Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 7

You Win or You Die

41
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 29, 2011 on HBO
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
779 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

TV.com Episode Review

  • BARF.

    Game of Thrones: Please, ANYONE But Joffrey!

    Breaking down Episode 7: A major turn of events means horrible things for Ned as everyone tries to get their hands on the Iron Throne.

  • Episode Summary

    EDIT

    As Robert lays injured, Ned confronts Cersei with the truth that killed Jon Arryn. Tywin Lannister presses his son to prepare for an imminent battle. At the Wall, Jon takes his vows with his new brothers. Across the Narrow Sea, Khal Drogo proclaims to take back his wife's kingdom.

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    SUBMIT REVIEW
    • Treachery and the Game of Thrones!

      9.5
      I'm a little to all this Game of Thrones business but man am I glad I bought the first two seasons on Blu-Ray!! I always wondered what the hub bub was about and now I see! It's an amazing show with awesome characters, stunning locales and wonderful fantasy!



      I also bought the books as I love reading fantasy! As an avid reader of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and after seeing much of the first season of the Legend of the Seeker I was greatly disappointed when Sam Raimi and co didn't hold true to the novels and it's great story!



      I can say that Game of Thrones is a much better adaptation of George R. R. Martin's masterpiece! I've been reading the first book along with watching the first season and I must say the creator's have done really well in holding true to the writing and showcasing it on the silver screen.



      In regards to this episode 'You Win or You Die' it has been the best of season with 'A Golden Crown' being right behind. I do have to say that although getting more background on Littlefinger was nice I do think the scene with Ros and the other wench was a little overkill but I do have to love his little devious underhandedness, should have been more careful, Ned!



      I can't to read and watch more!moreless
    • You Win or You Die

      8.5
      The Good:

      -"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

      -"We only make peace with our enemies...that is why it is called making peace."

      -"I did warn you not to trust me."

      The Bad:

      -The scene in the brothel borders on gratuitous. Petyr's background is revealed, but the story is an interesting one even without the prostitutes practicing their trade in the corner.moreless
    • The game of thrones begins to heat up. (There's some spoilers here, just to warn.)

      8.8
      "Game of Thrones" has really surprised me. Sure, there's a lot of long dialogue driven scenes and episodes that are sometimes not as intense as one would hope. However, the last few episodes have absolutely proven that it's a show that knows one hundred percent how to tell a story, make anearly every character equally interesting and raise the stakes when it needs to be done. This episode, leaving us with three left until the finale, takes just about every plot and complicates them, but not too much to confuse or buden us. Instead, it's just some good old dramatic storytelling with only a few missteps.



      The situation in the King's Landing grows even more dire after King Robert Baratheon is gored by a boar and ends up dead by episode's end. The problem is, Joffrey would technically be the next to replace him, and as we learned last week, he's a Lannister, not a Baratheon, This means, just as cersei and Jaime originally wanted, the Lannister family would be in charge of the throne. And finally, the Targarian/King's Landing plots are dangerously close to colliding, something I've been waiting for for awhile. Baratheon's attempt to assassinate Daenerys fails, which puts Khal Drogo in a state of fury as he agrees to finally cross the narrow sea in order to attack Baratheon and take back the throne for Daenerys. This puts Westeros and the West on a path to chaos. It's also important to remember that Tywin Lannister, father of Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion, has a thirst for the throne. If there's any episode that perfectly encapsulates the idea of men and women competing in a "game" for the throne, it's this one.



      We also get, after a two episodes absence, the return of Jon Snow. I was a fan of this plot for the first four episodes and the absence was noticeable and unfortunate. However, its return was also a bit lackluster. Sure, it's intriguing that benjin has gone missing and that Jon was cast as a squire instead of a ranger (we get some funny lines here as well), but I'm still waiting for all that pent-up chaos of the first ten minutes of the premiere to pay off. Remember those zombie/vampire creatures from the premiere? I'm waiting for a reappearance.



      And I also feel like the show make a misstep in killing off Baratheon off-screen. Mark Addy did a great job in the role, so why is his character being given such low-key death? They could've handled it a bit better, despite the repercussions of it being awesome.



      The next episode brings author George R.R Martin's first writtten episode. It should be interesting to see what he does with his own work.moreless
    • "I warned you not to trust me."

      9.5
      Rarely does honor ever fail a character in a story; we are taught great things will happen to you if you stick with it. Game of Thrones isn't like the stories you grew up with that you were told as a child (that much was obvious with the lesbian sex scene near the beginning). Ned Stark is the type of character who prevails in most normal medieval stories because he fought for what he believed in. In the world of Westeros, he's the one on the wrong end of the blade on Littlefinger's dagger. In the previous episode I talked about Game of Thrones producing so much story development that we need to be relieved of it with a big splash. We got it, and in supremely dramatic fashion, not only with the story in King's Landing, but also with Daenerys Targeryan and to a lesser extent, Jon Snow and the Wall.

      It was one event after another; Ned Stark confronts Cersei about her incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime Lannister, King Robert dies, Ghost finds a severed hand, Renly means to seize the throne, Khal Drogo vows to rule Westeros, and of course, Ned Stark is betrayed by Littlefinger. The suspense just built up into one final explosion, and of course the brilliant acting should never fail to be mentioned. The poisoner at the markets did a remarkable job selling his part, better than how it was done in the books. Samwell Tarly, despite his cowardice, shows redeeming qualities that especially shines in this episode. And although the show has made you hate them, Joffrey does a wonderful job of portraying a guy you would want to see die a million deaths, and Littlefinger always walks a stride that makes it impossible to read his character. This episode could have done for a season finale, and yet there are 3 more left.moreless
    • 107

      6.0
      When you play the Game of Thrones you either win or die.....but you be entertained is not guaranteed. I did not plan on watching this show, but I heard the hype and decided to give it a shot. It was okay, and this episode was okay, but I am just not getting into these characters. There was not one scene that really stood out tonight and I think the actors are being overlooked by the great set design. There are some good actors on the show, some good acting on display tonight, but nothing is that great and I feel like if I didn't watch this show anymore I wouldn't be missing out on anything. Not a good feeling for a show.



      Maybe it will get better next week, but I know that tonight's ep was fairly mediocre.moreless

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (1)

      • The title of this episode is a direct quote from Cersei Lannister both in the book "A Game of Thrones" and the TV show.


        Cersei Lannister: (to Eddard Stark) When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.

    • QUOTES (9)

      • Petyr Baelish: Only by admitting what we are can we get what we want.
        Ros: And what do you want?
        Petyr Baelish: Oh, everything my dear...everything there is.

      • Cersei Lannister: (to Ned Stark) Jaime and I are more than brother and sister. We shared a womb. We came into this world together. We belong together.

      • Tywin Lannister: The lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.

      • Eddard Stark: (about Robert Baratheon) You've always hated him.
        Cersei Lannister: Hated him? I worshiped him. Every girl in the Seven Kingdoms dreamed of him, but he was mine by oath. And when I finally saw him on our wedding day in the Sept of Baelor, lean and fierce and black-bearded, it was the happiest moment of my life. Then that night he crawled on top of me, stinking of wine and he did what he did, what little he could do, and whispered in my ear, "Lyanna". Your sister was a corpse and I was a living girl, and he loved her more than me.

      • Jon Snow: recited together with Samwell Tarly Hear my words and bear witness to my vow. Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realm of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

      • Khal Drogo: (to the assembled Dothraki after an assassin tried to kill his wife and unborn son) And to my son, the stallion who will mount the world, I will also pledge a gift. I will give him the iron chair that his mother's father sat upon. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, will do this. I will take my Khalasar west to where the world ends and ride wooden horses across the black salt water as no Khal has done before. I will kill the men in iron suits and tear down their stone houses. I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak. This, I vow, I, Drogo, son of Bharbo. I swear before the Mother of Mountains as the stars look down in witness. As the stars look down in witness.

      • Petyr Baelish: (to Eddard Stark while holding a dagger to his throat) I did warn you not to trust me.

      • Petyr Baelish: (to Eddard Stark) We only make peace with our enemies, My Lord. That's why it's called making peace.

      • Cersei Lannister: (to Eddard Stark) When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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