Game of Thrones is one of the most potent TV series of all time; from the beginning of the show, it had a great impact upon all TV for the rest of the series. Scene Siren is everything you need to know about the big and little screen so where better to start than rewatching Game of Thrones and analysing each episode up until that Marmite last episode? I will be discussing the good, the bad and the ugly and I hope you will enjoy the ride!
Directed by: Brian Kirk
Screenplay by: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
After Jon Snow arrives at The Wall, he is thrown straight into training while his father, Ned Stark adapts to his new surroundings in King’s Landing. Certain that the Lannisters tried to kill Bran, Catelyn follows after her husband in King’s Landing, revealing an old friendship with Lord Petyr Baelish. Meanwhile, Arya wants revenge from Joffrey and wants to learn how to fight. With the Dothraki, Daenerys Targaryen learns that she is pregnant with Khal Drogo’s baby.
Critically, this episode didn’t do as well as its predecessors purely for being too exposition-heavy as a lot of information is dropped in the process of it but personally, I don’t think it matters too much as it is still enjoyable and fast-paced. A lot does happen in one episode but that’s what’s going to happen when there are one hundred storylines interweaving into one that the writers have to keep moving.
- A symbolic moment – Syrio begins teaching Arya to fight.
Looking back on this series having watched all of it, it’s hard to ignore how symbolic this moment truly is. Arya becomes one of the key players in the story, even if she starts off as a young girl who is quick to anger. This is the moment when we begin to see how her arc will begin to take shape – more than her childish anger, she wants to make a difference to the world around her. Initially, that is to rid the world of Joffrey but after a conversation with her father (which I’ll get to), he allows her to receive sword fighting lessons.
We know what a masterful fighter Arya becomes so to see the first glimpse of that is truly enjoyable and Syrio Forel is a delightful character which I wish we had seen more of. It’s nicely juxtaposed to Sansa’s scenes who is still grieving over her direwolf and receives a doll as a present from her father, still showing that she is more interested in the generic feminine norms of the world rather than fighting.
2. A moment that made me feel something – Ned’s heart-to-heart with Arya.
Ned Stark is one of the most memorable characters in fiction – the fact that he has very little screen time in the grand scheme of things but is still pivotal and missed by the fans shows what an impact he truly had. Watching this scene with Arya where he has to tell her that the world isn’t as black and white as she believes. Whereas Sansa is protecting herself with her words and the same with Ned, he knows that Arya has to defend herself in some way against the Lannisters – which is why he allows her to keep her sword and arranges for her lessons.
It’s an emotional scene purely because of what happens at the latter end of this series – we experience the first Stark death and seeing Ned interact with his family is always going to hurt, especially as he was one of the more wise men of the cast. It also thoroughly showcases how much Arya looked up to him, more so than anyone else in the Stark family.
3. A moment that developed a villain – Cersei having a ‘heart-to-heart’ with Joffrey.
It’s no accident that the previous scene and this scene are in the same episode together. Here we can accurately see just how different the Stark and Lannister style of parenting is even if they are talking about the same subject matter. Both Ned and Cersei are telling their children how to survive in this world – Joffrey and Arya are equally impulsive and quick to decide that violence is the best route. But Ned teaches Arya about knowing when to fight for the right thing when Cersei teaches Joffrey that there is worth in ‘kindness’.
I’ve put this into the villain category as Cersei’s definition of ‘kindness’ is small acts in order to manipulate and get what you want. She knows that Sansa is unhappy with their punishment from the last episode and that Joffrey needs to get her back on-side. But Joffrey is too vain to realise that he needs the Starks, he only sees them as an enemy. With a mother teaching him lessons like this, it’s no mean feat to see why he is the way he is.
4. A moment that developed a character – Jaime and Ned talk about the past.
Jaime has been something of a side-character in the past few episodes – all we really know about him is his loyalty to Cersei and that he is willing to do whatever it takes in order for them to be together. He clarifies this later in this episode in his scene with Cersei. Although the episode is titled Lord Snow, the true character development in this episode doesn’t lie with Jon Snow, it lies with Jaime. Even though he doesn’t follow an arc through the episode, through his conversation with Ned, we learn more about him. We’ve heard him referred to as the Kingslayer but now, he tells the audience about how he killed the Mad King and earned his title.
It makes him more of a threat that audiences begin to see could have a bigger part to play in all of this rather than just doing whatever Cersei tells him to do.
5. A moment that developed a relationship – Daenerys tells Drogo that she’s pregnant.
This is the second week in a row that I’ve had these two in the relationship category but it’s purely because of how quickly their relationship changes across the span of the first series. Drogo has gone from Dany’s captor to her saviour as she begins to work out her place in the Dothraki. Following the events of the last episode, Dany has taken more of the power in their relationship and it’s something that Drogo has been open to accept. Even though the tension continues between her and her brother, Viserys, she is starting to realise how much of a hold he had over her and what she could have with the Dothraki.
Now that she has fallen pregnant with Drogo’s son, she has a lot more power over Viserys as there are more stakes involved in keeping her protected if he was to lash out at her which he learns when he tries to attack her – and that’s before it’s announced that she’s pregnant.
Overall, the episode is about fighting against the labels that you’re met with. The title Lord Snow is a name that Jon is called which he is desperate to shake off, much like how Arya is desperate to not be called a ‘little lady’ all the time. All the while, Joffrey wants to hold onto the title of King but he is still begin treated like a child by his mother when he wants to take charge. Similarly to Daenerys, she is embracing the role of ‘Khaleesi’ rather than the Westerosi title of ‘Queen’.
Are there any other TV series you’re interested in seeing an episode-by-episode analysis of? If so, let me know in the comments below! What did you think of this episode? Be sure to follow this site so that you can see the next episode.