All men must serve. So begins Sunday’s return to Westeros and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea in HBO’s grimdark fantasy epic, A Game of Thrones. This season is based on George RR Martin’s A Storm of Swords, book 3 in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. Aptly named, the episode spends a great deal of time telling us the fate of would be kings, rulers and queens to come. As usual, spoilers and then some.
Another Sunday, another episode of Game of Thrones. As usual, warnings of kinda-spoilers–kinda, because unless you’ve read the books the clues I give won’t make a lick of sense. This offering, titled “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” spent actually little time in Harrenhal, dizzily transporting us from The Wall to Essos and back. We start off with Stannis’s and Melisandre’s freakish shadow baby teaching Renly, and all newcomers to ASOIAF, the dire meaning of “valar morghulis.” This leads to a case of “guilt-on-first-sight” by several guards who implicate Brienne the Beauty in the crime, and pay for their sloppy detective work on the sharp end of her sword. Nice fight scene. Lady Stark urges the lovesick king’s guard (who was seriously barking up the wrong tree) to flee with her, as Renly’s forces sail away, disintegrate into mass confusion or start lining up for Stannis. Later Brienne takes an oath of vengeance and swears her fealty to Lady Stark, in a touching Thelma & Louise moment that we all know is going to end in a brutal hanging. (see? no sense. not a lick.)