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Game Of Thrones Watch: Episode 8 - The Pointy End

Tonight’s installment of Game of Thrones was written by the mastermind behind the books, George R.R. Martin and I have to say, for everything that was squeezed into the hour, he did a fine job. There were even a few laugh-out-loud moments spread out, including a fairly classic Hodor moment. Hodor.

Tonight’s episode took us all over the map, but we’ll start with King’s Landing, because what’s going on there, is truly at the heart of the story right now.

King’s Landing

Ned was referenced more than he was actually shown tonight. Having been captured, he’s now waiting it out in the tower. Varys was kind (smug) enough to visit him and give him an update on what’s going on. Sansa was captured by the Hound and is being held hostage. Meanwhile, Arya managed to escape, thanks in large part to Syrio, who lived up to his reputation tonight when he took on all of the guards who arrived to take Arya. The last we saw of him, he was clutching a broken sword and facing the last of the guards as he told the god of death, “Not today.” Let’s hope he’s right.

Arya managed to escape and find her sword Needle, which she promptly stuck into the belly of a kid who was about to turn her in. Stick him with the pointy end, Arya!

So, Arya’s on the run and Sansa’s being used as Cercei’s puppet. The naïve girl sent letters out to the rest of her family, urging them to support King Joffrey. We’ll get to the responses in a minute. Summing up King’s Landing’s drama, there was some staff reshuffling as Tywin Lannister was made Hand of the King and Ser Barristan Selmy was forced into early retirement, which he definitely didn’t appreciate.

Winterfell

Tonight was a great episode for Robb. It’s make-or-break time for the Starks and Robb’s choices could make all the difference for the fate of the family.

Robb’s answer to his sister’s letter was to call the banner men and prepare to march south, with no intention of kneeling before Joffrey. When his orders were met with refusal from one of his men (and probably others who were less vocal about it), Robb convinced him by having his direwolf bite a couple of the man’s fingers off. Because the people up north are hardcore that way, this actually won the men’s respect, giving Robb the support he needs to literally rally the troupes. Robb also seemed to earn some measure of respect or at the very least, approval from Theon Greyjoy when he admitted to being afraid, which Greyjoy said was smart.

Catelyn spoke with her sister about gaining her support and the support of the men guarding the Vale, but Lysa made it clear that her biggest priority is to protect her son (and Robin’s biggest priority was getting at his mother’s breast for some pre-bath dinner). Catelyn left the Vale and met up with Robb. It’s evident that she wants to give her son as much help and support as he needs, but unlike her sister, Catelyn doesn’t hover as a mother. She knows when to step back and let him lead. Catelyn and Robb both understand the consequences if they fail to defeat the Lannisters, but their options are limited and backing off isn’t likely to get them anywhere.

Robb made some bold moves tonight, among which was letting a captured scout return to the Lannisters with a warning message for Tywin. Hey, if you’re going to march in guns blazing, there’s no sense being shy about, right?

Finally, on the subject of Winterfell, Bran got some screen-time as the wildling Osha encouraged him to listen to the wind. With dreams of three-eyed ravens filling his mind at night, Bran does seem to be in touch with things like that. Osha also offered some words of warning, stating that Robb and his armies should be marching north as opposed to south. The threat that exists beyond the wall may be much bigger than the mess of drama down south. Hodor interrupted by wondering in and impressing Osha with his nakedness.

The Wall

Last week, a couple of bodies were found frozen north of the wall. Tonight, the bodies were brought south to be looked at and pondered over. Sam pointed out that there was no smell coming off of them, which suggested they hadn’t been dead that long, despite the frozen solid state they were in. Jon suggested burning them, but given the mysterious state they were in, it was decided that they’d be examined first.

Setting the bodies aside gave them the opportunity to reanimate and start attacking people. Jon, who was locked in solitary after he attacked Thorne, who mocked him and called him a “traitor bastard,” came upon one of the corpses and was attacked by it. He fought well, but stabbing it repeatedly and cutting off its hand did little to slow it down. It was fire that did the trick.

Sam apparently knew about the fire trick and that the bodies had been touched by the white walkers. Information like that might’ve been helpful when they first found the bodies, but perhaps he hadn’t thought of it then. Sam revealed that he learned about the white walkers from an old book. These things sleep under the ice for thousands of years and when they wake up… “I hope the wall’s high enough.”

It sounds like Osha’s right to think Robb’s headed in the wrong direction.

Meanwhile, out East…

Khal Drogo is trying to raise funds to buy boats and to do that, raping and pillaging is necessary. The raping is a reward for good pillaging, which doesn’t please Dany. She put a stop to it and began taking the village women as her own, claiming them so they couldn’t be mounted. This didn’t fly for some of the Dothraki men, including one who challenged Drogo after he took Dany’s side on the matter. It seems Drogo credits his unborn son for his wife’s newfound fierceness.

Drogo threw down with the Dothrakian man who challenged him and gave True Blood’s Russell a run for his money when it comes to horrifically awesome displays of removing a body part. Drogo pulled the man’s tongue out through his slit throat. That’ll teach him not to talk back.

Drogo allowed himself to be sliced by the man’s knife at the start of the fight and one of the women, deemed a “witch” by the Dothraki men, offered her services as a healer. We’ll have to wait and see how that works out, though Drogo didn’t seem very concerned by the injury.

Tyrion

Tyrion gets his own section because he’s awesome and because he got the biggest laugh of the night. Not only was he back (yay!) but he was in top form tonight as he marched away from the Eyrie with Bronn, promising him that he’ll deliver on gold, women and whatever else he wants.

On their journey, they were nearly killed by a bunch of wildlings. When one of them asked Tyrion how he wanted to die, he promptly responded, “In my own bed, at the age of eighty, with a belly full of wine and a girl’s mouth around my c*ck.” This earned him some laughs and after that, some fast-talking earned him his and Bronn’s life and some tentative support (in exchange for promises of gold and the Vale of Arryn as a bonus).

Bronn also contributed to the laughs tonight when Tyrion introduced him and the wildlings to his father. Tyrion attempted to give formal introductions for the wildlings and Bronn, but when he got to Bronn and couldn’t remember Bronn’s father’s name, Bronn answered simply, “You wouldn’t know him.” He’s probably right. I don’t think Bronn’s family golfs at the same club as the Lannisters.

Tywin agreed to the deal made by Tryion to work with the wildlings, but part of the arrangement is that Tyrion will fight at their side, which gives the merry band of men (and women) the added advantage of having a Lannister semi-hostage. It was a wise move on their part as it’s less likely that they’ll be used as bait or pawns in the fight. And a fight is most definitely coming as the Wolf heads south to throw down with the Lion.