Recorded LIVE on Sunday night at 10:15 pm ET / 7:15 pm PT, Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler recap the Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2 with a review of “The House of Black and White”.
Episode #2 Title: The House of Black and White
Episode Air Date: April 19th, 2015
Summary Authors: Jason de Lima & Jennifer Heinke
This week Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler recap Episode #2 of Game of Thrones, “The House of Black and White”. Rob begins by listing what he deems are the highlights of the episode: the Night’s Watch tie-breaker rules, Daenerys’ terrible speech, and Arya’s reunion with Jaqen H’ghar.
Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell? (0:03:55)
Rob and Josh begin their discussion talking about Jon Snow’s decision to turn down Stannis’s offer to become Lord of Winterfell. Rob points out the irony of the situation and asks Josh if refusing Stannis’ offer to become Lord of Winterfell was Jon’s most Stark-Like thing that he could have done?Josh compares Jon’s response to that of his fathers rigid position on honor, nobility and duty. Rob finds it incredulous that Jon would pass up on the offer, especially since at this point he didn’t even know that he would become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Josh points out that at the point at which he refused Stannis’ offer, Alliser Thorne was the front runner to become Lord Commander. So in essence Jon was refusing the offer to be Lord of Winterfell, to instead suffer under the leadership of Alliser Thorne who does not like Jon. Rob and Josh are both baffled by Jon’s refusal. They go on to talk about Stannis’ reaction to Jon giving Mance Rayder mercy in last week’s episode. Both of them are surprised by his reaction. They feel like he took it very well. Josh then rhetorically asks where Stannis is going to go next? That no matter how much he might not like Jon, he has no choice and has to now deal with him as Lord Commander Snow
Lord Commander Snow (0:08:56)
In this segment they go on to talk about Jon Snow’s election to Lord Commander and the tie-breaker rules of the Night’s Watch. Rob liked this scene and enjoyed seeing a little bit about the politics
at the Night’s Watch. Rob asks Josh what his take was on Sam in this scene? Rob compares it to giving a roast. Josh replies by saying he really liked Sam throwing shade at Janos Slynt for hiding with the woman and children during the Battle at Wall from last season. Josh says this is the season of Sam.
Josh then goes on to talk about the candidacy of Jon Snow and Alliser Thorne. He says that in Jon’s case, he has a good resumé and that there is precedent for nominating such a young Lord Commander.
As for Alliser Throne, that he has experience, and that he lead and fought bravely at the Battle of Wall. Josh says that Aliser Thorne raises a valid point, that “do they want a Lord Commander that is going to fight Wildlings, or one who is going to make love to them?” He feels like Alliser has a real valid point, and says that there is no wonder why the vote was so close in the end. Rob then goes on to say that if he were Jon Snow, his platform whould be “The White Walkers are the big problem, not the Wildlings”. Josh agrees but mentions how Jon didn’t even know he was going to be a candidate until the last moment when Sam nominated him. They then go on to talk about the actual vote. Rob jokingly says its a good thing that they had a third set of voting tiles. Rob compares the voting to being Survivor-esque. Rob really liked the staking visual for the tie vote. They both question why Maester Aemon had right to the tie-breaker vote and argue that those who voted for Denys Malister should instead have revoted for either Jon or Alliser to break the tie.
Shireen and Gilly: “G” is for Greyscale (0:15:20)
They then go on to briefly talk about scene where we find Shireen Baratheon teaching Gilly to read. Josh opens by saying that Shireen’s mom is really mean. Rob and Josh go on to jokingly compare Shireen Baratheon to Shirin from Survivor World’s Apart. Rob then asks Josh if he is pumped up to see Shireen teach Gilly to read? Josh says yes, but wonders why Sam isn’t the one teaching Gilly to read. Rob questions why Gilly needs to learn how to read to begin with? Josh replies by saying its simply a useful skill for most human beings to have, so why not? Rob felt like it was the slowest scene of the episode. Josh feels like there was important information mentioned in the scene, he doesn’t feel like they mentioned grey scale for no reason.
Daenerys: Mhysa No Longer (0:17:13)
At this point Rob and Josh go on to talk about Daenerys questionable leadership in Meereen. Rob opens by saying that he felt confused as to what Dany was trying to do. He feels like Daenerys really needs Tyrion there as an advisor. He also feels like her current council of Gery Worm, Ser Barristan and Dario aren’t doing her any favors. Josh agrees and tells Rob that there is no unity amongst their ranks. Josh then brings up Ser Jorah Mormont, and tells Rob how he feels that if Jorah was still there, that Jorah and Barristan could offer Daenerys some good advice. Rob then goes on to talk about Daenerys’ double standards in giving her subjects a fair trial. He mentions how she agreed to give the Son of the Harpy who murdered one of her unsullied a fair trial, yet when Mossador, a former slave, also murders someone she resorts to a summary execution with no trial. Rob asks why did they need to execute Mossador in front of the masses? He compares it to Joffrey having Ned Stark beheaded. Rob asks Josh if Joffrey was a better king than Dany is as a Queen? Josh quickly jumps to Dany’s defense by saying that Joffrey was consistently cruel, whereas Daenerys started her reign with a platform based on equality and anti slavery and has only recently begun to make very questionable decisions. Rob asks Josh who would have had a higher approval rating between Joffrey and Daenerys? Josh thinks that Joffrey would have a higher approval rating. He says that Daenerys’ stock is plummeting. Rob then asks Josh to remind him why she even holding Meereen in the first place? Josh replies by saying that he believes that she doesn’t feel like she can move on without reforming Meereen before coming to Westeros, but that she’s finding it a lot easier said then done. He says that she is finding out that conquering is not the same as ruling. Rob doesn’t understand what Daenerys was thinking. He’s baffled at how she went from having the undying love from her freed slaves, to being hated by them so quickly. Josh feels like Mossador’s murder of the son of the Harpy could have easily been covered-up, therefore avoiding all that happened. Josh says that Daenerys made bad decisions all round this episode. Rob asks Josh if this somehow a good thing for Dany, to prompt her to move on. Rob then asks Josh about Drogon, he asks Josh if he thinks Drogon is here to stay, or is he just passing by? Josh thinks it was just brief check in from Drogon. He compares Drogon to to a teenager. Josh thinks that the point of this scene was that Drogon is not listening, , that Daenerys’ is not controlling him. Rob wonders if Dany has created a common cause between the Slavers and the Slaves. Josh doesn’t feel so, that it wasn’t enough to unify the former slaves and slave masters. Rob refers to Dany’s council as “Amateur Hour”, and says that things have become increasingly clear that she needs Varys and Tyrion to help her sort things out.
Tyrion & Varys: Imp in a Bigger Box (0:28:12)
Rob then wants to discuss the scene between Varys and Tyrion where they are en route to Volantis. Rob remarks how they are on the road to Meereen via Volantis and Josh asks how Rob feels about that? Rob responds that he’s OK with it. Rob really likes the conversation in the scene about how people find Varys and Tyrion repulsive, but they are the people they really can’t stay away from because they both enjoy the power of ruling the people too much. Josh agrees and remarks on part of the conversation where Varys says how they are always trapping themselves in boxes. Josh says it’s interesting and that they’re really the brains behind the operation. He feels that they are the ones that come up with the brilliant ideas on how to govern the land, but they get zero credit for any of it. Josh goes on to say that they are never going to get the credit, because they are looked at like freaks. He feels that a Eunuch and dwarf will not be revered as heroes, because the other people are too shallow to look past the physical. Josh says this is not the Lord of the Rings, where everyone is going to bow down to the Hobbits! Rob replies that Dany really needs to get her act together and put together this dream team of people. He says we need to get her Varys and Tyrion to advise her, and a warg to control the dragons. Rob says once this dream team is assembled, then Dany can go to Westeros. Josh compares it to the show Scandal, and calls it the Olivia Pope and Associates. It’s handled!
Arya Stark: You Have Everywhere Else to Go (0:30:35)
The duo moves on to Arya, where Rob says that Arya finally gets where she wants to go; The House of Black and White. Josh thinks they should sell black and white cookies at the souvenir shop at The House of Black and White. Rob remarks on how we have been waiting for this storyline all year, and that when Arya finally gets there that she is basically told that nobody is home…. thanks but no thanks! They find it amusing that when Arya tells the man that she has no where else to go that the old man replies that she has everywhere else to go. Rob retells how she ended up just sitting outside repeating her list over and over again. Josh says that the list is really short now because so many people have died, and he is surprised that Roose Bolton isn’t on her list. Rob questions if she actually knows the gory details and mentions that Theon also isn’t on the list. Rob is shocked that she threw the Bravosi coin in the water. He questions why she didn’t just put it back in her pocket? Josh replies that it was dramatic of her but that she is still a child. Rob then talks about how Arya is going to throw down with some thugs in the streets of Bravos. Rob asks Josh if he feels like she could have dealt with them, and Josh replies yeah, absolutely. He feels that when Arya replies to the men that nothing is worth anything to dead men, that you believe her and buy that she is capable of delivering on that promise because she is a bad ass! Rob then says how the old man shows up and Arya follows him all the way back to The House of Black and White, and wonders how she followed him since he thought the house was on an island. Rob then speaks about the reveal of the old man changing his face and asks Josh if its the same guy as Jaqen H’ghar? Josh says its up to interpretation, but that his interpretation is that it probably is the same guy from Harrenhal in season 2. Josh feels that whoever it is, that the underlying message is that his name doesn’t matter. He thinks that what Jaqen H’ghar is trying to say is that all that matters is what I can do and what I’m doing, not who I am. He thinks he is trying to get her to understand that he doesn’t care what he is called, and he can wear any face and be called any name and it’s the same to him. Josh feels that this is a place that Arya might be heading towards. Rob is curious if Jaqen H’ghar could be a woman if he wanted to, and Josh replies that seeing as he can be an old black dude that he probably could be a woman if he wanted. Rob makes a Star Trek joke and says we need to ask Doran Martell about the Constable Odo rules on this one. Rob then asks if Arya is going to become a faceless woman? Josh thinks the reason she is there is cause she’s in search of a friendly face. He thinks she isn’t looking to become a faceless man, and that she just wants to reunite with him. Josh does think however that now that she has found him in this place, that for the foreseeable future that will be her path. Josh asks Rob what he thinks of this? Rob feels like it was a bad play by Maisie Williams to play role where she can be so easily recast due to the ability to just give her a new face at any time. Josh thinks that it would have been smart if they could have figured out a way to weave Bran’s storyline through this so they could have changed the actor a couple times due to the main actor growing so quickly. Rob thinks that being able to change your face is a good thing for Arya, since her mission in life is to get revenge on people. Josh thinks Arya has come a long way since Winterfell, due to all the myriad of people teaching her how to fight and assassinate. Josh says he likes Arya’s odds in A Game of Thrones Mortal Kombat, and thinks she would go far.
Cersei & Jaime: The Martells Send Their Regards (0:39:02)
Rob and Josh now turn their attention to King’s Landing where we find Cersei and Jaime Lannister who receive what appears to be a threatening message from Dorne. Rob asks Josh to refresh his memory as to why Myrcella was sent to Dorne in the first place? Josh says that Tyrion did it back in Season 2 to smooth things out with the Dornish, and that it was a good political move. Rob then asks Josh if Jaime’s decision to go to Dorne is a good one or not? Josh says its bad move for Jaime, but good for the show and viewers. He’s excited to see Jaime and Bronn on the road together. He says that there’s a lot of potential entertainment value between these two characters.
Bronn & Lollys: Bad Things Happen to Bad People (0:42:55)
At this point Rob turns his attention to the scene between Bronn and Lollys Stokeworth. Rob brings up a line that Bronn says, “that mean people get what’s coming to them”. Rob feels like this line is meant for the viewers, that its the writers telling the viewers to hang in there. Josh replies by saying that it doesn’t preclude that nice people get what’s not coming for them. Josh feels like that we as viewers will still lose characters that we love along the way. Despite this he feels like the worm has turned and some of the bad guys are going to get whats coming to them.
Prince Doran & Ellaria Sand: The Water Gardens (0:45:15)
Rob and Josh now travel South all the way to Dorne, where we find Doran Martell and Ellaria Sand having a heated discussion. Josh asks Rob what he thought of Dorne? Rob says that it was nice, that it was not what he expected. He says that he liked the visual of Dorne. Rob asks Josh who the woman Prince Doran was talking with is? Rob gets a little confused as to who she is but Josh clarifies that she is Oberyn’s Martell’s paramour from last season. Josh does feel like Ellaria has a thicker accent this season. Rob mentions that she is wearing a new hair do. Josh then asks Rob whether Doran should be moving against the Lannisters? Rob says no, that Myrcella seems like a nice Lannister as far as Lannisters go, that its not a good idea for them to cut her and send her pice by piece back to King’s Landing. Rob then asks Josh who and what the Sand Snakes are? Josh confirms that they are Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters. Josh feels like they are much like their father, that they could be the break out characters this season. He reminds Rob how gender rolls in Dorne are rather progressive compared to the rest of Westeros, that in Dorne woman are treated as equals to men.
Head Hunting for an Imp & Cersei’s Yes Men (0:50:40)
Rob remembers that there was another Cersei scene that cuts from Tyrion saying that Cersei is not going to kill every dwarf in the Seven Kingdoms to finding out that Cersei has promised a lordship to the person who brings her Tyrion’s head, and then cuts to the next scene that shows some men bringing her the head of a dwarf. Rob liked the segway from Tyrion to Cersei. Josh says Cersei is head hunting for Tyrion. He comments on how she would rather get the wrong heads than to get no heads at all. Josh remembers talking about how this might be the season where we could start to like Cersei more and Rob responds….not yet! They talk about how Maester Qyburn takes the head, and Josh reminds Rob of who Qyburn is and what he has done previously such as tending to The Mountain. Rob asks for an update on the Mountain? Josh replies that he doesn’t know where the update on The Mountain is, but last we heard he wasn’t doing so hot. Josh says Qyburn is now Cersei’s go to guy, and Rob replies that he gets named to the small council. Rob then mentions that a lot of people are unhappy about the positions Cersei is giving out. Josh says that only Mace Tyrell is happy. Rob says that mostly it’s Kevan Lannister that is not happy. Josh thinks he really wanted to be hand of the king and does not respect or acknowledge Cersei’s authority, and he is wondering where’s Tommen. Rob says isn’t Tommen hanging out with “that whore from Highgarden”? Josh asks Rob what he thought of Kevan Lannister just walking out on Cersei and the small council? Rob is curious if we will see Tommen writing to his Uncle, asking him to come back at some point. He doesn’t think Cersei cares if he leaves or not, Josh says she didn’t like the way he was talking to her.
Sansa & Brienne: Stalking the Stark Girl (0:55:13)
In this segment Rob and Josh go on to talk about the scene where Brienne and Podrick encounter Sansa and Littlefinger at an inn. Josh says that Brienne has been looking for one of the Stark girls for a long time now, that Arya refused her help, and that she’s not going to let Sansa do the same. Rob asks Josh if he thinks Sansa should have been more receptive to Brienne’s offer to protect her? Josh understands Sansa’s wariness, he feels that sticking with Littlefinger is akin to sticking with the devil you know than the one you don’t. Rob agrees and feels like Sansa is actually in a pretty good place with Littlefinger. Rob then goes on to say it was a bad decision for Brienne to approach Sansa and Littlefinger in the first place, but that her instincts were good that when Littlefinger asked her to stay, she fled instead. Josh feels like at this point Brienne and Podrick will stick together, that they now have a lead to follow Sansa. Rob says that Brienne and Podrick should consider spending more time in these roadside café’s given all the valuable information they’ve got from visiting them. Josh feels like Brienne isn’t helping her case when she is trying to win over Sansa by telling her that Renly Baratheon was killed by a shadow with the face of Stannis.
Rob and Josh take the viewers’ questions at 1:00:30
Episode Summary written by Jason de Lima & Jennifer Heinke
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