Up at the Wall, Jon Snow has earned the respect of his fellow recruits. And then a fat coward named Samwell shows up and Snow has to make everybody be nice to him. This involves using his direwolf, which we haven't seen since he first received it. I guess it's been hiding somewhere.
At King's Landing, Lord Stark starts to dive into the court intrigues as he investigates Jon Arryn's death. This leads him to a blacksmith's apprentice who's secretly one of Robert's bastards. Well, not so secretly, I guess, because it looks like Ned's about the last to learn anything.
Also at King's Landing, the Hand's Tournament (or "King's Tournament" if you listen to Ned) starts, and someone gets killed almost immediately.
Meanwhile, out in the Dothraki lands, Viserys gets a little mouthy at his sister. So Daenerys smacks him down and tells him to get in line. She's starting to realize that this guy would not make a very good king. He'd also get assassinated in about five minutes, if you ask me.
And up at Winterfell, Tyrion stops by to give Bran his diagrams for a saddle that would let him ride horses again. Robb is snippy, but that's nothing compared to the reception Tyrion gets when he accidentally stops by the roadside tavern that Catelyn and Sideburns are in. Because she gets various goons and tough guys to encircle Tyrion with drawn swords. Cliffhanger!
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It has been brought to my attention that I made a mistake in last episode's recap. It was Sansa that got the dolly, not Arya. Sorry about that. Also, the guy who King Robert was being nostalgic at was not really the Hound. It was someone else. Congratulations to the people who found these errors! I say that in hopes of convincing you that it was all a secret contest. This week's contest is to identify which line was supposed to sound like a joke that I didn't finish writing!
You know, the credits include more than just the map. There's some kind of armillary sphere that might be on fire. And there are symbols that might mean something, but I've decided I don't care enough to pay attention to them. They include a stag and a dragon, if that's the sort of thing you're interested in. Anyway, the cities on the map are King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and Vaes Dothrak. Again. Boy, I really hope my obsessive attention to these details eventually pays off.
Oh, a crow. That's a nice change. It leads us to Bran, who is practicing archery courtyard. On his two, perfectly functioning legs. Having performed its job of showing us humans, the crow flits off around a corner. Bran follows, and the camera zooms in on his feet. They look fine! He catches up with the crow, and it has three eyes. Fine, fine. It's obviously a dream sequence. But Bran doesn't sit bolt upright in bed, the way things usually happen in movies and television shows. He just kind of lies there, what with the busted legs. The weird old lady is in there, so I think it's safe to assume that she was telling a story about three-eyed crows and bored Bran into a deep, deep sleep. That guy who's always hanging out with Robb comes in and tells Bran he has to go see some visitors. Bran doesn't want to go, because, again, he's got a huge bed covered with comfy furs. And a nice warm wolf to keep him company. But apparently Robb says that Bran doesn't have a choice, so a tall person comes in to carry Bran downstairs. This is Hodor. He's called that because all he says is "Hodor hodor hodor." You will come to love him.
The visitors, as you might have expected, are Tyrion and a few of the people from the Night's Watch. Robb is not putting on a very friendly front, since he's got a panel of goons that's looking down at the visitors. Okay, that might be overstating things a little, since he's going to add Bran to the panel, and he wasn't all that intimidating even when he was able to walk. And the only visitor that's actually getting the stink-eye is Tyrion. Robb makes a point of saying that any man of the Night's Watch is welcome at Winterfell, and Tyrion is too snarky to let it pass. And when Robb insists that he's the Lord of Winterfell and can be rude to anyone he wants, Tyrion sneers, "Then you might learn a Lord's courtesy." Tyrion just wants to talk to Bran, who is carried over by Hodor. (Seriously, get on board the Hodor train right now, you guys. Just try saying "Hodor" a few times and you'll see what I mean.) Tyrion asks Bran if he remembers anything, and Bran says he doesn't. Tyrion claims to find that interesting, but I think he just says that when he can't think of a more specific thing to be clever about. Then he gets to the point, asking Bran if he likes to ride horses. Well, sure. Bran admits that he used to. Tyrion says, with the air of someone who's looking around for someone to write down what he's saying for future use in a book of epigrams, "Even a cripple can ride." Bran protests that he's not a cripple, to which Tyrion responds, "Then I'm not a dwarf! My father will rejoice to hear it." Having fulfilled his need for airy persiflage, Tyrion hands over the plans for a complicated saddle which should let Bran ride a horse without use of his legs. Robb is suspicious that someone like Tyrion would do something nice for someone, but Tyrion clains that he has a tender spot in his heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things. Robb reluctantly offers the hospitality of Winterfell, but Tyrion is in a bit of a snit. So he goes off to a whorehouse instead, which is what he probably planned on doing all along, even if Robb had thrown the doors of Winterfell open and embraced Tyrion like a brother.