Bran lives, but is in what we would today call in a coma. What he may or may not remember of Jaime Lannister's throwing him off the ledge is not clear - or even if he'll ever awaken - but that's still enough to get Jaime or his sister and lover the Queen to send in an assassin. Bran's direwolf dispatches the assassin, which alerts us to the great value of direwolves, and Lady Stark to the likelihood that Bran's fall was no accident. Indeed, she's sure the Lannisters had something to do with it. She's off to King's Landing to tell Ned, and does not yet know what we will see at the end of the episode: Bran has opened his eyes.
Meanwhile, at King's Landing, we get the best story of the episode, also involving a direwolf, actually two. The King's arrogant young Prince with Ned's older daughter Sansa happen upon Ned's younger daughter Arya dueling with wooden swords with the butcher's boy. The Prince seeks to discipline the butcher's son for striking Arya with the wooden sword, Arya objects, one thing leads to another and enrages the Prince, and soon Arya's direwolf is sinking its teeth into the Prince's wrist to prevent him from really hurting Arya with his real sword. The direwolf escapes at Arya's command, but all of this leads the King to decree that at least some Stark direwolf must die, and Ned takes it upon himself to kill the only other Stark direwolf on the premises, which is Sansa's. The tension is now beginning to rise between Ned and the King. And apparently the death of this direwolf is responsible in some way for awakening Bran in Winterfell.
On the continent, Daenerys gets some welcome instruction from one of her lady slaves in how to please men in general and her husband in particular - it entails a little of the old face-to-face, which as I mentioned last week, seems new to just about everyone in this world, with the exception of Daenerys' exotic erotic adviser. And up north of Winterfell along the wall, we find Jon and Tyrion - the bastard and the dwarf, as they happily call each other - beginning to form a friendship.
Especially helpful, that, because, as they say, winter is coming...
5-min podcast review of Game of Thrones
See also A Game of Thrones: My 1996 Review of the First Novel ... Game of Thrones Begins Greatly on HBO
Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, Garden.com, eMusic
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book