It wouldn't be a Game of Thrones recap without SPOILERS! Don't keep reading if you aren't caught up to Season 4, Episode 5 of the show.
This episode was more of a Season 1 party than it was a progression in the story (though plenty still happened). "First of His Name" had a ton of tie-ins from the first season littered about, but the biggest revelation was that we finally learned who was really behind the events that started the entire series. But we'll get to that.
We're now halfway into Season 4, and there's definitely a lot to talk about in this week's episode. Several character favorites are back from being M.I.A. last week, and we still haven't heard from Theon and the rest of the Greyjoys in a while. Regardless, let's go over just what the heck happened in "First of His Name."
The episode opens with Tommen's coronation, and everyone is really happy about this from what we can tell. Not even Joffrey's mother (his only fan) thinks that this isn't for the best, which she says herself to Margaery of all people.
After a bunch of stolen glances between Tommen and Margaery (his would-be queen), Cersei bombards Margaery with some seemingly passive-aggressive banter about how she's actually rooting for Marge in the "Who Will Marry Tommen Baratheon?" contest.
The conversation was absolutely unusual. Cersei, who is normally on the anti-Tyrell campaign (especially when it comes to Margaery) actually reached out to her for help, expressing interest in Margaery being Tommen's queen.
From the looks of it, Cersei is testing Margaery to see how she would react to such a proposal. I think in some way Cersei wants Margaery to be clever enough to know she's being tested. That or Cersei just really likes screwing with people she hates.
Whatever the case, Margaery said she would speak to her father while Cersei would speak to her own. Her conversation with Tywin will probably commence as he's skinning a goat or something.
And then Margaery ruined everything by pointing out how disgusting these intersecting weddings are truly becoming: "I won't know what to call you! Sister or mother?"
Really Marge? Quit while you're ahead.
Later, Tywin the wedding planner is meeting up with Cersei to settle the logistics for Tommen's marriage to Margaery, along with Cersei's wedding with Loras (I wanted to forget about that too).
Tywin makes the point that the Tyrell's are the only "true rivals" to the Lannister's and that they need them. Apparently, King's Landing is broke and owes the First National Bank of Westeros (the Iron Bank) a "tremendous" amount of money.
This is news to Cersei, who believed, like everyone else, that the kingdom was still happily mining gold in the West, but Tywin tells her plainly that "the last working mine dried out three years ago."
Tywin Lannister? More like Carter Pewterschmidt.
Also, Cersei still believes that Tyrion murdered Joffrey, but Tywin refuses to talk about it since he's a judge (which still makes no sense to me. How can your father be chosen as an objective judge?)
Cersei later visits Prince Oberyn (the other judge). Her anti-Tyrion political campaign is in full-swing as she tells Oberyn about all of the bad things he's done and asks how her daughter, Myrcella, is doing.
And that's all the news coming out of King's Landing. While the show is usually quite kind to the capital city's screen time, the episode focused much more heavily on the travels of various other characters. So there was no Tyrion or Jamie this week (aside from his brief appearance at the coronation). Onward!
Across the Narrow Sea
Meanwhile in Essos (probably Meereen), Jorah informs Dany on the latest gossip coming out of Westeros. She finally knows that King Joffrey has died, but that's not all of the good news to be had. Daario lets Dany know they now have the Meereen navy (complete with 93 ships), which means it's time to cross the Narrow Sea hopefully maybe? Probably not.
Ser Barristan makes the argument that they have enough men to take King's Landing, but Jorah points out that it's not enough to conquer all of Westeros.
"I will do what queens do. I will rule." - Mother of (Expletive) Dragons
Jorah proceeds to compete for this episode's biggest buzz-kill after letting the gang know that without the Unsullied to protect them, the slaves in Yunkai and Astapor have been re-enslaved, leaving Dany no choice but to go back and shout "dracarys" about a dozen times.
The Bloody Gate
Lord Baelish (Littlefinger) and Sansa Stark have nearly arrived at House Arryn to see Lysa Arryn (Catelyn Stark's sister who married Jon Arryn). To get there, however, they must gain passage through the Bloody Gate.
"Know your strengths and know them wisely. " - Littlefinger
Baelish gives Sansa a quick history lesson about the Vale and how it has never been overcome in the last 1,000 years. From how he's talking to her, It's almost like he's prepping her to become some kind of ruler.
To get through the gate, Baelish claims that Sansa is his niece, "Alayne."
Oh great, it's that kid who's still on the bottle. We haven't seen Lysa Tully in quite a while, and it's funny to see an older version of her "Sweetrobin," Robin Arryn.
For the first time since Season 1, Sansa is now with family, albeit secretly. After briefly meeting her aunt for the first time, she is instructed to keep her identity a secret since the Lannister's are searching high and low for her.
After Sansa and Robin peace out to go play Settlers of Qarth, Littlefinger and Lysa proceed to making out because Game of Thrones.
And on to one of the biggest reveals we've had in a while! Littlefinger and Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn and blamed it on the Lannister's. It was their plan all along in order for the two of them to get married.
The wedding is then arranged, and the happy couple proceed to traumatize Sansa as she tries to sleep in what is apparently the room right next to their lovemaking. Disturbing.
Later, Sansa and her Aunt Lysa get to gossiping about how Sansa's mom used to be fat. No, I'm not making that up. How long has it been since her throat was cut open?
You can definitely tell that Sansa is happy to be around family again, but it's harshly ironic that she's unaware of the fact that most of her family is dead because of her Aunt and Lord Baelish. If they hadn't had Jon Arryn murdered, none of the turmoil going on right now would have happened (something else and probably worse would have).
Then things take a turn for the Tully (another word for crazy) when Lysa starts a tirade about how Petyr was obsessed with Catelyn Stark and how she believes he had his way with Sansa. Sansa starts to break down sobbing over the accusations, but is then comforted by Lysa's announcement that she will marry Robin. "WAIT WHAT?!" (said Sansa's face).
On the Way to the Vale
We've finally caught up to Arya and the Hound, who were missing in action last week. As usual, she's keeping the Hound awake at night by listing her nightly "kill list."
They bond, of course, over their mutual decision to kill the Hound's brother, the Mountain.
They continue to bond, obviously, when Arya lists the last name: the Hound. BOLD.
The Hound wakes up and notices that Arya is missing. Don't worry big guy! She's just off practicing her swordplay with "Needle." Arya has a great memory because she seems to remember most of the form taught to her by Syrio Forel in Season 1.
She has to defend this style to the Hound, making jokes about how the "greatest swordsman who ever lived" was defeated because he didn't have a sword. Even Arya was about to chuckle when the Hound dropped that line.
So Arya stabbed him, but that was no big deal because he's the Hound, and the sword didn't even pierce an inch. Weirdly, the Hound just slaps her to the ground rather than kill the person who is actively announcing that she's going to kill him on a nightly basis. Classic reverse Stockholm Syndrome.
On the Way to Castle Black
Brienne and Podrick are traveling to the Wall, where they believe Sansa has gone to find her brother, Jon Snow. Hilariously, Pod is having a troublesome time just riding a horse, which is making Brienne wish he had stayed behind.
The dynamic of these two is pretty entertaining so far, as Brienne is trying her darndest to get Pod to just leave her alone, but as we all know, Pod is the most loyal squire of all time.
Later, Brienne arrives at the campsite to learn that her faithful squire is burning their dinner. It turns out Podrick, while loyal, has never cooked anything in his life, making his squire resume pretty lacking. As he puts it when asked what he did do for Tyrion, "Mostly, I poured wine."
But that's not all. Pod also reveals that he killed the King's Guard at Blackwater to protect Tyrion from assassination. For the first time, Pod manages to garner a modicum of respect from Brienne, even if he did kill the guy from behind.
Whoa! We're in the North for the first time in this episode, and it looks like things are picking up right where they were left last week. Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor are still being held captive by the mutinous Crows led by Karl, and we see Locke spying on Rast from outside the camp.
Held captive, Jojen reveals that it's not likely for any of the gang to make it out of Craster's Keep alive, but Bran's safety is all that matters.
Outside the keep, Locke fills Jon and the rest of the Crows in on how easy it will be to take the place over, no matter how skilled Karl is with a knife.
"Have you seen what I can do with a knife?" - Locke
Of course, Locke is only doing this in order to kill Bran and Rickon Stark at the behest of Ramsey Snow. So he tells Jon to steer clear of the hut where his brother is tied up because there are sniffing hounds there. You disastrously clever (expletive).
At sundown, Karl arrives at the captives' hut to have his way with Meera, but Jojen kills the mood by telling him he can predict the future and that he's going to die that night.
But what really kills the mood is Rast's cry that the Night's Watch have arrived to lay waste to the mutinous Crows. Let the actions scenes commence.
During the battle, Locke goes into Bran's hut and captures him, keeping him quiet by threatening to kill his friends. But that doesn't stop Bran from warging into Hodor and stopping Locke right on time.
Bran sees Jon from afar but chooses to leave without saying "hey." Jojen tells him that Jon won't let him continue North to find the three-eyed raven, giving Bran no choice but to elude his brother yet again.
Jon proceeds to face off against Karl in a sword vs. knife fight in one of the best duels yet for the fourth season. But Jon is bested by Karl, who spits in his face. Thanks to the surprise stabbing from one Craster's wives, however, Karl is distracted and subsequently killed by Jon (finally).
The Crows are victorious! But they quickly realize that Rast has escaped. No worries, though, because Ghost manages to take him down out in the woods. So even though Jon didn't get to see his long-lost brother, he at least got pet his direwolf yet again.
The surviving wives then burn the keep to the ground, and that's the end of "First of His Name." It was an episode that focused a lot on looking back on what's brought us to the current events of [Game of Thrones](movie:817617), beginning with Dany's decision to literally look back on the cities she's conquered and re-liberate them, as well as the other characters reflecting on what they've lost and gained since Littlefinger set this whole thing off before Season 1 even started.