Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 4

Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 08, 2011 on HBO
out of 10
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768 votes

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  • HODOR!

    Game of Thrones: Fancy Seeing You Here, Tyrion

    A chance encounter spells doom for Stark-Lannister relations, the Night's Watch gets a little heavier, and no one can move Mountain.

  • Episode Summary


    Ned looks into Jon Arryn's death. Jon makes a new friend. Daenerys makes her title known to her brother. Tyrion finds himself in an unfortunate situation.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • A bit better than episodes 2 and 3, but it only uses about 60% of the show's potential.

      This is again an episode that doesn't include big stuff (well, we've got a joust, that's something) or surprises in the plot, however, I still liked it more than the two before because there's not much that seems unnecessary in this episode. John Bradley, who plays the new guy at the Night's Watch, really exaggerated his role as this useless coward that gets bullied there and I thought they focused on this story too much. Therefore I'm glad that Jon Snow and the Night's Watch are completely absent in the next episode. But since they used the lots of scenes there to get the audience acquainted with the heavy life that lies ahead of Jon and his colleagues and they also portrayed his kindness very well, it was nothing that bored or actually annoyed me. Another character that gets way too much attention is Littlefinger, but that didn't bother me since Aidan Gillen plays him very interestingly. The other flaw of this episode would be some writing weaknesses since there are also a lot of changes to the novel in this episode.

      Lena Headey and Mark Addy really got too little screen time in this episode with the latter only having about two sentences in the whole 55 minutes, but I understand that it's not at all easy to include so many characters in every episode. The crew created a stunning visual style as always and I thought they did really well with exposing things and developing characters. The fight scene of Daenerys and Viserys would be the best example for this, though Harry Lloyd overacts his part just as in the episode before this one. I mean, we get that his character is both a jerk and a coward, he doesn't have to illustrate that in every single scene he's in.

      The outstanding scenes in this episode were Cersei and Ned's little conversation and Bran getting to do something again, while the outstanding cast members are rather hard to name. I would say that the women are more interesting in this episode, notably Michelle Fairley (who has a really great final scene with Peter Dinklage) and Emilia Clarke who both can really exhibit self-confidence.moreless
    • Cool af

      Such a good one
    • Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

      The Good:

      -Tyrion's true colors are shown just before he gets captured.

      -Sam Tarly. He becomes friends with Jon, providing the struggling youth with a good reason to enjoy the Wall.

      The Bad:

      -The Hound's face time. Littlefinger tells Sansa the story of The Hound and his brother. In the novel, however, The Hound tells her the story himself. Littlefinger gets a lot more screen time than he would merit from the books, perhaps because he is so interesting. However, The Hound's character has sparse detail as a result.moreless
    • They got the wrong Lannister.

      As large a scope as Game of Thrones the novel is, even a season with hour long length episodes each would prove to be difficult to encompass everything in its entirety. This episode was skidding on a fine line of "packing in too much for its own good", but the cliffhanger ending made you forget about all that. A lot of characters are thrown at you without so much as a backstory to them; I always had to remind myself Jory is in alliance with Ned Stark. And after the show I had to look up Ser Hugh of the Vale and his significance in the scheme of things; it left me that he was the same guy Jory tried approaching and was blown off in the same episode. And while I am known to be forgetful of things amongst my group of friends, there were just so many events happening simultaneously that keeping track of everything that was happening was borderline a mess.

      Now what kept the episode together was of course the strong acting from the central cast. Sean Bean portrays his character of Ned Stark stunningly well as a stress stricken, yet honorable and stern man that is willing to do the right things, which is impressive because of his more famous role as Boromir in Lord of the Rings who was known as an ambitious and impatience warrior who could not hold down his tongue for the life of him. And most of the more important events of the episode were easy to remember. The first, which opened with Jon Snow taking pity on a fat boy who is a coward. Then there is Daenerys and her steady transition from a little sister who followed her brother around everywhere, to a queen. And there is also Ned Stark's instigation of Jon Arryn's death and what secrets he brought with him to his grave. Detective stories were portrayed more excitingly in other shows, though to see it happen in a much more simplistic manner through medieval means is something we don't see much in television. And of course the ending is what threads the needle of the entire episode; it just needed that one exciting splash to cap off a long series of events, and it provided that with Catelyn Stark seizing Tyrion Lannister as her prisoner.moreless
    • 104

      While the title of this episode may seem a little bit offputting, this was actually a solid episode of Game of Thrones. Is this show the savior of HBO? Not just yet, but this was another very intriguing installment of the period drama. We saw some developments tonight, we saw some battles on horses, some training sequences, and of course the explicit dialogue we have come to expect from anything that airs on this premium channel.

      As a viewer I am still having a little bit of trouble keeping track of everything, but week after week Game of Thrones starts to become less and less like calculus class for me, because I am starting to understand what is going on. Solid episode, it could use a little more action though, and the show needs to look at what rival network Showtime did on The Borgias this week to see what I mean.moreless
    Emun Elliott

    Emun Elliott


    Guest Star

    Margaret John

    Margaret John

    Old Nan

    Guest Star

    Conan Stevens

    Conan Stevens

    Gregor Clegane aka "The Mountain"

    Guest Star

    Donald Sumpter

    Donald Sumpter

    Maester Luwin

    Recurring Role

    Conleth Hill

    Conleth Hill

    Lord Varys

    Recurring Role

    Jerome Flynn

    Jerome Flynn


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The title of this episode, "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things", is a direct quote from Tyrion Lannister in this episode.

        Tyrion Lannister: I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.

    • QUOTES (6)

      • Jon Snow: You can't fight. You can't see. You're afraid of heights and almost everything else probably. What are you doing here, Sam?
        Samwell Tarly: On the morning of my eighteenth name day, my father came to me. "You're almost a man now," he said, "but you're not worthy of my land and title. Tomorrow you're going to take the black, forsake all claim to your inheritance, and start North. If you do not," he said, "then we'll have a hunt. And somewhere in these woods your horse will stumble and you'll be thrown from your saddle to die. Or so I'll tell your mother. Nothing would please me more."

      • Eddard Stark: Lord Baelish, perhaps I was wrong to distrust you.
        Petyr Baelish: Distrusting me was the wisest thing you've done since you climbed off your horse.

      • Arya Stark: (about her brother Bran) He wants to be a knight of the Kingsguard. He can't be one now, can he?
        Eddard Stark: No. But someday he could be lord of a holdfast or sit on the King's Council or he might raise castles like Brandon the Builder.
        Arya Stark: Can I be lord of a holdfast?
        Eddard Stark: You will marry a high lord and rule his castle. Your sons shall be knights and princes and lords.
        Arya Stark: No, that's not me.

      • Cersei Lannister: You're just a soldier, aren't you? You take your orders and you carry on. I suppose it makes sense. Your older brother was trained to lead and you were trained to follow.
        Eddard Stark: I was also trained to kill my enemies, Your Grace.
        Cersei Lannister: As was I.

      • Robb Stark: (after Tyrion presents Bran with plans for a special saddle) Is this some kind of trick? Why do you want to help him?
        Tyrion Lannister: I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.

      • Daenerys Targaryen: (to her brother Viserys) I am a khaleesi of the Dothraki. I am the wife of the great khal and I carry his son inside me. The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.

    • NOTES (1)

      • The story about the Mountain and the Hound is told by Petyr Baelish in the episode; however, in the book, the Hound tells the story to Sansa himself.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Dragonslayer: Viserys Targaryen is naming off all of the dragon skulls in the throne hall and lists Vermithrax among them. Vermithrax Perjorative was the attacking dragon in the 1981 movie Dragonslayer. George R.R. Martin, the author of the books the show is based on, considers Dragonslayer as one of his favorite fantasy movies, so the writer of this episode added a deliberate reference to that movie in honor of this.