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New to GOT - please help me understand a thing or two

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Hi all. I realize this is concerning S1, but as it isn't episode specific, maybe posting here is best.

I just started watching GOT, and I am at the beginning of S1 E3. I had to stop, b/c I am very confused. This isn't really so much a Q about plot (and I am certainly not looking for spoilers!) - this concerns locality.

At the start, we are in Winterfell, and we are introduced to Ned Stark and his family. The king comes to town, with Cersei and Jaime and asks that Ned returns with him to be his right hand. His wife doesn't want him to go. Brun falls, after seeing Cersei and Jaime together. For me, all is fine so far.

In E2, Ned is on the way to KingsLanding, with the King. Cut to Neds wife back at WFell, discovering that Brun's fall may not have been an accident. "We must get word to Ned", which makes sense, as Ned is on the road with the King, on the way to KLanding. Again, all is fine so far.

Then we have the incident by the lake, with Ned's two girls, Joffrey and the butcher boy. Which leads to the scene in which the King interrogates Ned's children, and decides a wolf had to die. Is this not happening in WFell? Right here is where I start to lose it.

Next, Ned kills a wolf and Brun wakes up. End E2

At the start of E3, Ned enters KLanding, but with his daughters (he brought them, but not his wife?), and without the King. I thought they were travelling together.... they had lunch where they discussed Daenerys Targaryen's marriage. Ned then has a confrontation in the church with Jaime... so Jaime was traveling back to KLand with the King? And why did this confrontation not happen in WFell?

I am a little lost, and am hoping someone can set me straight here. Thanks in advance.

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The party stopped at (where the Hell was it??) maybe for supplies or to rest on their way to Kings Landing.  That lake is a river, the Trident.   Remember Arya and Micha are looking for rubies long the banks of the river and playing swords.  That's where Ned, Arya and Sansa are.  Bran wakes up in his bed in Winterfell.   You are just changing locations.  

You will learn as you go.  Ned is asked to be the Hand, which is the 2nd in command of the entire realm.   Big old deal that job.   Ned's also Warden of the North--like the governor, and the Lord of Winterfell--like the capital of the North.  He still has to maintain those jobs which is why he leaves his wife and sons home.   King Robert Baratheon does what he wants because he's king.   Keep watching, you will learn what he's all about in no time at all. Same with all your questions.   You will be able to rewatch this show 5 or 6 times and find new things each round. 

When you really start enjoying it give the books a try--there is even more juicy stuff in those! 

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The first time you see Ned and Robert ride off (where Robert tells Ned he knows how hard it is for him to accept his offer and he's grateful he accepted) they are going on a boar hunt, not on their way to King's Landing. If you go back and watch you hear Robert say, "Let's go hunt some boar." That's why Ned gets back so quickly once Bran falls. Once you see Ned and Jon both riding together, that's when Ned actually leaves Winterfell for King's Landing, where he tells him next time they see each other they'll discuss Jon's mother.

When the incident with the sisters, Joffrey, and the direwolf occurs they are not in Winterfell. They are on their journey to King's Landing. They're just staying at an inn on the road to KL.

Catelyn does not go with Ned to King's Landing, however she does make her way there once she believes that the Lannisters are behind Jon Aryn's death. Catelyn initially stays in Winterfell because "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell."

Ned does enter King's Landing without Robert but that's just because it's assumed he arrived a little earlier than Ned. That "church" where Jaime and Ned have their confrontation is actually the throne room. 

I hope this clarifies some stuff for you.

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21 hours ago, CQCStargaryen said:

Catelyn initially stays in Winterfell because "there must always be a Stark in Winterfell."

Cat is not a Stark. She is a Tully. Cat stays in Winterfell to take care for Bran.

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I don`t recall for certain in the show; but in the books:


Ned indeed orders Catelyn to stay behind b/c `there must always be a Stark in WF`, but in order that Robb may learn to be a ruler. The castle where the wolf is killed belongs to House Darry; but I don`t see what its name was.


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This article is slightly cringe-worthy, but it does lay out some of the basics without too many spoilers.


Folks above have already explained the journey South down the King's Road... Ned and the girls go on to King's landing, while Catelyn stays in Winterfell to take care of Bran and also keeps her youngest child, Rickon, with her, as he's only about 4 years old at that time .  Robb Stark also stays back as the Lord of Winterfell in his father's absence.

Tyrion and Jon Snow, meanwhile, travel North to The Wall.

There  are also the Targaryens, Viserys and Daenerys, across the sea to the East.  Their father was king before Robert and they are now in exile (of sorts).  They believe they have a right to the throne... the "why" of which will be revealed over the first season.  

It gets really confusing, so some other resources that may be useful... 

You can try the interactive map.


It allows you to see character paths on the map by chapter.  

This handy guide will allow you to figure out which chapters are covered by a particular episode.


and finally, check Youtube for "Game of Thrones: Histories and Lore".  They are organised by season and intended to watch when you finish each season.  Not only are they beautiful, but it will help you to understand some of the characters you've been introduced to over the season.


Hope this helps.

Edited by Jez Bell
forgot something

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The castle in which Lady was killed was castle Darry, which was a small castle on the route from Winterfell to King's Landing. This isn't specifically mentioned in the show, but Ned was angry at how Robert forced him to do that and rode ahead as not to have to deal with him or the Lannisters. Robert was doing what he does, drinking to a stupor, in the wheel house. Which he complained moved slowly. Jaime showing up in King's Landing is a bit of a hole, but could be explained away easy enough by him exercising a moment of caution and staying away from Cersei for the rest of the trip. Or just he didn't want to put up with Robert once he started using the wheelhouse and took off.

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