Game of Thrones: “The House of Black and White”

Yes I know, I’m late. Like, super late. Let’s dive in!

You have everywhere else to go. – Old Monk


Sorry, I got a little excited there. Arya has finally arrived in Braavos! The Titan hovering over the Braavosi port is very reminiscent of the Colossus of Rhodes, a pretty interesting artistic choice that reflects the parallels between our world and Game of Thrones‘ universe. You didn’t need to know that, of course, I’m just bragging because I can. I don’t know that much about history, but I do know about art. Anyways, the ship captain tells Arya about the legend of the Titan. Arya doesn’t believe it but is still mildly surprised when the giant signals their arrival in the city.

The ship captain takes Arya through the canals that serve as the city’s streets (Venice, anyone?). Arya does seem to like what she sees on the way, which is mostly fish and dark tunnels, but nothing fascinates her more than the House of Black and White. There, her companion leaves her alone to knock on the door of the temple by herself. An old black dude answers. An old black dude who doesn’t give a shit about who supposedly sent Arya, or Arya herself for that matter, even when she tries pulling off the old « I’ll wait on your doorstep until you take pity on me and let me in. » In the end, she renounces and decides that she’s in Braavos, she might as well get on with what’s left of her life.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice. – Brienne

Brienne and Pod arrive in a small inn, where they get some food. It so happens that Young Evil Queen and Baelish are having dinner in the same inn, talking plotting in general and marriage proposals in particular. Pod notices them and immediately alerts Brienne, who tells him to ready the horses: it’s Oath Time. Unfortunately for Brienne, Baelish is not ready to let his little protégée go. As for Young Vampirella… well, who could blame her for not wanting to go anywhere? Life with Baelish might not be the most comfortable situation, but it’s at least safe – and far away from the Lannisters. Of course, now that he knows that Brienne is onto them, Baelish is ready to « invite » her to come along. Brienne smells the trap and winds up fleeing Baelish’s men on horseback, along with Pod. Pod is the worst rider – and I mean, come on, look at his hands. The reins are way too loose, he’s pulling on them like crazy and he still wants the horse to go? You’ve got to be joking. Despite being thrown off and almost captured, Pod manages to make it thanks to Brienne, and the two can resume their journey with a new goal: follow Young Morgane and Baelish.

I never said I was going alone. – Jaime

Cersei’s got something to show Jaime. A threat from Dorne in the form of Myrcella’s necklace hanging from a red viper’s mouth. Cersei is understandably, er, shaken, which in Cerseinian means being a dick to Jaime and threatening to burn stuff. And people. But mostly being a dick to Jaime, who is very right to remind her that they shouldn’t talk about the royal kids as being “theirs.” Cersei doesn’t care. She’s hurt and Jaime knows that. He decides to sneak into Dorne to take Myrcella back. Cersei insults him some more for it. Well, fuck you too, Cersei.

We find Bronn – formerly Tyrion’s hired guard, loveable dick, got engaged to a girl after she was repeatedly raped during a riot- with his future wife, Lollys, in Stokeworth. Life is going well for Bronn, with all the marrying a noblewoman and planning to murder her sister so they will inherit the family land and castle. That’s when Jaime, in his “Hi, I’m Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and I’m gorgeous” costume, shows up to ruin everything. He promises Bronn a better girl and a better castle in exchange for a small service. Can you guess what it is? IT’S BRONN-JAIME TIME.

We do not mutilate little girls here. Not here. Not while I rule. – Doran Martell

Ellaria Sand, mourning haircut and glorious Evil Southern Witch outfit included, observes Myrcella flirt with her young nephew from the balcony of a gorgeous, gothic tower, because imagery. She storms off to go yell at some old dude in a chair, who just happens to be Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne. The book lovers will, of course, notice the first introduction of Areo Hotah, whom we know from A Clash of Kings. Ellaria wants revenge. The whole country wants revenge. Doran knows that, but reminds her that a, he’s been deeply affected by the death of his brother and b, Oberyn’s death wasn’t exactly murder. You can’t go to war over “you didn’t actually murder my brother.” Ellaria is having none of it. She wants war, as well as Myrcella’s head. Doran reminds her that they do not mutilate little girls. Ellaria storms off, still angry. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to see the Sand Snakes.

Your enemies did not lie. – Ser Barristan

Meereen! Where Daario is bragging to Grey Worm about his Second Sons’ abilities. If you can call « we drink and we have sex, we are therefore better than you » bragging. Grey Worm is not impressed… until Daario’s lead gets them to a Son of The Harpy. I must admit that it was a pretty cool scene. I don’t necessarily agree with Daario’s arguments about blending in, but I do like what he says about fear. Not knowing it makes the Unsullied great soldiers in battle, but it doesn’t make them great at being the city’s militia.

Later, Danaerys’ council tries to help her decide what to do of their captive. To kill or not to kill? Mossador is all for executing the Son of the Harpy. Dany agrees. Ser Barristan is against it, arguing that the prisoner may have some useful intel, but Daario assures that since he questioned him, he doesn’t have anything more to say. Richass McJerkface makes the argument that he’s young and therefore has nothing to do with slavery, but Dany brushes that off, saying that he might still have enjoyed his superior position over the slaves. Ser Barristan pleads Dany to give the man a fair trial. Mossador argues that here, people only understand blood. Having much to think about, Dany dismisses the council. When they’re alone, Ser Barristan tells her of her father, The Mad King, telling her how powerful and right it made him feel to burn people who had wronged him alive, until he himself was murdered. Dany decides to give the prisoner a trial.

We’ve already got a ruler. Everywhere’s already got a ruler. Every pile of shit on the side of every road has someone’s banner hanging from it. – Tyrion

We find Tyrion and Varys on their way to Volantis, in a covered carriage. Tyrion is drunk and depressed, still, while Varys shows an incredible amount of patience. The conversation once again revolves around ruling and how Tyrion is pretty good at it. Tyrion reminisces Shae when she wanted him to leave King’s Landing but he refused because he liked the little power he had at the time. Varys understands and literally tells him that despite having to hide in boxes, people like Tyrion and him have to come out at some point. Still, Varys doesn’t want Tyrion to take a walk. Not while Cersei has a reward placed on his head.

You’re the Queen Mother. Nothing more. – Kevan Lannister

Speaking of, some random thugs present a head to Cersei and Meryn Trant. Of course, it’s not Tyrion. Cersei is disappointed, but has other matters to attend to. Like the council. Kevan Lannister is not happy to see her acting as the King’s Hand, to which Cersei says fuck you with a smile (it’s one of those times when I actually like her). Lord Tyrell, Pycelle, and Kevan Lannister all try to offer their services as Hand, but Cersei quickly brushes them off. She names Lord Tyrell Master of Coin and gives Pycelle things to worry about by naming Qyburn Master of Whispers. She tries naming Kevan Lannister Master of War, but he sees through her attempt to seize power for herself and storms off, saying that if the King wants his services, he will find him at Casterly Rock.

He may be young, but he’s the Commander we turned to when night was darkest. – Sam

Shireen teaches letters to Gilly, which is adorable and awesome of her. She’s apparently a better teacher than Sam, who is reading an old book about former Commanders of the Night’s Watch and making Gilly feel terrible about not being able to read yet. Shireen tells them she learned to read when she was three, because the Maester had a lot of time on his hands and she had to stay inside. This leads to a really sad story about Gilly’s sisters, who had Grey Scale but weren’t as lucky as Shireen. Queen Selyse arrives, dismisses Gilly and Sam, and proceeds to warn her daughter never to trust wildlings before storming off. Because Queen Selyse is a dick.

Meanwhile, Stannis is not happy with Jon Snow. Not only did he give Mance Rayder a merciful death, he is amused at the response that Lyanna Mormont gave him when he asked her to join his side. This said, he is ready to support Jon Snow if he brings him the North, even going as far as promising him his father’s name and title. I must admit that Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell sounds amazing. Later on, before the vote to elect the next Lord Commander, Jon reveals that he intends on refusing. Then come the time to speak on behalf of the candidates. Alliser Thorne and Denys Mallister get speeches about how awesome and fearless and brave they are. Maester Aemon is about to proceed with the vote when Sam suddenly speaks up to propose Jon Snow as Lord Commander. The Jon Snow who saved Castle Black, avenged Jeor Mormont, infiltrated the wildlings’ camp, and was the late Lord Commander’s own stewart. That Jon Snow. The speech is awesome, but Ser Alliser makes sure to question Jon Snow’s allegiance before the vote. Still, Jon Snow is elected 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

I’m no one. And that is who you must become.

In Braavos, some jerks try to rob Arya of her sword. She’s not afraid – and folks, in case you want to assault someone, you should always be wary if that person is not afraid of you, just a heads up. The robbers laugh at her, but quickly run away when the old black dude from the temple shows up behind Arya. Arya follows him back to the temple. There, he gives her back the coin she had thrown in the canal and reveals his identity: he’s Jaqen H’ghar. Or, at least, he assumed this identity when he first met Arya. Presenting himself as no one (a.k.a The Faceless Man), he invites Arya into the temple. She follows him. Excitement.

The law is the law. – Dany

Mossador murders the Son of the Harpy. Dany is heartbroken, and even more so when he says he did it for her, as his child, to take revenge on the Sons of the Harpy and the Masters who made his life a living hell. Still, the queen has no choice. Despite the plea of the free men, she has him publicly executed. When his head falls, the free men hiss at Dany. She leaves right as the riots start.

At night, unable to sleep, Dany observes the ablaze streets of her city. A quiet roar behind her makes her turn around. Drogon, bigger than ever, has landed on the rooftop of her pyramid. She approaches his head, but takes off right as Dany is about to touch him and flies off, leaving her alone once more.

Valar Morghulis.

Some say she’s French. Some say she’s a voodoo witch. What is certain is that Anais left her awkward print on all things artsy at one point or another in her life, performing as a singer and a pianist, exhibiting photographs and paintings, and leaving an embarrassing amount of visual proofs of those events on the internet. Anais’ dream is to be an animation writer. She thinks everything should be animated and she is more than half convinced that she is herself a cartoon character. She hopes that one day, Pendleton Ward or Jennifer Lee will read her screenplays and say they’re neat.

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