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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 4.5

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Title: First of His Name

We begin with the coronation of Toman, who will sit the Iron Throne in place of his older brother Joffery, who was recently murdered. Margary and Cersei have a very civil talk about whether Margary still wishes to be queen. Margary, of course, pretends she hasn't even thought about it (it's all she's thought about) and Cersei seems amenable. 

Here's the thing about this: in the books, Cersei loathes Margary with the fire of a thousand suns. She seems much calmer so far on the small screen. So it's one of two things: either she'll get angrier and angrier as time goes on, or perhaps this conversation did happen in the books (I can't remember in detail) but Cersei is just putting on a civil face and is really boiling beneath the surface. Of course, her expression when Margary said she didn't know whether to call her sister or mother was priceless!

Later Cersei talks with her father about how they still need the Martels. Tywin reveals to Cersei that the Lannisters are bankrupt. (Way to go, Tywin!) They are deeply indebted to the Iron Bank of Braavos. They need the Tyrells for financial reasons. So, Margary will marry Toman. And Cersei herself will marry the pretty but very gay Loras Tyrell. Cersei later speaks with Prince Oberyn of Dorne as well, asking him to deliver a birthday present to Cersei's daughter Mycella, whom she misses. I can't help but feel sympathy for Cersei during times like these, even if she is a terrible person!

Meanwhile, across the world, Dany is faced with a decision. She finds herself, thanks to Dario, in possession of a somewhat impressive fleet. She could transport her army across the Narrow Sea to the Seven Kingdoms. Yet, most of the slave cities she has liberated have fallen back into their old habits. She decides that, for now, she will stay and rule what she has already conquered, until she can be sure they will remain free lands.

Sansa goes with Baelish to the Vale and meets her aunt for the first time. Just as in the books, the series does an excellent job of making this couple cringe worthy. At least they didn't make us squirm through a sex scene, even if we did have to hear some of it. Lysa, unbalanced as ever, accuses Sansa of sleeping with Little Finger. While Sansa is appalled at the very idea, and Lysa is very paranoid, she's not entirely wrong on this count. She's picking up on Baelish's lust for Sansa, which I always thought was the creepiest creepfest of all time. (Run Sansa, Run!)

Not much with Arya this week. She recites all the names on her list, including the Hound's, though she's obviously not doing anything about it yet. Later, while practicing her forms, the Hound--charming as ever--makes fun of her, slaps her across the face, and pushes her down. Not that Arya is ever discouraged by this kind of behavior, but I still felt bad for her. 

Pod annoys Brienne no end. He doesn't know how to do the kinds of squirely things she needs. (Her needs are vastly different than Tyrion's were.) But when they finally get to talking, they inevitably become friends. This relationship is fun because it's sort of inevitable. Both Brienne and Pod are so good-hearted that, once they get past their differences and actually get to know one another, they kind of can't help but like one another.

John's group gets to Craster's Keep to take out the rebels. Locke scouts the place first, sees Bran and his friends in the hut and warns Jon (deceptively) to stay away because, he says, there are hounds tied up in there. Just before Jon and his fellow night's watchmen attack, the Rebels try to rape Meera but the attack interrupts them. Jojen says he's seen that the rebels will die. That snow will cover the came in death. (A play on Jon Snow's name. Super cool!) We also learn that Jojen has seen the same weirwood tree Bran has seen. He says they have to get there. No matter the cost. 

When Locke comes in with a knife, Bran leaps into Hodor's body and takes charge. Locke is killed and Bran gets free. He sees Jon fighting across the camp and tries to get Jon's attention, but Jojen says they shouldn't be seen. If Jon sees Bran, he'll insist on taking him back to Castle Black to protect him. Bran has to decide whether to see Jon, or go find the weirwood. He chooses to go without seeing his brother.

I actually really liked this sequence. As noted last week, Bran getting captured at Craster's wasn't in the books, but I thought they did a good job with this. It's true to Jon's character that he totally wouldn't let Bran just go off on his own, but it was sad that they were so close and not allowed to have a reunion. (Any time you want to do a reunion between any of the Stark children, Mr. Martin, I'd be okay with that. Just sayin'.)

Finally, the eleventh mutineer gets away, running into the woods. Ghost, Jon's wolf, takes care of business, though, and then reunites with his master. Jon's men burn Craster's keep to the ground. 

Overall, I really liked this episode. A lot happened and I enjoyed all of the sequences. 

What did everyone else think of this episode?

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