Game of Thones-Season 5-Episode 2

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Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” opened up with Arya arriving in Bravos.I was so happy to have an episode with several check ins with Arya. She is one of my favorite characters and I really missed her in the season premiere. As Arya sailed by the giant statue that protects Bravos she declares that she is not afraid. However, things do not go her way. When she presents the coin that Jaquen H’ghar gave her she is told that there is nobody there with that name. As tough as Arya is I felt bad for her. She ultimately is a very young lady in a  new land with nowhere to go. She is left sitting on a step though a night in the rain saying the list of the people she will kill over and over and over again.

At the end of season 4 Brienne had a chance to rescue and protect Arya but Arya refused her help. The second scene of last night’s episode was similar except this time Brienne comes face to face with Sansa. While eating Pod sees Littlefinger and alerts Brienne to his and Sansa’s presence. When Brienne approaches them things don’t go her away. She kneels to Sansa and swears to protect her but Sansa is reluctant.

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Littlefinger immediately begins to discredit Brienne by bringing up Renly’s death and Catelyn Stark’s death to show what an ineffective protector Brienne is. Littlefinger says that he is Sansa’s family now and that he will protect her. For all of his creepiness in regards to his relationship with Sansa he does have a point. He is technically her uncle and therefore is the only family she has (Sansa will probably never see her sister and brothers again). Still, Brienne asks Sansa for a word alone but Sansa refuses. Sansa recalls seeing Brienne and Joffrey’s wedding and uses that as a piece of evidence that Brienne can’t be trusted. Littlefinger insists that Brienne stay with them but she takes off knowing that is a bad idea. Soon Brienne and Pod are trying to outrun Littlefigner’s knights. The sequence really encapsulated who Brienne and Pod are. Brienne kicks some ass. Meanwhile, Pod’s horse ends up going off in the wrong direction before throwing him in a river. After this disaster Pod says that Brienne might want to consider herself released from her vow since both Stark sisters refused her help. But Brienne isn’t so quick to give up. She doesn’t trust Sansa will be safe with Littlefinger and insists that they follow Sansa. I had mixed feelings about this sequence. I think it was great for Brienne. It showed her toughness and her loyalty. But I still feel frustrated with Sansa. I understand her hesitation about going with Brienne but I don’t know that she really trusts Littlefinger either. I get that she is in an impossible situation but I feel like I’m still waiting for Sansa to take a more active role in her own life. I don’t hate her the way I did in the first two seasons but I still feel like she just gets dragged wherever the authority figure who is in charge of her wants her to go.

In King’s Landing Cersei has summoned Jamie.

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She has received a necklace, not just an ordinary necklace though. It is a necklace that belongs to their daughter, Marcella. Both Cersei and and Jamie interpret the necklace being sent as a threat from somebody in Dorne. They believe somebody in Dorne will do Marcella harm following the death of Oberyn Martell. Cersei seems to be growing more and more paranoid with each passing day. She blames the fate of their three children on Jamie for never being a father to them. In reality Jamie could never actually be a father to them as Jamie himself points out. My favorite moment of this scene came when Cersei called Margery a “smirking whore from Highgarden”. Lena Headey’s line delivery was truly brilliant. The scene wraps with Jamie promising to go to Dorne to get Marcella and in the next short scene we learn that he will be taking Bronn of the Black water with him.

I was so excited to see a scene shot in Dorne. As I mentioned last week my husband and I went to various locations in Southern Spain two weeks ago specifically because “Game of Thrones” was filmed there.

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It’s always exciting to recognize a location in a movie or TV show from your real life but it was even more thrilling since our trip to Spain was so recent and such a dream come true for us (check out the first two days of my travel blog on our trip Spain for more on that topic https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/return-to-espana-day-1-from-los-angeles-to-barcelona/
https://jeremyochsgonzales.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/return-to-espana-day-2-beach-day/).

In Dorne, Ellaria Sand is out to get revenge against the Lannister’s for Oberyn’s death. She is very frustrated that the prince (Oberyn’s brother) is taking a much more passive role in the wake of her lover’s death. I’m really looking forward to more stuff being set in Dorne this season, not just because I really like the character of Ellaria Sand but because I want to see more of the Water Gardens of Dorne that I’ve been lucky enough to see in real life.

In Meereen it seems that Dany is continuing to struggle with what kind of ruler she ultimately wants to be. When a member of the Sons of the Harpy is found she must make the decision of how to deal with him. Should she give him a fair trial or just execute him on the spot? She seems to be leaning toward the more harsh punishment but Selmy advises her to take a more cautious approach. He advises her not to make the same mistakes as her father.

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Dany doesn’t remember her father, of course, but Selmy’s words about how her father (the mad king) would act out of vengeance to feel both powerful and justified despite the fact that it led to the Targaryen downfall makes Dany rethink her approach. She promises that the Son of the Harpy will not be executed without a fair trial…But somebody else has a different opinion on that matter.

While Dany may be trying to figure out what kind of leader she wants to be there seems to be no doubt in Varys’ mind that she’s going to be a great one. As Varys and Tyrion travel in a coach Varys wants to talk strategy and Tyrion wants to get drunk. Varys informs Tyrion that they will make their way to Dany in Meereen via Valantis (another GOT location that was shot in Southern Spain that I went to). But Tyrion is going stir crazy in the coach and doesn’t believe that Cersei will have every dwarf killed in an effort to find him.

Tyrion clearly shouldn’t be so quick to underestimate his sister because the next shot of following scene is of a dwarf head with a fake scar cut into it being presented to Cersei. Obviously, the head isn’t Tyrion’s but it shows how serious she is about having her brother killed. After Cersei declares that the head doesn’t belong to Tyrion we learn that Cersei is serving as the unofficial hand of the king. As other candidates are presented for the position she eliminates them. This frustrates her uncle who states that she is the queen mother and nothing more.

I have very mixed feelings about Cersei’s power grab here. On one hand I don’t like her and I can’t ever root for her, even if it does mean Tommen’s downfall. But on the other hand she really doesn’t have a choice. Given the life she’s had and she how she’s been taught to need power there is no way she’s going to step away and not try to be the one in control. The scene shows that whether you love Cersei or hate her she is ultimately limited in what she can do because she is a woman. From a humanist perspective I can’t root for Cersei because she is so awful but from a feminist perspective I kind of have to agree with her power grab. After all, this show of full of men who have made big power plays, so why shouldn’t she get in on the action too?

At the wall Shireen is teaching Gilly to read. It is a really sweet scene. The two of them talk about Shireen having greyscale and we learn that Gilly had two sisters that had it. It was really nice to get a glimpse into Gilly’s past and I really do love Shireen even if I don’t like her father.

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But Shireen’s mother, Lady Selyse, tells her to stay away from Gilly because she’s a wildling.

Meanwhile, Stannis is very upset at Jon for not allowing his sentence to Mance Rayder to be carried out. When Jon shot Mance in the chest with an arrow at the end of episode one I knew Stannis would be upset but at the end of the day Jon really just gets a tiny slap on the wrist. It turns out Stannis wants Jon to help him. Stannis promises to make Jon legitimate and turn him from Jon Snow to Jon Stark and make him lord of Winterfell (if they are able to take it back) if only he kneels to him. For Jon this would be a dream come true but he turns it down to keep is vows to the night’s watch. It seems like it was the right move for Jon because he is then nominated by Sam to be the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s watch. Sam recalls how Jon was the commander they all turned to when the night was darkest in their battle against the wildings. In a major upset Jon is elected the new lord commander by one vote (cast by Maester Aemon).

In Bravos, Arya is struggling. She kills pigeon so that she’ll have something to eat. She nearly loses the pigeon but then young men who were going to take it from her run away after the man who told her at the beginning of the episode there was no Jaquen H’ghar there shows his face. It turns out the creepy man was Jaquen H’ghar and he tells Arya that she must become nobody. I’m really looking forward to see what happens to Arya in the coming weeks as she settles more into Bravos.

Back in Meereen, Dany’s early decision to be a kind ruler is undone. One of her own men takes it upon himself to kill the Son of the Harpy that she had promised a trial. In doing so he put Dany in an even more difficult position. Does she let him off the hook (possibly making herself look weak) or does she execute him (possibly making herself look too harsh)? Her choice is the more aggressive form of punishment and it immediately backfires. The crowd begins to hiss at her before a riot erupts. It’s clear her choice was the wrong one but was there really a right decision here? I worry and wonder that if Dany can’t rule Meereen how can she possible ever take back the Iron Throne?

In a classic all is lost moment Dany is alone wondering what to do next when Drogon returns.

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The mother of Dragons and her alpha dragon seem to be feeling each other out. Can they work together? Can they trust each other? Can Dany control her Dragon’s enough to become the great ruler I believe she is destined to be? Only time will tell…

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