Game of Thrones 4×05 – First Of His Name Review

Today’s lesson (adult) kids, is plan ahead. Game of Thrones has always delighted in seeing the best laid plans of Kings and men go awry. However sometimes, with enough know-how can-do cunning, your schemes will fall into place because you planted the seeds early and are a conniving son of a gun. The biggest reveal of “First of His Name” centered around one Littlefinger in a number of different pies from the get go- but where’s the kickback and when does the scheming end? Evidently it’s an ongoing endeavor. Something to keep one going.

But is scheming a better motivator than hate or vengeance? Motives, everyone has them. We’ve talked about how one’s motives can make or break a character, especially in a world where honourable intentions more often than not lead to your death. Just ask Ned Stark…or Robb. Oh wait.

Hate and a keen sense of justice/revenge fuels Arya, and this week in ‘The Hound Knows Best’ he clouts Arya over the head when she tries to stick him with the pointy end (Needle) and proceeds to tell her that her fancy footwork would be worth naught if confronted by someone whose will to win is stronger. The show pushes that idea at us like a street-corner drug dealer, the will to do anything is important and just having it is a damn gift. But what happens when others oppose it? What happens when your will comes up against anothers’? War, my dear. Conflict…everything that makes Game of Thrones such a cutt-throat environment. But what are the limits? Oberyn tells Cersei that they do not hurt little girls in Dorne, another dig at the fact that the Lannisters were involved in the murder of his sister and her children, and Cersei responds that little girls are hurt everywhere in the world.

Brienne seems to be suffering from an internal struggle, a little to do with ‘What To Do With My Unwanted Squire’ and a lot to do with ‘How The Bloody Hell Do I Find Sansa Stark?’. While Brienne and Pod’s scenes this episode were welcome, I didn’t particularly find them necessary beyond offering some comedic relief. Not that an episode with ample Hound and Arya time lack any comedic relief. Sure it’s undercut with moments of stoniness (when Arya says the last name on her list) but all in all the Hound and Arya’s segments never fail to give me a laugh or two.

Brann warging into Hodor (again) was awesome, except for the fact that Bran made Hodor kill a guy- sure Lock was ready to kill Bran but Hodor’s expression upon seeing the blood on his hands that fleeting impression of anguish- the confusion giving way to a the horror of realisation. Kristian Nairn does an impeccable job portraying our favourite gentle giant’s reaction and subsequent ‘compartmentalization’ as he hurries to cut Bran free at Bran’s orders. I like that this turn takes us closer to that moment where Bran and Jon’s paths almost cross but do not, it’s an interesting divergence from the book that Bran here is given the choice between reuniting with his brother and continuing on with the Reeds to his ‘destiny’. To find the three-eyed crow and that Weirwood tree, yes?

Favourite moment of the episode? Jon reunites with Ghost. After, you know, they kill all the mutineers.  

This show is equal parts visually stunning and jarring, so many beautiful shots dispersed amongst harsh scenes of brutality.

 

The trailer sure did get me, I know Dany isn’t coming to King’s Landing any time soon but her putting the question forward about the possibility of taking it got me excited. And with the show, you never know. They’ve already, possibly, spoiled the bookreaders last week by introducing a character we only know in ‘myths and legends’. And throwing us some completely new-to-readers sequences and story-arcs so it wouldn’t surprise me too much if they change up Dany’s story even more than they already have. However Dany finally decides to do the responsible thing and ‘Do what Queens Do’ and rule. While Ser Jorah wonders how long before Daario gets his ins as he watches from the sidelines.

Until next week when we get to see Tyrion’s trial begin and YAAAAASSS YARA (Asha in the books) GREYJOY IS BACK TO BE A BADASSSSSS. KINGSMOOT KINGSMOOT KINGSMOOT. (We probably won’t get a Kingsmoot this early but at least she’s going to try to rescue her bro.)

Honourable Mentions:

– That scene where Lysa latches her face to Littlefinger practically screamed ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’.

– We’ve always known Lysa was crazy-cakes but wow. Interesting that they should have her reveal Littlefinger’s plot from the get go, but it gives us room for other dynamics I suppose.

– Poor Sansa, out of the pot and into the fire. So when does she find out that the person who’s just saved her, is likely to be the reason the majority of her family are dead?

– “Sister? Or Mother?” Margaery you are class, Cersei’s face though.

– The Reeds, putting it all on the line.

– Ramsay Snow you are a headcase but damn, looking forward to seeing more of you.

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