One of the interesting aspects of You Win or You Die, which I failed to mention in my analysis of that episode, was how the children were completely eliminated from view, at least the younger children who will prove so crucial to the central narrative of Game of Thrones.
The Pointy End redresses this balance by re-framing the episode from the perspective of a future generation who will shape the future of Westeros, so it is perhaps quite appropriate this is the first script to be written by George R. R. Martin.
Martin is, of course, the creative force behind this entire mythological world. As writer of A Song of Ice and Fire, he has devoted over the last twenty years of his life to the vast, sprawling narrative which began in A Game of Thrones in 1996 and will likely conclude with A Dream of Spring sometime, you would hope, before the Sun exhausts its fuel and the Earth crumbles to dust.
Martin is a notoriously slow writer, even for someone putting together such a magnum opus at this – a short A Song of Ice and Fire novel tends to run at around 600-700 pages. Indeed one of the reasons Martin didn’t write an episode of the TV series after Season 4 is precisely because fans were hounding him, day and night, to finish The Winds of Winter, reputedly the penultimate book, which as of writing still remains to be published.
It is widely known, however, that Martin was a working screenwriter during the 1980’s and 1990’s in Hollywood, before he gave it up to focus all his energies on writing A Game of Thrones. He was a staff writer on The Twilight Zone incarnation at that time, and on a Beauty and the Beast series, before moving into developing his own TV pilots or writing feature scripts, some even adapted from the novels and short stories he had already published. The struggle of working in Hollywood trying to get scripts off the ground is what pushed him, ultimately, back toward the creation of what would become A Song of Ice and Fire in the mid-90’s:
Books were really my first love. I kind of missed doing them anyway. There’s a freedom there that you don’t get in Hollywood. There’s a full canvas to paint on so you don’t have to worry about compromising: having to fight with directors or networks or studios. But the real telling thing was that, although I was making a lot of money in Hollywood writing these screenplays and developing the pilots, they weren’t getting made and it was just ultimately unsatisfying.
Martin didn’t have to worry about these concerns when writing A Game of Thrones. He has discussed how freeing it was to let his imagination run wild, without concerns of budgetary constraints or what was possible with the visual medium. Little did he realise that the incumbent advances in digital effects on screen around the time A Game of Thrones was released would, some ten years or so later, allow for a more than effective realisation of his vision to be conveyed on screen. Martin did have the option to sell the rights of A Song of Ice and Fire to movie studios, but he very quickly realised for time and money constraints in that medium that essential characters and storylines would need to be excised, and he didn’t want to compromise on what he imagined the world of Westeros to be. It would prove to be a shrewd decision.
By the time David Benioff & D.B. Weiss came calling to adapt the book series for television, alongside HBO with money in their pocket and a desire to spend it while not sacrificing the creative brilliance of the book series, Martin was a novelist in a relatively unique position. He had one of the most epic sagas in modern fantasy fiction waiting to be transformed visually and embrace an entirely new, expansive audience, but unlike many novelists he understood the rules and constraints of television, having worked in the medium. Martin’s show arrived as streaming services were on the verge of breaking through and cable channels—HBO in particular—were riding a wave of prestige television where they had creative freedom to push the boundaries:
Television can do more. But it can’t be done on network television, because there’s too much sex, there’s too much violence, it’s too complex. These characters were not likable enough. You can’t put incest on [a network].
Martin almost certainly would have had his pick of episodes to write in the first season, adapting A Game of Thrones, so his choice of The Pointy End is really rather interesting. It comes off the back of an important episode which significantly changes the goal posts for the first season and sets up the climactic run at the final three episodes, making The Pointy End something of a ‘beginning of the end’ episode; it has to continue threads left dangling at the end of You Win or You Die and edge these characters closer toward where the season wants to leave them, but it can’t conclude anything either. Perhaps Martin chose The Pointy End because it feels like rich narrative territory on the cusp of major events in the story. Or he chose it because of the aforementioned children.
A Song of Ice and Fire is built around a younger generation coming to both understand and try and repair the long standing damage wrought on a feudal system by their fathers and forefathers, those at least with the awareness to realise their world is crumbling, metaphorically at first and then literally, at the seams. Martin begins cutting to the core of that with The Pointy End, in which what is essentially a coup by House Lannister to seize control of the Iron Throne as Robert Baratheon breathes his last is framed through the eyes of children such as Arya or Sansa Stark, or further in the north young men like Jon Snow or Robb Stark. This is the episode, after some foreshadowing and escalation, their worlds inexorably start to change forever.
For a start, The Pointy End begins a long, varied and fascinating journey for Arya, both in literal terms across Westeros and beyond, and as she grows into a very different young woman. Arya spends more time absent and detached from any of her family or the places she grew up in than anyone else in Game of Thrones, and her subsequent transformation is one of the most skilfully played, thanks to some rewarding, carefully-established writing and a chameleonic, career-defining performance by Maisie Williams. Here, however, Arya is first and foremost a terrified young girl—though not without pluck—who has to get out of dodge before she can be either murdered or become an eternal political prisoner under a bloodthirsty new regime.
Certain key aspects which will shape Arya are established here. Firstly, her antipathy toward the vile Ser Meryn Trant, one of the more deliciously nasty sadists in the world of Game of Thrones, given how he quite callously enjoys the probable murder of Arya’s fencing teacher Syrio Forel (we’ll come back to him in a moment). More deeply in terms of her psychology, Arya kills someone for the first time, when she accidentally stabs the stable boy with Needle during her attempted escape. There is no ambiguity here; this is without doubt an accident, a reaction in the sudden face of capture, but her first “sticking ‘em with the pointy end” marks her across the entire series, as a formative moment in Arya’s journey toward become a faceless, emotionally-stripped back assassin. This episode does not explore the fallout, but subsequent episodes will.
This is also the last time we see Syrio… or is it? As I discussed in my previous review, there is a strong suggestion that Syrio is in fact Jaqen H’ghar, the mysterious Faceless Man from Braavos who Arya will technically first meet next season, and who plays a crucial part in her character development. We will come to know that the Faceless Men’s entire gambit involves being able to take the faces of dead people, so Jaqen could easily be in disguise here, teaching Arya the tools of the fencing trade that will serve her in her eventual journey toward Braavos. Syrio’s final lesson teaches her about not just seeing what lies in front of her, being aware of bigger truths, and his final words directly reference the same God that the Braavosi Faceless Men adhere to: “What do we say to the God of Death? Not today.”.
Then, crucially, we never see him die. The camera pulls almost a crafty, knowing trick to hide what is either Syrio’s brutal murder, or him slaying half a dozen guards and making his escape. Game of Thrones will never definitively answer this question but in the context of Arya’s story, as she appears to have been guided by the Faceless Men with a level of near-mystical destiny, it is not too great a reach to suspect Syrio and Jaqen may be one and the same. It is these underlying ambiguities, much like the role of Illyrio Mopatis in the grand tapestry, which make Game of Thrones such a compelling piece of mythology, beyond its obvious narrative attractions as a series.
If Arya manages to evade capture, the same very much cannot be said for her father Ned Stark, already quite a weak, disconsolate, resigned figure in the dungeons of King’s Landing. Visited by Varys (in disguise no less), the point is made to Ned that I discussed in the previous episode – his loose tongue about the truth concerning Robert’s children, which Ned characterises as “mercy” trying to protect the children, almost certainly got Robert killed before he could learn the truth and banish the Lannister’s from anywhere near the Iron Throne. Truthfully, these plans were almost certainly in place before Ned realised the truth; its likely Cersei knew Jon Arryn had figured it out, and its possible Varys himself would have been in on the plot on some level. When Ned openly questions why Varys did nothing when the Lannister’s slaughtered his men, Varys replies: “When you look at me, do you see a hero?”.
Interestingly, Ned pointedly asks a question which the show will return to at points concerning Varys, which speaks to the broader political and philosophical ideas behind Game of Thrones, when he asks who Varys really serves. “The Realm, my Lord,” Varys replies. “Someone must”. Though Varys openly doesn’t characterise himself as a ‘hero’ in the sense it would be celebrated in Westerosi terms—valiant Knights on horseback saving Kingdoms from Mad Kings—he almost certainly, quietly considers himself in those terms on more of a metaphorical plane. Varys is the Machiavellian protector of society, as opposed to a house or King or leader. He believes his actions, whether plotting or doing nothing if the outcome goes a certain way, serve a bigger picture and bigger idea. It’s a level of thinking way beyond a man like Ned, who lives with his honour and nobility.
There is an interesting production fact about Ned’s appearance in The Pointy End, too, which underscores how HBO hadn’t quite figured out what book readers would already know – that A Song of Ice and Fire is very much not a story with Ned as the lead character. Given he was imprisoned, Ned was not supposed to actually appear in The Pointy End but the network insisted he be included as they still considered him the ‘lead’, especially as Sean Bean was at this stage considered the ‘star’. The Varys scene and a later, oddly placed moment where Ned is briefly kicked awake by a guard in the dungeons, were added to appease these concerns, but Benioff, Weiss and of course especially Martin understood Game of Thrones, and the books it was based on, was always an ensemble show. Audiences unfamiliar with this, certainly in terms of Ned, would soon come to realise this truth.
Varys’ ideas communicated to Ned in that conversation are also far beyond a child like Sansa, who is thoroughly psychologically manipulated by the Lannister’s in this episode. Had they captured Arya, she would have spat in their face and been sealed in a dungeon before she could escape, but Sansa conforms to the traditional ideals of what a noble woman in the Seven Kingdoms is considered to be; quiet, respectful, conformist, and sweet-natured. Game of Thrones will enjoy mocking these traits with characters such as Cersei, or later on the devil-tongued Queen of Thorns or manipulative Margaery Tyrell, but Sansa is a long way away from the more cunning Stark leader she edges toward in later seasons. She is as terrified as Arya but in a different way – she fears the loss of the romantic fantasy she has only ever dreamed about all of her life.
Cersei very much knows what she’s doing when it comes to bending Sansa to her will, because in many ways, years ago, she was Sansa. The series will draw these parallels much more in later seasons but when Grand Maester Pycelle states: “She’s a sweet thing now but in ten years, who knows what treason she may hatch?” he may as well be talking about a younger Cersei as opposed to Sansa. Though she is a political prisoner and is never going to be Joffrey’s Queen, Sansa’s fear of that loss is played upon well enough by Cersei to the point Sansa actually is writing letters asking her own family to bow before their corrupt, unlawful regime. Sansa is so blinded by her own self-interest at this stage, and her naivety as a child, she cannot see her complicity in the destruction of her own family.
Nobody is really taken in by the supposed entreaty by Sansa, especially not in Winterfell, where Robb is under pressure to try and unite the houses of the North in support of the Starks to jointly raise their banners against the Lannister’s, in the hopes they may rescue Ned. In many respects, this could be seen as Robert’s Rebellion Part II; a captured noble, this time Ned rather than his sister Lyanna, and a demonstrably ‘mad’ King on the throne in Joffrey (though we haven’t quite seen his madness yet, just flickers of it) threatening to destabilise the Realm. The big difference is that Robb is no Ned, not even the younger Ned we will see eventually in ‘Home’. In reality, Jon Snow is that strong figure needed at a time like this, but the Seven Kingdoms are a long way, and much hardship, away from recognising those kind of truths.
Thus far, Robb has lost out when it comes to characterisation in Game of Thrones. We’ve had more development and establishment of Theon Greyjoy than even Robb, and that’s perhaps because Robb often feels more like a necessary functional aspect for narrative purposes than a truly interesting character in his own right. Jon has the brooding angst, Theon the naive level of ego, even Bran the haunted aspect of prophecy tied up with the depression of disability, but what defines Robb as a character? The Pointy End goes some way to try and shade in some of those aspects.
Robb is, honestly, scared. He has the weight of expectation on his shoulders to try and be Ned in a way none of his brothers have. It’s also why Theon, clearly jealous of his position, sees Robb’s hand shaking, sees his fear: “Good. It means you’re not stupid.” he comments. Theon’s own naivety is in believing he sees the world more clearly than the Starks he has come to secretly, quietly despise. Richard Madden, who plays Robb, has delved more into the boy who would be King of the North’s psychology:
He’s acting a lot; he’s acting at being a man. I think that’s something a lot of young men do: You act at being a man, and before you know it, you are one. He has to have this mask on all the time in front of his men.
These aspects become even more apparent in Season 2 when Ned is dead and Robb has assumed his place as heir to the North, but the seeds are finally being sown with Robb here in a way the season hasn’t yet, up to this point, had the opportunity to do. It’s through Robb that Martin is also able to flesh out more of the distaff houses of the North who will play a role in the coming War of the Five Kings, and later the battle to free the North from Bolton tyranny; Clive Mantle is on delightfully gregarious form as Greatjohn Umber, with a broad Northern accent and rough disdain of the South: “We’ll stick our swords up Tywin Lannister’s bumhole!” he broadly declares, with complete confidence in the power and solidarity of the North. Robb seems much less convinced.
This is what’s interesting about Robb (yes, sometimes he can be interesting…) because he is consistently trying to act and think like Ned in facing down the probability of war with the Lannister’s. He tries to temper the visible enmity between the Umber’s and the Glover’s when rallying forces in the defence of Ned, in essence the defence of the very sovereignty of the North. He refuses to accept the warnings of his own mother, Catelyn, that he is not ready to be leading men to war, given how unseasoned he is; all through, Greatjohn tugs and pulls at Robb’s leadership skills (to the point Grey Wind, Robb’s dire wolf, takes a finger from the man when he dares to threaten him), and Robb has to consistently fight for his right to stand up and lead men much older and much more battle weary.
Crucially, Robb shows something that many consider weakness – mercy, to the Lannister spy they capture inside their camp. This is exactly what Ned would have done in similar circumstances, refusing to take the life of a man just because he got caught doing his duty, doing what people much better protected ordered him to do. This is deeper example of Robb, like his father, being unable to ‘play the game’. Cat seems to understand the game better than her husband or her sons; she actively makes the point Robb has to “win” in order to keep them all alive, keep Ned & his sisters alive, and the burden of victory is on Robb’s cunning. Letting the spy go is clear example of the kind of noble but perhaps short-sighted thinking which will eventually lead Robb to a similar fate his father is about to experience.
His brother (or should that be cousin?) Jon Snow also has an instinctual, noble response to news that Ned is imprisoned and his family are at risk once Lord Commander Mormont makes him aware – to run off in their defence, but he’s swiftly reminded of the oath he has just taken to the Night’s Watch. It’s no longer as simple as him racing off like a noble Knight to defend his family, indeed it’s never been that simple for Jon given his status as a bastard, an outcast. What helps Jon in many ways in the realisation of a much greater and more disturbing threat beyond the Wall, with events which begin to set up exploring the territory beyond where the Watch guard in the next season: the threat of the White Walkers, which begins to more sharply edge into focus.
We get some nice suggestions of Sam Tarly’s eventual journey toward become a learned Maester in training, as he makes some acute observations about Benjen Stark’s dead team – how they don’t smell of rot, suggesting they haven’t long been dead. After they rise as undead Wights within Castle Black, Sam is the one who talks about knowledge he gathered from the library of wise, super old Maester Aemon, about how the Walkers supposedly have “slept under the ice for thousands of years” and when they wake up, like these Wights woke up who Jon was forced to battle, they’re all in trouble. It tracks, in all honesty, with what Osha is warning Bran about at Winterfell, voicing how the armies marching to war are going the wrong way: “the cold winds are rising”.
It feels appropriate Martin would write the script where we have had the first truly overt suggestions since Winter Is Coming that Game of Thrones is going to evolve into much more of a full-blown fantasy/science-fiction series. The Wights are portrayed as equivalent to rabid zombies in fiction such as The Walking Dead or George Romero, an intentional, readable threat which very quickly puts into perspective and focus the pomposity of the Houses within Westerosi civilisation playing their power games. Previously, when characters have voiced about legends, particularly over the Wall, they have been quickly suggested as being just that, or laughed off; The Pointy End establishes a monstrous, fantastic element as a clear, visible threat to the feudal system of civilisation the first season has constructed.
Martin also makes sure we get a deeper understanding of religious aspects, particularly in the North, than the series has yet provided. Osha is turning out to be a handy character, especially in the context of Bran, to explore legend and backstory. She tells Bran, praying at Winterfell’s unnerving ‘Godswood’ (which is very similar to the one Jon & Sam say their Watch vows at as we saw in the previous episode), that the Old Gods are the only Gods over the Wall. This suggests the Wildlings aren’t pure savages as the Seven Kingdoms believe but have some level of monotheistic religious belief, not to mention one which is far more inclusive: “even slaves are allowed to pray”. Can you imagine the slaves being pillaged by the Dothraki having the same rights?
Osha also does see herself as a slave, rather than a prisoner who tried to attack a member of the nobility; the fact she’s in chains means this is hard to refute. The Starks, for all their noble goodness as a house, still have some level of hierarchical class structure, in which Osha is considered a lesser human being. There are, however, no distinctions between them and the Wildings when it comes to worship – they pray to the same Gods. Osha imparts key knowledge to Bran about how the Weirwood trees are the Gods way of seeing everything, and how they were cut down in the South long ago. Bran doesn’t yet understand, as he will, how they are essentially a network of awareness, but if Osha is correct, does this mean the Old Gods power and visibility is much less in the Southern lands of the Seven Kingdoms? Martin’s book of lore, The World of Ice and Fire, gives some indication as to the importance of a Godswood to the heart of house and their castle:
The fact that many southron castles still have godswoods with carved weirwoods at their hearts is said to be thanks to the early Andal kings, who shifted from conquest to consolidation, thus avoiding any conflict based on differing faiths.
It also suggests a divide which has already been made clear, between Northern rural tradition and community compared to Southern trends towards self-service and an emerging capitalist economy. By chopping down Weirwoods filled with ancient wisdom, the South has actively cut its ties to the mystical traditions of the North, perhaps as their houses and people’s adopted the faith of the Seven (which will be much more heavily explored in later seasons). Not to mention a clear anti-environmental commentary, particularly given the importance on climate to the mythology of Game of Thrones. Osha sees this as clear weakness: “How can they watch when they have no eyes?”. She is referring to the Old Gods but this could equally refer to a blind, unaware Southern level of self-importance, and indeed Arya and her training. It feels similar to the messages Syrio was trying to impart.
Self-importance continues to be a defining aspect of the Lannister family, even with their most likeable sibling, Tyrion. He’s made a season out of talking himself out of sticky situations, be it execution at the hand of Lysa Arryn and her sickly heir Robyn, or here savage murder at the hands of the Stone Crows – yet another band of ‘savages’ who rub up against Tyrion’s ‘civilised’ promises of gold and weapons. He gets the line of the episode when asked how he would like to die: “In my own bed, aged 80, with a belly full of wine and a girl’s mouth around my cock”, but it also speaks to his own self-awareness about the unlikelihood of this in a world such as the Seven Kingdoms. Tyrion has made a lifetime out of self-preservation through the skills of his wit and mind – it’s clearly something Bronn recognises, hence why he elects to throw in with the Lannister’s.
When Tyrion brings Bronn to the Lannister vanguard, it feels a little like Prince Charles bringing vagrants into Buckingham Palace. “And here we have Bronn, son of…”“You wouldn’t know him” is Bronn’s response in the face of Tywin Lannister’s visible snobbery. We will discuss Bronn is more detail later as he begins to assert himself as one of Game of Thrones’ most enjoyable supporting characters, but even this quick exchange says much about Bronn position as a child of low birth, in contrast to Tyrion’s privilege, and how Bronn’s meteoric rise to a level of nobility is more about his cunning and intelligence, not to mention being as mercurial with his loyalties as they come, than any level of birthright. He will prove even more of a fun foil alongside Jaime Lannister in seasons to come, but his dynamic with Tyrion is loaded with the kind of cheeky dialogue Martin clearly has fun getting down on paper.
For Tyrion, of course, this is quite a big moment – the first time we see him engage with his father Tywin. The head of the Lannister family has already been established as complicated ‘villain’ of sorts, and the show will delve into the difficult and strained relationship between father and son much more down the line, but Tyrion is immediately made to feel inferior to the unseen Jaime, off winning victories in Tywin’s eyes just to underscore how inferior Tyrion is seen to be. Tywin does cast off the threat of Robb fairly quickly: “The wolf runs into the lion’s jaws” he declares on hearing of a tactical Stark move, again mythologising both sides of the conflict through their symbolic crests, but Tyrion has learned perhaps thanks to his sojourn North not to underestimate the Starks.
While it is quite sad to see Bran lament the fact all of his close family are gone, Robb’s assertion he must stay because “there must always be a Stark in Winterfell” touches on that level of symbolic reasoning in the Seven Kingdoms. A disabled child and a token force of guards cannot hope to truly defend Winterfell, as we will see with Theon’s betrayal next season, but there is a sense that a Stark being present represents more than actual, literal defence – that perhaps without the symbol of the Starks visible, their power base way swiftly crumble. This proves to be quite prophetic in later seasons but it remains a powerful symbolic concept. It doesn’t look like the Starks will be returning to Winterfell any time soon, including Sansa.
She ends up cutting quite a pathetic, forlorn figure as she essentially begs Joffrey to have mercy on Ned, the same mercy we saw Robb have on one of the Lannister contingent, however small. “They must have lied” Sansa can only assert, entirely unaware of the political manipulation behind her father’s position, as Cersei—already part of the real power behind the throne, Tywin—begins placing sycophants in key positions under the Lannister regime; men like Janos Slynt, and of course Tywin installing himself as Hand of the King, a role he refused to serve under Robert Baratheon, aware he would not be able to wield the same open level of control.
There is a great rebuke of this silent coup from the rejected Ser Barristan Selmy, who storms out with essentially a middle-finger to Joffrey when relieved of his position—undoubtedly because he’s too honourable to corrupt, “I am a Knight. I shall die a Knight”. It’s a testament to Barristan he gets away with this kind of open rebellion with his life, given how swiftly totalitarian Joffrey’s monarchy very quickly becomes. Cersei clearly fears for a moment Joffrey’s egotistic wish to be a gallant, romantic King may cause him to give Sansa what she wants, and this suggests already there will be aspects of her son’s behaviour, even under the level of control Tywin wields over Joffrey’s rule, that Cersei will struggle to temper.
Behaviour is a concern for Daenerys in a very different part of the world, as following Drogo’s call to arms and fresh determination to storm the Seven Kingdoms, the Dothraki begin raping and pillaging innocent villages in order to capture innocents they can sell to slavers for gold and weapons they can then use to hire ships that will sail Dany to her Restoration. The Pointy End is quite a significant episode in this regard as it begins to show Dany what the Dothraki are like with some of the radicalised blinkers off, and instigates the first stirrings within her of the crusade she undertakes to free entire cities and populations from the chains of slavery and servitude. Martin writes the first seeds of how Daenerys will approach being a ruler.
Jorah suggestion she has “a gentle heart” is swiftly knocked back by Dany, but there is a clear level of innate, Westerosi, high born dignity within her that finds the slaughter and liberty employed by the savage Dothraki abhorrent. She stands up for the captured women being oppressed by Drogo’s forces, women the Dothraki suggest should be grateful for being raped & slaughtered, in the first true example of Daenerys standing up for womankind and attempting to defy an inherently masculine system. Dothraki warriors such as Mago talk about women as if they are animals; women he can ‘mount’ in a dehumanising manner as their conqueror, and it places Drogo in the tricky position of having to defend the ways of his culture while respecting Dany’s challenging of the entire system.
What Daenerys tries to suggest is more a level of equality, with Mago adopting one of these women as a wife, but Mago suggests taking a “lamb” is beneath him. “The dragon feeds on horse and lamb alike” Daenerys counters, and she believes this; that the inherent Targaryen power she inherited makes her essentially ‘better’ than the Dothraki savages, and they should be careful not to disrespect that power. Dany will of course eventually literalise that once the dragons are born but right now, perhaps given her growing confidence as the Khaleesi following Viserys’ demise, her belief the Restoration will be hers to lead, and mystical aspects such as being immune to fire, she is imbued with a self-belief of strength and purpose men like Mago should respect.
The Pointy End, therefore, is another important episode in establishing Game of Thrones as a mythological power house which can balance theme, world-building, narrative momentum and character development in a seamless package. George R.R. Martin understands how to convert the style of his prose into screenplay format, further bringing to life his characters off the page onto the screen, and there continues to grow a confidence in the storytelling Game of Thrones employs, and will become a TV phenomenon for – balancing the creation of an entire in-show universe while never losing sight of the Song of Ice and Fire.
While the children and their fate are crucial to this episode, we are about to learn Game of Thrones is a show that will refuse to hold to the traditional rules of television storytelling about the fate of main characters. It is not just Winter that is coming, but significant change…
★ ★ ★ ★
DIRECTOR: Daniel Minahan
WRITER: George R. R. Martin
CAST: Sean Bean, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Mark Addy, Lena Headey
Check out our reviews of the first season of Game of Thrones: