Later, we see the book in question. It is, indeed, a ponderous tome. It contains the lineages and history of the great houses of the seven kingdoms, complete with descriptions of many high lords and noble ladies. And their children. See, I don't know why, but that sounds awful to me but I was really into Viserys's list of dragon names earlier. I guess I like fictional monsters, but not fictional genealogy. This book is full of when people were born and died. Jon Arryn didn't say what he wanted the book for, but he did say "The seed is strong" as he died. It was his "Winter is coming," if you will. Pycelle doesn't think it meant anything, because dying words are usually about as significant as first words. He doesn't think it's likely that Jon Arryn was poisoned, because he was loved by all. Also, poison is a woman's weapon. Women, cravens... and eunuchs. Oh, and Varys is a eunuch. So there's that. Ned takes the tome and walks out.
As he walks through the halls of the castle, he sees Arya balancing on one foot at the top of some stairs. She explains, "Syrio says that every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better." That doesn't really explain the balancing. Nor does it explain her plan for tomorrow, which will involve chasing cats. She has some questions about how the plot's going, specifically, "Now that Bran's awake, will he come live with us?" Well, maybe. He needs to get his strength back first. And he can't be a knight of the king's guard. But he could be on the council or something. Oh, that sounds awesome. Maybe this show can have generations upon generations of council meetings. Or Bran could be Lord of a holdfast. Arya, however, cannot. Ned says that she'll marry a high lord and rule his castle and have highborn children. Arya disagrees: "No. That's not me." Back to balancing.
Jon Snow is up on top of the actual Wall. It looks pretty cold and windy up there. Samwell comes up to announce that Ser Allister says he's his new watch partner. But he adds, "I should warn you, I don't see all that well." Great! He also doesn't want to approach the fire, which is between him and the edge of the wall. Why? "I don't like high places." Show is trying to be friendly, but he can't help but point out, "You can't fight. You can't see. You're afraid of heights and almost everything else, probably." So what's his deal? Why did he join up with the Night's Watch? Well, Samwell has a story: on the morning of his eighteenth name day (presumably the vaguely medieval way to say "eighteenth birthday"), his father told him he was going to take the black and forsake all his claims to the family castle and lands. And if he didn't, they'd have a hunt and Samwell's horse would stumble and he'd die. Or, says Samwell quoting his father, "so I''ll tell your mother. Nothing would please me more." So there you go. Sam came to the Wall because his father was going to kill him if he didn't. He sighs and tells Snow, "I'm not going to get any better, you know." Snow answers, "Well, you can't get any worse." They laugh, and if this were a sitcom from the 1970s, we'd probably end the show on a freezeframe right here.