Some days just suck, huh? Those days where you have to sit and ponder the great things in life like whether to say some shit you know ain't right or have your daughters brutally murdered. Or lie so you can kidnap a dude. Or trust a lady that your boo's homies probably raped with said boo's health. Just a hell of a day in Westeros in the penultimate episode of season one as we contemplate honor and lineage.
As we do, let's start up at the Wall with Jon Snow. His hand got hurt fighting zombies last bit, but it's cool because his new dad figure wants to give him a family sword. Longclaw, the bastard sword of House Mormont, gets remade a little with a wolf's head. As Jorah left and Papa Mormont took the black, Jon is the sort of logical heir (although super weird for anyone else who thought Mormont liked them, right?). Then Jon learns that Rob is riding south, so the old blind maester dude is like "Yo, chill. Get it, cause it's cold. I'ma chop some meat now for my crow buds." Jon comes back with "Dude, you don't know me." The blind fella, still holding a cleaver by the way, starts talking about how he knows all about war and familial death and oaths because all his Targaryen kin got murdered and he's 102 so the maester probably knows a thing or two about life running its course. Jon doesn't say shit after all that.
Speaking of Rob, like I said, he's riding south but has a little problem called a river. He's got a bunch of men and a plan and a bunch of Lannister's that need killing but can't get across the only bridge in the area. Rob does what any good leader of men does when someone won't let him play with his toys: he sends his mom. Catelyn goes over to creepy Frey twin castle and sorry I just threw up a little in my mouth. Yeah, Walder Frey, patriarch of the clan is a weird dude with a big chip on his shoulder. After some bargaining, including a marriage for Rob to the pick of the litter that will never come back up I swear, the Northern army is allowed to pass and meet up with the armies of the Riverlands and go after some goldshitters. With a little plotting we'll talk about in a second, Rob manages to kidnap Kingslayer goldshitter himself, Jaime Lannister. Jamie challenges Rob to single combat and Rob says "no, dummy."
Slide back a little and let's look at Tyrion. His mountain clans are a bunch of assholes and his dad is getting mad, but they've heard that Rob Stark and company are stuck at the Twins. They get ready to head north and battle after Tywin says Tyrion will be leading the fight, which means whores and drinking. Tyrion, Bronn, and their new friend Shae get to playing some drinking games and Tyrion tells the heartwarming story of the first time his daddy made his guards rape his first girlfriend slash wife. They pass out after story time and wake up to battle as a small percentage of the Northern army attack. Tyrion gets knocked out and wakes up to victory. Then they are like, wait a minute, that wasn't a lot of guys… Cause Rob was off getting Jamie and attacking with a direwolf like in the book which they don't show in the show because why show metal as shit direwolves fucking shit up on the field of battle… I'll get over that someday.
Let's not skip right to the end and hold off the manly tears for a little. Across the Narrow Sea, Drogo falls off his horse. His dudes are like "he's fucked" but Dany is like "get me my not a witch woman." Dany makes a pact with Mirri Maz Duur for some blood magic to save her dude but goes into labor. One of the dudes outside the tent is like "I'ma stop this fucked up shit" but Jorah is like "I got a metal suit" and kills that dude. Stop me if this gets complicated. Then some magic shit happens and Dany is like "the baby coming, y'all" so Jorah takes her into the demon tent.
Okay, shit, we put it off long enough. Ned's all fucked up down in the cells. He gets a visit from Varys who says "hey my honorable broseph, if you tell them you did it and Joffrey's cool, it'll be cool." Ned's like, "nope, I'm cool with dying." Varys comes back with, "what about your daughters? They cool, bro?" Ah shit, no. Arya, it turns out, is cool, as she's killing pigeons. After getting one, bells start to ring and she runs to the square and sees her daddy. Papa Wolf Ned sees her and Yoren from the Wall and signals Yoren. Yoren goes off to get Arya and Ned goes to give a little TED talk about "yeah, I did it, y'all." People are not receptive, especially Joffrey who asks for Ned's head after everyone up there thought they knew the script. Kings, right? Ned says some prayers and Yoren hides Arya and Sansa vomit cries and the big ass sword Ice of House Stark falls on the bare neck. Exit Sean Bean.
So honor and lineage. Jon Snow took his vows, just like Maester Aemon, and now must honor his word to the Night's Watch over the family he grew up with as well as rewarded by those words with a badass sword. We get an ironic middle of the road honor and extreme case of lineage with Walder Frey. Rob makes a choice to abandon his choice in lineage and sign an honorific with Frey. Tyrion shows the twisted evil of protecting the lineage with his story, yet still honoring the family by fighting with them. Jorah sticks by Dany when Drogo's men are turning on her as weakness and death loom, the dubious nature of the witch in question. And finally there's fucking Ned, choosing to abandon his honor for his family and losing both. Sometimes it doesn't pay to get out of the Black Cells.