'Game of Thrones' Season 2, Episode 5 Recap - 'The Ghost of Harrenhal'

'Game of Thrones' Season 2, Episode 5 Recap - 'The Ghost of Harrenhal' Oh, so thaaaaat's what you use a shadowman for. Here are the events of "The Ghost of Harrenhal," by location (of which there are so many, by the way, that the animations in the opening credits are becoming rather hurried):

Renly's Camp:

The big one first: as Renly and Catelyn finally stamp out an alliance between Renly and Robb's armies, the strange shadowman that Melisandre birthed at the end of last week's episode shows up and stabs Renly right through the heart. Rather unceremoniously, too. All Catelyn and Brienne can do is stand and watch.

Renly's men quickly defect to Stannis' side, leaving the Tyrrel siblings and Brienne to plot their revenge. Fortunately Catelyn convinces Brienne to flee before she gets pinned for the assassination, and Littlefinger convinces the Tyrrels to choose their time to get revenge. Obviously there must be something in it for him, and by the look of things it might be Margaery.

As Catelyn and Brienne reach safety, Brienne swears fealty to Catelyn, they have a bit of a moment, and they officially become two of the most badass ladies in Westeros.

Stannis' Camp:

Ser Davos questions Stannis' choices and assumes that Melisandre is influencing him. Stannis doesn't seem to want to hear it, but that's exactly how you would expect someone who is under the influence of a hot sorceress lady to react.


Theon attempts to take command of his small crew, to which there is much mocking laughter. As Rodney Dangerfield would put it, he gets no respect. However, his first mate has a suggestion: go attack one of the smaller Stark camps nearby and make a name for himself. If the attack is successful, the Starks will send troops to take it back, potentially leaving Winterfell vulnerable.


Bran, still ruling as Lord of Winterfell, does EXACTLY WHAT THEON EXPECTED HIM TO DO. And that's even after he had a dream about the oceans flooding Winterfell and killing everyone. Sigh.

King's Landing:

Tyrion's new spying techniques (i.e. bulling the blackmailed Lancel into doing whatever he wants him to do) reveal that Cersei has a secret weapon lined up to help her fight off the Baratheon army: wildfire. This isn't just what happens when you throw out a lit cigarette during a drought; this is a substance made by alchemists and pyromancers that will burn through anything, and Cersei has about 7,811 pots full of it sitting in the King's Landing vaults. Not that that's horrendously dangerous or anything.

Tyrion, despite Bronn's advice to avoid the stuff since "men win wars, not magic tricks," tells the alchemist that he will now be making wildfire for him, and not for Cersei. WELL then.

Tyrion also wins line of the episode with "schemes and plots are the same thing." Then again, when doesn't he have the line of the episode?

North of The Wall:

The camp moves on to the Fist of the First Men, where Samwell (who is adorably still lovestruck with Gilly) marvels that their ancestors once stood there. The rest are more concerned with the encampment of Wildlings off in the distance, which proves that they are organizing and mobilizing. A small, stealthy attack seems to be the best option, and Jon Snow offers to join the raiding party, making him a Ranger.


Dany's host, who is named Xaro Xhaon Daxos (can we call him XXX? Wuzzat? Copyright infringement? Ok never mind then), is more than gracious, giving her and her people food, boarding, and even a nice dress to wear (the dress is just for Dany, not for her people).

He shows Danaerys a giant safe with immense riches behind it, which he is willing to share with her on one condition: that she marry him. He also informs her that Robert Baratheon is dead, a fact that she was unaware of up to this point. What, she didn't watch season one?

But Ser Jorah convinces her not to take him up on it, for two reasons: one, she doesn't want to end up being owned by someone, and two, he's totally in love with her. Dany becomes aware of that fact when he starts saying stuff like, "There are times when I look at you and I still can't believe you are real." Aww.


The location that lends its name to the title is where we end the episode, and no, there isn't a literal ghost or even a fake ghost dressed like a real ghost like in Scooby-Doo or anything.

Rather, the ghost is Jaqen H'ghar, one of the criminals that Arya rescued from the cage. He's now a sellsword for the Lannister army, but as he explains to Arya, he has a debt to pay to her. She stole three lives from the Red God when she saved him and his two "buddies" from the cage. In return, he will give three lives to the Red God... all Arya has to do is speak three names.

As a test, Arya names The Tickler, the jerk who was picking people out and attaching buckets of rats to their chests. Sure enough, by the end of the episode, the Tickler as tickled his last victim. Whom will Arya choose to bit the bullet next? Will it by Tywin Lannister, whom she faced down this episode and said threateningly, "anyone can be killed?"

Trouble time: Pretty much anyone in King's Landing is in trouble, Bran and Winterfell are in trouble, those Wildlings are in trouble if Jon brings Ghost with him, and anyone whom Arya feels like naming is in trouble.

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