“Tell me something, Varys. Who do you truly serve?”
“The Realm, My Lord. Someone must.”
– Ned Stark and Varys “The Spider”
In episode 8 The Pointy End Ned continues his fall down the Leaderboard as Cersei and Joffrey tie for first place. We meet Shagga leader of the Stone Crows, a hill tribe in the Vale of Arryn whose alliance helps push the scores of Tywin and Tyrion.
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The Red Keep has become a battlefield as Stark men are slaughtered in every corner of the castle. Septa Mordane is captured and tells Sansa to run to her room and bar the door, but is seized by the The Hound before she can reach it. Arya is able to escape the fray with the help of her “dancing instructor” Syrio Forel. Thankfully she is able to retrieve Needle before a stable boy seeks to stop her. She kills to boy and continues her escape. Meanwhile Ned is imprisoned in the black cells with only Varys for comfort.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane receives 1 Capture point.
Eddard ”Ned” Stark receives -1 Captured points.
Sansa Stark receives -1 Captured points.
Septa Mordane receives -1 Captured points.
Arya Stark receives 1 Survival point for escaping the Red Keep and 1 Morghulis point for killing the stable boy.
Far to the north the Night’s Watch inspects the bodies found by Jon’s direwolf. Sam notes that the corpses show no sign of decay. Jon suggests they burn them, “the Wildling way” another brother names it. Lord Commander Mormont agrees, but wants Maester Aemon to examine them first. Upon returning to the Wall raven is waiting with news of Ned Stark’s imprisonment.
Sansa is brought to the Queen and is told that the only way she an help her father is by urging her brother to come to King’s Landing and bend the knee. Upon receiving the letter Robb immediately senses a trap, “I’ll go to King’s Landing. But not alone. Call the banners.”
Sansa Stark earns 3 Alliance points for trusting the Small Council and writing her brother.
Cersei Lannister earns 3 Alliance points for convincing Sansa she can help her father.
Robb Stark receives 2 Call The Banner points for declaring war on the Iron Throne.
Catelyn has and angry confrontation with her sister when she learns Ned has been named a traitor. Lysa makes it clear that the knights of the Vale will stay in the Vale, she will not help her sister’s family. Meanwhile Bronn and Tyrion are making the dangerous trek out of the Vale. Tyrion solidifies his alliance with Bronn telling the sellsword, “If the day ever comes when you’re tempted to sell me out. Remember this: Whatever their price, I’ll beat it. I like living.” Bronn takes it to heart and is quick to take up arms in Tyrion’s defense when they are surrounded by hill tribesmen. Tyrion sees quickly how hopeless the situation is and moves to make a deal. He says they have a common enemy in House Arryn whose andal ancestors had displaced the tribes centuries ago. Tyrion offers to arm the clans with Lannister steal so they may reclaim the Vale from House Arryn. Shagga Son of Dolf of the Stone Crows agrees.
Tyrion Lannister earns 3 Alliance points for his agreement with the Stone Crows.
Shagga earns 3 Alliance points for allying with Tyrion.
At Castle Black Ser Alliser Thorne taunts Jon about his father’s imprisonment. When Jon lunges at him a disappointed Commander Mormont confines him to his chambers. However later that night his direwolf Ghost is restlessly pawing at the door. Jon goes to investigate and finds the risen corpse of one of the brothers they had found beyond the Wall. Jon tries to attack him, but even plunging a sword into his heart does not stop the risen brother. Commander Mormont emerges from his bed chamber with a lantern in time to witness the dead brother pull Jon’s sword from his heart. Jon grabs Mormont’s lantern heaving it on the wight and ushering the Lord Commander away from the flames.
Jon receives -1 Capture point for his confinement, 3 Victory points and 1 Morghulis point for vanquishing the wight, former brother of the Night’s Watch, Othor, and -1 Wound point for burning his hand.
Jeor Mormont earns 1 Capture point for confining Jon Snow and 1 Survival point for his escape from the wight.
The White Walkers receive -3 Defeat points for the failure of their attack of the Night’s Watch by the wight.
Across the Narrow Sea Drogo’s Khalasar lays waste to a Lazareen City, “Lamb men” the Dothraki name them. Dany is disturbed as she witnesses the bloody price she must pay to win the Iron Throne. She sees heads piled high, women being raped and taken into slavery. She seeks to bring the women under her protection much to Drogo’s bloodriders agitation. They have shed blood for their Khal and the spoils of war are their reward, including these women.
Khal Drogo earns 3 Victory point for his defeat of the Lhazareen.
One bloodrider, Mago, goes to Drogo demanding he intercede. Daenerys defends her actions strongly much to Drogo’s pleasure, seeing her fierceness as a sign of his unborn son’s ferocity. Mago then turns on Drogo declaring “A Khal who takes orders from a foreign whore is no Khal.” Enraged by the insult Drogo challenges him. Mago rushes at his Khal slicing into his chest, but Drogo merely smirks and pushes the blade deeper. After taunting as to how Mago’s body will be desecrated Drogo proceeds to cut Mago’s throat open and rip out his tongue. Daenerys rushes to her husband and urges him to treat his wound. A woman saved by Daenerys Mirri Maz Durr explains she is a priestess and can help. While Drogo’s bloodrider, Qotho, dismisses the woman as a “magei” Daenerys speaks for her and in the end Drogo relents to appease his wife.
Khal Drogo earns -1 Wound point for the injury to his chest, 3 Victory points and 1 Morghulis point for his fight with Mago.
Daenerys Targaryen earns 3 Alliance points for defending Mirri Maz Durr.
Mirri Maz Durr earns 1 Survival point for being saved by Daenerys and 3 Alliance points for allying with Daenerys.
Back in Winterfell the young Robb Stark is having trouble commanding the respect of his bannermen. Particularly belligerent is Lord Greatjon Umber, who threatens to take his men home at a perceived slight, Robb warns him that action would make him an oathbreaker. Enraged by the insult on his honor the Greatjon rises grabbing for his sword, but is stopped when Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind bounds in biting off 2 of his fingers. The tension is surprising relieved when the Greatjon makes a joke and laughs heartily. Greatjon Umber receives -1 Wound point for the removal of his fingers and 3 Alliance points for accepting Robb’s command.
Robb Stark earns 3 Alliance points for the Greatjon’s allegiance.
Later Robb says goodbye to Bran explaining he is going to rescue their father and will return soon. When he leaves the baby of the Stark family, Rickon, emerges lamenting to Bran that “They’ve all gone away.” Bran tries to reassure his younger brother that they will all be home soon, but Rickon is unconvinced. The next day Bran goes to the godswood to pray for his family when he is approached by Osha, the wildling woman who participated in his attack. Though chained at her ankles, she has been given leave to attend the godswood as they are her gods too. Bran asks her about the land beyond the Wall. She replies ominously that Robb is marching in the wrong direction, the true war is to the North.
At the Wall the brothers burn the remains of the Wight. Sam explains that the brothers they found were touched by White Walkers, raising them from the dead with ice blue eyes, and they can only be stopped by fire. He has read that the White Walkers sleep beneath the snows for generations and when they wake… “I hope The Wall is high enough.”
Tyrion arrives at the edge of his Tywin’s camp with Bronn and his Hill Tribe escorts. He attempts to get Shagga to stay behind so he might approach his father privately. A request Shagga brusquely refuses. Tyrion introduces the Hill Tribe Chiefs to his father Tywin and uncle, Keven. Tywin informs Tyrion of the King’s death, Ned’s imprisonment, and that Robb Stark has taken the field. Tywin tells the Hill Chiefs that if they ride with him to war they will have all Tyrion promised them and more. Shagga agrees,but on the condition that Tyrion fight with them.
Tywin Lannister earns 3 Alliance points for gaining the help of the Hill Tribes.
Shagga earns 3 Alliance points for agreeing to fight for Tywin and the Lannister cause.
Cat joins her son at his camp and admonishes him for not allowing one of his more experienced bannerman to take this quest, but she allows it is too late to change course now. Robb works out a next plan of action, seeing that to attack the Lannisters they must cross the river. There is only one place to cross, The Twin towers of House Frey, bannermen to Catelyn’s father, Hoster Tully,but Cat notes that Lord Frey had always maintained a loose concept of loyalty. Robb meets with his council deciding whether they should move against Tywin who marches North or Ser Jaime who is besieging the castle Riverrun, seat of House Tully. They are interrupted by the capture of a Lannister scout. Robb shocks his council by allowing the scout to return to Tywin with the message that 20,000 northmen are coming for him.
Back in the capital King Joffrey holds court. Grand Maester Pycelle announces the elevation of Janos Slynt to Lord of Harrenhal for his loyalty to the crown in the wake of Ned’s treason. It is also declared that Joffrey’s grandfather Tywin will be Hand of the King in Eddard’s place. Ser Barristan Selmy, Lord Commander of the King’s Guard, is unceremoniously removed from his post so that Cersei may name her brother Jaime as Lord Commander. A disgusted Barristan refuses their offer of “a hall to die in and men to bury me” tossing his sword at Joffrey’s feet and stalks off. It is after this display that Sansa is called forth. She begs the King show her father mercy. Ned had been given milk of the poppy for his ailing leg, she explains, he must have been confused or deceived by Robert’s brothers. Joffrey claims to be moved by Sansa’s sweet words and says he will show Ned mercy provided he confess to his treason.
Janos Slynt earns 3 Honors points for becoming the Lord of Harrenhal.
Eddard “Ned” Stark receives -3 Fall From Power points for losing his position as Hand of the King.
Tywin Lannister earns 3 Honors points for being appointed Hand of the King.
Barristan Selmy receives -3 Fall From Power points for his removal from the King’s Guard.
Jaime Lannister earns 3 Honors points for being named Commander of the King’s Guard.
Joffrey Baratheon earns 3 Alliance points for honoring the agreement Cersei made with Sansa.