Game of Thrones: “First of His Name”

Ghost is back!

Ghost is back!

This is a bit late, but I had bridesmaidy duties this weekend.

Anyway, I especially liked this week’s Game of Thrones episode, “First of His Name,” because there was so much emphasis on the awesome female characters, who range from cunning to vulnerable to naive to batshit fucking crazy. Read on…

Margaery is not easily intimidated

Joffrey’s dead. Westeros needs a king, and Tommen is crowned. Amid all the hoopla, Margaery manages to catch her future husband’s eye until Cersei literally comes between them.

Weirdly, Cersei approaches her daughter-in-law and acknowledges that Joff was terrible (“He would have been your nightmare”). And even though she told Margaery last season, “If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep,” she seems to have softened. Now, when the subject of Cersei and Loras’s impending union comes up, Margaery’s all, “I wouldn’t even know what to call you. Sister? Or Mother?” Burn.

On a related note, Cersei is less of a bitch

Speaking of which, something is up with Cersei. (Okay, her firstborn son died in a horrific manner right in front of her at his wedding, but you know.) Like, now she’s agreeing to marry Loras for the good of the family. What the…? I mean, in the books, Cersei (characteristically) flat-out refuses to marry a Tyrell, so I’m not really sure what this TV development is all about especially since she already complained about being a “brood mare.”

Later, she approaches Oberyn Martell to inquire about her only daughter, who is currently in Dorne. In a sweet little scene, Oberyn assures her that Myrcella is fine, swimming and laughing with his own daughters. He tells her, “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne,” to which Cersei replies, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”

(Ain’t that the truth. I mean, look at the subplot of the near-rape of Meera and the definite-rape of Craster’s daughter-wives. At least they got to see their hellhole burn down.)

Lysa is a little too concerned with Sansa’s maidenhood

Sansa (in case you forgot, STILL WANTED as a conspirator for regicide) is now Alayne, niece to Petyr Baelish. (He passes Alayne off as his daughter in the books, but I guess even the showrunners found this too creepy.) Whatever, things always go well for Sansa so I’m sure she’s finally safe and happy in the Vale, right?

Poor thing. One minute, Sansa thinks she’s safe with her aunt, who’s feeding her lemon cakes and telling her fun stories about her childhood with Catelyn. The next, Lysa is clutching Sansa’s wrists like a maniac, demanding to know about all the sordid details of the made-up fantasy that she’s concocted in her head about her niece, even though she just spent gods-know-how-much-time screaming, as she promised. (Yuck.) And then she informs Sansa that she intends for her to be with her still-nursing son. Sigh.

Of course, the major Lysa revelation was the news that (at the behest of Littlefinger) she actually poisoned her husband, Jon Arryn, and sent a false letter to her sister that accused the Lannisters of this crime. This was basically the impetus for everything that has happened in the series since the pilot. LITTLEFINGER IS THE WORST. But way more powerful than anyone could have ever predicted…

Bran chooses the three-eyed raven over Jon

This is so sad. Bran & Co. are trapped at Craster’s Keep, where Jojen emphasizes that Bran needs to reach the three-eyed crow. Of course, this is interrupted when the Bad Crows arrive, intending to gang-bang Meera, which is then interrupted by the arrival of the Night’s Watch.

Oh yeah, and Bran of course is taken hostage, until he wargs into Hodor and kills Locke (who at least succeeded in keeping the Stark/Snow kids apart) as Hodor. Sigh. (Did anybody think of Whoopi Goldberg as Demi Moore in Ghost here?) Call me a monster, but I have zero problem with this. Self-defense against a clear-cut bad guy! Poor Hodor is pretty guilt-ridden, though, when he comes to.

Anyhow, Bran is thisclose to seeing his beloved brother—who was cruelly told by Catelyn that it should have been him to suffer such a horrendous fall the last time they were together—but leaves to fulfill his density…I mean, destiny. (He couldn’t say hi? Not even for a minute?)

Arya and Robb at the Twins. (Too late.) Bran and Jon at Craster’s Keep. (Fuckin’ raven.) Arya and Sansa at the Eyrie? (Unlikely.) Did GRRM know and hate a family called Stark?

King Robert used to pat Tywin Lannister on the back a lot

Of course he did.

Discussion questions!

  • Why didn’t they recast Robin Arryn? The actor has grown considerably (as kids are wont to do) since the first season, and it’s not exactly like he’s been an essential character thus far. (Memorable, sure, but irreplaceable à la Bran Stark? Nope.)
  • Is Arya incredibly brave or kind of dumb to threaten the Hound? Sure, he isn’t exactly quivering in his boots, but you know, she has a weapon now.
  • Dany needs to “be more than” just the Mother of Dragons. Okay. So where are they?
  • Did anybody else think it was the cutest when Brienne admitted that she needed Pod’s help to remove her armor? Let love in, Brienne! Or at least friendship.
  • Not a question, but I feel totally cheated out of a more epic Jon/Ghost reunion. Sigh. I’m being insufferable for saying so, but it was a lot better in the books.
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4 thoughts on “Game of Thrones: “First of His Name”

  1. What are your thoughts on Craster’s widows continuing the practice of offering up their sons to the Gods? There were a lot of things that we hated Craster for and pitied his wives for, and filicide was one of those things. But it continued on after Craster’s death which made the entire cult compound at Craster’s extra creepy.

    • Anny says:

      Good point, but I feel so bad for his daughter-wives that I can’t fault them. They’ve been such victims their entire lives, and if this is all they’ve known, I guess that is their norm. (Like Dany always assuming that she’d grow up to marry Viserys, which weirdly never bugged me too much since she’s a Targaryen—although of course infants aren’t being harmed in that situation.) Plus, the Craster ladies have zero reason to ever trust a man.

      • Right! I mean, until I see evidence of his widows conspiring with the frozen Others willingly, I won’t be accusing them of anything. They’ve certainly had the worst time ever. (I just like to challenge my assumptions. I blame years of watching shows like LOST.)
        I forgot to mention, thanks for posting this great recap.

  2. […] that subdued Cersei, who not long ago told Margaery that Joff would’ve been her “nightmare,” agreed […]

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