‘Game of Thrones’ season 5, episode 2 review: Jon Snow’s new title and ‘The House of Black and White’
Is “Game of Thrones” season 5 moving along at a rapid enough pace? We’re not quite sure that it is after watching the second installment of the season on Sunday. “The House of Black and White” did contain a few key moments, and yet we at the same time are struggling to hide the feeling that this is a show running out of George R.R. Martin material to tell that is not from one of his upcoming books.
Take, for example, the weakest part of the episode in Dany’s story. We know well already that she is struggling to become a proper ruler, and while we figure that this could be important in her progression as a character, it is practically all we have seen of her for the past season and a half. Plus, this installment gave us more of Grey Worm, who we’ve never found to be particularly compelling beyond his name. The Mhysa of Meereen decided to put a former slave to death for murdering a man awaiting trial, showing the townspeople that the law is in fact that law. Everyone answers to the same brand of justice.
Meanwhile, this episode also gave us a lengthy segment on Gilly learning to read, well before we learned that Sam was going to be the one responsible for nominating Jon for a higher position within the Night’s Watch. Mere minutes after we saw him entertain an offer to become Jon Snark and Lord of the North, he now has a place within his newfound family that he is much more likely to take. This was fairly strong stuff, anchored mostly by the look on Jon’s face once he learned of the offer.
As for some other highlights from tonight…
Arya – She has a new home in the House of Black and White! While this was not a particularly welcome place for her at first, she did over time figure a way to prove her worth … if only to get past those doors.
Tyrion – We’re not sure how much was accomplished here, but we were reminded that he is on the way to Meereen, and the Cersei is off putting a reward on anyone who brings her his head. Therefore, the heads of dwarves all over seem to be at risk.
Brienne and Pod – So much for Sansa being particularly willing to have her on board. Despite being turned away by Baelish and his men, she is still determined to a certain extent to honor what she told Catelyn Stark seasons ago.
Dorne – It was a brief introduction to the city tonight, but we learned through here the complications that revolve around Myrcella, Jaime and Cersei’s daughter who was first sent down to the region. Many want her dead as revenge for what happened to Oberyn, whereas others are a bit more reserved and have other political uses for her in mind.
We are not going to say that this “Game of Thrones” episode was terrible, mostly because it did have its fair share of worthy moments. It is just that for 55 minutes, we would have perhaps liked to see a little more in the way of action. Grade: B-.
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