A raven flies through the gates of Winterfell, landing on a barrow of hay. Nearby, Bran, standing and holding a bow and arrow as he practices, turns to address the interruption, staring at the raven for a few moments. Bran turns to follow the raven as it takes flight again, this time landing on one of the direwolf statues aligning the entrance to the crypt. Bran follows, dropping his arrow, walking towards the raven mindlessly. The raven flies into the crypt, and Bran continues to follow. Coming to a stop at the entrance, the raven turns to look at Bran, revealing it has three eyes.Bran wakes up from his dream in bed, with Summer resting beside him. Old Nan speaks up, joking that Bran has been dreaming again, while continuing her knitting. Theon enters the room, telling Bran that they have visitors: Bran is adamant that he doesn't want to see anyone. Theon jokes that if he was stuck in a room with Old Nan all day he would go mad, but concludes that Bran doesn't have a choice: Robb is Lord of Winterfell, and Theon answers to him. Hodor is summoned into the room, he picks up Bran and begins to walk out. In the main hall, Robb, with Luwin by his side, greets Yoren and Tyrion, making it clear that while Yoren is welcome, Tyrion is not. At this moment, Hodor enters the hall with Bran in his arms, surprising Tyrion. In a surprising gesture, Tyrion offers a solution to Bran's crippled state, stating that with a modified harness, Bran can ride a horse again. Robb thanks Tyrion for his generosity, but Tyrion is unimpressed, turning to leave, announcing his intent to find a warm bed at a brothel nearby, Yoren not far behind.
Theon follows Tyrion outside, joking that the Lannister couldn't resist Northern whores. Tyrion asks where Lady Catelyn is, but Theon refuses to answer: Tyrion notes Theon's loyalty towards his captors, making a jest of it. He asks Theon what he thinks Balon Greyjoy would think of his last surviving son turning lackey: he goes onto the recount the burning of Lannisport, noting that Theon's uncles were responsible. Theon jokes that it must have been a pretty sight, but Tyrion doesn't believe the sight of burning sailors was pretty at all, humbling Theon as he points out that the Greyjoys lost the war. Theon reasons they were outnumbered ten to one, to which Tyrion simply says it was a stupid rebellion in that case, and that Balon learnt that when Theon's brothers died in battle. Tyrion reassures Theon that he's been a constant disappointment to his own father, before promptly leaving the castle, promising not to wear out Ros.At Castle Black, a pair of riders move through the main gate as Jon Snow trains with Grenn, Rast and Pyp some more. Grenn finds himself distracted though as Ser Alliser arrives in the courtyard with a fresh recruit, Grenn shocked at how fat he is. The recruit introduces himself as Samwell Tarly, who announces his intent to take the black. Rast has a joke at his expense, before he is asked to test out Sam's skills. It quickly becomes clear Sam is a terrible warrior, squealing and screaming his yielding as Rast hits him only a few times. Ser Alliser orders Rast to continue hitting him, but Jon stands in, picking up Sam. Ser Alliser has Grenn, Pyp and Rast attack Jon to prove a point, but Jon is ultimately victorious. Ser Alliser, disgusted, tells Jon to go clean the armoury, before leaving. Sam thanks Jon, but Jon chastizes him for being a coward: Sam admits that he's a craven, before leaving. Pyp teases Grenn for being defeated so easily, before Grenn chases him off. Jon muses over his decision.
In Essos, Drogo's khalasar arrives at the horse gate entrance to Vaes Dothrak, taking his bloodriders and riding ahead. Viserys declares his disgust for it, annoyed that Drogo is marching "the wrong way" with "his army", before storming off. Ser Jorah remains by Daenerys aside as they march into Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys asking Jorah what would happen if Viserys actually managed to lead the Dothraki onto Westeros. Other than the obvious fact the Dothraki fear the open water, if they actually did land, and King Robert was fool enough to face them in open battle, it would be a swift victory: unfortunately, King Robert has smart advisors, noting that he once served alongside them. Ser Jorah admits he sold slaves and therefore deserved exile, but he justifies that he had no money and an expensive wife: a wife that is now somewhere else, with another man.
Later at night, in Vaes Dothrak, Viserys bathes in a bath tub, Doreah in the tub with him, helping him bathe. Doreah asks him if he's ever seen dragons, but he admits the dragons died a century before he was born. Doreah believes the dragons were slain by brave men, but Viserys argues that the braven men rode the dragons, and that Aegon the Conqueror rode his dragon Balerion, and that his sister-wives also rode their own dragons, Meraxes and Vhagar, when they conquered the Seven Kingdoms. In the end, Viserys becomes irritated by her questions, and asks her to stay silent while having sex with him.
In King's Landing, Mordane accompanies Sansa in a walk through the throne room. Sansa is worried about not giving Joffrey any sons, as Jeyne Poole's mother only had daughters. Mordane is skeptical that this will ever happen, but Sansa remains unconvinced, believing the people will hate her if she has no sons. Mordane realizes the reasoning behind this sudden depression, and believes Sansa will forgive her father for killing Lady. Sansa remains stubborn, so Mordane, to get Sansa to focus, asks her questions on the throne room's history: Sansa answers amply, saying Aegon the Conqueror forged the Iron Throne, while Maegor the Cruel built the Red Keep. Before she can ask one more question, Sansa points out that her grandfather and uncle were executed here, to which Mordane nods grimly.At a Small Council meeting, Commander Janos Slynt of the City Watch reports numerous incidents in the city, blaming them on the Hand's tourney. Ned, exasperated, points out that he did not want it named after him, but Janos, not caring, simply points out that regardless of the name, it is still causing havoc due to the amount of people flooding into the city: last night, there was a tavern riot, a brothel fire, three stabbings and a drunken horse race down the Street of Sisters. Varys is sarcastic in shock, while Renly states if Janos can't keep the king's peace, perhaps he should be replaced by someone who can. Ned replies that Janos will have an additional fifty men paid for by Baelish, as well as twenty from Ned's own personal household guard to keep the peace. Janos thanks him, before leaving. Despite Ned's annoyance at the trouble the tourney is causing, Varys points out that the realm prospers from such events, as it keeps the people entertained. Ned dismisses the council, but before Pycelle can leave, Ned asks him about Jon Arryn, who Pycelle laments on, commenting that the sickness that took him was hard and fast, almost unnaturally so. Ned asks why Jon saw Pycelle, to which the grand maester takes offense: Ned reiterates he only meant why Jon was seeing Pycelle so often: the grand maester reveals he wanted a book, and a ponderous one at that. Ned insists he would like to read it, curious to find out what Jon was looking for.
Later, in Pycelle's office, the grand maester hands Ned the book, once again making note of how ponderous a read it is when Ned reads a listing of House Umber. When asked what Jon Arryn wanted it, Pycelle simply states he doesn't know, and that he didn't presume to ask. Pycelle however states that Jon Arryn, as he was dying, did say the words "the seed is strong", although he doesn't led credence to these words, musing that last words are often as significant as first words. Ned isn't sure Jon died of illness however, wondering if perhaps he was poisoned, pointing out that poison is a woman's weapon: Pycelle remains unconvinced however, incredulous towards the idea that anyone would want to kill Jon Arryn, as he was much loved. Thanking Pycelle for his help, Ned takes the book and leaves the office.
As Ned is arriving back at his quarters with the book, he sees Arya balancing on one foot just outside on the stairs. Arya answers his unspoken question, stating that Syrio has been training her well, and that a water dancer can stand on one toe for hours, and that she will soon be chasing cats: cats are quick and quiet, and you need to be fast to catch them. Just as Ned turns to enter his room, Arya asks if, now that Bran is awake, he can come to live with them in King's Landing, musing that he will no longer be able to join the Kingsguard, like he wanted. Ned states Bran needs to get his strength back first, and sits down with Arya on one of the steps. He states Bran will someday be lord of a holdfast, and Arya asks if she can be one when she grows up. He instead points out that she will grow up to be a lady, marry a lord and rule over his holdfast, as well as giving him children. Arya refutes this though, stating she wants none of that, before silently standing up and returning to what she had been doing. Ned, confused, stands up and leaves her be, moving to enter his quarters.
On top of the Wall, Jon is standing on watch near the edge when he is joined by Sam, who explains that Ser Alliser has assigned him to be his new watch partner. Jon asks him to come closer to the fire, but Sam refuses, and it quickly becomes evident that, in addition to his cowardice, Sam also has poor eye sight and is afraid of heights. Jon notes this, left baffled by why Sam even bothered to join the Night's Watch if he has absolutely no qualities that the Watch requires. Sam explains that his father forced him to take the black, stating he was disgusted by Sam's attitude and wanted him to be a man, and stated that if he refused, he would arrange for Sam to have an "accident" and be killed, or so he would tell his mother. Sam laments that Ser Alliser is going to make him fight again tomorrow, complaining that he's never going to get any better. Jon jokes that he can't get any worse, and the two of them laugh in spite of the situation.
Ned and Baelish walk through the gardens, with Littlefinger asking about the book Ned is reading: Ned remarks that Pycelle talks too much. Baelish asks if Ned has heard of Ser Hugh of the Vale, and Ned says he hasn't, Baelish isn't surprised, given he was only a squire to Jon Arryn after his death: then he was immediately knighted. When asked he was knighted, Baelish simply gives him a look, implying it may have a connection with who killed him. Baelish said he promised Catelyn he'd help Ned, and when the lord tells him he will speak Ser Hugh, Baelish advises against it, pointing out the various children, men and women in the garden: all of them are spies of Varys, Cersei and Baelish. In the end, Baelish tells him to send somebody he trusts in his stead to question Ser Hugh, and then a certain armourer at the top of the Street of Steel. Ned is thankful, apologizing for mistrusting. Baelish jokes that mistrusting him was the wisest thing he had done since he entered the city.
Later, at the tourney grounds as they are being set up, Ser Hugh counts his steps along the track out loud to himself. Jory approaches him, telling him he wishes to speak with him. Ser Hugh brushes him off however, waving his title of knight in his face before ignoring Jory and continuing. Annoyed, Jory gives up and leaves. Later, Jory rides with Ned to the suggested armourer, explaining that later, Ser Hugh stated he would be glad to speak with Ned directly, stating he was a knight. Ned just scoffs, pointing out the numerous knights around them, saying they "strut around like roosters down here." While Jory waits outside, Ned goes into the armory to speak with Tobho Mott, who explains that Jon Arryn had come to see him many times, wanting to see the boy. Ned requests to see him as well, and Tobho calls out to him, revealing his name to be Gendry. Gendry shows him the bullshead helmet he made, but refuses to sell it, as he made it for himself: Ned accepts this, even if Tobho feels it insults him, but after Ned sees the boy's eyes, he's left shocked. He tells Gendry to return to work, and to Tobho that if the boy ever wants to have a job other than blacksmithing, send him to him. Moving back outside, when Jory asks what he discovered, Ned replies that he's found King Robert's bastard son.
At the king's royal apartment, Ser Jaime stands outside on guard duty as Robert has sex with numerous whores inside, their laughter echoing through the door, leaving Jaime annoyed. Jory arrives with a message to give the king, only for Jaime to tell him to be quiet, asking Jory how many whores he thinks are in the room with him. He states that he thinks Robert makes him guard the room while he's with whores as an insult to his sister, and at that moment, a whore runs from the room. Jory tries to give him the letter, but Jaime once again berates him. Jory points out that they met once, and when Ser Jaime asks for his memory to be jogged, he states they met at the Siege of Pyke, the last battle of the Greyjoy Rebellion, where he nearly lost an eye, stating the Greyjoys loved their bloodshed, with Jaime sarcastically reminding him they stopped liking it eventually, asking Jory if he remembers Thoros of Myr charging through the breach with his flaming sword, and Jory nods, saying he'll remember that until the day he dies. Jaime asks about Theon, to which Jory thinks he's a good person, but Jaime is skeptical. At that moment, two more whores rush out, and leave. Jory asks if he can leave the message with Ser Jaime, but the kingsguard curtly dismisses him, forcing Jory to once again give up and leave.Back at Castle Black, the men of the Night's Watch are sitting down to eat. Jon Snow arrives inside to join Grenn and Pyp, telling them to quit bullying Sam, and that they're not going to attack him anymore. Rast, who is sitting behind them and eavesdropping, turns around and tells Jon that he has every intent to keep on hurting Sam. Jon turns around, but not before giving him a death glare. Later that night, Jon wraps a piece of cloth around Rast's mouth as he sleeps to silence him, while Ghost stands ontop of him, growling. Jon, with Grenn and Pyp behind him, states that Rast will not harm Sam in the practice yard tomorrow, before promptly releasing his cloth and leaving, with Ghost following suit. The next morning, Ser Alliser and the others are in the training yard, with Alliser directing Rast to attack Sam. Knowing Jon will hurt him if he does, Rast lightly disarms Sam. Alliser tries to get Grenn to hurt him, but allows Sam to attack him, while Grenn falls to the ground overreactively. Angry, Ser Alliser pushes past them and grabs Jon, asking him if he thinks he's funny. He then asks them all if they want a man at their back or a snivelling boy when they're beyond the Wall, before storming off.
Back at Vaes Dothrak in Essos, Viserys angrily drags Doreah by her hair towards Daenerys' tent, who is with Irri preparing for a feast as he storms in, dropping Doreah at her feet. He snarls at her about sending Doreah to give her commands, which Daenerys defends, saying she was only inviting him to dinner. She reassures a crying Doreah, but telling Irri to take her outside. Viserys insists Daenerys cannot command him, but she says she isn't, only inviting him to supper. He continues to berate her incessantly, before commenting she is trying to make him into a Dothraki, and will want to braid his hair next: in a moment of defiance, she replies that he cannot braid his hair as he has not won any victories yet. Enraged, he slaps her, before pushing her to the ground and proceeding to hit her, commenting that he has "awakened the dragon". Grabbing a nearby belt, she hits him in the face, causing Viserys to roll off of her in shock. Having had enough with him, Daenerys tells him that the next time he hits her will be the last time he has hands. Viserys looks at her in a show of fear and shock.
Back at Castle Black, Jon and Sam are washing the tables in the mess hall, with Sam reflecting on how much he misses girls. He comments that Jon has probably been with lots of women, but Jon replies he hasn't, and the one time he had with Ros he couldn't do it. The two of them playfully hit each other until Ser Alliser walks inside. He asks them if they've ever experienced real cold, and begins to talk about a ranging he went on, where a blizzard ripped trees straight from the ground, and food was so scarce that they ate at their horses, and eventually, each other. He ends by saying that neither of them are ready for the dangers beyond the Wall, and that come winter, they will die. He then storms out.
Back in Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys confides with Ser Jorah over hitting Viserys, believing she has made a poor choice. Ser Jorah argues that Viserys is just a paper snake, and that the last dragon was Prince Rhaegar. Daenerys argues that Viserys is still the true heir, but Ser Jorah wonders if she truly wants him to ascend the throne, and dismisses her claims about the common people waiting for his return, as they care more about the weather and harvest than whoever rules the kingdoms. Daenerys concludes that Viserys is too weak to be a conqueror, and that he could never retake the Seven Kingdoms.
Back at King's Landing, King Robert is drinking from a flagon of wine as the first part of the Hand's tourney begins. Joffrey is sitting nearby, looking dejected, and ignores the look Sansa gives him. Baelish greets Sansa, who is introduced to her by Septa Mordane. Baelish sits down next to Sansa, stating he has known Sansa's mother for a long time, and was a childhood friend of hers. Arya rudely asks why he's called Littlefinger, and is chastized by Mordane: Baelish graciously answers though, replying that he was small as a child, and that he came from a place called the Fingers...therefore, Littlefinger. Standing up, Robert shouts for the joust to begin, disgusting Cersei with his language to the point that she stands up and leaves. The first two contenders ride up to them: Ser Hugh, who looks nervous, and the monstrously huge Ser Gregor Clegane, otherwise known as the Mountain, where Baelish explains that he is the Hound's older brother. Ser Gregor and Ser Hugh get into position, and then launch the joust. Neither side are unseated in the first run, so they turn around and go at it again. At the last moment, Ser Gregor aims upwards, striking Ser Hugh in the helmet, splintering and sending shrapnel into his exposed neck. Ser Hugh is unseated, following to the ground, with a splinter of wood in his throat, blood spurting from his mouth. Everyone watches in horror as Ser Hugh chokes on his own blood, with Ser Gregor announced as the winner, despite the accident. Not long after, two men arrive and drag Ser Hugh's corpse off the field. Baelish explains to Sansa how the Hound got the burns on his face: as a child, Sandor was playing with one of his toys when he was spotted by Gregor who, even as a child, was exceptionally violent and prone to anger, and a result grabbed Sandor and pressed his face against the fire...hence the burnt face. Baelish tells her that the Hound would kill her if he found out she knew, and Sansa, terrified, promises not to tell anyone.
Back at the Tower of the Hand, Jory opens the door to let Ned know that Cersei wishes to speak with him. He then leaves, with Cersei curious as to why Ned is not present at the tourney celebrating him specifically: he simply replies that he wants no part in it. It quickly becomes clear that Cersei is interrogating him to learn what his motives are, with Ned stating that he will serve Robert no matter what: Cersei jokes that Brandon, his older brother, was born to lead, while Ned was trained to follow. Ned states he is also trained to kill his enemies, to which Cersei retorts that she was too, before promptly leaving.In the Riverlands, at the Inn at the Crossroads, Tyrion and his guardsman arrive. Inside, Lady Catelyn and Ser Rodrik are settling down to a meal when they are interrupted by a singer, who offers to sing them a song. Rodrik refuses just as Tyrion arrives inside, immediately asking the manager for a room. Flashing a coin in the air, Tyrion asks if somebody can remedy this, and a lone sellsword named Bronn offers his room, to which Tyrion is grateful. It is then that Tyrion notices Lady Catelyn, with the entire room shocked to hear this. Using this to her advantage, Catelyn stands up, asking around the room for loyal bannermen, finding Ser Willis Wode of Harrenhal, Kurleket of House Bracken and a knight of House Frey. Tyrion asks what the point of this is, when Lady Catelyn finally reveals the reason, telling these knights that she believes Tyrion conspired to murder her son, and asks the knights to help her bring him to Winterfell to await the king's justice. Helpless to do anything, Tyrion simply stands still as several swords are drawn...and pointed at him.
- Samwell Tarly
- Commander Janos Slynt
- Ser Hugh of the Vale
- Tobho Mott
- Gyles Rosby
- Ser Gregor Clegane
- Masha Heddle
- Ser Willis Wode
- Knight of House Frey
- Ser Hugh of the Vale
- Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark
- Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister
- Michelle Fairley as Lady Catelyn Stark
- Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister
- Emilia Clarke as Princess Daenerys Targaryen
- Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont
- Aiden Gillen as Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish
- Harry Lloyd as Prince Viserys Targaryen
- Kit Harrington as Jon Snow
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
- Richard Madden as Robb Stark
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark
- Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon
- Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo
- Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin
- Conleth Hill as Lord Varys
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn
- Owen Teale as Ser Alliser Thorne
- Jamie Sives as Jory Cassel
- Ian McElhinney as Lord Commander Barristan Selmy
- Dominic Carter as Commander Janos Slynt
- Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel
- Francis Magee as Yoren
- Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle
- Gethin Anthony as Lord Renly Baratheon
- Emun Elliott as Marillion
- Margaret John as Old Nan
- John Bradley-West as Samwell Tarly
- Susan Brown as Septa Mordane
- Mark Stanley as Grenn
- Josef Altin as Pypar
- Luke McEwan as Rast
- Conan Stevens as Ser Gregor Clegane
- Amrita Acharia as Irri
- Roxanne McKee as Doreah
- Kristian Nairn as Hodor
- Jefferson Hall as Ser Hugh of the Vale
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry
- Andrew Wilde as Tobho Mott
- Callum Wharry as Prince Tommen Baratheon
- Aimee Richardson as Princess Myrcella Baratheon
- Kevin Keenan as Kurleket
- Patrick Ryan as Knight of House Frey
- Ryan McKenna as Ser Willis Wode
- Susie Kelly as Masha Heddle
- Eugene Simon as Lancel Lannister
- Unknown as Ser Preston Greenfield
- Unknown as Gyles Rosby
- All 19 cast members for the first season appear in this episode.
- Conan Stevens lobbied for the role of Ser Gregor Clegane, even going as far as auditioning for the pilot as Khal Drogo, knowing he wouldn't get it, but to put his name before the casting directors.
- Lord Commander Barristan Selmy, Joffrey Baratheon, Sandor Clegane, Myrcella Baratheon, Tommen Baratheon and Khal Drogo appear only briefly and do not have any lines of dialogue.
- The episode takes its name from the phrase spoken by Tyrion. When asked by Robb Stark why he is helping Bran, Tyrion responds that "(I) have a tender spot in (my) heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things."
- Like many episodes of Game of Thrones, the episode same refers to multiple plots of the episode in a metaphorical manner. Whilst the title directly refers to Tyrion's quote, it refers to three characters in total: the cripple: Bran. The bastard: Jon Snow. Broken Things: Sam. Broken things can also refer to Ser Hugh's death, as a lance is "broken off" into his throat, killing him.
- This episode marks the first, and so far, only time in the series that no member of the starring cast was absent.
- First mention of the Greyjoy Rebellion.
- First mention of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall.
- First mention of Lord Hoster Tully, Lord Walder Frey, Lord Jonos Bracken and Lady Whent of Harrenhal.
- The scene with Viserys and Doreah in the bath discussing dragons was filmed for the previous episode but moved to this episode for timing reasons. Writer Bryan Cogman was unaware of this change until he saw the final episode. One of the dragons mentioned in this scene, Vermithrax, is a nod to the 1981 fantasy movie Dragonslayer.
- Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner were not present for rehearsals during the tournament scene, so their reactions to Ser Hugh of the Vale's bloody death were not feigned. This was felt to add authenticity to the scene.
- During the Tourney of the Hand, the banners of several noble houses are present. Besides the Stark direwolf, the Lannister lion and the Baratheon crowned stag, the black bear on green of House Mormont, the white sunburst on black of the Karstarks, the three black hounds of House Clegane and the counter charged black and white swans of House Swann can be clearly spotted.
- It rained heavily during the shooting of the Tourney of the Hand scenes in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ultimately the production team was surprised they were briefly able to film any of it at all.
- Besides the entry on House Baratheon, The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms lists Houses Umber and Blackfyre as well.
- The scene between Sansa and Septa Mordane in the Iron Throne room, the scene between Jaime and Jory Cassel, and the scene between Viserys and Doreah, were written at the last minute because the rough-cut of the episode was running short, and filmed in post-production reshoots. Note that they are all interior shots which didn't need to be filmed on-location.
Writer Bryan Cogman and actor Kit Harington contribute a commentary for the episode for the DVD and Blu-ray release.
- Bryan Cogman wrote his episode for the second season with the Season 1 soundtrack playing in the background.
- The episode title came out serendipitously, as the theme of outcasts, cripples and bastards was not in Bryan Cogman's mind when he wrote the episode but emerged naturally.
- Bryan Cogman was a big fan of Owen Teale from his work on stage in New York and was thrilled to see him cast as Alliser Thorne.
- The relationship between Samwell and Jon Snow is Bryan Cogman's favorite in the whole series.
- The Vaes Dothrak scenes were actually filmed in Northern Ireland (with some CGI enhancements, such as the large cliffs). This surprises Kit Harington, who assumed it was one of the scenes shot in Malta.
- Bryan Cogman's take on the 'sexposition' scenes was that Doreah's line from the second episode, "Men like to talk when they are happy," is accurate, and the sex scenes expose characters when they are vulnerable and thus more open to show their true natures.
- The episode is heavy on establishing backstory and mythology, which again was not planned in the writing but happened to turn out that way.
- The small council scenes were among Bryan Cogman's favorite. They were filmed very close together over a period of several days.
- Bryan Cogman wrote all of the legible pages in the Lineages book, to Kit Harington's surprise.
- The scene with Sam and Jon on top of the Wall was filmed on a hot day in the Paint Hall, making it hard for the actors to pretend they were freezing.
- Both Kit Harington and Bryan Cogman are huge fans of both Sharpe and The Wire, so they particularly enjoyed the scenes between Eddard (Sean Bean played Richard Sharpe in Sharpe) and Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen played Mayor Thomas Carcetti in The Wire).
- During Sam and Jon's exchange in the messhall, Kit Harington's idea was to jump over the table to playfully hit Sam. However, he 'totally stacked it' and ended up on the floor. The director drily suggested just shooting it as it was written.
- Alliser Thorne's speech about being beyond the Wall is referred to by Bryan Cogman as the "Robert Shaw in Jaws" scene. It was written to give Owen Teale more material and also to establish Thorne's character as more multifaceted than it first appears.
- Kit Harington and Bradley John-West got stuck in the Castle Black lift for well over an hour when it suffered a mechanical failure. Kit started getting worried when a nurse was called on-set just in case they suffered injuries.
- Bryan Cogman and Kit Harington are both fans of Sansa's character development and feel she gets a bad rap from some parts of the fanbase.
- The tourney scene was much larger and more elaborate in the script, more like the scene in the book, but had to be trimmed back. Amongst the problems was a very tight schedule for filming the tourney scenes for both the fourth and fifth episodes which prevented too many shorts or montages.
- Bryan Cogman acknowledges that it would have been better to have had Sandor tell Sansa his backstory in person (as in the books) but there were production reasons this was not possible. He reassures fans that the Sandor/Sansa subplot will still unfold, only differently to in the books.
- The scene between Eddard and Cersei in the Hand's quarters was the first scene filmed for the series (aside from the pilot).
- Cogman preferred not to change George R.R. Martin's dialogue or writing unless absolutely necessary for production, money or time reasons. His approach was, "Why mess with perfection?"
- The scene where Catelyn arrests Tyrion was Michelle Fairley's audition piece.
In the booksEdit
- Bran IV: Bran is called to the Great Hall of Winterfell to receive Tyrion Lannister. Despite Robb's rudeness, Tyrion provides plans for a saddle that will help Bran ride again.
- Eddard V: Ned speaks with Pycelle about Jon Arryn's final days. Later, Ned comes across Arya practicing her water dancing on the steps of the Tower of the Hand. Ned later sees Littlefinger, who tells him about the remainder of Jon Arryn's household in King's Landing.
- Jon IV: Samwell Tarly joins the Night's Watch, where is beaten on the orders of Ser Alliser until Jon and his friends help him. Talking with Sam, they agree to go easy on Sam, despite Thorne's commands.
- Eddard VI: Ned and the Small Council deal with problems caused by the tourney. Ned learns of visits paid by Jon Arryn to an armourer. Ned investigates the armoury, and finds one of King Robert's bastards, a boy named Gendry.
- Catelyn V: Tyrion and his party arrive at the Inn at the Crossroads, where Catelyn and Ser Rodrik are stopping by. After rallying nearby bannermen, Catelyn has them arrest Lord Tyrion to be brought to Winterfell for conspiring to murder her son.
- Sansa II: Sansa is enthralled by the tourney. She watches Ser Hugh killed by Ser Gregor, and gasps in shock. Sansa learns the story of how the Hound got his burnt face.
- Daenerys IV: Drogo's khalasar enters Vaes Dothrak. Daenerys talks with Ser Jorah. Once settled, Daenerys invites Viserys to sup with her, but he gets angry and hits her. In her first show of defiance, she hits him with a belt and tells him to leave.
Tyrion: "I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards and broken things."
Jon Arryn: "The seed is strong."
Daenerys Targaryen: (to Viserys) "I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki! I am the wife of the great Khal and I carry his son inside me! The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands."
Alliser Thorne: "You are boys still. And come the winter, you will die ... like flies."
Daenerys: "I hit him. I hit the dragon."
Ser Jorah Mormont: "Your brother Rhaegar was the last dragon. Viserys is less than the shadow of a snake."
Daenerys: "He is still the true king."
Jorah: "The truth now: do you want to see your brother sitting on the Iron Throne?"
Daenerys: "No. But the common people are waiting for him. Illyrio said they are sewing dragon banners and praying for his return."
Jorah: "The common people pray for rain, health and a summer that never ends. They don't care what games the high lords play."
Daenerys: "What do you pray for, Ser Jorah?"
King Robert Baratheon: "I've been sitting here for days! Start the damn joust before I piss meself!"
Eddard Stark: "I was trained to kill my enemies, Your Grace."
Cersei Lannister: "As was I."
Catelyn Stark: "This man came into my house as a guest and there conspired to murder my son, a boy of ten. In the name of King Robert and the good lords you serve, I call upon you to seize him and help me return him to Winterfell, to await the King's Justice."