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[Episode opens on the jousting grounds, just outside of King's Landing. NED is seen entering a tent where a group of Silent Sisters are prepring SER HUGH's body for funeral rites. SER BARRISTAN SELMY is standing guard when NED enters the tent.]

NED: Does Ser Hugh have any family in the capital?

BARRISTAN: No. I stood vigil for him myself last night. He had no one else.

[NED glances at SER HUGH's armor, which is being cleaned by another Silent Sister.]

NED: He'd never worn this armor before.

BARRISTAN: Bad luck for him - going against the Mountain.

NED: Who determines the draw?

BARRISTAN: All the knights draw straws, Lord Stark.

NED: Aye. But who holds the straws? [to the Silent Sisters] You've done good work, Sisters.

[Both NED and BARRISTAN exit the tent. As they do, a squire hands BARRISTAN his helmet and fastens his cape onto his armor. NED and BARRISTAN begin walking.]

BARRISTAN: Life is strange. Not so many years ago we fought as enemies at the Trident.

NED: I'm glad we never met on the field, Ser Barristan, as is my wife. I don't think the widow's life would suit her.

[BARRISTAN chuckles.]

BARRISTAN: You're too modest. I've seen you cut down a dozen great knights.

NED: My father once told me you were the best he'd ever seen. I never knew the man to be wrong about matters of combat.

BARRISTAN: He was a fine man, your father. What the Mad King did to him was a terrible crime.

[NED points back at SER HUGH's tent.]

NED: And that lad - he was a squire until a few months ago. How could he afford a new suit of armor?

[BARRISTAN shrugs.]

BARRISTAN: Perhaps Lord Arryn left him some money? [Pause] I hear the King wants to joust today.

NED: Yes. That will never happen.

[BARRISTAN laughs.]

BARRISTAN: Robert tends to do what he wants.

NED: If the King got what he wanted all the time, we'd still be fighting a damned rebellion.

[NED and BARRISTAN go their separate ways. NED enters ROBERT's tent, where LANCEL LANNISTER is trying to put ROBERT's armor on him, to little success.]

LANCEL: It's made too small, Your Grace. It won't go.

ROBERT: Your mother was a dumb whore with a fat ass. Did you know that?

[LANCEL looks unnerved, but continues to try and put the armor on ROBERT. After a moment he gives up and steps aside.]

ROBERT: [to NED] Look at this idiot! One ball and no brains. He can't even put a man's armor on him properly.

NED: You're too fat for your armor.

ROBERT: Fat? Fat, is it? Is that how you speak to your King?

[NED gives ROBERT a look that says 'Well, it's the truth.' Both of them start laughing. LANCEL laughs too.]

ROBERT: [to LANCEL] That was funny, is it?

LANCEL: [nervously] No, Your Grace.

ROBERT: No? You don't like the Hand's joke?

[LANCEL is at a loss for words as he looks from NED to ROBERT.]

NED: You're torturing the poor boy....

ROBERT: You heard the Hand. The King's too fat for his armor! Go find the breastplate stretcher, now!

[LANCEL quickly leaves the tent. ROBERT laughs after he leaves.]

NED: "The breastplate stretcher?"

ROBERT: How long before he figures it out?

NED: Maybe you should have one invented.

ROBERT: All right, all right. But you watch me out there. I still know how to point a lance.

[ROBERT drinks.]

NED: You have no business jousting. Leave that for the young men.

ROBERT: Why? Because I'm king? Piss on that. I want to hit somebody!

NED: And who's going to hit you back?

ROBERT: Anybody who can. And the last man in his saddle -

[NED interrupts.]

NED: - will be you. There's not a man in the Seven Kingdoms would risk hurting you.

ROBERT: [disbelieving] Are you telling me those cowards would let me win?

NED: Aye.

[ROBERT shakes his head in disappointment. He pours a glass of wine and hands it to NED.]

ROBERT: Drink.

NED: I'm not thirsty.

ROBERT: Drink. Your King commands it.

[NED takes the glass and drinks. ROBERT sits down.]

ROBERT: Gods! Too fat for my armor....

NED: Your squire...a Lannister boy?

ROBERT: Mmm. A bloody idiot. But Cersei insisted. I have Jon Arryn to thank for her. "Cersei Lannister will make a good match", he told me. "You'll need her father on your side." I thought being King meant I could do whatever I wanted. [Pause] Enough of this! Let's go watch 'em ride. At least I can smell someone else's blood.

NED: Robert?

ROBERT: What?

[NED indicates ROBERT's open shirt with his belly sticking out. ROBERT looks down and notices.]

ROBERT: Oh!

[ROBERT laughs raucously.]

ROBERT: An inspiring sight for the people, eh? Come! Bow before your King! Bow, you shits!

[They both laugh.]

[Scene shifts back to the jousting track. THE MOUNTAIN is once again riding down the track, pausing to bow before the king when he passes him. CARMINE GRAYBURN is still stationed at the far end of the track, another GOLD CLOAK is now with him.]

GOLD CLOAK: Have you been rotated out yet, Grayburn?

CARMINE: Once. But I'm not complaining. There's been some exciting jousting action happening.

GOLD CLOAK: A bit too exciting if you ask me. It was horrible, what happened to Ser Hugh.

CARMINE: I agree.

[He looks down the track at THE MOUNTAIN.]

CARMINE: Ser Gregor. He fucking scares me.

GOLD CLOAK: He scares me too. I don't envy his next opponent.

[NED is now seated in the front row, next to SANSA.]

NED: Where's Arya?

SANSA: At her dancing lessons.

[THE MOUNTAIN's opponent, SER LORAS TYRELL, rides up along the other side of the track. SANSA smiles when she sees him.]

SANSA: The Knight of the Flowers.

[As LORAS passes SANSA along the track, he hands her a red rose.]

SANSA: Thank you, Ser Loras.

[After handing her the rose, LORAS spots RENLY BARATHEON in the stands and exchanges a look with him. He then rides up beside THE MOUNTAIN and bows before the king. THE MOUNTAIN's horse begins acting jittery when it is beside LORAS. Afterwards, they both ride to opposite ends of the track. THE MOUNTAIN's horse is still acting jittery when it gets to the other end.]

[SANSA grabs her father's arm.]

SANSA: [fearful] Don't let Ser Gregor hurt him.

NED: Hey -

SANSA: I can't watch.

[At both ends of the track, the squires for both THE MOUNTAIN and LORAS are readying them for the joust. THE MOUNTAIN's horse is still fussing.]

LITTLEFINGER: 100 gold dragons on the Mountain!

RENLY: I'll take that bet.

LITTLEFINGER: Now what will I buy with 100 gold dragons? A dozen barrels of Dornish wine? Or a girl from the pleasure houses of Lys?

RENLY: Or you could even buy a friend.

[LITTLEFINGER gives RENLY a look that says 'Touché'.]

SANSA: [still fearful] He's going to die....

NED: Ser Loras rides well.

[The trumpet sounds to signify the beginning of the joust. As they rush towards each other, LORAS knocks THE MOUNTAIN off his horse rather easily. RENLY laughs out loud, and THE HOUND is seen with a slight smirk on his face.]

RENLY: [mockingly, to LITTLEFINGER] Such a shame, Littlefinger. It would have been so nice for you to have a friend.

LITTLEFINGER: And tell me, Lord Renly, when will you be having your friend?

[He indicates LORAS. RENLY gives him a look that says 'I don't know what you're talking about.' and sits back down. LITTLEFINGER grins smugly as he sits back down.]

LITTLEFINGER: [to SANSA] Loras knew his mare was in heat. Quite crafty, really.

SANSA: Ser Loras would never do that. There's no honor in tricks.

LITTLEFINGER: No honor but quite a bit of gold.

[LORAS is riding along the track waving to the cheering patrons. THE MOUNTAIN angrily gets up.]

THE MOUNTAIN: [to his squire] Sword!

[His squire runs up to him and gives him his sword. THE MOUNTAIN unsheathes his sword and promptly decapitates his horse, shocking the crowd. He then starts on LORAS, knocking him off his horse. CARMINE, at the far end of the track, looks shocked.]

CARMINE: What in seven hells is he doing?! Someone stop him!

[He starts towards THE MOUNTAIN, drawing his sword, but the other GOLD CLOAK holds him back.]

GOLD CLOAK: Are you out of your mind?!

CARMINE: He's going to kill Ser Loras!

GOLD CLOAK: And he'll kill you too if you're stupid enough to go out there!

[THE MOUNTAIN swings his sword at LORAS multiple times, destroying his shield. He rears back to make the killing blow, when THE HOUND, having had enough, leaves his position from the stands.]

THE HOUND: [to THE MOUNTAIN] Leave him be!

[THE HOUND swings at THE MOUNTAIN, who blocks him immediately. LORAS rolls out of the way. Both JOFFREY and RENLY look on from the stands, worried. THE MOUNTAIN is clearly angry that his brother has gotten in his way, and growls as he charges at him. Both THE HOUND and THE MOUNTAIN fight for several minutes more. Finally, ROBERT, having had enough, stands up.]

ROBERT: Stop this madness in the name of your King!

[THE HOUND immediately gets on his knee and bows before the King. THE MOUNTAIN angrily throws down his sword and storms off.]

ROBERT: Let him go.

[From the stands, JOFFREY looks relieved. LORAS stands up and walks towards THE HOUND.]

LORAS: I owe you my life, Ser.

THE HOUND: I'm no Ser.

[LORAS raises THE HOUND's arm in victory. The crowd cheers, with SANSA standing up and clapping. RENLY looks on, clapping vigorously.]

[Scene shifts to the Eastern Road, en route to the Vale of Arryn. CATELYN and RODRIK's party has stopped briefly, and now includes TYRION, BRONN, SER WILLIS WODE, KURLEKET, MARILLION, and several others. TYRION is bound and hooded. KURLEKET takes TYRION off his horse.]

CATELYN: Remove his hood.

[KURLEKET does so.]

MARILLION: [singing and playing his lute] On that eve, the captive Imp downwards from his horse did limp. No more would he preen and primp, in garb of red and gold.

[KURLEKET shoves TYRION in front of CATELYN and RODRIK. As MARILLION is singing, TYRION shoots him a dirty look.]

TYRION: This isn't the Kingsroad. You said we were riding for Winterfell.

CATELYN: I did... often and loudly.

TYRION: Very wise. They'll be out in droves, looking for me in the wrong place. Word's probably gotten to my father by now. He'll be offering a handsome reward. Everyone knows a Lannister always pays his debts.

[BRONN looks interested.]

TYRION: Would you be so good as to untie me?

CATELYN: And why would I do that?

TYRION: Why not? Am I going to run? The hill tribes would kill me for my boots. Unless a Shadowcat ate me first.

CATELYN: Shadowcats and hill tribes are the least of your concerns.

TYRION: Ah... the Eastern Road. We're going to the Vale. You're taking me to your sister's to answer for my imagined crimes. Tell me, Lady Stark. When was the last time you saw your sister?

CATELYN: Five years ago.

TYRION: She's changed. She was always a bit touched, but now... you might as well kill me here.

CATELYN: I am not a murderer, Lannister.

TYRION: Neither am I! I had nothing to do with the attempt on your son's life!

CATELYN: The dagger found - !

TYRION: What sort of imbecile arms an assassin with his own blade?

RODRIK: [to CATELYN] Should I gag him?

TYRION: Why? Am I starting to make sense?

[A rock suddenly hits MARILLION. One of the hill tribes has started to attack.]

CATELYN: Rodrik!

RODRIK: My lady, this way!

[RODRIK moves CATELYN behind a rock, out of harms way. The men, mainly BRONN, begin successfully defending against the tribe. TYRION sees CATELYN pull out a small dagger. He runs over to her.]

TYRION: Untie me. If I die, what's the point?

[CATELYN relents and cuts TYRION loose. He runs over and picks up a shield. He fends off an attack as another of CATELYN's men kills him. Another tribesman is nearing CATELYN, TYRION rushes over with his shield, knocks him to the ground and begins repeatedly bashing it into his head, directly in front of, and in defense of CATELYN. Nearby, RODRIK gets slashed across the back, but cuts down the man who slashed him. BRONN slits the throat of another. The battle finally comes to an end with CATELYN, RODRIK, TYRION, and BRONN the only survivors.]

[CATELYN sees RODRIK's injury and approaches him, looking worried.]

CATELYN: Rodrik...?

RODRIK: I'll be fine, my Lady. There's no need to bloody yourself.

[BRONN sheaths his sword and approaches TYRION.]

BRONN: Your first? You need a woman. Nothing like a woman after a fight.

[TYRION glances over at CATELYN.]

TYRION: Well, I'm willing if she is....

[Both BRONN and TYRION laugh.]

[Shift to Winterfell, where THEON is seen practicing archery. Nearby, BRAN is going over his lessons with MAESTER LUWIN. They are going over a map of Westeros. BRAN is distracted watching THEON.]

LUWIN: Bran...

[He points to a spot on the map with a wooden pointer.]

BRAN: The Iron Islands. Sigil - a Kraken. Words - "We do not sow".

LUWIN: Lords?

BRAN: The Greyjoys.

THEON: Famed for their skills at archery, navigation and lovemaking.

[He laughs before resuming his archery.]

LUWIN: And failed rebellions.

[He points to another spot on the map - the Stormlands.]

BRAN: Sigil - a stag. A crowned stag, now that Robert's king.

LUWIN: Good.

BRAN: Words - "Ours is the fury". Lords - the Baratheons.

LUWIN: Mmm-hmm.

[He points to another spot on the map.]

BRAN: The Borderlands. Sigil - two crossed swords. Words - "None shall pass". Lords - the Blackgards.

LUWIN: Very good, Bran.

[He points to another spot on the map.]

BRAN: The Westerlands. Sigil - a lion.

LUWIN: Hmm...

BRAN: Words - "A Lannister always pays his debts."

LUWIN: No. A common saying, but not their official motto.

BRAN: Lords - the Lannisters.

LUWIN: We're still on their words.

BRAN: I don't know them.

LUWIN: You do know them. Think.

BRAN: "Unbowed, unbent, unbroken".

LUWIN: That's House Martell.

BRAN: "We are legion."

LUWIN: No. That's House Grayburn.

BRAN: "Righteous in wrath".

LUWIN: House Hornwood....

BRAN: "Family, duty, honor".

LUWIN: [annoyed] Those are Tully words...your mother's. Are we playing a game?

[He notices BRAN marking into the table with a metal decoration.]

BRAN: "Family, duty, honor"... Is that the right order?

LUWIN: You know it is.

BRAN: Family comes first?

[brief pause]

LUWIN: Your mother had to leave Winterfell to protect the family.

BRAN: How can she protect the family if she's not with her family?

LUWIN: Your mother sat by your bed for three weeks while you slept.

BRAN: [incensed] And then she left!

LUWIN: [with authority, but also with compassion] When you were born, I was the one who pulled you from your mother. I placed you in her arms. From that moment until the moment she dies, she will love you. Absolutely. Fiercely.

BRAN: Why did she leave?

LUWIN: I still can't tell you, but she will be home soon.

BRAN: Do you know where she is now? Today?

LUWIN: No, I don't.

BRAN: Then how can you promise me she'll be home soon?

[LUWIN shakes his head.]

LUWIN: Sometimes, I worry you're too smart for your own good.

[BRAN watches THEON shooting arrows.]

BRAN: [mournful] I'll never shoot another arrow.

LUWIN: And where is that written?

BRAN: You need legs to work a bow.

LUWIN: Hmm... If the saddle Lord Tyrion designed actually works, you could learn to shoot a bow from horseback.

BRAN: Really?

LUWIN: Dothraki boys learn when they're four years old. Why shouldn't you?

[BRAN smiles and resumes watching THEON with a thoughtful look on his face.]

[Shift to THEON's quarters, where he's having sex with ROS. Both of them visibly orgasm.]

THEON: Shh... Keep it down. You're not supposed to be inside the castle walls.

[They separate.]

ROS: I thought you were supposed to be an important person around here.

THEON: Important enough for the likes of you.

ROS: You're not the only nobleman in my life, you know.

[She sits down in front of a nearby mirror and start to reapply her make-up.]

THEON: [envious] Who? the Imp? I'd call him half a nobleman.

ROS: Jealous?

THEON: Why should I be jealous? Anyone with a few coppers in his pocket can own you for the night. What's a dwarf like down below? I've always wondered.

[He comes up behind her.]

ROS: Might surprise you.

[THEON scoffs disbelievingly.]

ROS: He's good with his fingers too. And his tongue.

[THEON grabs the lion pendant hanging around her neck.]

THEON: Generous tipper. I guess gold is cheap for a Lannister.

ROS: You are jealous.

THEON: I'm a Greyjoy. We've been Lords of the Iron Islands for 300 years. There's not a family in Westeros that can look down on us. not even the Lannisters.

ROS: And what about the Starks?

THEON: I’ve been Lord Stark’s ward since I was eight years old.

ROS: A “ward”. That’s a nice word for it. Your father rebelled against King Robert and if he does it again -

[THEON grabs ROS’ neck from behind.]

THEON: [angry] My father fought for the freedom of his people! What did your father do? Fucked a cook and whelped a whore.

ROS: You’re a very serious boy.

THEON: I’m not a boy.

ROS: Oh, yes you are.

[She grabs his crotch.]

ROS: A serious boy, with a serious cock.

THEON: I don’t want to pay for it.

ROS: Then get yourself a wife.

[THEON lets her go and leaves.]

[Shift changes to THEON walking in the courtyard, at night, ASHTER is nearby leaning against a wall.]

ASHTER: What brings you out here this late, Greyjoy?

THEON: I could ask you the same question.

ASHTER: [annoyed] No, actually, you can't. Because I'm allowed to do what I want around here.

THEON: [somewhat smugly] Not if Robb orders you to do something.

ASHTER: You know better then most that Robb wouldn't trust me with anything important. 

THEON: I was walking. That's what I was doing out here. Is there something wrong with walking?

[ASHTER has a skeptical look on his face as he walks towards THEON.]

ASHTER: Walking, at this hour? You know... I paid a visit to the brothel nearly seven minutes ago, I looked for Ros, but she was nowhere to be found. I ended up fucking the other girl, I forgot her name, but she's good friends with Ros. Women like to talk when you fuck them. Some like to talk too much. So? 

THEON: Fine. You got me. Ros was with me. What? Are you gonna tell your brother?

ASHTER: Why would I do that?

THEON: Because Ros isn't supposed to--

[ASHTER laughs.]

ASHTER: If every man who slept in that castle brought a woman in the night, we'd all face the consequences. I could give two shits who you bring into your bed, Greyjoy. I do have a favor to ask, however. Is Ros still in your chambers? 

THEON: Not for very much longer.

ASHTER: I'd have a go with her, since I was not able to spend time with her. You mind passing the message, if she indeed is still in there?

THEON: [annoyed] Tell her yourself, Stark. I'm not your errand boy.

[He starts to walk away, but ASHTER pulls him back.]

ASHTER: Come on, Greyjoy. Don't be such a prick. It's late, so you'll be heading back there anyways. 

THEON: I've got to visit your brother about something.

ASHTER: My brother wants to speak to you this late at night? Please tell me he isn't fucking boys, now is he? 

THEON: [irritated] A letter. The raven just arrived a few minutes ago, Lady Stark wishes to hear from Robb. 

ASHTER: Ah, so that's why you're out here. I gotcha. Okay, you go give it to my brother, I'll go find Ros and fuck her brains out. Deal? Great.

[He claps THEON's shoulder and then walks off. THEON looks after him with a sour look on his face.]

[Shift back to King's Landing. ARYA is seen chasing a cat down a hallway.]

ARYA: Come on. I'm not gonna hurt you.

[NED is seen working in his office. JORY is standing guard just outside. VARYS is also inside with him and is closing all the windows.]

VARYS: How is your son, my Lord?

NED: He'll never walk again.

VARYS: But his mind is sound?

NED: So they say.

VARYS: A blessing then. I suffered an early mutilation myself.

[He closes the door.]

VARYS: Some doors close forever... others open in the most unexpected places. May I?

[NED doesn't say yes or no, but VARYS sits down nonetheless. He suddenly appears much more serious.]

VARYS: If the wrong ears heard what I'm about to tell you, off comes my head. And who would mourn poor Varys then? North or South, they sing no songs for spiders. But there are things you must know. You are the King's Hand, and the King is a fool. Your friend, I know, but a fool, and doomed unless you save him.

NED: [suspicious] I've been in the capital a month. Why have you waited so long to tell me this?

VARYS: I didn't trust you.

NED: So why do you trust me now?

VARYS: The Queen is not the only one who has been watching you closely. There are few men of honor in the capital. You are one of them. I would like to believe I am another, strange as that may seem.

NED: What sort of doom does the King face?

VARYS: The same sort as Jon Arryn.

[Pause]

VARYS: The Tears of Lys, they call it. A rare and costly thing, as clear and tasteless as water. It leaves no trace.

[NED worriedly stands up and paces around the office, his back to VARYS.]

NED: Who gave it to him?

VARYS: Some dear friend, no doubt, but which one? There were many. Lord Arryn was a kind and trusting man. There was one boy... all he was he owed to Jon Arryn.

[NED turns to face VARYS.]

NED: The squire, Ser Hugh?

VARYS: Pity what happened to him, just when his life seemed to be going so nicely....

NED: If Ser Hugh poisoned him, who paid Ser Hugh?

[VARYS shrugs.]

VARYS: Someone who could afford it.

NED: Jon was a man of peace. He was Hand for 17 years—17 good years. Why kill him?

VARYS: He started asking questions.

[Shift to the dungeons of the Red Keep. ARYA is still chasing the cat. She stops briefly to admire a huge dragon skull. When she hears a voice nearby, she hides in the skull. Two men emerge from a nearby hallway; they are VARYS and ILLYRIO MOPATIS.]

VARYS: He's found two bastards already. He has the book. The rest will come.

ILLYRIO: And when he knows the truth, what will he do?

VARYS: The gods alone know. The fools tried to kill his son. What's worse, they botched it. The wolf and the lion will be at each other's throats. We will be at war soon, my friend.

[From her hiding spot, ARYA looks confused.]

ILLYRIO: What good is war now? We're not ready. If one Hand can die, why not a second?

VARYS: This Hand is not the other.

ILLYRIO: We need time. Khal Drogo will not make his move until his son is born; you know how these savages are.

VARYS: "Delay," you say. "Move fast, " I reply. This is no longer a game for two players.

ILLYRIO: It never was.

[As they leave, ARYA looks worried now. She darts out from her hiding spot and rushes towards a gate; it is locked. She then runs down a staircase in the opposite direction, looking for an exit.]

[Shift to the throne room, where LITTLEFINGER is staring at the Iron Throne. VARYS is seen entering the throne room.]

VARYS: The first to arrive and the last to leave. I admire your industry.

[LITTLEFINGER turns to face VARYS.]

LITTLEFINGER: You do move quietly.

VARYS: We all have our qualities.

LITTLEFINGER: You look a bit lonely today. You should pay a visit to my brothel this evening. First boy is on the house.

VARYS: I think you're mistaking business with pleasure.

LITTLEFINGER: Am I? All those birds that whisper in your ear, such pretty little things.

[He approaches VARYS and places a hand on his shoulder.]

LITTLEFINGER: Trust me, we accommodate all inclinations.

VARYS: Oh, I'm sure. Lord Redwyne likes his boys very young, I hear.

LITTLEFINGER: I'm a purveyor of beauty and discretion, both equally important.

VARYS: Though I suppose beauty is a subjective quality, no? Is it true that Ser Marlon of Tumblestone prefers amputees?

LITTLEFINGER: All desires are valid to a man with a full purse.

VARYS: And I heard the most awful rumor about a certain lord with a taste for fresh cadavers. Must be enormously difficult to accommodate that inclination. The logistics alone....to find beautiful corpses before they rot.

LITTLEFINGER: Strictly speaking, such a thing would not be in accordance with the King's laws.

VARYS: Strictly speaking....

[VARYS walks towards the Iron Throne, his back to LITTLEFINGER.]

LITTLEFINGER: Tell me. Does someone, somewhere, keep your balls in a little box? I've often wondered.

[VARYS turns back to face LITTLEFINGER.]

VARYS: Do you know, I have no idea where they are? And we had been so close.

[LITTLEFINGER chuckles.]

VARYS: But enough about me. How have you been since we last saw each other?

LITTLEFINGER: Since you last saw me or since I last saw you?

VARYS: Now the last time I saw you, you were talking to the Hand of the King.

LITTLEFINGER: Saw me with your own eyes?

VARYS: Eyes I own.

LITTLEFINGER: Council business. We all have so much to discuss with Ned Stark.

VARYS: Everyone's well aware of your enduring fondness for Lord Stark's wife. If the Lannisters were behind the attempt on the Stark boy's life and it was discovered that you helped the Starks come to that conclusion... To think... A simple word to the Queen...

[VARYS gives LITTLEFINGER a look that clearly says 'You know I could tell them whenever I wanted if I felt like it.' LITTLEFINGER remains impassive.]

LITTLEFINGER: [sarcastic] One shudders at the thought.

VARYS: Ooh....

LITTLEFINGER: But you know something? I do believe that I have seen you even more recently than you have seen me.

VARYS: Have you?

LITTLEFINGER: Yes. Earlier today, I distinctly recall seeing you talking to Lord Stark in his chambers.

VARYS: [clearly amused] Was that you under the bed?

LITTLEFINGER: And not long after that when I saw you escorting a certain - foreign - dignitary?

[The smile slowly fades off of VARYS' face.]

LITTLEFINGER: Council business? Of course you would have friends from across The Narrow Sea. You're from there yourself, after all.

[VARYS' face darkens as he realizes what LITTLEFINGER is getting at.]

LITTLEFINGER: [with fake sincerity] We're friends, aren't we, Lord Varys? I'd like to think we are. So you can imagine my burden, wondering if the King might question my friend's sympathies. To stand at a crossroads where turning left means loyalty to a friend, turning right, loyalty to the realm -

VARYS: [sardonic] Oh, please.

LITTLEFINGER: To find myself in a position where a simple word to the King --

[RENLY suddenly enters the throne room and interrupts LITTLEFINGER and VARYS' conversation.]

RENLY: What are you two conspiring about?

[Neither of them answer.]

RENLY: Well, whatever it is, you'd best hurry up. My brother is coming.

[RENLY makes his way towards the small council chamber.]

LITTLEFINGER: [surprised] To a Small Council meeting?

VARYS: [somewhat smugly] Disturbing news from far away. Haven't you heard?

[VARYS follows RENLY, leaving LITTLEFINGER by himself in the throne room.]

[Shift to the outside of King's Landing, where ARYA is seen exiting a tunnel and emerging onto one of the beaches of Blackwater Bay. She makes her way to one of the entrances of King's Landing, where she is stopped by two guards.]

GUARD 1: Off with you. No begging.

ARYA: I'm not a beggar. I live here.

GUARD 1: D'you want a smack on your ear to help you with your hearing?

ARYA: I want to see my father.

GUARD 2: I want to fuck the Queen, for all the good it does me.

GUARD 1: You want your father, boy? He's lying on the floor of some tavern, getting pissed on by his friends.

ARYA: [indignant] My father is Hand of the King! I'm not a boy. I'm Arya Stark of Winterfell and if you lay a hand on me, my father will have both your heads on spikes! Now are you going to let me by or do I need to smack you on the ear to help with your hearing?

GUARD 1: [annoyed] You know, you shouldn't tell lies, boy.

ARYA: [hotly] I'm not a boy!

CARMINE: [offscreen] What's all this, then?

[CARMINE enters.]

CARMINE: What are you two idiots doing?

GUARD 2: This little beggar boy seems to think his father is the Hand of the King.

[CARMINE looks at ARYA.]

CARMINE: That's not a boy. That's a girl.

[ARYA gives him a look that says, 'Thank you!']

CARMINE: Aren't you Arya Stark?

ARYA: Yes. That's what I told them.

CARMINE: [to the GUARDS] She is the Hand of the King's daughter, you bloody idiots. You're lucky I don't report you two to Commander Slynt.

[They both look embarrassed and leave.]

CARMINE: [to ARYA] Ignore them. I'll take you to your father.

ARYA: Thank you. How'd you recognize me? I don't think I've met you before.

CARMINE: I know your father personally. He's friends with my father. I've also met your brothers Robb, Jon and Ashter.

ARYA: Really? [Brief pause.] Well, you're certainly the smartest city guard I've met so far.

[They both laugh.]

CARMINE: Alright, follow me. Your father is probably worried sick about you.

[They start walking.]

CARMINE: So, if you don't mind me asking, how are the Starks liking King's Landing?

[ARYA looks around.]

ARYA: I've gotten used to it. At first I didn't like it here, but it's grown on me, I guess. My sister Sansa likes it here more than me. I think out of everyone I've met so far, I like my dancing master, Syrio Forel, the best.

CARMINE: Ahhh, the Braavosi. [He laughs.] I met him once. He seemed like an interesting man. [He looks at ARYA.] You know, you're the first girl I've ever met that's been interested in swords rather than dolls and things like that. And I have two sisters of my own.

[ARYA grins.]

ARYA: Well, other girls are stupid then, are they? And that includes my sister.....

[They both laugh.]

ARYA: You know, you remind me a lot of my brother Jon.

CARMINE: Thank you, I take that as a compliment.

[Shift to NED's office, where ARYA is standing in front of NED's desk. CARMINE is standing behind her.]

NED: [sternly] You know I had half my guard out searching for you? You promised me this would stop. [to CARMINE] Thanks for bringing her back, lad. I'll let you get back to your duties.

CARMINE: Very good, Lord Stark.

[CARMINE leaves the office.]

ARYA: They said they were going to kill you!

NED: Who did?

ARYA: I didn't see them, but I think one was fat.

[NED exasperatedly puts his face in his hands and sighs.]

NED: Oh, Arya....

ARYA: I'm not lying! They said you found the bastards, and the wolves are fighting the lions, and the savage... something about the savage.

NED: Where did you hear this?

ARYA: In the dungeons, near the dragon skulls.

NED: What were you doing in the dungeons?

ARYA:.....chasing a cat.

[There is a knock at the door. JORY enters.]

JORY: Pardon, my Lord. There's a Night's Watchman here begging a word. He says it's urgent.

[JORY waves someone in. YOREN enters. NED stands up and stands beside ARYA.]

NED: Your name, friend?

YOREN: Yoren, if it please.

[He indicates ARYA.]

YOREN: This must be your son. He has the look.

ARYA: I'm a girl!

NED: Did Benjen send you?

YOREN: No one sent me, my Lord. I'm here to find men for The Wall, see if there's any scum in the dungeons that might be fit for service.

NED: Ah, we'll find recruits for you.

YOREN: Thank you, my Lord, but that's not why I disturb you now. Your brother, Benjen... his blood runs black, makes him as much my brother as yours. It's for his sake I rode here so hard I damn near killed my horse. There are others riding too. The whole city will know by tomorrow.

NED: Know what?

YOREN: Best said in private, my Lord.

[Long pause. NED looks reluctant at first, but relents and kisses ARYA on the forehead.]

NED: Go on. We'll talk more later. [to JORY] Jory, take her safely to her room.

JORY: Come along, my Lady. You heard your father.

[JORY escorts ARYA out of the office. YOREN closes the door after them.]

ARYA: How many guards does my father have?

JORY: Here in King's Landing? Fifty.

ARYA: You wouldn't let anyone kill him, would you?

JORY: No fear on that count, little Lady.

[JORY assuredly puts an arm around ARYA's shoulders as he escorts her to her room.]

[Back in NED's office, him and YOREN are now alone.]

NED: Well?

YOREN: It's about your wife, my Lord. She's taken the Imp.

[NED looks shocked.]

[Scene shifts to the courtyard of Helgen, the training area, where ETHAN SNOW is practicing swordplay with ERIK DRAGEN. Watching them are LUCIUS and DOMINIC. As ETHAN and ERIK are practicing, ERIK misses a block and gets struck by ETHAN.]

LUCIUS: [mocking] Try blocking him next time, Erik.

ERIK: Shut up, Lucius.

[LUCIUS laughs.]

LUCIUS: [somewhat sarcastic] Dear brother, you know I'm just messing with you.

[ERIK looks unconvinced and picks up his sword.]

ETHAN: It's an honest mistake, Erik. [to LUCIUS] One that you made numerous times as well, Lucius.

[LUCIUS rolls his eyes.]

LUCIUS: How many times to I have to say that I was kidding?

[ETHAN and ERIK resume sparring. MAESTER VAHAELOR enters.]

VAHAELOR: Domeric?

DOMINIC: Yes, maester?

VAHAELOR: Time for your lessons.

[DOMINIC follows VAHAELOR and the two sit down on a bench not far from where ETHAN and ERIK are sparring.]

VAHAELOR: They won't distract you, will they?

[He indicates ETHAN and ERIK. DOMINIC shakes his head.]

DOMINIC: I don't think so.

VAHAELOR: Good. [brief pause] We'll be going over the history of House Dragen today. So...who was the founder of House Dragen?

[LUCIUS wanders over to where VAHAELOR and DOMINIC are sitting.]

DOMINC: Evan Dragen.

VAHAELOR: And what did they call him?

[DOMINIC briefly glances nervously at LUCIUS, who raises an eyebrow when he looks at him.]

LUCIUS: I can't tell you the answer -

[DOMINIC interrupts.]

DOMINIC: Evan the Cannibal.

VAHAELOR: And what else was he?

DOMINIC: The first Blooded King.

VAHAELOR: Very good. Who was the first Blooded Queen?

DOMINIC: Melina Dragen. She was called "Bloody Mel".

[LUCIUS begins to look bored and wanders back to where he was before, as VAHAELOR continues tutoring DOMINIC. At that moment, DUNCAN CATELL, Castellan of Helgen, walks up to LUCIUS.]

DUNCAN: Lucius?

LUCIUS: Ah, Duncan. It's good to see you. What do you want?

DUNCAN: Your father wants to speak with you. He says it's urgent. Robb Stark has summoned you to Winterfell to answer for your crimes against House Bracken.

[At ETHAN and ERIK's area, ETHAN stops sparring with ERIK when he sees LUCIUS and DUNCAN arguing. LUCIUS then seemingly resigns the argument and follows DUNCAN. ETHAN throws down his sword.]

ETHAN: We're done for today, Erik. You really are improving.

ERIK: Thank you, Uncle.

[ERIK leaves. ETHAN then goes after DUNCAN and LUCIUS. Over where VAHAELOR and DOMINIC are, VAHAELOR looks over and sees them too.]

DOMINIC: - and he was succeeded as Lord of Helgen by Veron Dragen.

[VAHAELOR glances over at LUCIUS and DUNCAN, who vanish from eyesight. He stands up.]

VAHAELOR: I think that's enough for now, little lord. A more pressing matter has come up, I think.....

[VAHAELOR leaves DOMINIC, who remains in the courtyard.]

[GARTH and ALISE are shown waiting in the great hall. LUCIUS and DUNCAN enter, followed by ETHAN and VAHAELOR. GARTH walks up to LUCIUS; he is angry.]

GARTH: Dammit, Lucius, I told you to be more discreet!

LUCIUS: Father, I -

GARTH: Robb Stark has demanded that you arrive at Winterfell within a fortnight to answer for what you've done to the Brackens or he will personally come down here and drag you up there.

LUCIUS: Um, Robb Stark may be Lord of Winterfell in his father's stead, but he doesn't have the authority to punish me for something that happened to a Riverlands house.

VAHAELOR: Robb's grandfather is Lord of the Riverlands, though. The Brackens must've written to them about what happened, and Lord Tully must've relayed that to Robb.

DUNCAN: And Robb does have the authority to punish the person who perpetrated the crime, even if it was against a house in the Riverlands.

[GARTH paces around the great hall.]

GARTH: I thought you set things straight with the Brackens!

LUCIUS: I did, Father. There must be some kind of misunderstanding.

VAHAELOR: It is entirely possible that the Brackens contacted Lord Tully before Lucius went to Stone Hedge....

[They all think about this for a moment.]

ALISE: If we don't straighten this out, this could damage our relationship with the Starks beyond repair.

[GARTH sighs.]

GARTH: Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding...[to LUCIUS] But you will fix it.

[LUCIUS thinks for a moment, and a smile comes across his face.]

LUCIUS: You can count on me, Father. I think I know how to fix it.

[Quick cut to LUCIUS in his chambers, writing a letter. He is looking at a separate letter from JONOS BRACKEN and is copying his handwriting flawlessly. He is thinking of what to write next.]

LUCIUS: [thinking] If you send anyone else to Helgen, or if you breathe one word of this incident to anyone, I'll cut your tongue from your head and eat it. But hopefully, we can move past this ugly incident and you'll hopefully never see me again, Lord Bracken.

[LUCIUS smirks to himself and write on the letter in LORD BRACKEN's handwriting. "This was a misunderstanding, Lord Stark. I'm fairly certain Lucius Dragen was not involved."]

[Shift to Winterfell. ASHTER walking through the halls and ROS is quickly walking through them as well, their paths cross.]

ASHTER: Ah, Ros. Lovely to see you again. I was looking for you.

ROS: Ah, you were, my Lord? I'm flattered.

ASHTER: I'm hurt, my darling. I've heard that you've been with Theon Greyjoy. That hurts my heart, alot... why would you choose him over me? Have you fallen out of love with me?

ROS: I have no love for the Greyjoy. I only fuck who has paid me. But you, Lord Stark... I'd fuck you without a single coin.

[She flirtingly traces her fingers along his chest. ASHTER grins.]

ASHTER: That's what I like to hear. But, if Greyjoy does try to give you a go, don't accept the offer. Yeah?

ROS: Of course, my Lord.

ASHTER: Great. Come on, to my chamber.

[Shift to ASHTER's chamber where he is making love to ROS, she moans loudly. The scene shifts again to the two of them laying in bed.]

ASHTER: We've fucked way too many times, which isn't a bad thing -- actually.... I'm just curious if you've gotten pregnant with my child, yet. I recall plenty of times I did actually you know... 

ROS: Moon tea, my lord. 

ASHTER: I think we'd make beautiful children. A bastard named Snow.... huh.

ROS: You wish this?

[ASHTER thinks for a moment.]

ASHTER: In all honesty, no. I don't want to take care of a baby. I had to help take care of my little brothers and sisters. Me and Robb, we always had our days where we had to spend a bunch of time with Arya... or with Bran and Rickon. Sansa, not so much. Rickon was a terrible baby. Bran was better, but not by much.

ROS: And how were you... as a baby?

ASHTER: My parents have said that me, Robb and Jon were all terrible babies. And we all grew up into great men. Well, Robb and Jon anyways. My parents aren't always too fond of what I've become.

ROS: I happen to be.

ASHTER: The feeling is mutual, love.

[They both laugh.]

ASHTER: You got somewhere to be?

ROS: Tonight?

ASHTER: Yeah.

ROS: No. I suppose I don't.

ASHTER: I could go for one more fuck. And then some sleep. You up for it? 

[She starts moving downwards.]

ROS: Of course, my Lord. Whatever you need...

ASHTER: I'm not a Lord, you know. Not yet.

ROS: Well, I think you'd make a great Lord...

[ROS is finally down below and it is evident from ASHTER's facial expressions that she has begun servicing him.]

[Shift to the Eastern Road, where CATELYN's party have arrived in the Vale. A group of Vale knights, led by SER VARDIS EGEN, have arrived to meet them.]

VARDIS: You're far from home, Lady Stark.

CATELYN: To whom do I speak?

VARDIS: Ser Vardis Egen, Knight of The Vale. Is Lady Arryn expecting your visit?

CATELYN: There was no time to send word.

VARDIS: [suspicious] May I ask, my Lady, why he is with you?

[He indicates TYRION.]

CATELYN: That's why there was no time. He is my prisoner.

VARDIS: He doesn't look like a prisoner....

CATELYN: [sternly] My sister will decide what he looks like.

VARDIS: [still suspicious] Yes, my Lady. She will at that.

[The Vale knights all turn their horses and escort CATELYN and her men towards the Eyrie.]

TYRION: The Eyrie. They say it's impregnable.

BRONN: Give me 10 good men and some climbing spikes. I'll impregnate the bitch.

TYRION: I like you.

[Shift back to King's Landing. NED is walking through the courtyard when he is stopped by the ROYAL STEWARD.]

ROYAL STEWARD: Lord Stark, your presence has been requested in the small council chamber. A meeting has been called.

NED: I need to see the King first—alone.

ROYAL STEWARD: The King is at the Small Council meeting, my Lord. He has summoned you.

NED: Is it about my wife?

ROYAL STEWARD: No, my Lord. I believe it concerns Daenerys Targaryen.

[Shift to the Small Council meeting, all the members are present, including ROBERT.]

ROBERT: The whore is pregnant.

NED: You're speaking of murdering a child.

ROBERT: I warned you this would happen. Back in the North, I warned you, but you didn't care to hear. Well, hear it now. I want 'em dead, mother and child both. And that fool, Viserys as well. Is that plain enough for you? I want them both dead.

NED: You will dishonor yourself forever if you do this.

ROBERT: Honor?! I've got Seven Kingdoms to rule! One King, Seven Kingdoms! Do you think honor keeps them in line? Do you think it's honor that's keeping the peace? It's fear! Fear and blood!

NED: Then we're no better than the Mad King!

ROBERT: Careful, Ned. Careful now.

NED: You want to assassinate a girl because the Spider heard a rumor?

VARYS: No rumor, my Lord. The princess is with child.

NED: Based on whose information?

VARYS: Ser Jorah Mormont. He is serving as adviser to the Targaryens.

NED: [derisively] Mormont? You bring us the whispers of a traitor half a world away and call it fact?

LITTLEFINGER: Jorah Mormont's a slaver, not a traitor. Small difference, I know, to an honorable man.

NED: He broke the law, betrayed his family, fled our land. We commit murder on the word of this man?

ROBERT: And if he's right? If she has a son? A Targaryen at the head of a Dothraki army....what then?

NED: The Narrow Sea still lies between us. I'll fear the Dothraki the day they teach their horses to run on water.

ROBERT: [incredulous] Do nothing? That's your wise advice? Do nothing til our enemies are on our shores?! [to the other Small Council members] You're my council! Counsel! Speak sense to this honorable fool!

VARYS: [to NED] I understand your misgivings, my Lord. Truly, I do. It is a terrible thing we must consider, a vile thing. Yet, we who presume to rule must sometimes do vile things for the good of the realm. Should the gods grant Daenerys a son, the realm will bleed.

PYCELLE: I bear this girl no ill will, but should the Dothraki invade, how many innocents will die? How many towns will burn? Is it not wiser, kinder even, that she should die now so that tens of thousands might live?

RENLY: We should have had them both killed years ago.

LITTLEFINGER: When you find yourself in bed with an ugly woman, best close your eyes, get it over with. Cut her throat. Be done with it.

[LITTLEFINGER takes a drink. NED looks around at all of them, disappointed in all of them. He then speaks directly to ROBERT.]

NED: I followed you into war - twice, without doubts, without second thoughts. But I will not follow you now. The Robert I grew up with didn't tremble at the shadow of an unborn child.

ROBERT: [with an air of finality] She dies.

NED: I will have no part in it.

ROBERT: You're the King's Hand, Lord Stark. You'll do as I command or I'll find me a Hand who will.

[NED removes the Hand of the King badge and tosses it onto the table, still looking at ROBERT with a look of disappointment.]

NED: And good luck to him. I thought you were a better man.

ROBERT: [enraged] Out! Out, damn you! I'm done with you!

[NED turns around and leaves.]

ROBERT: Go! Run back to Winterfell! I'll have your head on a spike! I'll put it there myself, you fool! You think you're too good for this? Too proud and honorable?! This is a war!

[Shift to NED's office, where he is packing up his belongings. JORY enters.]

NED: I'll go ahead with my daughters. Get them ready. Do it yourself. Don't ask anyone for help.

JORY: Right away, my Lord. Lord Baelish is here for you.

[LITTLEFINGER enters.]

LITTLEFINGER: His Grace went on about you at some length after you took your leave. The word "treason" was mentioned.

NED: What can I do for you?

LITTLEFINGER: When do you return to Winterfell?

NED: Why? What do you care?

LITTLEFINGER: If you're still here come nightfall, I'll take you to see the last person Jon Arryn spoke with before falling ill. If that sort of thing still interests you.

[NED is clearly interested, but ultimately decides not to and resumes packing up his things.]

NED: I don't have the time.

LITTLEFINGER: It won't take more than an hour. But as you please.

[LITTLEFINGER leaves. NED is seemingly struggling with whether or not he should go or not. He ultimately decides to do so.]

NED: [to JORY] Round up all the men we have and station them outside the girls' chambers. Who are your best two swords?

JORY: Heward and Wyl.

NED: Find them and meet me at the stables.

[NED leaves his office and follows LITTLEFINGER. JORY goes off in the opposite direction.]

[Shift to the High Hall of the Eyrie. CATELYN and TYRION are standing before CATELYN's sister, LYSA ARRYN. LYSA is currently breastfeeding her son, ROBIN ARRYN, who is clearly too old to still be breastfeeding. SER VARDIS is seen standing behind CATELYN and TYRION.]

LYSA: [incredulous] You bring him here without permission? You pollute my home with his presence? [to ROBIN] Your aunt has done a bad thing, Robin, a very bad thing. You remember her, don't you?

[ROBIN looks up. Both CATELYN and TYRION look somewhat disturbed seeing ROBIN being breastfed.]

LYSA: Isn't he beautiful? And strong too. Jon knew it. His last words were, "the seed is strong." He wanted everyone to know what a good, strong boy his son would grow up to be. Look at him, the Lord of all the Vale.

CATELYN: Lysa, you wrote me about the Lannisters, warning me -

LYSA: To stay away from them! Not to bring one here!

ROBIN: [indicating TYRION] Mommy? Is that the bad man?

LYSA: It is.

[ROBIN chuckles.]

ROBIN: He's little.

LYSA: He's Tyrion the Imp of House Lannister. He killed your father. He murdered the Hand of the King!

TYRION: [sarcastic] Oh? Did I kill him too? I've been a very busy man.

LYSA: [sharply] You will watch your tongue! These men are Knights of the Vale. Every one of the loved Jon Arryn. Every one of them would die for me.

TYRION: If any harm comes to me, my brother, Jaime, will see that they do.

ROBIN: [yelling] You can't hurt us! No one can hurt us here! Tell him, mommy! Tell him!

LYSA: Shh... Shh... Shh, my sweet boy. He's just trying to frighten us. Lannisters are all liars. No one will hurt my baby.

ROBIN: Mommy....I want to see the bad man fly.

LYSA: Perhaps you will, my little love.

CATELYN: This man is my prisoner. I will not have him harmed.

LYSA: [to VARDIS] Ser Vardis, my sister's guest is weary. Take him down below so he can rest. Introduce him to Mord.

[Scene immediately shifts to MORD, the gaoler of the Eyrie's sky cells, forcibly throwing TYRION into a cell.]

MORD: [sadistically] You go sleep, dwarf man. Sleep good, little dwarf man!

[MORD laughs as he leaves and locks the door behind him. TYRION looks around the sky cell, peering over the edge and seeing it is a sheer drop down the mountainside, some hundreds of feet. TYRION immediately backs up as far away from the edge as possibly.]

[The scene shifts back to King's Landing, RENLY's chambers. He is shirtless and is being shaved by LORAS TYRELL, who is also shirtless. It is made more than apparent that the two are lovers.]

LORAS: Lord Stark's lucky he still has a head....

RENLY: Robert will rant for a few days, but he won't do anything. He adores the man.

LORAS: [surprised] You're jealous.

RENLY: Are you sure this won't hurt?

LORAS: Only if I slip.

[LORAS begins shaving him. RENLY twitches a couple of times in anticipation.]

RENLY: And you prefer me like this?

LORAS: Mmm-hmm.

RENLY: [somewhat put out] If you want hairless, maybe you should find a little boy.

LORAS: I want you.

RENLY: My brother thinks that anyone who hasn't been to war isn't a man. He treats me as if I'm a spoiled child.

[LORAS gives him a look that says, 'Well, you are.']

RENLY: Oh, and you're not? Loras Tyrell, the Knight of the Flowers? How many wars have you fought in? Oh, and how much did your father spend on that armor of yours?

LORAS: [somewhat annoyed] Hold still....

RENLY: All I ever hear from Robert and Stannis is how I'm not tough enough, how I squirm at the sight of blood.

LORAS: You did vomit when that boy's eye was knocked out in the mêlée....

RENLY: His eye was dangling out of the damn socket!

LORAS: He shouldn't have entered the mêlée if he didn't know how to fight.

RENLY: Easy for you to say. Not everyone is such a gifted swordsman.

[LORAS groans in exasperation.]

LORAS: It's not a gift. No one gave it to me. I'm good because I work at it—every day of my life since I could hold a stick.

RENLY: I could work at fighting all day, every day, and still never be as good as you.

LORAS: Yes well, I guess we'll never know.

[LORAS has finished shaving RENLY's chest and wipes off the shaving cream. He then lifts up RENLY's arm to shave his armpit.]

RENLY: Everywhere?

LORAS: Everywhere.

[He begins dabbing shaving cream on RENLY's armpit.]

LORAS: So how did it end up? The Targaryen girl will die?

RENLY: It needs to be done, unpleasant as it is. Robert's rather tasteless about it; every time he talks about killing her, I swear the table rises six inches.

LORAS: It's a shame he can't muster the same enthusiasm for his wife.

RENLY: He does have a deep, abiding lust for her money. You have to give it to the Lannisters, they may be the most pompous, ponderous cunts the gods ever suffered to walk the world, but they do have outrageous amounts of money.

LORAS: I have an outrageous amount of money.

RENLY: Not as much as the Lannisters....

[LORAS laughs.]

LORAS: But a lot more than you.

RENLY: Robert's threatening to take me hunting with him. Last time we were out there for two weeks, tramping through the trees in the rain, day after day, all so he can stick his spear into something's flesh.

[RENLY sighs.]

RENLY: [disgusted] Oh. but Robert loves his killing. And he's the King.

LORAS: Hmm... How did that ever happen?

RENLY: Because he loves his killing, and he used to be good at it.

LORAS: Do you know who should be King?

[LORAS gives RENLY a look that clearly says, 'You should.']

RENLY: [disbelieving] Be serious.

LORAS: I am. My father could be your bank. I've never fought in a war before, but I'd fight for you.

RENLY: I'm fourth in line!

LORAS: And where was Robert in the line of royal succession? Joffrey is a monster. Tommen is eight.

RENLY: Stannis?

LORAS: Stannis has the personality of a lobster.

RENLY: He's still my older brother.

[LORAS purposely cuts RENLY under his arm. RENLY gasps.]

RENLY: What are you doing?!

LORAS: Look at it.

RENLY: You cut me!

LORAS: It's just blood. We've all got it in us. Sometimes a little spills. If you become King, you're going to see a lot of this. You need to get used to it. Go on. Look.

[RENLY reluctantly looks at the cut.]

LORAS: People love you. They love to serve you because you're kind to them. They want to be near you.

[LORAS takes RENLY by the hand and stands him up.]

LORAS: You're willing to do what needs to be done, but you don't gloat over it. You don't love killing.

[LORAS slowly begins taking RENLY's pants off.]

LORAS: Where is it written that power is the sole province of the worst? That thrones are only made for the hated and the feared?

[LORAS gets on his knees.]

LORAS: You would be a wonderful King.

[LORAS begins servicing RENLY. RENLY's facial expressions clearly indicate that he's enjoying it.]

[Shift to ROBERT's chambers. CERSEI enters.]

CERSEI: [sardonic] I'm sorry your marriage to Ned Stark didn't work out. You seemed so good together.

ROBERT: I'm glad I could do something to make you happy....

CERSEI: Without a Hand, everything will fall to pieces.

ROBERT: I suppose this is where you tell me to give the job to your brother Jaime.

[He takes a drink. CERSEI thinks for a moment.]

CERSEI: No. He's not serious enough. I'll say this for Ned Stark - he's serious enough. Was it really worth it? Losing him this way?

ROBERT: I don't know.

[ROBERT sets his glass down and stands up, staring out his window thoughtfully, his back to CERSEI.]

ROBERT: But I do know this: if the Targaryen girl convinces her horselord husband to invade and the Dothraki horde crosses The Narrow Sea...

[He looks back at CERSEI, a grim look on his face.]

ROBERT:....we won't be able to stop them.

CERSEI: [matter-of-factly] The Dothraki don't sail. Every child knows that. They don't have discipline. They don't have armor. They don't have siege weapons.

[ROBERT turns his back on her again.]

ROBERT: It's a neat little trick you do. You move your lips and your father's voice comes out.

[CERSEI huffs.]

CERSEI: Is my father wrong?

[ROBERT faces her again. CERSEI looks at him with an expectant look on her face.]

ROBERT: Let's say Viserys Targaryen lands with forty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back. We hole up in our castles. A wise move; only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field. They leave us in our castles. They go from town to town, looting and burning, killing every man who can't hide behind a stone wall, stealing all our crops and livestock, enslaving all our women and children. How long do the people of the Seven Kingdoms stand behind their absentee King - their cowardly King - hiding behind high walls? When do the people decide that Viserys Targaryen is the rightful monarch after all?

[Pause while CERSEI thinks.]

CERSEI:....we still outnumber them.

[She sits down.]

ROBERT: Which is the bigger number—five or one?

CERSEI: Five.

[He holds five fingers up indicating the Seven Kingdoms.]

ROBERT: Five.

[He holds up a closed fist indicating the Dothraki army.]

ROBERT: One. One army, a real army, united behind one leader with one purpose.

[ROBERT pours himself some more wine.]

ROBERT: Our purpose died with the Mad King. Now we've got as many armies as there are men with gold in their purse. And everybody wants something different. Your father wants to own the world. Ned Stark wants to run away and bury his head in the snow.

CERSEI: What do you want?

[ROBERT takes a drink and sits down.]

ROBERT: [with a bit of nostalgia] We haven't had a real fight in nine years. Back-stabbing doesn't prepare you for a fight. And that's all the realm is now, back-stabbing and scheming and arse-licking and money-grubbing. Sometimes I don't know what holds it together....

CERSEI: Our marriage?

[Both of them laugh at the irony of this.]

ROBERT Ah, so here we sit, seventeen years later, holding it all together. Don't you get tired?

CERSEI: Every day.

ROBERT: How long can hate hold a thing together?

CERSEI: Well, seventeen years is quite a long time.

ROBERT: Yes, it is.

CERSEI: Yes, it is.

[They toast each other and both drink.]

CERSEI: [referring to LYANNA STARK] What was she like?

ROBERT: [surprised] You've never asked about her, not once. Why not?

CERSEI: At first, just saying her name, even in private felt like I was breathing life back into her. I thought if I didn't talk about her, she'd just fade away for you. When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I refused to ask out of spite. I didn't want to give you the satisfaction of thinking I cared enough to ask. And eventually it became clear that my spite didn't mean anything to you; as far as I could tell, you actually enjoyed it.

ROBERT: [curious] So why now?

CERSEI: What harm could Lyanna Stark's ghost do to either of us that we haven't done to each other a hundred times over?

ROBERT: [mournful] You want to know the horrible truth? I can't even remember what she looked like. I only know she was the one thing I ever wanted. Someone took her away from me, and Seven Kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left behind.

[ROBERT appears to be on the brink of tears. CERSEI has a look that is a cross between resentful and sad.]

CERSEI: I felt something for you once, you know?

ROBERT: I know.

CERSEI: Even after we lost our first boy—for quite a while, actually.

[ROBERT now looks like a cross between resentful and sad too.]

CERSEI: [genuinely wondering] Was it ever possible for us? Was there ever a time, ever a moment?

[ROBERT thinks about this for a moment.]

ROBERT: No.

[CERSEI looks mournful before taking a drink.]

ROBERT: Does that make you feel better or worse?

CERSEI: It doesn't make me feel anything.

[She finishes her wine and sets the glass down before leaving the room, leaving ROBERT alone. ROBERT is seen refilling his own glass.]

[Scene shifts to LITTLEFINGER's brothel, where NED is speaking with a whore named MHAEGEN, who is cradling a baby named BARRA, another one of ROBERT's bastard children.]

MHAEGEN: She looks like him, don't she, my Lord? She has his nose, his black hair.

NED: Aye.

MHAEGEN: Tell him when you see him, my Lord. If it please you... Tell him how beautiful she is.

NED: I will.

MHAEGEN: And tell him I've been with no one else. I swear it, my Lord, by the old gods and new. I don't want no jewels or nothing, just him. The King was always good to me.

NED: When Jon Arryn came to visit you, what did he want?

MHAEGEN: He wasn't that sort of man, my Lord. He just wanted to know if the child was happy, healthy.

NED: She looks healthy enough to me. The girl shall want for nothing.

[NED leaves and enters another room, where LITTLEFINGER and JORY are waiting. LITTLEFINGER has two whores with him.]

LITTLEFINGER: Brothels make a much better investment than ship, I've found. Whores rarely sink.

[He stands up and walks towards NED.]

NED: What do you know of King Robert's bastards?

LITLEFINGER: Well, he has more than you, for a start.

NED: How many?

LITTLEFINGER: Does it matter? If you fuck enough women, some of them will give you presents.

NED: And Jon Arryn tracked them all down. Why?

LITTLEFINGER: [sarcastic] He was the King's Hand. Perhaps Robert wanted them looked after. He was overcome with fatherly love.

[NED looks skeptical.]

NED: [to JORY] Come.

[NED starts to leave, but JORY remains; he is staring at one of the whores, who flashes him her breasts.]

NED: Jory!

JORY: My Lord.

[NED and JORY exit the brothel, but when they do, they find themselves surrounded by Lannister guards. JAIME LANNISTER suddenly rides up on horseback.]

JAIME: [mockingly] Such a small pack of wolves.

[JAIME gets off his horse.]

JORY: Stay back, Ser! This is the Hand of the King!

JAIME: Was the Hand of the King. Now I'm not sure what he is - Lord of somewhere very far away.

[LITTLEFINGER exits the brothel.]

LITTLEFINGER: What's the meaning of this, Lannister?

JAIME: [to LITTLEFINGER] Get back inside where it's safe. [to NED] I'm looking for my brother. You remember my brother, don't you, Lord Stark? Blond hair, sharp tongue, short man.

NED: I remember him well.

JAIME: It seems he had some trouble on the road. You wouldn't know what happened to him, would you?

NED: He was taken at my command to answer for his crimes.

[JAIME draws his sword. JORY and NED's guards draws their swords, and the Lannister guards also draw their swords and point their spears. NED is the only one who hasn't drawn a weapon.]

LITTLEFINGER: My Lords! I'll bring the City Watch!

[LITTLEFINGER quickly departs.]

JAIME: [taunting] Come, Stark. I'd rather you die sword in hand.

JORY: If you threaten my Lord again...!

JAIME: Threaten? As in, "I'm going to open your Lord from balls to brains and see what Starks are made of”?

NED: You kill me, your brother's a dead man.

JAIME: You're right. [to his men] Take him alive. Kill his men.

[A fight erupts, first JAIME’s men throw spears straight into the chests of two of NED’s men. NED screams as he draws his sword and moves towards JAIME, fending off several guards in the process. JORY cuts down a few guards too, and gets to JAIME first. JAIME stabs JORY with a dagger straight through his eye. When NED sees this, he looks startled, and JAIME has a slight grin. The fighting ceases and NED moves forward to JAIME, fighting him with renewed vigor, spurned by the death of JORY. JAIME’s men all stop to watch the fight. The two fend each other off, as they break, one of JAIME’s guards stabs NED in the back of the leg with a spear, causing him to fall to the ground. JAIME is openly frustrated and knocks the guard out. He mounts his horse.]

JAIME: My brother, Lord Stark... We want him back.

[JAIME rides off on horseback, and the rest of his guards follow suit. NED is seen collapsing onto the ground.]

/ BLACKOUT /

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