Following a strong start last week, Game of Thrones rests on its laurels for an hour with The House of Black and White.
As with episode one there’s an awful lot of exposition due to the vast number of storylines.
Some scenes seem shoehorned in just so characters aren’t forgotten, as if Cersei or Tyrion could ever be forgot!
Season Five looks to be once again following the formula: 9 hours of exposition with the odd bits of blood and boobs + one hour of epic fight scene = the most popular show on TV.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
The name of the episode references Arya’s destination, finally picking up her much-anticipated storyline from where she was left in Season Four.
Sadly for Arya she spends a long time in the rain without actually entering The House of Black and White.
After an irritatingly near miss in The Wars to Come Brienne of Tarth and Lady Sansa finally meet giving the Lady Brienne a second chance to fulfil her oath to Lady Stoneheart, I mean, Catelyn Stark.
Sansa’s time in Kings Landing has taught her the game of thrones well and she is less trusting of strangers, something Brienne approves of, though her friendship with Littlefinger is something to be feared.
Sent away from Sansa as she was from Arya, Brienne must be regretting the fine Lannister emblazoned sword her boyfriend Jaime gave her.
Podrick finally asks the question we’ve all been thinking: Why are you still running around after the Stark girls?
Brienne suffers from an excess of honour, an admirable trait but one that got at least three Starks killed.
Speaking of honour, Jaime Lannister is trying to regain his in the eyes of Cersei my rushing headlong into a quest to Dorne, a role not written for him, lets hope he is not bitten by a snake.
Here are the first long awaited glimpses of Dorne and their fabulous dress code.
Ellaria Sand is on the warpath, desperate to avenge the Red Viper with her magnificent shoulders.
She namedrops the Sand Snakes, the fabulous bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell, whetting viewers appetite for their role to come.
The Sons of the Harpy are on the back foot in this episode, the dashing Daario manages to evict one from inside a wall, he is quickly despatched but not before Danaerys receives a grave history lesson from Ser Barristan Selmy.
An extremely verbose scene with Varys and Tyrion occurs in a ‘large comfortable box’. Sadly, it offers little in the way of real content but nicely sets up Cersei’s ‘head-hunt’ for Tyrion.
Back in Kings Landing Cersei is desperately posturing about the Red Keep throwing her rapidly decreasing weight around.
Her position as ‘Queen Mother’ is not something she relishes.
As usual there’s a lot of foreshadowing to keep the audience on its toes in every scene.
The vote for the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch presided over by Maester Aemon is the only thing going on in Castle Black.
Well, Gilly’s learning to read. Thrilling.
Two guesses as to who becomes Lord Commander.
The real turning point of this episode is Danerys’ troubles in Meereen.
Following the capture of a Son of the Harpy and his subsequent murder by one of her advisors the Mother of Dragons will see justice done.
No one thinks this is a good idea.
The killing of one of their own, even one raised so high, enrages the former slaves of Meereen and a riot ensues between them and their former masters.
The episode ends with Drogon alighting atop Dany’s pyramid.
A visual metaphor if ever there was one. Unfortunately, Dany has no control over the most prized member of her army and Drogon departs again.
Will someone get the damn dragon a lead?
Episode two has enough to keep viewers entertained but beyond the Night’s Watch and Danerys little excitement happens, though it is nice to see Arya return to the screen and see a little more of the direction she is headed.
Image courtesy of Sky Atlantic via YouTube, with thanks.