Monday, May 5, 2014

'Game of Thrones' Recap: 'First of His Name'

Courtesy HBO

A new king, a murder is solved, Arya tries out for "Dancing with the Westerosi Stars" and Hodor well...Hodors. This episode of "Game of Thrones" seemed to be a set up for much bigger things so lets penetrate those gates and cheer on Tommy Boy.

Sad Cersei
The people of King's Landing actually look happy during Tommen's crowning ceremony, don't they? It's nice to see cheering and relief that this non-psychopath may actually show them the path through the dark places. Will he reign long? At least no one died during the reception that followed but since more weddings are in the future, we'll just have to wait.

As Tommen sits on his new throne and ogles his potential bride, Margaery, with a "How you doin'?" look, Cersei pulls a Ser Pounce and blocks the moment. She looks tired and sad during this joyous occasion. Despite Joffrey's awfulness, which she surprisingly admits to, she is still mourning her first born. She tells Margaery, "He would have been your nightmare. You knew exactly what he was. The things he did shocked me." This says a lot for a woman who admits to not being shocked easily.

Sadly, Tommen, who is a decent boy, achieved the crown thanks to horrors. Cersei asks Margaery if she's interested in being queen and she lies through her dimples with the whole BS story of saying "no" and having to ask daddy about the prospect. Then Margaery is faced with what she will call Cersei...mother or sister. Cersei seemed very calm since the last time this dilemma arose when she threatened to murder Margaery if this topic came up again. It's like Margaery was taunting the weakened Queen Regent.

Cersei goes to daddy Tywin and they discuss the fact that the Tyrells are their main rivals. Cersei is set to marry Loras right after Margaery and Tommen wed. Classic "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" scenario. They are also in debt to this Iron Bank of Bravos and perhaps uniting with the wealthy Tyrells will help alleviate this burden to the bank? If Cersei and Tywin only knew that Lady Olenna played a role in killing Joffrey, I wonder how they would feel? I'm guessing Tywin is aware of this though. He clearly found Joffrey to be a little monster and wouldn't mind.

Cersei is still fixated on avenging Joffrey's death. She tries to sway her dad to convince him but as a judge, he won't listen to her. Cersei then goes to judge number two, Prince Oberyn the Sexy. He is writing a poem to not his lover but one of his eight daughters who happens to be named after his murdered sister. Cersei reminds him that his power could not help him save his sister...just like hers could not save Joffrey's life. We could only avenge their deaths, she reminds him. Cersei also learns that her daughter is at least safe in Dorne. Did Cersei's scheme to sway Oberyn work?

Meeting in Meereen
A meeting of the minds in Meereen yields much information. First, we learn that Daario merely picked up 93 ships for his lady because she heard she likes ships. Sweet move, bro! This will accommodate about 9,300 men so that could help in her fight for the throne, right? Jorah wonders if it will be enough and then reveals to Dany that the masters in Yunkai and Astapor have gone back to their evil ways and are doing that whole "enslaving" thing again. What did they expect? This little blonde women walks in, makes a mess of their city and they're going to maintain her wishes when she leaves?

This revelation makes Dany wake up and realize that if she can't command Slaver's Bay, how can she rule the Seven Kingdoms? She needs to be more than the Mother of Dragons and she will not allow the free to be enslaved. "I will do what queens do. I will rule." She seems like she's thinking this through and not just attacking. Kudos on that, Dany. Um, but how about those three big dragons you have? Where they at? Have we forgotten about them? I bet they could do some damage.

An Eyrie Scream
This scene was huge. We learn so much and realize that even back in those times, visiting family can be super unpleasant. Petyr Baelish and Sansa arrive in the Eyrie and make it past that huge and difficult to penetrate gate. Lysa is sitting with that wacky boy of hers, Robin, and I'm happy to report that he's been weaned from her bosom. He's a bit "off" and despite being thrilled that his Uncle Petyr brought him the gift of a pretty glass bird, he makes it "fly" out the dreaded Moon Door. Happy greetings abound but they must hide the fact that they are related to Sansa. When Sansa and Robin flit away, Lysa and Petyr kiss passionately and the decision to marry that evening, is made. Girlfriend needs to get laid!

Courtesy imgur
During this decision, we learn that Petyr is the one who orchestrated the poisoning of Lysa's husband, John Arryn. He was King Robert's Hand and the deed was blamed on the Lannisters. This is what pretty much started the war. Petyr really is "the most dangerous man in Westeros!" So, John Arryn is murdered and Robert needs a new Hand of the King. He goes to Winterfell and brings back Ned Stark and the daughters, perhaps at Petyr's urging? He's like the Wizard of Oz but in a bad way. He's been behind the curtain orchestrating everything and setting things up in his favor. He created the chaos and if you'll recall, chaos is a ladder. Oh and he can really make a woman scream in bed and poor Sansa has to listen to the ungodly howls.

During a most unpleasant suppertime chat, Lysa plays on Sansa's sweet tooth and reveals that her mom, Catelyn also had a sweet tooth that made her get fat. So here are some more lemon cakes that Petyr brought you from King's Landing, eat up! And by the way, why is my husband so nice to you?! Lysa turns "Fatal Attraction" crazy for a bit here and accuses Sansa of not only being Petry's lover but also pregnant with his child. Sansa promises that she is still a virgin who now has incredibly sore hands thanks to her insane auntie. Sansa also learns that when her troll husband is murdered, she gets to marry her nutty little cousin, Robin. I swear, Sansa has the worst luck with men.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...
Arya's death list seems to be getting bigger and she can't fall asleep until she recites the names. The Hound wants her to shut her trap and get to sleep. She mentions his brother, The Mountain, and he's cool with that so he lets her finish. She has one more name to say..."The Hound." Well now!

When he wakes the next morning, she is missing but he finds her doing some sweet swordy dance moves by a waterfall. That's no way to fight! He makes fun of her and says that she's "nancing around" and maybe she should put on a dress. Shocking that The Hound is a male chauvinist! She reminds him of the Braavosi swordsman who trained her but was killed because he could only defend himself with a stick. A little fight ensues and I find it interesting that for a man that's on her death list, he wants her to man up and learn to fight better. I think it's because...gasp...he genuinely cares about this girl. But we know that already.

Pod the Inept Squire
Brienne and her new squire are traveling and it's clear that Pod should just stick to pleasing the ladies. He can barely ride a horse and Brienne wants to get rid of his sorry ass. He even burns a rabbit but then reveals to her that he mostly poured wine for Tyrion. Brienne grows aggravated and asks if he has combat experience. He then tells her how he killed the King's Guard who was about to kill Tyrion during the Battle of Blackwater. She seems impressed and now needs help getting out of her armor. It's like the equivalent of a woman asking, "Can you unzip me?"

Burnin' Down the Keep
Craster's Keep is not a pleasant place and the Brothers have arrived to take it over. Locke spies the lay of the land and upon doing so, sees Karl's hostages; Bran, Meera, Hodor and sickly Jojen Reed. Jojen urges Bran to not let anything stop him from making his journey and the scene changes and reveals a Weirwood tree glowing. Jojen vows to guide Bran on his journey and when asked how they'll now they made it to the end, Jojen (with his hand on fire?) cryptically proclaims, "You'll know." So anyway...

Locke reports back to Jon Snow that there are only eleven men and some dogs and they can handle the attack. Meanwhile, Karl the Terrible grabs Meera and hooks her up and we're expecting terrible things to be done to her. Jojen begs Karl to stop and tells him that he can be a help to him because he has "the sight." Karl says that's a fine thing but doesn't care.  He then tells Jojen that he better keep his eyes open to watch his sister be defiled but then Jojen says that he sees Karl's body burn. The Night's Watch attack and Meera is spared.

During the fighting, in comes Locke to rescue Bran and the gang. Or does he? He slices Bran's leg and Hodor gets all Hodor-y. Locke takes Bran but Bran gets wargy and goes into Hodor which makes him turn into the Incredible Hulk. He breaks free and attacks and kills Locke. Bran is freed and crawls towards the fighting and spies Jon Snow. Another Stark "so close yet so far away" moment. Jojen urges Bran to keep on keepin' on and that Jon would never let him continue on his journey northward.

Jon Snow and Karl then have a classic knife/sword fight and of course, Karl is just an awful human. Alas, we'll miss him for he is taken down by one of Craster's daughters and Jon runs a sword through his skull. A fitting death. The Brother's then wonder what to do with these remaining daughters. They offer to take them back to Castle Black but...thanks but no thanks. They've pretty much had it with men and will "find our own way." They then burn down the Keep so there's no memory of the atrocities that occurred there. I really wanted to see them give the burning Keep the double middle finger salute, but... oh well.

We'd love to know your thoughts on this episode. It didn't dazzle me but it certainly revealed some interesting plot points. This seemed to be a necessary episode for setting up future huge scenes but we'll have to keep watching to see what's in store since there have been some book deviations.

Next Sunday, check out "The Laws of Gods and Men" at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. We promise, Tyrion will be in this one! Here's a peek...