Additionally, the city's common folk have grown to dislike Joffrey (justifiably) and (surprisingly) Tyrion, who they deride as a "demon monkey."
If Tyrion has grown into this season's main character, Arya Stark has become its top supporting actor.
Now a cupbearer for the Lannister patriarch, Arya's exchange with Tywin Lannister at Harrenhal showed her growing savvy and gravitas.
Lord Tyrwin: What do they say of Robb Stark in the north?
Arya: They call him the young wolf. They say he rides into battle on the back of giant direwolf. They say he can turn into a wolf himself when he wants. The say he can't be killed.
Lord Tywin: And do you believe them?
Arya: No, my lord, anyone can be killed.
Also, Arya's saving of Jaqen H'ghar, during episode three, came back to help her. At Harenhal, H'ghar told her that since she saved him and two others, he will kill any three people she desires. She used her first of these three wishes to kill the man who tortured her fellow captives, known as The Tickler. H'ghar dropped him rather unceremoniously from a ledge as the episode ends.
In the books, many credit to the death to the "Ghost of Harrenhal." In short, Arya has gone from a captive to a mystical, killing force.
But things aren't looking so auspicious for her brothers, Bran and Rickon in Winterfell.
The turncloak, Theon Greyjoy, has launched an attack against the Stark-allied Torrhen's Square, and Bran sent the majority of his guards to fight them, leaving Wintefell unprotected and ruled by a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old.
Bran also dreamed that a sea will overtake Winterfell, killing many there. That doesn't sound, um, good.
Meanwhile, Jon Snow set off with legendary ranger Qhorin Halfhand to try to assassinate the wildling king, Mance Rayder. (This particular Jon Snow-plotline has been dragging this season. I thought there were supposed to be giants, zombies and woolly mammoths beyond the wall, not just a lot of snow.)
The writers were smart to include more Daenerys Targaryen this episode. Even if she isn't central to the Stannis-versus-Joffrey plot, she was one of the most captivating characters of Season 1 and most folks want to see what's happening with her on a weekly basis.
Dany taught one of her (surprisingly cute) baby dragons how to cook meat, met the creepy warlock Pyat Pree (who looked just as creepy as I imagined) and got a dubious marriage proposal from Xaros Xhoan Daxos.
"Marry me and I will give you the seven kingdoms," he said (but one suspects what he really wants are dragons). To his credit, Daxos correctly observed Jorah Mormont's pretty obvious crush on Dany.
But Dany rebuffs Daxos' advance with humor: "That was a romantic proposal," she says.
With Renly dead and Robb Stark's stated non-interest in the Iron Throne, here's hoping Dany, her sense of humor, just spirit and her dragons appear in Westeros sooner, rather than later.