


Introduced In This Episode
Characters
* Stannis Baratheon, the Lord of Dragonstone, the younger brother of late King Robert Baratheon, and older brother of Renly Baratheon
* Ser Davos Seaworth, a landed knight, and former smuggler in the service of Stannis Baratheon
* Melisandre, a priestess of the Lord of Light and close advisor to Stannis Baratheon
* Ser Dontos Hollard, also known as Ser Dantos the Red. A knight and the only surviving member of House Hollard
* Alton Lannister, cousin to Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion
* Maester Cressen, the Maester of Dragonstone
* Matthos Seaworth, son of Ser Davos Seaworth
* Dolorous Edd, Member of the Night's Watch
* Craster, member of the Free Folk. Ally to the Night's Watch
* Gilly, member of the Free Folk. Craster's Wife and Daughter
Locations
* Dragonstone

Grand Maester Pycelle: "The Raven arrived from The Citadel this morning, Your Grace. The Conclave has met, considered reports from maesters all over the Seven Kingdoms, and declared this great summer done at last. The longest summer in living memory."
Varys: "The peasants say a long summer means an even longer winter."
Pycelle: "A common superstition."
Lord Petyr Baelish: "We have enough wheat for a five-year winter. If it lasts any longer...we'll have fewer peasants."


Notes (Mostly from here.)
* From the DVD commentary for Season One: Maisie "Arya" Williams, Sophie "Sansa" Turner and Isaac "Bran" Wright sing the show's theme song.
* Tyrion is whistling "The Rains of Castamere" when he enters the Small Council at the beginning of the episode.
* Peter Dinklage was the last starring cast member to appear in the first season credit sequence, receiving the "and" modifier. He is now the first credited.
* Lena Headey is credited ahead of Coster-Waldau and Fairley for the first time.

Tyrion: "You love your children. That is your one redeeming quality, that and your cheekbones. The Starks love their children too, and we have two of them."
Cersei: "One."
Tyrion: "One?"
Cersei: "Arya, little animal, she disappeared."
Tyrion: "Disappeared? What in a puff of smoke? We had three Starks to trade. You chopped one's head off and let another escape. Father will be furious."
posted by zarq (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This is a First Watch with Books thread.

Please do not reveal spoilers for subsequent episodes from any source.

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 9:32 AM on March 27, 2015


Peter Dinklage was the last starring cast member to appear in the first season credit sequence, receiving the "and" modifier. He is now the first credited.

D&D know how their bread is buttered.

Also:

an ever-growing clash of kings

Jamie will give you my take on this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:12 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


the Seven Kingdoms are witnessing an ever-growing clash of kings

slow clap

I was kind of disappointed with Renly's characterization in the show. In the books he's a bit less...I can't find the word. Precious? I do like the way they did Loras though. So did Renly.

Melisandre was an inspired piece of casting. She's more or less exactly as I pictured her. Stannis, too.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:55 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Melisandre and Stannis both look practically born to the role.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:29 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Please pardon me if this is not the right place to ask this...
My wife and I did a binge of season 1 several weeks ago, and came away not really wanting to continue on to S2. Mostly, we thought the show was pretty much a constant violence with a thin shell of basic court intrigue.

Were we wrong in this assessment? Would you suggest we give S2 a try based on what you saw in this first episode? It certainly looks like a whole lot of new characters were introduced. But, if it's still a bunch of bloodshed with moments of exposition, we'd rather pass.

Thanks.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2015


The series does have a fair amount of intrigue, which takes its time to develop. (I hope I'm not spoiling things by saying this--I have watched the later seasons.) I don't care much for the violence either, but I still quite enjoy following the game of thrones.

I don't think the violence becomes less frequent though, so that's also something to take into account, in case you found the violent scenes in Season 1 upsetting.
posted by maskd at 5:29 PM on March 29, 2015


For some reason up to this moment I thought that Stannis was the eldest Baratheon brother. I'm not sure why, other than it makes his bitterness ever so much more explainable due to having to live in the shadow of a younger brother who is king. Well, that and casting: Robert Addy looking (and being) quite a bit younger than Stephen Dillane.
posted by jamaro at 8:53 PM on March 30, 2015


Robert Mark Addy, the First of His Name.
posted by jamaro at 9:48 PM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been rushing through my first watch of the series to get ready for the upcoming Season 5 opening, after having slogged through the books last year. The later seasons maintain some violence, but it is generally less gratuitous and large-scale, some times even toned down from what is in the books. There are still moments that made me uncomfortable, but there was more to the story around those moments, so I feel like there's a better balance.

On this episode: Maester Cressen's overt poisoning challenge was weird. In the books, he is more subtle, but with the same outcome. In this episode, I could have sworn he poured the poison in the cup in full view of everyone, which seems like more of a challenge to the dueling gods rather than a way to end Melisandre's control over Stannis.

For some reason up to this moment I thought that Stannis was the eldest Baratheon brother.

To be honest, I thought so, too, even after reading all the books.

I like that the red comet wasn't a huge deal, but was at least addressed by the various factions. In the books, the potential importance of the comet is drawn out, the seems to suddenly disappear, as if GRRM didn't really know what he was doing with that plotline and hoped no one would miss it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on April 1, 2015


Tyrion is whistling "The Rains of Castamere" when he enters the Small Council at the beginning of the episode.

Oh, this. It bugs me enormously that for all the richness of the worldbuilding, there appear to exist only two folk songs in Westeros: The Rains of Castamere and another which we learn later.

It's jarring; there's peasantry and nobility, there's a tavern culture, surely there'd be more songs in circulation? Fighting songs; pride songs; bawdy songs; drinking songs.

But no; every time there's diegetic music or singing in Game of Thrones, it's always one of those two bloody songs.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:22 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm holding out for "A wizard's staff has a knob on the end." :D
posted by zarq at 10:07 AM on April 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or perhaps a song about hedgehogs.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:42 AM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm catching up and this is my first watch. Melisandre and Stannis look so profoundly wrong to me! I was telling my boyfriend that Stannis and Davos should switch roles, even though that wouldn't be quite right either. Melisandre-- I can't remember, don't the books make a thing about how young she looks? Or maybe it's the opposite? But regardless, why is her hair parted like thattt and also her accent seems off to me. I pretty much dislike all the casting except Tyrion, Cersei, kind of Jaime (he looks like that guy from Shrek a lot, too much), and maybe Tywin. Maybe just Lannisters. And Arya is PERFECT. I guess... Varys is good. Oh, Peter Baelish is good.

I also lol at the very limited cultural options in all of Westeros. There are essentially two songs and like, five idioms. Dark wings, dark words are wind... er is coming.

("Dark wings, dark words," really? I guess it's the "no news is good news" of Westeros.)
posted by stoneandstar at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2015


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