HBO’s Game of Thrones premiered Sunday night, and while ratings weren’t as stellar as they’d surely hoped, they were good enough for an immediate season 2 order. Now the cable network has issued the synopses for five of the upcoming nine episodes.
WARNING: Game of Thrones Season 1 Spoilers Ahead!
When last we left Game of Thrones, Lord Eddard Stark had accepted King Robert’s summons and the position of Hand of the King (essentially becoming second-in-command for all of the Seven Kingdoms). Meanwhile, Lady Catelyn recieved word from her sister, Jon Arryn’s widow, that the former Hand had been murdered by Queen Cersei’s Lannister family.
Eddard’s bastard son Jon Snow asked to join his uncle protecting the northern Wall, and Bran Stark was thrown from a tower window after witnessing some very disturbing bedfellows. Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, deposed prince Viserys Targaryan sold his sister in marriage to Khal Drogo, in exchange for the use of his Dothraki army.
Let’s split up the events of the second episode (not covered in HBO’s press release) by location:
In Winterfell, the comatose Bran is attacked by an assassin and rescued by his now-grown direwolf. Lady Stark recovers the assassin’s blade and determines the identity of its owner. She resolves to travel to King’s Landing to inform Eddard and name the would-be killers. Jon Snow departs for a life of service at the Wall with Benjen, and Tyrion Lannister joins them on a whim.
On the road to King’s Landing, Sansa Stark spends time with her husband-to-be, Prince Joffrey. The two encounter Sansa’s sister Arya and a common-born friend playing with toy swords. After an explosive confrontation, Joffrey is hurt and Arya takes the blame. Someone must pay dearly for the offense to the prince’s royal person.
King Robert reveals to Eddard that his spies have learned of Daenerys’ wedding to Khal Drogo. He reveals the history behind the Baratheon’s bloodfeud with the Targaryens and resolves to prepare for war. Robert presses Eddard on the identity of John Snow’s mother, but Eddard remains silent.
In Essos, the Targaryens join the Dothraki pilgrimage to their ancestral home of Vaes Dothrak. Tensions flair between the deposed prince and his sister’s adoptive people, as exiled knight Ser Jorah Mormont begins to council Daenerys on the culture of her new home.
Episode two of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday. If the various characters and houses have your head spinning, be sure to check out Screen Rant’s guide to the Houses of Game of Thrones.
Here’s the info for episodes three through seven, directly from HBO:
Episode #3: “Lord Snow”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: May 1 (11:00 p.m.), 3 (11:00 p.m.), 4 (10:00 p.m.) and 7 (11:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 2 (9:00 p.m.), 5 (8:00 p.m.), 6 (midnight) and 8 (3:00 p.m.), and June 28 (midnight)
Arriving at King’s Landing after his long journey, Ned (Sean Bean) is shocked to learn of the Crown’s profligacy from his new advisors. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) impresses Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) at the expense of greener recruits. Suspicious that the Lannisters had a hand in Bran’s fall, Catelyn (Michelle Fairey) covertly follows her husband to King’s Landing, where she is intercepted by Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), aka “Littlefinger,” a shrewd longtime ally and brothel owner. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) ponder the implications of Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) recovery; Arya (Maisie Williams) studies swordsmanship. On the road to Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds herself at odds with Viserys (Harry Lloyd).
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Brian Kirk.
Episode #4: “Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: May 8 (11:00 p.m.), 10 (11:00 p.m.), 11 (10:00 p.m.), 14 (11:45 p.m.) and 25 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 9 (9:00 p.m.), 12 (8:00 p.m.), 13 (midnight) and 15 (6:00 p.m.), and June 29 (10:00 p.m.)
Ned looks to a book for clues to the death of his predecessor, and uncovers one of King Robert’s (Mark Addy) bastards. Robert and his guests witness a tournament honoring Ned. Jon takes measures to protect Samwell (John Bradley) from further abuse at Castle Black; a frustrated Viserys clashes with Daenerys in Vaes Dothrak; Sansa (Sophie Turner) imagines her future as a queen, while Arya envisions a far different future. Catelyn rallies her husband’s allies to make a point, while Tyrion finds himself caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Written by Bryan Cogman; directed by Brian Kirk.
Episode #5: “The Wolf and the Lion”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: May 15 (11:00 p.m.), 17 (11:00 p.m.), 18 (10:00 p.m.), 21 (12:15 a.m. ET/11:15 p.m. PT) and 25 (9:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 16 (9:00 p.m.), 19 (8:00 p.m.), 20 (midnight) and 22 (3:30 p.m.), and June 29 (11:00 p.m.)
Incensed over news of Daenerys’ alliance with the Dothrakis, Robert orders a preemptive strike on the Targaryens that drives a wedge in his relationship with Ned. A captive Tyrion helps Catelyn, but receives a cold reception at the Eyrie from her sister, John Arryn’s widow Lysa (Kate Dickie). Sansa is charmed by the dashing Ser Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones), aka the Knight of Flowers. Arya overhears a plot against her father.
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Brian Kirk.
Episode #6: “A Golden Crown”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: May 22 (11:00 p.m.), 24 (11:00 p.m.), 25 (10:00 p.m.) and 28 (11:45 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 23 (9:00 p.m.), 26 (8:00 p.m.), 27 (midnight) and 29 (4:30 p.m.), and June 29 (midnight)
Reinstated as the Hand, Ned sits for the King while Robert is on a hunt, and issues a decree that could have long-term consequences throughout the Seven Kingdoms. At the Eyrie, Tyrion confesses to his “crimes,” and demands that Lysa give him a trial by combat. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) apologizes to Sansa; Viserys receives his final payment for Daenerys from Drogo (Jason Mamoa).
Written by Jane Espenson and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Daniel Minahan.
Episode #7: “You Win or You Die”
Debut: SUNDAY, MAY 29 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: May 29 (11:00 p.m.) and 31 (11:00 p.m.), and June 1 (10:00 p.m.), 4 (midnight) and 15 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: May 30 (9:00 p.m.) and June 2 (8:00 p.m.), 3 (midnight), 5 (2:30 p.m.) and 30 (10:00 p.m.)
Explaining that the future of the Lannisters is at stake, Tywin (Charles Dance) presses Jaime to “be the man you were meant to be” as they prepare for battle. Ned confronts Cersei about the secrets that killed Jon Arryn. With the fate of the missing Benjen (Joseph Mawle) very much on his mind, Jon Snow takes his Night’s Watch vows, though not with the assignment he coveted. After Ser Jorah (Iain Glenn) saves Daenerys from treachery, an enraged Drogo vows to lead the Dothraki where they’ve never gone before. An injured Robert takes pains to ensure an orderly transition at King’s Landing.
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; directed by Daniel Minahan.
GAME OF THRONES is executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; co-executive producers, Carolyn Strauss, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, Ralph Vicinanza and George R.R. Martin; producers, Mark Huffam and Frank Doelger; directors of photography, Marco Pontecorvo, Alik Sakharov and Matt Jensen; production designer, Gemma Jackson; costume designer, Michele Clapton.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO.
Oh, and readers of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ please try to keep any further spoilers out of the comments section.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
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