Ok, so kind of a big deal this week, because someone who is not an orphan boy or a scheming courtier or a faceless knight with a weird-sounding name has bitten the dust. That's right; Renly Baratheon is no more. In the opening five minutes of The Ghost of Harrenhal, he is stabbed from behind while in his tent conversing with Cat. He appears to have been killed by whatever hellish smoke demon it was that Melisandre popped out at the end of episode four. Brienne is understandably distraught at the death of her king; as the only member of the Kingsgaurd who was present, she is likely to be blamed (and hanged) for Renly's murder. Therefore, she and Cat take off into the wilderness, before Brienne swears an oath of fealty to Cat (on the condition that Cat will allow her to exact revenge on Renly's murderer).
Speaking of Renly's murderer, after the death of their king most of Renly's followers immediately switch their loyalties over to Stannis. Loras and Margaery however, are plotting something with Littlefinger - who knows what the Tyrells will do now that their joint husband/boyfriend has croaked. In the Iron Islands, Theon is vexed when he is ordered off to harry some fishermen, while his sister Yara is sent to do the real fighting (does anyone actually like Theon? He annoys the hell out of me. Maybe this war will take him down a peg or two). At Winterfell, Bran is having ever more unsettling dreams, and a nearby village has been attacked (presumably by the Lannisters, but no-one is really sure), so Ser Rodrik takes a force out to investigate.
In King's Landing, Tyrion and Cersei are pleased at the news of Renly's demise - but, Tyrion is still scheming away against his sister. His new spy, his cousin Lancel Lannister (who, we discovered in last week's episode, is now sleeping with the Queen - she sure does like to keep it in the family) lets him know what Cersei is up to. Apparently, she has commissioned a whole load of Wildfire from the pyromancers - Wildfire is essentially napalm, and was developed by the Targaryens after all their dragons died so that they could continue to burn fear into the hearts of their enemies. Tyrion takes over the Wildfire operation, planning to the scorch the hell out of Stannis Baratheon and his ships when they finally do decide to attack King's Landing (can't wait to see some Wildfire in action).
Talking of fire, in Qarth Dany is teaching her dragons to flame their own meat - they're cute now, but in future seasons I'm sure they'll be a force to be reckoned with (who needs Wildfire when you have dragons? And something tells me fighting fire with fire doesn't work against giant flying lizards). She has also received an offer from her host in Qarth, Xaro - he will give her half his wealth to buy ships and armies for the conquering of Westeros, as long as she marries him. After talking to Ser Jorah (who, we all know by now, is in love with her) Dany decides to let him take charge of getting her to Westeros instead.
At Harrenhal, Arya is settling into her new role as cupbearer. She receives an offer from Jaqen, the man whose life she saved when the Lannisters attacked the Night's Watch - she can pick any three people she likes, and he will kill them for her. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. She uses her first kill on the Tickler, the freak who was torturing people to death last week. Beyond the Wall, the Night's Watch are marching further and further into a mountainous icy wasteland reminiscent of Middle Earth crossed with Frozen Planet. They are busy planning their first set-to with Mance Rayder and his Wildlings, but apart from that, they're mostly just freezing their asses off.
And that about wraps it up for episode five. We're half way through the second series now, and while it's exciting, it's still not quite as well orchestrated as the first season. They're doing well to hold all the different plot strands together, but if it gets any more complex, then I have a feeling it might start to get really confusing (but, that's epic fantasy for you, I suppose).
Episode 5 Best Moment: The cute baby dragon cooking its own dinner.
Episode 5 Best Line: "Even torturing you is boring." - Tyrion to Lancel (he gets all the best lines - seems a little unfair! I'll make an effort to pick someone else next week).
Game of Thrones | Episode 6: The Old Gods and the New