game of thrones recapping: the ghost of harrenhal

Previously on Game of Thrones: The Garden of Bones

Renly Baratheon is out of the running for the Westeros crown after a shadow creature appears in his tent and kills him. Bummer. In the Game of Thrones, this seems a bit like cheating, but no one has time to complain. Catelyn and Brienne, who were in Renly’s tent when the magical voodoo assassin showed up, are blamed for the king’s death, but they both escape. And while all of Renly’s former bannermen join Stannis, the Tyrell siblings throw their lot in with Petyr and, I assume, Joffrey the Demented Boy King (first of his name).

Across the Narrow Sea, Dany gets one gigantic step closer to finally returning to Westeros. Xaro Xhoan Daxos offers her all the ships, horses, and soldiers she needs to conquer the Seven Kingdoms as long as she marries him. Hooray! The girl queen gets to return and smash the Westeros “boys’ club” to smithereens with her dragons and foreign armies. Oh, just kidding. Dany’s advisor Jorah wants her to reject the offer so that they can just return to Westeros on one dinky ship. This idiotic plan has nothing to do with the fact that Jorah is in love with her. Nothing at all.

Elsewhere, lots of epic action continues to dangle just over the horizon, tempting viewers. Theon abandons his father’s lame order to storm the fishermen villages in favor of a bold move to attack Torren’s Square, a city dangerously close to Winterfell. At King’s Landing, Tyrion discovers that the alchemists have been making thousands of pots of wild fire, a deadly substance capable of burning through wood, steel, and iron. Beyond the Wall, Jon volunteers to join Quorin Halfhand on an expedition to kill off the wildling scouts that lurk beyond the Fist of the First Men.

Meanwhile at Harrenhal, Arya finds an unexpected ally in Jaqen, the man whose life she saved a few episodes back when all of them were first captured. Jaqen now works for the Lannisters, but he has not forgetton what Arya did for him. Citing the religious teachings of the Red God, he claims that only death can pay for life and that he now owes Arya three deaths. Arya is understandably skeptical, but she does propose that if anyone should be killed, it should be the Tickler (famous for his rat/bucket/fire torture techniques). A short time later, the Tickler is found dead in the Harrenhal courtyard, and Arya looks up to find Jaqen smiling at her as he places one finger upon his cheek. Two more to go.

Thoughts

  • I’m not sure if Dany’s former prostitute friend Doreah is, in fact, still a former prostitute. Dany pretty much suggests Doreah should go make the men of Quarth “happy” in exchange for local gossip. Shouldn’t one of the benefits of being part of Dany’s entourage include not having to be a prostitude anymore?
  • I wonder how much CGI money it cost to just make one of Dany’s dragons barbeque his own morsel of food. Hope no one was hoping that her dragons would, you know, actually do anything important this season.
  • In The TudorsNatalie Dormer played Anne Boleyn, a woman intent on marrying the King of England. In Game of Thrones, she plays Margaery Tyrell, a woman also willing to do anything to be queen. This seems like an oddly specific role to get type-casted into. Unfortunately for her, it probably is going to be a bit harder to pretend she’s in love with teenager Joffrey than Jonathan Rhys Meyers (though perhaps easier than pretending to be in love with Renly, who was obviously in love with her brother).
  • Not to question the supreme wisdom of the Red God, but how does death pay for life? The math behind this religious command (+1 for a live saved righted by the -1 of a death) suggests that it is inadvisable to go around saving lives because then you’ll just have to kill someone else to right the universe. Sorry, Red God, I’d rather worship Ned’s weird tree.

Missing in action: Joffrey, Robb, Sansa, Melisandre

Body count: 2 – Renly gets offed by a shadow creature, and the Tickler dies under equally mysterious circumstances at Harrenhal

Quotes

Petyr: “Do you want to be a queen?”

Margaery: “No. I want to be the queen.”

*******

Lancel: “I swear to you on my life.”

Tyrion: “I don’t care about your life.”

Hayley has other interests besides just nerdy TV shows. She also is a big fan of thinking. She ponders the great mysteries of life, like how more of her time can be devoted to watching those nerdy TV shows.

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One thought on “game of thrones recapping: the ghost of harrenhal

  1. […] Previously on Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal […]

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