The latest episode of “Game of Thrones” was mercifully free of overtly controversial moments and shocking twists that went past the continuity of the books. In fact the most surprising bits were that we’re still not done with events from the very first season.
Here’s everything you missed on “First of His Name:”
All Hail The King, Again
With Joffrey now safely in the opposite of Heaven, Tommen is crowned king of Westeros. The event is mercifully free of any incest jokes oh wait, we’re totally kidding. A seemingly defeated Cersei talks to Margaery about how she knew Joffrey was cruel, and goes as far as to suggest that perhaps Margaery should marry Tommen.
It’ll become clear what Cersei is doing in a moment, but for Margaery, her, “gosh, I never thought of that idea,” act takes on a little bit of a disingenuous bent when she jokingly tells Cersei, “I won’t even know what to call you. Sister, or mother?”
All Hail The Queen, Additionally
Meanwhile, on Tatooine, Dany is grappling with finding out that boy-king Tommen is ruling King’s Landing, while she’s at the height of her powers and in possession of a fleet of ships. Jorah, for the first time in several seasons, gives solid advice: she can conquer King’s Landing, but she won’t take Westeros. And not only that, the Slavers she’s previously beaten are fighting back against her otherwise excellent Abraham Lincoln impersonation.
Because of this, Daenerys decides to stay in Meereen and, “do what Queens do. I will rule.” And book readers are excited, because they know this leads to thousands of pages of the most boring Daenerys storyline in the entire series. No, we’re not joking. Sigh.
Flowers In The Eyrie
Last episode Littlefinger was revealed as the mastermind behind the murder of Joffrey. This episode, he brings Sansa to the Eyrie to meet her Aunt Lysa. Lysa is creepy as ever, doing far too much deep snuggling with her son, Robyn. But for a brief moment, Sansa gets a hug from her Aunt and feels safe.
Lysa then reveals to the audience/Littlefinger that she drafted a fake note to Catelyn blaming the Lannisters for killing John Arryn back in season one. That would be the letter that caused Ned to go to King’s Landing, which caused literally every bad thing that’s happened in the series up to this point.
Just to make it utterly clear: Littlefinger has been behind every major event since season one; to what end game is not yet clear. That cray, though.
Also cray, Lysa turns out to be hideously jealous of Sansa, squeezing her hands angrily and accusing her of sleeping with Littlefinger. Sansa hasn’t, and she admits all Littlefinger does is call he a stupid girl… Which pretty clearly is Sansa realizing this is another fine mess she’s gotten herself into.
Don’t worry, though: Lysa is going to marry Sansa to her anemic, insane cousin Robyn, so things are looking up!
A Lannister Would Gladly Pay You Tuesday, For A Hamburger Today
Lannisters: broke ass honkies. The ruling family has found that running seven kingdoms costs a lot of money, and Tywin reveals to Cersei that they ran out about three years ago. Instead they’ve been borrowing from the Iron Bank of Braavos, and are depending on money from the still rich Tyrells.
While there, Cersei continues to seem mopey and sad, agreeing to marry Loras without a problem, asking her father about money, reminding him of family obligations and idly mentioning Tyrion’s upcoming trial for the murder of Joffrey. Again, it really doesn’t seem like she’s pushing an angle, right? Right?
Arya and The Hound end up being another unlikely couple, even if Arya straight up tells the scarred fighter he’s just one name on her kill list. Given a chance to kill her himself, The Hound uses his brand of tough love to make fun of Arya’s Braavosi water-fighting (another season one callback!), and explain what she really needs is armor and a bigger sword. Arya’s slow march to total badass fighter continues apace, with The Hound as an able trainer.
An Armored Heart
That’s what we’re calling the romantic comedy playing out between the world’s greatest lover, Podrick Payne, and Brienne. She may be the best at her job, but it looks like this completely under-qualified squire is about to teach her a few things about love.
Or at the very least, watching Pod try to ride a horse or cook a rabbit is good for some hilarity in an otherwise very dark episode.
Marcella Is On A Boat, And…
Cersei’s third stop on her “I’m sad” tour is Oberyn Martell, who she reminds is holding her daughter semi-hostage, and then asks him to give Marcella a boat. And that’s when it became clear: Cersei isn’t actually sad, she’s approached all three judges in Tyrion’s case (or in the case of Mace Tyrell, his daughter Margaery), and given them what they want.
Mace gets his daughter on the throne again, and is reminded how she got there when Tyron “killed” the previous king. Tywin gets his daughter married, and reminded how Tyrion has betrayed his family’s name. And Oberyn is given an emotional connection to Cersei, and reminded how no-one’s children are safe with Tyrion around.
Pretty brilliant, all told. As a bonus, Marcella gets a sweet boat.
The Incident At Craster’s
The last chunk of the episode takes place at Craster’s, with a ton of big events happening. The Night’s Watch closes in on the errant mutineers, eventually fighting and taking them all down.
But first, Bran and company have been captured, and Meera threatened with rape. Because there hasn’t been enough of that the past couple of episodes. That aside, Jojen reveals that Bran needs to get to a beautiful looking weirwood tree, and that he (Jojen) will probably get burned to death, which really cheers everyone up a whole lot.
While the fighting is going on, Locke, who seemed to turn over a new leaf after chopping off Jaime’s hand and nearly killing Brienne with a grizzly bear, kidnaps Bran, only to be killed by a possessed Hodor.
Side-note: the first scene in this week’s “previously on” was just Hodor saying, “Hodor.” How great would it be if that was the entire recap one episode? Pretty hodor, if you ask us.
Back to the attack, Locke gets his head nearly ripped off, and then Bran crawls towards Jon Snow… But is stopped by Jojen, who explains that if Jon sees Bran, he’ll take him back to Castle Black and we’ll never get to meet the three-eyed crow, or get to that pretty tree. So Bran makes the dramatically sound decision to not follow logic and say hi to his brother, meaning why were they even there these past two episodes? Why???
Complaints aside, Jon takes on Karl inside Craster’s, with one of the dead former home-owner’s daughter/wives stabbing Karl, and then Jon shoving his sword through Karl’s mouth. Like, through the back of his head, and out his mouth. Gross.
Jon then offers the rest of the daughter/wives the chance to go back to Castle Black, with them saying, “Yeah, no thanks, we’d rather not get beaten up and sexually attacked by a third group of dudes.” Instead, they decide to burn Craster’s home to the ground, a symbolic moment that really says goodbye to a set they’ve used a lot, and definitely had emotional resonance or something.
Also, Ghost comes back to Jon, who shows more emotion towards a CGI dog than any human being in the past four seasons.
What did you think of “First of His Name?” Let us know in the comments below.