Game of Thrones Recap: “Ghosts of Harrenhal”

Season 2 Episode 5 recap where we ride out on the “Sea Bitch”

“Anyone can be killed”

– Arya

The promos for Season 2 of “Game of Thrones” say “WAR IS COMING”. Well as we are at the midway point of this season I can say with certainty that I wish war waits a little bit and doesn’t come so soon. There is just too much plot and too many characters that I enjoy that I can really hold off longer for war to come and kill a vast majority of these people. Sadly, just as war was coming for “King” Renly Baratheon, his smoke monster nephew (?) slipped into his tent and gets him from behind.

Renly had just agreed to terms with Cat Stark to form an allegiance with Robb Stark to form the Robert/Ned 2.0, which apparently everyone wants to go back to. Robb would remain “King” of the North, Renly would get the Iron Throne, and all would be right with the world. Of course nothing ever goes as planned in Westeros and Renly bites it before any of this can happen. His 7-foot female bodyguard, Brienne freaks out and slaughters two guards who attempt to pin the death on her, and then runs off with Lady Stark. Even in the Seven Kingdoms no one is going to buy “the smoke monster killed him” defense. In the woods on the way back to her son’s forces, Brienne swears undying allegiance to Cat, which is cool and all, but this chick needs to relax with the blood oaths. We don’t know her exact back story yet, but you can bet it has some attachment issues in there and maybe she should consider therapy instead of risking her life for every noble in Westeros.

Meanwhile, the one who benefits most from Renly dying is his older brother Stannis. Renly’s forces plead allegiance to him creating the biggest merger since AOL and Time Warner. Loras and his sister Anne Boleyn Margary flee back to the safety of home vowing to fight another day. Davos tries to tell Stannis about Melisandre giving birth to the smoke monster but Stannis will have none of it. Instead, Davos is able to warm him that the men think his mind is being controlled and so Stannis agrees to sit Melisandre on the sidelines for the invasion of King’s Landing. Yeah, I’m sure she’s going to go along with that. In reality, the viewers have no idea how far and wide her powers stretch. She just popped a baby smoke monster out of her lady parts last week, perhaps she CAN read and control minds, and you know, a lot more?

At King’s Landing, Tyrion is just plugging away gaining the upper hand on his sister and nephew. He understands that the city is about to be attacked and wants to know what the plans to defend the city are. Lord Tywin and his forces, when not getting dominated by Robb, are out near Harrenhal and not able to protect the capital. Boy King Joffrey’s big plan is to protect the city using napalm “wild fire” on any hostile forces. It burns through everything except the special pots it comes in. The Targaryen’s had used this substance for years to mimic the fire of the dragons, and so it’s no surprise Joffrey wants to use it considering his affinity for Targaryen décor already throughout this season. Cersei looks like a mother doped out on Percocet’s who knows she can’t control her demon spawn anymore and would rather drift into Neverland than tell him this “wild fire” idea is shit.

Bronn makes a genius point that catapulting this stuff is going to do more damage to King’s Landing than to the enemy forces. Tyrion decides to confiscate all the “wild fire” for himself for reasons unknown to us. This confirms a few things: [1] Joffrey is still an idiot who will probably burn his own city to the ground [2] Joffrey is the second coming of “The Mad King” [3] Tyrion has a plan for this napalm and it’s probably going to be awesome.

At the Iron Islands, Theon can’t get no R.E.S.P.C.T. His shipmates tell him to piss off, his ships name is the “Sea Bitch”, and his sister gets 30 ships to his creaky one. But his first mate tries to help saying Theon needs to prove himself to the men. Theon orders that they are going to disregard their order to raid easy target shipping towns and go after a better military target closer to Winterfell that will draw their forces further away from home and leave them further susceptible to attack. I want to believe this is bad news for Winterfell, but Theon is not a proven leader or strategist. He thinks with his penis and wants to please his daddy, but in this case I think he’s going to end up in trouble. If he is not pulling a double cross on his father/sister combo in the next few episodes then he’s going to get got.

At Harrenhal, Arya finds out the person she saved a few weeks backs is actually a magic genie. He then promises her three deaths of her choosing for saving his life. How convenient because she was just reciting people she wanted to die last week! For her first death she choose the guy torturing everyone with the rats. Poor choice, Arya. You have a golden opportunity to take out some high level Lannister’s! Lord Tywin already told that guy he can’t torture anyone anymore. Perhaps she was just testing the waters with her first death wish, not certain if it was real or not. But that’s like getting a genie and wishing for 2 #2’s from McDonald’s. You could have said “The Mountain” at the very least.

In Qarth, while her hoard is casing the place for stuff to steal, Daenerys is mulling over an offer of marriage from Daxos. He’s got money, ships, and while he was already married for love once, that is now over and he just wants to marry for power. How modern of him! He also points out to Dany that Jorah is clearly in love with her (DUH!) and then Jorah goes right ahead and protests that she doesn’t need to get married and only needs one rickety ship to take back the throne. Apparently there are just loads of supporters waiting in Westeros for her return. Funny the show hasn’t showed ONE person who gives a EFF about Dany west of the narrow sea. I call bullshit, Jorah.

North of the Wall, the Night Watch spot a grouping of wildlings setting up camp in the distance. A former ranger turncoat who knows all the Night Watch tricks and such is leading them. The group splits into a smaller guerrilla force going off to kill them, and Jon Snow finally breaks free of bitch duty to join with them. One criticism of the show has to be that the writers have yet to stress the importance of the Night Watch and the Wall. If they are defeated North of the Wall or fail to stop the wildlings or White Walkers from breaking through, than everyone in the South is in TROUBLE. The stakes need to rise up there and soon because I really want to be more terrified of this Winter that’s coming.

Random Thoughts:

  • Really sad Renly had to die so early. Besides Qarth and Tyrion he seemed to be the only character enjoying himself. Game of Thrones is a dark evil place sometimes and Renly brought some light to the party. Of course his overconfidence was his un-doing, but it’s still a shame he had to go so early. Even Tyrion isn’t having as much fun now that he has a J-O-B and all.
  • Speaking of the Tyrion, he decides to stroll through downtown King’s Landing and hear what the people are saying. Not really good things. They are on the verge of revolt against Joffrey and his mother and think the half-man is pulling all the strings. The people are not as dumb as we think.
  • So is the smoke monster a one shot deal or can that thing be re-loaded and shot out again? Can Stannis make a whole army of those things? Is it loyal to Stannis or the Melisandre? These are the questions keeping me up at night!
  • The Dragons were back! And they can spit some hot fire now. They need to heat their food to eat it.
  • Cat escaped The Stormlands with Ned’s bones in tow. At least she prioritized her luggage.
  • Mags doesn’t want to just be “a” Queen, she wants to be “the” Queen. Oh that’s boss.
  • The episode reminded us that Sam is still in love with the daughter/wife from the village. Not going to happen, bud.
  • Odds that Daxos big vault are empty? 3 to 1.
  • Dany gets invited to some creepy “House of the Undying” event. Um, cool. See you guys there.
  • Missing this week: Joffrey, Melisandre, The Hound, Robb, King Slayer, Sansa
  • King Slayer Watch – still chained? Haven’t seen him in several weeks. Kind of miss that guy.
  • Sex scene count – 0. Not even a side boob or anything. Dark times, very dark times, indeed.

Here is a preview of next week’s episode

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