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Season four of Game of Thrones is halfway over, and it honestly doesn’t feel like we’ve learned much of anything since the season began. Sure, Joffrey was murdered and Daenerys hastily conquered another city, but much of the season has been table setting thus far. In last nights’ episode, titled First of His Name, we get more table setting but we also get resolution on some fronts as well. Tommen Baratheon, younger brother of now-dead Joffrey, has been named king, for example. The situation north of the Wall with Karl and the Night’s Watch deserters is also wrapped up. Let’s discuss the happenings…
In King’s Landing, Tommen is indeed named the new king. He’s still a boy (maybe 14 or 15 years old), but he is already keen on having Margaery Tyrell as his wife, primarily due to her innocent seduction last week. Cersei sees this as a chance to get get Margaery’s father Mace on her side, as Mace will be one of three judges in Tyrion’s upcoming murder trial. Cersei also visits with Oberyn Martell as well. She inquires about her daughter Myrcella’s well being, but really uses it as an opportunity to sniff Oberyn out, and perhaps get him on her side as well. Cersei wants to sway their judgment of Tyrion closer to her side. We’ll see if it is successful in the next few weeks I imagine.
Meanwhile, Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark arrive at The Eyrie, where Sansa’s aunt Lyssa rules. We learn that Baelish and Lyssa conspired to murder Jon Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie and Lyssa’s husband. This is the event that sets Ned Stark off towards King’s Landing way back in season one. We also see the continued insanity of the Arryn family, with young son Robyn wanting to throw anyone and everyone through the moon hole and Lyssa becoming enraged at the thought of Sansa possibly seducing Lord Baelish, which as we know is already nuts enough. Sansa is far too young and naïve for that kind of nonsense. She also probably realizes she was much better off back in King’s Landings amongst the murderers and schemers.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys is having trouble keeping her conquered cities free of other would-be conquerors. We learn that someone named Cleon the Butcher has risen up as a tyrant in Astapor, and Yunkai is no better off either. She wonders how she can even hope to take King’s Landing if she can’t effectively rule three slaver cities. In the Riverlands, nearing the Eyrie, Arya and the Hound continue their journey to see Lyssa Arryn. Arya attempts to demonstrate the fine swordsmanship she was taught by Syrio Forel, and the Hound gives her a much more effective demonstration of how armor and strength work.
The most significant action takes place north of the Wall, where Jon Snow has lead a small band of Night’s Watch volunteers to take back Craster’s Keep and silence Karl and his deserters. Meanwhile, Locke keeps his eye out for Brandon Stark and associates, as he plans to take Bran back to Roose Bolton so Roose can do lord knows what with the Stark boy. In the ensuing fray, Bran uses Hodor to murder the treacherous Locke in self-defense. Jon Snow, with the help of Craster’s wives, defeats Karl, and the Night’s Watch, despite losing a few members, is able to win this battle. They set fire to the Keep, and Craster’s former wives decide to move on for themselves. Bran Stark and company also move on, without Jon Snow knowing about it. Brandon knows that Snow would only keep him from obtaining his goal, which still is shrouded in mystery.