Tuesday, May 1, 2012

F**k Yeah Game of Thrones: Ghosts of Harrenhal

I should officially change the title of these recaps to ZOMGWTF Game of Thrones. Episode five: Ghosts of Harrenhal doesn’t just change the rules, it flips the game right off the table. And then jumps on the game. And then makes up a completely new game. And neglects to tell you how to play.

I foolishly thought that the Clash of Kings would occur out on the field but a new weirdness in Westeros is seeping in and shaking shit up.

Chicks dig warlocks. This is exactly what Charlie Sheen was talking about.
To hear my ill-read, uninformed recount of what went down, join me... after the jump!

This episode really hits the ground running. But it plays a pretty awesome trick on yuo. At first you think it’s another bout of political posturing and blah-de-blah-blah with Catelyn Stark in King Renly Baratheon’s tent forging an alliance between his army and Robb. Renly’s like, “Yeah.. I’m cool with Robb being King of the North.... if he bends down and KISSES MY PERFECT ASS!” and Catelyn is all pursed lips and, “Hmmm... yes... that could be arranged.” 

But then - completely out of nowhere - BAM! Stannis Baratheon’s freshly born Shadow Man-Baby bursts into the tent with no “how do you do’s” or “beg your pardons” and he gets all up behind Renly and makes one of those bitchin’ morphing videogame blades with his arm and rams it right through Renly’s back and out through his chest. WTF! Renly is DEAD?! We were just getting to know him! BAD SHADOW MAN-BABY!

Naturally, Shadow Man-Baby then buggers off back to whence he came and loyal Kings Guard Brienne (she didn't guard this king) promptly loses her shit. Guards bust in assuming she is the culprit and she’s forced to promptly murder them with her mighty murder-sword. Catelyn and Brienne have no choice but to flee, fearing further reprisals from the guards. Because they didn’t bet on a Shadow Man-Baby, did they? Never turn your fool back on a Shadow Man-Baby!

Later in the woods, Brienne swears fealty to Catelyn and they are now an all-powerful super-female team who should probably be able to totally kick the pompous asses of all of the men. They seal this deal with a well-timed high-five.

Meanwhile, in the chaos that ensues, most of Renly’s men defect to Shadow-Daddy Stannis. Ambitious Queen Margeary and lame-duck Loras Tyrell realise that they’re pretty much screwed now. But Little Finger is still loping around and senses a convenient opportunity (probably in the form of a freaky threeway) and he leads them away to safety. Could Margeary be Little Finger’s key to power of his own? I wonder if, with her help, he can finally score a crown.

However, on Stannis’ side not everyone is thrilled about a Shadow Man-Baby. Ser Davos tries to convince Stannis to ditch the witch (Shadow Man-Baby Mother Melisandre) and focus on his damn job before she wrests the power away from him too. Stannis grudgingly agrees to divert Melisandre from the King’s Landing attack but puts a reluctant Ser Davos in command of his ship. Davos does a little piss because he was clearly not intending to be out in the firing line. And this fear could well prove to be wise...

You see, King’s Hand and demon monkey, Tyrion, discovers through his spy Lancel (they have a meeting in a cat carrier) that Cersei and the Joffmeister’s plan for counterattack is to catapault volatile globs of medieval napalm at the oncoming ships. In fact they’ve already stockpiled large quantities of it in jars underneath the city. Enough to destroy everything. Captain of the guard, Bronn thinks that this is a totally bullshit idea which will no doubt result in the city burning to the ground. Everybody has the heebie jeebies and Tyrion tells the pyromancer that from now on he is only to make medieval napalm for him.

Fan favourite Tyrion has a relatively small part (LULZ) in this episode and I was kind of disappointed to find out that mutilated/possibly murdered prostitute, Daisy, from last episode, has only become a passing mention. I really wish that the nastiness that transpired had inspired Tyrion’s wrath and led to Joff getting knocked down a peg or two. Or at least smacked in the gob. I guess we’ll have to bide our time.

On the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy heads off to fight fishermen with his new crew. They prove to be an unruly mess of scurvy knaves who treat him with unrestrained contempt. His sister, Yara, brushes past to emasculate him even further. He really must regret fingerbanging her on that horse. 

I thought Theon might ram his sword through someone’s face to prove a point but instead he comes up with a cunning plan to do a surprise attack near Winterfell which will leave it exposed when the troops divert. His first mate thinks this is brilliant and they smile longingly at each other with crooked teeth.

And what of Winterfell? Badass boy-wolf Brann Stark is large and in charge and has no problem ordering 200 troops to intercept Theon’s disturbance. But Brann later confides to captive wildling woman, Osha, that he dreamed that Winterfell was destroyed by the sea. Osha brushes it off. You’re a man now, Brann. That was your first wet dream.

Meanwhile, that bastard Jon Snow and the Black Watch are chillin’ like villains on the ice planet Hoth. They are approaching the amassed Wildling army and realise that conventional tactics are going to lead to some scraped knees. So they devise a plan to send a small team of crack commandos to take out the lookouts. Steward Snow whines until they let him go on the mission. This will be his first time acting as a ranger which means he can... I don’t know... stop bears from stealing picnic baskets?

Okay... who’s left...

Daenerys is still in Qarth and the production accountants allow us to see the dragons for a little bit before bustling them back to their cloth-covered boxes. Daenerys is being treated like royalty in the lush city and attends a fancy party where a warlock tries to impress her with his dance magic and jump magic. A woman in a full head mask gives an ominous warning to disgraced knight Ser Jorah, and Daenrys’ men plot to steal everything that’s not nailed down. They would steal the cock off a peacock.

Xaro, the large, jolly gentleman that vouched for Daenerys’ entrance into Qarth, takes her aside and makes an indecent proposal. He will shower her with great riches from the vault, enough to buy an army and the ships she needs, and help her conquer Westeros. All she has to do in return is see past his big belly and marry him. She seems pretty keen but Jorah (who appears to be infatuated with her himself) doesn’t approve and thinks she should do it under her own steam with a single ship. She’s all, “Oh yeah... okay... I guess so... kind of...” but I think she wouldn’t mind giving Xaro a go. Personally, I’m a still an advocate for Daenerys using the dragons as rocket skates and flying into King’s Landing and biting The Joff on the face.

And finally, let’s check in with little Arya Stark. She’s bearing cups like a madman for Big Daddy Lannister, Tywin, who is having an endless war meeting to find a way to destroy Robb Stark. Charles Dance is so goddamn intimidating that I bet he doesn’t comb his own hair because his stern reflection must even scare the shit out of himself. He ends up drawing Arya into the conversation, getting her to reveal that she’s a Northerner and gains an insight into the general opinion of Robb. It’s generally agreed across the land that Robb is a mega-badass who rides, and makes love to, giant wolves.

Out in the courtyard, Arya runs into Jaqen who is the brooding prisoner she saved from the burning raper cage a few episodes ago. Jaqen is now armoured up as one of the Lannister’s men and he (creepily) informs Arya that, by saving the three prisoners' lives, she now owes the Red God three lives in return. She can give Jaqen any three names and he will vow to kill them. Now I like where this is going! She starts small (I would have started with “go bash in Joffrey’s stupid head”) and chooses the Tickler (the sexy nickname of Harrenhal’s cheery torturer).

And sure enough, Jaqen is good on his word. Not too much later the Tickler is found with is neck snapped. Who did this? Jaqen broods on a balcony holding up a single finger. That’s the first one down. Two more to go. Credits roll.

Apart from the kickass ZOMGWTF Shadow Man-Baby beginning this was a far quieter episode overall, although plenty of big things are brewing. But you want to know what the weirdest thing of all was about this one? There were no boobs! None at all! Not a single melon or bap. Not a hint of a nipple. Game of Thrones, what are you doing!? How can Internet prudes complain about you now!?

Hopefully next week will be both action-packed and tittyriffic!


  1. The last 30 seconds had very little impact (lol) for me. I was too distracted by Gendry's abs. Goodness me.

  2. The outfits in Qarth were effin crazy. I also liked Queen Margeary taking fashion tips from Mass Effects Garrus. It was the most fashionable episode of Game of thrones yet!!

  3. Ha, I'm glad you said that, Tim! When I first saw Margeary I whispered to Suzanne, "She's a Krogan!" and got told to be quiet.