Game of Thrones: "First of His Name"
Pete Vonder Haar took the night off from Game of Thrones so I'm filling in for him. This won't be in his usual style since a) I haven't read the books so have no idea when great departures from the sacred text are happening and b) I don't possess his encyclopedic retention of all things GoT. But I do watch the show, so in case you didn't, here it is.
This episode contained the usual intrigue and fast-paced jumping from one kingdom to another minus naked bodies. The title "First of His Name" signals the starting point with Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) getting crowned while engaging in deeply meaningful glances with Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) who's certainly hoping the third time's the charm.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headley) intercepts one of those looks and shortly thereafter the two women meet privately and we're all sure something nasty will be discussed.
And it is - Joffrey, the just-dead king and brother to Tommen -- but not in the way anticipated. Cersei tells Margaery that she knows her son was a monster, but she still loved him. Tommen, she says is decent, and offers to help Margaery marry him.
We briefly check in with to Arya (Maise Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) to find out she's still practicing her swordsmanship and she still wants to kill him.
Next we jump to Essos where Danaerys (Emilia Clarke)is learning it's tougher to keep what you've conquered running than just marching forward to new lands and their presumably welcoming slave crowds. There's been reversals of fortune in her wake and she's got to figure out what to do about it. How can she ever hope to run seven kingdoms when she can't keep a grip on what she's already got. "I will not let those I have freed slide back into chains." Didn't spot a dragon appearance.
Next up Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) make their way to the Vale where queen of all creepster ladies, Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) is waiting for her upcoming marriage to Littlefinger. We find out that Littlefinger and Lysa had been involved for a rather long time and in fact, he talked her into poisoning her late husband. They consummate the marriage in very loud fashion (all her) and we unsurprisingly find out the next morning that Lysa is jealous of Sansa and sure that the only reason Littlefinger would be helping her is if he gets something out of it (true, but not what she thinks.)
Cersei goes and sees her dad, Tywin (Charles Dance) and he agrees to the match. They sort of mend things up between them even though he says he's not going to give an automatic thumbs down to her brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) (no matter how much he dislikes his dwarf son himself) for allegedly killing her son. Oh and by the way, dad says, the Lannisters are broke.
Cersei meets with Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) and talks to him about her daughter who was sent to live in his kingdom. Oberyn, the father of eight girls (!), says Myrcella (Aimee Richardson) is having a great time and that "We don't hurt little girls in Dorne." But, of course, as Cersei reminds him, they hurt little girls everywhere.
Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and would-be squire Podrick (Daniel Portman) are still on their quest to find Sansa. We find out Podrick can't cook (he roasts a rabbit with its skin on so it catches on fire and he's equally inept at putting the fire out). Still she warms up to him after learning that he killed someone to protect Tyrion and allows him to help her unbuckle her armor (and no this isn't a euphemism for anything else).
In crescendo fashion we finally get to the Craster's homestead, where all his former wives are just about raped out and Karl (Burn Gorman) is about to attack Meera Reed (Ellie Kenrick) to get some answers from her or anyone in the small group she's with. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his own small band are on their way - he not knowing of course that his brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and his traveling companions are tied up in the barn.
Snow and his group win - his life is saved by one of the wives plunging a knife into Karl which gives him enough time to run his sword through the back of Karl's head and out the front of his mouth -- bad guy in hiding Locke (Noah Taylor) is killed in the fighting, Ghost returns to Jon and the Craster women refuse Jon's offer to get to work at Castle Rock but ask that the keep be burned to the ground. Oh and Bran doesn't get to meet up with Jon because his companions persuade him that would deter him from his mission. To which one can only say Pish Tosh.