Game of Thrones Recap by AsimovLives
Season 5 – Episode 2
Hello. AsimovLives here and I’m a regular sci-fi contributor to this website. But I also love Game of Thrones! So this is my series of recap articles about the episodes of the season 5 of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones, for your pleasure.
Game of Info
Series: Game of Thrones
Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Based on the fantasy novel series A Song of Fire and Ice by author George R.R. Martin
Episode title: The House of Black And White
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Directed by Michael Slovis
Original Air Date: April 19, 2015
Game of Synopsis
Beware, spoilers ahead
The episode opens with the Dyson sphere globe of the world of Westeros showing the locations of King’s Landing, The Vale, The Wall, Braavos and Meereen, where the action takes place (Dorne and Volantis not represented in the credits).
Arya arrives at Braavos, a city of canals like Venice. The salt ship captain takes her to the door of her destination, the House of Black and White. Knocking on the door, she is received by an old man who refuses entrance, even when she presents the iron coin. Days pass with Arya waiting at the door to get admitted, until she finally gives up and leaves.
Living in the street feeding on pigeons, she is accosted by a trio of street hooligans. As Arya prepares to confront the bullies, they are scattered by the sight of the same old man from before. Arya follows him and he chances face to the familiar visage of Jaqen H’ghar, who calls himself A Man. He takes Arya inside the House.
At a tavern, Podrick and Brienne notice Sansa is there as well. Brienne goes to Sansa and pledges her sword to her. Littlefinger however points out that the Lords Brienne has served all have died, and she’s suspected of Renly’s murder. Brienne claims her innocence and who the real culprit was, a shadow with the face of Stannis. But Sansa heeds Littlefinger’s words and rebuffs Brienne. Brienne narrowly escapes capture and saves Podrick’s life as well. Still, she decides to follow Sansa’s party at a distance.
Cercei is disturbed by a gift from Dorne: the necklace she gave to her daughter Myrcella. She and Jaime take that as veiled threat. Jaime decides to go to Dorne to rescue her, with the help of a friend…
… Ser Bronn, who is now enjoying the life of a Lord with his young wife. But not for long, as Jaime recruits him by appealing to his greed with the promise of a much better girl and a much better castle.
Ellaria seethes with rage against the Lannisters and calls out on Prince Doran for not taking action in revenge of the death of his brother Oberyn – starting by killing Myrcella. Doran orders no harm toward her, as she is their guest. Ellaria storms out, calling Doran weak and uncaring, but out of her sight he is shown seething with barely contained rage as strong as hers.
Road to Volantis:
Tyrion and Varys ride to the free city of Volantis, where from there they will sail to Meereen. Tyrion is increasingly bored with the need to remain hidden inside the carriage, equating it to another box. Varys points out how dangerous it is to be seen outside, as Cercei has put a bounty on Tyrion’s head. Tyrion quips, what will she do, kill all dwarves in the world?
A pair of assassins brings the head of a dwarf to Cercei, who, as she notices, is not Tyrion. Qyburn ask for the head for his experiments, so not to go to waste.
At the Small Counsel, Cercei gives one more title to Lord Mace, Master of Coin, to retain his loyalty and makes Qyburn the new Master of Whispers, much to the (unheeded) protest of Maester Pycelle. Her attempt to sway her uncle Ser Kevan as Master of War doesn’t work on him, who demands that he be given the title by the king himself, not through her questionable authority as regent who surrounds herself with sycophants. If the king wants him he can send for him while he waits at Casterly Rock. As Kevan departs, Cercei shoots daggers with her eyes at his direction.
Princess Shireen Baratheon is teaching Gilly how to read. Gilly, Shireen and Samwell bound on their common experience as unfavorites and outcasts. Queen Selyse interrupts them and berates Shireen for mingling with the wildlings whom she sees as little more than animals.
Stannis is berating Jon Snow for his show of mercy to Mance, saying such actions will only make others see him as weak. Jon counters it was Stannis show of force in killing Mance that made the wildlings reject serving under Stannis; now they will only serve one of their own. Stannis is also having trouble rallying the houses of the North to his cause, as they will only serve a Stark. Stannis offers to legitimate Jon as a Stark and as such making him the legitimate heir of Winterfell and Lord the North, if he bends the knee to him. Jon is tempted but conflicted, for he vowed an oath of duty to the Night’s Watch.
It’s election time for the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Janos names Ser Alliser as candidate, much to the majority approval. Fearing Alliser might win and make a living hell to Jon, Samwell names him as candidate as well in a passionate speech. The voting reaches a tie, until Maester Aemon casts his token in favor of Jon, who becomes the 998th Lord Commander.
Daario finds the location of a hideout of a Son of The Harpy and he and the Unsullied capture one of the resistance. At the counsel, Mossador, the representative of the freed slaves, demands the Son of The Harpy to be killed to set an example. He says the former masters who hired the resistant known nothing of justice, just blood. Ser Barristan advises for a more legalistic course of action, to give him a fair trial and show that her rule is based on justice and not force. Daenerys follows the latter’s advice.
But Mossador kills the resistant in his cell against her orders. He is brought to be executed on a public trial, as a show that her justice is for all those who trespass. Despite the claims for mercy by the freed population, she orders the execution carried out. The enraged population, not caring for the finer points of legality, revolt by hissing at her and a mass riot breaks out. Daenerys and her court barely escape alive.
At night, Daenerys receives the unexpected visit of Dracaris. She tries to reach for him, but again the dragon shows his independent spirit and flies away, leaving her, once again, alone, at the top of the Great Pyramid.
Game of Opinion
To say I liked this episode is to be a broken record. There isn’t an episode yet I haven’t liked a lot yet. It is my honest opinion this show is nearly flawless, on a weekly basis.
The plot thickens for all the major characters. But it’s still the Daenerys story arc that I find the most intriguing. The story displays a remarkable and unusual concession to realpolitik in the depiction of the consequences of conquest. In this world of post-Iraq War, it’s impossible to believe now that there is such a thing as easy conquest, and this show depicts such a scenario.
This is a fantasy show, but the events depicted all hit a little too close to the bone. Winning a battle, so it seems, is easier than to implement a new order, no matter how more just it might be. The very attempt to solve a problem just brings more and new problems. That Daenerys has removed her only councilor that was the more pragmatic and realistic in his view of the world and is now only surrounded by idealists or extremists does reminds me of a not too long ago in the past events in our own world, where misplaced idealism and blindness to the realities of the world brought new greater dangers to the fore.
Game of Predictions
- Arya will be a rebellious ninja trainee.
- Brienne’s sense of honor will be the death of her.
Game of Final Thoughts
I loved it, can’t wait for more.
As always, thank you for reading. See you at next week’s episode High Sparrow.
This is AsimovLives, signing off. Have a better one.