Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 5 Recap and Review

May 05, 2014 / by / 126 Comments

So far, Season 4 is really delivering; last night’s episode was another action-packed hour of television, with some fascinating plot developments. While things continue getting sewed up and forwarded at King’s Landing, Sansa’s life gets a lot more interesting (read: bleak), and shit hits the fan at Craster’s Keep. Here’s what last night’s episode brought us (spoilers ahead).

King’s Landing

The episode opens with the coronation of Tommen Baratheon in King’s Landing. He sits regally as a priest utters some random words, then everyone shouts “Long may he reign!”  because that worked out so well last time. Then, as R. Kelly once famously said, after the coronation comes the after-party. It doesn’t seem like a particularly fun party, as it consists mostly of people standing around talking while waiting in line to pay their respects to the new king. In the middle of the party, we see Tommen and Margaery making some serious eyes at each other. I mean, really serious. It lasts a good 5 seconds longer than it needs to make its point. But of course, Cersei sees them making googly-eyes at one another, and proceeds to go stand in between them to interrupt their visual sex trip. Cersei then tells Margaery that she wants her to marry Tommen, which might be the first time in this whole fucking show that Cersei’s desires align with anyone else’s.

Next, we see a conversation between Tywin and Cersei, in which they discuss why it’s important to ally themselves with the Tyrells. Tywin reveals that the gold mines in the Westerlands have run dry, and that the Lannisters are in great debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos. The entire Lannister clan then bursts into Tywin’s office for an ensemble number titled, “Ain’t No Gold In The Westerlands,” a Vaudevillian lamentation of the family’s slowly slipping status in Westeros.

Cersei, concerned primarily with ensuring the execution of Tyrion, then meets with Prince Oberyn, who will also serve on the 3-man jury. She breaks the ice by discussing her daughter, Myrcella, who is engaged to Prince Oberyn’s nephew and lives in Dorne. She is concerned about Myrcella’s well-being, but Oberyn assures her that they don’t hurt little girls in Dorne. Cersei retorts with “Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls,” which I believe might be the name of Beyoncé’s next international tour. Cersei asks Oberyn to deliver a gift to Myrcella — a large boat.

Across The Narrow Sea

For the first time, we actually see Daenerys having a meeting with her advisors and not just traipsing around the desert freeing slaves. Jorah informs Daenerys that Yunkai has again become ruled by slave-owners, and that Astapor has been taken over by a butcher named Cleon. WELP. Daenerys rejects Jorah’s advice to ignore the developments, and temporarily forgoes her plans to invade Westeros to rule over the three cities she has sacked. Daenerys’ knows the Iron Throne is important, but has no idea how to do it, so she just keeps pushing back the deadline and never actually making real progress. It’s kind of like her own personal version of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Brienne and Podrick

Here, we’ve got a great buddy cop plot, in which Brienne is an experienced cop who doesn’t want anyone’s help, and Pod is a rookie cop who doesn’t know how to do anything but once wrecked three prostitutes in an orgy. That’s really it here. Nothing even remotely exciting.

Arya and The Hound

Another plot that doesn’t get particularly exciting in this episode. The Hound makes fun of Arya for reciting her laundry list of people she wants to kill before she goes to bed, and then she says his name, which makes things a little uncomfortable. The next day she tries to stab him, but he’s wearing armor, and her sword is tiny, so he just pimp-slaps her to the ground. And for some reason, they just continue traveling together.

Sansa, Littlefinger, and the Arryns

Here’s where some shit gets weird. Littlefinger brings Sansa to the Eyrie disguised as his niece. He doesn’t have a real niece, so he names his fake niece “Elaine” after his favorite Seinfeld character. When they get the Vale, we find Robin Arryn, the oldest breastfed child in the Seven Kingdoms. Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn immediately share a passionate kiss. It’s amazing how in a TV series that regularly depicts rape, incest, and incredibly brutal murders, this kiss is the first time I’ve actually been forced to avert my eyes.

Lysa knows Sansa is Sansa and not Elaine, and greets her as a loving family member. When Sansa and Robin leave, Lysa and Littlefinger discuss their impending marriage. Lysa wants to do it soon, but Littlefinger wants to wait. It’s a dialogue taken directly from a movie about a high school prom, but I can’t recall which one. Finally, Lysa strong-arms Petyr into getting married that day, and brings in the necessary enablers, who have been waiting outside. Lysa, who is literally batshit crazy, says, and I quote, “I’m going to scream when my husband makes love to me. I’m going to scream so loud they will hear me clear across the Narrow Sea.” I don’t remember what happened shortly after that because I was vomiting into my hands, but we do see Sansa struggling to get to sleep, since her Aunt Lysa is moaning like a gutted hog while her new husband rails her. It certainly calls into question the validity of “Littlefinger” as a nickname, you know?

In a conversation between Sansa and Lysa shortly thereafter, we find out some crazy shit. As it turns out, it was actually Littlefinger who was responsible for the death of Jon Arryn, and who ordered Lysa to inform Catelyn. Lysa proceeds to go into full-on crazy girlfriend mode, accusing Sansa of being pregnant with Littlefinger’s baby. It’s really fucking uncomfortable. At the end, Lysa reveals that Sansa will marry her cousin, Robin. Hat trick, Sansa! Third unwanted engagement! No, but really, Sansa is like a non-consenting Elizabeth Taylor and it’s terribly sad. She deserves better.

Craster’s Keep

This storyline was easily the most exciting of the episode. Just when a few of the mutineers are about to rape Meera, because of course they’re going to rape Meera, the men of the Night’s Watch attack Craster’s Keep. Everything is going well for the Brothers, as they are slaying some bitches, but then Locke shows up in the hut where Bran is prisoner. He stabs Bran in the leg and carries him off to the woods where he will presumably slay him, but as he’s being taken off, Bran wargs into Hodor. Hodor proceeds to use his raw strength to break out of his chains, something he had always wanted to do since first seeing The Matrix. Hodor catches up to Locke, AND THEN SNAPS HIS FUCKING NECK WITH HIS HANDS. OH HODOR. OH FUCKING HODOR. No but seriously, I screamed like a delighted little girl when this happened. It was fantastic.

Bran un-wargs Hodor. Hodor realizes what he’s done, and is confused. Meanwhile, Jon Snow kills Karl, the chief mutineer/rapist at Craster’s Keep. Bran and Company head out without seeing Jon Snow, since Jon would force them to return to Castle Black. Craster’s Keep is burned down.

But mostly, Hodor snapped a man’s neck.