Battle Royale: Game of Thrones Ep. 2.05
So as a trio, we enjoy getting together to watch certain shows. The current series we’re enjoying as a group is Game of Thrones. We’re already five episodes into the second season, but we’ll jump in right away. Keep in mind, the three of us have read and enjoyed the books, so there will be spoilers as to content that may or may not show up in the show. For those wishing to avoid spoilers of the books or who haven’t seen this week’s episode, avert your eyes.
Without any further ado, Game of Thrones Episode 2.05: The Ghost of Harrenhal.
This was a more story-driven episode, so don’t expect too much action in this episode. Let’s look at some of the highlights of the episode for me. Catelyn witnesses some of the most explicit magic we’ve seen in the show so far: a shadow demon literally born last episode. This effect was definitely well done, as you can see the shape of Stannis. I’m not seeing the naivete of Brienne in these episodes, but she has room for growth as the show continues. Bran hears of Theon’s attack on Torrhen’s Square and sends Ser Rodrick to deal with it. Rickon is present also, but I don’t think they’re doing enough to display the feral nature that he develops in the books. I am a little disappointed by the look of the Fist of the First Men, where the Night Watch have made camp when meeting Qhorin Halfhand. It doesn’t seem nearly as defensible as it is said to be in the book. Daenerys meets Pyat Pree in this episode, and again magic is definitely being used more explicitly. The audience, along with Jorah, gets to meet Quiathe, who I did not recognize at first and goes unnamed. I had forgotten that she wears a wooden mask, but thinking back, I didn’t expect one as ornamental as the one shown. I hope it changes from appearance to appearance, but they definitely made sure she remained cryptic as all hell. And finally, the best scenes of the show occur in my favorite location: Harrenhal. Arya runs into Jaqen H’ghar who promises her 3 deaths to appease the 3 lives she saved. Her first is the Tickler. There continues to be some trimming from the source material as Storm’s End has apparently been forgotten. We have also apparently lost Vargo Hoat, who I was anticipating meeting this episode. Time will tell if these are revisited, but these events should have already come to pass.
I have to say that after watching the last few episodes and the last episodes at the end of season one, I am a little disappointed in this one. A Clash of Kings, which this season is based on, is one of the most action filled books of the series. For Christ’s sake, the time is called the “War of the Five Kings.” So far they have cut out the siege of Storm’s End, Jon Snow finding the dragon-glass and they are not really mentioning all the raping and pillaging being done by the Mountain That Rides.
Before I go any further, I want to iterate that I do enjoy this season so far. It is just that last night’s episode left me disappointed. For an episode titled “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” it left me wanting more Arya. I know they have a lot to cover but it feels like they spread this episode. If I remember correctly, I recall the show runners stating that they would not “Tyrion knock-out” other battles. Maybe they are saving it all for the Battle of Blackwater that comes later in the book, but I am not seeing a change from last season.
I may just be whining to whine, but there are things that I do honestly miss in this show that are in the book. The dialogue between Stannis and Renly with the peach, the taking of Storm’s End and one of the best known bastards of Robert, and Arya’s interaction between so many characters at Harrenhal are all gone from the show. Yes, they have to cut stuff to fit into the show. It does not mean I am happy about it. Hell, they have even added things that are not in the book to flesh out the story. I guess with a book that is over ten years old, they get to play a little more loose than I would have liked.
On to the positives of last night’s show. Missing some of the character moments that are taken out, I am happy they kept that oath between Catelyn and Brienne. I was not a fan of their characters in the book, but I can always appreciate the connection those two shared. Visually, the show continues to shine. I immediately liked how they showed the wildfire in the glass vase. It was an interesting look that I wanted to grab and launch as a grenade. Every showing across the Narrow Sea is showing some fantastical images and magic. The differences between Qarth and Westeros really intrigue me. Westeros is dull and stuck in reality. Qarth is bright and full of magic. But I am still waiting to see my damn cape of feathers!
Next week I can not wait to see more Halfhand and to see more about a certain marriage proposal.
And a little bonus: Roy Dotrice, the narrator for the audiobooks, plays the pyromancer. He has such an excellent voice and presence that I got a kick out of.
This episode is really moving us closer to big events. We started out with a major show of magic and of course the scheming began shortly after. That Tyrell girl doesn’t want to be A queen… she wants to be THE queen. Very bold statement from a character that is kind of a pawn in the books. Natalie Dormer was tapped to play her for a reason, I believe that we will see this girl make some moves this season.
My favorite character in both the book and television series is Tyrion Lannister. He is witty and conniving, but at the end of the day his motives are for the greater good. He is not pleased to find out from a raving peasant that the people see him as the source of all their suffering, but he pushes on with his own agenda. This episode we get to see wildfire which is revealed to be this glowing-green-extremely-explosive substance. Cersei has apparently been stockpiling it and Tyrion has just stolen it for his own purposes. The groundwork is being laid for a huge battle and I hope we get to see it in all its green glowing glory.
On the other side of the world we have Daenerys finally out of the desert and into some color. I find Daenerys to be one of the most interesting characters because we are watching her grow and learn to play the games of society on many levels. She is one of those characters that teaches the audience about the world through her experiences. She started out this lost little girl being sold to a barbarian and now she is the mother of dragons demanding hospitality. Inside Qarth we get a glimpse of the warlocks from the house of the Undying. I really hope we actually get to see more from that before we leave Qarth behind.
All in all, this episode had so much story and I am excited for what’s to come. Hopefully we see more magic and more action!
One last thought though… What about the red comet? I haven’t heard much about it in a few episodes.