Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review - Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 8 The Pointy End

With two episode left in the season after this, "The Pointy End" handles the run-up to war in splendid fashion, maintaining momentum and setting the stage for the next episode. Written by George R.R. Martin, the episode shows us what every party is doing, and in some respect is more hurried than the previous episodes. Yet we still get full immersion into the world, learning backstory along the way and getting character development.

At King's Landing, all is lost for the Starks. Ned is thrown in the dungeon, left to listen to Varys and his inaction. Arya manages to escape, although Syrio stays behind and likely dies, and Arya accidentally stabs a boy outside, marking her first kill. Like Jon said, stick them with the pointy end. Sansa, meanwhile, is perhaps left in the most difficult situation. Unlike Arya, who can only run, and Ned, who can only sit, she has options. She may not be the smartest person, but even Sansa knows trouble when it's there. She does her best to appease the Lannisters, telling them what they want to hear and writing a letter to her family members. That is, of course, what they wanted from her in the first place. But they also want something else, Ned to acknowledge their rule, placing further pressure on Sansa who has to get Ned to admit his fault. For a girl who only wanted to wear frilly clothing and be a princess, all of this is a tall order.

Elsewhere, war has practically begun. Jaime is already on the move and laying seige to Riverrun, where Catelyn is from. Tywin is as ready as ever, and is perfectly fine accommodating the demands of the people who nabbed Tyrion. Catelyn meets up with Robb who, urged by Greyjoy, is awfully eager for war. He even sends a spy back to Tywin to antagonize him. Robb seems a tad bit presumptuous, given his age, but he also needs confidence and has plenty of that.

The episode spends some time on Daenerys and her apprehension over Dothraki practices. Having been in a similar position to the conquered women a while ago, she wants to save them. Luckily, Drogo is quite enthralled with her and fights for her, ripping out an offender's tongue. While the plot doesn't exactly move the Dothraki any closer to Westeros (though they are gathering resources for ships), it poses a question as to the culture of the Dothraki. Clearly Daenerys wants them to stop certain practices against women, and that will be a huge problem when they enter Westeros. These practices are entrenched in their culture and more Dothraki will not like these changes.

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to read the book, but I'm about halfway done. I may finish before next week's episode, so I'll probably have more to say with regard to the book.

Score: 9.4/10
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