Ah, its back, and HBO’s Game of Thrones proves to be as interesting as ever, once again. Where’d it begin? Where did it end (nooo! Not there!)? Where is Game of Thrones going, anyway?

“The Pointy End” starts RIGHT where the last episode ended with Ned in the throne room mid-betrayal from the hands of Cersei and Little Finger alike. Suddenly, all Ned’s guards are cut down and every Stark-supporter this side of Winterfell is slain along with him. Meanwhile, in another part of King’s Landing’s castle, Arya trains with her Water Dancer teacher the art of protection — or sword fighting as the lowly call it. But what about Sansa? The poor brooding Sansa is still in love … but not for long.

Love holds little ground in the Thrones world these days, as does honor, nobility and truth. Those that hold true to their words and faith and reason and heritage are tossed away by the seemingly more evil, more powerful and often much more cunning sorts. No better example than the Stark family, Ned specifically. Though we spend very little of the episode with Ned, we can feel his presence throughout “The Pointy End.” As Robb mounts his troops — 18,000 strong — along with the help of his sometimes doubting supporters (one of them lost a finger to Robb’s dire wolf for speaking his ill will) and his mother Catelyn Stark, the Lannisters prepare to fight alongside their wealth and hope to win solely by the hands of their hero, Jaime Lannister, arguably one of the best fighters Westeros and his father, the great and powerful Tywin Lannister. After Jamie’s brother, Tyrion the imp, joins forces with them after escaping some mountain men, it’s only a matter of time before all-out war is upon us. Imagine that? Last episode we were on the brink of peace and now it’s a war of the Seven Kingdoms…er, five…well, the main two.

But back to Ned.

Tucked away in the dungeons of King’s Landing — ‘many men die of thirst here’ — he’s visited by the gregarious eunuch, Varis. They call him The Spider, and for good reason. No man in Westeros is more complex and cunning and devilish than this man, I will say, and his words are often a mixture of betraying truth and sweet poison. One thing is for sure: if you see Varis, sprint the other way, and if you’re in a cell — plug your ears. Do whatever you can to hide from him. Why? Because he knows too much. And you can never trust a man that knows too much… at least that’s my take.

Over on The Wall, Sam and Jon find the bodies that the hand they found last week belonged to, and that night they’re attacked by a dead man. The same dead man they just found outside — night walker? Jon burns his hand helping defend his master and proves his worth once again. Jon’s a stud. He’s always been a stud. He was just born a bastard, which seems like an unfair shake. But back to what we learned (it should be the Thrones mantra): Life is not fair, so scrap your way through!

There is plenty more to happen in this episode, though from an outsider’s point of view (I’m only getting in to the books now), it seemed far too much like a filler episode. Sure, we got to get a glimpse of Khal Drogo’s fighting skills (which wasn’t in the books nearly as efficiently or excitingly) and we heard the words of an odd captive of the Dothraki — a ‘witch’ rescued by Dani. She was the first “slave” we’d ever heard speak and something tells me that may not be the last we hear of her.

Overall, the episode was, at best, sufficient. Everyone watching (at least in my house, where there was four) was waiting to hear the fate of Ned Stark, which will likely come next week (only 7 days!) and we can’t get enough of a good prophesy, this time from the mouth of the unlikely Sam: “I hope the wall is tall enough.” Chills just thinking about those implications, especially after I saw that wall…

For the sake of those nobles keeping track of the Stark score, here’s a recap: Jon is vowed to The Wall, Bran is ruling Winterfell from a chair, Robb is fighting one of the largest wars Westeros has ever seen (and it’s his first), Catelyn lost her prisoner Tyrion the imp who has joined forces and amassed numbers with the Lannisters, Arya is lost somewhere in the dangerous streets of King’s Landing after killing a stable boy, Sansa is in love with a monster and secretly (not even she knows) being help captive by Cersei and Joffrey and Ned is in a dungeon, awaiting his imminent death unless he pledges his allegiance to the false king Joffrey and admits his treasonous acts.

Not looking good for truth. I’m considering switching sides.

Though never switching off Game of Thrones. At least not with two episodes left…they should be doozies.

Seven more days.