Game Of Thrones Moment: The Ghost of Harrenhal

April 30, 2012 at 9:23 am

Weekly Game of Thrones Review | The Athletic Nerd


Season One was memorable because at any given moment, a major character could fall.  Nobody was untouchable and so many perished in unexpected and compelling twists.  This season promises much more of the same as there can only be one on the iron throne but it hasn’t happened yet…  Until Episode 5 that is.

My biggest fear after last week’s smoke monster finale was an episode free of the Stannis/Renly storyline.  Thankfully, The Ghost of Harrenhal picks up right were the black smokey birth left off.  This episode presented several interesting moments but none greater than the smoke monster’s murder of Renly Baratheon.

Renly Baratheon game of thrones

Choosing a moment that occurs within the first 5 minutes of an episode kind of hints that the rest of the episode is sub bar.  Quite the opposite.  I chose this moment because it’s mentioned throughout.  Renly’s death coupled with his banner men joining Stannis reaches every corner of the world quickly.

Stannis now possesses a massive army of men and a huge fleet of ships.  And the other players reacted accordingly.  In King’s Landing, Joffrey prepares for the siege with fire much to Tyrion ‘Don’t call me a Demon Monkey’ Lannisters dismay.  Out in Qarth, Daenerys sees it as her opportunity to strike with so much chaos in Westeros.  The Robb vs Tywin war will certainly be impacted by the news and the list goes on.

Renly’s death was a catalyst and a perfect way for the writers to sum up where everyone stands in the war.

Even more important was the realization that Stannis’ men have begun to suspect Melisandre (who was curiously absent in this episode) as a master manipulator and the true reason for the army’s ‘good fortunes’.  It was a great time to cast a little doubt that her intentions aren’t…  Ahem… noble.

UPDATE: It’s tough to tell who would win in a fight between this smoke monster and the one from Lost…  But Stannis and Melisandre’s smoke baby is certainly ruthless.  All the Lost monster did was throw people around for the most part…


The rest of the episode was mostly made up of characters reacting to Renly’s death.  However, as the dominos began to fall, Arya finally got some revenge.  Last week I wondered how long she would suffer before something good happened.  Enter Jaqen H’ghar, a man she saved, who pledges 3 kills in payment and all she has to do is provide names.

Immediately, she takes out The Tickler but it’s interesting that she didn’t choose Tywin first.  King Joffrey and Tywin HAVE to be on her list right?  Right?

We’ll have to wait and see next week.

Catch up on previous episodes:

Episode 1 Moment
Episode 2 Moment
Episode 3 Moment
Episode 4 Moment