Monday, May 5, 2014

Game of Thrones - The First of His Name (Episode 5 Season 4) [TV review]

The weekly review of Game of Thrones season 4 continues. This week the fifth episode The First of His Name aired. Still did not make a Sunday post... far too busy celebrating Star Wars Day.

Our episode has a title!
I've decided that instead of doing an episode recap this week, I'm just going to write my opinion of the episode,  just to be different.

4 out of 5 stars
Sansa appears to have become a Jedi.
I'm going to start by saying, I'm always a bit sad when an HBO episode comes in at barely over 51 minutes (ignoring credits). I want them to use the entire hour. Now, I do understand that even running to 51 minutes, Game of Thrones is about 10 minutes longer than normal shows on network TV. Yes, that his how much television advertisements have eaten away at actual TV. Back in the 1990s a 30 minut show ran for about 24-25 minutes. Now... barely 21. We get 50% more adds now than we did. And honestly, does anyone buy anything that is advertised? Maybe movies... movies might be the only thing that actually interest me... and I usually know what I'm looking forward to film wise months before hand.

Anyways, back to The First of His Name. The episode had a slow beginning, but as it progressed it got better. I just did not feel this was a spectacular episode this week. There were some really good parts, really good parts. However, so much was slow and plodding... and creepy.  Some of the reveals were jsut amazing.
It's Lysa Arryn, and she is just as creepy as ever.

But there were some sad things.

The worst thing, the absolute worst thing, is we get bogged down in Slaver's Bay. I knew when we got to Meereen we were doomed... we will be stuck here for far far too long. Meereen is the biggest hole that GRRM ever wrote himself into. It took forever to even begin extricating Daenerys from this hole.

Some of the missing characters were weird too...
Water Dancing. It was not effective against armor.
I've long accepted the loss of Strong Belwas, but where was the musician that traveled with Petyr Baelish and Sansa? That seems important. Very important, so I'm interested in seeing how they are going to work that out. Yes, this is a spoiler I'm leaving for those who have read the books. If you've not read them, you get to learn later.  

Weirwood, where Bran is meant to be.
I did laugh my ass off while watching Sansa squirm on Lady Lysa and Petyr Baelish's wedding night. She looked so uncomfortable that is was actually funny. What Lysa tells Petyr that causes him to marry her that night was... a bit on the nose. It also sets up quite a bit for the future and answers a lot of questions about the past. Major turning point.

However the biggest reveal might have come from Tywin Lannisters mouth. He asks Cersei if she knows how much gold was mined in their lands this past year. She says she does not know, be it ounces, pounds, or tons. "It does not matter, the answer is the same."

Yes, that is a huge reveal. The Lannisters are bereft of gold income. Their mines are dry. This was not revealed in the books so far, but I can only hazard a guess that this had to be approved by GRRM.

Cool things:

Podrick is still awesome. I love the semi-goofball characters that really are trying their hardest. He is so much better in the TV series than the books. He is given a very likeable personality. 

Athletes hand? What have you been doing!?
I don't remember Ayra actually trying to stab the Hound with Needle and failing to penetrate his armor. Also, while it may be true that Arya believes Syrio Forel is dead, we have never seen this proven.

Ghost is back with Jon. Good.
Of course there is the whole bit that occurs beyond The Wall. Jon leads a team to Craster's Keep in order to kill the mutineers. Bran and his party are in the mutineers clutches. They teak great pains in preventing these two groups to encounter one another as they never encounter each other in the books... well, in truth they are never even all that close in the books (the one time they almost meet in the books was south of the Wall when Jon is fleeing the Wildings and has arrows in him from Ygrit). Still the battle at Craster's Keep was gruesome as it should have been and it succeeded in eliminating Locke, who was extraneous and deserved elimination.

I really enjoyed the episode, it built well. I'm saddened by the news that we will be stuck in Meereen... even though I knew we would be.

Until next week... when I'm guessing we finally attend the Trial of Tyrion. That should be good. Very good.

Read my past reviews for Game of Thrones:
Season 4:
- Two Swords (Ep1)
- The Lion and the Rose (Ep2)
- Breaker of Chains (Ep3)
- Oathkeeper (Ep4)

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