40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S1E8

Didn’t I already watch this one? Oh my God, I’m already getting everything mixed up. Well, as part of my stupid quest to re-familiarize myself with the GOT story, I’m going through each episode. I started this journey 40 days before the Season 5 premiere. There are 40 episodes. You do the math. Here’s episode 8, “The Pointy End.”

It opens with Syrio and Arya set against a backdrop of King’s Guard attacking people. Syrio is such a bad-ass. Like when you watch Mr. Miyagi kicks those dude’s asses from Daniel-san’s point of view. Didn’t that happen?

Sansa encounters the Hound when she returns to her chambers. Arya finds her family’s belongings, earlier packed for their journey home, now in disarray. She searches for Needle and when a stable boy appears and makes some frankly very distubring insinuations, she kills him.

The Spider visits Ned in prison and continues to manipulate him. I mean, seriously, Ned–the man with the strongest code–is the most manipulatable. Maybe that’s what makes a person so easily manipulated, a strong code.

At the Wall, the Watch finds two bodies (one missing a hand). Jon suggests burning them. Mormont wants Aemon to check them out. But first, Mormont has news from King’s Landing and must speak to Jon Snow. This is Jon’s Dark Side Cave, right?

Then the Lannisters confront Sansa to scare the shit out of her. Pycelle and Littlefinger are happy to join in Cersei’s plot to freak this Stark out. Cersei wants Sansa to write a letter to Robb. But of course, Luwin knows those are Cersei’s words. Robb tells Luwin to call the banners so he can ride to King’s Landing with an army.

In the Eyrie, Cat confronts Lysa about the news that Ned is in prison and Robb is starting a war. Lysa kept it away from her. Lysa’s almost adult child lunges at his breasts because he’s hungry. Ew.

On the road back to King’s Landing, we get to know Bronn and Tyrion a little better. Based on money, their relationship is pretty uncomplicated. But Bronn is a powerful ally for Tyrion. At least, he will be. When the weirdos in the woods sneak up on them, it’s Tyrion’s wit that saves them.

At the Wall, whatshisdick goads Jon into attacking him. He’s stopped before even landing a blow but then Mormont confines him to quarters. This would be a perfect time for Jon to save Mormont’s life or something. Luckily, Ghost smells dead people so Jon goes to check on the Lord Commander where he’ll defeat the undead corpses that attack him.

I forget what city or tribe the Dothraki are attacking in the next scene but it’s significant in that Dany orders her bloodriders to stop Drogo’s army from raping some women. In the ensuing “discussion” about Dany’s actions, Drogo suffers a wound that will eventually kill him. Possibly, also thanks to this witch doctor whom Dany has saved. That’s a real bummer.

At Winterfell, Robb hosts his bannermen. The Greatjon gets super pissed about not leading the van and Robb possibly wargs into Grey Wind to eat Greatjon’s fingers. Then he wakes Bran in the middle of the night to say he’s leaving.

As Bran prays in the godswood, Osha approaches and befriends him. Her hair is at her most Robert-Smith-Disintegration period in this episode. Given what becomes of Bran, Osha’s conversation with Bran is really instructive. She tells him about the Weirwoods and how the old gods answer prayers. She tells him about the giants beyond the walls and how the real danger is coming from the north. That’s more religion and fact than he’s gotten from anyone else so far. Like, listen little dude, when you live in a tree in the north above the Wall, this will all make sense.

Robb’s army encounters Cat and Rodrik and she and Robb catch up. Robb shows her the letter from Sansa. And I’d just like to point this out, I can grow a better beard than Robb. Cat lays out the case for Robb’s war better than he has done. She recognizes that he would never be able to swear fealty to Joffrey and escape alive. Of course, they wouldn’t have even needed this war if Ned had chosen one of dozens of other options.

Tyrion walks Shagga and the Stonecrows and hill people into Tywin’s tent which has got to be like the many times he’s snuck a lady into Casterly Rock.

Robb and his bannermen discuss their plan of attack and make their first mention of Lord Frey. Yeh, pursue that. Their discussion is interrupted by some of his men bringing in a Lannister spy. Robb decides to show mercy and let him go. When Cat rises to contradict him, he shoots her a look of pure ice. It’s funny how our impression of Robb was that he was such a steady, mature commander. Great thing that his mom arranged that marriage for him.

We see a gathering before King Joffrey as Pycelle and Cersei conduct the business of the realm. Then Cersei removes Barristan from his position as head of the King’s Guard. Barristan does what every person in this kingdom should do and strips off his uniform and sword and storms out. Sansa steps forward to beg for mercy for Ned. As her noble act is dragged off course by the heckling of Pycelle and Littlefinger, Sansa assures Joffrey that Ned will confess. Good work, Sansa.