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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a few thoughts about Game of Thrones S05 E02 (“The House of Black and White”) and open thread

gots05e02

I’m not gonna have time to blog in-depth about the new series of Game of Thrones, but I’m posting a few thoughts after each new episode. Please feel free to talk among yourselves about whatever is happening. (And of course I’ll jump into the comments as much as I’m able.)

Until I say otherwise, take it as a given that I love this show for its complex story and its fascinating characters. That’s the baseline that I’m working from.

gots05e02a

So, Braavos is Venice. Cool.

Things that are so not going to work out well:

• Jaime Lannister heading to Dorne to rescue his daughter/niece.

• Cersei Lannister basically encouraging the murder of all the dwarfs in Westeros in case one of them turns out to be Tyrion.

Gilly’s story about his sisters’ “grayscale” is horrifying. It sounds like people devolve into some sort of reptilian creature. Terrible.

Early in the episode I was starting to think that perhaps Dany is the only person with any power in this world (and least of those we’ve met) who are in any way decent or have any interest beyond self-interest. (The small bit of evidence we have on the Prince of Dorne suggests he might be okay.) But now that — SPOILER! — Jon Snow is leader of the Night’s Watch, perhaps we can count him, too.

Which made me suddenly wonder whether possession of the Iron Throne is going to eventually come down to a battle between Dany and Jon. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it were a contest between two really good people? (Unless they turn out bad, too. They are both young, after all. Plenty of time for them to get corrupted.)


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  • jenrsmall

    My leading theory is that Jon and Dany will get married and rule jointly, with Tyrion advising them.

  • Constable

    Actually they’re brother and sister, Dany with the help of a white haired knight, a veteran of past wars, will rescue the child of an important government official. The child whose home was just recently destroyed has weird hair and is helping to lead a resistance on an icy land. They both have inherent magical abilities that they aren’t fully aware of.

  • jenrsmall

    Being brother and sister never slowed the Targaryens down from getting married before, LOL!

  • Jay Matteo

    MaryAnn, you’ve come really close to a well accepted fan theory that’s backed up by a lot of evidence and people-with-a-lot-of-time-on-their-hands digging. I won’t say any more, but it’s out there if anyone wants to look. Search for “R+L=J”.

  • I think I’ve heard about that. :-)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Why does the internet keep pretending that R+L=J is some sort of secret?

  • Jay Matteo

    Obviously it’s not, though there might still be some people that prefer to remain in the dark. I was trying to be considerate.

  • Danielm80

    Because people like me, who haven’t seen all the episodes yet, can see the posts on the Recent Comments page and don’t want to be spoiled.

  • R+L=J isn’t anything that has been mentioned on the show. It’s not a spoiler for the show in any way. It *cannot* be, because it’s a proposed explanation for a mystery the GRRM hasn’t dealt with in the books yet (apparently — I haven’t read them).

  • FSLB

    As a book reader, I’m really glad that Brienne (perhaps the most awesomeist character) is doing interesting things. In the books she’s mostly given thematic ‘war is terrible’ materal, which while important to the overall message, is dull. Although I feel so bad for her! She just wants to serve someone good but keeps getting rejected or disillusioned.

  • Constable

    Very true, although that may have led to their family history of mental problems.

  • Jay Matteo

    I agree that speculation doesn’t count as a spoiler, however the conversations and evidence used to support that speculation can and probably does contain elements that are still forthcoming.

    This is going to start getting interesting as the plot of the show threatens to surpass that of the books.

  • I’ve actually found these first two episodes to be kind of dull. I know it’s all setup, but still…eh.
    Plus, having read the books, I already knew about the important parts, so they didn’t do much for me. Hopefully it all gets better as it goes along.

  • So far, I have loved just visiting these people and places in each episode, even if nothing much happens. It’s such a fully realized world.

  • Liz D

    What bothered me about this episode is that Danaerys decided it was really important to give the Harpies guy a trial, but then she didn’t give whats-his-name a trial, she just had him executed. It seemed really inconsistent.

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