Last night, we all watched the second episode of Game of Thrones' fifth and most important season yet. All our old friends are back, and they're getting into their business -- and in some cases, the business of others. But there are some new faces on the scene, too -- who are they, and what do they want?
Warning: Spoilers within!
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Game of Thrones' fifth season's second episode is called The House Of Black And White, and if last week's The Wars To Come was a wisp of smoke, this week is the first crackle of a fire starting to burn. Many of last week's characters are finally starting or continuing their journeys across land and country
Tyrion and Varys are getting underway, with their big-man little-man double act making its way across the continent of Essos to reach dragon queen Daenerys in Meereen. Considering all the chaos that Dany stirred up behind her on this exact route a few seasons ago, they'll have their work cut out for them. Tyrion is up to his usual wine-swilling tricks, of course, but it's the dialogue between the two that stands out. When told Cersei is offering a lordship to anyone that delivers her his head, Tyrion suggests she should offer herself instead: "the best part of her for the best part of me."
Cersei, for all her charm, is consolidating what little power remains around her back in King's Landing. With father Tywin gone and her uncle Kevan immune to her wiles, she has to bring the Small Council under her control to keep herself in a position of importance as Queen Regent. Cersei sends her brother/lover/personal suit of walking armour Jamie on a mission to Dorne, to liberate her daughter Myrcella -- remember, she has a daughter? That one that sailed away a while ago? -- from the clutches of Prince Doran Martell, brother to the recently head-crushed Prince Oberyn.
Dorne, for all its trouble, is beautiful. We go there and meet Prince Doran, as well as Ellaria Sand, the (cough) paramour of Prince Oberyn who we met last season -- y'know, she was the one that did this when Oberyn met his gruesome end. Ellaria wants her revenge on Cersei and the Lannisters, and wants to do so by slicing and dicing Myrcella. The stoic Doran disagrees, but he's very clearly in deep, deep mourning for his brother.
Up north at the Wall, the true and rightful and proper and very boring king Stannis and his much more interesting offsider Davos Seaworth (he's a really nice guy) want Jon Snow to ditch his Night's Watch cloak and swear fealty to Stannis whilst also picking up the title of Lord of Winterfell. Jon doesn't like the sound of that -- he has honour when there aren't pretty girls around -- and in a shocking twist nobody expected, he's elected to be Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
We also meet Arya again! For the first time this season, we see her slinking around the grubby streets of Braavos. She comes to the House of Black and White -- hey, that's the name of the show! -- and shows the strange coin that Faceless Dude Jaqen H'ghar gave her. A mysterious black-cloaked figure tells her that Jaqen H'ghar doesn't live there, though, so she has a bit of a think and then dumps the coin in the sea. After a scuffle with some angry youths that want her sword, she's surprised by the appearance of Black Cloak from before, who reveals himself to be Jaqen. Now she's in the big leagues.
And Sansa is again slightly helpless and trailing around after the very persuasive Littlefinger. There was a bit of foreshadowing episode where Brienne and Podrick are passed on the king's road by Littlefinger's carriage and guard, and predictably the two run into the other two at a fortuitously placed inn. After realising exactly who she is, Brienne petitions Sansa to let her help her. Littlefinger, of course, doesn't like the sound of this and Brienne and Pod are forced away by his hired muscle. So close, Brienne. So close.
What did you think of this week's episode?
Note: Please, no spoilers for future episodes (if you've watched them) or spoilers from the books in the comments below!
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