Posted May 7, 2014 by Yuri Mangahas in Movies/TV

GAME OF THRONES Review: Girl Power Rises In ‘First Of His Name!’

Previously On Game of Thrones:

Sansa Stark finally knows the truth behind Joffrey Baratheon’s murder, as Petyr Baelish confides to him how it was orchestrated, in an attempt for the latter to slowly overtake everything. Meanwhile, Jon Snow has been allowed by the Watch to actuate a preemptive strike against the mutineers, led by Karl, who has managed to capture Bran Stark’s party. Unknownst to Jon, Locke has joined his attack squad as a part of his mission to hunt down Bran. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen has successfully taken Meereen, and resolves to crucify and punish all the masters. Back at King’s Landing, Jaime resolves to stand by his oath of honor by asking his friend Brienne to find Sansa Stark. Finally, at the Land of Always Winter, a White Walker finds one of Craster’s babies and offers it to the Night King, who in turn, christens the child as one of them.


Some of you might wonder as to how the changes in last week’s episode will be resolved this season. The answer lies in First of His Name, as it appears that it has been long a part of the showrunners’ grand narrative – seemingly for; 1.) the purpose of providing more emotional weight as the story continues, and 2.) proving that this show isn’t just pure sexist action and swordplay.

And oh, have we mentioned that this episode highlights women power? Yes, very. This is a feminine episode, given the fact that it was Michelle Mclaren who did the screenplay, with a little help from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. We can say that the script’s perfectly written and the episode’s well directed – save for a few slip ups with the climactic sequence. More of that in a bit.

The episode opens with the kingship of Tommen Baratheon as Joffrey’s successor, the one whom they aptly note as the “first man in 50 years to actually deserve the throne.” True enough, it may be, as the kid possesses the gentleness and wisdom a ruler needs. And then there’s Margaery Tyrell, who seemingly succeeded in injecting thoughts of conjugal bliss into Tommen’s head. Mclaren adeptly creates a tense undertone in this opening scene, as the two younglings’ flirtatious staredown has been blocked off by Cersei, who enters the frame and stands on her line of sight.

Meanwhile, in Essos, Daenerys Targaryen meets her council and discusses Joffrey’s death, their invasion of Meereen, as well as their chances of taking over King’s Landing. Everone gives optimistic views , except Jorah – who muses that there’s a difference between conquering a capital and ruling the entirety of Westeros. Realizing the situation in Slaver’s Bay, she holds off her plans of traversing back to the Seven Kingdoms and resolves to rule the three Slave Cities. This effectively shows how she matured during the course of three seasons – in a political sense, that is.

We then jump over the Eyrie, as Sansa finally meets her psychotic aunt, Lysa Arryn, as well as her sickly cousin Robert. There, we learn that Lysa and Petyr are about to marry, with the latter effectively gaining some sort of control over the Eyrie. What makes Sansa and Lysa’s sequences enrtertaining is that we are subtly reminded of who the latter is – in case we missed after two seasons of her absence. It also highlights the tragedy she has to endure more after losing half of her family after the War of The Five Kings. Indeed, you will never want to place yourself in her shoes.

Another scene that highlights the feminity of this episode is Cersei’s conversation with Oberyn, who aptly tells her that “Everywhere, they hurt little girls.” Amusingly, it echoes down to the episode’s final moments, which just shows Mclaren’s finesse in terms of writing – which brings us to Jon’s attack at Craster’s Keep. Like I mentioned earlier, there were a few slip ups with this sequence as the swordplay is hard to follow and the angles are a bit frantic. But that’s understandable, as night scenes are particularly hard to take. Surprisingly, one of the episode’s best moments was with Bran warging into Hodor to kill Locke – brutally by snapping his neck in bloody fashion. A poignant moment soon follows, as Bran attempts to call Jon and meet with him. However, their respective missions cannot allow them to cross paths. Truly, it was a sad fate for the House of Stark.

If I’ll be asked to describe First of His Name in one word, I’d say it’s symbolic. Symbolic in a sense that: A. It depicts the never ending threat of abuse against women, and how they scorn the thought of it; B: Women are also capable of taking charge whenever the situation calls for it.

The scenes are also spot on, and were able to imply the direction the story takes. The fight choreography could use a bit of fixture though, as Jon Snow’s sequences are a bit sloppy and heavy handed. His final blow is a consolation, as it brings a violent sense of heroism and catharsis. Arya’s training scene is well executed, as her movements are fluid and kinetic. Another implication of Mclaren’s underlying theme.
In conclusion, First of His Name is an enjoyable episode to watch – and strongfully crafted if I may say. Now that half of the season has ended, what lies next for our characters? We’ll soon find out as Thrones progresses further into that inevitable storm of swords.
9 Hodors Out of 10

Catch us next week as we review another episode in Game of Thrones. Here’s a preview for the next one, ‘The Laws of Gods & Men.’


Yuri Mangahas

Yuri is magnanimously juggling between two managerial jobs: A technical manager position for an advertising/copy-writing company, and an associate editorial position for a fashion and lifestyle magazine. Nevertheless, he still finds time taking photos and seeking for geek nirvana.