In the Vale, Tyrion Lannister has his blindfold removed and finds that their party, augmented by several knights and the sellsword Bronn from the Crossroads Inn, is on the Eastern Road en route to the Vale of Arryn. Catelyn had been saying that they were riding for Winterfell often and very loudly. Tyrion congratulates her on her cunning, while pointing out that his father will give out a handsome reward for his safe return, a point that clearly piques Bronn's interest. Tyrion says that Lady Lysa Arryn has gone mad since her husband's death and will try to kill him in the Eyrie. He demand his innocence be known in the attempt on Bran's life and points out he'd have to be an idiot to give the assassin his own blade. Before Catelyn can answer, the party comes under attack from one of the hill tribes. Despite taking several losses, the party is able to drive off the attackers. Though having the opportunity to escape, Tyrion fights, killing his first man in the skirmish, and in doing so, saves Catelyn's life. Afterwards, they resume their trek to the Eyrie.
Little Waiting Time...
In the High Hall of the Eyrie, Lady Lysa Arryn holds court on behalf of her young son, Robin. Lysa is furious that Cat has endangered them all by bringing Tyrion to the Vale. Tyrion points out that if he is harmed, there will be war with House Lannister, but Lysa is unconcerned about his threats, as the Vale is strongly-defended and the Eyrie is impregnable. She orders him sent to the sky cells: three-sided cells with the fourth open to a sheer drop down the mountainside. This forces Tyrion to huddle in a corner and try not to roll out to his death in his sleep.
In Winterfell, Bran is angry about his mother's absence. Maester Luwin tries to set his mind at rest about the matter, to no avail. However, when Bran gets frustrated at not being able to practice his archery, Luwin suggests that he could learn to use a shortbow, of the kind used in mounted combat by the Dothraki, a notion which pleases Bran.
Elsewhere in the castle, Theon Greyjoy enjoys the attentions of his favorite whore, Ros, but becomes annoyed when she compares his prowess unfavorably to that of Tyrion Lannister.
In King's Landing, Lord Eddard Stark arrives at the tourney ground to speak to Lord Commander Barristan Selmy about the death of Ser Hugh of the Vale. Barristan notes that he had no family or friends so he stood the knight's vigil himself for Ser Hugh. Eddard is suspicious of Ser Hugh's death, wanting to know how he could afford a new set of armor so soon after being made a knight. Barristan reflects on the irony of them being on opposite sides of the war during Robert's Rebellion and now they are working together.
He also tells Eddard that King Robert is planning to joust during the day's activities. Ned finds King Robert tormenting his squire, Lancel Lannister, finally sending him off on a snipe hunt in amused disgust. Robert is adamant about fighting in the joust but Ned tells him that he is too fat for his armor and the other knights would let him win. This frustrates Robert but he is forced to admit that Ned is right but at least they can watch the joust from the stands.
The first tilt of the day is between the fearsome Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain, and the popular 'Knight of the Flowers', Ser Loras Tyrell. Loras gives a beautiful flower to Sansa Stark, while Littlefinger and Lord Renly make a wager on who will win with Renly betting on Loras. Loras is riding a mare that is in heat, which agitates and excites the Mountain's stallion, causing him to throw his rider.
Enraged at having lost, Gregor first decapitates his horse and then attacks Ser Loras. Sandor Clegane comes to Loras's defense, preventing his brother from killing him. They exchange several blows, until King Robert orders them to cease. Sandor immediately bows to the king, while Gregor storms off the field. Ser Loras declares Sandor the victor of the match to the Hound's discomfort.
In the Red Keep, Lord Varys meets with Eddard. Varys tells him that the king is a fool and will soon be dead unless Ned can save him. Ned wants to know why Varys is telling him this now. Varys tells him he had to be sure Ned could be trusted .He calls Ned an honorable and true man, maybe the only one in the city. He also confirms that Jon Arryn was assassinated with a poison called the Tears of Lys because he "started asking questions".
Later, Arya is chasing cats in accordance with her sword training. She chases one into the dungeons under the castle, where she finds the great dragon skulls of the Targaryens in storage. She hears two men talking: Varys and Magister Illyrio Mopatis of Pentos. Varys says that events have been set in motion and the lion and the wolf will soon be at each other's throats. War is almost upon the Seven Kingdoms, as they planned, but it has come too soon. Khal Drogo will not invade Westeros until his son is born and pronounced healthy, which is still many months away. Illyrio suggests assassinating Eddard to forestall the war, but Varys refuses.
Afterwards, Varys finds Littlefinger in the Great Hall staring at the Iron Throne. Varys reveals that he knows about Littlefinger's assistance in Eddard's investigation of Jon Arryn's death and reminds Littlefinger of the consequences that may befall him should the Lannisters discover his involvement. In response, Littlefinger reveals that he already knows about Varys having met with both Eddard and Illyrio just earlier that day, implying he knows of Varys's allegiances across the Narrow Sea. Their conversation is interrupted by Renly, who informs them that Robert will be joining them at their small council meeting.
Arya escapes from the dungeon and tries to warn her father about what she overheard but she gets the words muddled up. They are interrupted by Yoren, who has ridden non-stop from the Crossroads Inn to bring Eddard forewarning of Catelyn's arrest of Tyrion Lannister. Ned keeps the information to himself, while Arya asks Jory Cassel about the state of her father's household guard. Jory tells her she does not have to worry about her father's safety.
At the meeting of the small council, King Robert tells Eddard that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant and her son will have a claim to the Iron Throne. He wants Daenerys, the unborn child, and Viserys dead as soon as possible.
Eddard states that this act would be dishonorable, cowardly, and beneath their dignity. The other members of the council: Pycelle, Renly, Littlefinger and Varys, all concur that Daenerys must die for the good of the realm. King Robert orders Ned to enact the order. He refuses and resigns as the Hand of the King, to Robert's utter disbelief and fury.
Eddard orders his household to begin packing. As Ned is packing, Littlefinger arrives and offers to take Ned to the last place Jon Arryn went before he "fell ill". Ned agrees.
Ser Loras and Lord Renly, who are lovers, meet in a bedchamber where Renly complains as Robert is organizing a hunt in the Kingswood, which will no doubt involve traipsing around the forest for a couple of weeks in the cold and rain waiting to kill some animal. Loras urges Renly to claim the crown himself, offering him the allegiance of his rich and powerful family. Renly dismisses the notion, since he is fourth in line to the Iron Throne. Loras points out that Joffrey is a monster, that Tommen is only eight and laughs at the notion of Robert and Renly's other brother, Lord Stannis, ever becoming king, as he has the charisma and personality of a lobster. He also asserts that the people love Renly and want to serve him because he is kind and doesn't revel in violence as his brothers do.
Queen Cersei and Robert share a rare drink and discuss the Targaryen threat. Surprisingly, Cersei takes Eddard's side, pointing out that the Dothraki cannot cross the Narrow Sea as they have no ships.
Robert agrees, but if they land and the knights of Westeros take shelter behind their castle walls, the Dothraki could simply burn and pillage their way up and down the continent until the smallfolk accept Viserys as their king regardless. Cersei suggests that the unified armies of the Seven Kingdoms could defeat them but Robert says she underestimates the skill and ability of one army with one leader and one purpose as compared to that of the scattered and patchwork armies of Westeros. Their discussion moves to Lyanna Stark, which surprises Robert, as in seventeen years Cersei has never asked about her. He tells her that Lyanna's death left in him a void that seven kingdoms could not fill. He also tells her that their marriage never had a chance of success because of the hold Lyanna's memory has on him, and bitterly adds he can barely remember what she looked like. Cersei says that she felt something for Robert once, even after they lost their first boy, for quite a while. She asks Robert if there was ever any chance for their marriage and he answers "no".
Littlefinger brings Eddard Stark to the last place Jon Arryn went before falling ill, which is one of Littefinger's brothels. There Ned meets another one of Robert's bastards, this time a baby girl and her mother, a blond whore named Mhaegen. Mhaegen remarks that her child has Robert's nose and "black" hair. Eddard asks Littlefinger why Jon Arryn was searching for Robert's bastards but he says he doesn't know, offering the half-hearted guess that maybe Robert suddenly took paternal interest in them. Eddard looks skeptical of that reason.
Leaving the brothel, Eddard, Jory Cassel, and the two guards that accompanied them are confronted by a large group of Lannister guardsmen led by Ser Jaime Lannister. Jaime has heard of Tyrion's arrest and demands an explanation. Ned says that Tyrion was arrested on his orders.
Jaime threatens to kill him but Ned points out that if he does, Tyrion will die as well. Jaime acknowledges that this is true, so he says he will settle for killing Eddard's men instead. Ned's two guards, Heward and Wyl, are killed by Lannister spearmen in the opening seconds of the fight. In response, Ned and Jory fight and kill six of the Lannister soldiers. Jory engages Jaime but is quickly killed when Jaime stabs him through the eye with a dagger. Furious, Ned crosses swords with Jaime. Jaime is shocked and then exhilarated when the older Ned is not as easily defeated as he expected. However, Jaime gradually starts to grow worried as Ned's high level of skill becomes apparent. Just as they are ready to clash again, a Lannister guardsman steps in and stabs Eddard through the leg with a spear, disabling him. Jaime is annoyed at the dishonorable interruption and knocks out the guardsman. He departs, telling Ned he wants his brother back.
When King Robert learns that Daenerys and the Dothrakis are preparing for war, he decides to attack first. Ned is against the idea saying they should go slowly and learn more but the King calls him a weakling and dismisses him as the King's Hand. Playing in the dungeons, Arya overhears two men plotting against her father. She tells him what she heard and he decides the time has come for him to return to Winterfell. He delays his departure when given the opportunity to speak to the last person his predecessor spoke to, a whore who gave Robert another illegitimate son. The delay is costly however and leads to a serious injury. Catelyn meanwhile takes Tyrion to her sister Lysa, who also happens to be the John Arryn's widow.
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 )