Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2: The House Of Black And White Recap

Welcome returns and some serious burns....

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A relatively low-key second episode finished what season opener ‘The Wars to Come’ started, reintroducing the remaining big characters (plus a couple we hadn’t fully expected).

‘The House of Black and White’ was fairly low on action – Brienne garroting a few of Little Finger’s henchmen aside – but contained some important plot developments and some hot-as-wildfire dialogue.

The five main points, then.

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1 | Arya is back
Having completed her voyage across the Narrow Sea, everyone’s favourite disturbed teenager rocked up to the House of Black and White to try and cash in the coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar moons ago. Reminding us of uni house parties past, she was unceremoniously turned away and left to fend for herself on the mean streets of Braavos. It was all a trick, though – by the end she was invited inside where she is to train to become a ‘man with no face’. Which will be handy if she's ever to complete her kill list.

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2 | A game of burns
There may not have been many swords or arrows flying about, but the bitchy put downs came thick, fast and from some unexpected corners in this episode. BURN #1 Samwell Tarly – a man whose confidence is sky high after killing a White Walker and (presumably) getting more than the odd withering put down from Gilly – stood up to the Wall's resident coward Janos Slynt by reminding him that, during the battle with the Wildings at the end of season four, he was found hiding ‘in a puddle of his own making’ in the kitchen.

BURN #2 – As Cersi assembled her new advisers in an attempt to consolidate power in King’s Landing, Kevan Lannister – her uncle – called her out for ‘filling small council with sycophants’ reminding her she is ‘the Queen mother, nothing more.’ Owch. Finally, BURN #3 came from the freed slaves of Meereen, who reacted to Daenerys’ decision to execute a disobedient subject by hissing, then pelting her with stones.


3 | A new double act is born
The best moment of the episode by far was the unexpected but extremely welcome return of Bronn, the Han Solo of Game Of Thrones. Settling into his new life as a minor Lord, Tyrion’s former bodyguard was strolling along a beach humouring his dim-witted new fiancé when he spots a familiar face waiting for him. “It’s Jamie fucking Lannister” Bronn declares – who is there to rope him into a suicide mission to Dorne – leaving us instantly thrilled at the thought of the show’s latest comedy double act.


4 | Even more Stannis
Having been a real drag in earlier seasons, Stannis Baratheon is emerging as a surprise contender for our favourite character in the show. The stony-faced sourness he displayed from his weird office in Dragonstone has been replaced with a bemused, almost insouciant air that keeps getting funnier – something about hanging around the wall trying to decide what to do with the Wildlings suits him. Anyway, this episode he’s still no closer to figuring out how to march on the North after Jon Snow turns down his offer to be renamed Jon Stark – even though it is what he has always wanted – and lead the charge South because of (yawn) ‘morals’. Instead, Jon won an election to be the boss of the Night’s Watch, meaning this 'big fish in a small pond' scenario will go on for a while longer.


5 | Drogon returns
Finally, some good news for Daenerys. After fleeing her ungrateful, semi-mutinous subjects in Meereen, The Breaker Of Chains stepped out onto her balcony for some air and was greeted by Drogon, her long lost dragon. After the other two in her brood acted like stropped teenagers in episode one, Drogon’s return marks an uneasy new truce between mother and child, who we're guessing has just ran out of money or urgently needs a lift somewhere. In any case, full marks to Emilia Clarke for gazing up with such love in her eyes at what was presumably a runner waving a stick. If she manages to get her dragons back on board, the people of Meereen – hell, of Westeros – will bow down in fear, reinstating Daenerys as clear favourite for the Iron Throne. Although we're still hoping Bronn somehow gets there instead.

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MORE GAME OF THRONES:

Season 5 Episode One 'The Wars To Come' Recap 
The 20 Greatest Game Of Thrones Scenes 
Why Game Of Thrones Is Really An Allegory For Modern Britain 
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