‘Game of Thrones’ Episode 8 ‘The Pointy End’ Recap; Episode 9 ‘Baelor’ Preview

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:21 am,

Game of Thrones is trucking along rather nicely, as per usual. Last week’s episode, “You Win or You Die,” was probably the most brilliant of the season so far, and last night’s “The Pointy End” wasn’t so bad either.

Today, we have a short summary of the George R. R. Martin-scripted episode 8 and, more importantly, the video preview for episode 9 entitled “Baelor.”

As always, if you’ve yet to see episode 8 or don’t want to know a single solitary thing about episode 9, DO NOT continue reading. In other words: SPOILERS AHOY!

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First, the recap (if you get confused, refer to our awesome Houses of the Game of Thrones infographic):

On last night’s episode of Thrones, things got more dire than ever for poor Ned Stark. Having been betrayed by almost everybody at King’s Landing, all of Ned’s men were murdered; his youngest daughter, Arya, is all alone and on the run; his eldest daughter, Sansa, is being prepped to wed the illegitimate “King” Joffrey. Worst of all? Ned, branded a traitor, is in prison and his chances of survival are looking bleaker by the minute.

game of thrones episode 8 the pointy end aria stark with a knife Game of Thrones Episode 8 The Pointy End Recap; Episode 9 Baelor Preview

The brave and bold Arya Stark

Northward, Ned’s oldest son, Robbert, receives a letter from Sansa – by order of Queen Cersei, of course – encouraging him to come to King’s Landing and swear fealty to the heinous Joffrey. Instead, Robb sends word to all the men and clans of the North who have sworn an oath to Ned Stark to prepare for war against the Lannisters.

Still further North, Jon Snow and company come across several dead members of the Night’s Watch (none of whom are his missing uncle) on the other side of the wall. These guys have been killed by the dreaded White Walkers (the boogeymen from the opening of the pilot), and like the little girl from the pilot, one of the dead Night’s Watch soldiers returns to life in blue-eyed zombie form to attack Jon Snow. Thankfully, Snow inadvertently discovers these zombies weakness when he kills one with a fiery oil lamp to the face.

game of thrones episode 8 jon snow and the white walkers Game of Thrones Episode 8 The Pointy End Recap; Episode 9 Baelor Preview

Ned Stark’s bastard, Jon Snow

Somewhere between Stark and Lannister territory, Tyrion Lannister and his champion, the mercenary Bronn, run into a pack of tribesmen who threaten to kill Bronn and take Tyrion as a “half-man” clown for entertainment purposes. As is his way, Tyrion manages to convince the tribesmen to guide them to his father, Tywin (Charles Dance), in return for riches and weaponry. Unfortunately for Tyrion, Tywin does promise the tribesmen and Bronn riches and weaponry – if and only if they fight in the coming war against the Starks. They agree – if and only if Tyrion fights, too. Poor Tyrion.

Across the ocean, Princess Targaryen learns that the warring ways of the Dothraki aren’t so kind.

game of thrones episode 8 sansa stark and dire wolf Game of Thrones Episode 8 The Pointy End Recap; Episode 9 Baelor Preview

The previously insufferable but now mostly redeemed Sansa Stark

Lastly, Ned’s daughter, Sansa – who nearly redeemed all her errors (and annoyances) in this episode – begs her betrothed Joffrey to spare her father’s life. Joffrey agrees, but only if Ned will take back his claim that Joffrey isn’t rightfully king.

Though it was very good, the episode was definitely a transitional one. It moved all the pieces around the board – and did so pretty deftly – but we’re basically in the same position now that we were at the end of the last episode: Ned’s in deep trouble. The Starks are against the Lannisters. The White Walkers are coming to kill the world. And the dire wolves on this show (played by amazing Siberian Huskies) are some of the greatest dogs to ever grace my television screen.

Now, check out the preview for Game of Thrones episode 9, “Baelor”:

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Here’s the official (and brief) summary for the episode:

Ned (Sean Bean) makes a fateful decision; Robb takes a prized prisoner; Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds her reign imperiled. (Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; directed by Alan Taylor.)

Only two episodes left of season 1, people. Are you loving Game of Thrones as much as we are? Let us know in the comments.

And remember, if you’ve read the books – DO NOT DISCUSS THEM HERE! There are plenty of other places on the internet for you to do that, we assure you.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays @9pm on HBO.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

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47 Comments

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  1. Best. HBO. Show. Ever.

    That is all.

    • Umm no. The Wire is the Best thing to come out of HBO. But this is up there with it.

    • +1 In my oponion this trumps my favourite all time tv miniseries band of brothers. Best show on TV period.

  2. YES HBO!

  3. While I love this series, I felt that this episode was a little rushed compared to previous episodes. I know there are a lot of plot points that need to be tied up, but they should have extended the season to cover these points in more detail. In the previous episodes, they spent their time on important character details that seemed to be looked over in this episode as the dialogue seemed rushed and shortened.

    I still love the series, can’t wait to the next episode, but if they want to do this series justice, especially in the second book, then they need to extend the number of episodes or break the second book into two seasons or else the show will have major plot holes with only ten episodes.

    • Hm. I don’t agree, but I’ve yet to read the books.

    • They absolutely NEED more episodes. This season would have been even more amazing then it is with 12 episodes but the subsequent sequel books get longer and longer. The show will need to adapt to the (sometimes extreme) size of the books/story. As a big fan of the books this show has been everything you can hope for and more. Best show on TV right now/(ever?)!

      • As much as I would love for this show to have more episodes, there’s no law that says it has to follow the books to a T. (That I’m aware of.)

  4. The scene with Syrio was, for me, hands-down the best scene the episode had to offer. It was something I was looking forward to, and HBO delivered.

    • OMG, my heart was pounding! I knew Arya would be okay, but I hope he made it out of there!

  5. That scene with the crows leaving Winterfell Rallying the troops, Was.. PRICELESS!!!!. HOLLYOOOD THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. ARE YOU LISTENING?

  6. HBO once again does a great job…I was glued to the Sopranos, enjoyed Buscemi in Boardwalk and now Game of Thrones proved to be great entertainment. I look forward to Sundays at 9PM…I don’t often get excited to watch T.V but when I do it seems like HBO does it…

    • This is the greatest show on television cant wait for EP 9…

  7. Definitely best show ever. I don’t know if I agree that Sansa has redeemed herself yet thou, but I think its coming. I can’t wait to see Cersei underestimate her!!!

  8. Rome, True Blood, Six Feet Under, Boardwalk Empire, Band Of Brothers, the inestimable Soprano’s and the towering The Wire….and now the epic Game Of Thrones.
    I’ve been saying this for ages to anyone who listens: “The best quality drama in the world is not at your Multiplex. I’ts American and it’s right there on your tv. It’s HBO!!”.

    • +1000000000

  9. I just remembered my favorite moment was when Lysa told Robin it was definitely NOT dinner time. Can I just say that was absolutely the creepiest thing I have ever seen on TV and thru all the graphic scenes of this season that is the only one I have had to cover my eyes for!!! How the heck did they even film that? Please tell me it was CGI…

  10. Ok, previous episode set the rithm this series should have.

    They´ve put “all in”. And this last episode begins with that rithm.

    But stales at the end. Goes back to the where we where 2 episodes back. Same flavor, same pace.

    And I have the answer… why?

    Whats wrong with Games of Thrones?

    It lacks a strong character. We have no “Aragorn”, no “Frodo”, no “Ender”, no “Harry Potter”

    We have no character that embodies strenght, honor, intelligences, wisdom, etc.

    Cheers

    • I have never disagreed with a Screen Rant comment more than I do right now. Every character in this show is “strong.” Which is to say, they’re all incredibly well-developed and interesting. Now, I don’t agree with you in the slightest that this show needs a main character that embodies all the things you listed–if all characters were that way, fiction would get extremely dull extremely fast. Having said there, there are at least half a dozen characters that embody all the things you listed in Thrones, most of whom are Starks.

      Every episode should not be at the pace of “You Win or You Die.” Good television needs these transitional episodes.

    • I have to agree with Ben here. What you’re saying is that you want a carbon copy of other fantasy works, and in saying that you’re completely missing the point. This show and this novel series have nothing to do with centralized characters. If you pick up the first book, the first thing you’ll notice is that every chapter is titled a different character’s name, and proceeds to follow from that characters point of view the entire chapter. The whole point of this series is broad scale.

      Having said that, even still, I think this series does have characters fitting your bill. Eddard Stark is all of those things. So is Lady Stark. So is Robb. I would argue that Tywen Lannister is as well, even though we have but brief moments with him so far. Arya Stark. Syrio! OMG! He’s epic. And sooooo many other characters that aren’t those things are still SO GOOD. Tyrion the Imp! He’s amazing. Drogo is badass, and Daenarys has far more depth than one would expect.

      I just don’t see how you can watch this show and say that the biggest weakness is in the characters. If anything, it has too many strong characters. Makes me wish there was much, much more.

  11. I think you din´t got my point.

    I´m not saying that the characters are weak. Not at all. Even more: I love some names of the last comment! (Tyrion is excellent)

    I´m saying that for real, there´s no one round character. In the sense of “huan being” round.

    No fair ruler:

    Stark in´t neither altruist, or intelligent. Remember he is there cause was called, he let the kingdom in the hands of a drunk, and he served for that drunk!

    Lady Stark: Really?

    No fair warrior:

    All the starks are in it for some personal gain, no for the greater good.

    I´m sorry but there´s no “Hero”.

    And I´m sorry to break the news for you but fantastic literature has managed to have (ad list) Hero in every great story without “becoming extremely dull extremely fast”

    • “All the starks are in it for some personal gain, no for the greater good.”

      What show are you watching??

      “And I´m sorry to break the news for you but fantastic literature has managed to have (ad list) Hero in every great story without “becoming extremely dull extremely fast””

      Listen, you have the right to your opinion. I’m just saying, I have rarely disagreed more with an opinion than the one you just stated.

      • Don´t worry Ben, we are just exchanging opinins on a Tv show, so I mean no ofense and take non as well :-)

        Can you please point me wich Stark is there fighting for the greater good and no for some personal issue?

        • I would argue it’s on you to point out how the Starks are fighting for their own personal gain first.

          • One of the major factors that makes this series excellent and so unlike many other fantasy series is that the characters are rich and not constrained to arbitrary values of right and wrong to fit a classical protagonist/antagonist niche. There are no truely good guys or bad guys, just very complex people with, depending on your point of view, totally legitimate motivations for their actions, and varying degrees of good and bad.

            The TV series is phenomenal with its casting, writing, directing, and quality of acting. It’s an incredibly rich complement to the book series. Even having read the book series two or three times now, I still look forward to each new TV episode because of how well it’s been realized.

            • “One of the major factors that makes this series excellent and so unlike many other fantasy series is that the characters are rich and not constrained to arbitrary values of right and wrong to fit a classical protagonist/antagonist niche. There are no truely good guys or bad guys, just very complex people with, depending on your point of view, totally legitimate motivations for their actions, and varying degrees of good and bad.”

              I agree almost entirely with what you said, but I guess this just comes down to personal belief as to what constitutes good and bad.

              All people everywhere are complicated, complex, and varying degrees of good and bad. Agreed. But I would argue there comes a point when some people are more bad than they are good, and therefore they’re on the bad side of the scale. A man who would kill a child because he just happened to catch him in the act of incest is a bad man. That doesn’t make him “evil,” but, in my opinion, it damn well makes him “bad.” Sure, he’s still extremely complicated and even sympathetic at times, but that doesn’t make him “not bad.” What I’m saying here is — there’s a world of difference between “bad” and “evil.”

              Now, as for the Starks — based on what we’ve seen of them in the TV show — I would plant them firmly on the good side of the scale, and I’d wager many who’ve watched the show thus far would agree. There’s very little that they’ve done solely for personal gain. Unless you count trying to hold the people responsible for crippling your child doing something for personal gain. There probably are examples, of course, but I doubt it would be enough to tip them over to “bad” or even “neutral.”

              Having said that, I agree that all the Starks are complicated human beings and not “entirely good” and what have you.

            • Come on! You sound like a press release :-)

              The characters are anything but very complex.

              Lannisters: Incestous, murderers, backstabbing killers.

              Lady Stark sister: Crazy breastfeeding-a-8-years-old woman.

              Old King: Drunk, lazy, lascivous.

              If you didn´t notice this are the bad guys :-)

              • Only going on TV presentation here (which is kind of important because some cahracters are portrayed a bit differently in the show compared to the books). I do draw on some background info from the books, but it’s nothing you couldn’t really deduce from what’s been shown so far.

                “Lannisters: Incestous, murderers, backstabbing killers.”
                -> Cersei spent years trapped in a marriage with a man she wanted to love her but who never loved or respected her back. She has had to hide the huge secret of the person with whom she found loving solace, for fear of losing her life, his life, and quite probably the lives of all her children.
                -> Jaime made a difficult decision to kill the Mad King at a point where said king was apparently planning to “burn them all” (though how said burning might have been accomplished we don’t yet know in-show), and has had to endure being looked down on by everyone since then even though he did what had to be done. He also had to keep quiet while the woman he loved was dishonoured by her husband, and pretend to respect and honour said husband who he’s sworn to protect.
                -> Tyrion has a huge burden on his shoulders as heir to House Lannister in spite of the fact that his father clearly wishes he were more like Jaime or that Jaime was heir (Jaime is older but part of the Kingsguard, a sworn brotherhood whose members can’t inherit). His father is a military genius, but Tyrion’s strengths are far from military. Like Jaime, he has to deal with being looked down on all the time, but it’s not even his fault – it’s a circumstance of his birth, totally out of his control. He’s very quick and clever, but people don’t see him for his powerful mind only for his stunted body.

                Lady Stark sister: Crazy breastfeeding-a-8-years-old woman.
                -> I’ll grant you this. She doesn’t reveal many sympathetic qualities so far! At the same time, she does show a certain extremely twisted, over-protective love for her son and clearly wants to protect him above all else. It’s also worth pointing out that she clearly wasn’t always crazy, since Catelyn trusts the letter she gets from her in the first episode. What might have happened to make Lysa the way she is now…?

                Old King: Drunk, lazy, lascivous.
                -> Robert does seem to be a very weak and irresponsible character, not stepping up to what the role of king demands from him. At the end of the day, though, he doesn’t seem to have ever wanted to be king, per se. He fought the Targaryens because of some great injustice relating to Ned’s father, older brother, and sister (whom he still loves deeply, even after so many years) and in the leadership vaccuum after the war, for whatever reason (the books explain, but the show hasn’t yet), he emerged as the top candidate for the throne. But he’d already lost all that really mattered to him, even in victory.

                Of course, all these characters have negative or unsympathetic aspects too, but they’re far from one-note.

    • JP

      It is true that this series does not seem to have one main character. One protagonist where the story being told is his journey, the events of the world around him are seen from the perspective of his heroic journey.

      However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The hero’s journey is a standard narrative technique that can help to engage an audience. However, it can also make the story seem less real, or else constrained. I have not read all the books, but this series seems to be more about this fantasy WORLD and the characters we follow just happen to be there at the time affecting the world, rather than the other way around. It’s a different sort of storytelling, and in a sense feels more like reading a dramatized version of history than pure fiction.

      In a “real” history, the events of the world rarely center around an individual except in a very limited manner. There are 1000 moving parts and all of them are integral to the entire narrative.

      • Yes! And that´s the reason that some chapters drags like a dunk turtle.

        Too many to show, too little time for character development.

  12. Not “huan being”, I meant “Human Being”

  13. Thanks for your useful and insightful contribution to a nice conversation.

    Cheers.

  14. Spoiler much?

  15. @Ben

    I think you should’ve (could’ve) mentioned Danaerys in your recap if only to mention that her interference/values may be undermining Khal Drogo in the eyes of his men. In the Game of Thrones she is an important player after all ;)
    Also, is Robb ever called Robbert? I always thought it was just plain Robb, might be wrong though.

    • RE: Khal Drogo – I haven’t read the books, but it seemed to me that if that were the case, he put those issues to rest when he ripped out that guy’s tongue.

      RE: Robb – I think you’re right, actually. My bad. I assumed it was also Robbert because (again, I assumed) he was probably named after King Robert.

      • Without straying into spoiler territory that scene may well prove to be quite important, although having to condense the story so much there’s very few in the show that aren’t tbh.

  16. I genuinely don’t know if you were referring to the books or what looks to be happening in the preview for episode 9, but FYI, Roguex — DO NOT TALK ABOUT FUTURE PLOT DEVELOPMENTS FROM THE BOOKS IN THE COMMENTS FOR THE GAME OF THRONES TV SHOW POSTS.

  17. This show is television magic.

  18. OMG best show ever!!! I want all the Lannisters to suffer severe pain. I want King Ned Stark to break out of his handcuffs in the dungeon and find Jamie Lannister, get in a one on one duel and just as Ned is about to lose, he sees his wife and kids and whips Jamies butt. Gosh I was so angry after this last episode, I hate the queen and her brat of a son.

  19. People of honor to watch:

    Eddard Stark
    John Snow
    Robb Stark
    Arya Stark
    The Greatjohn
    Tyrion Lannister
    Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch
    Samwell Tarley
    Cold Hands (to come)
    Syrio
    Dany Targaryan!!
    Osha the Wildling
    The Eunich

  20. Please, we discuss the TV show here. No spoilers or comments from the books are prefered (now I know things I dond´t wnat to know :( )

  21. The dogs are not Siberian Huskies…they are Northern Inuit dogs…

  22. Actually, there is a typical “Hero’s journey” in GoT. Jon Snow. He starts as outcast bastard blabla, joins a tough love brotherhood, and starts to make a difference. Granted, if that arc is truly a heros journey, he will only be at the start of it, but I guess there are 4 more books in which he has the chance to slowly rise to be a great hero…at least I feel that’s how his story is set up.

  23. So If anybody else has read the book I think I know what the final scene of the Season will be for those who have read the book will prob agree with me on what it might be

  24. This show gets better and better each episode. I love it. I am buying every season on DVD.

  25. Well, if you think about it, this isn’t your typical fantasy series. Ever since The Lord of The Rings, fantasy authors have followed a prototype. George R R Martin, Steven Erikson and R Scott Bakker don’t – hence, they are called the “New Wave” in fantasy. Their books are grittier and more realistic, don’t feature elves or orcs and their chief conficts are of men against each other. They like to play with various tripes and subvert key stereotypes. In a way, that is their strength.

    I don’t expect every fantasy story that I read to be a LOTR, because not everyone can be a Tolkien. And I’m sick of reading the same derivative story arc over and over again [I'm looking at you, Paolini!].

    So, in a way, the lack of a central hero/quest is the STRENGTH of this show/books.

  26. oops… play with *tropes*

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