Game of Thrones – Season 1 Episode 3 – Story analysis

Analysis of Game of Thrones script
PDF, 143 pages

What makes Game of Thrones the most watched series in the world ?
Probably the great quality of its scenario.
Hundreds of thrilling plots.
A vast, complex narrative architecture.
Hundreds of realistic, colorful, contrasted characters.
Here is the complete scenario analysis of the 20 first episodes of the queen of the series.

Analysis

Ed Stark arrives to a castle. A guard welcomes him and allows him to enter a cathedral, the one of King’s Landing. Jaime seems to be waiting for him inside. They start discussing, Jaime, challenging as usual, tells Stark how he watched Stark’s brother and father be killed in this room under his eyes. Stark leaves the room.

The change of place represents an important turn in the action: after the North and Winterfell, King’s Landing becomes the new main set during this episode.

Stark meets Lord Varys – spy who knows everything -, Renly Baratheon the son of the King, Petyr Baelish the great paymaster (nickname: Littlefinger), and Maester Pycelle. They are the Council of King Robert, who will not join the meeting. The first topic they discuss is the organization of a tournament but when Stark is informed that the crown is heavily in debt, the project is out of question. The Council accuses the King, big spender, but Stark accuses the Council, not vigilant enough. Hypocritically, Lord Varys pretends that the Council is submitted to the Hand of the King.

New world, thus exposition of its main characters. The attitude of the Council makes it a potential Antagonist towards Stark.

Queen Cersei is discussing with prince Joffrey. He does not want to marry Sansa. His mother convinces him that this is just a formality and that he will do as he want, once married. Joffrey exposes his megalomaniac plans to submit the North and the Starks that he hates. Cersei contradicts his strategy, not his goal: the Starks are their enemies indeed.

This confirms our impression: the goal of Stark, to be a good Hand to obey the King, is straight away contradicted in this context of hostile Lannisters and shady councelors.

We have more information than the Starks about what the Lannisters think of them, which gives us an advantage to understand the situation.

Arya argues again with Sansa. Ed Stark sends her off. He offers Sansa a doll, she replies she does not play dolls any more.

The anecdote confirms the opposition between the 2 sisters and shows that the forced alliance with the Lannisters represents a threat for the unity of the Stark family.

Arya plays with her sword, Stark enters and questions her about where she got this weapon. She gets rebellious, he takes it with humor. She evokes the son of the butcher, killed, and says she hates the Lannisters. She complains about her sister who should not marry one at them.

Stark pledges for the marriage. He tells Arya that winter is coming, and that they have to stay united when times are getting harder. He gives her her sword back and advises her to learn using it.

Internal conflict in the Stark side. The attitude of Arya contradicts the goal of Stark as Hand of the King.

A crow lands at the window of Bran. An old lady who is sitting next to him suggests telling him stories. Bran replies that he only likes scary stories. She then tells him about the long winter and the scary white walkers.

The suspense about what Bran will say about having been pushed by Jaime is still running, and dramatic irony: it is Bran who should tell us a story, instead of being told one…

Repetition of the theme of the white walkers, which feeds a long-term suspense. Season 2 will end on the invasion of Westeros by the white walkers, so this mention stands as one of the many plot points that lead to this outcome.

Robb enters Bran’s room. He sends the old lady off then questions the child. Why did he “fall”? Bran asks whether he will stay paralyzed, Robb thinks he will, Bran would prefer being dead.

Very smart scene. We are still intensely expecting the resolution of the suspense. Instead of that, we are put in front of an even stronger dramatic situation: a handicapped child who wishes to die. This way, the first issue is just evaded and the suspense goes on…

Catelyn arrives at King’s Landing and is arrested by two guards. She is led to a brothel where Littlefinger is awaiting for her. Catelyn gets angry. Lord Varys enters. They knew she was coming. Varys asks some news about the dagger that had been used to try to murder Bran. Littlefinger says that it is his own dagger: he lost it in a bet against Tyrion…

A critical scene that mixes elements from several plots.

It is the first time we see Littlefinger and Varys operating outside the Council. With them, everything becomes tricky, shady and complex.

Jon Snow has to fight against the other candidates to the Night’s Watch in front of an instructor, Allister. Jon is superior to all of them. Mormont and Tyrion comment the fight. They get a message.

Shift of world.

Step 3 in the plot of the travel of Tyrion – he had left with Jon Snow then they stopped halfway in the middle of episode 2.

Did you enjoy Game of Thrones? Do you want to know how it was written? Then read our full story analysis of Game of Thrones seasons 1 & 2 and improve your scriptwriting skills!

PDF, 143 pages
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