The party rages on. Whee! Stark chats with Benjen about Twitchy, who was allegedly tough. So what did he see? They think it could maybe have been a wildling ambush. But they don't seem convinced. Stark repeats his ominous catchphrase: "Winter's coming."
Lady Stark and the queen sit politely at their table and attempt to have small talk about this being her first trip to Winterfell. The queen doesn't seem to like it much, and she assumes Cat doesn't either. Sansa comes up to make the proper greeting to the queen, who is properly condescending: "Hello, little dove. But you are a beauty." Queens get to ask personal questions, so we learn that Sansa is thirteen (or, if you're a terrible horror movie aficianado like me, thir13en) and, in the words of the queen, has not bled. The queen looks blandly at Sansa's outfit and says, "Your dress, did you make it? Such a talent. You must make one for me." That's probably an insult, but Sansa is happy to have her dress-making ability noticed, and leaves thinking she's been complimented. The queen tells Lady Stark, "Your daughter will do well in the capital." Prince Joffrey (the blond kid with the Caesar cut who arrived with the rest of the party) watches and smiles.
Lord Stark weaves around people and is blocked by Jaime Lannister. Jaime has heard that Eddard may be coming down to King's Landing and that, in Jaime's mind, means that the two of them can compete in some kind of tournament. Because Jaime has a trophy rack full of ribbons and pennants and stuff like that. Eddard will not be participating, explaining, "I don't fight in tournaments, because when I fight a man for real, I don't want him to know what I can do." Jaime accepts this dodge. Elsewhere in the party, Arya flicks food at Sansa, which is hilarious. Before this can escalate into a full-fledged food fight, Robb carries her off to bed.
Lord and Lady Stark are together in bed, but this is a moping scene, not a sexing scene. Ned mopes about how he's a Northman and doesn't want to go down to the capital. Lady Stark wants to back him up: "I'll say, 'Listen, fat man. You are not taking my husband anywhere.'" That's probably not the best idea. A monk whose name turns out to be Meister Lune interrupts to report that there's a rider in the night, from "your sister." There's a black wax seal on it the letter, and it was sent from the Eyrie. Wherever that is. Cat reads it, then tosses it in the fire. At Ned's request, she summarizes her sister's news: "She's fled the capital. She says Jon Arryn was murdered. By the Lannisters. She says the King is in danger." Meister Lune says that only Lord Stark can protect the king if this is true. Lady Stark points out that the Lannisters killed the last Hand, and now they want Ned to be the new one? In her opinion, he owes the king nothing and reminds him, "Your father and brother rode south once, at a king's demand." That was, Ned says, "A different time. A different king." Ned thinks about it.