40 Days. 40 Episodes. Game of Thrones, S2E5

So when I started this experiment of watching all 40 Game of Thrones episodes in the 40 days before the premiere of Season 5, I thought I might make it through the episodes but wouldn’t necessarily blog about each one. I don’t really have to blog about all the episodes since from S3E3, they’re all in my archives. Considering that, I’m almost done. The experiment in watching them all has given me a new perspective on some characters and their stories. But it’s also given me a new perspective on sitting down and writing about the same thing every day. I should maybe write a post about that. But until then, here’s Season 2, Episode 5, “The Ghost of Harrenhal.”

The episode opens in Renly’s camp where Cat and Renly are striking an agreement. Renly will “allow” Robb to call himself King in the North and have dominion over all lands north of Moat Caitlin in return for an oath of fealty. Cat begs him to reconsider a battle with Stannis and instead negotiate. Renly is scoffing at this as a black mist blows in, assumes the shape of Stannis and stabs Renly in the heart. Brienne shrieks and grabs Renly. Immediately, two guards enter, see Renly dead in Brienne’s arms and attack her. She totally whips ass. It is short but it is one of the best sword fights in the whole show. Then she and Cat do what every character in this show should do at one moment or another and they GTFO. Brienne is really torn up about Renly. I guess he was hella charming or something.

Littlefinger stares out over the sea watching Stannis’s ships approach. Margaery and Loras stand over Renly’s body talking about what to do. Littlefinger appears in the tent and tells them they need to get out as well cause all of Renly’s bannermen will flock to Stannis. Littlefinger appeals to Loras’s desire for revenge. Margaery is completely practical about it all dismissing Littlefinger’s “Your Grace” and telling him she doesn’t want to be “a queen.” She wants to be “the queen.”

At King’s Landing, the news reaches Cersei who gloats. Tyrion has to explain to her that now Stannis’s army is way bigger. Then Cersei bitches about Myrcella and Tyrion tries to explain tactics and she gets really pouty and won’t tell Tyrion what Joffrey is planning to do about the siege.

Tyrion meets with his Lannister spy who is sleeping with Cersei. He tells Tyrion about the Wildfire which Tyrion does not believe at all. Because “Wildfire” is like “snarks” and “grumpkins” and all the other things that “civilized” people in this universe snort at. Lancel! That’s the dum dum’s name.

Davos really wants to talk to Stannis about the smoke baby that Melisandre birthed but Stannis does not want to hear about it. All he cares about are Renly’s men who have joined his army. Davos pushes Stannis on Melisandre again: “She’s a foreigner who preaches a foreign religion.” Stannis agrees not to bring Melisandre with him to the battle. But he puts Davos in charge of the attack.

Theon meets the crew of Sea Bitch who do not give a crap about him at all. The humiliation continues. Everyone who meets Theon is just turning the screw. When this guy snaps, it is no surprise at all. Yara pauses to mock Theon as well.

In Harrenhal, Tywin and his commanders discuss the war all while Arya serves them. Oh man, she’s going to kill them good, right? Oh, she’ll probably get some info out to Robb, right? She’s got to do something after all this time working for the enemy, right?

Really, all this scene serves to do is strengthen the case of “Roose Change.” There is a cool exchange between Tywin and Arya when he asks where she’s from.

Arya sees Jaqen who is now a soldier for the Lannisters (also not really explained in the show). He sneaks up on her to make his offer of killing three people for her saving him. She names the Tickler first. Fair enough, but you know, aim higher sometime, Arya.

Mormont and the Watch keep walking through the snow. Mormont tells Jon about “the Halfhand” as if he’s some mythical creature. They camp on top of the Fist of the First Men. Sam gives them some history. The First Men stayed on the Fist all through the Long Night, he says. He also reminds them that they blow the horn three times for White Walkers. Which they think is kooky talk.

Speaking of kooky talk, Tyrion is with the Pyromancer inspecting the Wildfire reserves. Bronn doesn’t believe Wildfire works. But it turns out they have a lot of Wildfire. Like WAY too much to keep in a castle.

In Qarth, Dany is training her dragons to breath fire on command. She and her handmaidens discuss Xaro and the mystery that he is. Dany suggests delicately that one of her handmaidens bang some dude to get info on Xaro. At a Qartheen cocktail party, Dany meets the Warlocks. Like Taylor Swift, we knew this was trouble. Xaro swoops in. Jorah meets some lady in a bondage mask who has a bunch of info on him.

Near a creek somewhere, Brienne and Cat discuss the magic shadow that killed Renly and their future plans. Brienne is super eager to serve Cat, serve anyone really.

Bran is holding court better than ever. Rodrik bursts in and announces Torren Square is under assault. Bran sends men with Rodrik. And Bran heads out with Osha and Hodor for a ride. Bran tells Osha that he dreamt the sea came to Winterfell. He presses her to know what they say about the three-eyed raven north of the wall. They say all sorts of crazy things north of the wall, she answers.

Back on the Fist, Qorin and Mormont and the Watch discuss their next moves. Jon wants to be on Qorin’s team. He cites his resume; he killed a wight. Qorin, playing the Kelly McGillis role to Jon’s Tom Cruise, says, “So he’s the one.”

Xaro asks Dany how long Jorah has been in love with her. It’s probably the first she’s had to face that question. He asks what she really wants and she gets a little entitled in discussing why she wants the Iron Throne–“Because it’s mine by right!” Xaro, in return, shows her his vault–not the inside, no, no, nothing suspicious about that–just the door. He offers her half of his wealth if she marries him. His planting of the seed of Jorah loving her makes Dany super suspicious of Jorah’s advice now. And then Jorah all but confesses it, “There are times when I look at you and I still can’t believe you’re real.” Jorah wants her to make her own way, get one ship, go to Westeros, and find her allies there. She somewhat agress.

Arya watches Gendry make a sword and gives him advice on swordfighting when a scream disrupts them and the castle discovers the Tickler dead.