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"Lord Snow"
Season 1, Episode 3
Jon and Alliser 1x03
Air date May 1, 2011
Written by David Benioff &
D.B. Weiss
Directed by Brian Kirk
Episode Guide
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"The Kingsroad"
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"Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"

"Lord Snow" is the third episode of the first season of Game of Thrones. It is the third episode of the series overall. It first aired on May 1, 2011. It was written by executive producers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Brian Kirk.

Plot

Synopsis

Jon Snow attempts to find his footing at Castle Black amidst hostility and suspicion from his fellow members of the Night's Watch. Eddard Stark and his daughters arrive at King's Landing. Catelyn renews an old friendship with a member of the court, while Daenerys and Viserys journey onwards to the Dothraki capital of Vaes Dothrak.

Recap

Stark party 1x03

The Royal party arrives in King's Landing.

The royal party reaches King's Landing. Lord Eddard Stark barely has time to get off his horse before he is asked to attend a meeting of the king's small council. Before that he runs into Jaime Lannister in the throne room. Jaime is unhappy with Eddard judging him for killing the Mad King, the murderer of Eddard's father and brother, but Eddard is unrepentant. He then meets the council members: Lord Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish, the king's master of coin and a friend of Eddard's wife from childhood; Grand Maester Pycelle, the king's adviser in all matters scientific and academical; Lord Renly Baratheon, the youngest of the king's two brothers and master of laws; and Varys, a eunuch and the head of the king's intelligence network.

Eddard is stunned to learn that the crown is six million in debt to various debtors, half to Lord Tywin Lannister, and that King Robert Baratheon has ordered this debt increased to pay for a lavish tournament to celebrate Eddard's appointment. Eddard decides to ask Robert to cancel the tournament, but the council is doubtful he'll listen.

Cersei-joffrey

Cersei and her son.

Elsewhere, Queen Cersei talks to Joffrey about the incident on the river. She tells him that when he is king, the truth will be whatever he decides it will be. Joffrey tells her that he thinks there will be trouble with the Starks, and that when he is king he'll double their taxes, force them to contribute to a standing army and, if they should object, he'd crush them. Cersei points out that the North is too vast and wild to be militarily conquered by outsiders, and as king he needs to be more clever. She also advises him to be kind to Sansa to avoid storing up trouble for later, and concludes that "Anyone who isn't us is an enemy."

Eddard talks to Arya, who has been arguing with her sister, about the same incident, explaining that Sansa was put in a difficult position by the king and queen, and whilst she shouldn't have lied, winning the long-term approval of Joffrey, her future husband, was important. Arya is unhappy with the situation, but Eddard mollifies her by allowing her to practice with her sword, Needle.

Bran and Old Nan 1x02

Old Nan tells Bran of winter and the Long Night.

At Winterfell, Bran has awoken but cannot remember anything that happened to him on the tower. His injuries have left him bed-ridden, unlikely to walk again. Old Nan, the oldest servant in the castle, tells Bran stories to pass the time, but he doesn't want her usual heroic stories about the likes of Ser Duncan the Tall. She instead speaks of the White Walkers and the coming of a vast winter that will blanket the world. When Robb pays a visit, Bran asks his brother if it is true that his legs are crushed and he will never walk again. Robb reluctantly says this is so. Bran remarks that he would rather be dead.
Catelyn-arrive

Catelyn arrive in King's Landing.

Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik arrive at King's Landing and attempt to sneak into the city, but are spotted by one of Littlefinger's men. They are taken to meet Littlefinger at a brothel he owns, where Lord Varys is also waiting: one of his 'little birds' told him they were coming. Catelyn is angered by the way they've been treated, but asks Littlefinger for aid in finding the people who tried to have Bran killed. Littlefinger is able to answer this quickly: the elaborate dagger wielded by the assassin used to be his, but he lost it in a gamble with Tyrion Lannister.
Eddard and Petyr 1x03

Eddard threatens Lord Baelish.

Littlefinger fetches Eddard to meet his wife, but Eddard suspects a trick and pushes Littlefinger up against a wall outside the brothel wanting to know what his game is. Catelyn then appears and Eddard is pacified. After hearing her news, he vows to find the truth and expose the Lannisters to Robert and Littlefinger agrees to be his ally in this, for the affection he once bore Catelyn as a youngster.

At Castle Black, the primary redoubt of the Night's Watch in the shadow of the Wall, Jon Snow shows his worth to the trainer, Ser Alliser Thorne, by besting several fellow members of the Watch in the practice yard. Later on, several of the other recruits gang up on him but the situation is defused by Tyrion. Tyrion points out to Jon that none of the other recruits had the benefit of a skilled master-at-arms to train them, and Jon is alienating them through his stand-offish attitude and superior combat skills.

Jaime and Cersei 1x03

Jamie comforts Cersei.

Ravens arrive at Castle Black and King's Landing with news of Bran's recovery. In the capital Cersei fears he will expose their secret, but Jaime comforts her. Elsewhere, Robert swaps old war stories with Ser Barristan Selmy, a distinguished and famous knight and the commander of the Kingsguard. When Jaime Lannister appears, Robert jokingly questions him about Aerys Targaryen's death, wondering if the Mad King died begging for mercy, but Jaime rather coldly replies that the master he betrayed died screaming the same words he'd been saying since the siege of King's Landing began: "Let them all burn".

Daenerys 1x03

Daeneyrs rides with the khalasar.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys commands the khalasar to halt on a whim, exercising her growing authority and power. Viserys does not take well to being commanded and threatens his sister. He is strangled by Rakharo, a Dothraki warrior wielding a whip. Daenerys calms the situation and Viserys is forced to walk, a sign of shame amongst the horse-riding Dothraki. Later, Daenerys is told she is pregnant by Irri. She relays the news to Khal Drogo and tells him she thinks it will be a boy with they lay naked in each other arms. Ser Jorah Mormont and Rakharo compare the Westerosi and Dothraki ways of battle; of the heavily-armored but slow knights versus the lightly-armored but fast-moving horse-warriors. Jorah has heard of Rakharo's father, a great warrior, but admits that he disgraced his own father, a man of great honor. When he learns that Daenerys is pregnant, he announces he must split off from the column to ride to the Free City of Qohor, but will rejoin them before they reach Vaes Dothrak.

At Castle Black, Tyrion meets with Lord Commander Mormont, the head of the Night's Watch, and his chief adviser, the ancient and blind Maester Aemon. Jeor asks for Tyrion to intercede at court and get the Watch more men, as they are dangerously under-strength. Aemon warns that the Stark words are right: a terrible winter is coming and more dangerous things than just wildlings might come with it; after all, one of their number swore that the White Walkers had returned...right up to the moment Ned Stark cut his head off. Tyrion admits his scepticism that supernatural creatures might exist, but agrees to bring word to his queen.

Jon and Benjen 1x03

Benjen talks with Jon on the Wall.

Later, Benjen Stark meets Jon atop the Wall and tells him he is going on a ranging in the Haunted Forest. He refuses to take Jon with him, telling him he isn't ready, and that here rank and nobility means nothing: every man must earn everything he gets. Before departing for King's Landing, Tyrion fulfils an old ambition by climbing to the top of the Wall and urinating off the edge of it. He and Jon share a moment of fellowship before he departs for the capital in the company of Yoren, the recruiter for the Night's Watch who is also bound for King's Landing.

In King's Landing, Eddard has contracted a swordmaster, Syrio Forel, the former First Sword of Braavos, to teach Arya how to use her sword properly. Arya is thrilled, and 'the dance' begins. As Eddard watches them practice, his pleasure at seeing Arya happy sours when he realizes that a conflict between the Starks and Lannisters may be inevitable; his daughter may well be training herself for war.

Notes

  • This episode covers approximately the events of Chapters 19-23, part of 24 and part of 25 (Catelyn 4, Jon 3, Eddard 4, Tyrion 3, Arya 2, Daenerys 3, Bran 4) of the first novel.
  • The episode takes its title from a mocking nickname given to Jon Snow by Alliser Thorne.
  • This episode is dedicated to the memory of Margaret John, who plays Old Nan, who sadly passed away on 2 February 2011 after a brief illness.
  • During the Small Council scene, Renly hands Ned Stark a scroll containing the announcement of the tournament and the prizes for the winners, which he then reads off as "40,000 Gold Dragons for the champion, 20,000 for the runner-up, and 20,000 for the best archer". Pycelle then asks if the crown can afford 80,000 Gold Dragons in prize money. If you pause when Ned first unrolls the scroll, its contents are actually clearly legible: it goes on to say that there is a 20,000 Gold Dragon prize for "Combat with Swords and Clubs", which makes for a total tournament debt of 100,000 Gold Dragons. It is unclear why this discrepancy occurred.

Commentary

Actors Isaac Hempstead Wright, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner provide an audio commentary for the episode on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

  • The young actors sing along with the main theme during the title sequence.
  • Sean Bean was noted by the younger actors for secreting chocolate bars on his person and sneaking them to his young co-stars during filming.
  • Conleth Hill apparently enjoyed trying to put Sophie Turner off during her close-ups.
  • English-accented Sophie Turner and Irish-accented Jack Gleeson would imitate one another's accents for amusement between takes.
  • Isaac Hempstead Wright's only scene with Jack Gleeson was a mock battle scene in the pilot, where Bran and Tommen have a mock fight whilst Joffrey and Robb watch on (this scene occurred in the book). This was not used in the final episode.
  • The argument between Arya and Sansa at the breakfast table was Sophie Turner's first scene filmed for the first season. Maisie Williams dented the table with the knife so badly it had to be rotated several times to hide the marks from the camera.
  • Mark Addy spooked one of the horses in the King's arrival scene in the first episode with his laugh, whilst he was talking to Bran.
  • Mark Addy's prosthetic beard was apparently easily removable so he could eat lunch without ruining it.
  • Eugene Simon taught Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner some magic tricks between takes.
  • Emilia Clarke was allowed to pick one of four horses for Daenerys's use in the series.
  • Harry Lloyd was responsible for introducing iPhone game Fruit Ninja to the cast. It went on to become a craze on set, with cast and crew competing to see who could get the highest score.
  • Joseph Mawle told Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner that if acting was easy, everyone would be doing it, so not to be worried if they found scenes hard because the producers had reasons for choosing them and they would be able to do the job.
  • The producers considered asking Miltos Yerolemou to shave his hair off to match the appearance of Syrio Forel in the books, but decided he looked better with his hair.

Memorable quotes

Eddard Stark: "War was easier than daughters!"

Cersei Lannister: "Everyone who isn't us is an enemy."

Benjen Stark: "You're no ranger. Here, a man gets what he earns, when he earns it."

Jaime Lannister: "The boy won't talk. And if he does, I'll kill him, Ned Stark, the king, the whole bloody lot of them until you and I are the only people left in this world."

Benjen Stark: "We've been receiving disturbing reports."
Jon Snow: "What kind of reports?"
Benjen Stark: "The kind I don't want to believe."

First appearances

Image gallery

Cast

Starring

Also Starring

Guest starring

Cast Notes

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

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