Lord Eddard Stark, ruler of the North, is summoned to court by his old friend, King Robert Baratheon, to serve as the King's Hand. Eddard reluctantly agrees after learning of a possible threat to the King's life. Eddard's bastard son Jon Snow must make a painful decision about his own future, while in the distant east Viserys Targaryen plots to reclaim his father's throne, usurped by Robert, by selling his sister in marriage.
An incident on the Kingsroad threatens Eddard and Robert's friendship. Jon and Tyrion travel to the Wall, where they discover that the reality of the Night's Watch may not match the heroic image of it.
Jon Snow attempts to find his place amongst the Night's Watch. Eddard and his daughters arrive at King's Landing.
Tyrion stops at Winterfell on his way home and gets a frosty reception from Robb Stark. Eddard's investigation into the death of his predecessor gets underway.
Catelyn's actions on the road have repercussions for Eddard. Tyrion enjoys the dubious hospitality of the Eyrie.
Viserys is increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress towards gaining his crown.
Eddard's investigations in King's Landing reach a climax and a dark secret is revealed.
Tyrion joins his father's army with unexpected allies. Events in King's Landing take a turn for the worse as Arya's lessons are put to the test.
Catelyn must negotiate with the irascible Lord Walder Frey.
Daenerys must realize her destiny. Jaime finds himself in an unfamiliar predicament.