Compared to the rest of the season, “Game of Thrones” reached its first slow episode with “First of His Name.” But the fifth episode of Season 4 actually was fairly action packed, featuring some of the most graphic violence of the entire season.
There was a Stark reunion (though not the one many people wanted), Daenerys made a decision about Slaver’s Bay and Sansa realized that she is surrounded by dangerous people at the Eyrie. Here’s what happened in “Game of Thrones” Season 4, episode 5:
In King’s Landing
Much like the episode title foretold, Tommen is named king. Cersei notes that he might just be the first good king to sit on the Iron Throne in 50 years, so here’s hoping that his reign actually is long.
But with a new king comes new layers of scheming. Joffrey’s death seems to have given Cersei a bit more focus as she tries to put her two remaining children in the safest situations they can be in. For Tommen, that means orchestrating a marriage between him and Margaery. For Myrcella, that means asking Oberyn to bring her a birthday gift — a ship! — and send her love.
Cersei’s protection of her children doesn’t make her any less politically minded, though. She has one of the most level-headed conversations Tywin has had with his children, and during that conversation acknowledges why her marriage to Loras is for the good of the family. She also learns just how broke the Lannisters are, as Tywin reveals the mines at Casterly Rock stopped providing gold.
Cue talk of the Iron Bank, and the fact that the only way to deal with them is to pay them back. It’s a good thing Tywin actually hasn’t been ignoring the debt to the Iron Bank, since the promo for next week’s episode shows Stannis arguing his cause to Mark Gatiss‘ Tycho Nestoris, an employee of the Bank. Is an enemy of an enemy an ally in Westeros?
Across the Narrow Sea
Bad news for Daenerys Targaryen: Her conquered cities are all falling into chaos. Though she now has freed Meereen, Astapor and Yunkai and Daario got her the ships needed to sail to Westeros, it turns out that the Masters retook Yunkai and that Cleon the Butcher King took over Astapor. Dany makes the decision to stay in Meereen and “do what queens do: Rule.” Now’s the time to see what type of queen she will be.
At the Eyrie
Crazy Aunt Lysa is back! Sansa finally gets to meet the weird side of her family, and quickly realizes that family doesn’t equal friend in Westeros. Lysa’s possessive love of Littlefinger makes her even crazier than she was back in Season 1, though one major reveal in this episode showed how evil she was all along.
Remember how there was the mystery of who killed Jon Arryn back in Season 1? It turns out it wasn’t the Lannisters after all, but Littlefinger convincing Lysa to poison her own husband. That means it’s technically Petyr Baelish who is responsible for everything that’s happened in “Game of Thrones,” as Ned never would have left Winterfell if Jon Arryn was still alive, and Catelyn never would have done any of the foolish things she did back in Season 1 if Lysa hadn’t said the Lannisters killed Jon.
But what’s done is done, and Sansa finds herself in another dangerous place. Her happiness quickly diminishes when she realizes Lysa is convinced Sansa — aka “Alayne,” her new not-Sansa identity as Petyr’s neice — slept with Littlefinger. Lysa also is still crazy jealous of Catelyn because Petyr was in love with her. This can’t end well.
On the Kingsroad
Though Arya and the Hound might be one of the best buddy pairings on “Game of Thrones,” they are not friends. Arya nailed that point home when she recited her prayer in front of Sandor Clegane, and said his name at the end of it. Now he knows that he’s on her to-kill list as well. And he mocked Syrio Forel in this episode as well. Two knocks against him.
While those two grew farther apart, Brienne starts warming up to Pod. She still isn’t happy about having a puppyish squire following her, but his tale of Blackwater makes her respect him more than she did initially. He really is a pretty bad squire when it comes to actually squiring, though.
At Craster’s Keep
Of course Bran and Jon weren’t going to reunite in this episode. That would be too good, and as Jojen so appropriately notes, Jon wouldn’t let Bran continue north of the Wall if he found him. But seeing them come so close and then not acknowledge one another was pretty hard to watch.
Bran takes a dark turn in “First of His Name” when he wargs into Hodor and kills Locke. For a man who just has to say the same name over and over, Kristian Nairn has had some great opportunities to show off his acting chops this season. Watching him be tortured in “Oathkeeper” was brutal, and the look on his face when Hodor regained consciousness and saw what he did to Locke was heartbreaking.
Now Bran, Hodor, Jojen and Meera can continue to the three-eyed raven, which Jojen reminds Bran is the most important thing for them to do. Jojen has an awesome vision in this episode, but he really is not looking too hot. There aren’t many doctors north of the Wall, so if he doesn’t snap out of this illness soon, he might be in some dire straights.
As for Jon’s storyline, he successfully kills the mutineers — including Karl in the most epic sword fight of the season — and saves Craster’s wives. He also reunites with Ghost, which sort of not really makes up for him not seeing Bran. Time to head back to the Wall and face the Wildlings.
– This is the first episode where Oberyn’s daughters are referenced. Expect to hear a lot more about the Sand Snakes soon.
– Arya brought up Ser Ilyn Payne as one of the men she wants to kill, which is a perfect excuse to again share the news that the actor who plays him, Wilko Johnson, just had a successful surgery to remove a tumor that was thought to be fatal. Send good thoughts his way.
Cersei Lannister to Margaery Tyrell about Joffrey: “He would have been your nightmare.”
Tywin Lannister to Cersei: “I didn’t like your husband. Used to pat me on the back a lot. I didn’t trust him.”
Arya Stark: “No one’s gonna kill me.”
Jojen Reed to Karl: “I saw you die tonight. I saw your body burn.”
Jon Snow to Ghost: “I missed you, boy.”