‘Game of Thrones’ Trip to ‘The House of Black and White’ Brought Back a Very Familiar Face
Tonight’s Game of Thrones opened the doors to “The House of Black and White,” but what familiar faces and shocking turns lay behind it? Did the most book-divergent hour yet send the series in a different direction? We break down tonight’s big events for what they mean to the future of Game of Thrones Season 5 to come!
Book reader or otherwise, you’re warned of all the Game of Thrones spoilers from here on out, as “The House of Black and White” brought back a fan-favorite character from Season 2, one even the books have yet to properly reintroduce: none other than Jaquen H’Gar! Or rather, “a man.” Yes, Tom Wlaschiha returned to the role and face of Arya’s Season 2 assassin pal, if only for a few moments, having earlier posed as an elderly man denying Arya entry into the titular house.
The littlest Lady Stark finally made her way to Braavos, through the Titan’s legs and all, only to find that The House of Black and White held no place for her, despite the famed coin in hand, or name-dropping Jaquen. After days of waiting outside the wall, Arya tossed her coin into the river and prepared to dispense her own aggression on some bullying Braavos thieves, only for the mysterious old man to return and frighten them off. Leading her back to the House of Black and White, the man shed his face to reveal what we thought of as Jaquen, though names are to mean nothing, if Arya truly wants to join their ranks.
Of course, Arya wasn’t the only Stark going off-book to find a familiar face, as Brienne and Podrick found themselves in the same tavern as one Sansa and Petyr Baelish. Now faced with her second Stark encounter, Brienne pledged her sword to the young girl in memory of Catelyn, though neither Dark Sansa nor Littlefinger had any interest in employing the beauty from Tarth. Instead, Brienne and Podrick had to fight their way out and flee on horseback, Pod nearly losing his head to one of the pursuing men. Once the threat abated, Brienne pledged to follow Sansa from a distance regardless, leaving book readers entirely in the dark as to what unique direction their story might take next.
And speaking of direction, this week finally took us to the kingdom of Dorne, as a bitter Ellaria Sand demanded vengeance against the Lannisters for the death of her paramour Prince Oberyn, though the wheelchair-bound Prince Doran held no interest in igniting a war over his brother’s legally-protected end. Ellaria hissed that the Sand Snakes would have vengeance for their father, proposing they send Princess Myrcella back to Cersei in pieces, though Doran vehemently shot down her suggestion.
Cersei Lannister kept plenty busy in her own right, stacking the small council with Qyburn and alienating her uncle Kevan Lannister, all the while fretting over Myrcella’s fate. Still, Cersei has her own ace in the hole, sending Jamie on a private mission to rescue the princess, for whom Jaimie chooses his own companion: none other than everyone’s favorite Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. Of course, Jaimie’s appearances rarely end well for Bronn, this time even pawning off Bronn’s intended wife with the promise of another after the mission.
Chilly receptions are an understatement at the Wall however, as this week Jon Snow faced the ire of Stannis for his sympathetic euthanizing of Mance Rayder last week. Still, Stannis respected the bravery and even offered Jon Snow everything he’d always wanted - the promise of becoming Jon Stark and ruling over Winterfell, so long as he’d aid Stannis in retaking it. Overwhelmed by the gesture, Jon still intended to turn the offer down out of loyalty to the Night’s Watch, and what timing, too! Following a bit of inspiration from Sam of Jon’s heroic deeds, the Night’s Watch elected Jon the 998th Lord Commander! Something tells us Aliser Thorne and Janos Slynt won’t be too happy about that.
Seething tension seemed to span the world this week as well, as Daenerys faces further dissension from Mereen, even after capturing one of the so-called Sons of the Harpy. Following a bit of advice from Ser Barristan, Daenerys vowed to give the insurgent a fair trial, only to be beaten to the punch by one of her Mereen advisors, who killed the Son believing Daenerys’ hands were tied. And what did he get for his trouble? Why, a very public execution that left the former slaves hissing at Daenerys, and forcing a hasty retreat, shielded from a volley of rocks.
Mothrer of Dragons just can’t get no respect, as a late-night visit from Drogon (good grief, he’s big!) served as a harsh reminder of. Mhysa could use a little help from Tyrion methinks, but the quickest wit in Westeros remains trapped in a slightly bigger box with Varys, headed to Mereen by way of Volantis. Pick up the pace, fellas! Dragons be waitin’!
So, what now? Will Jaquen H’Gar change his face yet again, or is Arya’s best pal sticking around to drop some more knowledge about “The House of Black and White?” The character certainly never (officially) resurfaced in the book, but then again, that hasn’t stopped Brienn, Sansa or Jaime from veering way, way off book. Will Jon Snow’s reign as Lord Commander go at all smoothly? And will Dany ever get those darn dragons under control again?
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