The last surviving members of the Targaryen family, Viserys and his sister Daenerys have fled to the eastern continent of Essos. In Pentos, a free city beyond the seven kingdoms they find in Magister Illyrio an ally who seizes the opportunity to help the in exile living heirs to regain the Iron Throne.
Beyond the Narrow Sea, meanwhile, King Robert Baratheon travels to Winterfell, the most northern of the seven kingdoms to ask his loyal friend Ned Stark to help him to protect the realm.
Short Description TNT Serie
Below is the recap of this episode, which may contain spoilers if you have not seen it yet!
A gate slowly opens. Behind it three men all clad in black on horses. The gate gives the way free to a tunnel on which other side the three men spread separately out into the snow covered country lying behind. Will notices smoke and carefully nears it to investigate and terror unfolds in front of his eyes. Chopped bodies lie in front of him, carefully arranged to form a circular symbol. Terrified to the bone Will (Bronson Webb) turns around fleeing on his horse to the other two riders. When telling the tale neither Gared (Dermot Keaney) nor Waymar Royce (Rob Ostlere) believe him. Gared wants to head back to the Wall but Waymar as their leader wants to know what had killed the wildlings warning Will, if he wanted to run he surely would be beheaded as a deserter.
When returning to the place with the body parts they are no longer there. Once more they spread out to see where they went when Waymar (Rob Ostlere) is killed by something unknown. Meanwhile Will (Bronson Webb) sees the dead wildling girl back on her feet with milky blue eyes staring at him and he starts running away only to bump into Gared (Dermot Keaney) who is beheaded in front of his eyes by something Will recognizes and only knows from legend.
In Winterfell Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) practices archery with his older brother Robb (Richard Madden), his half brother Jon (Kit Harington), his father Eddard (Sean Bean) and his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) watching. At the same time Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) are inside the Winterfell castle learning needle work. While Sansa is fully concentrated on the task and getting praise for her work Arya is distracted by her brothers laughing outside. Bran misses the target and gets encouraged by his father and Jon to go on trying to hit the ten mark. But it is not Bran who places the arrow there but Arya, much to the enjoyment of Jon.
When a messenger arrives Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) learns that his guards have captured a deserter from the Night's Watch. Taking his sons Robb (Richard Madden), Jon (Kit Harington) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and his ward Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Eddard rides to the hill where Will (Bronson Webb) was captured to do his duty. A man of the Night's Watch cannot desert without getting punished by beheading says the law. Will tells Eddard Stark he knows he has broken his oath but that it was mandatory to get the message to the south that White Walkers were seen beyond the Wall. Eddard does not believe him since the White Walkers have been gone for thousands of years and thinks that Will has turned mad.
Believing the man who sentences someone to death also must swing the sword, Eddard (Sean Bean) sentences Will (Bronson Webb) to death: "In the name of Robert of the house Baratheon, first of his name, lord of the Seven Kingdoms and protector of the realm I, Eddard of the house Stark, Lord of Winterfell and warden of the North sentence you to die."
On their way back to Winterfell they find a dead dire wolf with five pups surrounding it. Dire wolves are not known to go beyond the Wall and Eddard (Sean Bean) starts to sway in his believe that Will (Bronson Webb) had lied about the White Walkers. His bastard son Jon (Kit Harington) convinces him to keep the pups since the Stark's sigil is the dire wolf and that it was meant to happen that way. Five pups for the five Stark children. Eddard finally agrees: "You train them yourselves, you feed them yourselves and if they die, you bury them yourselves."
What about you, asks Bran Jon. I am not a Stark, Jon says.
Yet there is a sixth pup, all white with red eyes, an albino. Quite fitting since Jon is the bastard son of Eddard Stark and all bastard sons carry the surname Snow.
Meanwhile at King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) assuages his sister, queen Cersei (Lena Headey), not to worry about something Jon Arryn (John Standing), the Hand of the king, might have known and told the king before he had died.
In need of a new Hand king Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) announces his visit to Winterfell with his family and half of the court accompanying him by sending a Raven with the note. Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) gives the message about Jon Arryn's death to Eddard (Sean Bean) in the grove for the old gods where she does not feel welcomed since she believes in the new gods, the seven. The old gods were brought to the first men by the Children of the Forest and represent numerous nature spirits.
The Seven were introduced by the Andals. More and more the old gods have vanished from Westeros where only in the north people still believe in them. Contrary to the seven, the old gods have no organisation, no clergy. Usually an old Weinwood tree with a carved faces in it is considered sacred whereas the faces were carved in by the Children of the Forest. The people don't know the meaning of the faces. They are just an indication to them that it is a sacred tree. They are also called heart trees.
Jon Arryn was like a father to Eddard (Sean Bean) and the husband of Catelyn's sister and both know what king Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) will ask Eddard and why he comes the far way to Winterfell: Eddard should become the king's new Hand. Both also know that Eddard will not say no and thus the preparations for receiving the king at their home in the north begin.
Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) watches when the king's party is shortly to arrive from the rooftops of Winterfell. Being a good climber it is no problem for him to keep his balance although his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) always worries about him and makes him promise to do it no more.
Although king Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) and Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) are old friends there are prejudices towards each other families on both sides.
Once king Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) was ought to marry Eddard's sister who he truly had loved and still loves. The kidnapping of Lyanna Stark by the Targaryens sparked Robert Baratheon's rebellion against the Targaryens. Lyanna died in the war and the ones who built the Iron Throne and formed the Seven Kingdoms, the old dynasty of the house Targaryen, have long been gone. Instead Robert married Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) who he is not faithful to. Robert suspects intrigues against him at the King's Landing court and needs Eddard as the Hand because he can trust him. Robert also wants to finalize a binding by blood of the two houses through a marriage of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) with Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), his son and heir.
Sansa (Sophie Turner) is far from loathing a marriage with Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). She thinks he is handsome and already sees herself as the future queen of the Seven Kingdoms. It is as if her dreams were heard and come true.
Outside, while the feast is in full swing, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) swings angrily his sword in practice. As the bastard of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) he has never been accepted by Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) as her son. He feels like an outsider when Catelyn asks him not to join the feast, as someone who cannot be presented to the king.
Although he loves his siblings and his father Jon Snow (Kit Harington) does not feel welcomed at Winterfell. Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), Eddard's younger brother and a ranger at the Night's Watch, on the other hand has always said that Jon would be welcomed at the Wall. When Benjen arrives late at night to the feast Jon begs him to take him with him to the Wall. Despite Benjen's objections that a brother of the Night's Watch does not have a family and won't father any children, Jon cannot be swayed.
Also outside Jon Snow (Kit Harington) meets Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), the youngest of the Lannister siblings. Tyrion is also called the imp or the dwarf because of his size. Never taken seriously by his family. He cannot swing a sword but his wit and sharp tongue enables him to manipulate his opponents. He has some advising words for Jon and he also wants to see the Wall.
During the night, after the feast, Maester Luwin (Donald Sumpter) brings a message to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) in which her sister Lysa states that her husband, Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters and that the king was in danger. She also had fled King's Landing and is now at the Eyrie, the seat of the house Arryn in the east, with her son.
At Pentos, a free city across the Narrow Sea, Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) plots to return to the Seven Kingdoms and gain back the Iron Throne his family had lost as the rightful heir. He and his sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) are the only survivors who were smuggled to the free cities when they were still children. But to gain the throne back Viserys needs an army and he is about to win one by forcing his sister Daenerys into a marriage with the steppe ruler Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) of the Dothraki tribes.
Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) accepts Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) as his wife and also accepts to go to war with Viserys (Harry Lloyd) but only when the Dothraki omens say so. During the wedding Daenerys realizes with distaste that the Dothraki are savages where the right of the strong rules. Without having a choice she surrenders to her fate. A little ray of hope comes in form of Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) who once served under her father and who now helps her to find her way with the Dothraki people. And a wedding gift of three petrified dragon eggs. After all the Targaryens were once the masters of the dragons who are now extinct.
Back at Winterfell king Robert (Mark Addy) and Eddard (Sean Bean) set out on a hunting trip and Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) climbs the Walls of Winterfell to watch them ride out while his dire wolf Summer gets restless down below. Then Bran sees something he was not meant to see. "The things I do for love", says Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) before he pushes Bran from the window down the Wall.