Game of Thrones follows up its promising Season 5 debut with the faster-paced “The House of Black and White.” The episode finally picks up with Arya (Maisie Williams) following her voyage to Essos last season as she seeks out The Faceless Men. At The Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finds success for the first time in life. Meanwhile, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) struggles in her role as the Mhysa to all of Meereen, the Lannisters and the Martells begin to move chess pieces against one another and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) finds her services rejected once again by a Stark daughter.
We begin by discussing the title (“The House of Black and White”) which, this week, doesn’t seem to capture the major themes or ideas in this episode. Then we dive into Cersei’s (Lena Headey) storyline as she sends Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) off with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) to visit Dorne in search of Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free). We try to parse out the showrunners’ decision in pairing these characters together, spurring a conversation about how the show can benefit from moving past where the books left off.
We turn to Jon Snow at The Wall whose bravery during the battle with the Wildlings is finally rewarded (with the help of a speech from Sam Tarly). We then move on to debate Daenerys’s method of ruling through a lens of democratic ideals; Josh questions whether or not her methods of justice befit the people of Meereen at all. Finally, we discuss our first look at Dorne where allusions to the Sand Snakes and Doran Martell’s (Alexander Siddig) potential get Josh excited for the future of Season 5.
And lest we forget, Drogon rears his big old head once again at the apex of the episode.
“They’re dragons, Khaleesi. They can never be tamed.” Where’s Jorah when you need him?
Note that this podcast contains spoilers for Game of Thrones up through “The House of Black and White.” As always, you can subscribe to Stark Contrast using iTunes. Alternatively, you can check out the episode online or download it here. Happy listening!
What did you think of “The House of Black and White”? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tune in next week where we’ll discuss the third episode of Season 5, “High Sparrow.”