Game Of Thrones: 4.05 First Of His Name

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As always spoilers are below.

Now this might be the first time this has been said but, hurry up Game Of Thrones! Things have moved very slowly since the shocker at the end of the second episode and this felt like another bunch of small steps forward, a Westeros shuffle if you like.

The main issue is the sheer numbers of stories trying to get a look in now, and for the first time in four years you can feel the show, and the showrunners, creaking under the weight of the novels they take their lead from. Some of the scenes are lightweight and just reruns of ones we’ve watched before, Cersei and Margery are still playing their game, even if Cersei may be softening, if you can believe that, Oberyn is still angry about his sister, and The Hound still gets all the best lines (“Your friends dead because Merin Trant had armour. And a big fucking sword.”). There’s more maneuvering from Cersei with her father, but Tywin’s too clever for that; again nothing new there.

The big(ish) developments come in Slaver’s Bay, Craster’s Keep, and The Eyrie at the Vale of Arryn. First up, Danerys is just about ready to sail for King’s Landing, she’s got the ships she has been craving since the first season, and she’s got her army. What’s to stop her? Well only the fact that Jorah - who remember was paid to spy on her originally - gives her news of her former conquered cities and their renewed plight. It turns out you can’t sack a city and take all it’s armies then leave those behind in happiness. Now she’s got to show she’s a real Queen and lead Slaver’s Bay. Westeros will have to wait.

Then there’s the political intrigue of the return of Littlefinger, or Lord Peter Baelish as he’d now prefer to be called. It turns out, if you can remember this far back, that he was responsible for the death of Jon Arryn, the former Hand of the King, that way back in Season One kicked off Ned Stark’s investigation that ended in his death. So Littlefinger has been running the show since the beginning and now he’s ensconced in The Eyrie at the Vale of Arryn, the safest keep in Westeros, with his new wife and Ned Stark’s daughter, what more could he want... There has been something missing since Varys and Littlefinger’s double act was broken up but they seem to be surrounding him with interesting characters and a very interesting story.

Craster’s Keep was a good place to end the episode with a decent enough action sequence, Jon Snow’s black and black army took on the mercenary mutineer rapists and just about come out on top. All this is clearly necessary, for some reason, hopefully they’re aiming Kit Harrington’s character somewhere interesting as he’s threatening to become a little lost again. Sad, and surprised, to see Locke go, but showing Bran would do what it takes was important.

Anyhow when all’s said and done it’s another entertaining episode with small developments in plot and character but really don’t we all want to move through the second half of the season with more purpose? Bring it on Weiss and Benioff.

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Game of Thrones

Based on the bestselling novel series A Song of Ice And Fire by George R Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones has revolutionised the fantasy genre for mainstream television. Now in its penultimate, seventh breathtaking series the show will bow out with a spectacular six-part finale in 2018...

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