Game of Thrones Review: S5.E2. “The House of Black and White”

The cost of unflinching integrity.

Another packed episode of GOT has many plot-lines happening right now. So I’ll focus on a few main points as it’d be too long to cover all the plots.

The overall theme of the episode focused on committing to your integrity, your values.  But by doing so you pay a heavy a price.

Brienne has the worst luck of being shot down twice by the Stark girls. She thinks she can win over the Stark girls with vows of protection.

You can’t blame Sansa though. All of her family has been murdered (to her knowledge) and only trusts (to an extent) Littlefinger.  Since Peter Baelish is protecting her, at least for now, she knows she needs him to teach her the skills to survive.

We also saw this between Jon Snow and Stannis. The latter is unequivocal in his position, as he mentioned his disappointment to Jon’s mercy killing of Mance. However, he does reward performance with a promise to make Jon Snow into a Stark if he leaves the night watch. Jon does the Stark thing by refusing to be a Stark because he took vows as a Night Watch.

Finally, the biggest one is Daenreys. She finally gets good advice from Ser Barristen that the rumors about her father were true. But again, she falls into the trap of thinking people just follow her will. By executing the former-slave who murdered a Sons of the Harper, she’ll likely lose the support of the now freed slaves.

The point here is (politically speaking) you have to make compromises to move forward.  The Stark family paid the price (and appears that they will in the near future) of being unrelated in their black and white view of the world. Daenreys is following this path which has not proved successful. Brienne has been just plain unlucky.

A few other side notes. We got a brief view of Dorn, which should have been longer. Considering Ellaria sent Cersei a message of revenge for the death of Oberyn, it be nice to have more scenes. Also, the Sand Snakes should play a big part, as well as Myrcella, who’s blissfully unaware of how much danger she’s in.

Cersei starting the downward spiral by stacking the small council to her favor. The problem is she conceives of it as a power struggle that’s she’s dealt with as a woman and wither her father.  She keeps thinking the world’s against her and can’t see the bigger picture.

Finally, I’m excited to see Bronn back in the mix with Jaime. He’s such a likable character I’m glad the showrunners are still keeping him around.

What did you think of the episode? Leave your thoughts in the comment sections below.

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