Monday, May 5, 2014

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

UPDATE: Recap is finished!  Click "continue/read more" to check it out.

Greetings Westerosians and welcome back to Game of Thrones!  Since our last discussion, there has been some changes in my personal life that are already taking their tolls (rightfully so!) on my blogging hobby.  It originally delayed my recap of the episode, but it is there now! 

Same note on Book Spoilers.  I will compare to the books when something has happened but will note spoilers in the recap or comments when I feel it is something that should remain unread by TV Only audiences!

Here we go.

EW Articles:

Discussion Points (I'll fill this in at some point later):
  • King's Landing - Coronation, Wedding Talk, Iron Bank Stuff, Myrcella
    • All hail King Tommen, the "FIRST OF HIS NAME"!  Tommen is king, Margaery is still plotting her marriage to another Lannister bastard and Cersei sure was being strange this episode.  And by strange I mean nice.  Sure, she did appeal to 2 of the judges in Tyrion's trial, trying to sway their opinion.  And actually, she was working the 3rd judge through Margaery possibly.  Margaery said she'd have to talk to her bumbling father Mace Tyrell to see if she'd be able to marry Tommen.  Of course, we already know it was in her and her grandmother's plans already.  It was strange to see Cersei act nice towards Margaery.  Maybe she truly is grieving her son, but I feel like something else is up.
    • Her talk with Tywin was interesting also.  He was freely telling her information on the crown's debt and even the fact that Lannisport has run dry on gold. (I actually don't remember this from the books)  So, their merger with the Tyrell's is all the more important and part of Tywin's plan to reconcile with the Iron Bank.  So, Cersei's marriage to Loras is still on schedule as well.
    • Cersei also had a discussion with Oberyn Martell about Myrcella, Tyrion, poetry and little girls in general.  He promised her that Myrcella is fine but he further made his point that he holds a grudge with the Lannisters and The Mountain.
  • The Vale - Crazy Lysa, More weddings, and ANSWERS!!
    • All of this stuff was straight out of the book with Littlefinger and Sansa and crazy Lysa and her son Robin even down to the detail of calling Sansa, Alayne.  Each chapter in the books are titled by the Character whose Point of View you are following.  So, at this point, Sansa's chapter titles actually changed to Alayne.  In the books she is Alayne Stone, Littlefinger's bastard daughter.  I think he referred to her as his niece here. 
    • So, we get another shot of something going out the moon door.  Make all your Checkov's Gun theories here if you wish!  We see Robin is still obsessed with making people fly and his mom's boob.   
    • We get a very quick marriage of Littlefinger and Lysa which was "made official" loudly that night (also in the book).  She talks to how they already had some "interactions" in the past.  Lysa has always been obsessed with Littlefinger.  But over the various scenes we learn all of the drama that has been going on.  Catelyn was originally supposed to marry Ned's brother Brandon Stark.  Littlefinger always was infatuated with Catelyn.   Brandon dueled Littlefinger but Catelyn begged for Brandon to let him live.  Events led to Brandon's death (I think it had to do with Robert's war but I'm forgetting some details here) which led to Ned marrying Catelyn. 
    • But, the big thing we learn here is just how far back and big Littlefinger's involvement in the events of the Game of Thrones have been.  The even that started all of this drama is basically former Hand of the King Jon Arryn's death (Lysa's husband).  Ned was asked to become Hand of the King in his stead, and Cat received a letter from her sister Lysa that the Lannisters were behind the death indirectly starting a war between the Starks and Lannisters.  It would appear that Littlefinger was pulling the strings behind all of this as he had Lysa write Catelyn and blame the Lannisters when it was really Lysa herself who poisoned her husband.  So Littlefinger has been behind the death of the Hand of the King, the war of the 5 kings and Joffrey's death.  Crazy right!?  He said last week his motivation is that he wants everything.  We see that he has built himself up out of nothing and is now Lord of Harrenhal AND The Vale (now that he is officially married to Lysa).  He certainly is one to keep our eyes on. 
    • It is important to note how incredibly unstable Lysa is.  Sure, we knew that from the first time we met her, but we saw it stressed here in her conversatons with Sansa.  She is incredibly jealous of any interactions Littlefinger has with other women, especially Stark women. Since Sansa is the daughter of Catelyn Stark, the share similar traits and she feels that Littlefinger might be drawn to that.  Of course, we should question what Littlefinger's obsession is with Sansa besides her supposedly being "the key to the north".  Maybe that is it.  But, he sure is revealing a lot of his plans to her.  Maybe only the ones that she needs to know about.  
    • There also was a talk of marriage between cousins Robin and Sansa.  (well it's not siblings, right?)  There was also talk of how Sansa and Tyrion weren't really married due to them not consumating.  It was nice to see Sansa defend Tyrion here though too.  I don't know if book Sansa would have done that.   
  • Arya/Hound and Syrio Forel talk
    • We are still a little Off Book with Arya and the Hound's adventures (I think), but they are still awesome.  We have Arya going through her death list and including The Hound as her final note after a nice chat about how they both want to kill The Mountain (the Hound's brother and also someone who a lot of people want dead including Prince Oberyn).  She refers to Ser Meryn as the King's Guard that killed Syrio Forel her water dance master from Braavos.  I thought I should bring up a theory from book readers that could still be in play in the TV show as well.  Basically, in both the book and the TV show, we never see Syrio Forel die.  The camera pans away.  Arya assumes he died, but he is a pretty impressive swordsman who defeated several guards with a wooden sparring sword.  We should also note that Arya's next guide was Jaquen Hgar from Braavos who was a face changing assasin and gave her a coin in case she ever wanted transport to Braavos.  So, Syrio Forel disappears, Jaquen Hgar is a face changer who just happened to show up not long after when she's leaving King's Landing.  Both are from Braavos,  both took an interest in Arya.   Many theorize, they are in fact the same person.  The theory does hold some credibility, but there has been no confirmation from GRRM on any of it.  We must wonder if the the old adage rings true here.  If you never see/read about someone dying, there's a good chance they're not dead.
    • The end of their storyline this week was pretty hysterical with the armor line and him knocking Arya to the ground. 
  • Dany and the Meereenese Knot
    • So, TV viewers, how do you feel about the turn of events here?  "I will not leave.  I will do what Queens do.  I will rule."   Book fans and TV fans alike always question, "When will Dany get to Westeros already!?"   I've come to accept this as the long slow burn of the story.   The book treads water with Dany's storyline in Meereen.  George tangles himself in a big web of storylines where he's waiting for the dragons to mature and for finding a way to get Dany out of the mess she made in Slaver's Bay before moving on to Westeros.  There are other factors in play too, but I will not mention them until they happen.  But, it caused George many rewrites and took him 10 years to get himself out of.  I probably already went too far into spoilery territory here to say much more.  But, if you ever hear people refer to the Meereenese Knot, that's what it is.  (And it was jokingly referred to last season as a move one of Podrick's free paramours was an expert in)  
    • So, basically, there are debates about Dany still building a bigger army before moving to Westeros, or just going there and the houses joining her in her crusade as the rightful Queen.  But, there are also reports that Yunkai and Astaphor have fallen back into turmoil and slavery after her previous liberations.  Since she didn't stay there and clean up the cities, they had no one to enforce the new regime.  She plans to change that by staying put in Meereen and ruling.  
    • Now, I haven't had quite as much an issue of this decision as many book readers have.  I feel like it makes sense for her to get experience as a Queen before conquering Westeros.  But, there's no doubt, the storyline is not the most interesting in the books.  I think that Game of Thrones the TV Show can make it MORE interesting.  We shall see.  
  • Brienne/Pod Bonding
    • So this is a little off book as Brienne meets Pod on the road in the books.  So, this is more Brienne coming to terms with Podrick as her squire when she doesn't feel she needs a squire.  She spends these scenes trying to figure out why he's worth something to have around.  It appears he doesn't have the skills of a knight's squire and is more a glorified maid.  It was comical to watch him ride that horse.  But, once Podrick revealed that he killed Ser Mandon, the King's Guard that tried to kill Tyrion (we think on Joffrey's order but maybe Cersei's), Brienne knew what this guy was made of.  Honor and loyalty.  And everything changed after that as she pretended to have issues taking off her armor in order to have Podrick do it.  I sense another great pairing in these 2!  Which is ironic, because I think people hated this storyline in the books.  (I didn't mind it)
  • Craster Stuff and Bran's Mission
    • Okay, so as expected this storyline that is completely made up for TV did not interfere with the trajectory of the books.  Basically, the mutineers were all killed (nice seeing Rast get taken down by Ghost) and the made up leader guy was killed in a nice battle by Jon Snow and one of Craster's daughters.  Great action for TV and built up Jon's character nicely. 
    • Also Bran warged into Hodor who took out the made up character Locke who was sent to get Bran and bring him back to Roose Bolton (none of which happened in the books).   Though, Bran does warg into Hodor north of the Wall in the books.  Maybe that scene is still coming but that still plays into similar events in the books.
    • The key thing here is that while Bran did see Jon Snow, they did not interact.  Once these Stark kids separate, there are several close calls but rarely if ever do they meet.  So, I would've been surprised if Jon and Bran had a chat here.   (I should also mention that Sam never tells Jon in the books that Bran went beyond the Wall.  He swore to keep it a secret.) 
    • But now, the direwolves are back with their owners and we can get back to business.  Jojen was having some crazy visions on this trip and even foresaw the dude being taken down by "SNOW" (Jon Snow) and then burned (they set fire to Craster's Keep).  He also said that they must get to the weirwood tree as that is where Bran's destiny is.  So, chances are that's where they're heading now!  
Thank you all for your patience with the recap.  Hope you enjoy my ramblings and I'll see you next week!


Anonymous said...

Blogging should be a low priority compared to family and work, we understand.

1. The vale stuff being inpenetrable is an obvious set up for penetration--lol. Dragons from above would help. The stuff with Littlefinger is key to be in the open as it does put so much together about what happened. And you can now consider what he may be planning. Obviously he wants everything. But Littlefinger isn't the only one playing that game of pitting the houses against each other. Particularly in relation to helping the Targaryeans.

2. Cersei is courting the court so to speak and being so nice it was weird.

3. No Tyrion this ep, disappointing.

4. Arya naming the Hound one of her targets is sad. I've forgotton why she doesn't like him. He saved her sister and her. I think she's being ungrateful in this TV land. And she did help to contribute to her father's demise by calling some of the Lanisters liars, openly.

5. I'm a businessman and so the Iron Bank stuff has been something I've been bringing up a lot. I think it's key and now we know just how broke the Lanisters are. This has to be a big deal since if it were made public, the Lanister's motto would be worthless.

6. The Jon Snow stuff with Bran was OK, but it's kind of filler waiting for the big fight. I don't think anyone thought that Bran and Jon would get together.

7. I did like the Tommen/Margery stuff. May give us a little idea where the TV show is heading.

8. The Dany stuff on not invading but learning to rule helps explain some things. She's already failing at ruling--lol. So, she better learn quickly.

9. To me, the Littlefinger reveal was the biggest info and hence the title, which was referred to in an earlier ep.


Mike V. said...

FYI - I completed the recap above!

1.) Yeah, I guess that is a setup. Didn't consider it as it always just seems like something they bring up (they did in season 1 too). Dragons certainly could get to it. Visuals were pretty amazing for a TV budget I must say.

2.) Agreed

3.) Definitely missed him

4.) The Hound killed Butcher's Boy. It was brought up last season. He was following Joffrey and probably Cersei's orders but he still killed him and that added him to Arya's list. I think her feelings towards the hound (in both the book and the tv show) are conflicted.

5.) Yeah...i don't remember the Lannisters being broke being in the books, but I'm sure it's there. I definitely agree the Iron Bank being mentioned several times this seasons and last season is important.

6.) Yeah, definitely filler. But for TV Audiences who don't know it's not in the book, it could provide some suspense. lol I think TV audiences may have thought Jon and Bran might have a conversation there at the very least. It's tough to think about it having the book knowledge.

7.) You really want them to have some bedroom shenanigans don't you!? lol

8.) As quickly as she learns in the books!? LOL

9.) Definitely. I never thought of "First of His Name" referring to Littlefinger but I guess it does. Of course, it's also a reference to Tommen becoming king as they did call him the first of his name in the coronation. But, they certainly do try for themes in these episodes when possible.

Mike V. said...

I mentioned this in my recap in regards to Cersei but this comment on the EW recap pretty much sums up her scenes to a tee:

"Something interesting that I don't think the reviewer picked up on: Cersei is totally playing all three judges in each of her scenes. She offers Margaery a marriage to Tommen because she knows that it'll happen anyway, so why not use it now as leverage over Mace Tyrell (whom she specifically points out)? Her scene with Tywin was the most obvious in this regard, as she tries to turn him fully against Tyrion. And then she warmed up to the Red Viper by using Myrcella. All three of her scenes were her expertly playing the game in order to assure Tyrion's conviction. So not everything she said should be taken at face-value, the showrunners aren't softening her up that much."

Anonymous said...

Wow, glad they agree with my 2 above--lol. Of course I could never say it as good as they do--lol.

Yea, this was definitely referring to Littlefinger. You may recall when he was wearing a broach kind of thing on his clothes and he was asked about it since no one recognized it as an official house symbol. He said he had it made and then I think Cersei said in a criticizing way, "so, you're the first of your name". Tommen reference would be hard to make since he was crowned as a Baratheon. Although his first name would be new.

Thanks for the Arya/Hound refresh! Yea, that was an ugly scene and was related to one of the first eps where I learned to dislike Joffrey and Sansa--lol. I will say thinking back on that ep that Sansa has grown some and her scene with Lysa was in a way referring back to that kind of girl.

Check out the ep 10 title.


Anonymous said...

Just read your review. I am going to rewatch the coronation about the first of his name being said. I am not the best at learning auditorially(new word?--lol). Even with that for me, the big story is what Littlefinger has done and might do to have "everything". And him setting himself up as the first of his name with a new House.


Mike V. said...

@Richard - That was just a comment from one of us peons on the EW review. Not actually James Hibberd's review. lol But yeah...we both were basically saying stuff to that extent. lol

It's not difficult to use in reference to Tommen. It's what they SAID in the episode! Hail King Tommen, "the first of his name"! lol And yes, they were referring to his first name. There were no other King Tommens. (note: I saw your comment that you read my recap now lol)

But, yes it works for Littlefinger and probably was intentional. That's why I was saying they usually try to draw themes like this through multiple plotlines in one episode. LF's broach was a mockingjay...and I think that it was a crystal mockingjay he gave to Robin too. At least I think it was that and I'm not mixing it up with Hunger Games. lol

Yeah, Sansa definitely has come a long way from the spoiled girl she was. I never had a problem with her character as much of the book/tv fans have had with her though.

I'll look up the episode titles...I haven't done it yet. lol

mj said...

Nice that they finally gave actor playing Hodor something to do. Very shocked to learn Littlefinger killed John Aeryn! What! Crazy. So allthat happened to all Starks was caused by him starting with Ned being made hand due to Johns death. Even the war started all with Littlefinger. Wow.

Agree - nice Cersei was scary. Lol. I def picked up that shewas being nice to all the right people. I hoped Bran/Jon would meet again - but did not expect it. As u say - wanted a littlejoyat finding eachother. And someone other then Rickon to know Bran is alive

I'm assumingthe banks importancewill be that if u owethem they fund your enemies = Stannis getting some cash soon.

Don't want any spoilers but now that I've learned that Neds sister ran off with a Targaeryn thinking Jon Snow could be Neds sisters kid with the Targaeryn! Cant remember his name.

They did say Tommen was first of his name. Forgot abot petyrs made up pin. So guesswas referencing both

Dany = yawn. Duh - you invaded and left and expect they will do what you want after you r gone? Comparing it to ruling 7 kingdoms dumb since as Queen you give commands and they are law and you have peopleto enforce that. Her even comparing them is dumb

Mike V. said...

********BOOK STUFF (SPOILERS)********************

WOW....took me awhile to realize that episode 10's title referred to. If it is what I (and probably you) think it is...then they're going way into book 5 stuff with Bran this season. I mean, thematically, they introduced the tree this season, so you assume he'll get there but that automatically takes us to the end of his book story as written so far.

Of course..."children" could also refer to ALL of the children. i.e. the Stark children, the Lannister children, and the forest children lol

actually the other episode titles are pretty revealing too. 8 (duel), 9 (battle) and 10 (Vale, T vs T & S and LS maybe??) should all be some pretty fantastic episodes!

mj said...

Oh and sword thru back of head death was awesome. Let me corect my bad phrasing earlier - Littlefinger had Johns wife kill him - but hes the puppet master

Aunt Lysa was just nuts. poor Sansa

Mike V. said...

Well Lysa killed him. Littlefinger HAD him killed! But, that's pretty much what you were saying. lol (just saw your revision lol) But yep, you got it. Littlefinger caused it all!

FYI - TV Jon does know that Bran is alive because Sam told him. Book Jon wasn't told. But actually, I think he found out through a dream too (the other Stark kids have similar dreams that Bran does in the books. Just not to the same extent.) Or he saw Summer helping him and figured Bran must be close by (which also happened in the TV show) But yeah..Jon definitely knows Bran is alive.

Good assumption on the Iron Bank! Though, I don't recall this being played up as much in the books as it is on the TV show. But yeah..clearly Davos was making a plea to the Iron Bank last episode.


There are no spoilers to give on your theory there, but I will say I came up with the same theory while reading the book and found out that it was a very very very popular theory in the Song of Ice and Fire land. In fact, GRRM's one question to D&D when making sure they were big enough fans to make this TV show was "Who is Jon Snow's mother?" And whatever they told him was the right answer. lol I thought for sure that I mentioned that theory on these comments at one point to you because it's not really a spoiler since it hasn't been revealed. Though, Richard and I usually discuss it in the spoilery areas. R (Rhaegar) +L (Llyana) =J (Jon) There are many clues to support the theory in the books, and they finally gave a first clue to support it on the show this year when Oberyn discussed Rob's war with Tyrion. This is my biggest concern with the books not being finished before the show. If it turns out that this is a true theory, I just can't see GRRM letting the producers reveal this on the TV show before it's revealed in the books.

Yes, they did say Tommen was first of his name. And it probably is a thematic title applying to both.

Welcome to the Meereenese Knot! LOL

Mike V. said...

FYI - Not sure if I made it clear in my post. There IS a recap there now. lol

mj said...

We have discussed Jons parentage in vague ways-think just that he might not be Neds at all. But Ibonly just learned that ilyana was betrothed to Robert and ran away with the kings son thisyear. I knew Robert loved her fr a convo with Ned early on - but no clue she ran off and with who

Oh yeah - forgot about Sam! Thanks

mj said...

Just read yr recap - we said pretty much same stuff re Littlefinger

So - the knot is really a nickname given to the fact that the author wrote himself into a mess? The tv show used the term as a joke?

Anonymous said...

Book Spoilers*********************************************************\

Yea, now you know why I wanted you to check out the ep 10 title. It could be book 5 stuff, then what. They must be planning next season to start on SOME/a little book 6 stuff. With CH, LS, Night's King and the Children there will be some non book readers going a little nutso by end of season!

I think next ep will involve Theon's sister and Ramsay. And possibly CH, they like that Bran storyline, maybe to keep the little tykes watching an R rated show....

In reading the titles alone, not their position you might suspect LS next ep.

Mockingbird I'm not clear on yet. But if you're right about Littlefinger's symbol, we have our answer.

Yea, the Margery/Tommen thing has me interested as to how HBO will handle. It's an obvious thing at work here. Didn't you ever have a crush on a pretty older girl--LOL?

BTW, it is crazy that the moon door is left open a little. Just too easy for someone to fall through. Wonder who that will be? Ep7,perhaps??


Mike V. said...

MJ - Depending on whose story you believe, Robert started a war because he thought Rhaegar kidnapped her (I think). But the common theory is that they may have been in love. And there is evidence in stories vaguely told about the past that allude to that.

Of course, maybe he was in love with her and she wasn't with him.

The Knot - Yep, it was jokingly referred to in the show but yes it was GRRM's mess. lol I think this is probably where the show plans to trim down some fat...the problem is, do they go past George's written story? Time will tell.

************BOOK STUFF************

I personally love the Bran storyline in the books. They haven't done as well translating it to television but it's still interesting enough. There just isn't much story to tell in comparison to the King's Landing shenanigans and the war of the 5 kings. Maybe they'll get Bran where he needs to be and then they'll start using him as a Flashback/Flashforward mechanism in future storylines?? That is until he's ready to warg into a dragon LOL (always my guess)

Hmm, forget the title of next week's ep...but they have been revealing stuff early this season. The whole Jon arryn thing was a "final pages" type reveal of a Storm of Swords. Of course, there's enough in those final pages not revealed yet that they can save for the end of the season. lol

Yeah...when I saw that title...Mockingbird instead of Mockingjay is right. That's his symbol/sigil.

Who didn't!?!? (in reference to Marg/Tommen) lol

Ep 7 you think eh? Consensus has most people thinking ep 10. a 1 - 2 punch of that and LS just like the books. But, we shall see!

And yes, hopefully we'll be seeing CH soon.

Anonymous said...

Book Stuff-------------------------------------

Ep 7, just going by title and possible link. ep 10 makes more sense from a timing point and more likely.


Anonymous said...

Rob Baratheon when touring the crypts with Ned confessed his love for Lyana--Ned's sister. He married Cersei for money I'm pretty sure.

I've been thinking about Dany and her conquest vs rule thing. In actuality she hasn't conquered anything in the traditional sense. Her mode of operation has been to cause an uprising of slaves. She hasn't really had battles and lost lots of men.

It won't be that way in Westeros. She'll have to fight a very different opponent with strategies that she is unproven with. Her men are not training for a traditional battle, at least as far as I've seen. She hasn't dealt with Littlefinger yet--lol.


Mike V. said...

Yes, Robert on my times confessed his love for Llyana Stark. He started a freaking war because of her! lol And yes, he never loved Cersei, it was an arranged marriage. But considering how most marriages are arranged, there's a good chance Llyana didn't love Robert and ran off with Rhaegar.

Very true with Dany. Of course, the one thing she has that people haven't dealt with in a long time are dragons. It was actually a good point that dragons could penetrate The Vale. It certainly hasn't happened in the book yet, but it makes sense that a battle could happen there.

Mike V. said...

EW's TV Book Club. Spoilers for the whole book series of course. And Hibberd joined in the discussion this week