The Seven Most Memorable Scenes from ‘Game of Thrones’ …So Far
As we look anticipate Sunday's season finale episode of HBO's 'Game of Thrones,' here's my look back at the 7 most memorable scenes from the season thus far.
These scenes will contain spoilers if you've not watched up to episode nine, and I'll do my best to leave out any other spoilers for non-book readers.
Viserys Targaryen is one of the pitiful characters in 'Game of Thrones.' He's the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. But as a young son of a mad king and now in exile across the sea, no one is in a rush to put a crown on Viserys's head. He spends his youth brooding over his lost birthright and he's sold his sister, Dany, in exchange for the armies of Khal Drogo and the promise of a golden crown. His cruelty and arrogance do win him a crown, just not the one he's expecting.
It's the scene that opens the book and TV series. A ranging beyond The Wall goes horribly wrong when the men of the Night's Watch encounter a dangerous creature that long ago was though to have passed into myth and legend. One look at the gaunt, child-like face and haunted ice blue eyes of The Other would have been enough to hook me on this show.
Jon Snow is on his way to The Wall and service in the Night's Watch while his little half-sister (or some relation) Arya is on her way south to King's Landing. Jon and Arya where always the closest of the Stark brood. Jon's thoughtful gift to his sister is a moment to smile at and cherish when you know so much bad is to come.
The Night's Watch protects the realm from the threats of the frozen north-human and otherwise. Jon Snow joins the brotherhood when he says his vows to the weirwood gods of the north. While the Watch has fallen on hard times, their words are moving and hearken back to nobler times. "...and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death..."
Destined to go down as the most memorable and talked about scene in 'Game of Thrones,' the execution of Lord Eddard Stark is as brash and audacious in the storytelling as Joffrey's sentence is vile and cruel. Ned's two daughters are forced to bear witness to the beheading. Arya, the Stark's wild child is protected in the mob by Yoren, a man of the Night's Watch and friend to House Stark, who protects her from seeing the villainous act.
GOT fans seem to have a love/hate relationship with the scheming, conniving Littlefinger, Lord Petyr Baelish, the realm's Master of Coin who is always plotting something to his benefit. His words to Lord Eddard Stark earlier in the season about "not trusting me" turn heart-achingly true in this episode cliffhanger as Lord Eddard thinks the City Watch, the Gold Cloaks, are his. When in reality, they truly belong to the man who pays them, and that would be Littlefinger.
This scene is my favorite from the first season of 'Game of Thrones,' and my favorite from the entire book series so far. There is such an intense sadness and feeling of helpless reservation to duty in Maester Aemon's words. Jon Snow's vows are being tested and the thinks no one can relate to him. And no one in the Seven Kingdoms could relate, perhaps except the exile maester who, it turns out, was also the brother of a king and helpless at The Wall while his family was under attack, slaughtered and exiled.