Spoiler Alert: Once again, spoilers will come right from the start, so if you aren’t at least through episode two of the 4th season (though I’m not sure why you are here anyway), stop reading now!!!
Westeros, you have a new king!!! Long live King Tommen, first of his name!!!! Isn’t it wonderful to have a king in Westeros to root for? To cheer for? To be engulfed by a dragon once Daenerys shows up? What? You mean, you don’t want to see the gentle boy king devoured by a dragon when Dany shows up to march on King’s Landing? But you were all for it when Joffrey sat on the throne? This is the moral dilemma Martin has given us now. We built up support for Dany partially because she’s a badass, but partially because we wanted to see her (or someone) remove Joffrey from the throne. But do we still want this outcome now that the much kinder Tommen sits there? Or do we despise the people likely to pull Tommen’s strings so much that we are cool with his defeat even if the boy king is collateral damage? And while Tommen does not lack for influencers and advisors, is he the one needed on the throne to deal with the numerous threats (known and unknown) to King’s Landing? Oh the wonderful morally ambiguous world you’ve created for us to revel in, Mr. Martin!! Here is a look at the coronation of the new king along with new adventures in the Vale, on the King’s Road, and in Meereen.
It’s Tommen’s coronation, and the boy king looks nervous wearing the crown until he gets a look at Lady Margaery in the crowd and he cracks a smile. It does not take long for Cersei to swoop in and discuss her newly crowned son with Ms. Tyrell. You can sense the dissension between the two ladies even though both speak pleasantly with each other. And surprisingly, Cersei proposes that Margaery marry the boy king. Maybe Cersei is starting to value the Tyrell relationship as much as her father does. A matter the two discuss later on along with the fact that the mines of Casterly Rock are running dry and the Lannisters are greatly in debt to the Iron Bank Braavos. But they always pay their debts, so it’s cool, Iron Bank. And Tywin has a briefcase filled with IOU’s, which are just as good as money.
The Cersei centeredness continues as she finds Prince Oberyn (surprisingly orgyless) in a courtyard writing a poem to one of his daughters (more on them later). Cersei discusses the trial and her daughter (who’s with the Martells in Dorne) and shows some genuine emotion here that’s not linked to preserving the iron throne for her family. And that’s it for King’s Landing. Seriously, that is all the episode did in the capital this week. It’s kind of nice to not write four paragraphs from this one location this week.
Across the Narrow Sea
Daenerys has completed the trifecta of slave cities. And Daario, the rebellious sellsword leader, acquired a navy for her, complete with 93 ships. I have to say, Daario needs to pick up his game. Other than one really cool knife throwing exhibition, I am not buying this man as the loose cannon rebel the books portray by Dany’s side. But while the mother of dragons learns of the vulnerable position the Iron Throne sits, she also discovers that the previous two slave cities she overthrew are back in the hands of slaveholders. Not wanting to leave the people she’s freed back in slavery, Daenerys decides to stay and rule as queen of the region. So the boy king will be safe from dragon fire for at least a little while longer.
A lot of action in the Vale this week as Petyr and Sansa (who shall be known as Alaine), arrive at the gate of the Vale to see Lady Lysa and all of her craziness. At first, she seems more pleasant and almost sane. But then, she brings a priest in to marry her and Petyr and keeps Sansa, and likely all of the Vale, up as her and Petyr “consummate” their marriage. Then the real crazy comes out as she lashes out at Sansa. She thinks Petyr keeps Sansa protected because she loves her like his true obsession, Sansa’s mother. Lysa might be crazy, but she may be right on this. But Sansa learned how to plead for her life in King’s Landing and does so successfully here. The double take is fantastic as her Aunt informs her that she will be wed to sickly Robin (can we all say ewwww!!!) We also learn it was Petyr and Lysa who conspired to kill Jon Arryn and write a letter to Catelyn blaming the Lannisters back in Season 1.
Beyond the Wall
Jon and his brothers of the Night’s Watch have arrived at Craster’s and Locke (conveniently) spies the location. Before they arrive, Jojen shares the visions he’s had with Bran. The vision temporarily gives hope of their escape until Karl enters and ties up Meera with the intent of raping her. (I think we can all agree that we have seen enough rape over the last two weeks). Surely, the deserters would not succeed in their attempt here. Before they get the chance, Jon’s men arrive. The battle becomes an afterthought as Locke sneaks away from the battle to take Bran with him. But Bran uses his Warg abilities to create Super Hodor!!! Hodor viciously snaps Locke’s neck and unchains the rests of Bran’s crew. Though Bran wants to see Jon, Jojen wisely advises Bran that he must go as he knows Jon would take him back to the wall.
Jon fights his way into Craster’s and meets Karl. It looks as if Karl will get the upper hand, but one of Craster’s wife’s intervenes. As Karl is distracted with her, Jon shoves a sword through the back of his skull (irony!!!). Before leaving, Jon is reunited with Ghost and burns Craster’s at the request of his wives. Now that Jon has led a group of rangers, how will his position at the Wall improve when he returns?
Notes and Questions for Next Week
-Arya and Hound had two short scenes this week that reiterated the tension that still exists between the them, including Arya listing the Hound’s name as one of the people she wants to kill right in front of him.
-Our other odd couple of Westeros made their debut this week and Brianne was not pleased to be dragging Podrick around with her. His lack of outdoor skills made complete sense considering he’s only been a squire for the wealthy. But Brianne did show respect when Pod admitted to killing a man in battle to protect Tyrion.
-Oberyn has eight daughters from a number of different women. They are nicknamed the sandsnakes and should play a key role in future seasons.
-Once again, the Iron Bank came up in conversation. Based on the previews from next week, Stannis will be having his meeting with a representative of the Iron Bank.
-Is anyone curious about that large statue they keep showing in the previews that has yet to appear in the show? That is the Titan of Braavos. I find it odd the preview for next week uses that statue as means for representing the city of Braavos when: 1. We have yet to go to Braavos in the show and 2. Only bookreaders would know about that statue.
-Also next week, are Ramsey and Yara Greyjoy on a collision course to meet next week? And finally, the trial is upon us!!! I expect things to heat up next week and not slow down until season 5.
(Editor’s Note: This article was written by Jeff Merrick)