Episode 1 Recap: The North Remembers
The North Remembers, the first episode of season 2 of Game of Thrones, opens beyond the wall. Lord Commander Mormont’s men travel to Craster’s Keep. Once there, Jon Snow meets Craster, and they do not get along. Jon Snow is disgusted by Craster’s incestuous relationships with his daughters. Jon begins to challenge Craster only to be stopped by Jeor because he insists that the Night’s Watch needs him. Mormont also asks Jon if he would ever think of becoming a leader.
Back in the Seven Kingdoms, King Joffrey is throwing a party to celebrate his nameday. Ser Dontos Hollard arrives drunk, almost too intoxicated for his fight, which angers Joffrey. The king tries to sentence Dontos to death; however, Sansa intervenes. She tells Joffrey that it is bad luck to order an execution during a nameday, so Dontos instead becomes the court fool, for which he will be eternally grateful.
Tyrion’s arrival back in King’s Landing also angers Joffrey, but Tyrion has news. He interrupts a small council that is discussing the end to summer to say that he is acting as Hand of the King, much to Cersei’s chagrin. Tyrion criticizes Cersei for being unable to keep her son, Joffrey, in check, and tells her that he will be acting as merely an advisor. He then criticizes the fact that Arya Stark has escaped, telling the council that this has weakened their position. After this meeting, Tyrion hides Shae, his lover, in his chambers because his father forbade him to bring her with him to the capital.
The scene then flashes to Winterfell where Bran Stark is facing unrest as the leader of Winterfell. Bran Stark then dreams that he is a direwolf. He is walking in Godswood when he looks into a pool and realizes that he is his direwolf. He wakes and is terrified. Bran is taken to a pool and is relieved when his reflection is his own.
On the island of Dragonstone, the king allows Melisandre to burn the statues of the gods as tribute to the Lord of the Light. Cressen is horrified and worried about the fate of the king’s allegiance, especially after Melisandre proclaims Stannis the Lord of the Light. Stannis later receives the letter written by Ned Stark that proclaims his right to the throne. The letter also threatens Joffrey’s legitimacy as he was born of an incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jamie Lannister. Cressen tries to poison Melisandre but dies instead after drinking the poison to convince her that it was not poisoned. She drinks as well and does not die.
Robb then receives a letter and interrogates Jamie Lannister. Jamie challenges Robb. Robs direwolf, Grey Wind, bothers Jamie during the interrogation about Bran. Robb then sends Alton Lannister free in as a bartering tool to release his sisters and his men and for the recognition of the North as a free land. Robb teams up with Balon despite Catelyn’s advice to the contrary.
Joffrey then redecorates the entire throne room to emulate the extravagance of the Targaryen rule. Cersei and Joffrey have a conversation about Joffrey’s incestuous parentage. Joffrey insults Cersei, which causes her to slap him. Joffrey then threatens her with death if she ever touches him again.
Across the narrow sea, the scene flashes to Daenerys. She is going through the Red Waste, trying to avoid her enemies. While starving in the Red Waste, Daenerys’s white mare dies, much to her despair. That mare was the first gift Khal Drogo gave to her. At the end of the episode, Daenerys sent her bloodriders to try to find the edge of the Red Waste.