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The Royal Road (episode)

The royal road

First broadcast:

April 24, 2011
November 9, 2011


"The Royal Route" (in the original: "The Kingsroad") is the second episode of the first season of game of Thrones and the second installment in the entire series. Tim Van Patten directed the film. The script was written by David Benioff and D.B. White.

The first broadcast took place on April 24, 2011 on the American broadcaster HBO. In German-speaking countries, it was first broadcast on November 9, 2011 on Sky.


After Bran miraculously survived the fall from the tower, Queen Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime try everything to prevent him from staying alive long enough to uncover their dark secret.

After Ned finally agreed to act as the king's hand, he and his daughters Sansa and Arya leave Winterfell for the south, while his wife Catelyn stays behind to take care of Bran, who is still in a coma.

Jon Snow, on the other hand, travels north to join the Brotherhood of the Night's Watch. Tyrion Lannister decides not to follow his family south and instead takes Jon to the wall to the north. Viserys remains hopeful of regaining the Iron Throne with the help of the Dothraki, while his sister Daenerys tries to figure out how to please her new husband, Drogo.

Text: RTL II


In Westeros

Joffrey Baratheon wakes his uncle Tyrion, who was sleeping in the stable. Tyrion calls on Joffrey to express his condolences to Eddard and Catelyn Stark for the serious fall of Bran. After he refuses and expresses his disinterest in Bran's fate, he slaps Joffrey several times because of his arrogant answers. Sandor Clegane, the "bloodhound" who watched the scene, warns Tyrion that Joffrey will not forget this humiliation, to which Tyrion reacts calmly.

Then he dines with his brother Jaime, his sister Cersei and their children, Tommen and Myrcella. He says that he wants to ride to the wall because he has always wanted to see it. Furthermore, he informs the dismayed siblings Cersei and Jaime that Bran will probably survive the fall and he wonders what he then has to say about the background of the fall.

Queen Cersei meets Catelyn at the bed of the unconscious Bran, where she watches over her son full of worry and grief. Apparently moved, she tells Catelyn that she is praying for Bran and that she understands what is going on inside her. She herself lost her first son many years ago.

Meanwhile, Jon has Mikken, the blacksmith from Winterfell, make a new sword especially for Arya as a parting present, as he may never see her again. Jaime sees him waiting and talks disparagingly to him about the Night Watch and Jon’s intention to spend the rest of his life there. Then Jon brings the particularly light and narrow sword to Arya. She says goodbye to Jon with joy at her own weapon, which she spontaneously calls "needle".

Jon also visits the still unconscious Bran at his bedside to say goodbye. He "tells" Bran that he will go north to the wall and "put on the black". Catelyn is very displeased with Jon's presence as she still cannot cope with having an illegitimate child of Ned, a "bastard", on Winterfell and in her family. She hatefully orders him to leave when Eddard walks in. Since his sudden appearance awakens the memory of the one mistake her husband made, she begins to cry and blame Eddard for his guilt. Ned tries to comfort her and tells her that she must be strong for him and the family.

Shortly before leaving, Jon speaks to Robb Stark, with whom he has always got on best in the Stark family. They hug and Robb walks away. Jon eventually rides with Ned, Sansa, Arya, his uncle Benjen Stark, the gnome Tyrion Lannister and the column of the King of Winterfell.

At a crossroads, Eddard talks to Jon and points out to him that it is an honor for the Starks to provide men for the night watch at the wall. Eddard evades Jon's question about his mother and promises to tell Jon about it the next time he meets. Then he rides to King's Landing, while Jon rides towards the wall with Benjen Stark and Tyrion.

King Robert Baratheon's column pauses and the king and Eddard talk about their past. When the conversation falls on Jon's mother, a certain Wylla, Eddard is full of remorse and doesn't want to tell anything about her. The king justifies his and Eddard's behavior with the dire circumstances of the war and their youth at the time.

Robert hands Eddard a message he has sent, stating that one of the remaining Targaryens living in exile, Daenerys, has married the Dothraki Khal Drogo. He wants to have her killed before she can father a successor and potential usurper, but Eddard does not want to murder a child and convinces Robert not to kill her. Robert becomes thoughtful and is sure that there will soon be another war.

The little column riding to the night watch pauses. When Jon asked, Tyrion explains why he reads so much. His brother is a fantastic swordsman and he has a sharp mind. Just as a fighter has to sharpen his sword over and over again, reading sharpens his mind. He then tells Jon that he doesn't believe in White Walkers and the other creatures beyond the wall and that Jon has had false illusions about the Night's Watch. For the most part, this would only consist of scum, murderers and rapists who were forcibly obliged to serve on the wall.

MaesterLuwin reminds Catelyn of her duties as Mistress of Winterfell, who long neglected them out of concern for Bran. Catelyn doesn't want to hear about it because of her desperation, so Robb, who overheard the conversation, promises to take care of it.

Luwin leaves the room and Robb tries to convince Catelyn to leave the room again and to do her duties, including devoting herself to little Rickon again. Then he sees that the library is on fire when he tries to close the windows and hurries outside. Catelyn stays in the room and when she turns around she sees a strange man who wants to kill her son with a dagger. Despite fierce resistance from Catelyn, he wins the upper hand, but Sommer, Bran's direwolf, kills the man by tearing his throat. Catelyn remains relieved but badly wounded in the hands by the assassin's knife.

Catelyn investigates her son's fall from the tower because of the renewed assassination attempt on Bran and discovers a long, golden hair on the floor of the room at the top of the tower. She is firmly convinced that the Lannisters are behind the fall and calls her most loyal subjects Maester Luwin, Rodrick and Theon Greyjoy, and her son Robb together for a meeting.

She tells them about her suspicions and says that she wants to travel to King's Landing to find out who owns the murderer's Valyrian steel dagger, since it was obviously slipped to the murderer. She says goodbye to Bran and then rides off with Rodrik Cassel.

The king's column takes a rest again, this time at a tavern on Königsweg. Sansa is startled by two people, Sandor Clegane and Ilyn Payn, and she tries to have a polite conversation. But Payn leaves and Sandor explains that his tongue was cut out years ago.

Prince Joffrey arrives and sends the bloodhound away. She leaves her direwolf, Lady, waiting while the two of them go for a walk by a river, where Arya is also playing with Mycah, a friend. They practice fencing with sticks.

Joffrey draws his sword and tells Mycah, the butcher boy, to fight him, but he doesn't dare. Joffrey wants to irritate Mycah and injures his cheek, which hurts him very much. Arya attacks Joffrey and Joffrey hits Arya with his sword. When she falls and wants to stab Joffrey with his sword, Nymeria, Arya's direwolf, intervenes and bites Joffrey on the arm. Sansa wants to take care of Joffrey and get help, but he sends her away with an angry and hateful voice.

Arya throws Joffrey's sword into the river and hides in the forest. There she chases Nymeria away, fearing that her wolf would likely be killed because of the attack on the prince if they find the Lannister soldiers who are looking for her.

At night the Starks soldiers, led by Eddard Stark, are also looking for her when Jory Cassel tells him that the Lannisters have already found her and brought her to the king. There Arya is falsely accused by Joffrey of attacking him together with the butcher boy. Arya tells the real story, but nobody believes it.

When Sansa arrives as a witness, she says she didn't see anything because everything happened too quickly. At the instigation of Queen Cersei it is decided to slightly punish the two children and to kill the direwolf. But since Arya's direwolf is no longer there, the direwolf is to be killed by Sansa. Eddard agrees to kill the she-wolf himself, as he does not want to hand over a wolf from the north to a slaughterer from the south.

Eddard sees the bloodhound on the way to the she-wolf, who killed the butcher boy after a long hunt. He reluctantly kills the direwolf with a dagger while Bran awakens in Winterfell ...

In Essos

Daenerys rides through Essos with Khal Drogo and his Khalasar. Jorah Mormont worries about her because she doesn't eat or drink and appears weakened and depressed. At one stop, several servants take care of them. Ser Jorah Mormont advises Viserys after stopping and setting up camp to ride back to Pentos, as there he could wait for Drogo's decision to move to Westeros more safely and comfortably. But he would rather stay with the Khalasar, otherwise he would "never get his crown".

Daenerys' maidservants tell her there are no more dragons, but one, Doreah, seems smarter. When she lets go of the others, Daenerys tells Daenerys that she has been a whore and can teach her how to make Khal Drogo happy. In her tent, Doreah teaches Daenerys a few things to make her husband happy. Daenerys later follows her advice and then appears to actually surprise and delight the Khal later that night.


First appearances


  • Assassin - Throat ripped out by summer
  • Mycah - ridden and killed by Sandor Clegane
  • Lady - stabbed to death by Eddard Stark on the orders of King Robert