Copyright © HBO
This shot makes everything plain: it’s not Gared being executed, as originally written in the novel, but Will! A very interesting change, this. Perhaps they preferred showing Lord Eddard killing a younger man?
Here it’s plain that the execution bloc is a wooden one. And that the Winterfell guards have mail shirts under that armor of theirs. You can also glimpse the stern, whiskered figure of Ser Rodrik Cassel, Winterfell’s master-at-arms. Amazing beard there, gathered under his chin and bound with ties or rings or some such. Ser Rodrik later remarks that the last person to have seen him without whiskers was his mother, long since dead.