"Game" On :: The Ghost of Harrenhal
Well, those of us who read the books knew Renly’s days were numbered; I rather expected the "Game" producers to kill him off at the end of an episode rather than the beginning of one, but they like to keep even this seasoned reviewer on his toes. And in scene one this week, that nasty black smoky crap that originated between the legs of the red witch Melisandre bops into Renly’s tent and sticks him with a spiny... something...
It’s curtains for Renly, and for our only (current) gay subplot in "Game of Thrones." And given that winter is coming to Westeros, it seems unlikely that our cast of boys is liable to be strutting around in varying states of undress. What’s the point of tuning in, you may ask?
Well, Ser Loras looks pretty as he grieves for his dead boyfriend, how’s that for incentive?
Plus there’s always the squabbling of Cersei and Tyrion. In the absence of one would-be King, they resume wrestling for control of the realm via wildfire - a sticky substance that, upon impact with a foe, can explode and cause significant damage.
Sounds like Santorum to me.
Let’s see. Brief summaries of a few rather boring scenes: Stannis agrees to leave the red witch at home when he attacks the Lannisters at King’s Landing (which is sensible, since she’s probably bleeding profusely from the nipples as she nurses that nasty black smoky hell spawn who did in Renly), Tyrion realizes that his family is not winning any popularity contests with the rabble, Theon plots revenge against the Starks to compensate for his lack of penis (his sister got his), and Tywin remains curiously bolted to his war council chair no doubt cultivating a fabulous collection of hemorrhoids.
But here’s something interesting: Arya, now serving quite coincidentally as a page at Tywin’s aforementioned table, reunites with a captive she set free earlier in the season; in thanking her, he offers to take three lives on her behalf. She promptly wastes one of those killings on the man who had been torturing her buff blacksmith boyfriend a few episodes back.
I mean, seriously. Why does all the good shit happen to disenfranchised waifs pretending to be boys? Why can’t someone offer to kill three people for me? I wouldn’t waste those opportunities, no sir. I’d kill the Jonas Brothers in a clean sweep.
Over to Daenerys and her little hatchlings... I’m proven wrong when I surmised that the producers didn’t have the budget to tantalize us with CGI dragons; here’s one of them roasting a bit of indiscriminate meat on a balcony in Qarth. It’s a mystery where the toasty morsel originates until the following scene, when Daenerys meets one of the Warlocks of Qarth, whose cheeks seems to be shrunken to the point of rended flesh. It’s of little consequence; Daenerys, who is determined to return to Westeros and reclaim her stolen throne, is convinced by her lovelorn Knight to eschew a marriage proposal that would garner her enough cash for an army and a fleet of ships.
And in Winterfell, crippled Bran makes a tactical error by falling for Theon’s bait-and-switch maneuver. Which begs the question: what’s more amazing, Bran’s stupidity or the fact that Theon actually has a brain? And is something in the waters of this world that is causing everyone to abandon sense completely?
Until next week...