There is a sword, and it's wet with blood. There are a couple of strands of hair sticking to it as well. Behind it, someone picks up a head and waves it around. As the crowds cheer for the beheading, Yoren takes Arya in hand, claiming this new "boy" Arry for the Wall. Behind them, gold cloaks drag away the headless body of Eddard Stark, while Sansa faints dead away.
At Winterfell, Bran is having another crow dream. Once again the three-eyed crow leads Bran into the crypts below Winterfell. Upon waking, he convinces Osha, who went from captive to trusted servant in lightning speed, to take him to the actual crypts, as he has seen his father there. Instead of Lord Stark, they find the littlest Stark, Rickon, and his barely-tamed direwolf Shaggydog. Rickon has dreamed of Ned as well. Osha still tries to brush this off as a coincidence, but as they exit up into the yard, Maester Luwin approaches with a letter from the capital...
Catelyn makes sure to leave the camp of her son Robb's army before allowing her feelings to rule her face. In the copse of trees, she finds Robb hacking away at a tree in helpless rage. They embrace, and Robb announces his intention to let the Lannisters pay. Catelyn reminds him that they'll have to save Sansa and Arya first. "And then we will kill them all."
In King's Landing, Sansa, her eyes red from weeping, is required to attend the court of King Joffrey, to whom she is still betrothed even after he murdered her father - those family dinners are sure going to be awkward. At the moment, His Grace is listening to a lovely ditty describing the latter days of Robert's reign (choice quote: "the lion ripped his balls off and the boar did all the rest."). Joffrey gives a Slow Clap and sarcastically compliments the minstrel: "Very amusing. Isn't it a funny song? Thank you for your rendition. I imagine it was even better received at that tavern." The frightened minstrel apologizes and swears he'll never sing the song again. Joffrey then asks whether the singer would prefer to keep his fingers or his tongue: pick one or lose both. (His mutilation forms a semi-comedic background to the remainder of the scene.) Joffrey then goes on to "flirt" with his fiancée, taking her out to the castle walls to see something. Specifically? Heads on spikes! Oh, Joffrey, you sure know how to show a girl a good time.
Sansa doesn't want to look at the heads, especially since one of them was once on her father's shoulders. "You promised to be merciful," she sobs. "I was!" Joffrey protests. "I gave him a clean death." He suggests that the next head he makes her look at will be her brother's, after Joffrey defeats him in the field. Sansa pins Joffrey with a Death Glare, saying, "Or maybe he'll give me yours."
Joffrey: "My mother tells me a king should never strike his lady." So he makes a knight of the Kingsguard do it instead.
Sansa looks down and realizes that they're up on a wallwalk. With some judicious pushing, she might be able to push Joffrey over the drop. Her eyes fixed, she lurches forward... And the Hound intercedes, turning her round by the shoulder. He uses a kerchief to wipe the blood from her face. "Save yourself some pain, girl," he advises her. "Give him what he wants."
And that is our last image of Sansa Stark for this season: Poised on a thin bridge over a tall drop, with the death of her old life behind her, and before her a castle of cruelty.
Robb Stark's army is in a bit of a turmoil. They've captured the Kingslayer, given Lord Tywin something to think about and relieve the siege of Riverrun From the books... But their victory doesn't give them any ideas of what to do next. They debate whether to declare for Renly or Stannis Baratheon, but it's The Greatjon who comes up with a palatable third option: "There sits the only king I mean to bend my knee to." And he kneels... before Robb. "The King in the North!" Robb seems dumbfounded, Catelyn worried.
Catelyn leaves the coronation to talk to Jaime From the books... . He admits that he pushed Bran from the tower on purpose, but remains quiet on the actual reason.
Back in King's Landing, Cersei receives news from the war while being to subjected to babbling from her new bedwarmer, Cousin Lancel: "Was it as exciting the last time, when you were young?" Judging from her expression, this relationship isn't exactly built to last.
Meanwhile, Lord Tywin is meeting his own war council out in the field. The situation looks dire: in addition to the loss of Jaime and his army, both Stannis and Renly Baratheon have called their banners and the Lannisters are now facing three armies. (From the books... ) Kevan Lannister suggests suing for peace. In response, Tyrion dashes his wineglass to the floor: "There's your peace. Joffrey saw to that when he decided to remove Ned Stark's head. You'll have an easier time drinking from that cup than bringing Robb Stark to the table now. He's winning—in case you hadn't noticed."
He dismisses everyone except Tyrion and reforms his strategy session. He starts with pouring wine for Tyrion, which—to judge by Tyrion's expression—is a completely unprecedented courtesy. Lord Tywin also compliments Tyrion's astute judgement regarding Eddard Stark; alive, he could have been used as a bargaining chip to broker peace with Winterfell and Riverrun. His execution has only made a bad situation for the Lannisters worse. Rather than risk being caught between two enemy armies, Tywin will set The Mountain loose in the Riverlands whilst the rest of his force regroups at Harrenhal. Tyrion is being dispatched to King's Landing, where he will work as Hand of the King in Tywin's stead, to control both Joffrey and Cersei, and deal with Varys, Pycelle and Littlefinger if they're so much as suspected of treason. "You are my son," Lord Tywin says, which—to judge by Tyrion's expression—is another completely unprecedented event. Though Lord Tywin does attach a constraint: "You will not take that whore to court." Shae, of course, isn't having any of it; with a little bit of Loophole Abuse, she helps Tyrion come to the decision he wanted to come to anyway.
Somewhere in the Dothraki sea, Ser Jorah keeps vigil. Daenerys stirs awake and asks for her son. Ser Jorah's silence is ominous; it's Mirri Maz Duur who answers the question. She says Rhaego was a monstrous, lizard-like creature who was already dead when she pulled him free. "I warned you that only death can pay for life. You knew the price." Daenerys, unable to look back, asks to see Khal Drogo. "Show him to me. Show me. What I bought. With my son's. Life."
Khal Drogo is a Soulless Shell. "You paid for life," Mirri Maz Duur tells Daenerys. "[S]ee what life is worth when all the rest is gone." Without his leadership, the khalasar has dissolved, and Daenerys is alone with only Ser Jorah, the remaining speaking parts and a handful of extras. Mirri Maz Duur is unapologetic. Her town was raped by Drogo's khalasar, and herself as well; Dany saved her only from the fourth rider, and many others were beyond her help before she even arrived. And her son would have been worse: "He would have been the Stallion who Mounts the World. Now he will burn no cities. Now he will trample no nations into dust." When Daenerys angrily rages that she saved Mirri's life, the maegi just says that life is meaningless when you've lost everything that makes it worth living.
Jon Snow is devastated to hear about Ned's execution, wants to avenge his father's death and saddles his horse to ride south, find his brother, and join his war. Sam tries to bar his way in vain. However, as Jon continues to ride, he sees others chasing him... Until, of course, one of them dashes himself to the ground on a low-hanging tree branch. Jon reins up and finds that his pursuers are Sam, Pyp and Grenn. While sympathetic to his loss, they encircle and remind him of his oaths, and Jon relents.
Daenerys brings her sun-and-stars to their tent and begs him to return in every way she can but, before long, she must admit defeat. There is no one to call back. She pushes a pillow down over his face, sobbing as his body begins its last feeble struggle.
Grand Maester Pycelle begins to ramble about all the kings he's served. You'd be forgiven for thinking he was talking to himself; it's only when a pair of arms reaches into frame and grabs some clothes that we realize he's not alone. It's—who else?—Ros. She cleans herself and doesn't seem to be listening to her client, for which we can't blame her, but as it turns out Pycelle has some fairly astute observations on both Mad King Aerys and Robert Baratheon after him. In particular, he has nothing bad to say about Joffrey—which either means that Pycelle is a Horrible Judge of Character, or that he knows when to keep his damn mouth shut. After Ros leaves, he stretches with surprising spryness before (visibly) adopting his doddering-old-man persona. Shall we assume it's the "keep his mouth shut" thing then?
Littlefinger and Varys stand before the Iron Throne—evidently this is their coffee spot—and trade some more quips. There's a serious "Worthy Opponent" vibe going on here, interrupted only when Joffrey bustles in.
Meanwhile, "Arry" the Street Urchin and her—sorry, his—new friend Yoren link up with the rest of the sots, rapers, cravens, exiles and felons who are bound for the Wall.From the books... Two boys try to bully Arry and take his sword, but with some judicious threats ("I'm good at killing fat boys! I like killing fat boys!" ) and unexpected backup from Gendry—remember him? Robert Baratheon's bastard? The armorer's apprentice?—her tormentors are dissuaded. The convoy sets off with a yell from Yoren: "Come on, you sorry sons of whores! It's a thousand leagues from here to the Wall, and winter is coming!"
Jon moodily serves Lord Commander Mormont his breakfast, bleary-eyed from his midnight ride. Mormont knows about it, but has no intention of punishing Jon: brothers ride off for the night all the time, particularly to the whorehouse in nearby Mole's Town. "Honor made you leave, and honor brought you back," Mormont proclaims. Jon responds: "My friends brought me back," to which Mormont snarks, "I didn't say it was your honor." Jon argues, "They killed my father!" while Mormont points out that there isn't anything Jon can do to bring his father back to life. Mormont outlines the rather large threats facing Westeros, which the Wall is to defend against in the great battles to come, asking Jon if his brother's war is more important. The cold winds are rising, captured Wildlings report that all their people are gathering together for unknown purposes, and as they've both seen, the dead are coming back to life to hunt the living. The Night's Watch will go ranging in force
next season tomorrow, two hundred strong, and Jon is invited to come with... but only if he's able to put his concerns about his family aside, and commit himself to the Night's Watch for good and all. The final shot is of Jon riding out through the tunnel that goes below the Wall, so one assumes that he has chosen to honor his vows. (Spoiler: he has.)
It's nighttime in Essos, and Khal Drogo's funeral pyre is being assembled. Daenerys, wearing her wedding finery, gathers the remains of her Khalasar together, freeing any slaves that remain, and gives the command that her dragon eggs be placed on the pyre as well. Ser Jorah protests, assuming that Dany means to throw herself on the pyre, but Dany assures him that this is not her intent (and kisses him on the cheek, which helps shut him up). Finally, she orders Mirri Maz Duur be bound to the pyre.
The wood takes the flames merrily. Mirri Maz Duur begins to sing, and then to scream as the flames begin to devour her. With one last glance at Jorah Mormont, Daenerys walks into the inferno. The maegi flails, wreathed in flame, screaming, screaming, but fire cannot kill a dragon. And only death can pay for life.
Ser Jorah finds her at dawn, huddled in the ashes, wedding gown burnt away but otherwise completely unharmed. She is not alone. As he and her kos approach, something climbs up onto her shoulder... It has horns and scales, two wide bat wings of sable and red, taking in the world around it with blood-red eyes. There's another wrapped around her leg which is cream and gold; a third, green and bronze, curls in her arm. Mormont and her Khalasar fall to their knees in awe.
Tropes exhibited in this episode include:
- All There in the Manual: The nameless minstrel is confirmed to be Marillion, who we first saw at the same inn that Catelyn arrested Tyrion in. This also means that his later involvement in (approximately) Season 3 was Adapted Out.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Hot Pie and Lommy start bullying Arya, the smallest "boy" of the Nights Watch recruits. Then Gendry — a smith in training with the muscles to show for it — enters to defend her and sneers at them for picking on "the little one."
- Answer Cut: Lancel wants to know what's in the message Cersei is reading. Her response is Silence, You Fool! and get back in my bed. We then cut to Lord Tywin growling, "They have my son."
- Anywhere but Their Lips: Dany kisses Jorah on the cheek before stepping into the pyre.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: Yoren hides Arya among the latest batch of recruits for the Night's Watch, warning her that any one of them would turn her into the Queen for a pardon (though half of them would rape her first).Gendry: Where we're going, they don't care what you've done. They've got rapers, pickpockets, highwaymen ... murderers.Arya: Which are you?Gendry: Armorer's apprentice.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning:
- Robb proclaimed "The King in the North" by his bannermen.
- There's also Daenerys proclaiming herself leader of her new khalasar (formed from the freed slaves) and proving her right to rule by climbing onto Drogo's funeral pyre and emerging not only unharmed, but holding three freshly-hatched dragons.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As the Greatjon points out, the North only bowed to the dragons, so why should they let southern kings who don't have any flying flamethrowers rule them at all?
- Badass Boast:
- Jaime gets a nice one, despite being a captive at the time."There are no men like me. Only me."
- Arya gets in a few on two boys who try to steal Needle."I'm good at killing fat boys. I bet you've never killed anyone. I bet you're a liar. But I'm not."
- Gendry when he defends Arry:"Oh, you like picking on the little ones, do you? You know I've been hammering an anvil for these past ten years. When I hit the steel it sings. You gonna sing when I hit you?"
- Daenerys:"I am the dragon's daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming."
- Jaime gets a nice one, despite being a captive at the time.
- Bait-and-Switch: The morning after Dany walks into the funeral pyre, Jorah and her bloodriders walk up to what initially appears to be carbonized corpse, then the camera pans across slightly to reveal a naked but alive Dany crouching next to some charred logs.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Sansa is pretty well snapped after the events of the last episode, and tries to kill Joffrey. She tries to push him off a bridge, but the Hound stops her.
- Daenerys proves she's no longer someone to fuck with, by having Mirri tied to Drogo's funeral pyre and burned alive.Mirri: You will not hear me scream.Daenerys: I will. But it is not your screams I want, only your life.
- Big Brother Instinct: Gendry sticks up for the disguised Arya, and helps her to see off some bullies.
- Blood Knight: Jaime Lannister is shown pretty clearly as this trope; see his little spiel on how he doesn't fear death.
- Break the Haughty: It's safe to say Sansa who wanted to marry the heir to the throne becomes broken in this episode. Her father was executed, their household servants and soldiers butchered, her sister disappeared, and she becomes Lannisters' hostage.
- Breaking Lecture: Mirri Maz Duur's lecture to Dany about what she really did by "saving" her. Could double as a What the Hell, Hero?, depending on your point of view.Dany: I spoke for you. I saved you.Mirri: Saved me? Three of those riders had already raped me before you saved me, girl. I saw my God's house burn, there where I had healed men and women beyond counting. In the streets I saw piles of heads ... the head of the baker who makes my bread, the head of a young boy that I had cured of fever just three moons past. So tell me again exactly what it was that you saved?Dany: Your life!Mirri: Why don't you take a look at your Khal... Then you will see exactly what life is worth when all the rest has gone.
- Burn the Witch!: Dany does this to Mirri Maz Duur as punishment for deliberately misleading her about the outcome of the blood magic. However there are practical reasons too, as is later revealed.
- Butt-Monkey: Even though he's a co-conspirator in Robert's murder and the lover of Cersei, Lancel still isn't being treated with respect. When he asks Cersei what their next move in the game of thrones will be, he's curtly told to get back in her bed.
- The Caligula: The Royal Court is an uncomfortable witness to King Joffrey's petty sadism; even Cersei gets no pleasure from the terrorizing and subsequent maiming of a minstrel who wrote a satirical song about her relations with King Robert.
- To "Baelor" when Tyrion reaches for a jug of wine and his father pulls it out of reach. Only this time, Tywin pours them both a drink. Tyrion is astonished.
- Samwell asks Jon if he knows what happens to deserters. Jon replies, "Better than you do." He refers to his father beheading a deserter.
- Came Back Wrong: Mirri Maz Duur's Blood Magic did technically save Drogo's life... but seems to have left him braindead.
- Cat Scare: Direwolf Scare. Osha brings Bran down to his father's crypt, which turns out to be empty. Until Shaggydog comes snarling out of the darkness.
- Children Are Innocent: Raised by Daenerys, but rejected by Mirri, who points out what that child would have grown up to be — "The Stallion who Mounts the World." Or, as Mirri saw it, "The Stallion who Fucks the World."
- Conveniently an Orphan: Arya becomes 'Arry the orphan', because Yoren says no-one gives a shit about an orphan.
- Country Matters: Tyrion's father has always been a cunt.
- Cry into Chest: Arya buries her face into Yoren's chest when her father is executed.
- Dead Guy on Display: Type 2. The heads of Ned Stark and his retainers are put on spikes on the battlements at King's Landing — and Joffrey makes Sansa look at them.
- Death by Adaptation: Not so much "death" as "mutilation". In the books, Marillion shows up again, with his tongue very much intact. In the DVD commentary for the episode, the showrunners explain that they were aware of Marillion appearing in the third book, but they wanted to have him appear in the episode as opposed to a nameless minstrel that the audience wouldn't have any sort of attachment to.
- Decapitation Presentation:
Tywin: If you get so much as a whiff of treason from any of the rest- Varys, Baelish, Pycelle...Tyrion: Heads. Spikes. Walls.
- Ned's head is held up for the mob to see.
- When Catelyn hears the news, she threatens to cut off Jaime's head, "pack it in a box and send it to your sister!"
- Tyrion jokingly references this when Tywin suggests what he should do if he suspects any of the Small Council of treachery.
- The Dog Bites Back: She-wolf, rather. Sansa looks at Joffrey as if she means to push him off the battlements for making her look at her dead father's head, but it's Subverted when the Hound grabs her (and ostensibly wipes her face to conceal what she was about to do).
- Dramatic Irony:
- The Greatjon says that the dragons are dead. Not anymore, they're not.
- Gendry mentions how his master sold him into exile in the Night's Watch after years of working as his apprentice. He's not an Ungrateful Bastard; his master is actually trying to get Gendry as far away as possible because his life is in danger.
- "He looks like a girl!" Viewers know that Ary is Arya, so really a girl.
- Dramatic Shattering: In-Universe when Tyrion breaks the wine glass on purpose for Rule of Symbolism.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Both Bran and Rickon had the crypt dream. Now they know what it means.
- Epic Fail: Marillion's song, by any standard. (Even better: the singing is in a completely different key than the harping. Marillion is scared shitless because he has the eyes of the entire court, including the Queen, King, and Princess-Consort, fixed upon him as he insulted them directly to their faces.
- Establishing Character Moment: Establishing Character Reintroduction. Gendry reenters the story defending Arya from bullies and being disgusted that they'd pick on the smallest "boy", cementing the outspokenness he showed around Ned and suggesting heroic tendencies that bond him with Arya.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Hound is still creepy, but it's clear the abuse Joffrey heaps on Sansa doesn't sit right with him.
- Exact Words:
- Tyrion uses them to get around one of Tywin's more inconvenient orders.
- Joffrey has a nasty version. He tells Sansa that his mother told him it's not right to hit girls—so he has one of his bodyguards strike her instead.
- Mirri Maz Duur said she would save Drogo's life, only to bring him back in a comatose state.
- Fainting: Sansa faints on seeing her father decapitated.
- False Reassurance: For Joffrey, chopping Ned's head off is being merciful!
- Fan Disservice: After we're lulled by more fun with Ros, we have to endure Pycelle doing stretches while wearing a robe and nothing underneath.
- Fat and Skinny: The two boys bullying Arya: Hot Pie (fat) and Lommy (skinny).
- Fat Bastard: Hot Pie, a chubby child who tries to bully Arya.
- Faux Affably Evil: Joffrey is practically skipping after ordering the minstrel's tongue pulled out and taking Sansa on a date to see her father's head. However he quickly reverts to a pouty Royal Brat when her reaction isn't to his liking.
- Fetus Terrible: Mirri claims the baby that Daenerys gave birth to was a stillborn half-dragon creature.He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him, the skin fell from his bones. Inside was full of graveworms.
- Foil: The contrast between Joffrey (a false Baratheon who still inherited Robert's crown) and Gendry (a genuine Baratheon who is unaware of his heritage) is on full display: Joffrey forces Sansa to look at her father's decapitated head, has her beaten and vows to rape her while Gendry protects Arya from bullies and warns her about the murderers and rapists among the men. Joffrey also spends the episode abusing his power and subjects under him, while Gendry confides to Arya that his master sold him - clearly with no say from Gendry over his own life - to the Nights Watch.
- Foreshadowing: For all the main story threads of Season 2.
- Arya is taken North with the Night's Watch recruits, including three men in a caged wagon.
- Lord Tywin sends Gregor Clegane out to Rape, Pillage, and Burn while the rest of the army does a Tactical Withdrawal to Harrenhall.
- King Stannis and King Renly have both taken to the field.
- Tyrion is sent to King's Landing as acting Hand of the King.
- Having heard reports that the wildlings are gathering their forces, Joer Mormont leads an expedition north of the Wall.
- Daenerys now has three baby dragons.
- Friendly Enemy: After engaging in Snark-to-Snark Combat, Varys and Littlefinger express genuine admiration for each other.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Varys catches Littlefinger pondering the Iron Throne and wonders aloud if he's imagining all the highborn who've sneered at him over the years having to bow and scrape. Littlefinger replies that it would be difficult for them to do so without their heads.
- Gory Discretion Shot:
- The episode opens Ice coated with the blood of Ned Stark.
- The unfortunate minstrel who has his tongue ripped out is kept in the blurry background as it happens.
- HA HA HA No: Joffrey applauds and smiles at the minstrel's song before giving him a Sadistic Choice.
- Held Gaze: Dany and Ser Jorah share a long, lingering gaze into each other's eyes before Dany goes forward into the fire of the immolation pyre for Khal Drogo.
- Heroic BSoD: Several Starks have them on receiving news of Ned's death, most notably Robb, who freaks out and beats up a tree, Catelyn, who attempts to kill Jaime before coming to her senses, and Jon, who tries to desert from the Night's Watch and join Robb before his friends bring him back to his senses. Sansa is also still BSODing from the previous episode.
- "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Dany tries to find a hope that her sun-and-stars will fight and be as he was before, but she gets no response.
- Insistent Terminology: Yoren repeatedly calling Arya "boy".
- In the Hood: Arya notices three men in a caged wagon; one of them has his face covered by a hood for when he'll be played by a different actor next season.
- I Resemble That Remark!: Tywin says "I always thought you were a stunted fool." Tyrion admits he's half-right.
- I Shall Taunt You: Jaime hits on Catelyn while watching her very blatantly pick up a heavy rock and start walking toward him with malicious intent.
- It Was a Gift: Arya's explanation for Needle. Given that it's a castle-forged steel blade, everyone else just assumes she stole it.
- Kick the Dog: Joffrey follows up his crossing of the Moral Event Horizon last episode by having a minstrel's tongue cut out, taking Sansa to the battlements to see the heads of her father and his retainers up on spikes, having one of his bodyguards beat her for him, and declaring his intent to rape her the second she's fertile.
- Kissing Cousins: Cersei appears to be having a fling with Lancel. Those Lannisters sure like to keep it in the family...
- Kneel Before Zod: An entirely voluntary version, when first Jorah then all the Dothraki fall to their knees or bow their heads to the Mother of Dragons.
- Kubrick Stare: Sansa gives one just just before she tries to push Joffrey over the ledge.
- Lame Comeback: During their Passive-Aggressive Kombat, Littlefinger tells Varys that he's one of the few men in the city who isn't a man. The eunuch finds the jab dull and tells Littlefinger he can do better than that.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Joffrey thinks it's entirely appropriate that Ilyn Payne tear out the minstrel's tongue, which he does without hesitation.
- Last Kiss: Dany kisses Drogo before smothering him.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Subverted. Everyone thinks this trope is in play with Daenerys when she throws herself onto Khal Drogo's funeral pyre, but she's really just collecting her dragon hatchlings.
- The Magic Comes Back: Daenerys hatches her dragon eggs on Drogo's pyre.
- Manly Tears: Robb cries (though hidden from his bannermen in a wood) upon hearing about his father's death.
- Mathematician's Answer:Catelyn: My son, Bran. How did he come to fall from that tower?Jamie: I pushed him out the window.Catelyn: ...Why?Jamie: I... hoped the fall would kill him.
- Meaningful Echo: Jon's friends recite the Night's Watch Badass Creed to get him to return.
- Mercy Kill: Daenerys smothers the catatonic Drogo with a pillow.
- Mood Whiplash: Jon is being pursued by dark riders in the woods...until Samwell runs into a tree branch and is knocked off his horse, revealing his friends are the pursuers.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While Daenerys' concern over Drogo's wound was reasonable, it was rather Genre Blind to ask a healer from a recently-sacked town to aid him. Mirri herself highlights the idiocy in the move.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Mirri Maz Duur thinks she has killed the Stallion Who Mounts The World. Instead she gives Daenerys the Eureka Moment to create the real conqueror of cities.
- Not Afraid to Die:
- Jaime taunts Catelyn with this, though Cat thinks he's not as indifferent as he'd like people to think.
- Mirri freely admits to Daenerys what she did, knowing that she'll be executed for it. She doesn't care, because she already lost everything worth living for.
- Not So Stoic: Tywin's sudden outburst of anger over Jaime shows even he has his limits.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Pycelle is revealed to be a good deal more spry than he lets on. He's Properly Paranoid too, rambling on to a disinterested whore about what a great king Joffrey will be, just in case she might pass on his pillow talk.
- Oblivious Mockery: Lancel asks Cersei if things were this exciting when she was young. Cersei doesn't look happy at the suggestion that she's getting on in years.
- Oh, Crap!: Hot Pie gets two in rapid succession; firstly when Arya draws Needle on him and threatens she's already made a good start on killing fat boys, and secondly when he backs into Gendry, who makes it clear once she's done with him, he'll happily take a turn beating the snot out of the fat bastard.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Stoic Lord Tywin loses his temper when his favorite son is captured. Then he pours a drink for his least favorite offspring and makes Tryion the Replacement Goldfish.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Mirri's justification. She dragged the life out of Drogo, a slaver and warlord who massacred her people. She also killed his unborn baby who was prophesied to be a Khal of Khals, stallion who mounts the world who would enslave the whole world. She uses blood magic and possibly poison (both for Drogo and to induce a miscarriage in Daenerys).
- Percussive Therapy: Robb's reaction to hearing about Ned is to furiously whack a tree with his sword repeatedly, crying all the while.
- Pet the Dog: The Hound cleaning Sansa up after Ser Meryn slaps her.
- The Resenter
Varys: Do they simper and bow, all the lords and ladies who sneered at you?Littlefinger: It's hard for them to simper and bow without heads.
- Even though Lord Tywin has just promoted him to the most powerful position in Westeros, Tyrion hates the way his father lords it over everyone, so decides to get petty payback by ignoring his stricture not to bring Shae to the Royal Court.
- Littlefinger reveals more of his ultimate goal, which involves him sitting on the Iron Throne getting Joffrey on the nobles who've sneered at him all his life.
- Rousing Speech
- Sadistic Choice: Joffrey asks a minstrel who committed lèse-majesté whether he'd prefer to keep his fingers, or his tongue. He choses his tongue so he'd at least have hands to work...just not as a singer. This is yet another change made seemingly to make Joffrey more unlikable; in the book, he orders the man jailed in the Black Cells until he decides for himself which he'd rather keep.
- Screw Destiny: Mirri Maz Duur, of all people, regarding the Stallion who Mounts the World (Rhaego): she kills him in his mother's womb.
- Sarcastic Clapping: Joffrey claps and praises the minstrel's performance. Snidely.
- Save the Villain: The Hound stops Sansa from pushing Joffrey into the moat.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Khal Drogo's khalasar has deserted them in the night. Jorah points out that they only followed Drogo's strength; now he's incapacitated, it's every man for himself.
- Shoo the Dog: Gendry's master sold him to the Night's Watch despite his years of service. The next episode reveals why.
- Skewed Priorities: As the Old Bear points out, a Succession Crisis no matter how bloody is not as important as the dead coming to life and the return of an Ancient Evil.
- Slave Liberation: Subverted from the usual version of this trope when most of them just leave the moment Dany gives them their freedom.
- Soulless Shell: Khal Drogo, post-blood magic. He doesn't talk, doesn't blink, can't move his limbs.
- Spiteful SpitThe Greatjon: HERE'S WHAT I SAY TO THESE TWO KINGS! (spit)
- Street Urchin: Yoren has Arya pretend to be one of these so he can smuggle her safely out of King's Landing. Several of Yoren's Night Watch recruits are also urchins.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: Lord Tywin remains quiet while his bannermen argue about what to do, then..."THEY HAVE MY SON!"
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Arya travels to the north with Yoren and his recruits for the Night's Watch disguised as a boy.Hot Pie: He ain't no squire — look at him, he looks like a girl!
- Thousand-Yard Stare:
- Cat after she gets the news of Ned's death, though it only lasts until she gets out of sight of the Northern soldiers, then she breaks down in anguish.
- Khal Drogo keeps staring with a blank face after becoming a Soulless Shell.
- Sansa has an empty, utterly sad face when she's forced to look at the head of her father.
- Title Drop: Pycelle talks of how the Mad King was "consumed by dreams of fire and blood".
- Tranquil Fury: Catelyn Stark at the death of her husband. Her words echo Robb's, but Robb was Chewing the Scenery while she was icy calm.Catelyn: We will kill them all.
- Traumatic Haircut: Yoren cuts Arya's hair to facilitate disguising her as a boy.
- Villainous BSoD: Tywin has a minor one on learning that the Starks have Jaime.
- Villain Ball: Tywin vents about the "madness and stupidity" of the new Royal administration. With Eddard Stark alive the Lannisters could have negotiated peace with the North so they could turn all their strength against the Baratheon brothers. Now they're facing a war on three fronts and have no hostage to exchange for Jaime except Sansa (of less value in a patriarchal society than her father would have been).
- Vorpal Pillow: Daenerys mercy-kills her husband. Suffocating Khal Drogo takes some considerable time and effort. The scene cuts before he even dies but it's shown as the method she chooses.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Tyrion shows shades when, for what seems to be the first time ever, his father acknowledges him as being competent and, more importantly, "You're my son." From the books...
- Wham Line: Not for the entire series, but for a single character.Sansa: ...or maybe he'll give me yours.
- Wham Shot: The moment a baby dragon pokes its head up over Daenerys's shoulder and takes the world in.
- You Are in Command Now: Tyrion is sent to run things at Kings Landing now that Cersei and Joffrey have stuffed everything up. Given that they both despise Tyrion, this should be interesting.
- You Got Spunk: Jaime approves of Catelyn trying to bash his skull in.
- You Shall Not Pass!: Sam tries it when Jon leaves the Wall, but is just knocked out of the way. His second attempt with backup goes better.