Series Issues: Game of Thrones 5×2 – House of Black and White

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

Unbowed, unbent, unbroken, but there are spoilers.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown this week on Game of Thrones 5×2: House of Black and White. But before we see the loneliness at the top, we first get to reunite with Arya in Bravos, where she arrives at the aforementioned House of Black and White. For all her tribulations, she can’t get past the door. An aged man in a white tunic tells her she has everywhere to go but there and closes the door on her face. Gee thanks, Yoda. Now what?

After a rather crafty gift from Dorne, Cersei is on pins and needles – which means everyone else is as well. The gift is a direct threat to Cersei’s daughter Myrcella. First up, it’s Jamie Lannister who decides to embark on a rescue mission. Don’t worry he’s not going alone. Bronn is recruited. Jaime, that’s not enough – although this could mean yet another buddy cop act.

Which brings us back to Brienne and Podrick. They have managed to caught up to Littlefinger and Sansa, almost without trying. This is not something that ever happened in the books. Podrick has a good eye, he manages to catch a side glance of Sansa and recognizes her on the spot. With this information, Brienne lies low and waits for a more convenient setting – no, wait she just got up and marched right up to Sansa. I love Brienne, but she has to learn when to hold them and when to fold them. Suffice to say that after Sansa wisely opts to pass on her services, Brienne has to exit stage left quickly. She also has to do quite a bit of hacking and slashing as the soldiers close in. And Podrick gets thrown by his horse.

Speaking of comedic duos, Varys and Tyrion are on their way to Varennes inside a carriage. Nothing really happens, but you know the dialog consists of them quipping back and forth.

We finally see Dorne, Prince Dorian and reunite with Ellaria Sand, who wants revenge on all things Lannister. Although Ellaria is not above taking out her fury on Myrcella, Dorian Martell forbids it. Ellaria also casually mentions that the Sand Snakes are on her side. That’s a bit of foreboding right there.

Back in Braavos, Arya is trying to survive on the streets. As she gets confronted by a gang of youngsters who want to relieve her of Needle, the would-be attackers suddenly go pale and run away as Yoda appears again. Arya follows the mystery man who suddenly changes his face to reveal that of Jaqen H’ghar. Why? Because in the small screen, we viewers need a way to connect the Faceless Men. That’s all I can think of. In the books, this guy is the kindly man and nowhere is it imply he’s the same person.

Back at the Wall, elections are on the way. Stannis remings Jon of what happens to people who defy him, but he does seem really eager to let him off the hook at the same time. His offer is tempting: to join Stannis and become Lord of Winterfell. When the elections take place, Samwell Tarly surprises the room as he speaks for Jon Snow to be the next Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon ends up winning by one vote.

Finally, we go to Meereen where Daenerys must decide the fate of a recently caught assassin of the Sons of the Harpy. But as he’s awaiting trial he’s killed by one of her advisors, a former slave. Not wanting anybody to be above the law, Dany has him executed in front of everyone, which garners her the dissent among the entire liberated slave community. With neither side supporting her, things are turning grim for the last known Targaryen. When her council of advisors take their leave, Dany steps outside to find Drogon. She extends her hand out to him, but the large Dragon spreads his wings and flies away.

Highs:

  • It might be cruel, but Sansa did the only thing she could do. She’s staying with Petyr Baelish. It’s not the safest of situation, but seems she can pull some strings there and stay out of the spotlight.
  • Arya finally takes her first step onto a larger world. Ok, I borrowed that from Obi-Wan Kenobi… She’s on her way to becoming a true badass.
  • Jaime Lannister leaves King’s Landing. And with Ser Bronn. Good, I don’t expect the place to remain standing much longer the way things are going.
  • Samwell Tarly speaking for Jon’s nomination and ridiculing Janos Slynt for his cowardice.
  • Drogon returns. But it’s important that he’s not staying with Dany. Is this an allegory for Targaryens? Does this mean Dany should not be tied to Meereen?

Lows:

  • Cersei needs to rule with her head. She’s antagonizing her own kin. Her uncle, Kevan Lannister refuses to become Master of War and opts to return to Casterly Rock
  • Brienne does a good job fighting off Littlefinger’s soldiers, but it does seem like this change was put in there just to add some action. And the whole Podrick as comedy relief falling in the water is just a bit cheesy.
  • We’re still in repetition mode with Daenerys and the people of Meereen. Something’s gotta give soon.

That will do for now.

Coming soon:

(Source: HBO)

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  1. #1 by patricksponaugle on April 21, 2015 - 6:12 am

    To address one of your lows, Cersei seemed extra smug when Kevan was telling her off and leaving. I don’t think it’s above Cersei to want Kevan off her small council, exactly because he’d be someone who wouldn’t listen to her, have his own ideas, etc.

    My read on it, which still doesn’t speak well of Cersei but is consistent with her paranoid narcissism, is that she expected him to not want to hang around.

    • #2 by The Editor on April 21, 2015 - 11:57 am

      Yes and yes. I agree she might have wanted that reaction, which is even more damaging. She’s neglecting experience and going with people she can manipulate. That puts all the burden of responsibility on her, which means anything she’s blind to will go on unabated. She’s leaving herself wide open to a coup d’etat.

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