All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As much as I can, I am going to try and keep things episode/season specific. It’s out of respect to the narrative as well as the later seasons. Onwards!
4.5 First of his Name
A phrase that is often used to announce the king, First of his Name appropriately opens with the coronation of Tommen Baratheon as king of the Andals and First Men and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. Tommen is already adored by a lot of people and Margaery even flashes a genuine smile- probably because his hobbies don’t involve killing small animals and babies. Cersei makes her way over and offers a little bit of an olive branch by admitting that Joff was a nightmare and would have been a terrible husband. Cersei offers to speak with Tywin about Margaery still being queen and marrying Tommen instead and everything falls into place for Margaery- she’s pleased with herself and can’t resist a little dig at her future mother in law marrying her brother.
I think there is a part of Cersei that truly wants Tommen to be happy and also sees that he won’t be a very strong king- Margaery is actually a good fit in this sense. It may be to see her son happy, it may be for the good of the realm, it may be to connect the Lannister Legacy with a good king- who knows.
Dany receives notice of Joff’s death across the Shining Sea and Daario informs her that they’ve conveniently acquired (re: conquered) the Meereenese navy. Barristan urges her to head to Westeros as everyone is fatigued from fighting each other and are without leadership, but Jorah talks her into staying and using Meereen as a guinea pig to learn how to rule. To be fair, Dany has flocked from city to city, setting fire and destroying things without lingering to pick up the pieces- so the most recent city Yunkai has fallen to pieces and slavery has entered the city again while in Astapor, the council she left in place was assassinated. I literally hate Emilia Clarke’s delivery in this scene. It’s slow, it’s dramatic, and it’s nice that she’s determined and all but there’s not enough of the thought process needed to really drive this home. I just need Dany to be more introspective. She keeps falling flat for me.
Entering the Eyrie, Littlefinger talks about how it’s a naturally protected fortress- as there’s only the one gate and it’s surrounded by mountains, large armies have been picked off like sheep trying to conquer it (I think I went over this in Season 1 when Tyrion says it’s impregnable). Lysa is terribly excited to see her fiancée and hugs Sansa but Lysa’s face pulls a Melania when Sansa can’t see it. In the background, Littlefinger is holding onto every word exchanged, observant of how easily Sansa takes direction from a woman she’s never met. Sansa is still somewhat naïve when it comes to trusting people and it doesn’t help that Lysa is Cat’s sister- it’s her natural instinct to think well of her. Lysa shoos Sansa and Sweet Robin from the room so she and Littlefinger can get married claiming they had their wedding night several years ago.
The final nail in the coffin, Lysa said she’s performed all duties loyally, including poisoning Jon Arryan and writing to Cat! Wow! So Littlefinger really is the one behind all of Season 1. Littlefinger can’t just outright kill Lysa without it looking suspicious, but he’s gotta get rid of her soon or else she might spill his secrets and spoil his plans- so he bides his time by pleasing her and then scheming for a way to make it look like an accident.
Lysa yanks back the door to reveal she’s already invited a septon to perform the ceremony and wha-? They could have just heard all of that! Speaking of hearing things, Sansa can hear Littlefinger and Lysa consummating their marriage, just like that scene in Fight Club sans plaster.
In King’s Landing, Cersei notifies Tywin that Margaery and Tommen will be married with her wedding to Loras to follow two weeks later. Tywin acknowledges that arranged marriages aren’t pleasant and that he hated Robert- he patted him on the back a lot. A bro move and a perfect description of Robert Baratheon, the jock who peaked too soon. Tywin lets Cersei in on a secret- they need the alliance with the Tyrell because the Westerlands have run out of resources, including gold. Instead, he’s been borrowing “a tremendous amount” from the Iron Bank of Westeros. Cersei asks if there is someone they can persuade and Tywin says absolutely not- their resolve is strong and controls all of the currency every, and anywhere. They’re an immovable force and will take back what is owed. Tywin plans to use the alliance with the Tyrells to get them out of debt, meaning he doesn’t actually give a crap about Cersei, or her marriage to Loras, or even see their marriage as a valuable asset in prolonging the alliance. It’s something that serves him for the moment.
Somewhere in the Eyrie, the Hound kindly tells Arya to shut the hell up as she’s reciting her list but she has one more name- his.
Back at the Vale, Sansa and her Aunt Lysa are sharing a sweet, maternal moment or so Sansa thinks until Lysa begins questioning why Littlefinger cares so much about her to bring three crates of lemons up for her lemon cakes. Lysa knows that Littlefinger had feelings for Cat and must be transferring his affections onto Sansa, who can’t seem to catch a break. She can’t even feel safe with her own family.
Somewhere north of King’s Landing, it turns out Pod doesn’t know how to ride a horse. Brienne is blindly riding to Castle Black based loose knowledge of a family tree, believing Jon to be Sansa’s last surviving relative. If she knew the Starks, she’d know those two never got along. Somewhere nearby, the Hound finds Arya practicing her water dancing and is considerably colder to her since she revealed him to be on her list. She mentions how her instructor Syrio was killed by Meryn Trant and the Hound is merciless, telling her he must have been a shit swordsman. I see his point. The Hound has successfully kept her safe so far and she hasn’t been very grateful.
On another walk in the gardens of King’s Landing, Cersei approaches Oberyn, who informs her he has eight daughters including one he named after his dead sister. Cersei asks him to send word to Myrcella who is apparently very happy in the water gardens of Dorne and Cersei doesn’t believe him because everywhere in the world, little girls are hurt. (She’s not wrong.) She asks him to deliver a ship to Myrcella and to tell her that her mother misses her. Cersei plays into Oberyn’s compassionate side a little, perhaps hoping that he can identify with her sentiments as a parent- and vote against Tyrion.
Back with Pod and Brienne, he doesn’t know how to cook either. Pod doesn’t know how to do a lot of things- but he knows to do the right thing, which isn’t half bad. He reluctantly tells Brienne that he killed a member of the kingsguard who was going to kill Tyrion and after a moment of reflection and perhaps even identifying with Pod a little bit, Brienne allows him to act properly as a squire.
North of the Wall, Karl and his men, including Rast, are still raping women as Locke watches from afar. Inside their tent, Jojen has a vision of Bran at the weirwood tree that Bran needs to get to, which signifies that they will eventually escape. Jojen then sees his own hand on fire- indicating that it might be his way of death (I mean, he’s not wrong). Locke reports what he saw. Locke says he’s pretty good with a knife because get it- he’s from the Bolton side of things. Pretty great reference.
Back at Craster’s Keep, Karl makes his way over to rape Meera and it’s just as terrifying as when the men in King’s Landing pinned down Sansa. Jojen lets him know that he’s seen Karl’s death and that his body was burnt, when a voice from outside alerts Karl that Jon and Friends have arrived. Locke finds Bran and identifies him by cutting his leg as the skirmish continues outside. It’s nice to get to see just how good Jon is with a sword and how far he’s come in his abilities.
Bran wargs into Hodor again and Brodor cracks Locke’s neck. When Hodor is released, he looks down at his hands a little unsure of what just happened. It’s the first time, I think, Hodor actually comprehends or is emotionally affected by the warging. Bran opts to leave Jon behind as he feels the urge to continue North to seek the answers about his visions.
Meanwhile Jon finally finds Karl, who has just finished killing off two of his friends. Karl’s got fancy knife work and hey, knives in each hand- just like how Jon was teaching the watch about the Wildings! He succeeds in giving Jon a flesh wound and this is one of the better-choreographed fights and fairly impressive given its tight space. It ends on a somewhat disappointing note as Karl is stabbed in the back by one of Craster’s wives, then through the back of the head by Jon. Yech.
Edd and Grenn round up their dead, including Locke, when they note Rast has fled. Rast is appropriately hunted down by Ghost, who he has spent a lot of time taunting and it’s a DIREWOLF KILL. Crater’s wives opt not to go with the ranging party which makes sense because all men, especially Karl’s lads, have never been very nice to any of them. That’s putting it very lightly, but they’d rather stay in the snow and make it on their own than go with men. It’s a light “fuck yeah” moment and the episode ends with the burning of Craster’s Keep.
Next we have: 4.6 The Laws of Gods and Men