TV Review: This Week on Game of Thrones (S5 Episode 2/ April 19, 2015)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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EPISODE 2: The House of Black and White

THE PLOT : The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don’t recommend reading this if you haven’t watched this episode)Tonight we see Arya finally make it to Braavos. She’s escorted to The House of Black and White and told the one she seeks can be found there. Sounds good, right? Then some crusty old dude answers the door and turns her away. Frustrated, she sits on the front steps for what appears to be hours or even days, only to give up and toss her coin in the water. There’s always a test, I can understand that, can’t have just anyone showing up for admittance, but she’s been to hell and back, so you can’t help but feel for her. I loved the scene with the three guys in the streets wanting to throw down with her, I was so hoping to see her hand them their asses, but instead, the crusty old dude shows up again. When he reveals himself as Jaqen H’ghar I was pumped. THIS is the story I’m anxious to see pan out. That said, I can’t help but wonder, with Arya being so young and all, if by the time she’s trained and ready to actually do something, will the war be over?

Brienne and Podrick somehow manage to find themselves at the same Inn as Littlefinger and Sansa. I like Brienne, but she wears her emotions (and allegiance) on her sleeve and damn if it doesn’t get her into trouble. Her quest to help the Stark girls is noble, but who can blame Sansa and Arya for saying no? Having Littlefinger there to condescendingly retell his version of Brienne’s journey certainly doesn’t help. I’m liking where this is all going though, as it’s only a matter of time before Sansa is surrounded by trouble, and when that happens, having a stubborn as hell savior/stalker may not be such a bad thing. Of course, my excitement came full circle when Bronn came back on the scene. Funny, I barely remember him from the books, but as far as the show is concerned, he’s welcome anytime. Now teaming him up with Jaime Lannister? Well, damn, that’s the duo to watch for as far as I’m concerned.

The Wall tends to be hit or miss when it comes to excitement, but tonight was fairly intense. Let’s get right to it, Stannis offers to make Jon a Stark and Lord of Winterfell. It’s like “SAY WHAT!?” I almost had to rewind that part and watch it again. I love Jon Snow, I sincerely do, but his sense of honor is vastly frustrating. I get it, you swore and oath (blah, blah, blah), but did you not kill one of your own guys to infiltrate Mance’s group? Did you not sleep with Ygritte? Sure, it was all part of the ruse, but becoming Lord of Winterfell is the opportunity of opportunities for Jon Snow. How does he not see that? Yes, you have friends on the Wall. Yes, you want to help them out. But for the most part, these guys are thieves, rapists and overall scum who (as we’ve clearly witnessed) are prone to turn on one another at the drop of a dime. I mean, it’s all good and great that Sam speaks up for you and you win the mantle of Lord Commander, but case in point, you’d do well to remember what happened to poor old Mormont. Sigh. Apparently, you know nothing Jon Snow.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5’s second episode is doing what this show does best—moving its characters in interesting directions and making us crave more. This is what we’ve come to expect from this show, and I’m not disappointed. Tyrion and Varys make their way a little closer to Daenerys, but it’s good that their taking their time because she’s got a hell of a lot on her plate right now. A fair trial. I wonder if such a thing even exists in that world, as all we’ve seen up to this point would suggest the “no” column. These Harpy guys are killing the Unsullied, so you could say they’re making some pretty big waves. The solution? Eye of an eye justice baby! No, don’t do it out in the open where everyone can see it, but hell, no one even knew they had the guy until she told them. To make a big spectacle of it, and then kill one of your own for executing the Harpy first, is just sloppy. You lose the people, it won’t be long before you lose everything. She’s got to get the hell out of there already. Nothing good can come from staying. The final moment on the balcony was a real treat though. Drogon is still watching over you Dany, at least that’s something.

SEX/NUDITY: None this week. This is what happens when Littlefinger is no longer running the whorehouse.

VIOLENCE: Brienne takes out some of Littlefinger’s men, Podrick throws a rock at one, and Arya beheads a pigeon. Poor little guy.

MOST EPIC SCENE: Being an Arya fan, I loved the Jaqen H’ghar reveal, and who doesn’t love seeing dragons, but maybe it’s the agonizing loss of Oberyn that fueled my choice this week. I loved the introduction of Doran Martell. More importantly, I love the imagery, the luscious local, the jewelry (his golden coiled snake ring) and the weapons. That axe his bodyguard had, damn! I collect the weapon replicas and would very much love to see that axe come next. Everything about the brooding scene with Doran and Ellaria was a much welcome added twist to the rest of what’s already going on. Can’t wait to see more of that.




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