Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White was Sharp
Game of Thrones
Season 5 Episode 2: “The House of Black and White”
Directed by: Michael Slovis
Screenplay by: David Benioff, D. B. Weiss
Airdate: April 19, 2015
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Indira Varma, John Bradley, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Hannah Murray, Conleth Hill, Jerome Flynn, Michiel Huisman, Nathalie Emmanuel, Gwendoline Christie, Tom Wlaschiha, Peter Vaughan, Ian McElhinney, Julian Glover, Anton Lesser, Tara Fitzgerald, Owen Teale, Alexander Siddig, Jacob Anderson, Dominic Carter, Daniel Portman, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Joel Fry, Reece Noi,
“The House of Black and White” was a great second episode for the season. Continuing the plot points established in the first episode, and adding only two additional to the mix. There was less jumping between the concurrent stories as there was in the first episode, which made each of the storylines more satisfying. We also had our first action sequence of the season, which was satisfying since the multifaceted and elaborate narrative can weigh down the series. There was a lot to love about this episode, especially if you are a fan of great dialogue.
This is a spoiler warning, while I will not intentionally spoil any major plot points, in discussing the events of this show there may be some spoilers from this point forward.
I want to talk about Arya, this is the first time we have seen her since she left form Bravos at the end of season four. Now we pick up her story as she arrives, and is escorted to the House of Black and White, which is the home of the Faceless Men. This is a huge push forward for her character, which has been on the run, for three seasons now, while she has been my favorite character, she hasn’t had much to do. When Arya firsts gets to the House of Black and White, she is turned away, immediately. Her determination drives her to stay, for what appears to be several days, at their door, until she leaves to find something to eat. That sequence frustrated the hell out of me. Like I said, she is my favorite character, and I feel frustrated when Arya has to wander all over Westros, cross the sea, and then have a door closed in her face, you faceless bastards. Fortunately, her persistence paid off and they did invite her inside, eventually. They were probably impressed with her pigeon dispatching skills. Does it count if I say I called that two, or three seasons ago?
Of other import, Jon Snow was named lord commander of the night’s watch, I was expecting that to happen, but thought it might be the wildlings that forced that to happen. Outside that, Stannis offered to name Jon a Stark and lord of Winterfel if he would offer his loyalty and help him win the North. Jon refused, and remained with the night’s watch. I’m not sure yet how this will play out, I still think Jon will somehow convince the Wildlings to join Stannis to claim the north.
Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Cerci received a threatening message from Dorne. Believing Myrcella is in danger Jaime offers to go to Dorne to retrieve her, but he doesn’t go alone. He pays a visit to Bronn, to secure his help. While Jaime is gone, Cerci tries her hand once again at running a kingdom, and it does not start well, as she cannot even run a small council meeting. Cerci is definitely starting to unravel and she is going to crash and burn spectacularly this season.
Over in Meereen, Daenerys is beginning to have troubles of her own, running a kingdom. She presides over a botched trial and execution with infuriate the citizens, and her dragons are not being nice to her, at all. She obviously needs a lot of help and fortunately, Varys and Tyrion are on their way. Varys and Tyrion are the new odd-couple. They could very easily trade quips and banter for hours and it would be a very entertaining show to watch. The timing and delivery of their dialogue is perfect.
Finally, the sole action scene in this episode, and so far this season, belongs to Brienne. After losing Arya, she finally tracks down Sansa, who also refuses her aid. When Baelish seems to take exception to the offer, he sends his men after her and Podrick. These men were surprisingly little challenge for Brienne, and she managed to dispatch them in a very pleasing manner. While Podrick attempted to convince Brienne that both Stark girls refusing her protection was good cause to abandon her vow, she did not accept that as an answer. Instead, she decided to protect Sansa whether she wishes it or not. This I believe will lead to a very unpleasant end to Brienne.
I don’t have any new predictions for the season at this time, but I will happily point out when I was right.