After last week’s “Game of Thrones,” which delivered the shadow baby and full-on fantasy weirdness, the latest episode was a step back on the excitement scale.
“The Ghost of Harrenhal” was all about the wind-up, pulling back the band on a slingshot. It was built on the promise of terrifying things to come. This is a roundabout way of saying I was kind of bored during this very foreboding episode, which saw our characters deciding how much power to concede in their quest for the Iron Throne.
But let’s start with the most exciting part, which requires a definite spoiler alert:
Renly was killed by Melisandre’s shadow baby thing, which I will refer to as the Shadow Monster because I’m the sheriff ‘round these parts and I’ll call it what I want. (Still, suggestions in the comments are welcome!)
Lady Catelyn Stark, who was pretty composed considering a Shadow Monster had just burst into the place and killed Renly, told the very loyal and extremely devastated Brienne to high tail it out of the camp instead of seeking immediate revenge on Stannis.
Brienne complied and, after seeing what a good woman Cat is, vowed her loyalty to her and, therefore, Robb. Cat in return promised to let Brienne do her thing (her thing being murdering Stannis) when the time comes. A sisterly alliance is born.
Renly’s death also displaced (not a slow) Loris, who was also devastated by the loss of his king and lover. He too wantd to avenge Renly’s death, but his sister Margaery convinced him to flee the camp with her.
Kingless, Margaery teamed up with fellow power-crazed person Littlefinger, telling him she doesn’t want to be a queen, she wants to be the queen. (This is when a studio audience would say, “Oooh.”) Basically Margaery will align herself with anyone for power and do whatever she has to do. This should not come as a surprise considering her established stance on using her sibling as an aphrodisiac.
Elsewhere, Cersei was very happy that Renly is dead and didn’t seem concerned that Stannis’s army has been doubled. Tyrion, the only sane person in King’s Landing, grew very worried and went to find out what his sister was doing to protect the place.
Through his other incest-practicing cousin Lancel, Tryion discovered that Cersei has been having wildfire — literally, fire in a jar — made and stockpiled under the city. And I mean a lot of it. A jaw-dropping amount, according to Tyrion’s jaw. Not trusting his sister (again: sane person), Tryion took control of the wildfire.
Ser Davos, the only well-balanced individual in Stannis’s camp, told his king that people are starting to think the Shadow Monster and Melisandre are running the show (which they seemingly are.)
“Loyal service means hard truths,” he told Stannis, fearing that the bannermen won from Renly will be lost to Melisandre. But the thing is, the Shadow Monster won those men by killing Renly. So it’s a little too late to kick him out of the conquering club.
Stannis threatened Ser Davos with the idea that treason means death, which is basically the lamest yet most effective way of keeping power. But he still agreed to leave Melisandre behind.
Daenerys was at a crossroads in Qarth, where she mingled at a fancy soiree attended by the city’s finest and some extremely creepy bald, blue-lipped warlock.
Xaro proposed that the two get hitched, offering Daenerys half of what’s behind his vault to finance her takeover of Westeros. While blunt, this proposal is certainly nicer than the time her brother traded her maidenhood to a Dothraki for the chance at being king.
Ser Jorah, having been warned by a woman whose face was completely covered (trustworthy!) to look out for Daenerys, convinced her to turn the offer down so she won’t lose her power in the end. Daenerys agreed, with a promise from Ser Jorah that he will find a ship.
Theon ... can’t get no respect: not from his soldiers and not from his sister. But he did forge a decent working relationship with his first mate Dagmer, who suggested Theon do whatever he wants and make his own battle plan. Which brings us to...
Bran Stark ... who is holding down Winterfell. The little guy was still have foreboding dreams, this time about a three-eyed Raven and the sea flooding Winterfell. He’s doing a great job, but still unable to see the Theon-created danger that waits for his men in Torrehen’s Square.
Arya... reunited with Jaquen H’ghar, the guy she saved from the locked, burning cart. In return for his life and the lives of two others, Jaquen told Arya he would kill three people for her and quickly delivered on this promise.
Gendry ... sported the abs that launched a hundred Tumblr posts,