"Baelor" is the ninth episode of the first season of Game of Thrones. It is the ninth episode of the series overall. It first aired on June 12, 2011. It was written by executive producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Alan Taylor.
With Sansaʼs life in danger, Ned makes a fateful decision. Catelyn brokers an unsavory deal with the slippery Walder Frey. Tyrion acquires a mistress and is forced by his father to fight on the front lines. Robb wins his first major victory and captures a prized prisoner. Jon is rewarded for his valor and discovers a dark secret about Maester Aemon. As Drogoʼs wound festers, Daenerys defies his bloodrider Qotho and puts her trust in the enslaved witch Mirri Maz Duur.
Varys visits Eddard Stark in the dungeons under the Red Keep. Varys tells Eddard that Sansa begged for his life before the whole court and that Robb is leading an army from the North. In addition, the Queen is more concerned over the intentions of King Robert's brother, Stannis, a proven battle commander known to be without mercy. For the sake of Sansa's life, Varys urges Eddard to confess to treason. In return, Cersei will let him take the black and join his bastard son Jon Snow on the Wall. Eddard is angered by the suggestion that he would trade in his honesty and honor for his life, though he appears to have second thoughts when Varys insinuates that Sansa would pay the price for his defiance.
Robb's army has reached the Twins, the heavily-fortified crossing over the Green Fork of Trident River. Theon Greyjoy shoots down messenger ravens, so no word of their presence can be relayed. To enter the castle would be perilous for Robb, so Catelyn Stark enters to negotiate to cross the river. Though held by House Frey, bannermen to Catelyn Stark's father, Lord Walder Frey has not yet taken up arms. When called up he said he had been preparing to march just waiting for all his forces to arrive (in reality he waited to see which side was winning before deciding whether to get involved). Now as the Tully's army has been defeated and Riverrun is held by the Lannister's, he wants to know why he should be helping Robb and taking up arms against the king. After some hard bargaining between Catelyn and Walder, they strike a deal: the Freys will join Robb's cause, allow him to cross and commit troops to his army, but in return both Robb and Arya must each marry one of Walder's own children. Robb agrees, though noting that Arya won't like it. Robb must also take Olyvar Freyasa squire.
At Castle Black, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont gives Jon Snow a Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw, in thanks for saving his life. Mormont also reinstates Jon to his former position and tells him he has dispatched Ser Alliser Thorne to King's Landing to lay the hand of the wight they found at the feet of the King and ask for aid. Mormont explains to Jon that Longclaw was meant for his own son, Ser Jorah Mormont, but he disgraced himself and fled in exile to Essos. Jon goes to the dining hall and the other recruits make a fuss over the sword. Sam seems distant. With prodding, Sam tells Jon about Robb leading an army to war. Jon ponders that he should be with him, but Maester Aemon tells him their duty to the Night's Watch comes first. To Jon's surprise, Aemon reveals that his full name is Aemon Targaryen, the son of a king, brother to another, the uncle of the Mad King. Aemon had to stand aside and do nothing whilst his entire family was butchered or exiled during Robert's Rebellion. It is not an easy life they have chosen.
Far to the east, Daenerys Targaryen is concerned that the wound her husband Khal Drogo took fighting Mago has festered and become infected. He falls from his horse, a grave sign of weakness amongst the Dothraki. Daenerys tells the khalasar that they are stopping because her time is near, and she sends for Mirri Maz Duur to help him. Drogo's bloodrider Qotho is unhappy with entrusting Drogo's care to the woman, whom he calls a maegi or witch, but relents.
The Lannister armies prepare for battle. Tywin tells his son Tyrion that he means to use the hill tribe forces to give them an edge against the Stark army, essentially to be used as cannon fodder. He orders Tyrion to lead them from the front of the vanguard. Tyrion angrily accuses his father of trying to kill him. He storms back to his tent to find that Bronn has found him, as per instruction, a whore named Shae. Tyrion takes an immediate liking to her. When told they go into battle in the vanguard in the morning, Bronn goes off to find one for himself.
At Daenerys's request, Ser Jorah armors himself. Mirri Maz Duur promises to save Drogo's life, but she needs to sacrifice a life to save his own. She takes Drogo's horse into his tent and starts the ceremony. Some of Drogo's warriors become enraged at what they see as Daenerys's attempts to interfere with the natural way of things and Qotho tries to attack her, but Ser Jorah kills him. Daenerys starts to go into labor, but none of the Dothraki midwives will help her, thinking her cursed. With no choice, Jorah takes Daenerys into the tent as the ceremony continues.
Tyrion, Bronn, and Shae play a drinking game the night before the battle. Tyrion makes observations and if he is correct the person has to drink. He guesses correctly that Bronn has been beyond the Wall and killed someone before he was twelve years old (though it was a woman not a man). Tyrion is wrong about his guesses that Shae's mother was a whore, her father deserted them, and she is low born. When Shae starts to question him, he reveals that when he was very young, he and Jaime found a young common girl in distress from bandits. Whilst Jaime chased the bandits off, Tyrion comforted the girl. They ended up getting married, but when Tywin found out he was furious and got Jaime to reveal the truth: the girl was a prostitute and Jaime set the situation up to do something nice for his little brother. Tywin paid her for everyone of his guards to have sex with her and forced Tyrion to watch. Shae points out that Tyrion was foolish to believe a woman would sleep with him just hours after almost being raped. As she gets romantic with Tyrion, Bronn leaves the tent.
The next morning the Lannister army finds that the Starks have stolen a march on them, they are about to be attacked and have to hastily prepare for battle. Tyrion gives a rousing speech to his hill tribesmen, but as they charge for the front he is almost trampled and then is knocked out by an accidental axe blow to the head. When he regains consciousness on the back of a wagon, Bronn tells him that the Lannisters won the battle, but it was a feint. As a diversion, Robb sent a small portion of his army to confront and delay Tywin's army. The main army marched on Riverrun to attack Jaime's army.
Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel are waiting in woodlands as they hear sounds of battle. Suddenly Robb returns with his guards and a prisoner, Jaime himself. Jaime suggests they end the war now with a bout of single combat between himself and Robb, but Robb refuses and has him imprisoned. Robb laments that his diversion sent 2,000 men to their deaths. He gives a speech to his army and tells them that we have won a great victory, but the war is far from over.
In King's Landing Arya is living rough on the streets of the city. She catches a pigeon and tries to trade it for a slice of bread, to no avail. She sees crowds moving through the streets and is told that the Hand of the King is being brought before the Great Sept of Baelor, the center of religious worship in the city. Stunned that she will see her father she drops the pigeon and joins the crowd. Unable to see, she climbs unto the pedestal of a statue of Baelor (a previous Targaryen king, Baelor the Blessed, for whom the Sept is named). She sees her father being brought in chains to the steps of the temple. He sees Arya on the statue, and as he is dragged through the crowd he passes Yoren of the Night's Watch (who had met Arya). Lord Eddard looks at the statue and says, "Baelor," puzzling the crowd. Yoren understands, however, and moves towards the statue where Arya is watching.
Eddard is given a chance to confess his "crimes". He weighs up his choices as he sees both Arya and Sansa present, and chooses to save them by making a false confession. He says that Joffrey is the true King on the Iron Throne, pleasing him. Grand Maester Pycelle extolls the virtues of mercy and Joffrey agrees that he could be merciful and send Eddard to the Night's Watch as his mother has suggested and as Sansa has begged, but then they are soft women and treason must never go unpunished. He commands Ser Ilyn Paynetobringhim the traitor's head.
The crowd goes into an uproar. Arya tries to make her way through the crowd drawing her sword to save her father, but Yoren grabs and stops her, shielding her from seeing her father's death. Sansa screams. Cersei, shocked, tries to countermand Joffrey's order, as does Varys, but there is no time and Joffrey isn't listening. Forced to kneel, Eddard looks at the statue and sees that Arya has been rescued by Yoren, and is relieved that she is safe. Ser Ilyn draws Eddard's own sword, Ice and cuts his head off with a single blow.
- This episodes covers approximately Chapters 58-61 and 63-66 (Eddard 15, Catelyn 9-10, Jon 8, Tyrion 8, Daenerys 8 and Arya 5) of the first novel.
- Maester Aemon's count of the kings suggests that in the TV series the short rule of King Jaehaerys II has been eliminated, making the Mad King directly a son of King Aegon V ('Egg' from the Tales of Dunk and Egg prequel novellas by George R.R. Martin). Aemon even mentions 'Egg' by name.
- In the novels, Shae is a native of Westeros, but in the TV series has been made into a native of Essos to account for actress Sibel Kekilli's German accent. In the novels, Shae is around eighteen years old.
- The episode title refers to the Great Sept of Baelor, the grand seat of the Faith of the Seven in King's Landing.
- The title sequence shifts again, this time dropping the Eyrie in favour of the Twins. However, for events in the east Vaes Dothrak continues to be used, although the narrative has moved far south and east of that city to Lhazar.
- Eddard Stark's word to Yoren before he is executed, "Baelor", refers to the statue of Baelor the Blessed, where Ned sees his daughter Arya; thus signaling Yoren to protect her.
- The lines spoken by Pycelle prior to Ned's execution were spoken by the High Septon in the books. The High Septon, nevertheless, is still present in the scene as Ned mentions him.
- One of the more substantial alterations from the novel occurs in this episode in that Tyrion rather comically is knocked unconscious before he can take part in the fighting, whereas in the novel he is an active (if reluctant) participant and holds his own against several opponents. In addition, the original novel has Tyrion telling his story of being set up with a whore to Bronn shortly after leaving the Eyrie.
- "You think my life is such a precious thing to me, that I would trade my honor for a few more years...of what?"
- ―Eddard Stark
- "I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago."
- "Stark, Tully, Lannister, Baratheon. Give me one good reason why I should waste a single thought on any of you?"
- ―Walder Frey
- "The dead will dance here tonight."
- ―Mirri Maz Duur
- "What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms . . . or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy."
- Frank O'Sullivan reprises his role as a Night's Watch messenger from the previous episode as one of the men who greets Jon Snow after he receives Longclaw, but goes uncredited. It is possible that the scene was moved from the previous episode to this one.
- In the books, Lord Walder Frey's eldest son and heir is Ser Stevron Frey, whilst the other one that chastises Lord Frey for being rude to Catelyn is Ryger Rivers, one his his bastard sons. However, Ryger is described as being young.
- Michelle Fairley is credited before Nikolaj Coster Waldau for the first time having been credited directly after him until he did not appear in "A Golden Crown".
- Starring cast member Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) is not credited and does not appear in this episode.
- This episode is the final appearance of starring cast member Sean Bean (Eddard Stark) due to the death of his character. He is credited but does not appear in the next episode "Fire and Blood".
|Game of Thrones Season 1|
|#01 Winter is Coming||#06 A Golden Crown|
|#02 The Kingsroad||#07 You Win or You Die|
|#03 Lord Snow||#08 The Pointy End|
|#04 Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||#09 Baelor|
|#05 The Wolf and the Lion||#10 Fire and Blood|