Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White
I am so excited to be talking about this week’s Game of Thrones episode, as it introduces one of my favorite elements from the book series, the House of Black and White. The episode opens on Arya still aboard ship that carries her to Braavos, learning about their customs already. I’d like to note that the scenery here is absolutely breathtaking as we see the entire city for the first time. She gets brought straight to the House of Black and White for which episode is titled and is left there to begin her new life. She walks up to the temple doors and is met by a man. He turns away, even when she gives them the iron coin Jaqen H’ghar gave to her and gives him the Braavosi greeting, “Valar Morghulis.” Not knowing where else to go, she sits outside on the temple steps and says her own prayer, the list of people whom she means to kill. She repeats the names over and over, before eventually tossing the coin into the river and leaving the temple.
We then see Pod and Brienne riding into a tavern for lunch, where Pod spots the Lady Sansa having lunch with Petyr Baelish. The two of them are discussing a marriage proposal that Petyr has made. As soon as he informs Brienne of this, she goes to confront the two of them and bring Sansa to safety. Bealish is of course, not so thrilled about the prospect of parting ways with her, and after Sansa denies her help we see that she is learning to mistrust people. As Brienne leaves, she starts a fight with Petyr’s men, and her and Pod hit the road once more. Although Pod tries to tell her that she tried her best and should be released from her vow to protect the Stark daughters, Brienne is determined to see it through and starts following them in order to ensure her safety.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei has received what she believes to be a threat on the life of her daughter Princess Marcella, who is still residing in Dorne. She fears for her child’s safety, thinking that the Dornish will kill her to get revenge on the Lannisters for the death of Oberyn. Jamie tells her that he is going to go down there and bring their daughter home safely.In his mission, he recruits Bronn, thus breaking off his engagement to Lollys Stokeworth, but leaving him with the promise of another wife and more riches after they return safely with his daughter.
We seen that things in Dorne are equally tense, as their ruler Prince Doran has not taken action to retaliate after Oberyn’s death. Ellaria Sand, Oberyn’s former paramour. She, Oberyn’s daughters (also known as the sandsnakes) want to start a war between Dorne and the Kingdoms. Doran of course is opposed to the war, and refuses to let any harm come to Marcella.
A war is breaking out in Meereen as well. The Second Sons and the Unsullied are still trying to find and stop the Sons of the Harpy. Dario Naharis has found one of them, which is concerning some of the slaves who are afraid for things to return to the way they were before Daenerys took over the city. They want him to be executed, but Ser Baristan talks her into having a fair trial for the man, and she agrees.
Tyrion and Varys are still travelling to Meereen to meet up with her, but Tyrion is having trouble staying inside the of the palanquin. He’s determined to get out and go for a walk, convinced that he won’t get caught going out for just awhile.
Cersei is of course, doing her best to make sure that he is caught and executed. She has offered a reward to anyone that can bring her Tyrion’s head. We see that she’s already receiving the heads of dwarves that people have mistaken for her brother and brought her. She has also appointed herself Hand of the King, and although she cannot do so officially, she tells the council that she’ll just be sitting in to advise her son until such a time that he is old enough to appoint his own hand. She is making other changes to the council as well. This causes issues, as when she tries to appoint her Uncle Kevan as “Master of War” but he refuses to take orders from her, and instead of accepting the position he questions her authority and says he’ll be returning Casterly Rock.
Back at The Wall, we see that Shireen Baratheon is teaching Gilly to read. We learn more about the Grayscale that she is inflicted with, and learn that the disease is widely considered fatal. Lady Selyse comes in to talk to her daughter and we learn that is not a fan of Shireen hanging around wildlings
Meanwhile, Stannis reprimands Jon Snow for putting Mance Rayder out of his misery in the previous episode. While the two of them discuss what should be done about the wildlings, Stannis also brings it to Jon’s attention that he is having trouble gaining support from the North, as they will only follow Starks. In an attempt to gain the support of the North, Stannis offers to legalize Jon Snow, turning him from a bastard to a legitimate son of Ned Stark. If he agrees to bow down to Stannis, he could become Jon Stark and rule over Winterfell.
He tells this to Sam over dinner, right before the election of the new Night’s Watch commander. Jon has decided that he will turn down the offer, since he has given his life to The Watch. Sam interrupts the voting proceedings to give a speech about how Jon Snow should be appointed the new Lord Commander. The voting commences, and although it is initially a tie between Jon and Ser Alliser Thorn, Maester Aemon breaks the tie by voting for Jon and thus putting him in charge of the Night’s Watch.
We return to see how Arya is getting along in Braavos. She runs into the man who turned her away from The House of Black and White. He gives her back the coin she tossed away, and then transforms into Jaqen H’ghar. This time, he allows her into temple, telling her that she must become no one in order to become a faceless man of Braavos.
Things in Meereen are escalating as we see the slave who spoke on Daenerys’s council earlier has murdered the Harpy that she was holding for trial. He argues he did it for her, because she knew he wanted the Harpy dead, but Daenerys says that it was murder, unjust, and executes the man in front of the Meereenese people. They ask her to give him mercy, and she allows Dario to decapitate the former slave. It is then that we first see the Meereenese people turn on her. She gets back to the pyramid safely and is thinking over her decision when she get’s a surprise visit from Drogon. As excited as we are to get to see him again, he doesn’t stay long. After making a brief appearance, the episode ends on him flying away again over Meereen.
As always, this episode has left me wanting more and I cannot wait to see how the story progresses next week. I’m particularly excited to be learning more about the mysterious city of Braavos and see where things are headed with the dragons.
Tags: arya, brienne, cersei, daenerys, dead, death, dragons, elements, game of thrones, hbo, jaqen, jon snow, king, murder, rule, sansa, second sons, stannis, Valar Morghulis, varys