GAME OF THRONES Re-Watch: “You Win Or You Die” and “The Pointy End”

War is coming… and we can’t wait! Which is precisely why, in anticipation of GAME OF THRONES long-awaited return this Sunday April 1st on HBO (and HBO Canada), your very own TV Addict recently decided to brush up on the our George R.R. Martin mythology by spending a recent Saturday entrenched on our very own iron throne (Read: Couch). What follows, is our fun and pithy episode guide, with format inspiration courtesy of our bible, Entertainment Weekly. See for yourself, after the jump.

FIRST AIRED: 5/29/11 WRITERS: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss DIRECTOR: Daniel Minahan SYNOPSIS: With King Robert on his death bed, the power-grab for the throne heats up with as Ned Stark remains blissfully ignorant as to the Lannister’s plan to secure power for young Joffrey. Meanwhile, a failed attempt on the Khaleesi’s life has Khal Drogo fuming. So much so that he pledges to lead the Dothraki hoard across the Narrow Sea to return his wife’s family to power. INTRODUCED: The man responsible for Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion into the fold, Papa Lannister Tywin, who in typical gruesome GAME OF THRONES fashion has his first scene showing him skin some sort of animal while he offers up some fatherly advice to son Jaime. HISTORIC MOMENT: Ned Stark finally confronts Queen Cersei about her unusual relationship with brother Jaime. Awkward. LESSON LEARNED: In what would become a far more prophetic statement than we knew at the time, Cersei Lannister offers this bit of advice to Ned Stark, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die, there is no middle ground.” CRITIQUE: When we weren’t busy yelling at our small screen for Ned Stark to do get his head into the game (again, who knew how prophetic that statement would become!) we continue to marvel at GAME OF THRONES’ ability to cram everything but the kitchen sink into the span of a little less than an hour. Life-altering decisions are made, alliances are both formed and broken, and major (with a capitol “M”) characters are killed with little regard for audience’s attachment. Also of note, for the first time in the series’ history, we were actually intrigued by Jon Snow’s storyline that sees him take his Night’s Watch vows. GRADE: A-

FIRST AIRED: 6/5/11 WRITER: George R.R. Martin DIRECTOR: Daniel Minahan SYNOPSIS: Picking up immediately where last week’s episode left off, the Lannister’s guards attempt to solidify Joffrey’s claim to the throne inside King’s Landing, as Robb Stark rallies his father Ned’s northern allies against Tywin Lannister and heads south to prepare for war. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Khal Drogo must face-off against a fellow rider who thinks wife Dany has turned him soft. A fight that results in one very dead rider and one very injured Khal.INTRODUCED: Zombies… or in the parlance of the series, a White Walker with a appetite for destruction. HISTORIC MOMENT: In escaping the clutches of the Lannister guards, 8-year old Arya makes her first kill. Stick ’em with the pointy end indeed. LESSON LEARNED: Tyrion Lannister is a big fan of life, telling his latest travelling companion Bronn, “And if the day ever comes where you’re tempted to sell me out, remember this, whatever their price, I’ll beat it. I like living.” CRITIQUE: Jam-packed with two fantastic fight sequences that saw the unfortunate demise of Arya’s “dance” teacher Syrio Forel and the not-so-unfortunate demise of Khal Drogo’s challenger to the thrown, it’s no surprise that “The Pointy End” continues the series’ string of fantastic episodes. With serious bonus points for finally giving us a reason to root for bratty Sansa as she pleads Joffrey to show her imprisoned father Ned mercy, not to mention some always welcome comic-relief from Tyrion Lannister, whose introduction of travelling companion Bronn was “Son of… You wouldn’t know him” GRADE: A

Missed This Week’s GAME OF THRONES Re-Watch? Catch up on the entire blow-by-blow at the following links:
• Episodes 9 and 10: “Baelor” and “Fire and Blood”
• Episodes 7 and 8: “You Win Or You Die” and “The Pointy End”
• Episodes 5 and 6: “The Wolf and the Lion” and “A Golden Crown”
• Episodes 3 and 4: “Lord Snow” and “Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things”
• Episodes 1 and 2: “Winter is Coming” and “The Kingsroad”

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