There’s something about the mystery behind the walls of Qarth that has kept me tossing and turning all week. Maybe I’m having Daenerys or dragon withdrawls, but there’s something just not right about that city in the far east. That city and the demon that crawled out of Melisandre’s loins are fodder for nightmares.
SUPER MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! Remember in Season 1, when Stark’s head came off? The opening of “The Ghost of Harrenhal” is almost as shocking. As the dashingly handsome Renly Baratheon solidifies an alliance with Cat Stark and the Stark line, Stannis’ demon child bursts in on the wind and slaughters Renly where he stands, in front of Cat and his Warrior Woman Brienne. Seriously? The handsome homo? Couldn’t you have taken someone else?
“You can’t avenge Renly if you’re dead or imprisoned” seems to be the motto here. Brienne doesn’t want to leave Renly’s side, but Cat convinces her to flee together. Cat and Brienne bond as they flee to find Robb, and Brienne swears her allegiance to Cat. Loras Tyrell, his devastated lover, fights his non-sexual urges at the advice of Baelish and Margaery. Since Renly’s bannermen will flock to Stannis’ side, Loras will have to find his revenge another day.
Stannis’ army is ready to fight, but his man, Davos, tries to warn him of the devil he has made his deal with. If Stannis takes King’s Landing with Melisandre by his side, he will surrender his throne to an unknown religion, its gods, and its demons. Reluctantly, he agrees to leave Melisandre behind when he captures the throne. I can’t quite figure out if he knows about the shadow demon or not.
Tyrion continues to battle Cersei over the poor choices she and Joffrey are making to lead the kingdom. When he holds a secret tryst with his spy, he learns the King and Queen Regent are planning to defend the citadel with “Wildfire,” a napalm-like weapon intended for armies and ships, and then he tosses his informant to the ground. It’s amazing how much power such a little man can have. Is it possible for his balls to be bigger than he is?
But people in King’s Landing think Tyrion is the puppet master for the King, so he investigates the rumor of Wildfire, the key to Tagaryan power. The pyromancer confirms the weapon does exist. In fact, they have a boat load of it: barrels and barrels as far as the eye can see.
Theon Greyjoy is having trouble commanding his men to raid the fishing villages of the Stony Shore. He needs a plan to win the men over, and taking a stronghold like Torrhen’s Square would be just that move. As the men of the Nights Watch continue North, young, differently-abled Bran Stark is the only Lord left to defend Winterfell as the Greyjoy invasion begins.
At Harrenhal, Arya “befriends” one of the prisoners she let go in the raid. Indebted to her, he promises her three lives in exchange for the three she saved. Unsure, she gives him her first choice: the torturing tickler. Later, when she’s helping Gendry learn how to defend himself, her new-found “friend” comes through with his first payment. No doubt one of her remaining wishes is for Tywin Lannister.
Far to the east in Qarth, Denaerys the Dragon Mother is delighted by the luxuries supplied by her host, and she helps her Dothraki appreciate and respect his generosity. While it seems like another unthreatening, cheesy, off-world, outdoor market from Star Trek, Daenerys is unaware that, because of her power and her dragons, everyone will be coming for her.
Tempted by her benefactor, who offers his hand in exchange for the wealth she needs to set sail for the Seven Kingdoms, Daenerys faces some hard choices. She wants to reclaim her rightful throne over the seven kingdoms, but in the end, she sides with Jorah, who convinces her to fight owing no one any favors. I’m still thinking there’s something creepy going on in that walled city.
Now that Renly’s dead, my biggest worry is that Daenerys won’t have the time or the army to make it to the fight. I’m dying to see Westeros ruled by dragons. What are you expecting or wanting to see? Let us know in the comments below.
|Jim C. is a sci-fi/supernatural/federation/superhero/Cylon teacher nerd, obsessed with TV, books and film. He spent his childhood reading comics, writing morbid horror stories and being the token tormented class homo, but he thinks he turned out pretty freakin’ awesome.|