Reaction: Game of Thrones (1×5)

This just in: Ned Stark is a jerk. He fails SO HARD at investigating the machinations of the court, and, BTW, decides to go play at-home DNA test instead of, say, fleeing the city with his daughters.

Jaime Lannister earns his theme song.

Renly and Loras are hot, and very cute together (I liked the bath scene), but I have to say that the cuts between locales felt a little forced to me. Never before have I so regretted the books’ focus on Jon and Ned as EveryLords. Bran had a good moment where he recited the Great Houses’ mottos, Lysa’s mentla troubles are established (little bit there to say about the toxicity of mother-love, amirite?), and Arya figures out a secret way out of the castle, overhears some baddies talking, and discovers the skulls of the dragons. Little disappointed at the lack of Sansa, and the undertelling of Tyrion’s plight, but there’s always next week.

To make up for the lateness of this post, I offer fanvids! Not by me, but still very nice.



  1. Shaun says

    Not gonna lie, I’ve been waiting almost 3 days for this post!

    I also enjoyed seeing the Varys/Petyr confrontation (and Petyr’s constant whore references are making him even creepier than I remember him being).

    Still not sure how I feel about Loras and Renly. I like that HBO is actually showcasing them, unlike with Rome when it was all, let’s shine a light on ~lesbian~ stuff, but they feel kinda stereotypical to me. I’m… not going to talk about GRRM’s handling of Lysa, I think it speaks for itself, but I think Cat’s PLAN was a good one (although I don’t think she thought through what would happen with Ned and her daughters in King’s Landing).

    I love the attention to detail in a lot of places (like Bran holding a figurine of a fish while he talks about his mother) , at least where *things* are concerned, and the spotlighting on different characters is giving me different insights into them. I’m loving Cersei more and more as the show goes on.

  2. M.C. says

    Random thoughts:

    1. Robert is a horrible husband and I hope that Cersei will kill him and then elope with a character played by Piper Perabo.

    2. Arya is going to start working for the First Shop of Coffee Prince any day now.

    3. Full frontal male nudity is nice, but why didn’t we even get a hoyay kiss?

  3. Maria says


    Cersei IS awesome. She deserved better than Robert., at one point, tho now she’s eeeeeeeeeeevil.

    YOU GUYS, why does Ned Stark keep traipsing into dangerous situations deeply underprepared?

  4. stile says


    I don’t think most people in this world are big into kissing. Have we seen anyone kiss besides Viserys and the handmaiden girl? Also Loras apparently isn’t into hair…maybe he doesn’t like Renly’s beard?

    • Maria says


      I think Ned and Cat kiss when she’s heading back to Winterfell, and that Jaime is all up on Cersei’s neck at least once when they’re talking about the War for Cersei’s Cunt.

  5. Keith says

    “decides to go play at-home DNA test instead of, say, fleeing the city with his daughters.”
    That’s because he’s a man doing manly work for king and country. He has no choice. He has to do his duty.

    Maria why does Ned Stark keep traipsing into dangerous situations deeply underprepared?,

    Because he doesn’t realize how deep the trouble he is in really is. He thinks he’s investigating a murder, and is only starting to realize that he’s actually uncovering an ongoing conspiracy related to Joffrey’s claim to the throne. We know that, but we’re not provincial magistrates from the boonies who think palace intrigue is undignified and beneath us. He thinks armor is spelled h-o-n-o-r.

  6. Chai Latte says


    True–and Ned’s never exactly been what we call ‘stealthy’. It’s not honorable or something. And a big character flaw (and virtue) of Ned’s is that he thinks most people are honorable like him.

  7. Maria says

    I guess with Ned, I’m really stuck wondering what exact training for rulership he got as a kid. For example, in the books, we hear about Sansa learning about sewing and courtliness, etc., and with Arya, you see need spec. having a convo with her about trust and enemies, and Bran has a scene where he’s going over the relationships between the Great Houses. Cat, as well, appears to have learned a bit of statecraft, household management, etc., from her father and her experiences as Ned’s wife. What did Ned get that he’s far into the age where he should be less cynical but isn’t so? I know he’s supposed to be the country bumpkin, but if he’s one of the 3 most powerful rulers in Westeros, SURELY this isn’t his first experience with intrigue…

  8. Shaun says


    I think Ned’s experiences with intrigue are different from the others’. Jorah Mormont was trading in slaves, so Ned chased him down to have him executed. He’s used to an environment where his word is absolute, not one where he has to negotiate.

    The other rulers are much more in each others’ space. The Riverlands haven’t ruled themselves in hundreds or maybe over a thousand years, they’ve been conquered by just about every adjacent power at some point, so it makes perfect sense Cat would be trained to politic and to wield power effectively because they had to do so to survive politically. Meanwhile no one wants the job of holding the North because of the vast distances between population centers, the harsh winters, the cultural dissonance, etc.

  9. Shaun says

    He also wasn’t expected to rule, his brother was. Cersei outright says he was trained to be a follower. Not defending Ned’s choices, I just think he’s less in a position to understand intrigue than say, Cat or Robert or Cersei.

    • Maria says

      @Shaun — That’s a really good point — I hadn’t thought about how the geography of the region would impact how they’re ruled and what challenges Ned would face. I wonder if this is one of the reasons he’s flexible about Arya wanting to be a swordswoman.

  10. Shaun says


    That’s also not unheard of in the North even if it’s discouraged. Bear Island, one of the territories in the North, is frequently raided by the Iron Islands. Because the men are usually out fishing when this happens it disproportionately left the island’s defense to the women there, especially the women in the coastal villages. This created a culture of warcraft among of them.

    The ruler of this house since Jorah Mormont was exiled is Maege Mormont, and both she and her daughter/heir we’ve seen in the books are warriors. They at least seem to be tolerated, as her daughter was part of Robb’s personal guard. And Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister who Arya is often compared to, was an unparalleled horseman and is hinted to have performed in a previous melee, using her ridership to make up for her lack of training in any weapons. I seem to recall something about Ned regretting that Lyanna wasn’t given those opportunities, and it’s not like Ned doesn’t have vassals who are clearly capable female warriors either.

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