First of His Name, the fifth episode and midway point of Game of Thrones season 4 was a wonderful example of the magic that the show can put on screen. The episode jumped around from location to location, but each interaction we saw had it’s own importance. It was 55 minutes that had something for everyone. While it didn’t have Dragons, Tyrion, or any major character deaths it was still one of the more compelling episodes of the season.
We started the action off with the coronation of Tommen in King’s Landing. Tommen is a real boy King, which makes it easy for him to fall under the spell of Margaery. Marg is giving him flirting glances when Queen Cersei steps into her eye line. Cue the ominous music. Margaery looks away, but we know what Cersei saw. She’s not going to be pleased, and wastes no time heading towards the woman who was almost Queen.
Standing in a similar place to where Cersei and Jaime overlooked the body of Jon Arryn in season one, viewers expected another lashing from Cersei. However things have changed a lot since then. The Queen already witnessed the death of one of her children, and she’s not about to lose another one. Instead of warning Margaery to steer clear of Tommen, she encourages her to be in her son’s life. Marg act innoncent and says she has to ask her father’s permission to help out Tommen. One of the funnier lines in the episode because we all know how ineffective Mace Tyrell is. The real power rests with Mace’s Mother the Queen of Thorns.
Later on things get real for Cersei when she has an illuminating conversation with her father about the Lannister finances. Lord Tywin lets her know that there hasn’t been gold found for three years in the mines, and that the family is basically broke. They’re like the Madoffs of Westeros. They need the union with the Tyrells to gain their resources because the crown owes big money to the Iron Bank. The Iron Bank appears to be like the mafia of the Westeros. They’ll loan money to anyone, but they always collect on their debts. They are the Lannisters of finance. This makes it much harder for Cersei to not end up marrying Ser Loras.
Word finally reaches Dany across the sea that King Joffrey is dead. She has a moment when she begins to feel ready to return to Westeros. There is even discussion of sailing right into Blackwater Bay and sacking King’s Landing. Cue millions of Fan Boys wetting their Dragon covered underwear. Sadly though things aren’t going well in Astapor or Yunkai, the two cites Dany sacked and freed before Meereen. She decides to be a true ruler, and stay to deal with the problem in Slaver’s Bay instead of heading to King’s Landing. No one really expected Dany to arrive at the Red Keep in this season, but this was the clearest sign she’s far from sitting in the Iron Throne.
Sansa finally arrives at the Vale with Littlefinger who explains to her again the impeneturable aspect of the stronghold. Anyone attacking them will have to deal with the Bloody Gate, and total annihilation. Leave it to Littlefinger to pick the safest place in the realm. Everything seems great for Sansa when she arrives, but that happiness is soon dashed. First Lady Lysa, her aunt, gives her the good news that she can now marry her son Robin as soon as Tyrion is dead. Robin as we remember is the sickly boy who broke all the rules of breastfeeding.
Things only get worse for Sansa later when Lysa accuses her of sleeping with Littlefinger. It appears Lysa is even more paranoid than before. Maybe Lysa has reason to be scared because she dropped a bomb on viewers. She let us know that it was Littlefinger and not the Lannisters who conspired to kill Jon Arryn. Arryn’s death put all of this into motion, but it was Lysa who poisoned her husband at Littlefinger’s request. Now it appears Littlefinger will be the new Lord of the Vale, and Sansa is once again stuck in her own private hell.
We spent a quick moment with Arya learning an important lesson from the Hound about war. It doesn’t matter how much water dancing one does if they are fighting someone with armor and a big sword. Arya still feels like the Starks best hope for revenge on its enemies, but this was clearly an example of her still not being ready for that mission. Also the Hound claims he’d like to help Arya find and kill his brother the Mountain. Wouldn’t that be a fun bit of 2 on 1 theater.
Arya and the Hound grew apart a bit, but new found travel companions Brienne and Podrick finally found some common ground. Pod is such a novice to being an actual squire that he doesn’t even know to skin a rabbit before cooking it. However Brienne realizes that they are better off working together, and the two eventually reach an understanding. Podrick undoing the straps on her armor was as close to a “good job” as Brienne is going to give him.
The night ended at Craster’s Keep with Jon Snow and his men busting up the Night’s Watch rebellion that took over the place. Locke, the man who cut of Jaime Lannister’s head, tries to capture Bran to take him back to Roose Bolton, but his plan is foiled by a Bran possessed Hodor. Bran jumps into the gentle giant’s head and snaps Locke’s neck. Hodor looked totally frightened of what he did when Bran left his mind. While Bran could have contacted Jon Snow, he decides his trip to meet the three-eyed raven is too important. Jon would make him return to Castle Black.
Jon meanwhile had one of the more graphic kills of the season when his sword exited the mouth of the lead rapist at the Keep. It was an image straight out of a nightmare. The sword looking like a giant over sized tongue coming out of the leaders mouth. Bran, Hodor, and the Reed Twins leave quietly on their journey north leaving Jon Snow to burn down Craster’s Keep with all the traitors corpses inside of it.
What did everyone think of First of His Name? Did you miss Tyrion too much?