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Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 205, The Ghost of Harrenhall

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Quick programming note: This week’s recap was delayed by flu-like technical difficulties. We will be resuming our normal Monday morning recap this week. The bonus? You will get two recaps in four days!

The fifth episode of this season’s Game of Thrones was filled to the gills with major plot turns. It started off in Renly’s tent as Lady Stark tried to convince him that her son was not his enemy. Renly was smug and told her that Robb could be King of the North as long as he recognized Renly as the true king. Before Lady Stark could protest the shadow that Millasandre gave birth to last week swept into the tent and formed the shape of a man and ran a sword through Renly’s chest as Brienne tried to help him. Two guards swept in and accused Brienne of killing Renly. She drew her sword and took care of the two guards. Lady Stark convinced her to flee because she was going to get blamed for Renly’s death. 

Later, on the run and in the woods Brienne was hell bent on revenge on Stannis for Renly’s death. Lady Stark calmed her down and Brienne pledged to protect Lady Stark. Seeing how good she is with a sword, Lady Stark could do much worse for a guard.

Now that Renly has been killed his men all turned to support Stannis. While Stannis and his trusted second in command Ser Davos walked through Renly’s camp, Davos warned his king about bringing Millasandre and her shadow babies with them on the attack of King’s Landing. He warned Stannis that the victory would be seen as her victory and not his.

This didn’t please Stannis, but nothing really does, does it?

The news of Renly’s death hits Kings Landing and Queen Cersei is ecstatic that one of their enemies has perished. Tyrion points out to her that all of Renly’s men are still coming for them and they are still in danger. Cersei laughs him off and hints that she and King Joffrey have some secret plan to defend the city. When Tyrion pushes, she refuses to tell him what the plan is. Tyrion then finds his cousin Lancel, who is sleeping with the Queen, to tell him what she has heard. He confesses that the queen is having the city’s alchemists brew up batches of wild fire. As he kicks an annoyed Lancel to the curb he has him ask Bronn to kill him if anything were to happen to Tyrion. Lancel swallows his pride and does it, much to Bronn’s delight.

Tyrion then takes Bronn to see an alchemist and a debate about the effectiveness of wildfire ensues, as Bronn sees it as being a non-effective weapon in battle. The Alchemist takes them to see how much he has made for the Queen so far. Tyrion is astonished to see how many pots of it have already been made and tells the alchemist that from now on he is to make the wildfire for him and not his sister.

Tyrion continues to stay one step ahead of the many snakes that inhabit King’s Landing.

Back on the Iron Islands our favorite weasel, Theon Greyjoy, is preparing to take command of his one ship to fight his father’s war. His crew is less than impressed by him and row out to the ship leaving him on shore. His sister shows up to mock him some more, which only makes Theon seethe a bit more than he seems to do naturally. When his sister leaves he meets his new first mate, Dagmar, who tells him he should do something unexpected to win over the men. Theon then hatches a plan to take a small village on the sea, knowing that Winterfell would have to send men to hold it. At that he seems to have an idea and says no more.

Knowing Theon and his weasel ways, this cannot be good.

At Harrnehall Arya Stark is serving wine and food to Tywin Lannister and his commanders. Tywin is especially grumpy at one of his cousins at the table and sends him away in disgrace. He tells him to go running back to his wife before he decides to send her his head. It’s amazing how, despite being one of the richest and powerful families in Westeros, the Lannisters are all jerks. Who would want to be part of that family?

Tywin then questions Arya, getting her to admit that she is from the North. He asks her what she thinks of Robb Stark, unaware that it’s her brother. She tells him all the folklore surrounding her brother and that many people say he cannot be killed. When Tywin asks her if she believes that she coldly says no, “anyone can be killed”. Tywin gives her a serious look. Did she threaten him? He commands her to get water and she leaves the room.

On her way to the water bucket she passes three armed men that she recognizes. They are the three men that were in the cell that she freed when the soldiers attacked her group. They don’t seem to recognize her as they pass except that one lingers back and confronts her. This is Jaqen H’ghar, who has now joined the Lannisters. He speaks in a strange, Yoda-like way and tells Ayra that because she saved him and his two companions he owes her three lives. He tells her to give him three names and they will be killed. She hesitates and then says that she wants the man known as the ‘Tickler’, who tortures the prisoners at the camp. He says it will be done.

Later as she is giving Gendry grief for his sword fighting stance they hear a scream and a crash. As the run towards the sound the Tickler lies dead, from an apparent fall. Ayra looks up to the walk way above and Jaqen is there, holding up one finger to her. Ayra understands she has a strange ally.

North of the wall the Night’s Watch continues to trudge through the frozen wasteland before settling on a mountain top known as the Fist of the First Men. Sam is elated to be standing on such a historic sight but his companions do not share his excitement. They notice some Rangers approaching and we are introduced to Qhorin Halfhand. The Halfhand is a grizzled Ranger and he says that the wildings have lookouts across the valley as he can see their fire. He warns that all the wildings have joined Mance Raydar and are planning to attack. He organizes a small group to go take out the wilding lookouts and Jon Snow volunteers to go. Lord Mormont reluctantly lets him go, telling him that he better make a better Ranger than he did a steward.

In Qarth, where Daenerys and her band are staying we see her teaching one of her dragons to cook its own food. Later she is at a fancy party where a creepy bald guy shows her a magic trick and invites her to visit the House of the Undying, which really does not sound like a fun place to go. Later, as she mingles Jorah Mormont is confronted by a strange woman with an even stranger gold mask. She is a bit creepy and tells him that Daenerys needs protection now more than ever.

Xaro then shows Daenerys a gold vault where he stores all his riches. He promises it to her if she would just marry him. At first Daeny laughs at him, but later, as she is desperate for her army she tells Jorah that it might be a good idea. He implores her to be patient and encourages her to find her own ship and not rely on the untrustworthy Xaro. She relents and tells Jorah to find her that ship.

You have to hand it to Xaro to try and win Daeny with all his bling. It almost worked but in the end she wants to win her own way.

Back in Winterfell Bran is stuck listening to people plead for help from him. He hears about a farmer who is having trouble with this sheep. Bran promises him some men to help him. Then Ser Rodrik enters with a group of men to inform the young Stark that the city of Thorrhen’s Square is under siege. They hypothesize that it is the Lannisters and Bran dispatches 200 men to go squash the attack. After the meeting he is outside with Hordor and Osha and he tells her about a dream he had. In his dream the sea rose up and flooded Winterfell. Could he foresee Theon Greyjoy coming for Winterfell?

In memorium

There were some losses this week. To start with we lost King Renly. Renly really liked the idea of being a King but in the end did not want as much as his brother, or his red mistress.

We also lost two of his guards who were hacked down by Brienne. Perhaps they should have asked her nicely what had happened instead of jumping to conclusions.

We then lost the Tickler at Harrenhall. This was no great loss as his claim to fame was putting irritated rats on people. Westeros has enough problems without his type around.