Episode 2: The House of Black and White
In episode 2 of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, viewers return to a fan favorite — Arya Stark is back. Episode 2, The House of Black and White, opens with Arya’s arrival in Braavos. She has journeyed across the Narrow Sea to come to the House of Black and White. However, she is rebuffed upon her arrival. Arya sits outside the House of Black and White, listing her names, determined to gain entrance to the place that Jaqen H’gar sent her.
In King’s Landing, Cersei continues to struggle to maintain power. She has received what seems to be an unambiguous threat to her daughter, Myrcella, from her keepers in Dorne. While sharing this information with Jaime, Cersei accuses him of not caring about their children. In response, Jaime promises to go to Dorne to retrieve Myrcella himself. Before he leaves for Dorne, Jaime recruits Tyrion’s old battlemate, Bronn.
In Dorne, we meet Dorian Martell for the first time. Dorian is the leader of Dorne and Oberyn’s elder brother. Oberyn’s lover, Ellaria Sand, does seem intent upon harming Myrcella in retaliation for her paramour’s death. However, Dorian reminds her that in Dorne, innocent young women are not sacrificed for revenge.
In the North, Shireen teaches Gilly how to read despite her mother’s disapproval. Jon is brought to Stannis. He expects to be punished for killing Mance Rayder rather than letting him slowly burn to death. However, Stannis has a larger goal in mind. He offers Jon the chance to take the name of Stark and the castle of Winterfell in return for the North’s loyalty. Although Jon is heavily tempted, he decides to refuse the offer. As he tells Sam, if he broke his vow to the Night’s Watch to become the Lord of Winterfell, he would already be proving his lack of worth for the role.
As Sam hears this, he realizes that Jon is the best leader the Night’s Watch has. During the vote for a new commander, Sam unexpectedly puts Jon’s name in the running. After an initial tie between Jon and his old enemy, Janos Slynt, Maester Aemon casts the deciding vote for Jon Snow.
In Meereen, Daario Naharis helps the Unsullied begin to find the Sons of the Harpy. He and Grey Worm find one member. Daenerys meets with her council to decide how to deal with him. Despite many of the council arguing for immediate execution, Daenerys decides to give the man a fair trial. However, Mossador, a former slave and member of her council, takes it upon himself to kill the man. Daenerys tells him and her people that they cannot choose between justice and freedom. She condemns him to death for his actions. When the people witness his execution, a riot breaks out between the former slaves and masters. Daenerys returns to her chambers, where Drogon momentarily reappears. He flies away again after Daenerys attempt to touch him, leaving her alone again.
In Braavos, Arya kills a pigeon. A group of men attempt to accost her and she draws Needle on them. They are not cowed, until they see the man who refused her entrance to the House of Black and White. Arya follows the man back to the House of Black and White, questioning why he helped her but won’t let her in and why the men were afraid. The man then reveals that he too has the face of Jaqen H’gar. He invites her into the House of Black and White to learn the ways of the Nameless Men.