Game of Thrones 2.05 "The Ghost of Harrenhal" No Book Spoilers

Episode 1: The North Remembers
Episode 2: The Night Lands
Episode 3: What is Dead May Never Die
Episode 4: “Garden of Bones”

This is the thread for people who want to discuss the show without outside information that may spoil the story from either the books or other sources. Discussion about the current episodes and all previous episodes of the series requires no spoiler box. Which means that there should be no need for the use of any spoiler boxes in this thread.

If you are looking for discussions where spoilers are acceptable, please visit the season 2 closed spoiler and open spoiler threads.

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Gukamatz has been moderating these threads because he’s more familiar with the source content than the other cafe society mods. This was his note in the OP of the first thread this season:

We left off last week with torture, torture, and more torture. Joffrey sends a message to Tyrion about what’ll happen if he continues to try to foil his sadistic plans. Tywin Lannister chooses Arya to be his cupbearer (? I think), sparing her and Gendry for the time being. The Baratheon brothers are set for battle come the dawn. Lancel is Tyrion’s spy in Cercei’s camp. Danerys gets a spa day at a badass looking pool. Oh, and a shadow baby.

Should be an interesting episode. There were a lot of big things happening at the end of last week.

I hope we find out more about the smoke demon that crawled out of the red woman’s hoohaw.

I wonder if Daenerys will continue to be challenged about her dragons inside the city.

Can Arya safely “hide” right under the nose of Tywin?

I thought that was a pretty slow episode. Lots of building to something with the only major event coming right at the beginning. Brienne is quite a badass.

The men of the Night’s Watch take the black. Have they considered maybe taking the white? They’d blend in a lot better beyond the wall.

I thought this was the best episode of the season. Fantastic beginning, Tyrion scheming as much as ever, interesting dilemma for Dany. Given that last week’s episode was better than any others from S2, I really like the direction this season is going after a good, but somewhat uneventful start.

Reeenleeeyyy! Nooo! Man, leave it to Game of Thrones to kill off the only character to start acting rationally. Oh well, it had to happen. Fantastic episode, I actually thought it was better than the last episode. There weren’t many huge events but it got the ball rolling on a long things. Definitely interested in seeing how everything is going to play out.

I had a hard time understanding a lot of the dialogue. If i hadn’t read the books i would have had no idea whatsoever who or what the nightwatch guys were talking about.

No female nudity in this episode for maybe the first time ever. A girl appreciates the shirtless Gendry and sexy Jaqen, though. The latter has an amazing presence–I am on the edge of my seat whenever he’s onscreen.

Anybody else think the Nights Watch is starting to look like the guys from the Capitol One commercials?

Good episode altogether, Renly’s end was not unexpected, but it happened kind of quickly. I missed that little shit Joffry though.

The best line of the night “Myrcells is a sweet girl and I don’t blame her at all for you.”

Baby dragon cooking his meat was freaking adorable.

I just watched it again, Brienne is right, the ghost does look like Stannis, it has his bald head shape.

Ha! Yes. Apparently Qhorin is the only one with the wit to wear something on his head. I suppose if their heads were covered, we wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

I don’t understand why the Night’s Watch is going to the wildlings instead of waiting for the wildlings to come to them. Why are they going after the wildlings in the first place? I don’t think the writers have set this up very well. The only wildlings we’ve seen are the dead ones in S1 and the two with Osha. Seems like they could be offered some food and a bed and they’d tame nicely. So Benjen’s party hasn’t returned – there’s no evidence that the wildlings are responsible.

I liked the episode better on second viewing. So many scenes looked the same, dark and dingy – no memorable set pieces.

Puzzled about Brienne’s devotion to Renly. There was no setup for that, so is she just looking for someone to serve, now that she’s a knight?

Brienne is a female warrior, and seemingly not very well liked, so to gain a spot on Renly’s personal guard was a huge honor for her. Now he’s dead and people think she did it.

I was a little surprised by the strength of Brienne’s reaction as well. It played like she was in love with him, but there was nothing suggestive of this previously.

Disagree Tangent, her unquestioning loyalty and warrior puppy dog eyes say she had a big 'ol crush last? episode.

She’s probably just someone who takes her duty very seriously. She probably spent her whole life being told that she could never be a knight, because she was a woman - that she’d never be a real warrior. Finally a new king arises and she apparently earns the chance to prove herself to him. She probably fantasizes about the chance to become not only a knight, but amongst the kingsguard to a good king. Everything she ever wanted. And even though his army may have been shocked by the notion, he saw it in her that she could be amongst his kingsguard. He finally gave her what she’d always craved, and she utterly dedicated her life to him.

Given that, I have no problem with her really feeling attached to him and as if her life’s work were stolen out from under her.

Bit of a book answer (haven’t seen the episode yet) but the reason is that, while in the past Wildlings were, well, wild - a band of them crossing the wall and raising hell here and there, or bushwhacking a Night’s Watch patrol - they haven’t been seen in a while and there are rumours that they are gathering under the banner of some dude.

If true, then that would be a Problem because there ain’t enough men left in the Night’s Watch to properly man a couple of forts, let alone the whole of the Wall. If an actual army of Wildlings showed up, the Watch would be proper fucked and Westeros along with them. So they need to a) confirm the rumour and b) take the facts back to the civilized world so that reinforcements are sent to either hold the Wall or hunt and kill the big gathering.

Then there’s the matter of the white walkers which we’ve seen early in the first season - that must have spooked the Watch a bit since they used to be an old scary tale. Maybe the Wildlings know something they don’t and that’s why they’re gathering.

Again, book answer that isn’t really self-evident in the show: Brienne is supposed to be ugly as sin. Like, borderline deformed. She has no hope in hell of ever marrying into a comfortable life ; but making it as a knight renowned for battle prowess coupled with above average loyalty could be a gate to that world, or so she thinks.

She’s loyal to Renly because she’s got to be loyal to someone, and he seemed to be the only one to take her seriously.

I’m a bit miffed that the quimspawn can apparently take any random person out of the game. Seems very deus ex machina to me.

deus ex vāgīna