Game of Thrones Episode (4×05) Review – “The First of His Name”
Lots of crazy Eyrie goodness. Arya was back bickering with the Hound (and nearly killing him), Jon and Ghost reunited.
More rape. Can we please take a break for one episode at least?
The Women of Game of Thrones Learn Some Hard Lessons This Week
The spectacular fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones continues moving right along with “The First of His Name.” In episode 405, Tommen ascends the thrones as king just as the Lannisters discover they’re broke. Apparently Tywin can no longer find the gold bars floating in his toilet, and is desperate to make a deal with the Iron Bank of Braavos for some financial relief. Thanks to their bankruptsy, the Lannisters are singing a different tune as far as the Tyrells are concerned, and Cersei seems fine all of the sudden with the prospect of Margaery marrying her adolescent son and becoming king. The Lannisters aren’t the only ones with heavy crowns on their heads. Daenerys discovers that cities she’d freed from slavery are now falling back into corruption and infringing on the civil rights of their citizens just as Daario has acquired her a navy to set sail for Westeros to reclaim her crown. Arya and the Hound continue their deadly comedy hour, and poor Sansa is forced to watch Littlefinger marry her aunt Lysa. Not sure if her tears were from hearing her aunt scream during sex with Petyr, or from the idea of marrying her sickly cousin Robert. Meanwhile, Jon and his Band of Brothers kick some mutineer booty, narrowly missing his lil’ bro Bran slink off into the Wilderness. There weren’t any White Walkers, Tyrion’s still in the dungeon, the Wildlings have yet to storm the castle, and a Stark reunion was thwarted, but “The First of His Name” had me so glued to my seat, that I didn’t even notice until the episode ended. So let’s dive in and discuss the episode!
“Long May He Reign”…Tommen is the new king. Margaery is still plotting to be queen. The Lannisters are trying to hide they’re no longer the most richest family in Westeros. Time in King’s Landing was brief this week, but many important things still happened. We’ve been hearing talk about the Iron Bank of Braavos for weeks now, and it’s obvious a representative from said organization will be popping up before long. For non-book fans, this name probably meant diddly-squat, but it sure had us book fans excited. And that’s where the excitement all but ended for book fans as the show continued with storylines that have yet to be resolved in the book series. The most exciting thing to happen at Tommen’s coronation was the power play between Cersei and Margaery. Now that the Lannisters are broke, they’re all to eager to align themselves with the now richest family in the kingdom as they need them to continue to foot the bill for Tommen’s reign. This alliance could save the Lannister’s hides, and Cersei’s betrothal to Loras is now more important than ever. What’s even more important? The marriages taking place before the Tyrell’s learn the truth about the Lannister’s horrible financial situation. It’s one thing to marry off the jewel of their family to a pliant young king, and quite another to marry the second jewel in their family to an “old” has-been Queen Regent who’s been rumored to be in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother. The race to the alter is on, and the way the tide is turning for the Lannisters, something tells me the Lion has had its day.
Cersei: What good is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?
“I will do what queens do, I will rule.”…Dany still hasn’t crossed the Narrow Sea, and now word has reached her that Yunkai and Astapoor have fallen back into the wrong hands. Nobly she has tried to free enslaved people of their bonds, only to see many of them back in chains. When Dany began to see the possibility of her rump sitting on the Iron Throne, she only wanted to reclaim her birthright. Now it appears as if Dany wants to rule the world. Not bad for a girl brought up as a fugitive, and abused by her brother, is it? While this news means Dany probably won’t be boarding the ships Daario procured for her anytime soon, at least her storyline seems to be gaining a bit of traction. Did you see how posh her accommodations are now? The Mother of Dragons is definitely living large. Or maybe she’s taken a page out of the Lannister playbook, and has decided to fake the funk.
“Know your strengths and use them wisely, and one man can be worth 10,000.”…Littlefinger and Sansa arrived at the Eyrie this week, and instead of being comforted by her aunt’s open arms, poor Sansa had to endure a night of horrors. Petyr may have had Lysa wrapped around his finger enough to convince her to poison her husband, thus kicking off the entire series, but not enough to keep her from having him followed. Thanks to her distrust of her fiancé, Lysa knew full well who Sansa was when she arrived, and feared Petyr’s interest in her niece had more to do with getting the girl in the sack than charity. Who’d a thunk that crazy Lysa Aaron was on the same page as us? “Not I,” said the fly. I guess we were all wrong. While the crazy lady smiled and played the good, loving aunt in Littlefinger’s presence, she played the evil step-mother whenever he was gone. As Sansa cried herself to sleep, I’m not sure if it was hearing her aunt’s unbelievably (and unrealistically) loud moaning during her wedding night with Petyr, or if the idea of marrying a crazy, breastfeeding adolescent. I’ll bet Tyrion is looking a whole lot better to Sansa now.
“Hate is as good as thing to keep a person going.”…Arya and the Hound continued for the Eyrie, and also continued their biting conversations. After the Hound sniped at Arya for keeping him awake with her Murder List, Arya decided to add his name to the list. That shouldn’t come as any surprise considering how quick Arya is to order a hit on someone. What’s even crazier than that, is how Arya stabbed the Hound with Needle after he egged her on by calling Syrio Forel a bad swordsman and stupid to boot. the Hound seems to really care for Arya, and it’s sad Arya is so easy to anger. Then again, maybe that will keep her alive. Would you trust the Hound? Yeah, neither would I.
Arya: The Hound.
Carry On My Wayward Son…Jon and his Brothers made it to Craster’s in time to kick some ass, free Craster’s daughter-wives, and reunite with Ghost. Karl proved to be even more horrible this week as he ordered his men to rape Meera and kill Jojen. Luckily, Locke arrived in time to save the girl and her brother, while trying to make off with Bran. Wasn’t watching Bran warg into Hodor amazing? I know I couldn’t be the only one hooting and hollering as Brandor snapped Locke’s neck. When all was said and done, Bran & Co. decided to continue north instead of reuniting with Jon. Jon drove a sword through the back of Karl’s head and got Ghost back. Few deaths on the Night’s Watch side, and Craster’s daughter-wives decided they’d rather face the White Walkers than ride off to the Wall with the men. After everything they’ve endured, you can’t really blame them. I’m just said the Stark boys didn’t even get a hug. Oh, well! Maybe Jojen and Bran’s Heart Tree has the answers they’re looking for.
Once again D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have managed to wow us with their ASOIAF adaptation, and continued to throw in a few surprises. The battle scene at Craster’s felt earned, and didn’t have the slow drag we’ve normally been seeing in the middle of the season of past seasons. Even Dany’s continued political plans for countries she doesn’t rule and/or has never been a citizen of didn’t drag this week. Even though the King’s Landing intrigue continues to be riveting, those in the Eyrie might be just as appealing. Michelle MacLaren’s vision of the Eyrie seemed new even though we spent a lot of time there in season 1 during Tyrion’s first trial as we got to see more of how the impregnable fortress looks at the bottom of the climb. Not only that, but Podrick and Brienne’s woodland exploits managed to add a bit of comic relief and proved to be more interesting than I anticipated. Season 4 of Game of Thrones is probably the most interesting season since season 1, as all of the episodes so far have been extraordinarily good.