Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 7 Guide

Episode 7 Recap: You Win or You Die

The seventh episode opens up in the borders of the Riverlands, the military camp of Lord Tywin Lannister and Jamie Lannister. While Lord Lannister is gutting the insides of a dead stag, he wants to distribute 30,000 troops to get his son, Tyrion, who is being held prisoner by Lady Stark. Lord Lannister says that Jaime is wasting his talents, and this serves as a wake-up call for Jamie. Lord Lannister tries to expound to Jaime that the family name is what lives on, not personal honor or glory.

Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Lord Stark confronts Cersei Lannister to let her know that he’s aware of her incestuous relationship with Jaime. She tries to explain that this practice was done to keep the bloodlines pure. The result of that relationship was Prince Joffrey. Lord Stark claims that his son saw the two of them together in a tryst. Cersei explains that she did love Lord Robert Baratheon once. However, that love faded because Lord Baratheon was still in love with Lord Stark’s sister, Lyanna. Cersei had no way to replace that love.

Lord Baratheon is currently away at a hunting party. But distressing news from a messenger arrives that the King has been wounded by a wild boar. It is said that he was too drunk to hunt when this injury occurred. He appears to be fatally wounded. While he is on his deathbed, he says his farewell messages to family and trusted councilors. King Robert dictates his final wishes to Lord Stark that upon his death, Lord Stark will be the protector of the realm until Prince Joffrey becomes of age. However, Lord Stark amends the will to reflect “the rightful heir” based on his suspicions that Prince Joffrey is not Lord Baratheon’s son.

Meanwhile in Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys tries to explain to Khal Drogo, the larger world and importance of the Iron Throne. A wine merchant, possibly under the orders of Lord Baratheon, attempts to poison Daenerys. This attempt galvanizes Drogo to help Daenerys take back the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow is inducted as a member of the Night’s Watch and swears an oath to protect the realm and remain celibate. He is assigned as a steward for a commander, a position that he thinks is beneath his skills. However, this is really a chance for Lord Mormont to teach Jon how to become a commander.

Lord Stark is propositioned by Renly who wants to claim the Iron Throne for himself and contests the claims of his nephew, Prince Joffrey and older brother, Stannis Baratheon. Lord Stark discusses with Littlefinger that since the King has no true-born sons, the crown passes to his older brother, Stannis Baratheon. However, Littlefinger suggests that his troubles might disappear with the Lannisters if Prince Joffrey was coronated instead. After, Lord Stark receives news that the King has died and, therefore, Prince Joffrey has hastily ordered his own coronation. Lord Stark then presents Prince Joffrey with the King’s last wishes. Cersei tears up the King’s will and Lord Stark is branded a traitor. The City Watch then kills all of Ned’s bodyguards and servants as he is taken captive.

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