In Winterfell, Bran Stark has a nightmare in which he sees a three-eyed raven, sitting on one of the stone direwolves outside the doorway to the Stark crypts. He wakes up to find his direwolf Summer by his side. Theon Greyjoy summons Hodor, the castle's dim-witted stableboy, who can only say the word "Hodor", to help carry Bran down to the great hall, where Robb Stark is hosting a meeting with Tyrion Lannister and Yoren, both traveling down from the Wall to King's Landing together. Robb very pointedly offers hospitality to any man of the Watch, silently letting Tyrion know he is not invited to stay at Winterfell.
Little Waiting Time...
When Bran arrives, Tyrion sympathizes with Bran for being a cripple, which annoys Bran, as does asking him if he likes to ride, but Tyrion simply says it is the truth, no less so for being a hard truth. He gives the Starks the design of a saddle which will allow Bran to ride even in his current state. He does it to repay Bran's half-brother's friendship and because he has a weakness for, "Cripples, bastards and broken things." Due to this kindness, Robb says he can stay, but Tyrion says he would prefer the brothel in town. While preparing to leave the castle, Theon comes to Tyrion and rather condescendingly sends him off, recommending the prostitute Ros at the brothel. Tyrion asks Theon why Lady Catelyn was not present to receive him and concludes that Catelyn is not in Winterfell. He also taunts Theon about how the son of the ferocious Balon Greyjoy has been reduced to playing lackey in Winterfell to his captors, which infuriates Theon and gives him a coin, assuming that he has not already had sex with Ros.
At Castle Black, a new recruit for the Night's Watch has arrived: Samwell Tarly, the son of the famous Lord Randyll Tarly. Samwell is fat, soft and pampered, and in his first practice fight does dismally. Ser Alliser Thorne has no time for his weakness. He directs the other recruits to attack 'Ser Piggy', but Jon Snow finds this cruel and unfair, and takes pity on Sam and fends off the attackers. Thorne tries to turn it into a game, ordering three trainees take on Sam's protector (taunting Jon that he has found a new Lady love), but Jon nevertheless fends them all off. Samwell is naive and self-deprecating, claiming to be a coward and craven, to Jon's astonishment. No one admits to being a coward, and Grenn says that they shouldn't even be seen talking to him.
Sam joins Jon on the Wall for sentry duty, even though he says his eyesight is weak, he is afraid of heights, and can't take the cold. Jon asks why he joined the Night's Watch as he is afraid of everything. Sam tells him that on his eighteenth nameday his father offered him a choice. Sam was a man and his heir, but he was not skilled at combat, he was unworthy of his name and birthright. Samwall's father forced him to join the Night's Watch, and told him that if he refused, he would arrange a "hunting trip" with his son in the woods, and implied that Sam would be killed in a way that looked accidental. Jon is shocked that a true born son of high birth should be treated worse than he himself had been as a bastard. Sam knows that the next day he will be made to fight again and expects it to be bad.
At the Wall, Jon orders the recruits to go easy on Sam, but Rast refuses, saying that if Ser Alliser orders him to fight 'Lady Piggy', he will slice himself off a side of bacon. In response to Rast's comments, Jon goes to his bed that night and uses his direwolf Ghost to intimidate Rast into playing along. The next day, no one will fight Sam. After Grenn takes a very weak blow from Sam and yields, Ser Alliser scolds Jon for his rebellious actions. Later, when Jon and Sam are cleaning the dining hall, they talk about how neither of them have been with a woman. Sam tells Jon that he has not had success with girls, while Jon reveals he'd rather not risk siring a child that will have the life of a bastard like himself. A furious Alliser Thorne comes in and tells Jon that this charity won't help Sam harden up to survive the winter that is coming. He tells them the truly horrific experience he went through trapped by a blizzard north of the Wall that ended in cannibalism.
At Vaes Dothrak, Khal Drogo's khalasar arrives at Vaes Dothrak, the Dothraki city. There are no city walls, but there is a large gateway arch made of two statues of rearing horses. Viserys is annoyed that Drogo has been taking 'his' army in the wrong direction. Later, he bathes with Doreah and tells her about how he was raised with stories about the Targaryen dragons and his own destiny. He recites the names of several dragons, and tells her about the skulls of dragons that once decorated the throne room at King's Landing, but she starts to annoy him with talk of dragons, reminding him that they are dead. He tells her to finish pleasuring him in silence.
Viserys is enraged when Daenerys sends Doreah with an invite for him to dine with her, as he interprets this as his sister commanding him to come. He drags Doreah into Daenerys' tent, and insults her dinner and the gifts of clothes she tries to give him. He is still dressed in his now ragged clothes from Pentos, having refused to dress like a Dothraki, whom he regards as savage pordh. He sneers that next she will try to braid his hair like a Dothraki. Daenerys retorts that he has no right to braid his hair until he is victorious in battle, which further infuriates him. In his anger, Viserys tackles her to the ground and tries to strike her, calling her nothing but a "horselord's slut", and warning her that she's "awoken the Dragon", but this time she fights back, hitting him in the face with a metal and leather belt. She tells a thunderstruck Viserys that she is the Khal's wife, and is carrying his child (and by implication, Viserys is nothing to the Dothraki), and warns that if he raises a hand against her again, he will lose his hands. Later, Daenerys confides in Mormont her realization that Viserys will never become King of Westeros. He is so weak and ineffectual that he couldn't command an army even if Drogo gave him one, to which Jorah agrees.
In King's Landing, in the Red Keep, Sansa Stark visits the Great Hall, where the Iron Throne sits. She and Septa Mordane discuss the expectation that Sansa will have to provide Joffrey with an heir. Sansa thinks the realm will hate her if she only has daughters, along with her belief Joffrey is still angry over the incident by the river and her anger at her father over Lady's death.
During a meeting of the small council, Lord Eddard learns that the forthcoming tournament to celebrate his appointment is seeing the city swell with visitors, and has already resulted in a tavern riot, a brothel fire, three stabbings and a drunken horse race. He tells Littlefinger that money will have to be found to strengthen the city guards, as well as giving twenty of his own men to Janos Slynt's command, until the tournament is over. After the meeting Eddard talks to Grand Maester Pycelle about Jon Arryn's last few weeks. Pycelle said he did all he could to save Jon Arryn, but the illness was sudden and severe. He recalls that shortly before his sudden illness, Arryn had borrowed a truly boring book about the lineages of the Seven Kingdoms, and his last words were, "The seed is strong."
Taking the book with him, Eddard comes across Arya in the hall standing on one leg as part of her training with Syrio. Arya asks whether Bran would be able to live in King's Landing with them now that he's awoken, but Eddard states that he would have to regain his strength first. Arya then comments that Bran had always wanted to be a knight in the King's Guard, but will no longer be able to due to his paralysis. Eddard confirms this to be the case, but states that Bran will be able to do many other things such as become lord of a holdfast, sit on the King's council, or raise castles. When Arya asks if she would be able to become any of those, Eddard instead tells her that she will marry a highborn lord and have lords and princes for sons. However, Arya is not pleased with this response, telling her father, "that's not me." She goes back to balancing on one leg as Eddard looks on.
Littlefinger meets with Eddard and suggests that he keep his investigation into Jon Arryn's death lower in profile. He also gives Eddard some interesting intelligence: Jon Arryn's former squire has been knighted and will fight in the forthcoming Hand's tourney. He also advises him to investigate an armorer located in the city. Eddard decides that Littlefinger may be more trustworthy than he first thought, but Littlefinger discourages him from thinking that way. Eddard sends Jory Cassel to question Jon Arryn's former squire, Ser Hugh of the Vale. However, deducing that Jory was not a knight, Ser Hugh simply rebuffs him and refuses to speak with him due to his much lower rank. Eddard's investigation leads him to a smithy in the city, where he meets master smith Tobho Mott and his apprentice Gendry, whose work Jon Arryn was also apparently interested in. Eddard realizes that Gendry is one of King Robert's bastard sons, but can't work out why Jon Arryn would be interested in this: Robert has many bastard children and shows little interest in any of them.
Later, Eddard sends Jory with a message for King Robert, but upon arriving at his quarters, the sounds of many women can he heard coming from Robert's chamber. Ser Jaime Lannister happens to be on duty and is angry that the king keeps him guarding his chamber while he cavorts with other women inside, flaunting his dishonorable treatment of Jaime's sister in his face. He and Jory reminisce about the Greyjoy Rebellion, in which they both fought for King Robert's forces to put down an attempt by Balon Greyjoy (Theon's father) to secede the Iron Islands from the rest of the realm. Jory tries to leave Eddard's message with Jaime, but is rebuffed, as Jaime angrily states that he does not serve Lord Stark.
The tournament begins and Sansa watches from the stands. Ser Gregor Clegane, the elder brother of Sandor Clegane, the Hound, takes the field. His first joust is with Ser Hugh. However, the friendly joust turns nasty and Gregor kills Ser Hugh "by accident", with a splinter of the lance impaling his neck. Littlefinger sits next to Sansa, and remarks that she and Joffrey have had a lover's quarrel (as Joffrey is still giving her the cold shoulder). Baelish then tells Sansa that Gregor, the "Mountain That Rides", has a dark reputation: he pushed his little brother Sandor's face into a fire for taking and playing with a toy of his when they were young, burning him severely. Littlefinger recommends that Sansa not spread that story around.
Cersei visits Eddard at his chambers, remarking at how the Hand is not at his own tournament. Though Cersei attempts to start the conversation in an attempt to put the incident on the Kingsroad behind them, Eddard correctly deduces that she has an ulterior motive for her visit. Cersei then wonders aloud to Eddard what his true purpose is for being at King's Landing, as she knows how little Starks enjoy being in the capital. When Eddard tells her he is to faithfully serve their King, Cersei remarks that as his brother Brandon was born to lead, Eddard was born to follow.
At the Crossroads Inn, Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel, on their way home to Winterfell, are enjoying the hospitality of the innkeeper and, more reluctantly, the attempts by the troubadour Marillion to ingratiate himself with them. (He is doing a poor job: when he asks if they would like a song, he is refused.) They are surprised when Tyrion Lannister and Yoren arrive. When told there aren't any rooms, Tyrion holds up a gold coin and asks if someone has a room for him. Quickly Tyrion gains the favor of a sellsword, Bronn, who agrees to give his room to Tyrion. Marillion draws the attention of Tyrion to Catelyn's table, by offering to serenade him while he eats, singing of his father's military victories. Tyrion says nothing would more likely ruin his appetite, but as he is turning away, he recognizes Catelyn and is surprised at this meeting by chance. In return Catelyn tells the stunned inn that Tyrion tried to murder her son Bran twice and that she asks their help in bringing him to the king's justice. The inn is located in the Riverlands, in the territory controlled by her father, so the knights present owe him their fealty. Tyrion finds himself surrounded by half a dozen men with swords, and in Catelyn's custody.
Ned begins to look into the death of his predecessor and mentor John Arryn. He learns that Arryn was interested in a particular book and also visited a local blacksmith known for making quality arms. There he meets someone quite interesting. At the northern wall, Jon befriends Samwell Tarly an overweight, bumbling young man whose father gave him the choice of joining the Night's Watch or dying in a hunting 'accident'. Sam is the object of scorn from other trainees and their instructor. Jon makes it clear that no harm will come him. Sansa is still not speaking to her father after he was forced to kill her wolf. She is preparing to become Queen someday. Her sister Arya meanwhile is taking sword fighting lessons and sees herself as a knight. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys defends herself when her brother Vyseris slaps her making it very clear that she too can exercise some authority.
SEAN BEAN ( Eddard Ned Stark )
MARK ADDY ( Robert Baratheon )
NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU ( Jaime Lannister )
MICHELLE FAIRLEY ( Catelyn Stark )
LENA HEADEY ( Cersei Lannister )
EMILIA CLARKE ( Daenerys Targaryen )