“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
– Cersei Lannister
Episode 7, You Win or You Die, sees some major shake ups. We finally meet the fabled Tywin Lannister, if only briefly, Joffrey and Cersei shoot up the Leaderboard in their grab for power. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish even manages to tie Ned Stark for first place.
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In the Riverlands Jaime meets with his father, Tywin Lannister. He admonishes his son for allowing pride and honor to stop him from finishing Ned Stark, but notes that the attack was foolish and rash. Tywin tells Jaime that Tyrion’s capture has weakened their House and that every day Tyrion remains a prisoner they command less respect. He orders Jaime to take 40,000 troops to besiege Catelyn Stark’s childhood home, Riverrun.
Tywin Lannister receives 2 Call The Banners points for declaring war on House Tully and Stark.
Back in King’s Landing, armed with suspicions and a book Ned confronts Queen Cersei who confirms that none of her children were fathered by King Robert. Prince Joffrey, Princess Myrcella, and Prince Tommen are all products of incest between she and her twin brother Jaime. Ned advises her to flee with her children before he can tell Robert.
Petyr Baelish is training new employees for his brothel. We see a familiar face, Ros, the Northern prostitute favored by Theon Greyjoy and Tyrion Lannister. Littlefinger reveals his long held love for Catelyn and that his duel with Ned’s brother, Brandon for her hand was a revelation of sorts for him. He would never be able to fight them on their terms. “I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them. That’s what I know, That’s what I am and only by admitting what we are can we get what we want.” And just what does Littlefinger want? “Oh, Everything… Everything there is.”
In the North Theon takes a moment to sexually harass the captive Osha, but is interrupted by Maester Luwin. The Maester questions the wildling woman as to what brought her south of the wall. She speaks cryptically of things that hunt at night. The maester tries to assure her that these things have been gone for generations, but Osha responds that they’re not gone, “They was sleeping. And they ain’t sleeping no more.” At the Wall Jon and Sam hold watch and see what they think is a returning ranger, but then realize the horse carries no rider. When they go down to investigate Jon notes that it is his Uncle’s horse, but there is no sign of Benjen.
At the Red Keep, King Robert returns, but grievously injured. Having been roaring drunk by the time he cornered the boar, Robert had fallen and his wounds seem unlikely to heal. He calls Ned to him and professes he knows he has not been a good King, but Ned could be. He names Ned Protector of the Realm until Joffrey comes of age. Though in transcribing the King’s words he replaces Joffrey’s name with “the rightful heir.” Outside the King’s chambers Varys remarks that he hopes the King’s squire Lancel Lannister does not blame himself as it was his duty to serve Robert.
Eddard “Ned” Stark receives 3 Honors points for his new title as Protector of the Realm.
In Vaes Dothrak Daenerys’ attempts to convince Drogo to invade Westeros prove fruitless. While at the western market Ser Jorah is found by one of Varys’ “little birds” who delivers Jorah a Royal Pardon. Across the bazaar he sees Daenerys speaking to a wine merchant. Upon learning who she is the Merchant insist she take a cask of his finest stock. A suspicious Jorah approaches and demands the merchant taste the wine. He tries to escape but is quickly apprehended by Rakharo.
Daenerys Targaryen earns 1 Survival point for escaping the attempt on her life.
Rakharo earns 1 Capture point for apprehending the would-be assassin.
In King’s Landing the Red Keep is in chaos as news of Robert’s condition spreads. Robert’s brother Renly urges Ned to ally with him as opposed to his older brother Stannis. Ned refuses as he now believes Stannis to be the rightful heir given the paternity of Cersei’s children. He writes to Stannis telling him all he has learned and that the Iron Throne is his by right. He speaks with Littlefinger knowing he will need the City Watch, whom Littlefinger controls, if he hopes to depose Cersei and her children. He is unsurprised when Ned reveals all of Cersei’s children were fathered by Jaime. Littlefinger argues against installing Stannis, but Ned brusquely refuses. In the end Littlefinger agrees to give him the backing of the City Watch.
Petyr Baelish earns 3 Alliance points for pledging Ned the City Watch’s loyalty.
Eddard “Ned” Stark receive 3 Alliance points for his arrangement with Littlefinger.
At the Wall Jon, Sam, and the other recruits take their vows all officially becoming Men of the Night’s Watch. Jon is angered at first that he has not been assigned to the Rangers, but rather the Stewards, whom Jon likens to little more than maids. However Sam makes him see the Lord Commander’s true purpose: to groom Jon for command. Jon and Sam choose to go North of the Wall to take their vows in front of a Heart Tree, symbol of the Old Gods still worshiped in the North. Jon’s wolf, Ghost, accompanies them and shocks everyone when he appears from the brush with a severed arm.
Jon Snow earns 3 Alliance points for vowing loyalty to the Night’s Watch.
Samwell Tarly earns 3 Alliance points for vowing loyalty to the Night’s Watch.
Pyp earns 3 Alliance points for vowing loyalty to the Night’s Watch.
Grenn earns 3 Alliance points for vowing loyalty to the Night’s Watch.
Rast earns 3 Alliance points for vowing loyalty to the Night’s Watch.
Across the Narrow Sea Drogo hears of the attempt on Daenerys life and that of his unborn child and is enraged. He declares to all the Dothraki present he shall cross the sea, destroy their cities and enslave their women. As the khalasar sets out, the wine merchant is seen naked and tied to Daenerys’ horse forced to run alongside her.
Khal Drogo earns 2 Call The Banners points for declaring war on the Seven Kingdoms.
Daenerys Targaryen earns 1 Morghulis point for what is sure to be the painful death of her assassin.
Back in King’s Landing King Robert has died and Cersei wastes no time in declaring her son King and herself Queen Regent. It is revealed that Renly has fled the city with his guards and Loras Tyrell. Janos Slynt, Commander of the City Watch pledges to Ned the the gold cloaks are with him.
Loras Tyrell earns 3 Alliance points for following through on his offer to back Renly as King.
Renly Baratheon receives 3 Alliance points for Loras’ support.
Ned announces that Joffrey has no right to the Iron Throne and commands the City Watch take the Queen and her children into custody. Joffrey enraged by this turn of events orders his guards “Kill them! Kill all of them!” The City Watch turns its spears on Ned’s men and a short bloody battle commences. Before Ned can react Littlefinger holds a knife to his throat, reminding Ned, “I did warn you not to trust me.”
Ned receives -3 Betrayal points and -3 Defeat points.
Petyr Baelish receives 3 Alliance points for his allegiance to the Lannisters and 3 Revenge points for finally getting the better of House Stark
Cersei receives 3 Alliance points for her arrangement with Littlefinger, 3 Honors points for new title as Queen Regent, and 3 Victory points of the battle in the throne room.
Joffrey receives 5 Iron Throne points, 3 Crowned points, and 3 Victory points.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane receives 3 Victory points and 1 Valar Morghulis point for the battle in the throne room.
Janos Slynt earns 3 Alliance points for his allegiance to King Joffrey