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King Robert visits the northern castle Winterfell to ask Ned Stark to be the Hand of the King, which is like prime minister. In King Robert's group was his queen, Cersei Lannister, and a number of other Lannisters. The previous hand had been killed under mysterious circumstances.
Just after the royal party arrives, Ned’s wife, Catelyn, receives a message claiming that the Lannister family was responsible for the death of the former Hand. She tells Ned, who accepts the position as Hand in order to protect Robert from the Lannisters.
Winter is coming!
Meanwhile, on a continent east of Westeros, Daenerys Targaryen marries the warlord Khal Drogo, one of the leaders of the Dothraki people. Daenerys and her brother Viserys are the last surviving members of the family Robert defeated to become king, the Targaryens. They are an old family said to be descended from dragons, and Viserys thinks with Khal Drogo’s army he can retake the throne.
"Not a queen," said Dany. "A Khaleesi."
Ned’s son Bran then discovers Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime Lannister engaging in an affair, and Jaime pushes Bran from a window to silence him. Everyone thinks Bran simply fell while climbing around the castle. While Bran is still unconscious, Ned leaves Winterfell and rides south with Robert.
"The things I do for love."
An assassin tries to kill the unconscious Bran and fails. Ned finally reaches King’s Landing to find that Catelyn has sailed to the city in secret to discover the truth about the assassin. She has the dagger the assassin used, and after examining it, Catelyn’s childhood friend Littlefinger recognizes it as belonging to Tyrion Lannister.
Ned slowly begins to unravel the mystery of why the previous Hand was killed. He knows it has to do with something the Hand learned about King Robert’s children.
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