Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2 Review: “The House of Black and White”


Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 Review

 
 
 
 

SPOILER ALERT

 

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2

Game of Thrones is officially back on our weekly must-view list, and episode two continues to set the stage for bigger events to come.

 
 
Arya finally arrives in Braavos, Brienne gets shut down by Sansa, Jamie embarks on a diplomatic trip to Dorne, Daenerys learns once again that being queen is no easy gig, and Jon Snow is suddenly facing more responsibility as a member of the Night’s Watch. A slow episode by Game of Thrones standards, but one that seems to anticipate some serious twists and turns down the road.

 

We finally get a glimpse at Arya, whom we last saw embarking on a ship to Braavos. She arrives at the House of Black and White, a majestic temple located in Braavos where she hopes to find her long-lost buddy Jaqen H’ghar. As you might know from the books, the House of Black and White is home to the Faceless Men, an elite group of assassins able to change their physical appearance seemingly at will. She knocks on the door but, much to her dismay, she isn’t allowed to enter and is told that there’s no man by the name of Jaqen there. We all know that Arya is a tough cookie though, so after spending some time pining in front of the temple, she takes to the streets of Braavos in search of some food. Eventually though, Jaqen reaches out to her and invites her into the temple. We’re utterly excited to follow Arya’s journey, as the Stark progeny proved time and time again that she’s a true force to be reckoned with. With some more training under her belt, she could become a truly powerful warrior – and finally get revenge on those who have wronged her in the past.

Elsewhere, Brienne and Podrick decide to stop for some food at a bodega that just so happens to house Sansa and Littlefinger. Brienne approaches Sansa and tells her that she wants to protect her, but Sansa is unimpressed. She refuses Brienne’s services and Littlefinger’s men attack her and Podrick. Luckily, they manage to escape, but Brienne now has to find another greater purpose to dedicate her life to. Facing rejection from both Stark girls must be a bitter pill to swallow. She doesn’t give up just yet though, instead she plans to follow Sansa from a safe distance, believing she’s not safe in Littlefinger’s company. We tend to agree – Baelish is a sneaky fellow, and he clearly has some big plans for Sansa, ones that might not prove to be in her best interests.

Back in King’s Landing, Cersei is concerned about Myrcella’s safety following Oberyn’s gruesome death, as the Lannister girl is currently living in Dorne. The queen regent shares her concerns with Jamie, easily manipulating him to embark on a diplomatic journey to Dorne. Jamie hopes to retrieve Myrcella without starting a war. Knowing he can’t go alone, he convinces Bronn to tag along, after he promises him a bigger castle and a better girl to marry when they return.

Episode two also takes us to Dorne for the first time, where Myrcella is unharmed so far. Ellaria Sand is eager to get revenge for Oberyn’s death, but Prince Doran Martell doesn’t seem to share her bloodlust. Since his brother died during a trial by combat, he tries to convince her that it doesn’t count as murder, and sending Myrcella back to Cersei “one finger at a time” would only cause more trouble than good. Ellaria however seems determined to take action, and she states that she has the Sand Snakes by her side, Oberyn’s bastard daughters, who are beloved in Dorne. It remains to be seen for how long Doran’s policy of “not mutilating little girls for vengeance” will last in the face of Ellaria’s desire to avenge her lover’s untimely death.

Ellaria isn’t the only one who’s hungry for power. In King’s Landing, Cersei attempts to join the small council, taking the place of the Hand of the King until Tommen is old enough to appoint one himself. She’s not welcomed though, as the other council members don’t seem too eager to collaborate with her, but are keener on serving the king directly. We’re curious to see how the story will play out in the following episodes and if Cersei will manage to win over the council members and become even more powerful than she currently is.

As with episode one, the most riveting series of events seems to be going down at Castle Black. Stannis makes Jon Snow a tempting proposal: as long as Snow is willing to kneel before Stannis, he will make the bastard rise again as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Stannis realized that he needs a son of Ned Stark in order to gain support of the North, because Northerners are loyal to their own. As Jon admits shortly after, this is the only thing he’s ever wanted. However, he’s sworn his life to the Night’s Watch, and he plans to honor that commitment. What follows is an exciting turn of events as Job Snow is appointed Lord Commander after, Sam makes some good points about Snow’s bravery, helping him to win the count – we can’t wait to see what will follow.

In Meereen, Daario catches a Son of Harpy, and Daenerys is left with a tough decision: kill him on the spot or allow him a trial. After Ser Barristan Selmy gives her some tough advice, she decides to spare the man and give him the chance to defend himself during a fair trial. This doesn’t stand well with one of her council members, a former slave. He takes matters into his own hands and kills the prisoner, disobeying Dany’s orders. Daenerys then proceeds to publicly execute him, causing the people of Meereen, who were begging for mercy, to revolt. Being queen isn’t easy. By the end of the episode though, she receives a visit for her long-lost child Drogon, who was AWOL for several weeks. He doesn’t stay for long, but we’re surely happy to see him again in all his fiery glory.

Season five has barely started, and a lot has already happened in the magical world of Westeros. We’ll recap each episode of season five, so be sure to check in next week as well. We’re eager to see where the story takes us next.

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