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Episode 76: The Ghost of Harrenhal

Episode 76 for the week of April 29th, in which we review the fifth episode in the second season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Kyle and Amin are joined by FTWard and Lex from our forums. It is an episode filled with technical difficulties, and a multitude of other guest hosts joining from our forums near the end of the second hour.

Note: For the text transcript of this episode, check out the forum thread.

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52 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Lord Littlefinger

    FIRST!

    Reply

  2. Queensmoot

    The audio and technical difficulties weren’t so bad! That was a really fun episode and I laughed aloud more than once!

    Thanks guys!!

    Reply

  3. Matt

    Nice, another Davos fan, woot

    Reply

  4. Usurpationblitz

    Nope, I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to actually call the number to get my question answered. It wouldn’t be so bad if I trusted cell phones and used one, but I have raised above that fear yet. = (

    Despite all the troubles, it was a good episode. It really picked up near the end. Thanks everyone for taking the time to entertain us.

    Reply

    Kyle

    Wasn’t going to answer it this week sir because I was the only one really there. Mimi was gone. Ashley was gone. Amin was….well half there. I figure you want all the hosts to answer so twas not the week.

    Reply

    Usurpationblitz

    Yeah, I know. I have some medical issues and I feel like I get ignored a lot. It’s something I’m working on. I’m happy that you waited for the whole crew, I want to hear their opinions as well.

    Reply

  5. Ranjitb

    I hope there was at least *some* bowl-of-browning, and not a lemon cake circle jerk fest.
    Can’t wait….

    Reply

  6. Lex

    It was fun being on the ‘cast. But I think we skirted dangerously close to circle jerk territory, a few times. Probably my fault; I’m really just a squeeing fanboy at heart.

    Reply

  7. Lord Littlefinger

    Villains? Bad guys? What the fuck series/shows have you been read/watching?

    Reply

  8. Lex

    Man, Amin’s technical difficulties in the second hour are actually pretty funny. XD

    Amin: “Tr…grgnb…asj….adg…..jlh…gbrnk..”
    Kyle: “Hmm. That was a good one, Amin.”

    Reply

  9. Usurpationblitz

    With one minute Amin, now I know what it’s like to be Charlie Brown and the gang.

    BTW, and I’m sorry that I forgot, who is the one that “started” the Podcast war? I want to assassinate donkeys too. I think I made it quite clear two weeks ago how much I hate those f’n people. >=(

    Reply

    Linecom1

    you can take all the credit bro, i don’t want it………

    Reply

  10. Lady Griffin

    Thoughts:

    1. Potatoes? Seriously, dude? That’s a thing that bothers you?

    2. Polliver/Tickler/Chiswick = interchangeable. We lose Arya’s freakout in Season 3, but the torture wasn’t as drawn out as it was in the books.

    3. People who don’t want to believe Brandon slept with Ashara seem to think a) being a Stark is the same as having integrity, or b) a man can’t be a womanizer and a good person. I don’t see the connection between Brandon having an affair with his brother’s crush and being a douche. On the flip side, his Starkness doesn’t prevent him from being a douche.

    4. If Asha was Theon’s brother people would think she was total badass. Because she’s a woman who doesn’t let anything get under her skin, they write her off as a bitch.

    Reply

    FTWard

    Responses,

    1. Starchy tuber indigenous to the New World. Mostly. It is.

    2. Not even close to interchangeable. We lose three books worth of catharsis. No big deal.

    3. a) Never an argument I raised. b) Again not me. I am completely agnostic on Brandon’s douchieness as well.

    4. Bull shit. I raise objection at Kyle’s characterization of Margaery as a “bitch”. The implication that Asha is written off because of her gender or that fandom does not consider her a badass is inaccurate.

    Reply

    Lady Griffin

    1. So many nights spent awake…..potatoes.

    2. Given the casual viewers’ memory-span, having Arya attack a minor character two seasons down the line screaming “WHERE IS THE BROTHERHOOD,” is baffling. Needle is a strong enough visual cue that Arya killing Polliver to get it back could easily take the place.

    It’s not the catharsis we get in the book, because HBO Arya’s issues with the torture are marginalized compared to Book Arya’s. HBO Arya’s catharsis or lack thereof will not be the same as Book Arya’s.

    3) A general statement. Who are you again?

    4) Ditto.

    Reply

    Lord Littlefinger

    FTWard:

    What do you mean the aduiance wants Dany to come to Westeros? She can stay in Meereeen forever for all I care.

    Reply

    FTWard

    Lord Littlefinger,

    Was not me.
    Poor Meereernese. I hope she dies a suitably heroic death in Westeros.

    Reply

  11. Clark

    Is it just me or is there a very low volume creaking door sound in the background throughout the episode?

    Reply

    Lex

    Haha, I know! I thought I was imagining it at first…

    Reply

    Kyle

    I think it might have been the chair I was sitting in.

    Reply

    Exodus

    I kept hearing it and I was hoping someone was going to make a comment on it lol.

    Reply

  12. Linecom1

    I knew I wasnt crazy, although it may not be part of the ‘official brandon theory’. there is speculation that jon snow’s parents are, in fact, brandon and ashara:

    http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Jon_Snow/Theories#Ashara_Dayne

    Reply

  13. lane

    i think the halfhand was from a different castle on the wall. maybe each caste has a 1st ranger and a leader of the caste (castle black being benjen stark and mormont (and the over all leader))

    Reply

    brynden

    You are right. The Halfhand was from the Shadow Tower. And you are right a second time. Every castle has its commander (Cotter Pyke -> Eastwatch, Denys Mallister -> Shadow Tower) and a “first ranger”.

    Nevertheless as Jeor Mormont was “the” Lord Commander of the NW, Benjen Stark was “First Ranger” – a title that is specifically given to one officer (most likely stationed at Castle Black). In the time of the expedition there was no “First Ranger” because Mormont refused to name one, still thinking Benjen is alive. I think Jon later on also does not name one. Otherwise I’m sure Mormont would have named Halfhand.

    Reply

  14. lane

    one more quick thought to anyone who noticed… It would have been amazing for renly and Cat to have talked about “sooo is ser Barristan with your son? he’s not here with me, he’s not with joffery, i thought he may go to a true king, blah blah blah…he must be with stannis then…etc” that would have been really great if they plan on Barristan going over to dany this season. any thoughts?

    Reply

  15. PointyFingarz

    It started out slow and awkward in the beginning, but it got gradually better with more hosts joining in and with Amin gone 95% of the podcast due to his morse code connection, i thought you guys would call it after 20 mins, and im glad you didin´t because it turned out to be gr8 ep.

    Reply

  16. Kadayi

    Technical difficulties aside enjoyed the podcast. Surprised no one mentioned how when Arya first sees Jagen in the corridor he is walking with his helmet and yet when she gets down the stairs his helmet is on top of the barrel. I thought it was a nice way of subtly hinting that he is not all that he appears, which is added to with the Ticklers head being all the way round.

    Albeit I enjoyed her standoff with Tywin, I did feel that she maybe held his gaze a little too long. I’m not too sure he’d necessarily stand for defiance from a servant. Still a suitably reptilian performance from Mr Dance.

    Albeit the Qarth stuff was a little heaved handed, I think the key point both with the falling out between her handmaidens and the Dothraki arguing over the golden peacock was about emphasizing the extreme differential between the cultures and their values. Plain truth of the matter is the Dothraki might be loyal to Dany, but their nomad attitudes are at odds with her larger ambitions.

    Agreed with the comment about Brienne and Cat becoming BFF was a little rushed (It could of waited an episode or two).

    Also I hope there’s more Tyrion and Lancel in future episodes.

    Interested to see what they do with Margaery and Loras now, and whether they turn up again this season in some capacity.

    Reply

    Jeremy

    I agree about the Jaqen-helmet thing. I thought it was odd at first, but then I thought that not having him acknowledge her as he passed, only to somehow know that she was there, know where she was going, and somehow get there before her is a subtle hint at his abilities.

    Reply

  17. Jason

    That’s hilarious that Lex pointed out that some people think Qarth is a next generation Star Trek episode. Actually, it reminded me of every next generation episode I have seen.

    Reply

  18. Lord Littlefinger

    What do you mean the aduiance wants Dany to come to Westeros? She can stay in Meereeen forever for all I care.

    Reply

  19. Mathos

    Either FTWard or Lex (sorry guys, didn’t catch which one) mentioned that he thought Melisandre had made another shadow baby in DwD. Did he mean that Mel was ‘trying’ to make one with her attempted seduction of Jon, or that she actually sent one out (possibly after Roose Bolton). Anybody know anything about this?

    Reply

    Lex

    That was FTWard. I’m curious about this as well.

    Reply

    FTWard

    Yeah that was me.

    From Davos II ACoK
    “Panting, she squatted and spread her legs. Blood ran down her thighs, black as ink. Her cry might have been agony or ecstasy or both.”

    From Melisandre I ADwD
    “The red priestess shuddered. Blood trickled down her thigh, black and smoking. The fire was inside her, an agony, an ecstasy, filling her, searing her, transforming her.”

    This is after her seduction of Jon & Ghost in the preceding Jon chapter and in the Melisandre chapter Mance describes dreams not dissimilar to the nightmares Stannis has post shadow copulation.

    Not certain who the target would be. I assume not Little Walder. ?

    Reply

    Mathos

    Thanks for the reference, that’s some sharp reading. I would assume that whatever target she might be after would have to be south of the wall due to the spells of protection on the wall. Also, the previous two examples seem to show that the shadow babies have a limited range. Of course, that’s just my speculation.

    Reply

  20. Exodus

    Great episode guys. It really picked up there in the end. At the beginning it seems like there were a few awkward silences.

    Reply

    Lex

    I think we were just trying not to talk over anybody / give people a chance to say something. My first podcast; never realized how tricky/hard it is! I have a new respect for the crew.

    Reply

    FTWard

    Couldn’t agree more. I talked over Lex once and felt like shit about it. Much respect for the Crew and all guests.

    Reply

    Kyle

    This is what happens with unedited episodes. Amin had a tricky job editing this one because his audio kept dropping in and out, but eventually that became part of all the fun and jokes near the end of the episode. So does he edit out all his incomprehensible talk or does he not? I’m not sure, but I think that’s why he released this episode unedited. And with unedited episodes there are certainly going to be awkward silences.

    Reply

    Exodus

    Wasn’t really a complaint, just more of an observation. Like I said, it was a great episode. I love all the episode. I’m a maintainer so this is my kind of humor. :)
    It’s frustrating listening sometimes because I always feel like I want to say something in the middle of it. Then I realize that it’s a recording and you can’t hear me. I’m going to end up being one of those old people yelling at the TV.

    Reply

    Kyle

    Haha! I used to do the same thing. Yelling at the computer. Damn they can’t hear me!

    Reply

    Linecom1

    theyre actually pretty good at cutting the pauses out through the editing process. remember for the episode reviews, the hosts are literally watching the show in the background so sometimes there are pauses as they are watching the show progress. what they usually do is go back and cut out those silent moments so that the podcast sound much more connected and seamless. in this case the podcast was posted completely unedited so it sounds much more disjointed. i underestimated the value of their editing process and its obviously much appreciated

    Reply

  21. Krakenpuffcerial

    Diggin’ the guest hosts.

    Reply

  22. Exodus

    Congrats to all the guest hosts who made it onto the podcast!

    /jealous

    Reply

  23. earlp

    Shocking lack of Mimi on this episode.

    Although I missed her and Ashley I still enjoyed it, good job from the new guest hosts

    Reply

  24. nemui

    Re. your take on “Valyrian stone”, it’s just a silly scene meant to replace some sort of impressive glittery CGI treasure scene. Xaro hacking at stone using a steel sword is magnificently pointless.

    (I was waiting for him to point out how this super-door is set inside a wall made of Valyrian plaster…)

    Reply

  25. Ash

    finally listened to the episode.

    laughed my ass off at the complete clusterfuck in the middle.

    and since no one asked about me, i was at an anime con :/
    drunken video to follow

    Reply

    Lex

    I asked, but it was pre-show. :)

    Reply

    Kyle

    You got asked about twice Ash. Two different hot dudes were wondering where you were.

    Reply

    FTWard

    I just assumed it had something to do with my restraining order

    Reply

    Linecom1

    i asked about you ash……..but it was cut out i believe……….maybe it was after they stopped recording, but i def. asked about you……..

    Reply

  26. I am a big fan of eps where you guys pull in different guest hosts as it goes on. And while polished shiny podcasts are fine and dandy, I prefer this kind.

    Reply

  27. I think George R.R. Martin didn’t let the people in books eat potatoes, because it’s kind of medieval setting, and in medieval Europe we had no potatoes (that was brought to us after the new world was discovered, and it took centuries before it was any common here).

    Reply

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