As soon as Ned arrives at King's Landing, he is summoned to a meeting of the king's advisers. There he learns that Robert has been raiding the kingdom's coffers by throwing lavish parties. Robert even gave an order to have a tournament in honor of Ned's appointment as Hand, but when Ned discovers that the crown is deeply in debt to the Lannisters, he refuses to approve the event. Ned speaks with Jaime, and the animosity the two feel towards one another is palpable.
Cersei is tending to the wound on Joffrey's arm, and the young prince whines about having to play nice with the Starks when it's obvious that they don't deserve his attention. He'd rather take over Winterfell and enslave its people. Cersei reminds him that Joffrey is going to marry Sansa and produce heirs, and then he could do whatever (and whomever) he likes. Joffrey thinks that there ought to be a royal army loyal to the kingdom. Each lord with their own army is ridiculous.
Later Cersei talks to Jaime about Bran, and that they must be much more careful about their affair. Jaime shrugs it off, saying that if the boy says anything, they would just deny it. Jaime promises that he'll kill Bran and anyone else who stands in his way.
Meanwhile Catelyn arrives in King's Landing and is intercepted by men sent by Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, an old friend of Catelyn's. He requests that she keep herself hidden in one of his brothels, since there are forces loyal to the king in the city who wouldn't think twice about killing her. All Cat wants is to tell Ned about the attempt on Bran's life and the truth about his fall. Ned is about to throttle Petyr for forcing him to come to a house of ill repute but then he spots Cat in the same building.
Cat shows Ned and Petyr the dagger the would-be assassin carried, and Petyr admits that he recognizes the blade. It's his. However, he lost it in a bet, to Tyrion Lannister.
Tyrion is still at the Wall, having traveled there with Jon Snow as he joins the Night's Watch. Jon's initial admiration for the men who guard the Wall gets ruined when reality hits. The Watch are nothing more than convicts and cowards who can't handle a sword. Jon knows he's better than any of them, even if he's just an illegitimate son. Tyrion, however, points out that none of the men had the same combat training that he has had. Jon takes it upon himself to start training the men to better do their jobs.
Jon speaks with his uncle Benjen at the Wall, and Benjen says that he's going to the north as part of his duties as a ranger. Jon wants to accompany him but Benjen refuses. He doesn't think Jon is ready.
Tyrion admits that he doesn't think the White Walkers or the wildlings are a great threat to Westeros, but he promises he will tell his sister that the Wall requires more aid and money to help protect it. He also gives Jon a message sent by raven: Bran is awake.
The Dothraki are still traveling on horseback, and Daenerys continues to learn more about her new culture. She commands the the caravan to stop in order to explore something in the brush, but Viserys finds her and presses a blade against her throat, demanding to know why she thinks she can command him. A Dothraki man then wraps his whip around Viserys's throat, preventing him from harming the Khaleesi. He would kill her brother, but she tells him to let Viserys go. Viserys's life is spared, but his horse is taken away, and he has to walk with the slaves.
Dany's handmaiden realizes that Dany is pregnant, and Dany tells Drogo that she knows their baby will be a boy. When Ser Jorah finds out about the baby, he leaves quickly to Qohor and says he'll catch up with the Dothraki horde later.
Meanwhile, Ned discovers that Arya has a sword, so he hires someone to be her "dancing" instructor. But it's really a master swordsman, ready to teach her how to do the water dance. Ned watches Arya spar with her teacher, at first happy to see her enjoying herself, but then he starts remembering the sounds of real battle and his expression becomes sad.