Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 5: First of His Name

*Spoiler Alert*

I don’t know why but every episode that is spitted out of the HBO Game of Thrones factory is a marvel in itself, including the slower ones. Like every week, after you’re done humming along with the opening credits (parum-parararum-pararumrum) and rubbing your hands together with glee, you get to watch a bevy of characters plot and twist across the Westeros landscape for control over this malevolent fantasy-land. This week- the midway mark- was no exception.

‘He could be the first man who sits on that throne in fifty years who actually deserves it’

At King’s Landing, Tommen is crowned the First of His Name while Margaery continues to smile at him from afar, an act he returns with a lighting up of his cherubic face. This exchange is certainly not missed by Cersie who makes it her business to formally extend a request for marriage between her second born son and the mourning wife of her first-born. Cersie is clever in knowning what is good for the kingdom and acts accordingly. Whatever the inner mechanization of her mind might be, at this point she is cordial to Margaery and very frank in revealing what she thought of the shocking acts of her older son and how she fears for the good innocent soul of her second. Margaery, in turn, puts on an appropriate act of being mildly surprised by the offer but graciously accepts it in the same breath. A very fine line to walk on indeed.

‘If I can’t control Slaver’s Bay, why should anyone trust me? Why should anyone follow me? I will not let those I have freed slide back into chains. I will do what Queens do. I will rule.’

Dressed in a stunning white bodice clasped with a necklace around her waist, her braided silver hair completing the attire, Daenerys has decided to stay put at Meeren. Even as Astapor and Yunk’ai suffer uprisings against her, she is unwilling to give up the slaves she freed and sail for Westeros. Although Sir Jorah is quite right in pointing out that Dany needs to be the ruler of Westeros and not of King’s Landing. Sailing forth with her unsullied and freed slaves at this point can get her the iron throne but not the lands the throne is supposed to control. And her dragons are small right now but getting unruly. So staying seems to be the only option for Daenarys until she comes up with a better strategy.

“What kind of stories do poor men enjoy the most? Ones about rich girls they’ll never meet”

Petyr Baelish in the meantime, brings Sansa to the Eeryie (which is supposed to be so much more intimidating and higher than they’ve managed on the show) where her aunt and sickly cousin are in on the secret of her identity. Aunt Lysa is very sweet to Sansa when Littlefinger is around but the moment Sansa is out the door, she reveals a Septon in-waiting who marries the two of them off. At the same time, Petyr’s scheming is revealed a little more in detail through his long seduction and subsequent betrothal to Lysa. Lysa however is not quite as blind as she is insane for she later confronts Sansa and demands to know whether Littlefinger ever did anything to her. Sansa also finds out that they plan for her to be married to Robyn, her cousin. Sansa is like a thistle blowing in the wind with no roots to hold on to but for now, she is safely out of harm’s way, in the physical sense at least .

“No jugglers, no jousting dwarves, no seventy-seven course meals”

Cersie talks to her father about the coming marriages between Margaery and Tommen as well as her own with Sir Lorenz. Cersie impresses upon Tywin the fact that she understands the sacrifices that must be made for the family, considering the large sums of money owed by them to the Iron Bank but the score with Tyrion must be settled, for she is convinced beyond any doubt that he is responsible for the king’s murder.

“Joffrey. Cersie. Walder Frey. Meryn Trant. Tywin Lannister. The Red Woman. Beric Dondarrion. Thoros of Myre. Ilyn Payne. The Mountain. The Hound.”

Arya continues to chant her list of names and practices a little with the retrieved Needle but for a while now the Arya part of the plot hasn’t seen any changes. It’s true that some major overhaul will be needed to the Arya plot before it can diverge down new roads but it’s about time Arya and the Hound stop travelling around in this purposeless manner.

‘Gods love their stupid jokes, don’t they? What good is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?’

Cersie seeks the Prince of Oberyn. Whether the purpose is to set him emotionally against Tryion (since he is to be one of the judges at the trial) or to enquire about her daughter’s welfare and send a message or both, Cersie does a good job. I enjoyed this scene because it was one of those times where Cersie’s innate motherliness was brought to the forefront. Of course this woman loves her children and will go to the lengths of murder, treachery, butchery and scheming to protect them.

“Meera and I, even Hodor. We’re here to guide you. It’s waiting for you. You have to find it. You have to make it. This isn’t the end. Not for you. Not yet.”

The most action in this episode was seen beyond the Wall. Like I predicted last week, the Brandon Stark storyline took only a slight diversion just to add unnecessary action. Craster’s Keep burnt however and Jon Snow continued to be an efficient Night Watch reformist but once again Bran and Snow passed inches against one another without meeting. Ghost was reunited with Jon Snow so at least someone got back together.

A little disappointing on the action front, this episode did manage to drop a few hints here and there. Until next time. 🙂 The next episode looks interesting. Tyrion’s trial is on the cards.

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