Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal Review (Mania.com)

By:Jarrett Kruse
Review Date: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Source: Mania.com

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I was definitely psyched for this episode after last week’s superb ending and was not disappointed. Unlike many of the other episodes, starting with some continuity really helped drive the story in this chapter. We open with the pending battle between the Baratheon camps and Cat Stark (Michelle Fairley) pleading with Renly (Gethin Anthony) to avoid any battles with his brother Stannis (Stephen Dillane). In a great scene that follows, the Evil Incarnate that was given “birth” to last week comes into the tent, forms a shape and stabs Renly killing him instantly.  Now that is a wicked opening scene. Plus it was great to see the ghostly shape again and what powers it has. Stannis now stands alone and is going for the crown adding Renly’s men to his army.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is proving to be an old soul and the real heart of the saga. Working for Pop Lannister has only resolved her mettle to ascend above the game. And she knows how to work the system when one of the three prisoners she helped escape offers to pretty much kill any one she chooses. The Notorious IMP (Peter Dinklage as Lord Tyrion) has his smallish hands all over this episode. After dealing with his sister the Queen, he realizes that King Joffrey is making childish decisions for the pending war of men. Tyrion discovers that Joffrey has been stockpiling “wildfire” to use when the battles ensue but usurps his plans by having it made for himself instead. You just cannot trust anybody on this show! I love it. 
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) has a short but purposeful place in Episode 5 as he is relegated to being a captain that will sail to the Stony Shore. But his men do not respect him save for his first mate. Although it was a short scene, I have to think that Theon is starved for his piece of the pie after so many personal defeats. And with allegiances frayed I just do not know where he will wind up or what he will be doing. If I were to pull a “loose cannon” card, it would be for Theon. He is desperate to prove himself to his people, his father and even the Stark’s.
Khaleesi Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is living the good life for the time being in the city of Qarth. While staying in Qarth she is being courted by newcomer Xaro Xhaon Daxos (Nonso Anozie). As a man who came from nothing and one of Qarth’s “Thirteen,” Daxos offers Khaleesi his fortune for her hand in marriage. Clearly tempted by the offer, Khaleesi retreats to her advisor Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) for advice. It is apparent that feelings have developed between the two in their tenure together. We did not meet up with Robb Stark (Richard Madden) this week but did get a glimpse of the Night’s Watch and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) setting to seize/track the wildling’s.
All in all this was my favorite episode of Season 2 and hopefully it is a peek of what is coming up for the second half of the season. The plotting and character development really hit a home run in this episode. Plus we got to see baby dragon’s breathing fire and a crazy entity murder someone. Winter is still coming but if more episodes like this are ahead I do not mind waiting. 

 



Mania Grade: A
TV Series: Game of Thrones
Episode: The Ghost of Harrenhal
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey and Kit Harington, Richard Madden
Written By: David Benioff (creator), D.B. Weiss (creator)
Directed By: David Petrarca
Network: HBO
Series: