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'Game of Thrones' recap: 'The House of Black and White'

Arya returns as ‘Thrones’ leaders make lousy decisions.

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Game of Thrones

TV Show
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
run date:
D.B. Weiss
Current Status:
In Season

How did hissing ever stop being a thing? You still hear the expression “boo and hiss,” but never really hear a crowd totally hiss in unison, just occasionally boo. As Daenerys just found out, a big audience hissing at you can be really creepy. Oh, and Arya returned, Brienne met Sansa, Jon Snow got a promotion—sort of—and much more in EW’s recap of the second episode of Game of Thrones season 5, “The House of Black and White.”

Braavos: I don’t know about you, but this man is ready for Arya to return. And there she is, sailing into the harbor in the free city of Braavos. It’s a place where all men must die, but all visitors must float between the spread legs of a giant warrior statue.  

In the city, Arya initially likes what she sees—ordinary working folk; no soldiers. That helpful captain takes her to The House of Black and White. The building is imposing and mysterious, yet bland and unadorned. This is the home of the “Faceless Man” assassin, supposedly named Jaqen H’ghar, who helped Arya escape imprisonment in season 2. The door is answered by a creepy-looking hooded guy. He’s not impressed with Arya’s coin, says Jaqen H’ghar is not there, tells her the wizard is busy, go away, etc. “You have everywhere else to go,” he says.

So Arya sits and recites her kill-list of names. She says them over and over and over again. She might just want to write those names down at this point. Arya waits through the night and in the rain. I’m expecting Tyler Durden to pop out to try and dissuade her from joining their club (“You’re too young, get the f— off my porch”).  

Arya gives up and goes back to her old street-survival ways of catching pigeons for food. Local bullies try to take her sword. Her confidence facing off with them shows how much she’s grown. “Nothing is worth anything to dead men,” she warns, though one could argue that Arya should take that exact same advice here.

Arya is rescued by that odd-looking hooded man. Just once I want him to say “ribbit.” He reveals himself to be Jaqen H’ghar in disguise. He claims he didn’t lie to her earlier by saying he was not there, because a Faceless Man’s true identity is “no one,” which is what she must become too. This sounds a lot like “I’m f—ing with you” semantics. And by the way, you would think if Jaqen H’ghar were going to be some super-sneaky blend-in-the-crowd assassin, he’d pick a more inconspicuous default guise than that of a redhead with Bride of Frankenstein highlights. But no matter: Arya has a new home.

NEXT: Brienne gets shot down by another Stark sister