Game of Thrones: Season 2 Episode 5: The Ghost of Harrenhal: Review

This strong episode brought on some character death, power shifts, and some insight in the depths that is Game of Thrones. Within the following we will review some new developments, cover major plot points, and discussing some of these points. We’ll investigate Brienne’s heartache, inspecting Wildfire, teaching a dragon to feed itself, and dreaming of the sea flooding Winterfell and more.

“Together we can end this war in a fortnight.” -Renly (Er… nevermind)

Renly is meeting with Catelyn Stark on the eve before his big showdown with brother Stannis. Brienne is there as well being her intense loyal self. Catelyn is offering Robb’s backing to Renly for the Iron Throne, as we know the “king of the north” has no wish to actually take the iron throne. In exchange for this loyalty Renly will allow Robb to keep his new moniker as king of the north. Renly sees the potential in this and gladly knows he shouldn’t fight them as together they could all end this war.

This is a truly amazing idea. Two of the more reasonable characters, Renly and Robb, can easily defeat the Lannister’s now. My mind immediately took off into further seasons with Renly at the helm of Westros being fair and good on the iron throne, and the Starks loyally ruling from Winterfell. Sigh. Right when my imagination really took off I spied the newly born scary weird smoky black monster shadow thing making its appearance with a large gust of wind. It materializes behind Renly, stabs him, Brienne howls like a banshee, and then it takes off. Brienne’s heart breaks before our eyes as she holds Renly, her dear king, as he dies. Two guards appear, immediately think Brienne is the assassin and attack her only to be slaughtered by her. Catelyn and Brienne know how bad this looks to both of them and make an escape together. And the best spin off ever is born. I love how dramatic Brienne is – wholeheartedly.

Later on Loras, knight of the flowers, is mourning his lover and his sister is mourning her husband. Littlefinger is still present, being ever the player he advises them to get out of dodge before Renly’s men change their loyalty to that of Stannis. There is also a great relationship building between Magaery and Littlefinger. He asks her if she wants to be a queen. Magaery deliver one of my favorite lines of the night: “No, I want to be the queen.” Littlefinger smirks slightly as if to say, “Well that’s something we can work with”.

Renly, your keen observation and spectacular dry wit will be missed. I’ll miss you nearly as much as your knight of the flowers Loras and the insanely loyal Brienne. Brightside? One of the kingly contenders is down, bringing all the players closer together.

“Aren’t you always so clever with your schemes and your plots.” -Cersei
“Schemes and plots are the same thing.” –Tyrion (LOL)

Tyrion is growing more concerned with the aspect of Stannis attacking the city. However this is after Tyrion has planned to send Cersei’s daughter away, as well as snarked at her a bit so Cersei refuses to tell him anything about Joffrey’s plans for Stannis and the city. Lucky for Tyrion he has a new spy who is usually in Cersei’s bedchamber, their cousin Lancel. The big siege secret is that Cersei and Joffrey are producing something called Wildfire to launch at attacking ships. Tyrion believes him but makes him grovel for good measure, which is so fun to watch. Tyrion proclaims even torturing him (Lancel) is boring then tells him to tell Bronn to kill him if anything should happen to Tyrion. I don’t know what is worse for Lancel, his situation now or before serving wine to King Robert.

Later on Bronn and Tyrion are going for a walk around the city streets and we see some of the unrest Tyrion spoke of episodes before. A protestor is speaking out against Cersei and her incestual rotten fruit king Joffrey. Bronn briefly mentions the disturbing beating last week – I hope we hear more about that horribleness but it seemed the only rap-up we’ll get. Tyrion admits the king is a lost cause and now he is merely trying to save the rest of them. The protester goes on to say Joffrey is dancing to the tune of a twisted demon monkey. Tyrion is genuinely tickled by the image until Bronn breaks the news that they are in fact referring to Tyrion himself. He drowns in disbelief saying he is trying to save them. Poor Tyrion needs better PR.

Later in the episode Tyrion visit the Pyromancer who has been working with Cersei and Joffrey in preparation of the wildfire. We see Tyrion cautiously holding a jar of green liquid as an old Pyromancer rambles on and on about everything the stuff can burn through including flesh. Bronn is put off, and offers a great point about how war is messy. We move on to enter the vault of jars that have been in production and Tyrion’s jaw literally drops as thousands upon thousands of jars are revealed. They look to be more than enough to destroy Stannis’s army, as well as the entirety of Kings Landing. Tyrion’s conclusion is easy: They will not longer be making Wildfire for Cersei but for him. If anyone is going to hold that kind of power I’m glad its Tyrion.


“Nothing is worth what this would cost you including the Iron Throne” –Davos

Davos wants to tell Stannis about the insane inky smoky birth he witnessed in the cave in the last episode that seemingly has murdered his brother and enemy. Unlike every other pragmatic logical person Stannis wants to hear none of it. Why? Is it because he’s trying to block out the insanity that is Melisandre? Did she tell him to not to ask? Does he seriously just not care? Stannis sort of sucks imo.

If Stannis wont listen to Davos about that Davos won’t quit it. He lets Stannis know that he should probably keep all the men he has now before he loses them to her – much like Davos has lost his son. Stannis finally agrees to do at least one thing without his fire priestess but he also lets Davos know that he wants him in charge of the fleet of ships attacking Blackwater Bay at Kings Landing. Davos I hope you live through the whole wildfire craziness Joffrey/Cersei/Tyrion are planning to fight them off with because you are ten times better (at least interesting) than Stannis imo.

“Did they send you to row me out and dump me in the sea? That’d be a laugh.” -Theon

Theon is back and ready to prove to his father and sister that he is a true Iron islander. He is meeting his men at his new (one) ship – The Sea Bitch. The men immediately disrespect him. My dislike of Theon fuels off this creating an embarrassing amount of enjoyment. His first mate is the only one to not blatantly disregard him, instead pitching the idea to perhaps move on from their original target to a larger one more inland. Theon says that can’t because then Winterfell will send reinforcements… this gives him an idea. He smiles and I shudder.


“A boy becomes a girl – A girl keeps secrets. It is not for a man to spoil them” -Jaqen

Arya’s new gig as cupbearer for Tywin Lannister is both an improvement and a degree terrifying. As she serves food we hear him discussing their battle against her brother Robb. Tywin is ultra pragmatic and logical becoming a quick favorite of mine. Remember his big intro scene in season 1, with him skinning a stag? Truly fits him as he tells Arya not to serve wine, but water so they can be more productive. Here is where it also gets scary for Arya. After this is zeros in on her and after uncovering her first answer as deceptive she brings her lie a little closer to home, therefore selling it better. She goes on to talk about Robb in the imaginations and gossip from other men. She says how they say he cannot be killed and Tywin asks if she believes that. She stares him down and says “No my lord. Anyone can be killed.” Amazing scene with two characters that only seem to make one another better.

Later on while retrieving the water Tywin sent her for Arya sees Jaqen, the dude who saved from the fire on the road as a prisoner. Jaqen now playing a role like her at Harrenhal does his usual white-hair-streaked song and dance but reveals some awesome news for Arya. Since she saved him, and the two other men he owes her three deaths. He essentially asks her to flat out name her targets. While the entire audience is screaming for Joffrey or Cersei Arya chooses a little closer to home: The tickler aka the man who had been torturing everyone.

In a later scene we got a pretty attractive shot of Gendry shirtless making a sword. Maybe I was just so blown away because this episode was entirely pointless sex free. Anyway, he and Arya have a playful conversation as Arya points out that he needs a better stance with the sword. You can see her memories with her Bravosie dance in her eyes. Their banter is cut short but a scream. They find a body with an intensely broken neck – The tickler has appeared to have fallen to his death. Above Arya catches the eyes of Jaqen looking mighty proud with himself. A man follows through on his promises it seems. One down and two to go. Who will Arya choose? With this luck of the draw I name Arya Stark my Westros Player of the Week. Between her new death deal, and amazing dialogues with Tywin and Gendry.


“The last time a rich man gave me a dress he was selling me to Khal Drogo” -Dany

Dany is downright happy when we catch up with her newly bathed and fed in Qarth. We get some cool footage of her finishing up teaching one of her Dragons how to feed itself (Draconis). He cutely flays his own piece of meat. Aww cute CGI. I want a Dragon. Dany wants to know more about the rich man who has gotten her into the city and given her a fine looking dress. She hints at Doreah, the ex pleasure slave, to try to find out what she can. Doreah visibly gains pleasure in the idea of seducing men for information. Thank you Game of Thrones for being you.

Later at a Qarth party Dany meets a warlock who is wicked creepy. He invites her to the House of the Undying (which sounds cool but not all around great destination), and does some magic (or parlour trick). During this a freaky lady in a metal mask of some kind approaches Joren and says something along the lines of: “”dragons are fire made flesh and fire is power”. Does this mean the wildfire in kings landing will be victorious? Is that power? Or is this merely talking about Dany and her dragons? Or Dany’s ancestors and their conquering dragons? Oh shit was that Lady Gaga?

Later on Xaro takes Dany for a walk, drops a bomb about Joren being in love her, then reveals his mega-riches vault. He goes on to offer her half of what is his, offering marriage to him, taking back Westros along with some prince and princess babies. He also lets her know that the time is perfect because King Robert is dead and everyone else is fighting one another. Back in Dany’s room she discusses it with Joren. She is incredibly tempted to take Xaro up on his offer because she can basically already feel the iron throne under her that way. Joren calls for patience, and promises to get her own ship, saying she truly only needs one. He is preaching for her to just to Westros herself, forge an alliance with a House there rather than building a foreign army and trying to conquer all of the seven kingdoms over again. Smart imo but also the long way. He could also just not want her to marry anyone. Marrying Xaro is something that her brother wanted, not her. As a viewer the action would set her back from this amazing transformation she has undergone.


“You serve nothing and no one by following him into the earth.”-Catelyn

Catelyn and Brienne are still fleeing Renly’s murdered body. They discuss what they think they saw. Brienne swears it looked like Stannis while it seemed for a black mass to Catelyn. After some fun conversation from the ever-noble lady Catelyn and the robot real life action figure Brienne they decide to join together with Robb Stark. Brienne swears fealty to Catelyn and Catelyn pledges to not hold Brienne back from revenge against Stannis. I initially saw this as a great move for both women but after some thought Brienne’s track record isn’t spectacular.


“They say crazy things north of the wall”-Osha

Back in Winterfell Bran is being Lord of the land. He holds court with his little brother by his side looking more grown up than ever. He is truly the picture of a little lord with his perfectly set hair. He also receives the bad news that Torrens’ Square is being attacked – we know this to be Theon and his new crew but they all assume it’s the Lannisters. Bran sends troops to help the other town leaving Winterfell seemingly less defended. Sir Rodrick looks mighty touched and leaves to do so.
Later on Bran tells Osha of one of his latest dreams telling of the sea coming to Winterfell and drowning all of the men there. Osha is freaked but tries to play it cool for Bran. We’re not fooled though. The sea is coming! Noooooo!

“I hope you make a better ranger than a steward” –Lord Commander

Beyond the wall, Jon Snow is gathered with the other Night’s Watch men. As they travel Sam babbles about the beauty of the land and how much Gilly would have loved it there. From the other men’s reactions to this I can only imagine that he’s said it about nearly everything they’ve encountered since leaving her. Ghost stands in the background looking fucking wicked cool, as they stand on a snowy cliff observing a wildling army from afar. They meet up with new character, Qhorin, who is some famous Nights Watch ranger. He wants to take a small group in to find out the wildling plans, and maybe cause some mayhem. Jon volunteers to go, finally fulfilling his ranger-dreams role. Sam cements it by volunteering to take up Jon’s duties in the meanwhile. Sam is the cutest character ever. He has amounts of cuteness that I never knew could exist in Westros.

Next Week: News from Winterfell. Jon’s storyline hopefully gets less boring. Cersei threatens Shea or someone else Tyrion loves. Dany gets ballsier. SUNDAY CAN’T COME FAST ENOUGH.



~ by ATOM on May 2, 2012.

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