Game of Thrones ‘The Ghost of Harrenhal’ RecapApril 30th, 2012 | Posted by in Television
‘The Ghost of Harrenhal’ marks the midway point of season two as well as the first departure of a main character since the finale of season one. This episode contained a hefty amount of jumping around from locations across Westros but only really introduced us to one or two new characters. This episode really marks the turning point in this season as it takes a somewhat major player out of the game which leads to enormous changes in the clash for the throne.
While Robb Stark’s war continues with the Lannisters, another war is forming between the Baratheon brothers in the Stromlands. We’re first introduced to Renly talking to Lady Stark about terms to form an alliance so that Robb can rule the north and he’ll take the Iron Throne. Lady Stark seems to be in somewhat of an agreement with Renly stipulations but all of a sudden a cloud of black smoke appears behind Renly. Renly is stabbed through the heart and killed instantly as Lady Stark and Brienne of Tarth look on in horror as the dark male figure, looking like Stannis, disappears before their eyes after the deed is done. Lady Stark and Brienne flee Renly’s encampment after Brienne cuts down two guards as they believe they would be suspected of murder. Brienne eventually pledges her loyalty to Lady Stark as her bodyguard because she looks up to her as a strong and wise woman. After Renly’s death, his bannermen flee to Stannis’ camp, except Loras and Margaery Tyrell, and join up among his ranks. Stannis plans to attack Blackwater Bay once he can ready all of his troops after gaining 100,000 of Renly’s former soldiers. Davos voices his concerns to Stannis about taking Melisandre with him when he attacks King’s Landing as he worries that Melisandre will attempt to control him. Stannis agrees that it would be best if Melisandre not accompany him to King’s Landing.
Skipping over to King’s Landing, we see Tyrion and Cersei arguing over Myrcella’s evident departure from King’s Landing. Tyrion plans on doing this because he is not confident that if or when war comes to King’s Landing that they will be able to hold it against Robb Stark or Stannis Baratheon. Tyrion is also worried that Cersei mentions that Joffrey is heading the strategy for King’s Landing’s defenses and he is desperate to find out Joffrey’s plans for defending the capital. Tyrion enlists the help of his cousin/informant, Lancel, whom informs him that they are planning to use alchemy as an approach to counter Stannis’ sea supremacy. Tyrion meets with the head alchemist whom claims they are using an extremely flammable and dangerous chemical called wildfire that will be catapulted onto Stannis’ fleets as they come to raid King’s Landing. Tyrion is shown a large room filled with wildfire and while he objects the use of the weaponry, he tells they to continue making more for him and not his sister.
North of the wall, we follow the Night’s Watch as they trek deeper and deeper into the abyss. They set up camp high on a cliff and spot smoke that looks to be from scouts of wildlings. A group of men return, leading to the Night’s Watch sounding a single horn. Sam mentions that one blow of the horn means returning rangers, two blows signifies wildlings, and a third blow is reserved for white walkers. While his fellow Night’s Watchmen laugh it off as an old wives tale, I have a feeling this will be important later in the show. A small group of scouts are going to check out where the smoke is coming from and Jon Snow volunteers to go along. Lord Commander Joer Mormont gives Snow permission to take part on the mission saying, “I hope you make a better ranger than a steward”.
We meet up with Theon Greyjoy in Pyke as he is set to sail out with his crew on The, “mighty”, Sea Bitch. Theon’s lack of experience leads to his crew’s dissent and they all paddle off on a row boat without him. His first mate tells him that he needs to earn his men’s trust. Theon believes the best way to earn their trust is to disobey his father’s orders to slaughter a fishing village and take the northern fortress Torrhen Square. He understand that it will draw immediate attention from Winterfell but decides to attack it anyway. Over in Winterfell, we learn that Torrhen Square is under attack which Bran Stark allows 200 of Winterfell’s men to aid in the invasion. Bran also mentions to Osha about strange happenings that foreshadow tough time for Winterfell.
Across the Narrow Sea in Qarth, Daenerys is desperate to get ships and an army to take back the Iron Throne as she believes she is the rightful heir. Xaro Xhoan Daxos tells her of Robert Baratheon’s death and offers her money for ships and troops in exchange for her hand in marriage. Daenerys tells Jorah Mormont, her advisor, about Xaro Xhoan Daxos’s marriage proposal but he rejects that idea. Jorah insists that all she needs to do is get Westros and then he has a plan on how she can obtain the Iron Throne.
We catch up with Arya Stark at Harrenhal as a cupbearer for Tywin Lannister as he discusses with his top men how they are being constantly defeated by Robb Stark. Tywin finds out that Arya is from the north but her identity is still a secret to everyone except Grendy. While fetching water for Tywin, Arya runs into Jaqen H’ghar, one of the men she saved during the small skirmish with the Lannister soldiers. He greatly appriciates what she did for him and the 2 other men she saved and has promised to kill any 3 people she wants as payment for their lives. Arya tells him to kill the man known as “The Tickler” who tortured and killed the prisoners of Harrenhal. Jagen does as she commands quickly and undetected as he is disguised as a Lannister soldier. It’s going to be interesting to see which other two Arya decides to kill.
Well, that’s it for this week’s episode. Besides the opening episode of the series, I can’t think of a more shocking opening to an episode than this. Game of Thrones has usually kept their thrills till the end of the episode so it’s nice to see a change in the formula. A lot of locations and people covered in this episode so I’m guessing we’re soon going to have more centralized locations as each camp moves closer to war. Next week’s episode looks to be focusing on the events north of the wall which has been under developed in the past few weeks so I’m really excited to see how Jon Snow’s scout group makes out.