Game of Thrones Recap: And the Murderous Reveals Keep on Comin'!

gameofthrones_s4ep5_recap_325Westeros’ new king is crowned in this week’s Game of Thrones, an historic occasion to be sure, but let’s take the freak show less traveled and instead focus on what’s going down in the Eyrie. Because if poor Sansa had any hopes that her life might be getting better, this is the episode where they take a swan dive right out the moon door. (Stay creepy, Lysa.)

Elsewhere, Daenerys gets some sobering news, Cersei tones it down a little (for now) and a boy and his dog have a sweet reunion amid burning corpses. Read on for what takes place in “First of His Name.”

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HOUSE LANNISTER | Everyone gathers for Tommen’s coronation, which goes off without anyone keeling over and dying, so it’s a King’s Landing win! The new boy leader exchanges some friendly glances with Margaery, which doesn’t escape Cersei’s notice (does anything?). When she makes her way over to Joffrey’s widow, I prepare for yet another sharp-tongued beatdown. But the queen regent surprises the heck outta me when she stops Margaery’s faux-mourning mid-sentiment by admitting that Joffrey “would have been your nightmare” and adding that even though she loved her child unconditionally, “The things he did shocked me.”

Props to Lena Headey for the fine, understated work she does in this scene as Cersei gauges Margaery’s ongoing interest in becoming queen. The younger woman simpers that she hasn’t even thought that far in advance (side note: Never play poker, Marg), then gaily remarks about all of the weddings coming up. Anyone else keep forgetting that Cersei is supposed to marry Loras? Maybe if we all work very hard to stay in complete denial, it won’t happen?

Eh, maybe not – because a few scenes later, Cersei and Tywin are agreeing that Tommen and Margaery will get hitched in a fortnight, and Cersei herself will become Mrs. Knight of Flowers two weeks after that. Other important takeaways from this discussion: King’s Landing is in serious debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos (the entity you’ll recall Davos writing to a few episodes back); and, as one of the judges in Tyrion’s upcoming trial, Tywin is uninterested in discussing details of the case.

So Cersei visits Oberyn and asks him to deliver Myrcella’s name-day gift: a ship. He reassures her that her daughter is happy and safe at Sunspear: “We don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.” Her sad, true reply, “Everywhere in the world, they hurt little girls.”

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HOUSE STARK | Speaking of which, how’s Sansa faring? In the words of my other Sunday night recapping gig, not great, Bob! Once at the Eyrie, Sansa and Littlefinger find her aunt Lysa and cousin Robin cuddling on the throne. So they’re still doing that, huh? At least it’s better than the La Leche League action we saw that last time we were here. Lysa appears happy to see her niece – though she warns that, to everyone else at the castle, Sansa must be known as Petyr’s niece “Alayne” – and ecstatic to reunite with her fiancé.

After Sansa has been properly introduced to the moon door – a vertigo-inducing hole in the floor of the throne room through which Tyrion almost plunged a few seasons back – she and Robin are dismissed so Lysa can put her lips all over Baelish’s face. (Side note: Can’t someone throw a piece of plywood over that moon door when it’s not in use? HAVE NONE OF YOU EVER TRIPPED?)

Lysa wants to marry that night; after all, “What wife would do for you the things I’ve done for you?” she queries, casually dropping that he was the one who gave her the poison and instructions for killing her first husband, Jon Arryn, and the one who told her to write Catelyn to make her think the Lannisters did it. (!!!) To stop her incriminating blabber, he agrees to a wedding that evening… but sneaky Lysa already has the septon nearby to do the deed right then and there.

But Lysa’s post-nuptial bliss doesn’t last long. After luring her niece close with fond memories of Catelyn, the insane Lady Regent of the Vale demands to know whether Sansa has slept with Baelish. “What have you let Petyr do to your body, your young pretty body?” she shrieks, making Sansa (and me) want to cry. When the redhead finally convinces her aunt that she’s never actually seen Baelish’s littlefinger, Lysa eases up, happily predicting that when Tyrion is killed, Sansa can marry Robin. Amid her horrified tears, you know young Lady Stark has got to be thinking: How is this happening to me AGAIN?

HOUSE STARK | While The Hound educates Arya on the importance of armor (AKA all the water dancing in the world won’t save you if your enemy is wearing thick plate and you have none), Bran and his group are saved a truly gruesome, rapey escapade with Karl when Jon’s group attacks Craster’s Keep. Locke is about to make off with Bran when the young Stark heir wargs into Hodor and uses the simpleton’s brute strength to break free… and then to break Locke’s neck. Bran returns to himself and tries to get Jon’s attention, but Jojen warns that the little lord’s older brother will never let him continue his journey beyond the Wall. So the small group leaves without ever making contact with Snow. Sniff!

Meanwhile, thanks to an assist from one of Craster’s daughter-wives, Jon sticks his sword through Karl’s head; even on a violent show like this one, that blade-through-the-mouth shot made me squirm. Ned’s bastard is reunited with Ghost – yay! – and the surviving members of the Night’s Watch set the keep, along with the corpses of the mutineers, ablaze.

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HOUSE TARTH | Pod fails to impress Brienne with his squire skills (lack of horsemanship, inability to cook rabbit without turning it into a flambé), making her wonder what duties he did perform for Tyrion. “Mostly, I poured wine,” he admits. (Heh.) But his story of killing a Kingsguard member to save Tyrion’s life during the Battle of Blackwater makes her sit up and take notice – and allow him to help her off with her shiny new armor. (Not like that!)

HOUSE TARGARYEN | Daenerys gets good news – Joffrey is dead! Her Daario-led acquisition of the Meereneese navy means she might be able to take King’s Landing! – and bad news – her liberations of Yunkai and Astapor didn’t stick, meaning both places have slid back into being terrible places for the powerless. Ser Jorah floats the idea of her fleeing to fight for Westeros, but she decides not to sail. “I will do what queens do,” she states. “I will rule.” Oh khaleesi, you already do!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. D'Arcy says:

    Alayne* not Elaine. (Book-wise, I suppose).

    A very interesting episode that mainly takes place in out-of-the-book realm.

    I think the show has proved it can do this successfully at times (see almost any Tywin scene, or the Cersei/Oberyn scene), and very unsuccessfully at other times (see the mess that became Bran/Jon/Locke).

    I really did like the concept of Bran going to Craster’s Keep, but they didn’t handle it very well past the point of thought. If Locke were to barge in on Bran and company, he would certainly kill the other three before running off with the cripple.

    A good episode, but not fantastic in this new realm of excellent Season 4 episodes.

    I’m very much looking forward to the back-half of this season, where hopefully, the show will be more forced to stick to book material, which has almost always been consistently better.

    Despite small complaints, I still love it.

    • Tusk says:

      The Bran story is really lagging…. It’s a bit annoying when they show them hungry when all they had to do was have Bran possess his wolf and hunt them some food… problem solved :)

      I’m glad to learn that they’ve started to deviate from the books as the books’ readers (not all of them, just a loud minority) can’t help post spoilers with glee…

      Hopefully, the high quality continues and I look forward to more Arya and the Hound, didn’t she call for her mysterious assassin friend last season?

    • Simon says:

      I’m afraid deviations from the books are inevitable. The show can’t afford to sit around and wait for Martin to finish two more books (something that will likely take him at least 5 more years). I guess that already next season we will be mostly done with AFFC/ADWD material and we will be in uncharted waters for the final two seasons. I’m actually excited about it, to finally be surprised by something that happens on the show.

      • Joey says:

        I’m not so sure that we’ll be without The Winds of Winter for that long. Rumors persist that it may be released as early (?) as this winter, but perhaps nearing the end of next season. If that is true, we’ll have material to read while waiting on season 6. I guess we’ll see. :P

    • jher54 says:

      ok, thanks, but i think the best way to watch it is ACCESSTV INFO website

  2. Pinky says:


  3. Lia says:

    Kingsguard, not Knight’s Guard.
    Great episode tonight as usual.

  4. Joey says:

    How sad it is that the season is already half over.

    A pretty good episode, but not as good as some others have been. Seeing Karl bite it in a big way was good, although I wish more emphasis had been placed on Lysa’s admission that she basically caused every major disaster on the show so far (or at least set things up for other people to make awful decisions).

    Don’t care though since my favorite character, Theon, is back next week. :D

  5. Ian says:

    That Lysa/Petyr scene was just truly horrifying to watch.

    Aidan Gillen must have had to gargle with bleach after filming that scene.

    • Nichole says:

      I haven’t read the books, so everything on the show is new to me, but in that scene I really thought Petyr was going to throw Lysa out the moon (sky?) window thing while no one was around, he really did look that repulsed!! The show this season does seem to be handling the various amounts of story fronts much better, in that we get to see a little bit of almost everything going on everywhere each episode, was starting to really get confusing last season towards the end with soooo many different things happening that you often didn’t see for a few episodes.

    • CountryQueen says:

      That seems like a pretty harsh thing to say about the actress who plays Lysa.

  6. trainwreck says:

    ok why was Locke trying to harm Bran when he himself is a NightWatch guy and Jon’s (apparent) ally?

    • Joey says:

      You are aware he’s acting under orders of Roose Bolton to find and return Bran and Rickon to the Dreadfort, right?

      • kim says:

        Trainwreck just ignore the “you are aware” and “right?” in Joey’s response. Then you’ll have the info you asked for without the snark. So much happens in both the books and the series it can be hard to remember every detail :)

        • Joey says:

          It happened just a few episodes and was a pretty important scene. Kind of important in a show like this to actually pay attention to what happens. :P

          • Sammy says:

            Doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch about it! :)

          • Joey says:

            Hey if you’re not going to pay attention to a show with so much going on, don’t be surprised if someone says something like that to you. It’s your own fault.

        • Lola says:

          Kim, you are awesome! That is all.

        • Jenna says:

          Thank you, Kim. I love the show, but I don’t study it or watch an episode more than once usually, so I often forget details. Most of last nite I kept asking myself, Did I know Cersei had a daughter? Surely I must have not missed that detail, but I really can’t remember. lol.
          I get that people love to prove they know more than someone else, but I have other things in my life that are more important to remember. This show has a lot of moving parts; and for those of us who haven’t read the books, I think the producers have done a really good job of storytelling to make this a TV show that’s entertaining and understandable for everyone.

          • CountryQueen says:

            Agreed – it’s really only due to blogs like this that I’m able to keep most everything straight. I’m a little obsessive about this show on Mondays. :)

          • The Beach says:

            Jenna, I couldn’t have expressed my feelings any better than you just did…much appreciated.

  7. Apples says:

    Excellent pacey ep. I thought we saw the best and worst of Cersei (and Margaery played her in their conversation, not the other way around). Jon and Ghost’s reunion was very touching. Loved the foreshadowing from Jojen that Jon would kill him (“Snow falling on your body”). Baelish is more ambitious and cruel than anyone ever imagined…
    Also, this marks not only the midway point of this season but potentially the whole series if it finishes in seven seasons.

  8. Jenna says:

    Thought this was a great episode, especially for Jon Snow. That sword swallowing bit was wicked. And poor Sansa; she’s probably wishing someone would just poison her already. I’m still rooting for the Stark women, and hoping Brienne finds Sansa and helps her out of this dour situation.
    Looking forward to next week’s trial.

  9. Joshua says:

    Did it bother anyone else that Jojen called it a “three-eyed raven” instead of a “three-eyed crow”.

    • Summer says:

      Being 100% earnest here, what’s the difference between a crow and a raven? I’ve always thought the words were just interchangeable.

      • Beckie says:

        From the Internet:
        The name “crow” is used for an entire family of birds, Corvidae, that includes the raven species. To put it simply, all ravens are crows; but crows can also be jays, magpies, or other birds. The terms “crow” and “raven” are actually very general, and can be used to refer to a number of different related birds in the Corvus genus. In the United States, most people use these terms to refer to the American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and the Common Raven (Corvus corax). While these black birds have many similarities, there are differences in their appearance, noises, and habitat.

        • LB says:

          I did some research too. One of the main appearance differences is that the Common Raven is similar in size to a hawk, while the American Crow is similar in size to a dove or pigeon.

          • CountryQueen says:

            Really? I thought the other way around. Well dang, we have lots of ravens in this neck of the woods then.

      • Beckie says:

        and more….
        Crows are tolerant of noisy, populated areas with people and other animals, which gives them their reputation for harassing the cornfields of farmers, since they like scavenging seeds, fruits, and vegetables in groups. Ravens like privacy in their solitary hunt for insects, fruits, and carrion, so they’re more likely to be found in remote woods, meadows, and hills. They adapt well to many different environments, however, and are found even in Arctic areas.

        The lifespans of the two birds do vary; a raven often lives 30 years, while a crow only has an average of eight years, though they can live longer in captivity. Crows are also very susceptible to the West Nile virus, and many birds have died from this disease since 1999.

        • CountryQueen says:

          And now I’m back to believing it’s Crows in our neck of the woods (they are huge though – no way are they small like a dove). I’m confused. LOL

      • Louie says:

        It might be the same reason why they call them the White Walkers in the show when they’re called Others in the book. Stops confusion I guess

  10. SouthernBelle says:

    Sadly, this recap was more entertaining that this actual episode. I look forward to GoT every Sunday (as I assume most of America does) but this week was dull as dishwater. Also, I’m really mad Bran and Jon couldn’t see each other for five seconds. Have any of the Starks (Robb’s head and Arya notwithstanding) seen each other since Season 1? Also, I don’t like Jojen’s character at all, he annoys me. The warg plot line does not interest me at all, and right now neither does Arya’s. The exchange between Cersei and Margaery was the most entertaining part of this week by far. Thankfully next week looks more interesting.

    • CountryQueen says:

      Ah, but that warg storyline will come into play with the dragons I’m guessing. They are becoming uncontrollable, but if Bran were to warg into them, things will get interesting.
      Right now my joke is that Dany becomes Queen, Aria is her hand, and Bran controls the dragons. I would love to see these characters work together to rule. (I can’t see Aria as Queen, but I totally see her as the Hand.)

      • DocHolly says:

        I stopped reading the books because I love the show so much so I love your threesome with Dany Arya & Bran. Of course I’d want Tyrion in there somewhere. Maybe as the Master of the Coin, Tits & Wine.

  11. tv2day says:

    Too many stories for a 10 episode season. The theon story is of no interest. The bran story is pretty boring. Now they added brienne n the squire story. Still a great show

  12. chuckmourner says:

    The dire wolf did indeed collect his due. Always wondered about the sound a sword makes when it snicker snacks in and out of a skull. Too bad dany’s assault on westeros ia delayed. When she finally sets sail it should be to the starz network because that’s where Emilia Clark and her subplot belongs.

  13. Will says:

    As a non-book reader I have to say that Lysa’s reveal that she was the one to poison her husband surprised the h*ll out of me. All this time I chalked it up to another Lannister plot. I’m starting to think the Lannisters aren’t as evil as they seem. (Or, more likely, everyone else is just as evil as they are if not more.)

    • Tara says:

      I’m about 2/3 the way through Book 1 and there were a couple of little things that were said that made me think that Lysa was involved in some way but the revelation that Littlefinger was involved floored me – that man has his finger in a lot of pies!

  14. John says:

    Well said, Jenna!

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