‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 4, Episode 5 Recap: First Of His Name

Every Monday, our resident Game of Thrones fanatic E. Spencer Kyte will recap the previous night’s episode. Here’s his take on Season 4, Episode 5—First Of His Name.

Warning: what follows is a review and analysis of what happened on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to encounter spoilers, I suggest you go read something else on this site. Consider yourself warned.

With every subsequent episode of Game of Thrones, we get more answers and a little further along in the story. This show is brilliant that way — they give you enough information to make you want to come back next week, even if the last episode wasn’t full of death and destruction and mayhem.

It’s like the antithesis of a Michael Bay movie.

Sidenote: it’s been a while since we’ve seen any boobs. I don’t say that as a pro or a con; simply as a statement of fact. For a show that featured a lot of boobs in the first season or two, they’ve really cut back on the full frontal nudity and sexposition scenes in Seasons 3 and 4.

Onto the action from Episode 5, “First of His Name.”

New King, Same Scheming

Sunday’s episode kicked off with Tween King Tommen ascending to the Iron Throne in front of the assembled masses in King’s Landing. As the usual band of congratulators made their way to pay their respects to the new boy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Margaery Tyrell gives King Tommen a little wink from a side balcony, which Cersei notices.

But instead of going and reading her dead son’s widow the riot act as you would expect of the power-and-wine-drunk Queen Regent to do, she actually asks Margaery if she would be interested in marrying Tommen. The twice-widowed Ms. Tyrell offers a fake “I hadn’t thought of it; I’m still mourning Joffrey,” but ends by saying she’d be honoured.

Cersei than sits with her father, Tywin, to discuss the goings on around the capital, and the Lannister family patriarch lets his daughter know they owe the Iron Bank of Braavos a ton of coin because they haven’t successfully mined any gold in three years.

Decisions for Dany

“The Mother of Dragons” and her version of the small council sit around discussing the news of the day — Joffrey’s dead, Daario stole Dany some ships; you know, the usual. They start spit-balling the idea of attacking Westeros, tallying their numbers, but no one ever adds, “Oh yeah — we got those three bad-ass, fire-breathing dragons too!” That’s the first thing I would name, every time.

Dany: So how many troops do we have?
Me: First and foremost, we’ve got Earth, Wind and Fire out there!

(Note: that’s what I’m calling the dragons. They needed names.)

They table the idea of attacking, and the Dany and Jorah talk about the troubles in the various cities they’re conquered and moved on from. New rulers have reclaimed both Yunkai and Astapor. Rather than march westward, Dany vows to “do what a queen does — rule” instead.

Off to the Eyrie

Littlefinger and Sansa make their way to The Eyrie, an impenetrable fortress in the Vale where Sansa’s aunt (her mother’s sister) and Littlefinger’s betrothed, Lysa, resides. Sansa has to conceal her identity to everyone except her Aunt and her aunt’s weird little son, Robin.

After introductions and greetings are over, we get a peak behind the curtain. Lysa demands of Littlefinger that they get married the next day, and though he bristles initially, the scheming former whoremonger knows better than the challenge the clearly not all there lady he’s been promised to and then we get a solid gold scoop:

“Left of Center” Lysa reveals that Littlefinger had her kill her husband, John, way back when. If you recall, John was the “The Hand of the King” who died in Season 1, prompting Ned Stark to take the post and this whole game to get underway. If you’re keeping score at home: Littlefinger started it all (at least so it seems right now), fulfilling Lord Varys’ declaration that he’s the “most dangerous man in Westeros.”

Lysa then starts off having a nice, reminiscent conversation with Sansa, only to go bonkers midway through, questioning why Littlefinger is protecting her and whether they’ve had sex. She gets all crazy-eyed about how Littlefinger always liked Cat more, even though Cat picked someone else. It’s a “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” moment in Game of Thrones and it’s equal parts creepy and awesome.

Our Favourite Odd Couple

As Arya recites her bedtime “To Kill” list, The Hound tells her to shut up. She responds that she’s almost done, rolls over to go to sleep and vocalizes the final name on her list: The Hound.

Awkward.

The next morning, The Hound wakes to see Arya is gone and he’s panicked. He finds her doing what can only be described as a “sword routine” on the shore, and they bickering about the usefulness of what she’s been taught. The Hound tells Arya to take her best shot, and she does, “Needle” getting stopped by his armour and Arya gets backhanded for her attempt.

The Hound proceeds to drop some more real world knowledge on the spirited, but not-so-street-smart young Stark, telling her that her super-awesome sword teacher was killed by a lesser man because that guy “had armour and a really big sword.”

Our Second Favourite Odd Couple

Pod and Brienne continue on their journey towards The Wall, where we see that Pod isn’t very good at being a squire beyond the walls of King’s Landing—he can’t ride a horse very well and he doesn’t know how to clean and cook rabbits either.

But just when Brienne is thinking he’s completely useless, Pod tells her about killing a member of the King’s Guard, and she lets him help her take off her armour.

Early guess: these two are absolutely going to hook up. Remember, the ladies at the brothel were quite fond of ol’ Podrick and he seemed very excited about escorting Brienne.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof and Everything Else at Crastor’s is on Fire

We get the showdown at Crastor’s Keep that has been building for a couple episodes now, but first we see that Locke — Roose Bolton’s man who has infiltrated the Knight’s Watch — has ulterior motives. He spies Bran and the brood tied up, but tells Jon and the boys to steer clear of where they are.

Jojen gives Bran a speech about fulfilling his destiny and following through with his mission no matter what, and stares at his hand that is engulfed in flames. Not sure if everyone else saw his hand on fire or if it was a Jojen only thing though.

Creepy Karl comes in so that he and two of the mutineers can have their way with Meera, and Jojen explains he can see the future. Karl asks if he’s seen what they’re going to do to his sister, and Jojen says, “Nope — but I’ve seen you die tonight and the snow cover your bones.”

And that’s when the battle jumps off.

While Jon and the boys are out front killing mutineers, Locke sneaks into the outlying building and kidnaps Bran, but Bran wargs out, taking over Hodor’s body. He breaks free of the shackles that bind him to the wall, chases them down, and breaks Locke’s neck.

After freeing the others members of the travelling troop, Jojen tells Bran that identifying themselves to Jon will only result in Jon trying to stop them from going on. Bran agrees and instructs Hodor to release Jon’s direwolf before they leave.

Jon and Karl have their final showdown inside the Keep, and just as Karl is ready to deliver a finishing blow to a fallen Jon, one of the daughter/wives they’ve been abusing stabs him in the shoulder. As he walks her down, preparing to end her life, Jon drives his sword through his mouth.

Not going to lie: this was one of the coolest, most gruesome visuals ever. It was epic.

While the lads round up the dead bodies and take count of the corpses, Jon’s direwolf finishes the last remaining mutineer out in the woods, and then reconnects with his owner. Jon then tells the women of the Keep that they should go back to Castle Black with them, but they decline.

When he asks if they want to stay in the Keep, the oldest one of the group tells him to “burn it to the ground with the bodies inside” and that’s just what they do.

My Thoughts

This was a great episode where we learned a lot and tons of stuff happened. Not only did the stories from this season take steps forward, but we got a bunch of important information and progress in the overall story as a whole.

The Lannisters are in hock and aligning themselves with everyone they can in order to keep power, however that feels like it’s going to come back and bite them in the ass pretty hard sometime soon. There were some discussions about Tyrion’s forthcoming trial in the episode (but no actual Tyrion), and you get the feeling that his court date will be a major turning point for the First Family of King’s Landing.

With five episodes in the bag, we’re at the halfway point of the season. It’s been pretty solid, but business should pick up over the second half, and I can’t wait.

Until next week…

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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