Jon, himself a bastard, certainly has a tender spot for the portly boy, a confessed coward, who has joined the Night Watch. Not really joined, sent there by his father, who despises him. Jon nobly makes this coward's welfare his personal business, and it's likely that the coward, if he survives, will be a coward no longer. His name, by the way, is Samwell, recalling Lord of the Rings, but that Sam was a little less portly and never a coward. This Sam, therefore, is a little less interesting and a little cliched.
Over on the continent, Daenerys's lady servant has a keen interest in dragons, as she shares a bath with Daenerys's brother Viserys. She questions him about dragons, and learns that they're all dead, though Viserys has seen their skulls in the king's hall. Dead? More likely broken, as a major force, and not beyond repair. Daenerys soon comes to realize that her brother is broken, or in no spirit to lead an army and reclaim the throne that she wants back as much as he. That's a good development for the overall story - Daenerys alongside of her husband fighting for the throne will be more formidable than Viserys trying to command the horsemen army.
Bran is crippled, but Tyrion, stopping at Winterfell on his way back south from the northern Wall, leaves Bran instructions that will enable him to ride a horse, and stand as tall there as any man. Catelyn Stark, however, now in King's Landing, remains sure that Tyrion put the assassin up to killing Bran - because the assassin was wielding Tyrion's sword. In a fine dramatic last scene, a half dozen men with a lifetime of loyalty to Catelyn and her family pull their swords simultaneously from all sides on Tyrion - he back on his way to King's Landing, Catelyn on her way to Winterfell, in the Inn at the Crossroads, in her ancestral region - with a view to bringing him back to Winterfell to face justice for twice attempting to kill Bran.
Or so Catelyn thinks. We'll see more next week. I'm not too worried for Tyrion, however - the dire wolves know the truth.
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 ... Game of Thrones 1.2: Prince, Wolf, Bastard, Dwarf ... Games of Thrones 1.3: Genuine Demons
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