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‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “The Ghost of Harrenhal”

Game of Thrones The Ghost of Harrenhal
HBO

War is totally coming, you guys!  Like, any day now, we swear! ‘Game of Thrones’ season 2 dresses up  its fifth episode of the season, as Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds herself with an interesting proposal during her stay in Qarth, while Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) oversees his nephew’s preparations for the coming war, and a deadly turn of events sees Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) out on the run together.

Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode “Garden of Bones” saw  Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) finding herself in a precarious position up at Castle Harrenhal, while Tyrion’s protection of Sansa Stark earns him the ire of Joffrey, and Melisandre gave birth to a creepy shadow thing, so what will the latest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ season 2 episode “The Ghost of Harrenhal!”

As Renly’s camp prepares to move to avoid Stannis incoming army, Renly himself agrees with Catelyn to keep the peace with Robb, that their friendship should stand just as Ned’s and Robert Baratheon’s once did.  Catelyn still begs Renly to negotiate a peace with Stannis, but before he as a chance, the shadow that oozed forth from Melisande appears, and stabs Renly through the back!  When the screams alert the guards, the shadow dissipates, and the guards mistake Brienne for the murderer.  She kills them, and reluctantly agrees to flee with Catelyn.

Later, Littlefinger observes Stannis’ incoming fleet, before attempting to usher out Margaery and Ser Loras from looking over Renly’s body.  With Ser Loras gone, Margaery admits to Littlefinger that she still wishes to be THE queen.  Who wouldn’t?

Speaking of the queen, Cersei largely ignores Tyrion in his effort to assure her that they must prepare for the incoming assault, Renly’s death nearly doubling the size of Stannis’ army.  She insists however, that Joffrey is making preparations, but is withholding the information of what from the small council.  No matter, as Tyrion follows through on his blackmail of Lancel, who reveals that Joffreys plan involves using something called “wildfire,” pots and pots of it that will be hurled at Stannis’s ships.  On his way out, Lancel has Bronn reminded to kill him if anything happens to Tyrion.

Having invaded his brother’s camp, Stannis ignores Davos’ pleas to speak about what he saw in that cave, and insistence that Melisandre herself desires the throne.  Reluctantly, Stannis agrees to leave the red priestess behind before launching the assault on Kings’ Landing, but only if Davos himelf will lead the ships in the assault.  Back in Kings’ Landing, Tyrion and Bronn watch as a man publicly berates the Lannisters, even agreeing with some of his points up until he calls Tyrion a “Demon Monkey.”  That one hurts deep, bro.

Over in the iron islands, Theon finds he can’t get no respect from the crew of the Sea Bitch, none at all, or even his sister, but makes a new friend in a man named Dagmer, who gives the idea that rather than assault fishing villages, they should lay siege to Torrhen’s square, thus drawing the armies out of Winterfell.  Meanwhile, Arya makes the best of her new job as cup bearer to Tywin Lannister, nearly getting caught when he asks her to reveal her true heritage as a Northerner.  She leaves to fetch water, and bumps into Jaqen H’ghar! He explains that in saving his life earlier, she managed to “steal three deaths” from the Red God, which must be given back.  You know what that means!  Free murders!  First up, the Tickler!  No more rat torture for that guy!

Meanwhile, up north, Jon snow and his cronies continue moving through the snow and set up camp, when Corin approaches.  So…a lot’s happening there.

Back in Kings’ Landing, Tyrion and Bronn overlook Joffrey’s “preparations,” the thousands of tubs of “wildfire,” what seems to be an acid of sorts.  The problem is, acid isn’t a very wieldly weapon, and Kings’ Landing would be just as likely to burn down from its use as Stannis’ ships.  Still, when he sees the size of the store they’ve amassed, Tyrion informs the pyromancer that he’ll be making the wildfire directly for him, now.

Over in the fabulous city of Qarth, Daenerys feeds her dragon (aww, it cooks its own food!), and readies herself for a lovely party, to some of her servants’ chagrin.  At the party itself, Daenerys breaks from smalltalk to reign her Dothraki followers in, apt to steal and melt down any gold they find in the property.  The exceptionally creepy Pyat Pree introduces himself to Daenerys, inviting her to the House of the Undying, when Xaro apologizes, and leads her away.  Then, a mysterious masked woman appears to Ser Jorah, and presses that Daenerys will need protectors, wanting to see a return to the age of dragons.

Elsewhere on the run, Brienne of Tarth regrets leaving Renly’s side, but agrees to swear her loyalty to Catelyn Stark, provided that she be allowed to kill Stannis at some point.  Such loyalty!  Can’t wait for the shippers to run with that one.  In Winterfell, young Bran Stark continues overseeing everything, even ordering the men to aid in the apparent siege of Torrhen’s Square, though his dreams of a three-eyed raven seem somewhat troublesome to Osha.  Wonder if they might have anything to do with Brandon’s other dream, where the sea overtakes all of Winterfell?  Hmm…

Elsewhere, Jon Snow opts to stay behind and serve Corin rather than serve as steward to Mormont, as apparently the Wildlings are uniting, and training for the coming battle.  Or something.  Seriously, is nothing happening with these guys?

Back at the party, Xaro informs Dany that Jorah is likely in love with her, and as the two trade stories of their ambition, and Daenerys desire for the throne, she questions why Xaro vouched for her at the gate.  He takes her to his impenetrable vault, and informs her that his fortune can be hers to fund her attack on the throne, on the tiny condition that she marry him!  Later, Jorah predictably protests, assuring her they already have all the allies they’ll need across the sea, and that he wants her on the throne because of her good heart, an increasingly rare quality in their world.  HE assures her that he’ll find a ship for their journey, while totally giving her the googly eyes.

Speaking of googly eyes, Arya totes eye-bones Gendry as he practices his sword-fighting, before a scream alerts people to The Tickler’s corps, with his neck twisted all the way around!  Jaqen curtly nods, as Arya smiles over his corpse.  Creepy!

Great stuff, all, but we have to wonder if things might be becoming a bit too padded, the way Jon Snow up in the North hasn’t had a whole lot to do in a full five episodes.  And what will we do without poor Renly?  Got himself shadow-ganked, bro.  And who will Arya have Jaqen kill next?  And whats with our lack of free boobs this week?

If you think this was good, just wait until next week!  Did you get your fill of sword-swingin’ ‘Game of Thrones’ action?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Game of Thrones’ next effort “The Old Gods and the New” on HBO!

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