Game of Thrones Season 5, Sansa Snark Blog- Episode 2

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Photo: HBO

Previously on recapping Game of Thrones: Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it. This week…

Season 5, Episode 2: The House of Black & White

In typical “Second Episode” fashion, chess pieces continue to get moved into place to set up the real action that we, the collective Internet, go crazy for. Some pieces are aggressive in the pursuit of what they want. Some pieces take a defensive stance to ensure survival later on. Some pieces are clearly controlled by a chess player with my skill level, because they don’t know what the hell they should do. Some pieces move to parts of the board that we didn’t even know existed, setting the stage for what look to be the best story arcs of the season. You know, just like that move in chess? I think it’s called the Norwegian’s Gambit.

Yep, just a whole lot of set up with the implications that there will be, in classic Stannis Baratheon fashion, a pay off later on down the road. But set up is no fun! So, this week I will supplement every section of this recap with a BOLD PREDICTION. They won’t necessarily make any sense, nor have a chance of actually happening. If I end up being right though, I’ll look like a genius, and that’s a risk I’m willing to take. 

Officially on her own and living by her rules, Arya Stark sails into Braavos in search of her next father figure Jaqen H’ghar, the man whose name is the hardest to remember the spelling of in all of Game of Thrones  who will help guide her towards her new purpose in life: Unrepentant murdering of those that do her wrong. She sails on a large boat, right past that familiar giant statue with a giant man skirt that we sometimes see in the roughly five-hour opening credit sequence. We then get our first full view of Braavos–it’s basically Venice!–as Arya now sails on a small boat towards an absolutely enormous building with one black door and one white door. As her helpful sailor/coin-bound servant tells her however, this is what is known as the House of Black & White, because in Braavos, what apparently passes for a house, would normally pass for a monolithic structure on an isolated island, with questionable door design choices that’s inhabited by a secret cult, anywhere else. Arya knocks and is greeted by a man we’ve never seen before (A black man! Rare by Game of Thrones standards!) who tells her, “Beat it, there’s no Jaqen H’ghar in these parts!” After camping out for the night, performing some heavy recitation of her intergalactic hit-list as literally every type of weather happens, a rejected Arya tosses her Valar Morghulis coin into the expansive sea. Somehow back on the mainland (it seemed like she was miles from shore, but I could be wrong,) she’s confronted by some Braavos ruffians. Just as she’s ready to throw down, who shows up but the dismissive black gentleman from earlier, who scares those chumps away and offers Arya a message. “You dropped this,” he says, flipping her the coin she had earlier cast away. The man then reveals himself, in sweeping panorama shot, to be… Jaqen H’ghar. YES! Actually, as he would tell it, a man is not Jaqen H’ghar, a man is no one, which is exactly what Arya must also become. He then leads her into the House of Black & White. YESSSSSS!

BOLD PREDICTION: Unfortunately, in a classic Bran-style twist on intriguing story lines, Arya is not seen again for awhile. That is until the final episode when she kills everyone remaining on her list. Only, we won’t realize that it’s Arya until she takes off her “assumed” face, revealing her “true” identity as a young girl that just committed several revenge murders. Can you feel your mind being blown eight-ish weeks from now?

Following their near-miss of Sansa in last week’s episode, Brienne and Podrick sit down at a local dining establishment to regroup. And, wouldn’t you know it, who’s sitting in the same establishment, turning down what appears to be free ale? Sansa Stark! (And Little Finger!) Against Pod’s better judgement, Brienne heads over to their table to try and convince this young, scared girl she’s never met to come with her to who even knows where. (Seriously, what is her plan here? She’s oath drunk!) A ROOKIE MISTAKE, leading to, INSTANT CONFLICT. All Sansa knows about Brienne is that she saw her bowing to Joffrey at his wedding, the definition of a deal-breaker. Plus there’s that whole thing where she keeps telling people that a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon killed Renly Baratheon, not her, which still sounds utterly insane, no matter how insanely true it might be. So, Sansa declines Brienne’s help, as any teenager would do when they’re confronted with something an older person presents to them as being important. Brienne runs out of the place, engaging in fisticuffs with Little Finger’s men. Following a very Return of the Jedi-esque speeder bike scene, Brienne and Pod wind up empty-handed, but still (however unwisely,) on the trail of Sansa and Little Finger. BRIENNE TOOK AN OATH AND SHE INTENDS TO FULFILL IT, DAMNIT! M’Lady Ser, as it turns out, ain’t dead yet.

BOLD PREDICTION: After two more set-backs in protecting the Stark girls Brienne decides to hang it up. She applies that drive to succeed to a new project: an hour of stand-up based on her experiences as a Westeros oath taker. Her bit about fighting a bear kills on a nightly basis. Pod gets struck by lightning, but comes out of the whole event relatively unscathed, and changed for the better.

Jaime Lannister decides to quit being a deadbeat incest dad and save his daughter Myrcella from a danger in Dorne that does not really seem to exist. As we learn from King Doran of Dorne, unlike in all these scary places in Westeros, Dorne does not mutilate little girls for revenge. Nice place! Mostly, I just think Jaime wants to get away from Cersei for a while, AM I RIGHT FELLAS????? He even makes a dude’s trip of it, inviting Bronn along to watch his back! “But wait, isn’t Bronn due to marry some lady named Lollis,” you say? Nah bro! Jaime totally sabotaged that arrangement and passed Lollis off to some other poor sap. Just another day in the life of a woman in Westeros! Once Bronn comes along with Jaime on this little “covert mission,” Jaime is totally going to score him an even hotter chick than Lollis. They’re headed as far South as South goes, brah. It’s Jaime and Bronn: Assignment Dorne Beach.

BOLD PREDICTION: Jaime succeeds in rescuing Myrcella, but loses his other hand (comically also replaced with a gold right hand,) three toes, and ten teeth in the process. Bronn falls in love with the female assassin tasked with killing him, and the two end up living a very happy, quiet life together, operating an artisanal lemonade shop in a hip suburb of Dorne.


Photo: HBO

In this week’s edition of Stannis trying to get somebody, anybody of note to bend the proverbial knee to him, Stannis tries to get Jon Snow to bend the proverbial knee to him. Stannis promises Jon that if he pledges that knee, he will become Jon STARK, Lord of Winterfell. As you can imagine, being a Stark is all Jon has ever wanted, but there’s still the matter of his oath to the Night’s Watch. He gave his word to them, and word is bond in Westeros. Not to mention, it’s time for the 998th Lord Commander elections at The Wall! It’s Alliser versus some guy named Dennis versus–as a late addition by virtue of Sam nominating him at the 11th hour–Jon Snow! Each respective member of the Night’s Watch casts their secret ballot by putting the token representing the candidate into a rather expensive looking jug that is then swiftly smashed, because pouring is for chumps. Jon really gains a hold on that all-important young vote, yet it’s good old Aemon that breaks the tie between Jon and Alliser in Jon’s favor. Is that a smile I see creeping across the face of Jon Snow? He may not be Jon Stark, but at least he knows he finally belongs somewhere. Which I mean, that’s nice and all, but personally, I really wanted to know more about that Dennis guy.

BOLD PREDICTION: Jon Snow has big political ambitions, but the system holds him back from making any sort of meaningful change. His tenure as Lord Commander ends in an unremarkable fashion, yet he still gets an entire library built and dedicated in his honor.

Lastly, in Meereen, The Sons of the Harpy (fka those guys from 300) continue to further tarnish Daenerys’ rule, and further make her wonder “Oh my god. Am I really cut out for this?” Remember that ban I had last year on all Daenerys talk until something interesting happened with her story? Well, after softening on it to report on the premiere, I’m going to say let’s bring it back. WE GET IT, SHE HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS DOING, AND IT IS CAUSING HER BID FOR THE IRON THRONE TO CRUMBLE BEFORE IT EVEN GETS GOING AND ALSO SHE CAN’T CONTROL HER DRAGONS EVEN THOUGH SHE’S THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS. The only interesting developments here are that the people of Meereen have literally been chanting “Mhysa” this whole time since Season 3, Episode 10, and that the people of Meereen are actually Cat People. They hissed at Daenerys like my cat Oscar does when my sister’s cat Jaxson comes over to play! Get Tyrion to Meereen already.

BOLD PREDICTION: It all works out in the end because we’ve spent too much god damn time at this point worrying about what Daenerys Targaryen is going to do.

Spare thoughts that are in no way bold, nor are they predictions:

– Also happening this week: Tyrion travels in a much nicer box while waxing poetic about how every piece of shit has a house banner attached to it. He just wasn’t made for these times.

– Also Also happening this week: Cersei re-arranges the small council to her fancy, wants to destroy Dorne, and is having the head cut off of every dwarf that might look a little bit like Tyrion. Nice lady.

– Upon telling the black gentleman version of Jaqen that she has no where else to go, Arya is actually told “You have everywhere else to go.” Deep. DEEP.

– Daario to Grey Worm: “Fear is useful when you want to find people that are hiding by stabbing the wall.” Then he literally stabs the wall and finds who they’re looking for. Dis fackin’ guy.

– Stannis’ daughter who has a name, and it’s Shireen, is teaching Gilly how to read. It shouldn’t be that hard for her; she already taught Ser Davos, and old people are idiots!

– FYI, Assignment Dorne Beach is already officially a new hypothetical spin-off, and it’s already been picked up to series. UNGH, the banter between these two is going to be next level.


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