When I first watched this episode, which was before I read the books, I was lost. The first episode threw in some minor details of the Nights Watch and Daenerys Targeryan, and the second episode does the opposite; at least in the opening half hour. It concentrates the larger share of screen time to Jon Snow; the bastard child of Ned Stark shunned by his step mother Catelyn. This scene was effective; you would think with all the kindness that Catelyn has shown beforehand, she would have the heart to find it in her to overlook a mistake her husband has made seventeen years ago. And yet that has not happened; she still holds resentment to the situation and to Jon Snow. The episode did a great job of developing Jon's character; as I have been told as a storyteller, ambitious characters who show a want for something are what hooks readers and writers alike, and here we are shown a Jon Snow that has a strong desire to join the Nights Watch. And to throw ruffles into the stream, the sarcastic Tyrion Lannister exposes Jon Snow to the "honorable" brotherhood he may have mistakenly joined. Even prior to reading the books, I've always enjoyed the character of Jon Snow more than any of the Starks.On the flip side, the poor exiled Princess is forced to give up her womanhood to a beastly man that doesn't share her language. Though her tune suddenly changes by acquiring the help of her servants in the art of love. There isn't much story that can be derived on the land past the sea as of yet, I'd say that Daenerys' actress does a good job as anyone at appearing of not enjoying sex.
The main issue, with Ned Stark and her two daughters, didn't pick up until the inn with the kings road where Joffrey firmly establishes himself as the antagonist of the show, not just through his actions that occur with the Butcher Boy's kid and brandished lies to his mother, but by his impudent little wretched face. Though without a convincing acting job, that hatred for a fictional character could never be born. Reading the books I could say that I hate Joffrey more in the show than in its source material. And although naturally some important details are lost from the conversion from book to TV that happen in the dialogue in the head of the characters, this episode was more emotional with the deaths of Lady and Mycah. Although the character development with Jon Snow and Daenerys Targreyan opened the episode up well, the first half felt slow and confusing with the episode spreading its minutes thin amongst a large cast of characters. Nonetheless it finishes strong and seeds everyone's thirst to see the vagina that is Joffrey die a horrible death.