'Game Of Thrones' Season 4 Episode 5 Recap: 'First Of His Name'
The ‘previously on…” sequence at the episode’s beginning featured two season one scenes to remind the audience about Lysa’s existence and about Jon Arryn’s death. Jon Arryn’s death happened in the first episode. It was the inciting incident of the series. Arryn’s death moves Ned to accept the role of the Hand of the King. Ned suspected the Lannisters. The Lannisters, of course, did not poison Jon Arryn. The mystery was never solved. Season 4, though, is the season of answers to mysteries. Benioff and Weiss revealed Joffrey’s killer two episodes after his poisoning. So, a three and half season mystery is revealed in the early part of the episode. Lysa and Littlefinger kiss in her throne room after Robin took Sansa away to show her her quarters. Lysa, passionately engaged with Littlefinger in kisses and embraces, reminds Littlefinger of the day he told her to pour poison into her husband’s ear.
The line is spoken fast. Littlefinger moves on to other matters. Lysa moves on to other matters, namely threatening Sansa, and the Jon Arryn reveal barely makes more than a faint ripple in a very small pond that seemed not caused by a massive rock hitting the water but by an accidental stone falling into the pond very softly. Littlefinger, in two episodes, has become the most dangerous man in Westeros. The Jon Arryn scene did not have the gravity of last week’s dual reveal about Joffrey. Littlefinger, the boy teased in his days in Riverrun, who lost Cat to Ned, and almost lost Lysa to Brandon (is that right?), changed. Littlefinger explained why he acted against the crown after he rescued Sansa from King’s Landing. Littlefinger continues to tell Sansa why he made the decisions he made, and how the Bloody Gate and its surrounding archers relates to his role in the game of thrones. The Bloody Gate sits below hills, at the mouth of the Eyrie. Archers perch on both sides of the pass. Men and women walk single file through the gate, towards the mountain. The Eyrie’s the strongest stronghold in King’s Landing because of its invulnerability to attack. The Eyrie’s an after-though, run by a man woman and her mad son. That’s part of Littlefinger’s brilliance.
Littlefinger doesn’t anticipate unexpected threats because he is the unexpected threat. Across Slavers’ Bay, Dany listens to her men tell her about the vulnerability of King’s Landing. The new child king could divide the kingdom under a new threat from a Targaryen, because he’s illegitimate, a bastard, born from incest. Jorah continues to update the queen on the news throughout the seven kingdoms, including the return of the council in Yunka’I (along with slaves), and the new rulers in Astapor. Dany declines to sail for King’s Landing, for she believes she cannot hope to rule the seven kingdoms because she cannot successfully rule Slavers’ Bay. Dany’s the outlier in King’s Landing. Littlefinger represents the most dangerous kind of power play. He lacks the morality of Dany, the sense of justice and doing what’s right for the kingdom; like many men in Westeros, Littlefinger thinks about himself, and Dany thinks about everyone but herself: the innocents suffering in chains behind tall walls, thickly protected with stones and gates.