Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 8

The Pointy End

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 05, 2011 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
720 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Game of Thrones: The Walls Are Closing In

    Things for the Starks have gone from bad to worse as the Lannister regime inches closer to achieving total control over the kingdom.

  • Episode Summary


    With Ned captured, Arya gets help from Syrio Forel and Cersei manipulates Sansa. Up North, Robb Stark rallies his forces as a dormant enemy attacks the Wall. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys comes to grip with Dothraki warfare.

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    • Still not the show's full potential

      Ned is imprisoned and only has about three minutes of screen time in this episode, so you would guess that the show suddenly gets boring, right? Hell no, Robb is Lord Stark now and boy, is he badass in this episode. This is the first time that he really gets to be a major character and he owns absolutely every single scene he's in. We can expect one of them to die in the season finale (maybe both, but I sincerely hope not) and Richard Madden's intriguing performance as Robb managed to make me root more for him than for Ned. Catelyn finally getting together with at least parts of her family was also great to see and the scene with Robb and her was utterly fascinating. And while the Winterfell story part was clearly paramount in 'The Pointy End', most of the other locations were entertaining as well.

      Despite the huge events at the end of the last episode, King's Landing isn't that much in the fore as I'd expected it to be which is not generally a bad thing because even those scenes dragged a bit from time to time, so I think I would've only been bored with more scenes there. Lena Headey's turn was once again absorbing to watch and Jack Gleeson also gets more and more interesting, but I just feel that his character has way too little screen time to really let the audience get to know him.

      One crucial moment in this episode was Tyrion encountering his father Tywin for the first time to be seen on the show while having a lot of grubby companions coming with him. Their conversation wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped it to be, mostly because there wasn't anything new being discussed in the scene. In the end, Peter Dinklage proved once again to be a hugely talented actor and Charles Dance also did a very fine job as his evil daddy, the plot just wasn't that juicy.

      The weakest scenes of this episode were happening at either the Night's Watch or at whatever place the Dothraki scenes are taking place. Unnecessary supporting characters are being introduced again and there are some serious acting problems to be found. Even though George R. R. Martin, the author of the novels that are the basis for the series, wrote this episode, I feel like it isn't exactly how it was meant to be. Some important scenes last for too short, some less important scenes get too much time. I always feel like they don't use all the potential they've got.moreless
    • The Pointy End

      The Good:

      -"Watching is not seeing."

      -Lysa refuses to help Catelyn. Though they are sisters, there is a great distance between them. Betrayal of family - and the danger of doing so - seems to be a recurring theme.

      -White Walkers attack Jon and Ser Jeor Mormont on the Wall. It is the first time since the premiere episode that they appear.

      -Robb prepares himself for war. His closeness with his mother is evident, and the idea that the young must carry out the folly of those older - supposedly wiser - than they are seems to be another recurring theme.

      The Bad:

      -Like much of this first season, "The Pointy End" feels like a setup episode, and therefore lacks excitement.moreless
    • "I like living."

      As well as the show is doing a wonderful job of portraying the book, there always will be some differences. For one, it's making it seem like this upcoming war has mainly to do with the Starks and Lannister when in the book, the bigger threat was Stannis Baratheon to the Lannisters and Kings Landing. Also when Selmly let out his outrage, he mentioned how Stannis was the rightful heir to the throne before leaving. That was absent in the episode. Other than that though the episode has been pretty much on point. Syrio Forel made a grand exit, Arya got her first kill, Tyrion being hilarious as he always has, and zombies appear in the north.

      Just about all of the major characters got some screen time, and it's ironic that Ned Stark, who pretty much been the main character throughout this whole season, has gotten the least (though there is so much you can do with a prisoner trapped in a dark dungeon). The events of the Wall are intensifying; not just because of the attack from the White Walkers, but Osha has foreboded a greater danger to the north, not the south. It makes those events more interesting and engaging to watch out for. And Khal Drogo's massacre of Mago was, oh man, the most manliest thing I have ever seen. He tore his throat out with his frikkin bare hands! That's crazy. Robb Stark is a character that hasn't gotten much attention, but he got his due in this episode showing off his manliness in front of his bannermen's leaders. The episode did a great job of balancing development in all its storylines while building up the suspense.moreless
    • Winter is Coming For You

      As Joffrey takes the throne Lannister soldiers try to take Arya in the midst of her lesson with Syrio who manages to let her escape while Sansa becomes a prisoner to Cersei and Ned rots in a chamber awaiting judgment. Robb refuses to swear fealty to Joffrey and instead rides South to fight the Lannister armies trying to take Riverrun as Robb and the newly arrived from the Eyrie Catelyn whether to attack Tywin or Jaime in their assault. Tyrion, on his way to meet his father, runs into a group of hilltribes who he promises weapons if they spare his lfie and accompany him but they end up being enlisted in Tywin's fight against the Starks. More bloodshed will surely ensue next week but surely the scene stealer was Khal Drogo's throat rip of the insubordinate soldier of his defending Dany's honor after she was called a "foreign whore" for sparing the lives of women in a village they were raiding. The Dothraki Ship Fund, I'd donate to that. But the episode, though lacking of much action, still had Jon kill a Whitewalker zombie so there was the danger in the North to complement the danger of men in the South. Looking forward to where this goes from here and with only two episodes left should be one hell of a show. And poor sir Barristan for being stripped of his rank to the Kingslayer no less, sad for man who takes his oath so seriously is made a mockery of by Littlefinger no less, I hate him so much.moreless
    • *** Spoilers *** Fantasy has found its TV master

      Khal Drogo will kill all knights to rule the Seven Kingdoms ! That's a lot of Ks for a single series of words but it appears I have broken the third alphabet letter of my keyboard. No "see" ? We'll see ! The truth is that this 8th installment was so thrilling that it convinced me that Game of Thrones would make a great video game. Its gallery of personas is so exciting and diverse. Khal Drogo is probably to the show who Goro is to Mortal Kombat ! A baby crazy crab with a pigtail ? Show some respect ! Seriously his fight against one of his men was bloody brutal and I already anticipate how charismatic he'll look in Conan the Barbarian even if I'll never forget Arnold Schwarzenegger fantastic portrayal. Moreover the scene was mesmerized by what was happening on the winter front. The climatic contrast between both regions, like fire and ice, made me feel like if Daenerys was connected to Jon somehow. Is Drogoro the vessel that will allow her to unleash her inner dragon ? And what about the wolf, is it the dark side of the Snow ? It's obvious the writers blur the lines on purpose and I wouldn't be surprised if their bond became so strong that the death of the animal would be fatal to its Shadow Dancer.

      With a lethal Littlefinger on his throat I really worried for Ned's fate. In fact considering what happened to some other characters I wouldn't have been surprised to see him meet a quick death. They don't show mercy on Game of Thrones and that's definitely refreshing and plain bold ! That's why the scene with Cersei and Barristan was so intense because I was almost sure that they wouldn't hesitate to kill him or even call him a traitor. Ian McElhinney performance was knightly to say the least and I really hope his character will turn his back on them, save Ned and join the Stark to make her reign as short as possible. Yes because no one considers Joffrey rules. He's only a puppet in the hands of her evil mother ! But when their vicious smiles toward Sansa made me angry I have to admit that his attitude after her speech convinced me that there's still hope. Was his love declaration in the previous episode authentic ? I thought it was only an other of their mind games. It leads us to Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. The size of a dwarf but the talent of a giant ! His every lines are delightful of wit and the contexts they're told are just hilarious. In fact Jon Snow's chubby buddy reminds me a little of him because at first they look useless but once they begin to talk you quickly realize they compensate their physical weakness with bright intelligence. It's also the case for Arya and I hope her swordfight lessons will help her survive ! As for her brother Bran praying session it was both poetic and funny. A naked giant in the woods ? Gods in the leaves ? Just mystical !moreless

    Featured Episode Clip

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (9)

      • Eddard Stark: Tell me something, Varys, who do you truly serve?
        Lord Varys: The realm, my lord. Someone must.

      • Osha: (to Bran Stark about Robb) Your brother will get no help from them where he's going. The old gods have no power in the South. The weirwoods there were all cut down a long time ago. How can they watch when they have no eyes?

      • Samwell Tarly: (about the corpses) They were touched by White Walkers. That's why they came back. That's why their eyes turned blue. Only fire will stop them.
        Jon Snow: How do you know that?
        Samwell Tarly: I read about it in a book, a very old book in Maester Aemon's library.
        Jon Snow: What else did the book say?
        Samwell Tarly: The White Walkers sleep beneath the eyes for thousands of years. And when they wake up...
        Pyp: And when they wake up, what?
        Samwell Tarly: I hope the Wall is high enough.

      • Tywin Lannister: The rumors of your demise were unfounded.
        Tyrion Lannister: Sorry to disappoint you.

      • Lord Varys: What madness led you to tell the queen you had learned the truth about Joffrey's birth?
        Eddard Stark: The madness of mercy. (pauses) That she might save her children.
        Lord Varys: Ah, the children. It's always the innocents who suffer. It wasn't the wine that killed Robert, nor the boar. The wine slowed him down and the boar ripped him open, but it was your mercy that killed the king.

      • Robb Stark: (to a Lannister scout) Tell Lord Tywin winter is coming for him. Twenty thousand northerners marching south to find out if he really does shit gold.

      • Shagga: How would you like to die, Tyrion son of Tywin?
        Tyrion Lannister: In my own bed, at the age of eighty, with a bellyful of wine and a girl's mouth around my cock.

      • Syrio Forel: What do we say to the god of death?
        Arya Stark: Not today.

      • Syrio Forel: Watching is not seeing.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)