GAME OF THRONES: S4E5 Review – “First Of His Name”
The new King is crowned in this Season 4 Of Game Of Thrones. Tommen, Joffrey’s younger brother, a boy by all accounts is crowned King and the political schemes and plotting begin. Margaery has already dug her claws into him, and even makes official her plans in a surprising conversation with Cersei, where she basically gives them her blessing. It’s weird, but Cersei shows a much softer side to herself in this episode. She confesses how shocked she was about the things Joffrey did, reminisces about the daughter that she sent to Dorne, and even exhumes fragility when asking her father to throw the book at Tyrion for killing her son. It’s a… startling change in her character from the cruel and heartless woman that she’s always depicted as.
Tyrion is completely absent from this episode, and we only hear of him through references that Brienn and his former squire make while on their mission to find Sansa. This dynamic between the two provide the comic relief this episode. Most of this episode gives us a look into the other more neglected characters, like Arya. A character defining moment between the youngest Stark & her unlikely ally in The Hound, showcase how immature and lacking in thought her plan for vengeance truly is. Whilst practicing with her sword, one swipe of The Hound’s large arm across her face brings her down to reality of how a tiny girl like her will be able to kill the Lannisters, and everyone else on her ‘list’. It’s a very important scene, and one I hope that Arya walks away from with some sense of practicality. As badass as her transformation from cute outspoken girl to dark killer is, it’s still quite impulsive and will end up with her getting brutally murdered if she ever actually tries to carry out her plan.
The chunk of this episode is about Bran. We’re still not fully caught up with his importance in this show, besides vague and cryptic references to his importance and his journey. Being caught by the rogue brothers of The Black, Bran and his friends lay captured while Jon Snow and other official members of The Black raid the compound to kill them all. Locke, one of the new recruits at The Wall, has other motives as he tries to kidnap Bran from the compound. After killing him, Bran tries to reunite with his brother Jon, only to be reminded that his mission is more important and Jon will only get in his way. So Bran walks away even though he was within earshot of his brother. These Starks will never be reunited with one another. It’s become a harsh reality of this show, and one that I have to regretfully accept. It’s such a tense moment where a pair of the original Stark brothers are inches away from reunion, only to part again in a disappointingly crushing decision by Bran.
Speaking of Starks, this episode of Game Of Thrones sees Sansa safe and sound to the Eyrie, her Aunt’s place. The psychotic and bi-polar Aunt, who is now marrying Baelish, at one point accompanies her hospitality by accusing Sansa of screwing around with Baelish. Only to later calm down and reveal her intentions to marry off Sansa to her son, Sansa’s own cousin. Talk about ‘ew’. It’s just as uncomfortable a scene to watch as it was back when Catlyn visited her earlier on in the Series, when we saw her breast feeding her then 8-10 year old son. Lysa excels in replicating that moment and making things even creepier with her impromptu marriage to Baelish. Only thing of significance here if the revelation that Baelish was behind a lot more than we had initially suspected. Being the one responsible for killing the 1st Hand of The King, causing him to be replaced by Ned Stark in Season 1. Then also being responsible for accusing the Lannisters of the deed, and tipping off Catlyn Stark, causing her to go off gallivanting to King’s Landing, kicking into motion the chain of events that caused the war and the death of so many Starks… Baelish was responsible for it ALL!!
Season 4 has been uncharacteristically slow thus far. I feel like the show has become burdened with its hoards of sub plots, characters and all these many angles and nuances that is so very difficult to keep track of given the fact that they all go missing for episodes at a time to make room for the more significant story lines. I barely remembered that happened to Rickon last season, given that we’re halfway into Season 4 and we’ve heard nothing about his character’s fate. Danaerys, the supposed wild card and parallel lead of the story gets less and less screen time each episode, despite the fact that her storyline can be most adequately described as the underdog story arc. It’s understandably difficult to juggle so many different plot lines, however, when dramatic impact of the story is prey to the quantity of story lines all running concurrently, the over all Series will suffer in the long run.