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Game of Thrones episode review: "Lord Snow", May 2, 2011

This week on Game of Thrones, we get good news and bad news about Bran, Catelyn hides out in a brothel, Arya gets her first "dancing" lesson, and Tyrion finally gets to piss off the Wall. Episode spoilers ahead.

It's getting to be a party down in King's Landing, where Ned, Arya, and Sansa arrive at the beginning of the episode and Catelyn rides up later on. One of the first scenes is probably my favorite in this whole episode: Ned running into Jaime in the throne room. Sean Bean and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are making a strong argument for being my two favorite casting choices (although "favorite casting choices" is a long list on this show), and watching them be hostile at each other is delightful. Jaime reminds Ned of how Ned's brother and father died, and wonders if Ned would respect Jaime more if he'd stabbed Mad King Aerys in the belly instead of the back. Ned is unimpressed.

You've got to feel sorry for Ned in this episode. As he knew it would, becoming the Hand means cleaning up the king's messes, and he's just having a whole string of rotten days. But, as he reminds Arya, "winter is truly coming," and they'll all have to depend on each other in the coming days -- and right now, since they've come to a dangerous place. Meanwhile, Cersei is giving Joffrey some advice to live by, as well, though hers is a bit less orthodox than "let's all stick together." When Joffrey is skeptical of her version of what happened in the previous episode, in which he comes out as brave and righteous, she tells him, "Someday, you will sit on the throne and the truth will be what you make it."

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