George R.R. Martin wrote "The Pointy End" himself and is the sole credited writer of the episode.
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This is fitting, I think, because "The Pointy End" marks the beginning of something I've been noting as I read the books (I'm in the midst of A Storm of Swords now): that A Song of Ice and Fire could be renamed "Sansa and Arya Stark Can't Catch a Break". The way the Stark girls are treated, well, it makes me think maybe Martin should have gone on a few more dates in high school. He really has it in for those girls. The worst, and worser, and even worstest is yet to come for Sansa and Arya.
I could be wrong, but I think this is the first episode that had no "added" scenes**. Everything that happened was stuff I remember reading, though adapted for the time constraints of television plotting. I think this is also the first episode where Jaime doesn't appear and is only mentioned.
Quite a lot of plot got condensed in this hour, specifically regarding the war now raging between Robb Stark and the Lannisters. There's a good amount of Robb in this episode, which there had to be. Robb has been the least developed of the Stark sons (besides Rickon, and on the show, you forget there's a Stark son younger than Bran because I don't think he's been mentioned since episode one). I think even Theon Greyjoy has had more screen time in the series than Robb. Robb only becomes more and more important as he leads the North to war.
I liked the shot of all of the ravens carrying the call to arms to the Stark bannermen leaving Winterfell.
How lucky are Ned and Catelyn Stark there's no such thing as child protection services in Westeros? And how unlucky are the Stark children of that same fact? Talk about negligent parents; leaving Bran and Rickon alone in Winterfell for months on end. Robb too, as their older brother and legal guardian. Poor kids. Bran should watch Home Alone and boobytrap Winterfell against robbers.
Geography of Westeros becomes important during the war; much of the fighting revolves around the area of the Seven Kingdoms in between Winterfell and King's Landing. It gets a little confusing where Rivverun, the Fingers, the Trident, Harrenhall, Casterly Rock, Lannisport, etc. are.
I have to ask how well certain scenes played to non-book readers. For instance, when Sansa was called to meet Cercei, Littlefinger, Varys, and the Meester and told to write the letter to Robb - she was being completely played and manipulated by Cercei.
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A major detail missing from the episode: It was Sansa to went to Cercei and told him Ned planned to take her and Arya back to Winterfell, tipping her off that Ned was making his play to install Stannis as King and discredit Joffrey. Sansa's begging for Ned's life at the end was her trying to save her father's life after realizing her role in his being declared a traitor.
Probably the most fun thing in the episode was Tyrion's negotiating skills. Allow the Imp to talk and he can get himself out of just about any kind of trouble.
"How would you like to die?" "In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a woman's mouth around my cock."
I like the way that Imp thinks.
Poor Ned rotting in the dungeon had to account for the very logical question from Varys: "What madness lead you to tell the Queen" about his learning of her children's true parentage? Yeah, really, Ned.
One of the great disappointments of the series is that this is the end of Arya's "dancing" teacher Syrio. What a great character he was, and we didn't get nearly enough of him. Arya gets her first kill with Needle's "pointy end".
I liked how Jon was confined to quarters but it was a voluntary confinement. Apparently, he could and did let himself out at any time. And good that he did since he figured out how to kill that undead Other.
**I am wrong. This is an added scene: We finally got to see Drogo actually fight and kill like a bad ass, complete with Mortal Kombat-style "finish him!" throat ripping. I wonder if that was Jason Momoa's audition to become the new Conan?
Lastly, this isn't episode specific, but there was some weird Twitter controversy regarding Emilia (Daenerys) Clarke's Twitter account. Call it Kahleesi-gate. Follow along: @EmiliaClarke followed me last week and seemed legit. Apparently, that was a faker. There was, however, @Emilia_Clarke, who was the real actress. Twitter got confused and deleted @Emilia_Clarke, the actual person and not the faker. Then Twitter deleted @EmiliaClarke as well and attempted to restore the account to the real actress. Which has now happened. So follow @EmiliaClarke on Twitter if you like. She's the real Kahleesi. Sadly, she does not follow me.
(edited by John Orquiola on 6.6.11 1217) @BackoftheHead
Originally posted by John OrquiolaI have to ask how well certain scenes played to non-book readers. For instance, when Sansa was called to meet Cercei, Littlefinger, Varys, and the Meester and told to write the letter to Robb - she was being completely played and manipulated by Cercei.
Yeah, I thought it was clear. Having the four manipulators on one side of the desk ganging up on poor Sansa (alone on the other side) was a visual clue.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaOne of the great disappointments of the series is that this is the end of Arya's "dancing" teacher Syrio. What a great character he was, and we didn't get nearly enough of him. Arya gets her first kill with Needle's "pointy end".
In my heart, I'd like to think that Syrio offed everyone with his wooden half-sword. Not today.
From John's comments and the fact that a friend of mine quit the series after the first book because of "treatment" of women, I'm putting together what is going to happen. But Sansa is a dumb bitch, so I won't be too broken up. Actually, I thought some bad stuff was going to go down when the Hound showed up.
What I like about this show is that you can have characters you hate on the same side as your favorites. Cersei and Joffrey are Lannisters along with Tyrion. Hell, I even like Tywin. At the moment...
Top 3 1. Tyrion - Dude is so awesome I wish he wasn't a Lannister. 2. Arya Stark 3. John Snow
Bottom 3 1. Joffrey - What a prick. That kid that plays him is either a little shit or a great actor. 2. Pycelle - I hate this old fart. I was hoping Sansa would tell him to shut the hell up. 3. Cersei - I am a bit sympathetic to her, because Robert was not a great husband to say the least.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoFrom John's comments and the fact that a friend of mine quit the series after the first book because of "treatment" of women, I'm putting together what is going to happen. But Sansa is a dumb bitch, so I won't be too broken up.
I'm gonna defend Sansa a bit because I think she's probably the most misunderstood character in the series and I'm sympathetic towards her. I don't like Sansa, per se, but she's probably in the toughest spot of all the Stark kids.
The thing with Sansa is she's a Disney princess; she's consciously designed, I think, as a commentary on a fairy tale princess in these types of stories. (Unfortunately for Sansa, Game of Thrones is the opposite of a Disney movie.) Her whole life has been a fairy tale, a noble highborn girl to one of the most powerful Lords of the Seven Kingdoms, and she was fed tales of knights and chivalry since the day she popped out of Catelyn's womb. Her life got even more fairy-taleier when she got engaged to the crown prince of Westeros, who is now King. This should be awesome for her: she's one wedding away from being Queen.
Except it's a horrible nightmare. Her father's imprisoned and condemned to die as a traitor, everyone in her household is dead, her sister is missing, and her family is now at war with her future family, whom she is now a hostage to. You can say she brought it on herself, like when she chose to lie for Joffrey and it got Arya's wolf banished and her own wolf killed. But she's going to marry Joffrey and be Queen so she thought she was doing the right thing. Her family wants her to marry Joffrey, right? Isn't she one wedding away from the Lannisters being her family too? Remember, she's a kid. Maybe she should know right from wrong, but this is a world where what seems right can do an incredible amount of wrong. Ask Ned about that.
Sansa is barely past Tween age and couldn't yet comprehend, or wanted to comprehend, what we're privy to: how incredibly dangerous, backstabbing, and fucked up the politics are in King's Landing, which her father was trying to shelter her from. Sansa's great sin is placing her future family the Lannisters ahead of her own. She is just really beginning realize, too late, that the Lannisters are a nest of vipers. But she's still bound by oath to be one of them. It's a terrible position to be in, especially as a young girl now alone with no family or family friends, all of whom are dead, on the run, or imprisoned.
And look, Ned Stark is smart, courageous, noble, and well-aware of what he was getting into and he made a royal mess of things, so how can one reasonably expect better from Sansa Stark? Unlike her brothers or even Arya, Sansa's not physically and emotionally equipped for the hell that's happened and is about to come. I don't know, I can't help but feel bad for her.
Here's a very good piece on The Sins of Ned Stark and how they've affected his children:
When I read book one, I hated Sansa and its really only after awhile that you realize how terrible of a spot she is in that somehow gets worse. I agree with the Disney princess thing at the end of the day, I don't think she is smart. Arya is younger and had a bit of sixth sense Joffrey was a D-bag as well as the rest of the Lannisters. She is a typical rich bitch who has no idea what the real world is like. Yet, when she does experience it warts and all, she retreats back to the fairy tale.
The real commentary about Sansa I take away with her is how piss poor her education is. Cat was in the same situation she was in and she turns out to be one of smartest characters to some degree in the series. Sansa should have been taught even at that early of an age how the court works and the Game of Thrones. It all falls back on the old woman teacher who was all about crochet instead of power politics. Part of that you can blame on Cat and Ned for hiring the old bat in the first place. I believe Johnny O hit on the head, she is a lot like Ned where she has this idea that good will trump evil, because of the power of truth. Yet, in the Game of Thrones, it is only about winning, duh.
A big reason I have little sympathy for Sansa is Arya. Arya is younger, but has a lot more sense than Sansa. In mentioning that Arya figured out Joffrey was a D-bag, SANSA WAS THERE TOO! She's seen all the things that Arya has, yet she continues to dive right into the Lannister clan. I can understand wanting to be princess (that sounded pretty bad), but at least show a LITTLE caution.
Lots of great action and character development. Robb shows he's badass and will take the fight to the Lannisters. Syrio and Drogo having great fights. Tyrion doing what he does best, talking. Fucking awesome.
Btw, I don't remember but we never truely learn if Syrio died there right? I have this "we didn't see it so he might have survived" thing in my head.
Oh and in reply to what John said.
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Keep reading. Arya is the example of "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." It's not just random stuff that puts her in those situations. She's gonna come out of this the ultimate bad ass I think. Sansa..I'm not decided on how her role will play out.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoA big reason I have little sympathy for Sansa is Arya. Arya is younger, but has a lot more sense than Sansa. In mentioning that Arya figured out Joffrey was a D-bag, SANSA WAS THERE TOO! She's seen all the things that Arya has, yet she continues to dive right into the Lannister clan. I can understand wanting to be princess (that sounded pretty bad), but at least show a LITTLE caution.
Do they ever really give anyone on this show other than Spader, Shatner and Bergen that much to do, though? I really don't find any of the other cast all that interesting, or maybe it's just that those three are so good in their roles.