Shortly after Eddard’s execution, Arya was taken away by one of Eddard’s few living companions. To fully safeguard her from any attempts on her life, he cuts her hair short and disguises her as a young boy before sending “him” off to join the new slew of recruits sent to the black watch. Now fully equipped with trousers and her sword “needle,” she is accosted by two punk boys who think they can hassle her into giving up her sword. In Arya fashion, she answers by bringing the tip of the blade to the fat kid’s neck. Already, Arya had the toughness to survive many scrapes and this new path in life will only lead her to more transformations.
This was a long time coming. Ever since Eddard came on to King’s Landing, the golden boy has been butting heads with him for some time, constantly goading each other and quickly breaking away before things got too real. Then during the coup led by Eddard, the two were finally able to cross blades. Each clash of steel was a cathartic release as the pent up aggression between finally came to a head…only for some dingus soldier to stab Eddard through the leg with a spear right when the fight was about to get good.
The Targaryen clan were the original rulers of the country. However, the last king was an insane and cruel tyrant who was finally killed in a rebellion that led to the new King Robert. In the process, any trace of the Targaryen family was routed out and killed…except for two. Viserys Targaryen, is the next in line for Kinghood and has been trying to reclaim his crown for years. Unfortunately, he lacks all the qualities of a king like, kindness, strength, wisdom, and not acting like douche all the time. During his grab for power he marries off his younger sister to a tribe of nomadic warriors in exchange for their military support. During this time, his sister’s transformation into a strong-willed queen of the tribe and the tribe’s general reluctance to help him leads him to threaten his own sister’s unborn child if they don’t give him a crown of kingship. In response, they certainly give him a crown…of molten gold they pour on his head.
When Joffery becomes king, what finally happens after a snobby spoiled dill-weed of a child obtains ultimate power – becoming a supreme and utter jerk is all but determined. After sending Eddard Stark to death in front of his own daughter, he then proceeds to terrorize and bully his citizens. One such moment comes when he hears word of a bard at a local bar singing a satire of his late father. As punishment, he has the bard’s tongue cut off. You know, standard fare for all intents and purposes.
At this point of the series, everyone’s favorite lecherous pint-sized playboy Tyrion Lannister has been accused of plotting the murder of young Bran Stark (who is now without the use of his legs after being pushed out the window of a high tower) and is now on trial by the mother’s slightly (i.e. really) crazy sister. Before this time, he was held in the dungeon for several days and as a plan to finally break out demands to see the crazed queen to “confess” his crimes. In what is true Tyrion fashion however, he winds just using it as an excuse to be a perv. And then calls for trial by combat knowing that is the only way he can go free. Thankfully, his traveling companion and sell-sword takes up his cause and fights on his behalf. The ensuing battle is playful, bloody, and downright brutal.
When Kaleesi’s husband Drago is mercy killed by her own hands and sent to the funeral fire (with a certain witch doctor tied to the pyre to share in Drago’s fate), she is absolutely drawn to the ensuing flames. Walking closer and closer to the raging fires, with the three fossilized dragon eggs in toe, us as the viewers were all thinking she has finally snapped – deciding to end her life in the same fire of her beloved. As the night of the funeral passes into day, and with the fires finally died down to nothing but ashes, what is expected to be found – a burnt corpse of Kaleesi – is in fact an alive and well Kaleesi…with three freshly hatched dragons. When the previous age of dragons were upon the land, the beasts essentially won the tyrant king Targaryen the iron throne, and now with them back on the scene it will definitely make for a solid shift of powers once they get older.
Bran is the third youngest son of the Stark family and one of his habits is a skill at climbing various things like Uncharted series Drake-style traversing ledges and rock walls. However his penchant for climbing to high places gets him into high trouble. During a visit from the King and his royal court which in particular includes the queen and her twin brother Jaime both coming from the Lannister family. As Bran is off on one of his climbing trips, he hears strange sounds coming from a nearby window of the tower he’s climbing. When he comes to the window to investigate, he’s greeted by the sight of the queen and her brother in the middle of an intense game of slap and tickle. When the siblings see him, Jaime Lannister winds up pushing the young boy out the window to hide their incestuous secret.
In Game of Thrones, there were some minor characters that stood out to me with their flashes of brilliance. Like the red headed prostitute of the Greyjoy who flashes him while she rides off on a wagon. But of all of them, my personal favorite has to go to that jerry-curled swordsman, Syrio Forel. Hired to teach Arya swordsmanship, Syrio was what you’d call an unorthodox teacher. Sending her on homework assignments like catching cats and whatnot, but if anything can be said, his methods have results. What finally cements his awesomeness however is during the slaughtering of the House Stark in the castle, Lannister knights come to take Arya – but Syrio intervenes by beating them senseless with nothing but a wooden training sword.
One of my most favorite scenes in all of Game of Thrones season one came pretty early on. Back when young Bran suffered a nasty fall, Joffery was being the usual callous jerk he always is, but this time, the lovable imp Tyrion steps in and corrects the young boy with not one, not two, but three swift slaps to the face that would make any 1970s Blaxploitation pimp shed a single tear of pride.
The death of Game of Thrones’ (assumed) main character came as a big shock to those unfamiliar with the books. But, it came as a necessary death for many reasons. Firstly, it really triggers the following events of the story from Robb Stark’s rebellion against the Lannisters, Arya’s fleeing King’s Landing and her transformation, revealed Joffery’s cruelty and jerkiness, and also set into place the number one rule of the Game of Thrones series – no one is safe from death, no matter central a character they may appear.