Here be dragons.
"Fire and Blood," the season finale to the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones, dealt overwhelmingly with the fallout resulting from "King" Joffrey's execution of Ned Stark (in what can charitably described as a shortsighted political move), but ended with another memorable event even fewer probably saw coming: the hatching of Daenerys Targaryen's dragon eggs. To put it mildly, this will likely have significant geopolitical ramifications for the Seven Kingdoms.
Plus, holy shit: dragons!
If I have any complaint about the season ender, it's that it took HBO four minutes of True Blood and Entourage promos (seriously, who still watches Entourage?) to get to the finale, and after that another two minutes of recaps. I'm spoiled: I want a full freaking hour, dammit.
But never mind that. "Fire and Blood" picks right up where last week left off. Yoren (the Black Brother charged with finding recruits for the Wall) drags Asya away from the Sept, calling her "boy" and chopping her hair off to complete the impromptu disguise. He's taking her and some 20 rapers, murderers, and cast-offs (and Gendry, Robert's blacksmith bastard), to the Wall. It's a good plan, provided "Arry," as she's now known, can hold her own. After watching her deal with a couple would-be Needle thieves, I feel pretty confident.
It doesn't take long for news of Ned's death to reach Winterfell. Bran gets advance notice, courtesy of his three-eyed dream crow. Rickon also has a vision of Ned's ghost, in the crypt, and is hanging out down there with his rather angry wolf ("Shaggydog"...I'm sure he won't grow to regret naming him that). The finale didn't stray much from the season's pattern of paying abbreviated attention to the youngest Starks, and sure enough, that's the last we see of them.
Further south, Catelyn and Robb take the news...poorly, as might be expected. Catelyn counsels patience, at least until they get Sansa and Arya back, then Robb's free to kill all the Lannisters he wants. And he may get his chance soon, for while discussing which Baratheon brother's claim to the throne the Northmen should throw their support behind - Renly or the as-yet unseen Stannis - the Greatjon instead wonders why they can't rule themselves, proclaiming Robb the King in the North. The others quickly follow suit.
Catelyn pays the captive Jaime Lannister a visit. He confesses to shoving Bran out the window, but if she was hoping for contrition, she comes away disappointed.