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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Game of Thrones review: Brace yourself for violence that'll make your toes curl

Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 05, 2014
First Published: 20:38 IST(5/5/2014) | Last Updated: 18:54 IST(6/5/2014)

First of His Name, the fifth episode of Game of Thrones' season four, tied up some loose ends and was quite a satisfying watch.

The episode had a bunch of complicated storylines in the works and they were beautifully executed, as always, without confusing the viewer.

It began with the crowning of the new king, under the eager eyes of many and the watchful ones of Cersei, Tywin and Margaery. The innocent King Tommen, stark opposite of his predecessor King Joffrey, was soft in his demeanour, and sans extravagance.

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Cersei's actions, however, seemed more mysterious than usual. Her interactions with Margaery and Tywin were oddly honest and uncharacteristically patient. The scenes touched upon Tommen and Cersei's marriages, and the Queen's reactions seemed rather curious.

What is she plotting in that scheming head of hers? Only time will tell.

But hats off to Lena Headey for pulling off such a subdued performance, a first for her character, with such finesse.

Moving on, Littlefinger seems to be playing big cards in the Game of Thrones – big cards that perhaps no one knows are big yet. The Mr-Slimy-with-a-Slimy-Smile has Sansa where he wanted her – at the Eyrie – while also marrying her aunt, Lady Lysa, there.

Lysa, as usual, had her crazy on, besides her big mouth. In an interaction between Lysa and Lord Baelish, the makers go on to reveal a major plot in the series, one that may as well be called the root cause of the war and other goings-on.

Game of Thrones episode 4 review: Goodbye books, hello White Walkers!

At Slaver's Bay, Danaerys Targaryen seems to have found some semblance of sense, thanks to Ser Jorah and, well, an existential crisis. She seems to be questioning her Khaleesi-skills, which looks like a smart move.

What's not a smart move, however, is to not show the Dragons for the third episode in a row. Weiss, Beinoff – you guys listening?

There's also a cute exchange between Brienne and Podrick and, in a cameo-ish appearance, looks like our squire has managed to wriggle his way into the big woman's good books.

Talking about cameo appearances, there's a small exchange between Arya and the Hound, where we understand exactly how important the big man's presence is in Arya's life. Be it last time's lesson on honour or this time's lesson on swords, he's knocking a lot of sense into one of the most loved characters of the series.

Finally, we make our way to the North, where Jon has led his 'brothers' to Craster's Keep.

This is where some of the big stuff happened and also, some gut-wrenching violence.

As always, the makers saved the episode's best for the last. Not much for the action sequences, but spot-on when necessary, the final 10 minutes will keep you on the edge, chewing on your nails and hoping that none of the big characters die.

Watch out for Bran's skills as a warg (when he takes over the body of others, mainly his wolf) and Hodor kicking some major ass.

Overall, while the episode steered clear of bombshells, shocks and (thankfully) rapes, it was full of revelations crucial to the development of the plot.

As regards its faithfulness to the books, the series seems back on track for now, as this episode (cue for the book lovers to laugh hysterically and dance) makes up for last time.

Got anything to say or add? Tweet to me @GypsyAndTonic!

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