Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers.
The Eye of Newb: Game of Thrones (HBO) Season 2 Episode 5: “Ghost of Harrenhal”
By: Matt Lynch
“A man has said.” – Jaqen H’ghar
Well, after the end of the last episode, the Newb got to thinking. I’m not sure how invested I can be in this new twist the series has taken. I was fine in an imagined world containing zombies, white walkers, even fire-breathing lizards, but no real magic. Smog monsters belching forth from strange vaginas, however, changed all that. It feels too hokey and strange. Contrived and out of nowhere, actually. Not sure I’m into this new phase, but I’ll buckle up and take the ride one more time, just be sure.
Part the First, wherein Cat attempts to forge an alliance, and bad weirdness comes to a head.
- Okay, so Cat has her truce, but I’m not sure how the new King of the Nortth will take to all the strings that come with it.
- Destroy my brother in the morning… end this war in a fortnight. These are words of fatal hubris. It’s too clean and neat…
- Ah, there we are… Melisandre’s progeny from last week comes steaming into the tent and screws with Renly’s reality and my desire to go on watching this contrived tale any longer. Sigh. I can see it now: ‘We need a twist – I know, a smoky ninja killer thing born of a witch in a cave enters his tent and…’ Bah!!
- At least Brienne’s murderous grief is real. That woman is something else. She almost makes up for the pathetic wackiness.
- Cat, ever the sensible one, gets the two ladies, each formidable in their own ways, clear of this ugly situation.
Part the Second, wherein man love begets man-grief, and
- Loras Tyrell, say what you will about him, makes one hell of a wronged and vengeful lover.
- And revenge is Littlefinger’s specialty. They make a nice pair.
- This Tyrell sister, while she has a gorgeous body and entrancing eyes, is getting a mite whelpy and annoying.
- Interesting differentiation, a queen versus The Queen.
Part the Second, wherein Cersei gets drunk and uppity, and Tyrion learns that the city’s defense has been left to a young sadist.
- ‘Schemes and plots are the same thing.’ Heh. Awesome.
- Cersei genuinely despises her dwarven brother, and her pettiness shows forth beautifully in this scene.
Part the Third, wherein Lancel coughs up the secret weapon, and Bronn gets a new assignment.
- Tons of Impness to start the show this evening. This is inherently a good thing.
- Interesting mini-man carriage they’re meeting in here.
- I love how Tyrion keeps using the sexual relationship with Cersei as a bludgeon against this poor little lost pretty boy.
- ‘I don’t care about your life.’ ‘Tell my friend Bronn to please kill you if anything should happen to me.’ The Imp is getting so many rich one-liners tonight it’s sinful.
Part the Fourth, wherein a loyal underling demands and does not receive an explanation, and portent is assigned to the presence of a witch.
- Stannis doesn’t care a whit about his brother, and he doesn’t want to know what happened in the cave, dude.
- At least the Tyrells got away clean. More vengeance and mayhem awaits. Yay!
- Stannis is a tad overconfident, methinks.
- So Melisandre is the weak link and the source of victory for Stannis, yet he won’t be taking her to King’s Landing. Stannis is gonna lose. Ten bucks on that right now.
Part the Fifth, wherein we meet the guild of Alchemists, or at least one of them, and the Imp learns how greatly he’s despised by the common folk.
- No, no. No snakes or fruit, thank you.
- The banter between Bronn and Tyrion is priceless.
- Sweet! A street preacher!
- At last Tyrion admits admits that Joffrey is a lost cause.
- Demon Monkey. What a great band name!
Part the Sixth, wherein the Ego King meets his adoring crew and hatches a foul plan.
- Look, Theon, if you’re captaining a ship called the Sea Bitch, you’re probably not going to get the cream of the crop for a crew. Deal with it, you overblown ass.
- Hopefully this fat man will kill Ego-boy at sea. Please?
- No, that’d be too easy.
- At least he’s got a seasoned first mate. Never doubt that an effective force runs on its NCOs.
- Uh-oh, Ego King’s got himself a plan… hope he chokes on it.
Part the Seventh, wherein Arya almost betrays her roots and Tywin smacks down his family. Again.
- This is war. No one’s content. What a beautiful line, and at the very least he now gives Robb his due.
- Alas, poor Reginald, never show weakness in front of Tywin Lannister.
- Oh, crap. Arya, don’t lie to this man.
- Oh, good. At least she picked a home she knew this time.
- Ooo… holding the gaze of Tywin while stating plainly that anyone can be killed. Sweet!
Part the Eighth, wherein the best new character in the series finally reveals a little more about himself, and Arya picks a man to die.
- Hmmm… there’s a helmet on the cistern.
- Jaqen certainly has a cryptic way of referring to boys and girls and men and such. This Jaqen H’ghar is getting to be the most fascinating character since I first met Tyrion Lannister in season one.
- Yeah, Arya, why is one of us given the leave to become someone she is not, and part of the Lannister retinue, and yet anyone else who does it is somehow wrong for doing so?
- The Red God, now? That’s like the thirty-seventh god in Westeros! Can a brother get a deity map or something?!
- Oh, sweet. Arya freed herself a master assassin, and has left him in her debt. Three names he offers. Yoda, suddenly am I. No matter, she’s got a whole list. This is so gonna kick ass.
- What?! Arya wastes her first name on Captain Rat Patrol? Dammit.
Part the Ninth, wherein the legend of the Half-hand is discussed, and the Fist of the First Men is revealed.
- Oh, sweet Jeebus! Someone shut Tarley up before he makes a love-sick fool of himself again.
- Yeah, Samwell. Stop talking. Please?
- Well, Snow’s got half a brain. This fortress is no place to defend.
- Apparently, the Black Watch has little use for those uppity reader-types.
Part the Tenth, wherein I notice that the scenes are a little short and jumpy so far in this episode, and Tyrion finds all hell contained beneath King’s Landing.
- Of course the subject of melting flesh has to come up.
- Bronn doesn’t necessarily believe in the efficacy of wildfire. Nor do I, especially given his accuracy at flinging things and burning cities.
- Holy crap, that’s a lot of flammable stuff buried under the keep of King’s Landing. Hope there are a few fire exits.
- The Imp has his own wildfire supplier. Nice!
Part the Eleventh, wherein a dragon hosts a barbie, and Isaac Hayes gives Dany a dress.
- Dragons like their t-bones rare. That’s a sign of a quality individual in my book.
- That’s a whole lot of squabbling over a slip of fabric, if you ask me.
- Oh dear god. A cocktail party. What a special little ring of hell.
- And can we stop the Klingon, fer Chrissakes?!
- Oh, and enough of the creepy old men who corner you after a few drinks and play screwball sleight of hand tricks. This really is a cocktail party from Hell.
- House of the Undying? Interesting…
- Hey, it’s Isaac Hayes again! Cool.
- And a woman in a strange mask offers statements of portent. Shame she’s dressed as the Gimp. It’s a real Pulp Fiction kind of season here in Westeros.
Part the Twelfth, wherein Brienne makes an overly ceremonial vow of loyalty, and it just about steals the whole show.
- Brienne’s gonna get Stannis, if it’s the last thing she does.
- Cat is such a doting Mom it’s sickening.
- Brienne is a rather intense giantess. and Catelyn plans to use this to Robb’s advantage. Smart. very smart.
- Now that is one elaborate vow of fealty, and the Newb is completely gripped through the entire sequence. If I’m ever in a foxhole, I think I’d feel very comfortable with Brienne at my side.
Part the Thirteenth, wherein Bran does the dirty business of governing, Rikon bashes nuts, and we learn that the Ego King has made his move.
- Sheep? There’s a war on, and we’re talking about sheep?
- Nymphadora Tonks ain’t much of a counselor. But she is fixating and beautiful. Especially in close-up.
Part the Fourteenth, wherein we finally meet the Half-hand, and Iceland hulks gorgeous in the background.
- Half-hand is boring old drone. Fire, Mance Rayder…. zzzzz… snrk!
- Now why would Tarley step up and give Bubba Snow-Tep the opening to march north into the swirling white? Summat will come of this, I’m sure.
Part the Fifteenth, wherein Isaac Hayes proposes marriage, and Dany learns that Jorah Mormont is interested in more than just being friends.
- Is this dude seriously named ‘Duck Sauce’?
- That’s a big-ass safe, Good People.
- Oh, Jorah, shut up while you’re ahead. You’re a bad liar, even if you do see through Daenearys to see her kind heart under all that silken-haired khaleesi BS.
Part the Ultimate, wherein Gendry gets a lesson in swordplay, and a man makes good on his word.
- Jaqen, despite the the bad craziness and hokey religion of last week’s cave, you’ve restored my faith. I’m in it to see what becomes of you. The little single finger-to-the-eye gesture alone is worth it.
Okay, Friends, I’m not gonna lie. This whole series almost lost me with the vaginal smog monster, but I’m in it for one more week to see how the character of Jaqen H’ghar is developed.
Until next time, I remain your faithful and immensely penitent Newb.