A Golden Crown
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Lord Ned Stark awakens from a drug-induced slumber to find King Robert and Queen Cersei Baratheon standing over his bed. Robert demands that Ned tell his wife to release Tyrion Lannister. Cersei wants the Starks to be punished, and when Robert declines, she tells him, "I should wear the armor, and you the gown." He responds by slapping her across the face. His wife leaves the room, and Robert pours himself a glass of wine before telling Ned that he can't rule the kingdom with the Starks and Lannisters at war - especially considering how much gold the crown owes to Lord Tywin Lannister.
Bran Stark again dreams of walking through Winterfell in pursuit of a three-eyed raven, but when he jolts awake this time, he has a pleasant surprise: Hodor, holding the custom saddle that will allow Bran to ride. Later, in the forest north of Winterfell, Bran gets a feel for his horse while Robb Stark and Theon Greyjoy discuss Ned's capture. Theon insists that Robb strike out against the Lannisters, but Robb tells him: "It's not your duty, because it's not your house."
When he breaks off on his own in the forest, Bran is attacked by a small group of wildlings headed south. They're intent on robbing him and taking his horse. As they start to cut him from his saddle, Robb comes to the rescue, dispatching one wildling and incapacitating another - a woman. But the last man holds a knife to Bran's throat and orders Robb to drop his sword. As Robb begins to lower the blade, an arrow thuds into the wildling's back, fired from Theon's bow. Robb, angry, asks Theon: "What if you'd missed?"
Arya Stark meets Syrio Forel for her "dancing lesson," but she's not in the mood for training. Syrio says this is perfect, because fighting doesn't happen when you're ready for it. He launches a few quick attacks until Arya finally parries his blow. She says she's been praying for her father, to both the Old Gods and the new. Syrio replies: "There is only one God, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to death: ‘Not today.'"
Alone in her tent, Daenerys Targaryen takes one of the dragon eggs from the case That Magister Illyrio Mopatis gave her as a wedding gift. She places it in the hot coals of a brazier, watching mesmerized as it soaks in the heat. She reaches into the fire to retrieve the egg, but Irri steps into the room and rushes to her khaleesi, snatching the hot egg from Dany's hands. The artifact lands with a hiss, and Irri's hands are burned from touching it for just a moment. The skin on Dany's palms, however, is unmarked.
Later, Dany must eat a stallion's heart as part of a ritual for the Dosh Khaleen, the aging widows left behind by dead khals. The entire khalasar, including Khal Drogo, looks on as she chokes down the raw meat. Regurgitating even a bit means an ill omen for the birth of her child. But as she finishes the disgusting meal, the crowd begins to chant and the Dosh Khaleen deliver their prophecy: Dany will have a son, a conqueror who will rise to become the khal of all khals.
After the ritual, Ser Jorah Mormont finds Viserys Targaryen in Dany's tent, trying to escape with the priceless dragon eggs. He's furious that his sister's power has surpassed his own, and he's ready to leave her behind. "One egg will buy me a ship," Viserys says. "Two will buy me a ship and an army." But Jorah defies the man he once swore to support, allowing Viserys to leave only after he's dropped the relics.
Imprisoned in the tortuous sky cells of the Eyrie, Tyrion wakes up with his head hanging over the edge of a precipitous drop down the mountain. He calls for his jailer, Mord, and after several attempts manages to convince the man that he'll pay to have a message delivered to Lady Lysa Arryn: Tyrion is ready to confess his crimes.
Once the dwarf gets his chance to appear before Lysa's court, however, he makes a joke of his confession, admitting to every unsavory action he's taken since childhood but not breathing a word about the attempt on Bran's life. Instead, he demands a trial by combat, and the sellsword Bronn volunteers to be his champion and fight against Lord Vardis to earn the dwarf's freedom - and quite a bit of gold.
The fully plated knight begins the battle by charging Bronn with all his might, but the unarmored mercenary dodges his attacks, slowly tiring Vardis as the fight wears on. Once his opponent starts to slow down, Bronn plunges his sword into a gap in Vardis' armor. After a few more moments the knight is on his knees and Bronn delivers a killing blow before pushing the man's body out of the yawning Moon Door. Tyrion, now free (if poorly equipped for travel), demands his purse from Ser Rodrik Cassel and hands it to Mord as he walks out of the Eyrie with Bronn.
Robert, on a hunting trip with his brother Lord Renly Baratheon, Ser Barristan Selmy and Lancel Lannister, walks through the forest carrying a spear and telling old war stories. He regales his brother about "Making the Eight" by sleeping with a girl from each of the Seven Kingdoms and one from the Riverlands. Renly, losing his patience with his brother's talk, asks Robert which bygone days were so great exactly: "The days when half of Westeros fought the other half and millions died?" Renly stalks off, and Lancel passes the king a skin of wine.
Seated on the Iron Throne, Ned grants audience before the court to a villager from the Riverlands who tells of the rape and pillage of his home. He describes a massive man slaughtering everyone in sight, even hacking the head off a horse. "Sounds like someone we know," Littlefinger says to Ned. Struggling to stand on his cane, Ned announces that Ser Gregor Clegane, known as the Mountain, is a wanted man. He also issues a command for Tywin Lannister to appear before the court. Maester Pycelle suggests he wait for Robert's return before taking such direct action, but Ned overrules the old man.
In her chambers, Sansa pouts, while Septa Mordane does her best to lure the girl out of her mood. The effort fails, but Sansa brightens immeasurably when Joffrey arrives with a gift. He secures a medallion around his future queen's neck, apologizing for his poor behavior. "I'll never be cruel to you again," he swears before kissing her lightly.
That night, Ned tells his daughter's that King's Landing has become too dangerous and that they must return to Winterfell. Both protest - Arya because she won't leave Syrio and Sansa because she's in love with Joffrey. "He'll be the greatest king who ever was ... and I'll give him sons with beautiful blond hair." The girl's words inadvertently connect everything for Ned, who sends his daughters away and opens the book of lineages he borrowed from Maester Pycelle. Every child in the Baratheon line is recorded as having black hair ... except for Joffrey.
In a hut at Vaes Dothrak, Khal Drogo and Dany sit as their people dance and feast. Viserys, drunk, stumbles in with a sword on his hip, flouting the law that no one carry arms in the sacred city. Drogo orders the exiled prince to sit in the back of the room. Angry and humiliated, Viserys draws his sword and lays its point at Dany's belly. "I want the crown he promised me," Viserys says to his sister. "I'm taking you back. He can keep the baby. I'll cut it out and leave it for him." Drogo speaks in Dothraki, and Dany translates, telling her brother that the horselord will give him a golden crown that men will tremble to behold. Viserys lowers the blade, satisfied that he's finally receiving his due. But Drogo's men seize the young man and drive him to his knees. Drogo melts down his golden medallions in a stew pot and pours the molten gold over Viserys' head. Her brother's lifeless body hits the dirt floor, and Dany tells Jorah: "He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon."