1.07: You Win or You Die
A few days break, but here we go with episode 7, lovingly entitled “You Win or You Die”. I had a thought a couple of days ago that I should be blogging the commentaries. Oh well.
We open in the Lannister camp, with Jamie reading Ned’s ultimatum to Tywin. They argue, in American, or at least Jamie does. “I could care less” indeed, it smacks of lazy scriptwriting (or acting) to me. In the end Tywin gives him half his forces to free Tyrion and tries to make him grow up.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Cersei meets Ned in the garden. He asks her whether she knew of Robert’s affairs, and it seems she more than knew. Ned tells her he plans to inform the king, and advises her to leave the city as soon as possible. She has no intention of complying.
A cut scene of Littlefinger coaching his whores fits in here, for little reason I suspect, than to show some naked flesh on screen. It certainly doesn’t progress the story any. Pretty though. Roz taunts him a bit about Catelyn and he tells her the story behind it. We pretty much already knew it though. Nothing new here.
At Winterfell, Theon taunts the wildling girl, boasting of his noble titles… ironic that he’s a hostage himself. Maester Lewin enters and disabuses him of his notions. He speaks to the girl, asks her about what’s happening north of The Wall…
Upon which, Jon and Sam are on watch when a riderless horse returns. Benjen’s Horse.
Back in King’s Landing, King Robert is on his death bed after a hunting accident. He calls for the room to be cleared as he wants to talk to Ned alone. He dictates his will (which Ned subtly rewords) and signs it. Robert regrets ordering Daenerys’ death, and ponders the fact that of all his lords and advisors, Ned was the only one to ever say “no” to him. Outside, Ser Barristan speaks of the fact that the king was drunk. Varys mentions on asking, that plans for killing Daenerys are well in progress, and that she’s likely already dead.
But in the Dothraki camp, she braids Drogo’s hair, speaking of conquest. Drogo’s not really interested in Westeros now that Viserys is dead. Daenerys and Mormont go into the market chatting. Mormont goes off to get word from Varys. It seems that he’s the spy! Meanwhile, Daenerys and her party encounter a wine seller. He haggles about wine, and tries to poison her, but an intervention by Mormont prevents it. The wine seller is taken as prisoner.
On the wall, the commander addresses the new recruits. Sam expects to be a steward, and Jon to be a ranger. But things don’t go Jon’s way and in the reading, Jon is declared a steward too, the commander’s personal squire. He’s upset at this, until Sam explains to him why. He’s being groomed to be the next commander, and a ranger’s life expectancy isn’t that long.
Back at King’s Landing, Prince Renly comes to see Ned, offering his own troops to help Ned take the throne. Ned doesn’t take the bait, and sends a message to Prince Stannis at Dragonstone. Littlefinger tries to control Ned’s decisions as Lord Protector. Ned counters, asking for control of the city watch to protect the succession; but he doesn’t realise such loyalty has already been bought and paid for by Cersei.
That evening, at The Wall, the recruits take their vows before their respective gods. Jon’s wolf Ghost comes in with a hand.
At Vaes Dothrak, Mormont explains to Daenerys what will happen to the wine-seller, and of King Robert’s attempts to have her killed. Drogo arrives and after promising Mormont a choice of horses for saving his wife, pretty much loses it. He swears vengeance and promises to take the iron throne for Daenerys and their son.
They ride out next morning. The wine seller is naked and tied behind Daenerys’ horse. He looks a little beaten up!
Back in King’s Landing, Joffrey has seized the throne, and Ned is summoned to the throne room. Renly has fled the city. Littlefinger and the city watch say they are with Ned. They enter the throne room, where Joffrey demands his service and fealty. In response, Ned shows King Robert’s will, which upon reading, Cersei rips up, demanding of Ned if this was meant to be a shield as “We have a new king now”. She and Joffrey try to arrest, and Ned calls on the watch to back him, but they change sides and Ned’s men are killed.
The episode ends with Littlefinger telling him “I did warn you not to trust me”.