“I remember the day you came into this world, red-faced and squalling. And now I find you leading a host to war.”
–Lady Catelyn Stark
Last night’s Game of Thrones, “The Pointy End,” picks up immediately after last week’s stunning cliffhanger, which saw Ned Stark betrayed by Littlefinger as Joffrey Lannister took the iron throne. The Starks have lost this round of the game, and Ned's imprisonment sets in motion a conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters that threatens to tear all of Westeros apart.
With every week that passes, I become less and less convinced that Ned is the hero of Game of Thrones. As Ned is finally realizing, he was vastly out of his depth from the moment he arrived in King's Landing. It's hard to fault Ned for having too much virtue, but it's even harder to remain sympathetic to him when his numerous mistakes—born out of both mercy and arrogance—have had such vast consequences for the rest of the Stark family. The proverbial sins of the father have been visited on Ned's sons and daughters, and much of "The Pointy End" is dedicated to the far-reaching consequences Ned's actions have caused for each of the Stark children:
On paper, Sansa's life is straight out of a Disney movie. She was plucked from the icy north and dropped into the kingdom at the heart of Westeros, where she quickly fell in love with the young prince Joffrey. Now that Joffrey has ascended the throne and professed his love for her, Sansa should be preparing for a lifetime of ceremony and childrearing as the queen of Westeros.