The second installment of season five introduces us to a few new characters and catches up to a few characters we missed in the first episode. YES! ARYA! FINALLY! (Yes, I have a favorite character. What can I say, I like to live dangerously.)
The episode opens with Arya’s arrival in Braavos and making her way to the titular House of Black and White in search of Jaqen H’ghar.
Then we jump to Westeros and find Brienne and Podrick running into Sansa and Littlefinger. Sansa refuses Brienne’s protection and opts to stay with Littlefinger (…because better the devil you know, I guess…?).
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei is scheming: effectively appointing herself Queen Regent, she is whittling down the Small Council and sending Jaime on a “sensitive diplomatic mission” to retrieve Myrcella, their daughter, from Dorne. Across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion and Varys are still making their way through Essos toward Daenerys.
Meanwhile, at the wall, Jon Snow finds himself facing a choice between two incredibly powerful positions. And in Meereen, Daenerys is struggling to rule in a way that engenders a sense of peace and justice.
What I loved:
-Finally – finally – we got our first glimpse of Dorne! Truthfully, it wasn’t much more than a glimpse – only one scene –, but I like to think of it as an amuse-bouche since we will surely be seeing a lot more of Dorne as the season progresses.
-I am so excited about Prince Doran Martell being played by Alexander Siddig, who also portrayed Dr. Bashir on Star Trek; DS9. Seeing two of my fandoms collide in such a way just makes my heart sing!
-Of course, I loved seeing Arya again!
-It was fantastic to see Drogon! I just hope that he hasn’t been busy doing his best Trogdor imitation since we last saw him.
-I thoroughly enjoy the banter between Varys and Tyrion. So much snark!
-Jaqen H’ghar! …I mean, no one.
-Maester Aemon casting the tie breaking vote
What could have been better:
I was not the biggest fan of the scene between Brienne, Sansa, and Littlefinger. While it makes a great deal of sense, as Brienne points out, that Sansa would be leery of strangers, it seemed to me that Littlefinger manipulated that situation just a little too easily.
What I am looking forward to:
I am really anxious to see what experiences are waiting for Arya behind those heavy doors at the House of Black and White. Jon’s storyline seems to have hit a major fork in the road and I am very curious to see the choices he will have to make soon. I am also really interested to see how Daenerys is going to handle the fall out from her pursuit of justice.
“I’ve been all over the world and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that meanness comes around.” – Bronn
“Someone who’s forgotten fear has forgotten how to hide.” – Daario Naharis
“The Mad King give his enemies the justice he thought they deserved, and each time it made him feel powerful and right, until the very end.” – Barristan Selmy
“I swore a vow to the Night’s Watch. If I don’t take my own word seriously, what sort of ‘Lord of Winterfell’ would I be?” – Jon Snow
“Nothing’s worth anything to dead men.” – Arya Stark
“You opened your gates to me because I promised you freedom and justice. One cannot exist without the other.” – Daenerys