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Game of Thrones Review: "The Pointy End"

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All Hell broke loose on Game of Thrones this week.

We had Ned in the dungeon, with Sansa discovering her false love for Joffrey won't save her from her fate... while Arya escaped the castle using "The Pointy End" of Needle. She experienced her first kill, and does anyone really think it will be her last?

Not a member of the Stark family found themselves safe, and I'd venture to guess the season will not wrap with any certainty of their fate.

Hallaluleija! Ghost was on screen more than a fleeting second and he actually had something to do: save Jon and the Commander of the Night's Watch. Finally, we saw they have a purpose other than to be breathing sigils for the Starks.

It was only moments later when Grey Wind bounded across a table in protection of Robb to gnaw two fingers off of the offending man. Their only purpose isn't to hurt others in protection of their masters, but I was thilled to see them finally get some action. No direwolf complaints from me this week; shocking, I know!

It took seven full episodes to give viewers an indication of how important the Stark children will be to the future of "A Song of Ice and Fire." But if that's what was necessary, I'll accept their decision. But I do want more.

Catelyn gave her full support to Robb as he lead an army of 18,000 to King's Landing. He was shocked that instead of telling him to retreat, go home and send seasoned soldiers in his place, she essentially told him if he lost in his battle, the Starks would be no more. Thankfully, she didn't put too much pressure on him. Either you win, or we all die. That seemed simple enough to Robb.

Robb is much like his father, with honor and courage to spare. How fun was it to Tom Cruise in the role of a Lannister spy? His movies haven't been doing so well lately and he picked a great show for a surprise cameo (tell me that Lannister spy didn't look like Tom!).

What was shocking was that Robb let him go. Sometimes a messenger can make a bigger impact than the death of someone the Lannisters wouldn't think twice about losing. Robb learned a lot by listening to his father.

My hope for him is that he doesn't let his honor get in his own way to the detriment of his family and his life, as did Ned. Like I've said before, some cards are better played close to the vest.

For the briefest of moments, I didn't hate Joffrey as he listened to Sansa beg for mercy for her father. Unfortunately, the one thing he asked in return was the one thing Ned would never do. There are some things worth dying for, and in this case, I would have to stand by Ned. I wouldn't want him to lose himself so completely and live a life of regret forever more.

Every week I fall more in love with the love of Drogo and Dany. Bringing the relationship to life on the screen has given it a completely different perspective than I got from reading the book. Emilia Clarke just knocks her portrayal of the Khaleesi right out of the park. At this point, I look forward to their scenes together more than any others.

Other thoughts:

  • Was that Rickon who walked into Bran's room? He's supposed to be three. Apparently, he's been eating well!
  • Hodor showing up naked in the woods was giggle-inducing. He looked like he was touched by white walkers he was so pallid.
  • Was it necessary to remind us that Lysa's son eats at her breast? Seeing it once was enough to bring up very painful memories as he grabbed at the laces on her gown.
  • I wish they would give some sense of the time passing. It tends to seem as if it's just a few days here and there, but I know it has to be more like months. As an example, from the beginning to the end of the episode, Joffrey was in the Throne Room, but Robb had moved an entire army what seemed like hundreds of miles.
  • After Arya used Needle, we didn't see her again. This episode had the feel that they bit off more than they could chew in the episode. After the pacing of last week, I was hoping for more of the same focus with less faces on the canvas to deal with. With only two episodes left, I expect an absolute whirlwind of activity to close out this first season properly.
  • Tyrion was genuinely surprised at the death of King Robert. Peter Dinklage cannot only deliver the snarkiest of lines, but the heaviest of thoughts with a mere glance. He's a wonder.

What did you think of "The Pointy End?" Did you expect more Arya, considering the name of the episode?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Loved the books and a fan of the series. I think that they should have made Ned and Robert more "bad asses". These guys WERE bad asses in the book. For hell sake the conqured the seven kingdoms. Did they have shortcomings in the book? Sure ....... but they were STRONG and feared. The series simply does not portray them that way.

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Theory brought up by @herman: Ned isn't Jon Snow's father. In the books, Lysanna Stark makes Ned promise & swear that she will be buried in winterfell. Why would she be so adamant about that? My guess is, Lysanna had Jon Snow with another person, Ned went to "save her", and found her dying in her birthing bed. She made Ned promise not to tell Robert who Jon's father was, bc Robert would have gone and killed the father. Also, the tower where Lysanna was being held was being protected by 3 kingsguards. Why would they be there if there wasn't some royal significance to someone inside? Ned tells Robert that he has had a bastard son to protect the life of the baby, and because of his honor he has to keep living with that tarnish on his name for the rest of his life. thoughts?

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Peter Dinklage is a brilliant actor and was the only person in the world I can see as the Imp. I have to say I agree with comments about the passage of time. I suppose it is difficult to pack so much material into 10 hours. Although frankly they'd have more time if they cut out most of the soft core porn. Seriously, I didn't need to see Greyjoy's pride and joy. How did that advance the plot? And the homophobia-inducing scene between Ser Loras, Lord Renley and the razor was not in the book. It was implied they were a little light in the loafers, but Martin left it up to the reader to decide. And I also don't recall Littlfinger being more of a smarmy pimp than a scheming councilor. I think he probably had "people" for that sort of thing in the books. Still, weenies, breasts, warts and all, it is by far the best treatment of a fantasy series I have ever seen, and that includes LOTR. I just wish my kids could watch it.

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I have just started reading the book. It's been about 2 weeks infact. But let me tell you, i will never make the same mistake again of reading after watching. it totally takes the fun out. Watching the lotr for eg. after reading is terrific. But the other way round is simply not a good idea. So far in the book i have read two stories about Jon's mother a)Rumors that after killing Ser Arthur Dayne, Ned carried the sword back to his sister Ashara Dayne who he slept with. The book precisely mentioned these to be rumors and is probably untrue because of the second confirmed fact. b)Robert was jesting about the only girl Ned slept with in the war. Her name to which Ned confirmed was Wylla. Anyways what i do want to ask the readers is
a) Will Jon's mother play an impt role in the future? Will she be a character we are already aware of And to @Genevieve, i am 95% sure your theory is wrong, because Jon Arryn and so ultimately did Ned Stark went there only to check his hair color. The fact that all the bastards of the king had hair black in color. Also, I think Ceresi, however evil she may be, would not do that to her child.

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well, there is one popular theory that jon snow is the bastard son of ned's sister lyanna and the prince rhaegar, as the period between jon's birth and Lyanna's kidnapping was about 9 months. Rhaegar was apparently very smitten with her, so its not too hard to beleive.

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Rickon is 3 in the book but in the show, Robb mentioned that he's 6 years old.

Uncle-jackass

@Genevieve, Interesting theory, although it's not in the books, there's no reason why the writers can't diverge off the books to add that interesting arc... I do remember something similar in the books that there were many theories as to who was the mother and father of Jon Snow. Leaving it to the audience's imagination or trusting the words of other character's word was always a mixed message. Ned Stark said that his biological mother was someone dear while I surmise it could be King Robert and Ned's sisters daughter?

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I have a theory. I haven't read the books. I think that blacksmith youth (the one frequently visited by King Robert) is the actual son of Cersei and King Robert - the legitimate heir. The youth remembered his yellow-haired mother. Cersei had a son who "died?" She would've known by the dark hair that it was Robert's and in her anger at his love for Ned's sister, she abandoned Robert's son, determined to produce an heir to the throne with Jaime.

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This episode was incredible intense and gorgeous. Winter has finally arrived and I am guessing for the promo of next week's episode things will only get worse for the Starks! I have hope for them and when are we going to find out more about Robert's bastard childs? Are they going to play any role in this whole mess?!

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its been on three minutes, what no pointless sex scenes yet? I love the program but FFS dont need to see girl on girl on dwarf on horse, well not yet

Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Shaggar: How would you like to die, Tyrion, son of Tywin?
Tyrion: In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a girls mouth around my cock.

You disappoint me child. We've told you of your father's treason. Why would you want to speak to a traitor?

Cersei
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