GAME OF THRONES “The Pointy End” Review

GAME OF THRONES "The Pointy End" Episode 8 (2)

GAME OF THRONES “The Pointy End” Season 1 Episode 8 – Author of the original story George R.R. Martin pens the best instalment of the series so far. Jam packed with misery and despair, this episode abandons the clumsy sex-filled exposition which has really marred the series and fleshes out some characters even beyond the scope of the book. This was a fast pace, gripping hour of television and for our beloved Stark clan, it showed that despite the desperate, hopeless position they find themselves in, they’re not even close to the bottom.

This episode was a string of pearls. I don’t mean that in a corny way, but I mean that there were several scenes which I just want to rewatch because they were so brilliant. I’ll run through a few of my favorite moments, and if I miss any of your favorites (or least favorites) let me know in the comments.

Syrio’s death. I have read the books, but I forgot about Syrio’s death in the books. I don’t think I’ll forget that wonderful, sad fight between Syrio and Cersei’s men as he gives Arya time to flee. The choreography was marvellous, the shiny steel swords against Syrio’s wooden practice stick was beautiful and his death-off screen, signified by his broken sword-was more touching than I thought possible, simply because he’s only had a bare handful of scenes. It’s a pity we left Arya so early in the episode: she was gone after the first amazing five minutes, and I’m torn between wishing we’d gotten more of a reaction from her after she stabbed the stable boy with Needle (the small sword Jon Snow gave her before she left Winterfell, and the source of the episode’s title: “Stick him with the pointy end.”) Maisie Williams has not been given as much as she deserves (thanks to way too much boob waggling) but what she has been given she’s knocked out of the park.

Speaking of tremendous acting, where the hell did Natalia Tena as the wilding woman Osha come from? She’s freaking amazing! Between her and Old Nan, I’ve never been so scared just watching someone speak. I know she’s amazing, because not even the sight of butt naked Hodor could wrench me out of the moment of that scene. In the books Osha was a character who pissed me off. I don’t know why. With literally two scenes (the scene with Bran in the forest and last week’s scene with Theon) she’s elevated into my list of favorite characters.

The reunion between Catelyn and Rob Stark. Rob has never been given enough screen time, so his storyline in this episode was sort of weird to watch, but their non-hug as she sees him for the first time in months was brilliant: the last time she saw him he was in a castle minding his father’s business and taking care of his two younger brothers. Now he’s camped out with an army ready to wage war against the most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms. He cannot be mollycoddled, and its only after the men leave that she can hug him.

Tyrion story was a bit sudden: here he’s camping, then he’s interrupted by a bunch of dudes who look a lot like Celts (or so I presume). Then he’s off to his father’s camped out army and now he’s off again to fight a battle alongside these Celt dudes. Still, the abrupt storyline was worth it if only for the scene between Tywin and Tyrion. I predict that any scene between Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage is going to be a scene to savour.

Jon Snow had his hands full dealing with zombies, but in truth the whole bit on the Wall was for me the weakest part of the episode, despite the introduction of zombies. This isn’t to say that the stuff on the Wall was bad: it’s just that the rest of the episode was seriously speeding ahead momentum wise, whereas Jon Snow’s storyline has really only just begun.

Another actor who really surprised me is Jason Momoa, who brings a ferocious energy to his character and as I watch his riling performance I have no doubt whatsoever that he is Khal Drogo, leader of a nation, a man who has never lost a fight. It’s damn stirring stuff and his fight in this episode was a pure Braveheart bloodlust moment. Even though some of the “savages” stuff makes me squirm, simply because in the books, though they’re portrayed the exact same way, the culture of the Dothraki people is given more depth which on the screen is simply not feasible in a sense of time.

Sansa Stark has always been a character interesting to me. I know a lot of fans of both the book and series deplore her, but the reasons many deplore her are the reasons I find her intriguing. She’s a young girl with big dreams. She wants to marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after as queen of a glorious kingdom. This isn’t such a terrible dream for a fifteen year old (or thereabouts) girl. Until her father became Hand of the king, her dreams were just the fairytale imaginings of a young girl. Once her father became Hand, once Robert Baratheon decided to wed her to Joffrey, her dreams became a reality. Sansa herself is someone whose personality is defined by her dream-I mean in her eyes, not ours. Until this episode it was clear she viewed herself on a sort of career ladder, and we see her for what she is: a naïve girl with a silly crush, not on Joffrey, but on prince (and now king) Joffrey (oh, bravo to Jack Gleeson for bing the show’s biggest twerp. It’s a difficult achievment, but Gleeson is just wonderfully hateful). She is perhaps the most innocent of the Stark children, indeed the most innocent character of the series. She promises Cersei that she won’t “hatch” any plots in the future, her letter to her brother pleading for him to swear fealty to Joffrey was not out of a selfish act of self preservation. She simply wanted to do whatever she could to help her father. She believes in the fairytale traditions of honor and chivalry. In essence, she is truly her father’s daughter, and in a world which rewards cruel cunning over honesty and loyalty taking after the noble-to-the-point-of-foolishness Lord Stark is not the best thing.

I loved the acting and script of this episode. I hope that next year Game of Thrones manages to make me love the directing as much. With the exception of Ned’s scene in the dungeons, the scenes were (outside of production values) quite bland and often poor directing-wise. There were some very weird editing cuts made-like the close up cuts between Khal Drogo, Dany and the disgruntled would-be rapist. It’s an issue which I’ve noticed before, but the story is so compelling and the production values so amazing and the acting of such high calibre that I’ve usually been able to ignore the less than stellar directing on offer. But really, this show still could look better than a film if they managed to get the right directors.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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