Game of Thrones: Season 1, Episode 4

Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things (8 May 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,876 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 19 critic

Eddard investigates Jon Arryn's murder. Jon befriends Samwell Tarly, a coward who has come to join the Night's Watch.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


Ned begins to look into the death of his predecessor and mentor John Arryn. He learns that Arryn was interested in a particular book and also visited a local blacksmith known for making quality arms. There he meets someone quite interesting. At the northern wall, Jon befriends Samwell Tarly an overweight, bumbling young man whose father gave him the choice of joining the Night's Watch or dying in a hunting 'accident'. Sam is the object of scorn from other trainees and their instructor. Jon makes it clear that no harm will come him. Sansa is still not speaking to her father after he was forced to kill her wolf. She is preparing to become Queen someday. Her sister Arya meanwhile is taking sword fighting lessons and sees herself as a knight. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys defends herself when her brother Vyseris slaps her making it very clear that she too can exercise some authority. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 May 2011 (USA)  »

Box Office


£6,000,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The last appearance of Old Nan in the show. The actress Margaret John passed away on February 2011. See more »


In Bran's dream he is about to shoot at a target when the three-eyed crow flies across. We see in closeup that the forefinger of his shooting glove is twisted under the bowstring, which would spoil the loose. See more »


Ser Jorah Mormont: The common people pray for rain, health, and a summer that never ends. They don't care what games the high lords play.
Daenerys Targaryen: What do you pray for, Ser Jorah?
Ser Jorah Mormont: Home.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The sun tells an important part of the series back story, on its panels. It does so in three segments. First, as the credits start up, the sun depicts how the Targaryens and their dragons conquered Westeros. The second time the sun is shown, a dragon is depicted in a mortal struggle with 3 other animals: The Stag, the Lion and the Wolf. It is a very literal way to show how Robert Beratheon and Ned Stark rebelled, with Tywin Lannister reluctantly supporting them, in the end. Finally, the third time the sun is shown, before the series title enter the scene, a lion (among other animals) is shown "kneeling" to a triumphant Stag. Just as Robert was crowned King after winning the war. See more »


References Dragonslayer (1981) See more »


Main Title
Written and Performed by Ramin Djawadi
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User Reviews

Agile writing, energetic acting and unbreakable immersion
10 May 2011 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Once the ending credits roll you'll realize you're shaking. Fear ? Admiration ? Anger ? The wicked emotions this fourth episode should make you feel could be a first for your televisual experience. With the characters gradually growing on us their every scenes seem more authentic and pivotal. Since the pilot we know that everything can change in a few split seconds. One minute the little boy was climbing, the next he is a cripple. So Game of the Thrones play in the same league of masterpieces like Dexter and Lost, shows that have pushed the quality barrier far beyond its audience expectations. I'm talking about these memorable moments when you forget it's actually TV. And when it comes to convey such extreme after effects no one can deny that talents like Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Terry O'Quinn and Matthew Fox of course are the first names that pop up in your head as best examples. I should also mention Spartacus : Blood and Sand considering how much I praised the show and Andy Whitfield's performance but it wouldn't be reasonable. At least it's the trembling resonance the acting had on me this time.

The first impact came from Emilia Clarke as Daenerys and Harry Lloyd as Viserys. The last bathtub sequence was surprising, sensual and more important very enlightening. Indeed it allowed us to learn more about the fantasy elements that populate the kingdoms, specially the legendary dragons, and unveiled the evil brother backstory. But it's really when he tried to dominate his sister again that you should feel the ground quaking beneath your seat. And don't get wrong, it's really happening. In your stars or in your skull, don't pretend you can resist her. The second impact would be what happened in the cold winter arc. Jon Snow's story is so dark and disturbing ! It's the perfect counter poison to the others even if I also expect storm and other destructive elements to unleash their fury on our friends and foes. The speech Snow and his new chubby buddy were given was horrific and even more frightening than the dark fairytale the creepy grandma told little Bran. Winter is Coming ? It seems even Ned could be underestimating what it really means. Last but not least the third impact, that also served as a cliffhanger, was definitely Catelyn Stark's escape at the inn. They couldn't have made a better choice than casting Michelle Fairley as Ned's wife. Like Sean Bean she had already impressed us but this installment you'll learn why people call her Lady Stark. It was pure grace and strength put into motion. It also revealed what really separates some Starks from some Lannisters, because they aren't all just black or white.

Between two shakes there was still plenty of room for entertaining and interesting stuff. Arya's role was minor this time but her little chat with her father was refreshing and definitely intriguing. What a cute and fierce portrayal of the inevitable Joan of Arc she should become ! I don't know about her destiny considering I haven't read the novel yet but I can't see how she could restrain herself to just become a pretty queen. Once all grown up she could be to the show who Deedlit is to Record of Lodoss War, a beautiful and inspiring female warrior. An other element I quite enjoyed was Ned's lecture in the park about trust and issues. As for his dangerous mind game with Cersei Lannister, played by the delicate Lena Headey, my only complain would be about the lighting. In fact it's not the first time I have noticed the issue, that its whiteness is far too artificial. It's slightly disappointing because other than that the production is an immersion model and surely a delight for graphics whores and other amateurs of fine arts. And should I even mention the dreamy title sequence ? To conclude a mandatory sequence, when it comes to medieval fiction, was also featured and even if I found it a little rushed it was definitely exciting and was also the perfect occasion to learn more about an enigmatic character we knew nothing about until now.

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