Originally Posted by scorpio
Minor point, Lysa actually flees back the Eyrie, which is the Arryn family stronghold.
Oops, you're right, of course. And the Eyrie should lend itself to some pretty cool FX.
Two other things to mention.
First is the Icewall. It's a rough analog to Hadrian's Wall. North of the wall is a bitter cold wilderness, occupied mostly by the "Wildlings." Think of them as barbarian Scots, and you won't be far off. The wall is manned by a small force of "rangers" known as the Night Watch. (Some of the the guys we saw in the introduction.) Their main job is to keep the Wildlings pinned up behind the wall - preventing raids into Westeros.
Some of the soldiers in the Night Watch are volunteers; others are criminals or exiles who were sent there permanently, as punishment. It's basically a life sentence, so deserters are hunted down and executed on the spot. That is part of Stark's job as warden of the north.
Second is the whole deal with the seasons. On this point, my memory is vague, but Westeros has a pattern of very long summers (or temperate seasons) - sometimes a few years at a time, followed by long and harsh winters. Some winters last an entire year or more - which is really tough on the food supply. As a general rule, the longer the summer, the longer and nastier the winter that follows it. As the story begins, we've had a very, very, very long "summer" and there is some concern that when winter finally comes, it's going to be a real biatch. But people have other things on their mind and no one is really in a panic about it just yet.
And I think that anything else I say would just be a spoiler.