Originally Posted by FreeBaGeL
Last night's episode felt kind of "cheap" to me, and was probably the first episode of the show that I didn't like. The shadow monster just waltzes in and takes out Renly and suddenly his entire army becomes loyal to their king's murderer? So if Dimitri Medvedev had Pres. Obama killed then suddenly the entire US military would fight for Russia?
If I'm not mistaken Renly's army isn't just some army created with the sole purpose of taking the iron throne. Renly actually ruled over a land similar to how Ned Stark ruled Winterfell. Last I checked, when Ned Stark was killed the entire Northern army didn't suddenly pledge its allegiance to Joffrey, nor would they pledge it to Tywinn Lannister if he took out Robb Stark tomorrow. Surely there is some line of succession down there beyond "oh **** they killed our king let's just all fight for the bad guys instead".
Same story with Danyreus. Her and her tiny band of misfits wander in to the richest guy in the world who has this uber ambition to rule and the money to create an army but is more than happy to just give it to someone else so he can play 2nd fiddle as the ruler's significant other rather than actually ruling himself? Meh. At least this is better than how Stannis gained his uber-army over night but it's still a stretch.
I dunno, I really dislike Deus Ex Machina and this episode seems to have established that it's going to be a very major part of this series. Any character or nation can be at a complete disadvantage or in complete peril and have it completely solved/fixed in an instant via something just contrived out of thin air.
The Army Renly had was made largely of banner men. These are lords who swore an oath but are not under his rule. Once he died they no longer had anyone to pledge to since Renly had no line of succession. Stains however has a claim on the throne which is why they "switched sides". They can swear an oath to whomever they want, and they will do whatever benefits them the most. Case in point with the Starks, Ned had his sons which called his banner men, since Rob was the next in line he had the right to call them. He did have to convince them to follow him though as they swore to his father and not him. If Renly had an older son then most likely they might have remained on that side.
As far as the Danyreus story, I think we have seen plenty of evidence that you can have plenty of power if not more than the king by being the hand if not someone with enough connections. Since that character has just been introduced we have no idea what his true motives are.
I actually enjoyed the episode as it furthered the statement that no one is safe. while the magic added another element we haven't seen it used much if at all before this point. It didn't bother me as much as others I guess on how it was used.