'Game Of Thrones' Season 1 Recap

Game of Thrones season 1 introduced fantasy and epic fans to the cutthroat and brutal world of Westeros and the lengths to which people are willing to go to sit on the coveted Iron Throne. The Game of Thrones first season aired on HBO in 2011, and with all the plot twists and new characters GoT throws at viewers, it's always good to refresh your memory with a quick summary, and that's exactly what you'll find in this Game of Thrones season 1 recap.

What the heck happened in Westeros back in Game of Thrones season one? In the first season we first see Daenerys Targareyen's rise from slave to queen, Ned Stark's discovery of a disturbing Lannister secret, the death of a King, the awesomeness of Tyrion, the kickass gal that is Arya Stark, and the first signs of a winter which threatens to destroy everything.

Catch up with the Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, Tullys, Dothrakis, and men of the Night's Watch in the GOT recap below and don't forget to check out these recaps of Game of Thrones season two and Game of Thrones season three.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

  • Episode 1 "Winter Is Coming"

    King Robert Baratheon and his Queen, Cersei Lannister, travel north to make his old friend Eddard "Ned" Stark, Lord of Winterfell, the offer to be the new Hand of the King after the previous one, Jon Arryn died under mysterious circumstances.

    Across the narrow sea, the exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen offers to trade his sister Daenerys to a violent Dothraki horse lord in exchange for his army. He hopes to use them to take back the throne which was taken from his father by Cersei's brother, Jaime.

    Back in Winterfell, Ned's 10-year-old son Bran discovers that Cersei and Jaime are involved in an incestuous relationship. Jaime pushes Bran out of the window to keep him from telling anyone.
    • Original Airing: April 17, 2011
  • Bran Stark is in a coma after having been thrown from the tower window by Jaime Lannister. His mother, Catelyn Stark, believes that his fall was the result of a murder attempt by one of the Lannisters. Ned, having accepted the role of Hand of the King, must leave Winterfell for King's Landing, much to his wife's dismay.

    Jon Snow, Ned's bastard son, leaves as well, to join the Night's Watch, an army of men who protect a giant ice wall from undead white walkers and savage wildlings. Instead of returning to King's Landing with his family, Tyrion Lannister goes with Jon to the Wall. During a misunderstanding,

    Arya Stark's pet direwolf bites prince Joffrey Baratheon and then runs off. As punishment, her sister Sansa's direwolf is killed by Ned.
    • Original Airing: April 24, 2011
  • Episode 3 "Lord Snow"

    After Ned arrives in King's Landing, he realizes how poorly the government of Westeros is being managed.

    Bran Stark is informed that he will never walk again after his fall from the tower. Catelyn travels to King's Landing to warn Ned of her suspicions of the Lannister's involvement in the attempted murder of Bran. During her visit she learns that the dagger found in the tower after Bran's fall belonged to Tyrion Lannister.

    On the wall, Jon Snow struggles to fit in with the rest of the Night's Watch. He impresses Ser Allister Thorne, at least a little, being told he is the "least useless person here."
    • Original Airing: May 01, 2011
  • Episode 4 "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things"

    Ned tries to find information in King's Landing to explain the death of the previous Hand of the King, and in the process finds one of Robert Baratheon's bastard sons. Meanwhile, a tournament is held to celebrate his appointment as Hand of the King.

    Tyrion returns to the North to attempt to recruit more men for the Night's Watch, but finds that many suspect he was involved in the attempted murder of Bran. After he leaves Westeros, Tyrion is captured by Catelyn Stark under suspicion that he tried to murder her son.
    • Original Airing: May 08, 2011
  • Episode 5 "The Wolf and the Lion"

    While transporting Tyrion Lannister to stand trial for the attempted murder of Bran Stark, Catelyn Stark and her bannermen are attacked by savages. Tyrion saves Catelyn's life by beating a man to death with a shield.

    In King's Landing, Arya hears Lord Varys discussing the arrest of Tyrion Lannister and the war which is sure to ensue. Meanwhile, Ned, while investigating another of Robert Baratheon's bastard children, is ambushed by Jaime Lannister and speared through the leg for his supposed involvement in Tyrion's arrest.
    • Original Airing: May 15, 2011
  • Episode 6 "A Golden Crown"

    Tyrion Lannister manages to talk his way into a trial by battle. If he wins, he wins his freedom. He hires a mercenary named Bronn to fight for him, who murders his challenger, making Tyrion a free man.

    Meanwhile, Ned Stark makes the discovery that got the previous Hand of the King killed: Joffrey Baratheon, heir to the throne, is not King Robert's son, but actually Jaime's.

    Far away, Daenerys proves herself to the Dothraki people by devouring an entire horse heart. Her brother, angry that she is getting more attention from the Dothraki than he is, threatens her. Khal Drogo finally offers him a "crown," but not the one he thought he'd get. This one is made of molten lead, and, when poured onto his head, kills him.
    • Original Airing: May 22, 2011