Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Monday, 20 April 2015

9 Life Lessons From Game Of Thrones: House Of Black And White (Season 5 Episode 2)

9 Life Lessons From Game Of Thrones: House Of Black And White (Season 5 Episode 2)

The Debrief: Was this the most female-centric boob-less episode of the series ever?

Game Of Thrones is back and it's great and basically we'd like to sidestep all the boobs and bums and willies and deaths clichés of any other review show to bring you actual life lessons we can all take from it. Please enjoy and take about as seriously as a TV show that contains CGI dragons. Oh, and this is FULL of spoilers for season five, episode two, House of Black and White.

Don’t rely on men to ‘get’ you

There’s a fair whack of mansplaining in this episode – Baelish and Podrick to Brienne, everyone to Daenarys, but some of the worst comes from the small council to Cersei. She tells the men at the table she’s only there to speak on behalf of Tommen (who’s so young and naïve he’s probably off learning how to wipe himself probably): ‘Clearly it would not be appropriate for a woman to assume that role,’ and asks her uncle Kevan to be the Master of War. He’s not having it: ‘You are the queen mother, nothing more.’ Something tells us she’ll get her revenge one day…

Don’t bum people out on a roadtrip

There’s nothing worse than a roadtrip bore-off, that’s why Tyrion Lannister really needs to pull his socks up. Drinking his body weight in wine, he provokes Varys to get – understandably – arsey: ‘Are we really going to spend the entire road to Volantis talking about the futility of everything?’

Try a little tenderness

Oberyn’s brother Doran got Myrcella Baratheon in Dorne with him (she’s due to marry one of his sons), and Oberyn’s widow is calling for her blood. But he responds, sternly: ‘We do not mutilate little girls for vengeance. Not here, not while I rule’.

Daenarys really should’ve taken this advice, because she’s got a dilemma. One of the pro-slave-keeping Harpys is caught, and imprisoned. Mossador, a member of her council then kills him. There’s a conflict between the masters and the freed slaves and instead of taking the advice to not turn into her bloodthirsty dad, the Mad King, she goes with Daario’s advice to rule via violence, and has Mossador executed, making all the freed slaves literally hiss with rage.

Believe nothing you see

It’s almost as if Arya Stark can see the dodgy CGI we all bear witness to: ‘It’s just a statue’ she yelps as she enters Braavos, a massive sea-side city. But the statue groans in response. So maybe the juju witchcraft magic part of the series extends past the near-disappeared Bran and the red woman? Annoying. Anyway, Arya is looking for Jaqen H’ghar at the House of Black and White and finds a black man who tells her to piss off in the most poetic way ever: ‘you have everywhere else to be’. It’s only when she seems to lose all hope, chucking that special coin of Jaqen’s into the mahoosive sea that Jaqen appears, because he’s been disguised as the black guy all along. So who or what really is Jaqen H’ghar?

Really, truly, don’t believe anything

Ser Bronn learns that just because his betrothed’s family has a castle doesn’t mean he actually gets to live there. So when Jaime Lannister promises him a ‘much better girl and a much better castle’, he’s happy to join in the search for Myrcella Baratheon (well, Lannister really).

FFS stop believing what you see:

There’s a lordship for whoever can bring Cersei the head of Tyrion, so she’s basically responsible for oodles of half-men’s deaths as yet another scruffy-haired head plops on her table.

Never give up

As Baelish puts it, Brienne ‘swore to protect Renly, she failed, she swore to protect [Catelyn Stark], she failed’ and Podrick points out she’s been rejected by both Arya and Sansa: ‘both Stark girls refused you…they don’t want your protection’…so what’s the point in carrying on? Well, there’s the fact she’s a bloody good fighter, saving Podrick’s bacon.

There’s always another way around things

Jon Snow is offered the opportunity to become ‘John Stark, lord of Winterfell’ with ‘a stroke of the pen’. And, lord, (sorry) he wants it. ‘It’s the first thing I ever remember wanting…I daydreamed that my father would ask the king and just like that I’d never be the bastard of Winterfell again’. However, he turns it down because that’s the right thing to do. He doesn’t even need it for power, though, because, well, Samwell gives a rousing speech and Jon’s now the Lord Commander of the Knight’s Watch.

Game of Thrones really is about women, and not just the booby ones.

Apart from tousle-haired pretty-faced Jon Snow, this episode mostly focuses on Brienne, Arya, Daenarys and Cersei. And there’s not one single boob in sight! Even the smaller stories, like the one of Shireen Baratheon not being allowed to hang out with Gilly, the wilding, (maybe because educating Gilly is dangerous, maybe because Gilly’s going to tell Shireen about her skin condition making her feral) are about women being given their freedoms. Or not. Is this series going to be the most female-centric yet?

KILL COUNT: 4

BOOB COUNT: NONE!

BUM COUNT: NONE!

PUKE COUNT: Nothing yet, but Tyrion’s gargling wine in an enclosed smelly box along a hot road, if he doesn’t vom then, well, his stomach has finally acclimatized to all of that booze.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Life Lessons From Game Of Thrones, The Wars To Come - Season 5 Episode 1

We Asked The Game Of Thrones Cast How They Want To Die

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Tags: Game Of Thrones