Game of Thrones – S5E2 – The House of Black and White – Recap

Arya is sailing on her boat to Braavos. They sail under that giant statue of a titan that is one of my favorite parts of every Game of Thrones opening. The captain says that the titan defends Braavos. Arya is experienced enough to realize that statues don’t to defend anyone.


When they arrive in Braavos, Arya is left in front of a building with a black and white door. An old black man opens the door. He turns Arya away, even after Arya presents her coin to him. After the black and white door is shut in her face, Arya throws her coin of the faceless man into the water.

game of thrones house of black and white

Pod and Brienne have stopped at an inn for some food. Sansa and Littlefinger are dining there. Littlefinger should promote a line of pub food called Littlefingers li’l chicken fingers, but I digress. Pod spots Littlefinger and Sansa. Brienne introduces herself, and it goes poorly. But Brienne’s frustrated with her quest, and isn’t going to let Littlefinger’s men get in the way of her and Sansa. In classic Pod fashion, he loses control of his horse and goes galloping away during the fight. This gives us more time to focus on Brienne’s sword fight, where she breaks her opponents sword in half with her own. Half of Ice is quite the sword.

5x02-The-House-of-Black-and-White-game-of-thrones-brienne and pod

In King’s Landing, Cersei has summoned Jaime. When he arrives, she has him finger a box. Not that box, you perv! The box springs open to his touch and a menacing  viper is revealed. Wait, now I’m not even sure I’m talking about the box on the table or Cersei’s. The viper statue in the box on the table has their daughter Marcela’s necklace on it. It’s clearly a threat, in revenge for the Red Viper’s death at the hands of the Mountain last season.

game of thrones season 5 red viper statue

Bronn and his betrothed are walking along the shore of her family estate. His future wife is a bit of a Debbie Downer, but Bronn rolls with it. Jaime shows up, and Bronn immediately realizes that anything Jaime has to tell him is not going to lead to Bronn having the relaxing day he was planning. It sounds like Jaime is enlisting Bronn to save his daughter. Bronn wants to know what’s in it for him. Jaime tells him a prettier wife and a bigger homestead. Bronn is in. Classic Bronn.

The Red Viper’s former lover, whose name I can’t ever remember so she’ll now be referred to as that Sand lady (because I only remember her last name was Sand…it’s either that or Slutty Princess Leia, your call), is meeting with the Prince of Dorn. He’s in a wheelchair. For some reason, I pictured this guy being much younger, but it looks like he’s the Red Viper’s older brother. Maybe he’s not older and he just looks older. Anyway, that Sand lady (hmmm, I think I do like Slutty Princess Leia better) is pissed and wants revenge on the Lannisters for Oberin’s death. The Sand Snakes are with her. I think the Sand Snakes are Oberin’s daughters. You know what, with all this talk of vipers and sand snakes, I’m  going to refer to her from now on as The Baroness, aka the sexiest part of Cobra. If only she would start wearing glasses and go for that sexy librarian look that The Baroness pulled off so well. Ellaria! That’s her name! Damn, I thought the Baroness had a good ring to it…

ellaria is pissed game of thrones season 5 episode 2

In Meereen, Daario and the Unsullied are hunting the assassin from last episode. The assassin is a member of the Sons of the Harpy. When the Unsullied can’t find the assassin in the assassin’s home, Daario stabs a wall, causing the assassin to fall through the wall, writhing in pain. Daario is like the Fonz, if you replace jukebox with wall and hip thumping with stabbing. Ayyyyyy…

Dany is trying to figure out what to do with the Son of the Harpy, who is now in custody. Ser Barriston the Brave explains to Dany the story of the Mad King. Maybe calling him the Mad King to his daughter isn’t the best idea? No one every called him Ser Barriston the Tactful. Barriston points out that the usurpers to throne were given plenty of reasons to not trust the king by the king himself, and warns Dany not to go down a similar path.

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Tyrion is restless and wants to go out. Varys warns him that it’s not safe. Tyrion brushes Varys’s fears aside, saying “How many dwarves are there in the world? Is Cersei going to kill them all?”

Ironically, a dead dwarf’s head is given to Cersei at that very moment by a bounty hunter at a high council meeting. Unfortunately for the bounty hunter, Cersei recognizes the head as not belonging to her brother. Ah, Lannister family love. Son kills dad. Sister orders a hit on brother. I hope Hallmark comes out with a line of Game of Thrones greeting cards.

At the high council meeting, Cersei, in an attempt to stave off the subterfuge she predicted earlier, assigns new roles and titles to members of the high council. Never let it be said that Cersei isn’t always thinking three moves ahead, which is probably why she’s still alive and Ned Stark is a pile of bones missing a head. Robb Stark too for that matter.

Up at Castle Black, Gilly is learning to read. Stannis’s daughter is teaching her. Mrs. Stannis doesn’t trust Gilly and wants her daughter to stay away from her, which of course just helps show how crazy Mrs. Stannis is, because Gilly might be the nicest character on this show. She’s so nice that it’s amazing she’s still alive. Now that I think about it, Stannis’s daughter might be tied with Gilly as the nicest character on the show. They’ll probably both die within a fortnight.

We learn a bit about Stannis’s daughter’s facial skin affliction in her conversation with Gilly. It seems that this isn’t just severely dry skin, and might be somehow linked to the Others. Gilly makes it sound like Stannis’s daughter is the only person she knows of who has survived it. It sounds like it’s more common up in the North, where the Others have more influence. It’s surprising to me that Stannis’s daughter was struck with it. I wonder if she was born in the North.

Stannis and Davos are meeting with Jon. Stannis is pissed at Jon for killing Mance Raydar. Stannis wanted Mance to suffer. Jon’s willing to take any punishment Stannis has in store, but Stannis tells him that he doesn’t punish men for bravery. Dude, you’re saying that with Davos standing right there! Remember when Davos saved your ass and you rewarded him with a title and the loss of his fingers from the last knuckle down? Doesn’t punish men for bravery…right.

Stannis wants Jon to lead the wildlings for Stannis and retake Winterfell. Jon says that he can’t, the men of the Night’s Watch don’t take sides in royal disputes. Stannis offers to rechristen Jon as Jon Stark. He’d no longer be a bastard and would be the heir to Winterfell. Basically, Stannis is offering Jon all that Jon has ever wanted .

Later, the men fo the Night’s Watch are voting for a new Lord Commander. That bald guy who cowered in the cellars during the big battle at the end of last season nominates Thorne. Thorne is the heavy favorite to win this. Sam nominates Jon, saying that after Thorne was injured int he battle, Jon took charge and is the reason they’re alive today. Despite being a bastard, a lot of the brotherhood likes and respects Jon. The vote ends in a tie between Jon and Thorne. Oh damn, it’s a motherfucking run off, bitch! Oh, nevermind. The maester gets to break ties, just like the Vice President in the Senate. He votes for Jon. Man, everything is coming up Jon today. If he stays in the Night’s Watch, he’s the new Lord Commander. If he leaves, he leaves as Jon Stark, heir to Winterfell.

In the streets of Braavos, Arya kills a pigeon. This scene harkens back to season one, when her Braavosi sword instructer had her chase cats around King’s Landing. Three older boys want her pigeon, and want to also rape her from the look of them. They say that pigeon is worth something. Arya responds with the best line of the episode, “Nothing is worth anything to dead men.”  Right before she’s about to kill them, the old black dude from the house with the black and white door shows up, scares the boys off, and gives Arya back her coin. Then his face changes and he’s Jaqen! Arya is as shocked to see him as I am. He tells her, “A man is not Jaqen H’ghar.” I swear, Jaqen is Yoda, if Yoda was an assassin. Jaqen tells Arya that he is “no one, and that is what a girl must become.” I’m telling you, Yoda.

One of Dany’s men kils the Son of the Harpy assassin who is awaiting trial. Dany is not happy. He was her prisoner, for her to do with as she saw fit, and she wanted him to stand trial, but now he’s dead. Dany says the law is the law, and arrests the assassin’s killer for murder. She makes a public example of him. In front of  the former masters and slaves, Dany orders his death. The former slaves plead with her, but her mind is made up. Daario delivers his death. The people are not happy. They hiss at Dany and throw rocks at the former masters. Dany might be facing an uprising or a civil war. The Unsullied protect and help her flee the square. Just when she’s at her low point, Drogon, the black dragon, returns. She’s happy to see him. But just as quickly as he arrives, he flies off again. I wonder how happy Dany will be when Tyrion shows up. I doubt she’ll greet him with the same smile with which she greeted Drogan.

dany and drogon