The House of Black & White

We return once more to one of my favorite things – a recap of another lovely episode of Game of Thrones…for the three people who actually read this, enjoy!

The Starks: Itty Bitty Badass Edition – Arya is back! Arya arrives in Braavos this week, passing under the Titan of Braavos en route to the House of Black and White (where the episode title comes from). She’s met at the door by an older gentleman who is not fazed by the coin she has and will not let her in. After sitting on the steps repeating her list of names (there are only four now…four!) all day and night, she takes to the streets of Braavos to fend for herself. After slicing up some pigeon for lunch, she is in the midst of talking down some would-be bullies when the old gentleman from the House of Black and White reappears…and so she follows him back to the House of Black and White, only for him to reveal – he is in fact Jaqen H’ghar – although when she calls him this, he tells her he is no one – which is exactly who she’ll have to become. She steps into the house behind him and the doors close.
Presto Change-o!
The Starks: Darth Sansa Edition – Talk about worlds colliding! Brienne and Podrick just happen to stop in at the same inn where Sansa and Littlefinger are also having their road trip lunch break. Brienne approaches Sansa, offering her services and her sword as protection…which Sansa flatly denies. Brienne’s case isn’t helped with Littlefinger expounding on her many failures: Renly was murdered in her care, Catelyn Stark didn’t survive with her around and Jaime Lannister lost his sword hand….so why would you want her protection? Pod argues that since Brienne has found both Stark girls and both have denied her help, perhaps she is released from the vow she made to Jaime Lannister? Brienne makes the point that Sansa is certainly not safe with Petyr Baelish (that’s Littlefinger) and Podrick agrees – so they’ll follow them at a safe distance. There’s also some sword fighting…and man, Podrick really needs to learn to ride a horse.
Westeros should offer anger management….
The Lannisters: So Many Stupid Decisions, So Little Time Edition – Cersei and Jaime have received a snakegram, all the way from the land of Dorne. It’s Myrcella’s necklace in the jaws of a viper – which is certainly a threat (thank you Jaime – you are no longer just Commander of the Kingsguard, you are also bestowed the title Captain Obvious). Cersei berates Jaime for not ever being a father to their children and Jaime (rightly so) reminds Cersei that if anyone knew they were THEIR children, they’d all be stoned in the streets. Jaime decides he’ll go to Dorne to fetch back their daughter – Cersei reminds him he’s a one-handed man and his choice to go along is rather foolish – he tells her he never said he’d be going alone.

Later Cersei works to stack the small council with her own cronies and thugs; naming Qyburn the new Grand Maester event though he’s little more than Dr. Frankenstein. She appoints Mace Tyrell both Master of Coin and Master of Ships and tries to convince her Uncle Kevan to be Master of War – she’s making all these recommendations on behalf of her son, King Tommen, of course. Kevan calls her out and says she’s nothing but the Queen Mother and he’ll gladly help his nephew the King, when his nephew asks…until then, he’s going home to Casterly Rock. Ouch! You see, Cersei has forgotten that she’s a woman and if there’s one thing women don’t do, it’s rule.

The Lannister Twins are not exactly batting a thousand here…this can only mean trouble down the road…
Snakegram anyone?

The Martells: Welcome to Dorne Edition – A new land, we are finally introduced to Dorne! Ellaria Sand is still raging over her beloved Oberyn’s head squashing from last season and wants revenge. Oberyn’s brother Doran, who rules Dorne and is much more cool-headed reminds Ellaria that Oberyn died fighting in a trial by combat – therefore it is not actually murder. Ellaria will not hear it; she wants to send Myrcella to Cersei piece by piece (gross Ellaria…just gross) but Doran tells her they don’t harm little girls in Dorne. Ellaria warns him she has brought the Sand Snakes; she and Oberyn’s daughters, each one dangerous in her own way, and they will have the revenge they want. Myrcella seems perfectly happy, wandering the Water Gardens with her betrothed, Trystane Martell (the son of Doran) and is oblivious to the fact that she’s being used as a bargaining tool…bless her. We also meet Areo Hotah, Doran’s bodyguard…and his very large, extremely shiny axe. Eek!

Ooh look – she got a hair cut!
North of the Wall: Lucky Bastard* Edition – Jon has to answer for last week; he took mercy on Mance Rayder and shot him instead of letting him be burned alive. Stannis doesn’t really have much use for mercy but he likes something about Jon. He likes him so much, he tells him as the true king he’ll name him Jon Stark; legitimizing him and making him Lord of Winterfell. It’s something Jon has dreamed of since he was a child but he tells Sam he’ll refuse him – after all, if he made a vow to the Night’s Watch and broke that vow, what kind of Lord would he be? Which; ironically, is exactly why he’d make a perfect Lord.

 The time has come to elect the 998th Commander of the Night’s Watch; the obvious choice being Alliser Thorne, even though he’s awful. The second choice is Denys Mallister, a man who’s commanded the Shadow Tower for years and years… And all of a sudden, Sam steps up at the last minute and announces contender three: Jon Snow! Sam makes a rousing speech about Jon stepping up to command during the recent battle at the Wall, he speaks out about how Lord Commander Mormont personally chose Jon as his steward; he obviously saw something in Jon. The votes are cast and Maester Aemon has the tie-breaking vote, which he cast for Jon! Congratulation Jon, you are now Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch!

*I do love a good play on words.
Ha! Way to go Lord Snow!

The Targaryens: Power Failure Edition – Daenerys has Daario and Grey Worm find the Son of the Harpy that they believe committed the murder of her Unsullied; since she only believe he is the culprit Ser Barristan tries to convince her a fair trial of the man is her best choice. Other members of her council encourage her to simply kill the man but Barristan tells her the truth about her father, King Aerys: he was mad, he killed people simply to watch them die and ruled with no justice. Daenerys decides the man deserves a fair trial and has him imprisoned until she can get to that trial. One of her councilours decides he’ll take matters into his own hands, murders the prisoner and then confesses to it – telling Daenerys he was only doing what he knew she wanted to do, but could not.

Daenerys assembles a crowd and decides instead of a fair trial for this man, she will publicly execute him – he did confess to the crime after all. On one side, the former masters cheer her decision while on the other, the former slaves she liberated plead mercy for their friend, begging Mhysa (mother) to forgive him. Daenerys has no desire to show mercy and has Daario behead the man. The crowd quickly changes, the former slaves hissing their displeasure, fighting and charging the former masters, leading to a riot that Daenerys must be quickly shielded and taken away from. Later in the evening, Drogon returns to visit Daenerys but sensing she is not quite what she once was, he flies away into the night without letting her touch him – her power is gone and until she embraces what she is meant to be, she will not command any dragons.

Careful…careful…he’s basically nothing but teeth & fire & death…

Other notes from around Westeros (and Essos)….
Tyrion and Varys are on the road to Volantis, which is obviously the halfway point to Meereen…and they’re traveling in what is essentially just a bigger box. They do have this glorious exchange though:

Varys: People follow leaders. They never follow us. They find us repulsive.
Tyrion: I find us repulsive.
Varys: And we find them repulsive, which is why we surround ourselves with large, comfortable boxes to keep them away. And yet, no matter what we do, people like you and me are never really satisfied inside the box. Not for long.

A note from Arya’s story – the coin she’s been carrying around for three seasons is a coin of the Faceless Men; a band of lethal assassins. Arya is already pretty hardcore, but I think it’s safe to say she’s about to learn how to exact some pretty sweet revenge.

Shireen Baratheon is spending her time at the Wall teaching Gilly to read – which is lovely. Shireen and Gilly discuss Shireen’s greyscale and the fact that she managed to be cured. Two of Gilly’s sister had greyscale and they turned into something that she hints is not quite human…which makes you wonder exactly what Stannis had to do to cure Shireen’s greyscale. Of course Selise doesn’t think Shireen should teach Gilly to read…because Selise is just mean and crazy…

Still no Boltons this week – yahoo. I just really could care less about those Boltons.

Until next week – I hope you like pigeon for supper.

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