Game of Thrones: First of His Name Review -

Game of Thrones Review

Mania Grade: B

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  • Episode: First of His Name (Season 4 Episode 5)
  • Starring: Emilia Clarke, Josef Altin, Jacob Anderson, Charles Dance, Natalie Dormer
  • Written By: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
  • Directed By: Michelle MacLaren
  • Network: HBO
  • Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
  • Series:

Game of Thrones: First of His Name Review

Even the slow episodes...

By Jarrett Kruse     May 05, 2014

Game of Thrones: First of His Name Review
Even the slow episodes of GAME OF THRONES are better than a majority of one-hour dramas and tonights installment was just that. What I mainly mean by slow is that most of the events save for the last fifteen minutes or so were setting things up for future episodes. While it was not the most exciting of episodes, everything in it was tight. That is to say that this episode navigates the intricate story lines that encompass GOT. From that point of view First of His Namedid pack a decent punch that will set the tone for the second half of the fourth season. I think that it says a great deal about the quality of the program when the bulk of the episode is made up of exposition. I think that each scene was rich with information and while I did not give it a very high grade as compared with previous weeks episodes, I do think it was a good entry to the GOT mythos.

Now that Joffrey has taken a poisonous dirt nap, it is time for his little brother Tommen to sit on the Iron Throne. While Tommen is nothing like the sadistic Joffrey, one cant help but think that a young, timid and impressionable boy may just be a puppet for those in real power. Grandpa Tywin has never looked happier as he beams over his grandson as Hand to the new king. Margaery skillfully makes goo-goo eyes at Tommen from afar no sooner than when she is approached by Cersei. In a did that really happenmoment, I was taken aback when Cersei seemed to be acting, well, nice. Margaery and Cersei discuss Joffrey and the future of the throne and I believe that these two are cut from the same ruthless cloth. I think that their may be some mutually beneficial scheming in the future as these two team up to get what they want. Well have to wait and see.

Daenerys is still in Meereen and is holding court consulting with her inner circle and learning of the death of King Joffrey. It seems that Daario Naharis has taken the Meereenese navy without permission and this may finally be the time to seize Kings Landing. In a private meeting with Jorah, Daeny reveals that in order to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms she must control Slavers Bay. It has been a long while of collecting for Khaleesi and I think it is safe to say that fans are ready for her to actually do something with the armies that she has accrued. Littlefinger and Sansa Stark arrive at the Vale of Aryn and are met by the supremely creepy Lysa and her son Robin. Lysa is determined to marry Petyr sooner than later but it is clear that he has great concern for Sansa. Like Cat Stark, Baelish feels responsible for Sansa. His unrequited love for the late Cat seems to be passing on to the young redhead. When Lysa visits Sansa in her bedroom, she goes a little nuts on the poor girl demanding answers and really spazzing out. Will Sansa ever catch a break? You gotta feel bad for this kid already.

Tywin and Cersei have a heart to heart and it is not long before the family patriarch of the Lannisters admits that their gold mines have not produced anything for some time. The family owes a tremendous amount to the Iron Bank of Braavos and the only way to stop the proverbial bleeding is to vest the family with the Tyrells. Even though a Lannister always pays his debts, this is the first we are hearing that the family is hemorrhaging money. Seems like Tywin is a Medieval Madoff spinning money out of nothing. On the road, The Hound and Arya are still traveling in tandem and the young Starks list of people to kill seems to be getting longer. In fact the new version of the list includes The Hound. When practicing with Needle, the massive Hound teaches her a lesson in combat that she will not soon forget. The Stark kids seem to be under a cloud of continuous darkness with no end in sight. 

At Crasters Keep, Jon Snow and the volunteers from the Nights Watch case the small house to get an idea of what they are up against. Bran, Joien, Meera and Hodor are still captive inside the Keep. Joien has a vision and tells Bran that he and the others are only there to guide him. This will not be the end for Bran. At sundown, Snow and company raid the compound and attempt to kill the mutineers led by Karl. The turncoat Locke steals Bran from his chains and heads into the snowy woods but not before the young Stark somehow transfers his power to Hodor of all people. The giant simpleton breaks free from his chains and kills Locke in convincing fashion thus protecting Bran. Jon Snow takes on Karl inside the Keep and commits perhaps the most awesome kill in GOT history. Sword through the base of the skull through the mouth. Epic badassery. 

While it is a good enough episode it was not what I would call repeat worthy.Besides seeing Karl get killed there was nothing that I really needed to see twice. Sure it is great to see possible future story lines and paths the characters may take but it can be frustrating sometimes. Every episode counts in a lean ten episode season and while I enjoyed the episode, it was just a bit slow. Not a huge deal, I fully expect the second half of the season to be better than any other one hour drama. Oh and last thing; its no coincidence that the one episode I thought was slow just happened to be the one with no Tyrion! Dinklage rules!


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rogue188 5/5/2014 7:45:17 AM

I am very glad they did not draw out the Craster's Keep storyline and that is all nice and ended. I liked this episode, and was not bored at all. Lyssa is very creepy, and I can't wait to see that storyline play out as well.

I really just wish I could binge watch the entire season. Waiting each week is driving me crazy.

Iridan 5/5/2014 7:49:50 AM

Yeah, no Tyrion would bring this down to a 'C' for me.

Wasn't last week's episode setting up the second half of the season? This is two weeks in a row that I found the episode to be pretty boring. What's her name (the tall chick) and the squire scene seemed completely pointless to me. And now, rather than making her way to King's Landing, Daeny is going to stay on Slaver's Bay? Is she ever going to get going?

Arya's scene was ok, but it didn't seem necessary (like the squire and what's her name). I'm all for taking the necessary time to develop the story and the intrigue, but I think things need to get going.

6dra6on6 5/5/2014 8:01:36 AM

I just got HBO so I missed the first few episode of GoT. Is there any way to access those earlier episodes? Will HBO run repeats any time soon or am I stuck with waiting for the Blu Ray release?

bennyhill 5/5/2014 8:20:34 AM

 Wasn't it a pretty big reveal what Lysa whispered to Baelish?

violator14 5/5/2014 8:26:26 AM

 6dra6on6- You SHOULD have access to HBO on demand or HBO GO for your computers/mobile devices and be able to watch any episode you want. 

I disagree that this episode was "not as good'.  I felt like i was getting mindfukked throughout the episode. 


Eldogg42 5/5/2014 8:27:38 AM

If you have on demand - HBO has all the current episodes and last seasons, ready to watch.

AtomykRayj 5/5/2014 8:30:27 AM

6dra6on6 If you have HBO then you should have access to HBOGo. I think you can watch them there.


rogue188 5/5/2014 8:44:28 AM

bennyhill, you are totally right. Lyssa basically admitted they started the entire thing with the murder of Jon Arryn. Without that murder, Ned would still be alive and there would have been no war of the kings. 

IRONMANIAC 5/5/2014 9:10:01 AM

Well, the exposition was executed about as well as exposition could be, but I do feel it was a bit lazy how they went about dropping a bomb: That Lyssa and Baelish were behind her husband's murder. Felt very rushed and matter-of-fact to me. Rnklg was complaining about exposition last week and I disagreed with him, but I have to say this week it was pretty obvious.

That said, there were a few things that were obvious about this episode. Arya's list, saw that Hound was the last name on it way before they revealed it. Margaery's looks at the new boy king felt very obvious, like film-making 101. Just not the subtle touch that I'm used to getting from this show.

That said, I still loved the episode. It's hard to not like any offering this series has.

TheSilentKiller 5/5/2014 9:10:53 AM

 There was a guy taking a piss in the corner at Craster's. That wasn't in the book. WTF!

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