Game of Thrones · NIU · Scholars of the Throne

Not Today

“There is only one god. And his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death:


Syrio Forel

S.1 Ep.6 “A Golden Crown”

Welcome back! This week, our class watched season 1 episodes 4-6. These episodes blend major sexposition with some killer action. Viserys and Doreah’s shared bath in “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” reveals the history of the Targaryen dragons, the Greyjoy rebellion is introduced, and we get our first death that feels just so damn good. If you thought the Game of Thrones universe was complex already, you know nothing.

Episode 4, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”, stands as the first and only episode in the series that features all of the main cast members. We start with Bran and his visions of the three-eyed raven, another injection of pure fantasy. When Bran awakes and Theon enters, I never noticed that Summer, Bran’s direwolf, growls. Having seen the entire series, I can completely understand Summer’s distrust, but once again, I am finding myself catching so many missed details that foreshadow important future plot developments. I find the direwolves so intriguing. Their intuition proves to be their greatest asset to themselves and their Stark counterparts.

Episode 4 also introduces Samwell Tarley, a professed coward. His backstory is so incredibly devastating. I cannot imagine being told on my 18th nameday that I am unworthy of my father’s land and title. Samwell’s progression throughout the story will prove that sentiment totally wrong. He is such an empathetic character. Everyone’s been told at one point that they were not worthy. Sam shows that although he was not built with brawn, his mind will be his greatest asset. As a fellow scholar, I find him very relatable.

As for those who I do not find relatable, Petyr Baelish wins. He’s such a vile little twit. He perfectly embodies Robert Baratheon’s sentiments of the realm being full of backstabbing and scheming. Baelish even remarks to Ned in episode 4 that “distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse.” Too bad Ned falls victim to his manipulation. Baelish reminds me of our corrupt politicians that exist in the pockets of the rich and have dishonorable personal agendas.

As for episode 6, “A Golden Crown”, we see the rise of the Khaleesi. Dany has assimilated to the role perfectly and is loved by the Dothraki. Viserys sees this growing allegiance and immediately realizes that he will never command the horde. In a drunken stupor, he pulls his sword in front of the Khal and Khaleesi demanding what he was promised in return for his sister. This turns out very poorly for Viserys. According to the Blu-ray commentary, the golden crown that is bestowed upon Viserys was one of the most challenging scenes to film throughout the series. The production team strapped smoke machines to Harry Lloyd’s (Viserys) back and the props department created a gold like substance that was poured over his head. Because of it’s complexity, the crew needed to nail it in one take… and they did. This is the first satisfying death of the series.

Dany and the Dothraki are incredibly interesting in general. As a viewer, we take on the Dothraki with Dany. We experience their cruelties and savage nature “through Dany’s eyes, and are intended to react to them in the same way she does: frightened at first, but ultimately gaining a newfound respect and admiration for their ways” (Peterson, 30). For the series, they hired David Peterson, a renowned linguist and language creator, to actually curate the Dothraki and Valyrian languages. In Peterson’sThe Languages of Ice and Fire, he describes the process of curating Dothraki based on the very few words that Martin created for the novels. In “A Golden Crown” Dany eats a horse’s heart. Her finishing determines that she will have a son. Dany names him Rhaego. This is in homage to her older brother, Rhaegar, the Prince of Dragonstone. This name follows the rules of the Dothraki language, as male names end in –o and female names end in –i. The commitment to authenticity is incredible throughout the novels and the series. As a media studies emphasis, I love looking at the production aspects of the series. This will continue to play a role in my future blogs. Thanks for reading. See you next week for episodes 7-9.




“A Golden Crown.” Game of Thrones. HBO. 22 May 2011. Television.

“Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things.” Game of Thrones. HBO. 8 May 2011. Television.

Peterson, David J. “Language And Narration: The Languages Of Ice And Fire.”

Mastering the Game of Thrones: Essays on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. 15-34. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015. 2 Feb. 2016.

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