Unsullied Recap, Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 2: The House of Black and White

Mossador

Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers (book fans can discuss the show-only here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

Hola fellow Watchers (your watch has begun whether you like it or not)!

Ep. 2 is in the books and while so many things have changed in the Game, this episode brought back many memories of scenes that were depicted in episodes of the past. A man will explain.

Oh yeah, and a man showed up. Not just any man. A MAN…

Welcome to the Unsullied recap of epic proportions. This critically acclaimed recap is aimed at the non-book reader army, although the Sullied are invited to share their thoughts on our uneducated estimations (minus the book spoilery of course).

But enough of the intros… most of you know this. Let’s get to it…

Arya arrives in Braavos, which gave we the viewer a reminder of the grandeur of the city and a couple of different angles of the Titan.

Arya is taken to the House of Black and White (not to be confused with the headquarters of White House Black Market, although it would be one hell of a marketing tool if it were). Surprisingly, someone answers the door. Unfortunately, the old man treats Arya as if he had just ingested a sleeve of Golden Oreos and she was attempting to sell him Girl Scout Cookies.

With nowhere to go, Arya hangs on the steps without poncho reciting her noticeably shorter list.

Later, Arya pigeon hunts in an alley when confronted by the bullies of Braavos. Luckily, the old gent from the H of B&W decides he might want some Thin Mints after all. And after all this time, A MAN reappears.

The idea of Jaqen being back on board and Arya entering this lair of the faceless man is quite intriguing. I’m not clear on the concept of him turning her away from the beginning, but regardless, Arya has found her MAN.

goo269

SIDE NOTE: I am seriously considering boycotting the “previously on” segment before the show from this point forward. I understand the importance of it as a reminder for more casual viewers, but it has damn near ruined the surprise of the reemergence of both Lancel and Jaqen this season.

Meanwhile, Pod and Brienne stop off for a bite at the local Vale chain of Applebees (“must be good food if it’s crowded”) as LK and Sansa enjoy a romantic dinner in the corner booth of the same location. This coincidence reminded me of the scene from Season 1 when Tyrion comes in the Inn for an ill-fated confrontation with Catelyn.

The results were no better for Brienne than they were for Tyrion in S1, as Sansa gives her no more love than Arya did at the end of S4.

And while you have to admire the persistence of Brienne, credit must be given to Pod who makes the point to tell her that the Stark girls want nothing to do with her and perhaps she would be better off moving on with her life.

But regardless of how much logic Pod’s opinion holds, or how accomplished a horseman he has become, Brienne is a woman on a mission. You have to wonder if sooner later, this obsession with her vow is going to get her killed.

The other interesting tidbit is whom exactly LK has proposed marriage to. It’s reassuring that it’s not Sansa, but we all know that LK has a plan in the making and the only thing that bonds houses better than force is marriage.

At least Lysa got a mention (R.I.P. my dear). And Pod falling off the back of the horse was pure television gold.

CerseiHobAW

In what was not a surprise, Jaime and Cersei receive a threat from Dorne with a pendant from Myrcella. As is the case in most brother-sister incestuous relationships, the blame typically falls on the man, and Jaime is no exception.

Without pause, Jaime jumps to please his lover and prove himself a respectable father by exclaiming that he is bound for Dorne. He saves Bronn from the lovely Lollys and will presumably soon be on the road filling the Westeros vacancy of needing another unlikely traveling duo.

Speaking of Dorne, we finally get a glimpse of this wonderful southern location we have only heard stories of. And that’s all it was… a glimpse.

Ellaria is understandably distraught over the loss of Oberyn and wants to take it out on Myrcella, finger by finger. But in true Martell form, Doran will have none of it.

Doran

Doran was not quite what I expected given the confidence and fearlessness of his brother, the Red Viper. Even Ellaria questions how much longer he may remain as ruler. My expectations led me to believe that this would be a guy with even more self-assuredness. And maybe with time, he will show it.

One other observation: Myrcella is shown walking with what I assume is a young prince of Dorne, referring to her as “my future Queen.” Who’s to say she would even want to leave?

Cersei holds a small council meeting and while everyone was busy bowing, heeling, and kneeling, Kevan Lannister calls bullshit on all of it (the Ozzette high-five moment of the evening). He claims to be leaving for Casterly Rock. Let’s hope he doesn’t disappear for another three seasons. KL needs KL.

Kevan

Cersei has a hit out on her other brother. However, Tyrion is not impressed with the Limo’s of Essos and would rather walk. Can we assume something of importance awaits them in Volantis?

In the North, Stannis is realizing that the taking of the North may not be an easy task, especially when trying to convert Bear Island residents to join his cause. He makes Jon a legitimate offer. But Jon gets a write-in vote from Sam who quickly outs Janos for the coward that he is (another high-five moment).

Jon is now the Lord Commander and Sam is now the unlikely guy that everyone looks to for comic relief. But something tells me that Janos won’t just take this jab in passing. There will be some sort of ramification for Sam either from Alliser after losing his bid to be the 998th LC, or from Janos himself.

Finally, the situation has gone from bad to worse for Dany. Initially, the conversation about the Mad King between Selmy and Dany looked as if it were going to generate a positive outcome regarding the discovered Son of Harpy. Dany heeded the advice about her father from Selmy and ordered a trial for the accused.

However, Mossador took matters into his own hands by killing the Son before a trial could be held (which reminded me of the same way Karstark murdered the Lannister kids). Karstark was beheaded. Mossador was beheaded. And in the same way that Robb’s decision impacted his future, Dany’s future looks uncertain as well.

The hissing of the slaves was downright creepy, and I think Emilia’s performance in showing her fear in what was happening during that moment was pretty damn strong.

In what looked like an occurrence that might make a bad day at the office something positive, Drogon shows up and seems to give Dany some hope. But it was not to be, and Big Daddy flies off into the night making what was a bad day for Dany, even worse. You have to wonder if Drogon is hanging out waiting for Dany to move on somewhere else, but the end of the show didn’t seem to give her that impression.

Only time will tell…

Episode 502 Personal Awards

Favorite Action Sequence: Brienne slashing anyone is always quality television.

Favorite Quotes: “ Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!“ -Podrick to the horse

“The best part of her for the best part of me.” -Tyrion, regarding Cersei’s, um, part.

“I did not return to the capital to serve as your puppet.” –Kevan

“I found him (Janos) there after the battle was over in a puddle of his own making.” –Sam the Slayer

Favorite Quote Translation: “Hey, um, by the way… if you’re not going to do anything useful with that dwarf head, can I have it?” -Qyburn

Ow, That Shit Hurts Award: Cersei’s words to Jaime on fatherhood and his inability to protect his children. Ouch.

Jackass of the Week: Tough call, but I’m going with the commonly nominated and former Jackass award winner Alliser Thorne attempting to win an election by making Jon look bad while playing Night’s Watch politics. We’re on the left… he’s on the right! There needs to be a political ad campaign parody made for this…

Overall Thoughts: Tons of information in this ep. and stronger than the season opener. The situation in Meereen going horribly wrong along with the politics of the Wall and the meeting of LK and Brienne made this quite a memorable episode, regardless of the parallels noticed from episodes past.

And a man has finally returned.

Much to chat about today… what say the Unsullied army? Share your thoughts below and we shall discuss.

Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite an Unsullied to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz

“Unbowed. Unbent. Unsullied.”

Find Oz on Twitter.

58 Comments

  1. The dragons, the White Walkers, winter coming, blah blah blah … all that is inevitable. There are only two things that I truly cannot wait to see and they both involve characters from this episode:

    1) What happens when someone finds out Jaime pushed Bran out that window (as far as I can tell only Jaime and Cersei know, Bran supposedly forgot, and possibly Littlefinger?)

    2) What happens when Arya’s desire for personal revenge comes into conflict with the greater good

    Without knowing anything that happens, I can foresee a situation where suddenly a whole bunch of former enemies are forced to work together in an alliance to fight off the Walkers/dragons just so they can survive. And those two are going to play key roles in that. I can see Arya wanting to kill multiple people in that alliance even if it means the alliance falls apart against the greater threat, and maybe she’ll stop herself or someone will have to stop her. And I can see Jaime embracing a hero/leadership role, only to have his decision to push Bran (which partially started this whole series) come back to haunt him at the worst possible time, when everyone thinks he’s turned a new leaf.

    People are cheering on Arya’s revenge journey and she is a fan favorite, but what happens if that revenge ends up endangering everybody else? Suddenly you might not be cheering, and her character becomes something else entirely. And can someone who tried to kill a kid ever be cleared of that act? I have to imagine that Jaime will pay for that, in one way or another, no matter his intentions since that time.

    That was a lot of rambling, but I love this show, especially all of the misunderstandings/first impressions when new information pops up or people meet for the first time. It happened when Brienne tried to convince Arya to leave the Hound, with Jorah and Daenerys when she learned of his spying, and again in this episode with Brienne trying to explain to Sansa; it never works out and people don’t know or care about the intentions of strangers. Someone will find out Jaime pushed Bran, and Arya will try to kill someone that’s key to everyone’s survival, and shit will hit the fan.

  2. still setting up. Jon becoming Lord Snow was probably the highlight of the episode. loved seeing Drogon. wondering how things are going to pan out for Dany in Mereen. glad to see arya tho i feel like her scenes were time fillers because they wanted to save the house of B&W for the next episode even though that was ep 2’s title. excited to see jamie and bronn in dorne. its so many pairings this season, i wonder which will become my favorite. my money is on Varys and Tyrion or maybe Jamie and Bronn. enjoyed the tension with brienne and LF. can’t wait to see the boltons in Winterfell next episode. needed a lot more of Doran and Dorne, def wanna see the sand snakes. and of course it was nice to have Jaqen h’gar back.

  3. @Kappa Varys knows as well. he was heard by arya telling illyrio in the first season

  4. Great episode. Thematically rich which I enjoy

    Will re-hash my observations from elsewhere

    Eg it’s no coincidence that Dany was set up as a mirror of the Robb Stark/Lord Karstark beheading and she is facing the same dilemma. Drogon at the end is playing the part of Quaithe and was a nod to “remember who you are” (basically Fire and Blood + focus on the East IMO)

    On the other side of the coin it’s no coincidence they brought up and included that great Alys Mormont letter to Jon Snow about the name Stark, and then the NW election was set up in such a way with Aemon Targaryen casting the decisive vote (hmmmm Stark + Targaryen).

    Both have the central theme of uniting mutually exclusive groups, eg NW/Wildlings and Masters/Former Slaves and they are delving into the deep themes that underpinned Stark and Targaryen power (sense of fairness and justice in terms of one and Fire and Blood in terms of the other)

    Ellaria/Doran scene was a good nod and twin scene to Arya and the Hound about revenge and civility, eg “how many of your brothers do they have to kill” and “How many Starks do you have to behead”;

    Arya is on a path to vengeance which Ellaria is advocating, Doran is the voice of reason and civility which the Hound was arguing against in relation to the farmer and Arya calling him the biggest s$%t etc

    Lastly, they didn’t put the NW deserter execution angle on Raydars death, but this made sense, Stannis is saying “if they don’t fear you they won’t follow you” etc but this is right after he has ironically just read out the Mormont letter pledging to the Starks out of love and respect because of what they stood for

    Arya with the pigeon seemed to me to be a nod back to Kings Landing in season 1 after Ned was

  5. The Unsullied comments are great! These fans are really, really smart! Did anyone else think that in the last scene Drogon was trying to tell Dany she should follow him? It kind of gave me that idea.

  6. I liked the episode. Great to see Arya again and even more so Jaqen H’ghar. Can’t wait to see Arya’s training to become no one.

    And I am getting more and more interested in Dany’s storyline. How wil she solve this? She just lost the support of the people she set free and with that now has enemies on both sides. And no control over her dragons. Liked the scene where Ser Barriston tells her the truth about her father.

    Cool to see Jon becoming Lord Commander. But it was only by one vote, and I don’t think the people who voted for Alliser Thorne are accepting it.

    And we finally saw Dorne. Great to see a different part of the Seven Kingdoms.

  7. Loved this episode! Tyrion is still a little annoying, though. My only downfall of the last two episodes.

    5 stars.

  8. Sue the Fury: Book readers: do not post spoilers, veiled or not, in this comment section. Thanks!

    Seriously… WHY would you even post here at all if you’ve read the books?? I’m talking to you Ghost’s Lunch.

  9. jennyofoldstones,

    Based on human-animal interactions: it seems to me that Drogon sensed Dany’s pain/sadness and came to “comfort” her. The sounds he was making seemed to me like empathetic chirps. But when Dany reached for him it was too much for him and he was like “I love you mom but I love my freedom more”.

  10. Glad to see an Unsullied liked the episode. To me it seemed strangely lackluster, disjointed and slow – jumping all over the map, the seemingly pointless scenes with Lollys and Bronn, Tyrion and Varys in their box, the 180° Ellaria character reversal, and the weird first scene at the House of B and W.
    Much of the dialogue seemed oddly stilted and artificial.

    But maybe it’s just because of me about to turn Unsullied like anybody else over the next couple episodes …

  11. Braincandy,

    Yes, that was my thought as well. That he sensed her distress and came to her. I posited this theory to my husband and he laughed at me muttering something about “fantasy nerds”. I’m a fantasy nerd and proud of it! The dragon sensed her feelings. I’m certain of it.

  12. Arkash,

    Because to Oz, he is, and will always be, “Lysakiller”. He will never forgive Baelish for killing his fictional beloved.

  13. Dame Pasty,

    No doubt! They are, like magical, and stuff right? It must extend into a long distance mental connection. Husbands are silly creatures.

    Loved your video recap BTW!

  14. Kevan seems to be having a lot of emotional trouble transitioning from the puppet of Tywin to the puppet of Tywin’s heir-apparent. Transitions are tough, but hopefully he will get over himself. “The king should be at the small council meeting!” Yeah, dude…the king is literally never at the small council meeting. You must be new.

    Cercei is terrible but she is the best hope for Team Lannister right now, especially with Tommen already in the thrall of Margery.

    Great recap, though! Always look forward to these. Down with LysaKiller!

  15. Hi, long time reader, first time commenter. (lol sorry had to do it, I hear that all the time on the hubbys sports shows)

    I think that Dany making the wrong decision about the beheading is a lead in to Varys and Tyrion showing up. Now that she doesn’t have the support of the Mereen people what’s keeping her from going with them back to Kings Landing and claiming the throne?
    I agree with the person who said Drogon was there to comfort Dany. I feel like he was saying I’m still here when you’re ready to go do what you’re supposed to be doing.

    I hope now that Jon is LC he sends Alliser and Janos off on some really long far away mission.

    Happy to see Jaqen H’ghar and glad to see he’s going to get more air time.

    I’m so over Brienne and Pod, can they just decide it’s over and go off screen now. Actually I want Pod to go find Tyrion. He was such a better character with him.

  16. Lord TT,

    Well we do have the Contact link up above people can use anytime to notify us if they see an iffy post. Use that while we look into if it’s possible to modify the comments section. The existence of spoiler coding tends to make everything go wonky.

  17. Count me as another who believes Drogon sensed Dany’s distress. I know dragons aren’t exactly dogs and cats, but I do know how those animals can sense when something is wrong with their human, and I don’t think it is too much of a leap to think that could apply to dragons, as well.

    Great write-up, as always, Oz!

  18. In S05E02 Daenerys says she won’t have the captured Son of the Harpy executed without a fair trial, cos, you see, she’s not like her mad father. Her father used to execute captured enemies without any trial. Crucifying 163 slavers was the first thing Daenerys performed when she had seized Meereen. Crucifying without any trial ofc. In S05E02 Mossador, an ex-slave ‘n a member of her council, is another ‘lucky guy’ that’s executed without any trial. Consequence? Meereen is in turmoil.

  19. The Wolves of Winter,

    Yes I think you’re right! It seems like only Bran has those powers though. Do the other Stark kids too? So the question is do Targs as well or only some? Will Dany? So excited to find out!!!

  20. The other interesting tidbit is whom exactly LK has proposed marriage to. It’s reassuring that it’s not Sansa, but we all know that LK has a plan in the making and the only thing that bonds houses better than force is marriage.

    I wouldn’t rule that out. From an Unsullied perspective, I took it as LK has proposed a marriage with Sansa, but under the alias of Alayne.

    Alayne of House Baelish will marry Ramsay Bolton, giving the Boltons Winterfell AND Harrenhall as Lord Petyr was given it by King Joffrey. Petyr currently has no heir to Harrenhall, so the Boltons might see it as a chance of also getting their hands on Harrenhall through marriage. It also gives LK an invitation to Winterfell.

    Whether Sansa knows the Boltons were responsible for her family’s murder, I am unaware. If she does, then somehow I cannot see her agreeing to it, perhaps why LK is being too secretive. If she doesn’t on the other hand…well…the Stark girl maybe wants to do anything to get Winterfell back.

    Again, I am Unsullied so this may be WAY OFF.

  21. I may be an Unsullied but I’ll always read and love Oz’s recaps.
    The awards are a major yes too!

  22. I thought Alliser’s writing was pretty even-handed; nothing he says about Jon is outright *lying*, but pointing out that he doesn’t vehemently hate the wildlings on general principle – as if that’s a bad thing.

  23. Great recap – glad you enjoyed the episode!

    I loved a lot of the subtle little things in this ep – like Maester Aemon’s little giggle at Sam slamming Janos

  24. Uknow0,

    Yeah, but Mossador confessed. No real need for a trial in that case. I think she made the right call with that. “The law is the law.”

  25. Haha. When Jon was elected LC, my daughter shouted, ” Yay! Jon Snow is elected Prom Queen!” I couldn’t resist- had to say, “He has the hair for it.”

  26. cihan23467898989,

    If one reader’s opinion validates him/her as a book purist just because he/she may have issues with the structure or rhythm or dialogue of an episode, in theory that would make everyone here a book purist at one point or another.

    The problem with that logic is that, I’ve never read them and I do not stand alone.

    Talon voiced his/her opinion and he/she backed it up with at least some hint of support. And constructive opinions are welcome here.

  27. Errr… Oz, when did Petyr Baelish said the marriage didn’t involve Sansa? As of this episode, he’s not telling who he’s planning to marry with whom.

    As for Kevan, I don’t get the hype. The guy is an idiot – Lannisters can’t be fighting Lannisters right after Tywin died, specially in front of their rivals. Whatever he wanted to say to Cersei, he had to do it in private. If the Stark’s tragedy is that the siblings can’t reunite and work together, the Lannister tragedy is that the family fights itself.

  28. Another measured and smoothly flowing episode, better than the previous one. Hopefully that trend will continue – nothing like a slow build to heighten the pleasure. LK has probably proposed to a Frey daughter – a match made in heaven, for surely he would be caught up in the vengeance of the Old Gods that will be visited upon that accursed house.
    Can’t bear to consider the possibly imminent demise of my beloved Brienne.
    Cersei may be rampant now, but her her increasing entanglement with Qyburn will end badly for her. Be very afraid. Anton Lesser is owning this role.
    In the North, Stannis is pulling out all the stops to woo our John – oops, I mean Lord Snow. Never before has His Grace been so seductive, one could get quite used to it, and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Lord Snow tried a similar tactic on Alliser Thorne, post election.
    Drogon seemingly still has a bond with his mother, and I would agree that he senses her distress and need for him, but it looks to me as though he is waiting for her to say or do a certain thing, probably having to do with a latent capacity, based on their bond, of which she is unaware. Could her involvement with Tyrion and Varys lead to an awakening? Only time (and D&D) will tell.
    So good to be back with the Great and Powerful One, and among old and new fellow fanatics!

  29. juan,

    Kevan’s observations and stance seemed spot on to me — except you’re right in that calling Cersei out in the middle of the council and taking off was a foolish move that will weaken their house and their kingdom at large. He should have gone directly to Tommen to displace Cersei, imo.

    I really hope the Danys/Drogon scene is foreshadowing her re-taming and releasing of the other two. She needs them, and they need to be out of that dark prison.

  30. Um I’ve tried three times to write a response to Oz’s last post, and each time it disappears. Am I doing something wrong?

  31. As I’m tired, just quick notes:

    – Yay, there are still Dothraki alive and well serving their khaleesi.

    – I was very much intrigued by the Gilly/Shireen discussion of ‘grayscale’. It’s almost as if it were important down the road. Scaly animals that were people. –> Any possible connection with other more magical things? Shireen somehow saved from the ‘animal fate’. –> First R’hlorr/Melisandre’s doing to win over Stannis?

    – Great to see Lollys Stokeworth. That scene was all I could expect from Bronn’s new life. Pity it’s over. Though it offers new (old) possibilities that will be (were) fun.

    – I don’t envy Daenerys. She’s made some stupid decisions before, she still doesn’t really know what ruler she wants to be like and even less how to accomplish that. This time she was trying hard, still ended up in chaos…

    Well, thats it for now. Must have forgotten a bunch other interesting scenes to comment on.

    Oh, the small council scene: I think I loved every small council scene from the very beginning of the show, this one is no exception. Mace Tyrell is just priceless. And the Kevan/Cersei clash is interesting in that theoretically, neither of them has much power anymore. Tywin was holding it all together. Now Kevan seems to be the ‘head’ Lannister, ruler of no gold at all and plenty debts that few fear after the recent wars. And Cersei is a paranoid ruler of King’s Landing (and the few ‘sycophants’ that haven’t fled the capital yet) that can lose all remaining power any moment to the Tyrells.

  32. I’d have to agree with 3eyes that Drogon may be waiting for the go-ahead from Dany to unleash, well, something dragonish. As I watched him fly off I had a worried feeling that, sensing she is in danger, he will act without waiting for her signal.

    It was so great to finally see more of Bravos (and Jaqen!!) I don’t understand why he turned her away the first time though, very puzzling.

    Thanks for another great recap as always, OZ.

  33. I can’t believe noone noticed the epic depth and irony on:

    Varys: Are we really going to spend the entire trip to Volantis talking about the futility of everything?
    Tyrion: You’re right, no point.

  34. Oz, one more thing, what did you think of the discussion on grayscale..? You didn’t mention it. So, Shireen had it before she was cured and saved from having it spread all over. With Gilly saying that her sisters had it and what effect it had on them, I am sensing a connection with dragons again. I don’t know.

  35. juan,

    My statement was that it was reassuring that LK didn’t propose to Sansa himself. Whether or not Sansa is involved has yet to be seen, but I get your point. I have my on speculative thoughts on what this might entail, but no real proof to support it.

    And we can agree to disagree on Kevan. Yes, he could have voiced his concerns in private. But he also made it clear he would serve the King should the King call on him personally. “The hype” essentially amounts to someone standing up to Cersei, IMO.

  36. ash,

    If that keeps happening, please send us an email through the contact page and we will get tech on it.

  37. Deesensfan,

    Either that or Red Velvet. The devil is in the details of which we have likely not been exposed to. How far has it progressed since Season 2, or was it already cured by then? Did it just stop when the dragons were born? Or with the emergence of Red? Or when Red touched her? Too many unknowns.

    Great observation though!

  38. Deesensfan,

    Yes that scene with Shereen and Gilly was Very interesting. I’ve always wondered what was up with her scales and if it had anything to do with dragons. I hope they expand on that!

Comments are closed.

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